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"chance favors only the prepared mind"

"The Art of Observation and How to Master the Crucial Difference Between Observation and Intuition"
Lessons In Mindfulness And Creativity
posted by the man of twists and turns on Apr 6, 2013 - 7 comments

Wherefore art thou (probably), Higgs?

CERN has begun webcasting a public seminar in which there may or may not be some announcement regarding the significance or otherwise of recent observations regarding the possible existence of something that might be the Higgs boson. I am not a nuclear physicist, so I will try and keep up but will mainly be trying to catch the significance of the observations they have collected so far. In case these are talked about in terms of sigmas (there's scuttlebutt going around that this is a 3.5 sigma event), here's a table of sigma and probability. [more inside]
posted by carter on Dec 13, 2011 - 85 comments

Can't get to the zoo?

PenguinCams!: Edinburgh Zoo (Via) / Galveston: Moody Gardens / Maryland Zoo / Montreal Biodome / San Diego Seaworld / Sedwick County Zoo: Cessna Cove / Station Gars O’Higgins (Antarctica) / Tennessee Aquarium [more inside]
posted by zarq on Nov 29, 2010 - 18 comments

Facebook knows where you are.

Facebook Places is the latest creation of the Facebook team. Similar to Foursquare, it seeks to make it easier for people to share their location with their friends. Perhaps predictably, people are publicizing steps for how to disable it on your Facebook account. Over at Slate, writer Farhad Manjoo debates the impact Places might have on society. Ready, set, go!
posted by elder18 on Aug 20, 2010 - 69 comments

Gamma rays from novae detected

Astronomers using NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope have detected gamma-rays from a nova for the first time, a finding that stunned observers and theorists alike. (via)
posted by Joe Beese on Aug 12, 2010 - 18 comments

At least Michael Bay won't be directing...

In the year 2182 -- 172 years time -- there's a 1 in 1000 chance that we might be hit by a very large asteroid. With two centuries advance notice, will we be able to develop effective asteroid deflection techniques? [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 29, 2010 - 53 comments

WISE: Beyond Hubble

On July 17th, NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) satellite completed its first survey of the entire sky viewable from Earth. After just seven months in orbit, WISE -- a precursor to the planned James Webb Space Telescope -- has returned more than a million images that provide a close look at celestial objects ranging from distant galaxies to asteroids. The first release of WISE data, covering about 80 percent of the sky, will be delivered to the astronomical community in May of next year, but in the meantime we can see some of the images and animations that NASA has released to date: Galleries (containing just a small selection of images): 1, 2, 3, 4. Videos and Animations: 1, 2 [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 24, 2010 - 11 comments

"...a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals."

"We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. Remote from universal nature and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion. " - Henry Beston, naturalist and writer. [more inside]
posted by jquinby on Jun 24, 2009 - 15 comments

Painted Lady data swarm

Genus Vanessa butterflies are migrating now in North America, and you can help track them by submitting your observations. They could use a lot more data for their interactive map.
posted by the Real Dan on Mar 27, 2009 - 5 comments

"...we see on the ground a number of spots of light, scattered irregularly, some large, some small..."

The Nature of Light and Color in the Open Air "Moreover, this book is written for all those who love Nature; for the young people going out into the wide world and gathering together round the camp-fire; for the painter who admires but does not understand the light and colour of the landscape; for those living in the country; for all who delight in travelling; and also for town-dwellers, for whom, even in the noise and clamour of our dark streets, the manifestations of Nature remain." - Marcel Minnaert [more inside]
posted by jquinby on Dec 23, 2008 - 17 comments

John Stilgoe wants you to go outside and look at things a little differently.

John Stilgoe is a professor at Harvard who teaches his students how to, among other things, mindfully observe the urban and suburban environments they inhabit. [more inside]
posted by jquinby on Oct 11, 2007 - 27 comments

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