Archive for the ‘science’ Category

Carl Jung – Face to Face [BBC – 1959]:

From brainpickings.org

I found this fascinating. On many levels. This man is awesome. I was actually quite impressed with the interviewer, too. They don’t make ’em like that anymore.

I often contemplate the nature of living things in their powerful desire to keep living at all costs insofar as that is the way it should be, as it were.

I think about it because a lot of the time I do not feel that feeling or force or whatever it is. It is troubling. And frequent.

I wish I could talk to this guy.

I no longer think my mind can be sorted, though. Like my eyes, it is far too late.

I may add more to this, we’ll see.

Peace.

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NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Published on Dec 10, 2013

When NASA’s Juno spacecraft flew past Earth on Oct. 9, 2013, it received a boost in speed of more than 8,800 mph (about 7.3 kilometer per second), which set it on course for a July 4, 2016, rendezvous with Jupiter.

One of Juno’s sensors, a special kind of camera optimized to track faint stars, also had a unique view of the Earth-moon system. The result was an intriguing, low-resolution glimpse of what our world would look like to a visitor from afar.

The cameras that took the images for the movie are located near the pointed tip of one of the spacecraft’s three solar-array arms. They are part of Juno’s Magnetic Field Investigation (MAG) and are normally used to determine the orientation of the magnetic sensors. These cameras look away from the sunlit side of the solar array, so as the spacecraft approached, the system’s four cameras pointed toward Earth. Earth and the moon came into view when Juno was about 600,000 miles (966,000 kilometers) away — about three times the Earth-moon separation.

During the flyby, timing was everything. Juno was traveling about twice as fast as a typical satellite, and the spacecraft itself was spinning at 2 rpm. To assemble a movie that wouldn’t make viewers dizzy, the star tracker had to capture a frame each time the camera was facing Earth at exactly the right instant. The frames were sent to Earth, where they were processed into video format.

The music accompaniment is an original score by Vangelis.

The full image caption for this movie is available at:http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/cata…

600,000 miles away.

Damn, no wonder it’s so small.

Adds a humbling perspective to things.

Don’t it?

Peace.

Ah ha! The weirdness continues!

This NASA Hubble Space Telescope set of images from Sept. 10, 2013 reveals a never-before-seen set of six comet-like tails radiating from a body in the asteroid belt designated P/2013 P5. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, D.Jewitt/UCLA

This NASA Hubble Space Telescope set of images from Sept. 10, 2013 reveals a never-before-seen set of six comet-like tails radiating from a body in the asteroid belt designated P/2013 P5. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, D.Jewitt/UCLA

Sploid Gizmodo – 11/07/13 — The object in these photographs captured by Hubble is not a comet. It’s something that no astronomer has ever seen before, according to NASA: An asteroid with six comet-like tails that isn’t moving like a comet and it’s not made of ice. It’s just hanging up there, rotating like a crazy space spider.

According to lead investigator David Jewitt of the University of California at Los Angeles, “we were literally dumbfounded when we saw it [in the solar system’s asteroid belt] We were completely knocked out.”

NASA says that “unlike all other known asteroids, which appear simply as tiny points of light, this asteroid, designated P/2013 P5, resembles a rotating lawn sprinkler. Astronomers are puzzled over the asteroid’s unusual appearance.” Read more…

A lot of discoveries out there these days! The more, the merrier, right? Keep ‘em coming!

Some seem to think it’s from a collision. Or rotational breakup. Or pressure from the Sun. Or something. NASA itself doesn’t seem to know what to make of it at the moment.

Good.

Discovery! Investigation! Science!

Peace.

Well now, this is mighty unusual…

PSO J318.5-22, artist's impression

PSO J318.5-22, artist’s impression. Credit: MPIA/V. Ch. Quetz

Science Daily – Oct. 9, 2013 — An international team of astronomers has discovered an exotic young planet that is not orbiting a star. This free-floating planet, dubbed PSO J318.5-22, is just 80 light-years away from Earth and has a mass only six times that of Jupiter. The planet formed a mere 12 million years ago — a newborn in planet lifetimes.

It was identified from its faint and unique heat signature by the Pan-STARRS 1 (PS1) wide-field survey telescope on Haleakala, Maui. Follow-up observations using other telescopes in Hawaii show that it has properties similar to those of gas-giant planets found orbiting around young stars. And yet PSO J318.5-22 is all by itself, without a host star.

“We have never before seen an object free-floating in space that that looks like this. It has all the characteristics of young planets found around other stars, but it is drifting out there all alone,” explained team leader Dr. Michael Liu of the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. “I had often wondered if such solitary objects exist, and now we know they do.”

Read more…

The last line above from Dr. Liu gives me a smile and some hope. The sense of wonder is so important to us. I am glad it’s still out there. Really.

If it can be imagined, it’s out there. Things that can’t be imagined are no doubt out there, too. That’s exciting.

So many questions. Did it form out there? Around a star? If so, what happened to it? Maybe it’s a Dyson Sphere! Might it have life? I bet it does.

We need to build a way to go there and see. That should be our planetary goal.

Peace.

Boffins Baffled!

LOL!

Sorry, I’m OK now.

Hehe. It’s just that I love when the boffins are baffled. Especially in astronomy. There are so many things we have no idea about. Models and paradigms are created based on the data at hand and are seemingly ingrained as fact in the minds of many. But they are not facts, they are merely good ideas given what information is available and people’s interpretation of it.

Planet Kepler-78b, a rocky planet much like our own, has just been discovered orbiting a star that is also much like our own.  It is however, so different that astronomers simply do not understand how it can possibly exist. I like that.

Kepler78b, artist's impression. Credit: TNG/Avet Harutyunyan

Kepler-78b, artist’s impression. Credit: TNG/Avet Harutyunyan

Sky Mania – October 30, 2013 — “This planet is a complete mystery,” says astronomer David Latham of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA). “We don’t know how it formed or how it got to where it is today. What we do know is that it’s not going to last forever.” Colleague Dimitar Sasselov said: “Kepler-78b is going to end up in the star very soon, astronomically speaking. It couldn’t have formed in place because you can’t form a planet inside a star. It couldn’t have formed further out and migrated inward, because it would have migrated all the way into the star. This planet is an enigma.” Dr Ken Rice, of the University of Edinburgh said: “Although this planet is clearly too hot to support life, it is still very exciting to now be discovering planets that are not only similar in mass to the Earth, but also similar in composition.”

Read more…

The main difficulty is that the orbit is only a million miles from the star. A year on it lasts a quick 8 and a half hours. The rocks at the surface are pretty toasty and would be much like permanently molten lava. It is thought that stars shrink as they age, so the mere presence of this object where it sits seems impossible with current thought.

And yet… there it is.

Awesome.

Peace.

Galaxy MACS0647-JD

Source PUBLISHED: 06:09 EST, 16 November 2012 | UPDATED: 07:11 EST, 16 November 2012

Researchers have identified the furthest ever galaxy discovered in space – a staggering 13.3 billion light-years from Earth.

The galaxy was observed around 420 million years after the Big Bang when the universe was just 3 per cent of its current age.

Astronomers have calculated the galaxy is a 13.3 billion light-years from Earth with a single light-year representing 5,878,625 million miles.

It was spotted using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, Spitzer Space Telescope, and one of nature’s own natural ‘zoom lenses’ in space.

Scientists say the object is in the first stages of galaxy formation with analysis showing it is less than 600 light-years across.

Our galaxy, the Milky Way, is 150,000 light-years across with the Solar System a third of the age of the newly discovered galaxy.

Dan Coe, from the Space Telescope Science Institute, said. ‘This object may be one of many building blocks of a galaxy.

‘Over the next 13 billion years, it may have dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of merging events with other galaxies and galaxy fragments.’

Coe and his collaborators spent months ruling out alternative explanations for the object’s identity – such as red stars, brown dwarfs, and red galaxies – to conclude it was a very distant galaxy.

The object, named MACS0647-JD, is the latest discovery from a programme which uses natural zoom lenses to reveal distant galaxies in the early universe.

The Cluster Lensing And Supernova survey with Hubble (CLASH) is using massive galaxy clusters as cosmic telescopes to magnify distant galaxies behind them, an effect called gravitational lensing.

Rychard Bouwens, from Leiden University, Holland, said: ‘While one occasionally expects to find an extremely distant galaxy using the tremendous power of gravitational lensing, this latest discovery has outstripped even my expectations of what would be possible with the CLASH program.
“The science output in this regard has been incredible.’

It is such a good feeling when things like this are found. Things so old the mind can hardly comprehend it. I’m not a fan of the Big Bang, though. It’s a nice theory, I guess, but it remains just a theory, regardless of it usually being presented as if it is fact. All of these astronomers seem to take it as if it were a fact… I sometimes find that a little disturbing.

I often wonder what they’ll do when an object is found that calculates out to 15 billion years. Hehe. And I am quite certain that if they point a scope at some dark spot and let the shutter go for a couple of months that that will happen.

Interestingly, the above article was published in 2012 and then just recently we find the one below. With a very similar title. But I always thought that 13.3 was farther than 13.1. Perhaps they forgot about the older one.

Anyway, this next one’s cool too.

galaxy z8_GND_5296. Photograph by V. Tilvi (Texas A&M), S. Finkelstein (UT Austin), the CANDELS Team, and HST/NASA

Galaxy z8_GND_5296. Photograph by V. Tilvi (Texas A&M), S. Finkelstein (UT Austin), the CANDELS Team, and HST/NASA

Andrew Fazekas

National Geographic

Published October 23, 2013

Astronomers have found a galaxy 13.1 billion light-years from Earth, making it officially the most distant object ever detected.

A faint, infrared speck of light from this ancient galaxy, called z8_GND_5296, was spotted using the Hubble Space Telescope and one of the world’s largest ground-based telescopes, a ten-meter telescope at Keck Observatory at the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii.

Light from this baby galaxy began its journey when the universe was about 700 million years old and just emerging from the cosmic mist left over from its birth, said Casey Papovich, one of the lead authors of the study and an astronomer at Texas A&M University in College Station.

The former record holder is a fellow youngster, an ultra-faint galaxy about 100 million light-years closer to Earth.

Past claims of galaxies at these extreme distances were mined from deep field images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. But many of these would-be candidates turned out to be much closer than previously thought, according to Papovich.

How Far Back Can We Go?

Can we push the record back even further, closer to the Big Bang?

Richard Ellis, an astronomer not connected to the study, says it is definitely possible. But we do not yet have telescopes powerful enough to do the job.

“We have the capability, in principle, to push to redshifts of ten and beyond, corresponding to a time when the universe was only 350 million years old, or only 3 percent of its present age,” said Ellis, an astronomer at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.
national geographic

Wow, good stuff, eh?

I wonder what these things look like now… or even if they still exist!

Peace.

MrSpechtler Published on Jun 2, 2013

Die ESA-Sonde Mars Express ist seit 10 Jahren unterwegs und umkreist seitdem den Roten Planeten. Das Original-Video stammt von der DRL und kann sich auch unter nachfolgender URL angeschaut werden: http://www.dlr.de/dlr/desktopdefault….

Google translation: The ESA’s Mars Express has been 10 years since the road and circled the Red Planet. The original video is from the DRL and can be looked at under the following URL: http://www.dlr.de/dlr/desktopdefault ….

Nice views. Beautiful views.

Not much to say at the moment as the distractions of duty abound… so, for your viewing pleasure… watch this.

It’s a series of aerial flyby views of various Martian landscapes.

It is done by overlaying photographs from the craft’s stereo camera onto 3D maps made from precise laser altimeter data. This allows them to use 3D programs to generate the flyovers.

They could also, if they wanted, generate ground level walkthroughs… that would be spectacular, I bet.

Enjoy and Peace.

image of a hydrogen atom

What you’re looking at is the first direct observation of an atom’s electron orbital — an atom’s actual wave function! To capture the image, researchers utilized a new quantum microscope — an incredible new device that literally allows scientists to gaze into the quantum realm.

Source: io9
Primary Source: Phys Papers

Fabulous! Whoa!

This new quantum microscope is going to be a significant tool for discovery and enlightenment… I can just feel it!

It is not a photograph, in reality, it’s not an actual picture of an atom. What it is is a composite of millions of experimental results, as normally a wave function will collapse leaving only the electron… this shows the cumulative tracks the electrons take… and of course it is in just to dimensions.

See the links above for the details (it’s not long) but basically…

The researchers finally twigged how to make an image of it by bouncing other electrons off the field millions of times, eventually building up a suitable image using the accumulated data.

After zapping the atom with laser pulses, ionized electrons escaped and followed a particular trajectory to a 2D detector (a dual microchannel plate [MCP] detector placed perpendicular to the field itself). There are many trajectories that can be taken by the electrons to reach the same point on the detector, thus providing the researchers with a set of interference patterns — patterns that reflected the nodal structure of the wave function.

Go science! Quantum Microscopy!

Peace.

Planetfall, Enceladus, vents

Space.com – Enceladus vents water into space from its south polar region. The moon is lit by the Sun on the left, and backlit by the vast reflecting surface of its parent planet to the right. Icy crystals from these plumes are likely the source of Saturn’s nebulous E ring, within which Enceladus orbits. Mosaic composite photograph. Cassini, December 25, 2009.
CREDIT: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Michael Benson/Kinetikon Pictures. © All rights reserved.

From Saturn Moon Enceladus Eyed for Sample-Return Mission at Space.com:

SAN FRANCISCO — Scientists are developing a mission concept that would snag icy particles from Saturn’s moon Enceladus and return them to Earth, where they could be analyzed for signs of life.

The spacecraft would fly through the icy plume blasted into space by geysers near Enceladus’ south pole, then send the collected particles back to our planet in a return capsule. Enceladus may be capable of supporting life, and the flyby sample-return mission would bring pieces from its depths to Earth at a reasonable price, researchers said.

“This is really the low-hanging fruit” of sample-return missions, said study leader Peter Tsou of Sample Exploration Systems in La Canada, Calif., who presented the idea here Wednesday (Dec. 5) at the annual fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union. “It would be a shame not to pick it.”

[]

If the mission is approved, it could probably be ready to launch by 2020, Tsou added. Samples from Enceladus’ plume would make it to Earth about 14 years later.

Enceladus is a great candidate for sample-return, Tsou said. Its geyser-blasted particles are fresh, having come right out of the moon’s subsurface ocean. The mission can be done without landing on and re-launching from another world, two costly and complicating extra steps. And Enceladus seems to have all the ingredients necessary to support life.

“That doesn’t mean life is there,” Tsou said. “But we want to find out.”

Well, dang, doc, I want to find out, too!

I mean, just think… !

Enceladus is an awesome place. Seriously, I have always had a gut feeling that there are critters there.

Too bad it will be so far off, man, seven long years… but

It would be awesome if a base could be established, robotic, no doubt, that would bore through the ice to the ocean below… and have streaming video. Should be able to sort out the streaming part by then, eh?

There’s a strange old post here from October ‘09 called The Critters Of Enceladus,

Ha! That was a fun one.

Here’s a pic…

Resident of Enceladus? image N00121336(crop) NASA/JPL

Resident of Enceladus? image N00121336(crop) NASA/JPL

shocking

Yes, indeed, Enceladus is a fine place to get real and tangible material to study.

Peace.

P.S. This was a draft from way back in January… sigh.

 

Cool! This is really cool!

And here it is… one of Project 1640’s direct images of the HR 8799 planetary system, located a mere 128 light years from Earth:

Project 1640's direct image of the HR 8799 planetary system, 128 light years from Earth.

This image of the HR 8799 planets was taken with starlight optically suppressed and data processing conducted to remove residual starlight. The star is at the center of the blackened circle in the image. The four spots indicated with the letters b through e are the planets. This is a composite image using 30 wavelengths of light and was obtained over a period of 1.25 hours on June 14 and 15, 2012. Credit: Project 1640

I like this.

This Project 1640 that scientists led by Ben R. Oppenheimer at the American Museum of Natural History cooked up is most impressive.

Ben R. Oppenheimer is associate curator and chair of the Astrophysics Department at the American Museum of Natural History.

Researchers have conducted a remote reconnaissance of a distant solar system with a new telescope imaging system that sifts through the blinding light of stars. Using a suite of high-tech instrumentation and software called Project 1640, the scientists collected the first chemical fingerprints, or spectra, of this system’s four red exoplanets, which orbit a star 128 light years away from Earth. A detailed description of the planets—showing how drastically different they are from the known worlds in the universe—was accepted Friday for publication in The Astrophysical Journal.

I’m thinking that this success will be repeated quite often in future. It seems likely to my way of thinking that most stars would have a planetary system as standard equipment if the disc accretion theory is right. There are, it would seem, on cursory inspection… a lot of stars.

1640 instrument in the Hale scope.

This photo shows the Project 1640 instrument in the telescope dome of the 200-inch Hale Telescope at Palomar Observatory, prior to being installed for observations. Credit: Palomar Observatory/S. Kardel

The instrument, which uses all 200 inches of the nicely formed optics within the world-renowned Hale telescope at Palomar Observatory in California, has 200 of those stars listed in its target itinerary.

The mission is a three-year survey, launched in June 2012. The 200 stars in the list are all within about 150 light years of our solar system.

The project involves researchers from the California Institute of Technology, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Cambridge University, New York University, and the Space Telescope Science Institute, in addition to Oppenheimer’s team at the Museum.

The image above is not in the visual range, as the instrument is a spectrograph. It reveals the chemical composition of objects in its field of view. This is vital data which shows what a planet, or at least its atmosphere, is made out of. And that means that it can detect if a planet has or is capable of having life onboard. How cool is that?

These four, which had actually been imaged before this development, are not candidates for life as we know it, unfortunately but they are intriguing as it would appear that they are quite weird!

I like that, too! Ha!

The results are “quite strange,” Oppenheimer said. “These warm, red planets are unlike any other known object in our universe. All four planets have different spectra, and all four are peculiar. The theorists have a lot of work to do now.”

Also…

“The spectra of these four worlds clearly show that they are far too toxic and hot to sustain life as we know it,” said co-author Ian Parry, a senior lecturer at the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge University. “But the really exciting thing is that one day, the techniques we’ve developed will give us our first secure evidence of the existence of life on a planet outside our solar system.”

And…

In addition to revealing unique planets, the research debuts a new capability to observe and rapidly characterize exoplanetary systems in a routine manner, something that has eluded astronomers until now because the light that stars emit is tens of millions to billions of times brighter than the light given off by planets. This makes directly imaging and analyzing exoplanets extremely difficult: as Oppenheimer says, “It’s like taking a single picture of the Empire State Building from an airplane that reveals the height of the building as well as taking a picture of a bump on the sidewalk next to it that is as high as a couple of bacteria.”

I am excited by the implications of this remarkable development in spectroscopic instrumentation. This is going to give us some fabulous things to think about. We can only hope that the results that I expect will eventually show themselves will do wonders for the inspiration of many and trigger a renewed sense of the need to explore. Exploration is a wonderful thing.

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-03-astronomers-remote-reconnaissance-solar.html#jCp

To view the science paper and supporting images, go to: http://www.amnh.org/our-research/physical-sciences/astrophysics/research/project-1640

To see where HR 8799 is in relation to Earth, watch this Digital Universe visualization: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDNAk0bwLrU

American Museum of Natural History (amnh.org)

Enjoy… and wonder!

Peace.

Check this out…

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On Christmas Day, an article was posted online called Warmer Arctic Waters Sprout Frost Flower Meadows. It had been posted before, on the 19th of December to the NPR website as Suddenly There’s A Meadow In The Ocean With ‘Flowers’ Everywhere.

Here’s a tantalizing little taste:

“I was absolutely astounded,” he says. They were little protrusions of ice, delicate, like snowflakes. They began growing in the dry, cold air “like a meadow spreading off in all directions. Every available surface was covered with them.” What are they?

“Frost flowers,” he was told. “I’d never heard of them,” Jeff says, “but they were everywhere.”

Whoa. I’ve never heard of them, either!

Nature is just amazing. These form when the water is warmer than the air and at the surface the conditions are such that these are sort of drawn out of the water carrying the salt with them forming delicate structures with three times the salinity of the water.

Also fascinating is that the team found that these little ‘flowers’ are teeming with life! Which they did not expect. Each one is a home for one million bacteria! One million!

Read the article! Either one, for the full story.

Gives more hope for finding critters in other unexpected places… places like moons and planets!

Let the search continue!

Peace.

And now, ladies and gentlemen… meet… the Lady Hobbit!

Face of the Hobbit, reconstructed.

She’s just awesome, no? She looks so friendly…

This, I’m pleased to say, is a properly executed scientific facial reconstruction of Homo floresiensis, also known as Flores Man and of course Hobbit as well, a recently discovered and rather diminutive species of man. Naturally the species status has been under attack from the start, but, that sort of thing is to be expected whenever something radically new pops up.

The following snippet is from none other than Scientific American; and yes, I heard about it at Face to Face With The Real Hobbit! An Unexpected Revelation! on ATS.

Reconstructed Face of Extinct “Hobbit” Species Is Startlingly Humanlike

Once upon a time a tiny human species with large feet shared the planet with our own kind. It hunted giant rats and miniature cousins of the elephant, defended its kills from monstrous storks and dodged fearsome dragons. This is not the plot of a lost Tolkien book. This really happened. I’m referring, of course, to our extinct relative Homo floresiensis, which lived on the island of Flores in Indonesia as recently as 17,000 years ago and has for obvious reasons been dubbed the hobbit. It turns out that despite the species’ small size, it may have looked rather familiar, according to a scientific reconstruction.

The Flores hobbit is known best from a relatively complete skeleton of an adult female known as LB1 who stood roughly a meter tall and possessed a brain less than a third of the size of our own.

One intriguing theory holds that the hobbits may indicate that human ancestors left Africa far earlier than previously supposed. Conventional wisdom holds that the australopithecines never made it out of the mother land, leaving it to taller, larger-brained Homo to colonize the rest of the old world. But maybe, some researchers have suggested, the hobbits were a remnant population of australopithecine that made it out of Africa early on.

I like hobbit.

And I like that they are upsetting apple carts. Bravo, hobbits!

There is so much we know nothing of regarding the origins and history of humanity. Homo floresiensis is but a puzzle piece within it, but an important one for true understanding.

Peace.

Hey, get a load of this…

Titan's Nile (full)

From Wired

Vast Alien River System Spotted on Saturn’s Moon Titan

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has spotted a river system stretching more than 200 miles on Saturn’s moon Titan.

Though it isn’t the Nile — which is more than 20 times as long — the mighty river provides further evidence that this odd little moon is a wet world not unlike our own. Many lakes and small rivers have been found already on Titan but the newly discovered stream is the largest yet and represents the first time scientists have seen such a vast liquid system on any world other than Earth.

Titan’s mini-Nile doesn’t flow with water, which freezes to be hard as stone on the moon, but rather liquid hydrocarbons such as methane and ethane, which are stable in the moon’s -290 degree Fahrenheit average temperatures. From its headwaters, the flow follows a fault line and runs into the Kraken Mare, one of three gigantic seas that cover Titan’s northern hemisphere. Titan’s liquid cycle also includes seasonal downpours, which have been spotted from orbit. Whether all this liquid improves the chances for life on Titan remains an open mystery.

The enormous image above was acquired on Sept. 26 but only released on Dec. 12.

Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASI

The Saturnian system has always excited me. It is seriously cool… and seriously exotic. A treasure trove of anomalies. I have long said that the farther out you go, the stranger and weirder things get; and I am pleased to report that this observation has yet to disappoint me.

Okay, so this river isn’t exactly weird, being, well, a river, but it’s nice and long and actually is pretty exotic as outlined above and I, for one, am more than willing to speculate that there are a wide variety of critters living in and around those currents. And eddies! I love eddies. Sorry.

Not to go too off-topic, but you can probably guess that I really, truly like the fact that the ocean this river feeds is called the Kraken Mare. WAAAH!
I am hoping with all my heart that naming it that proves to be the very definition of “foresight!”

I’d say this calls for at least a rover. Better yet, how about a sub to go with it!

Edit to add that the Kraken Mare is five times bigger than Lake Superior!

Peace.

Watch the bouncing droplet

Uploaded by  on Jun 7, 2009

I saw this on the TV show Time Warp and thought that I could do that. Well it turns out that Noah and I could do it! I was a little surprised at how small the parameter space was to achieve a good series of bounces. Near the end of this clilp, you can see waves entering from the lower right. I think these are reflections of a low frequency sloshing modes set up by the initial droplet. The smallest droplet bounces off these waves and start moving off to the side. In any case it is pretty cool. The only issue is that there was some dust on the sensor (dark spots that don’t move). The camera is a Vision Research Phantom v7.3 high speed video camera.

It is fascinating (and beautiful) to see water behave this way in such detail and I thought you all might think that this is as cool as I do.

It seems bizarre as what is revealed goes against our innate impression of what water is, how it should act and what it can do.

Great food for thought, too. There are so many things in nature that happen all the time and right before our very eyes… all forever unnoticed due to size or speed or both. Although a poster on the forum claims to see this regularly with his unaided eyes and has called it the “Anti Bubble” effect. … hmmm.

Here is another video of the phenomena:

Cascade Coalescence

Uploaded by  on May 31, 2010

High speed video of a droplet coalescence at the surface of deionized water. Filmed at the Laboratory of Porous Media and Thermophysical Properties.
www.lmpt.ufsc.br

And here is a great article that appears on the io9 site, with a hat-tip to this ATS article for providing the lead:

High speed video reveals the bizarre physics of an ordinary water droplet

The video is of an effect known in fluid dynamics as the coalescence cascade, which can be observed (provided you have access to a video camera with a sufficiently high frame rate) when a drop of liquid is deposited very gently onto the surface of a layer of the same liquid. Fuck Yeah Fluid Dynamics explains:

When a droplet impacts a pool at low speed, a layer of air trapped beneath the droplet can often prevent it from immediately coalescing into the pool. As that air layer drains away, surface tension pulls some of the droplet’s mass into the pool while a smaller droplet is ejected. When it bounces off the surface of the water, the process is repeated and the droplet grows smaller and smaller until surface tension is able to completely absorb it into the pool.

Pretty awesome, right? In the video shown up top, the effect manages to repeat itself four times (in what scientists who study fluid mechanics call “events”) before the viscous properties of the resting pool become too strong for the smallest drops to withstand coalescing completely.

And while the highest number of events I’ve been able to find anywhere else is five (see the video on the left), MIT’s John Bush claims to have observed as many as seven such events in a row. I just wish he’d included a video of it…[Spotted on Fuck Yeah Fluid Dynamics]

Enjoy Mother Nature. She’s a beautiful girl.

Peace.

Yep, it is true, my friends…

A Scrub Jay

I am not really all that surprised, actually.

The following is excerpted from an article on the BBC website…

Birds hold ‘funerals’ for dead

By Matt Walker

[…] The revelation comes from a study by Teresa Iglesias and colleagues at the University of California, Davis, US.

They conducted experiments, placing a series of objects into residential back yards and observing how western scrub jays in the area reacted.

The objects included different coloured pieces of wood, dead jays, as well as mounted, stuffed jays and great horned owls, simulating the presence of live jays and predators.

Alarming reaction

The jays reacted indifferently to the wooden objects.

But when they spied a dead bird, they started making alarm calls, warning others long distances away.

The jays then gathered around the dead body, forming large cacophonous aggregations. The calls they made, known as “zeeps”, “scolds” and “zeep-scolds”, encouraged new jays to attend to the dead.

The jays also stopped foraging for food, a change in behaviour that lasted for over a day.

[…]

(the article closes with these lines…)

Other animals are known to take notice of their dead.

Giraffes and elephants, for example, have been recorded loitering around the body of a recently deceased close relative, raising the idea that animals have a mental concept of death, and may even mourn those that have passed.

Birds have clearly shown themselves to be of very high intelligence. They use tools efectively and are able to solve complex conceptual problems with ease. I am of the opinion that all animals and plants are to one degree or another sentient and conscious and are possessed of emotion, also to one degree or another. Just like us. Anyone who has spent time with animals surely must be well aware of this.

What really struck me from the study was that the jays stopped eating for over a day. That is significant. I will repeat it, in bold, even – the jays stopped eating for over a day. Capiche? That is clearly mourning. Got to be.

A lot of people think of animals as just mindless eating machines that do little else. That assumption is just so very wrong. Have they no eyes, no senses, no thought processes or logic? Such a reality makes me have some rather sad feelings regarding my own species. It does! I do not understand it.

It does bother me that scientists are only now starting to ‘get with the program,’ as it were. Sigh. Well, at least they’re starting. A good thing, surely.

To nicely illustrate the point, I’ll present to you now a reply from the ATS thread on this matter, member phroziac posted this very poignant tale:

Ever had a conversation with a bird? Theyre extremely intelligent, and i have no doubt whatsoever they have emotions… and non speaking species are just as intelligent as speaking ones. Small birds are just physically incapable of speaking because of the size of their uhmn…voice box. Ive caught mocking birds attempting to speak though, lol…..

However, its a similar intelligence to a young child. Not an adult human. Do children understand death? not really.

I owned a male and female cockatiel. The female got sick and died with basically no warning at all….very common for birds…they hide that theyre sick. The male cuddled up with her before she died and stayed cuddled up with her for hours after she died.  he got really depressed and quiet and eventually we had to give him away to a friend that had cockatiels to try to help.

He would always whistle the andy griffith song when he was happy lmao….i never heard him do it again after his lady died……

So, birds do have an emotional response to other birds dying. But im not sure they understand death.

And there you go… Reality. Poor bird.

Also available should you desire it is the research paper that was used as BBC“s source, published at Science Direct and titled Western scrub-jay funerals: cacophonous aggregations in response to dead conspecifics. As with most science journals, you can read the abstract, but you have to buy the paper (for $31.50) to read the actual research. Here’s the start of the abstract:

All organisms must contend with the risk of injury or death; many animals reduce this danger by assessing environmental cues to avoid areas of elevated risk. However, little is known about how organisms respond to one of the most salient visual cues of risk: a dead conspecific. Here we show that the sight of a dead conspecific is sufficient to induce alarm calling and subsequent risk-reducing behavioural modification in western scrub-jays, Aphelocoma californica, and is similar to the response to a predator (a great horned owl,Bubo virginianus, model). Discovery of a dead conspecific elicits vocalizations that are effective at attracting conspecifics, which then also vocalize, thereby resulting in a cacophonous aggregation. Presentations of prostrate dead conspecifics and predator mounts elicited aggregations and hundreds of long-range communication vocalizations, while novel objects did not. In contrast to presentations of prostrate dead conspecifics, presentations of a jay skin mounted in an upright, life-like pose elicited aggressive responses, suggesting the mounted scrub-jay was perceived to be alive and the prostrate jay was not. There was a decrease of foraging in the area during presentations of prostrate dead conspecifics and predator mounts, which was still detectable 24 h later. Foraging returned to baseline levels 48 h after presentations. Novel objects and mounted jays did not affect foraging. Our results show that without witnessing the struggle and manner of death, the sight of a dead conspecific is used as public information and that this information is actively shared with conspecifics and used to reduce exposure to risk.

Peace.

Solar Dark Matter by SDO/GSFC/NASAWow, they never told me that in school! 

To be fair to my teachers, this was only discovered in 1995 and confirmed in 1997; and I learned of it only yesterday via my buddy Domenick DiMaggio, who was as surprised as I by this revelation. He called attention to the implications of this discovery. Those implications are, indeed, very deep, as I am sure you will understand.

As you may have heard, “Where there is water, there is life.” Not saying that there’s life on the Sun exactly, but it surely means that if water can exist on a star, then water is present pretty much everywhere and those  are the implications we are getting at.

It is the feeling and belief around these parts that we should just assume that there is life wherever we look. It’s that way here on Earth; and this evidence makes it all but a foregone conclusion for any location anywhere else, in my humble opinion at least. And yes, I mean not only planets and moons, but asteroids, comets, itty, bitty lumps of rock and ice and yes… quite possibly on the stars themselves.

Below are the abstract of the study and the press release… note that the study is from a biotechnology institution. Life, anyone?

This is exciting!

Here’s the abstract of the study results from the National Center for Biotechnology InformationU.S. National Library of Medicine:

Science. 1997 Jul 18;277(5324):346-8.

Water on the sun: line assignments based on variational calculations.

Polyansky OLZobov NFViti STennyson JBernath PFWallace L.

Source

Department of Physics and Astronomy, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK.

Abstract

The infrared spectrum of hot water observed in a sunspot has been assigned. The high temperature of the sunspot (3200 K) gave rise to a highly congested pure rotational spectrum in the 10-micrometer region that involved energy levels at least halfway to dissociation. Traditional spectroscopy, based on perturbation theory, is inadequate for this problem. Instead, accurate variational solutions of the vibration-rotation Schrödinger equation were used to make assignments, revealing unexpected features, including rotational difference bands and fewer degeneracies than anticipated. These results indicate that a shift away from perturbation theory to first principles calculations is necessary in order to assign spectra of hot polyatomic molecules such as water.

And here’s the press release from Stanford University:

Researchers Confirm that Water Exists On The Sun

Press Release no. 115 — July 17, 1997
University of Waterloo

WATERLOO, Ont. — An international team of scientists, including a University of Waterloo chemistry professor, has conclusively demonstrated that water (actually steam) does exist on the sun, confirming a breakthrough finding made two years ago.

The team used an innovative method to calculate the water spectrum at sunspot temperatures. The method will be useful in modelling systems with an abundance of extremely hot water molecules, such as forest fires.

The team was led by Oleg Polyansky, a theoretician from Russia’s Institute of Applied Physics; Nizhnii Novgorod, who works with co-researcher Jonathan Tennyson, a physicist at University College, London; and UW chemistry Prof. Peter Bernath, an expert in molecular astronomy. Other team members included Serena Viti, a physicist at University College, London; Nikolai Zobov, a physicist at University College, London; and Lloyd Wallace, an astronomer at Kitt Peak National Observatory, Tucson, Ariz.

In their 1995 study, the team recorded evidence of water — not in liquid form because the sun is too hot, but as vapor or steam — in dark sunspots. The scientists compared the laboratory infrared spectrum of hot water with that of a sunspot.

The water in the sunspots causes a sort of “stellar greenhouse effect” that affects the sunspot’s energy output. Hot water molecules are also the most important absorbers of infrared radiation in the atmospheres of cool stars, such as “variable red giants.”

In their follow-up study, to be published today in the journal Science, the scientists examined the spectrum of extremely hot water such as that found in sunspots and in the laboratory. Hot water has a complicated infrared spectrum characterized by a dense series of sharp absorption lines.

But the transitions that give rise to those lines were not known, until now. The research team carried out a simulation of the infrared spectrum based purely on theoretical calculations, allowing accurate assignments of the absorption lines.

“The detailed interpretation of the infrared spectrum of hot water is one of the important unsolved problems in molecular spectroscopy,” the researchers write in their Science  article.

The spectroscopic data will be useful in modelling other systems that contain extremely hot water molecules, such as forest fires and rocket plumes. Spectral analysis captures the characteristic spectra, or wavelength patterns, emitted or absorbed by molecules.

“Our research team solved the problem by doing something completely different,” Bernath said. “Starting with a mathematical model that is progressively improved through perturbation theory doesn’t work for hot water.”

Instead, the team went directly to theory and used the calculated interaction energies of the atoms of water. By using sophisticated variational calculations of energy levels, the researchers predicted the position of transitions that give rise to absorption lines.

“The calculations were so good that they were close enough to the observations for us to make sense of the spectrum,” said Bernath, who led the team that carried out the laboratory spectroscopy. Spectroscopy is the study of the interaction of light and matter.

Contact: John Morris, UW News Bureau, (519) 888-4567, ext. 6047 Prof. Peter Bernath, (519) 888-4567, ext. 4814

Wow!

And yowza, folks, as a bonus for reading this far it can be reported that a team using The National Science Foundation’s Very Large Array found in 1991, (and again in 1994), that Mercury has water, too! Whee!

Here is their summary of the study:

The Discovery of Water Ice on Mercury

 

Mercury as seen by the VLA

Mercury, the innermost planet of our Solar System, is less than half as distant from the Sun as the Earth. Because of this proximity, parts of Mercury’s surface are heated to temperatures nearing 425 degrees Celsius (800 degrees Farenheit). Thus, it was long considered one of the least likely places to find ice.

Though Mercury is one of Earth’s closest planetary neighbors, we know less about it than we do many of the more-distant planets. In 1974 and 1975, the Mariner 10 spacecraft made three passes by Mercury, sending back photos of 45 percent of the planet’s surface. The rest of Mercury is little known, however, so ground-based observers continue to study the planet.

In 1991, planetary scientists Duane Muhleman and Bryan Butler from Caltech and Martin Slade from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, studied Mercury using a radar system consisting of a 70-meter (230-foot) dish antenna at Goldstone, CA, equipped with a half-million-watt transmitter, and the VLA as the receiving system. The beam of 8.5-GHz microwaves sent from Goldstone bounced off Mercury and was collected at the VLA to produce a radar image of the planet. The researchers used the Goldstone-VLA radar system to look at the side of Mercury that was not photographed by Mariner 10.

The resulting radar image, shown here, contained a stunning surprise. In this image, red indicates strong reflection of the radar signal and yellow, green, and blue, progressively weaker reflection. The bright red dot at the top of the image indicates strong radar reflection at Mercury’s north pole. In fact, it resembles the strong radar echo seen from the ice-rich polar caps of Mars.

“Normal” ice, such as that found on Earth, absorbs radio waves, but ice at very low temperatures is a very effective reflector of radio waves. The strong reflection seen on Mercury is too large to be caused by a momentary “glint” off a crater wall, and when studied in more detail shares the characteristics of reflections from the water ice seen on Mars and the icy moons of Jupiter.

Scientists now believe that the ice resides on the floors of craters at Mercury’s north pole, where it can remain permanently shaded from the Sun and reach temperatures as low as 125 degrees Kelvin (-235 degrees Farenheit).

The VLA, with its great angular resolution, or ability to see fine detail, was crucial to this discovery. It was able to provide sufficient detail of small regions (down to 100 meters in this observation) to reveal the ice reflections. Other analytical capabilities of the VLA helped to further confirm the discovery. In 1994, the same observing team discovered a similar radar reflection from Mercury’s south pole. In sum, the VLA’s capabilities provided major new insight into the nature of this planet.

Good gracious.

Peace.

Lake on Titan by Cassini. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech and NASA/USGS)

A recent study finds that the lake known as Ontario Lacus on Saturn's moon Titan (left) bears striking similarity to a salt pan on Earth known as the Etosha Pan (right). (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech and NASA/USGS)

Now this is pretty rad!

Seems the cycle of liquids on Titan works much the same as our water cycle.This is in a desert area and its quite flat and shallow. Cyclically it would fill up with liquid, drain and repeat… in this case, it seems… liquid hydrocarbons.

ScienceDaily (Apr. 20, 2012) — A new study analyzing data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft suggests that the lake, known as Ontario Lacus, behaves most similarly to what we call a salt pan on Earth.

A group led by Thomas Cornet of the Université de Nantes, France, a Cassini associate, found evidence for long-standing channels etched into the lake bed within the southern boundary of the depression. This suggests that Ontario Lacus, previously thought to be completely filled with liquid hydrocarbons, could actually be a depression that drains and refills from below, exposing liquid areas ringed by materials like saturated sand or mudflats.

“We conclude that the solid floor of Ontario Lacus is most probably exposed in those areas,” said Cornet, whose paper appears in a recent issue of the journal Icarus.

These characteristics make Ontario Lacus very similar to the Etosha salt pan on Earth, which is a lake bed that fills with a shallow layer of water from groundwater levels that rise during the rainy season. This layer then evaporates and leaves sediments like tide marks showing the previous extent of the water.

“Some of the things we see happening in our own backyard are right there on Titan to study and learn from,” said Bonnie Buratti, a co-author and Cassini team member based at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. “On Earth, salt pans tend to form in deserts where liquids can suddenly accumulate, so it appears the same thing is happening on Titan.“

And that is yet another thing to bolster the chances of finding critters out there. And what mind-blowing critters they’d be! As this lake fills and drains regularly with some juicy stuff, my vote is for carbon-based life swimmin’ around in there. As much of Titan is more concerned with elements other than carbon, though, there’s speculation that life based on other elements would likely be the critters of choice.

They’d be a bit different from us I’d imagine, being based on something other than carbon. This is by no means a new concept of course. There is some concern bubbling round in me brainpan regarding a thought on that.

Since carbon is all we know and posts at the forum cannot fathom how other substances would “work,” would we, then, have the innate ability to recognize something that is alive – but bears no quality other than being alive – that we have ever experienced before?

An excellent question.

Spotted this in a recent post at ATS which led to the source article at Science Daily.

Peace.

Uploaded by on Jun 18, 2009

A brief film re-enacting a true story about revolutionary scientist and humanitarian, Dr. Wilhelm Reich.

Nice guy, that Wilhelm, eh, helping folks out like that…

That sort of thing should happen a lot more.

Been a Reich fan for a long time and saw this little film in a post on ATS. It’s quite nicely done.

Saddened was I at the debunko-trolls that pounced on the thread with a vengeance. Jeez. Yes, very sad. Closed minds and I do not get along well, I’m afraid.

It pleases me to say that I have been to Dr. Reich’s house in Maine. Rangeley, Maine, to be exact. It is just beautiful up there. Seriously. It was quite a few years ago now. Went there with two of my Fortean friends, one James ‘Pucabob’ Boyd, who I’d been staying with for a few days and one Greg Sullivan, who came up for the museum sortie with his lady.

Officially, the place is called Orgonon. There are several buildings which served as home, laboratory and research center.

There are also quite a few cloudbusters scattered about. I have a nice picture of Greg (was I in it, too? been a while…) beside one which I’ll add, maybe, if I can find it. It is now a museum run by a trust he set up in 1957. There’s a website, of course; get to it by operating your device on this virtual text.

They had an operating orgone generator, complete with meters showing some activity within.

Fascinating stuff.

Read up on him. You’ll be quite surprised at what you find.

Interesting that the government arrested him on a trumped up BS charge, destroyed nearly all of his books, notes and research; and threw away the key. He died in jail. A real McCarthy type slap to the face of science.

You know, I would be willing to bet you that at the core of that governmental step back into the stone age was his work on human sexuality… can’t have any help in that area can we, dear amerika? God, my country is such a ship of fools.

Sucks to be us.

Peace.

Okay, I was going to keep it short and sweet, but, on second thought, I hope you don’t mind me adding the “official” documentary film on this fine fellow… Ha! We actually watched this on a TV set in a room down under the main museum building. Nice to see they have a YouTube channel … and do note that you’ll find that Part 3 refers to what I posited just above.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Uploaded by on Jul 28, 2010

http://www.wilhelmreichmuseum.org/about.html
Man’s Right to Know is a factually accurate introduction to the life and work of Wilhelm Reich, M.D. (1897-1957), an Austrian psychiatrist, research physician and scientist. This 28-minute introduction was produced by the Wilhelm Reich Infant Trust which was created by Reich himself in his Last Will & Testament in March 1957.

More peace.

I love Martian dust devils. Really. I do. Don’t know why, really… they’re just cool – in a decidedly alien sort of way. Yeah, yeah, we have plenty of them on Earth, but, well, these are on Mars. They act kind of weird. So there.

In case you have never seen any, here is a nice video of a whole bunch of them. Just 8 seconds and… Just delightful! To get the proper impact flowing through your synapses, you really should watch this in full screen. Note their size. You’ll need this spectacle lodged firmly in your head to fully dig the upcoming video.

Uploaded by on Dec 30, 2007

Dust devils on Mars sweep past the NASA rover Spirit. Movie sequence made by MERDAT. Sorry about the Chinese date tag, I am currently working on including other language capabilities in the programs image tagging function. Still image data courtesy NASA/PDS.

Okay… now that you are well-grounded in the visual coolness of dust devils on our dear Mars… get a load of this:

This next one is remarkable and quite seriously stunning.

I have never seen one this big! This ‘video’ is just a HiRISE image so we can’t see it’s true power and beauty, but after checking the video above, you will most likely get what I’m driving at here. It must be just intense to watch! Apologies in advance for the silly robovoice, maybe this tuber doesn’t have a mic.

Uploaded by on Mar 7, 2012

The Serpent Dust Devil of Mars
A towering dust devil casts a serpentine shadow over the Martian surface in this stunning, late springtime image of Amazonis Planitia.
http://www.uahirise.org/images/2012/details/cut/ESP_026051_2160-2.jpg

The length of the shadow indicates that the dust plume reaches more than 800 meters, or half a mile, in height. The tail of the plume does not trace the path of the dust devil, which had been following a steady course towards the southeast and left a bright track behind it.

The delicate arc in the plume was produced by a westerly breeze at about a 250-meter height that blew the top of the plume towards the east. The westerly winds and the draw of warmth to the south combine to guide dust devils along southeast trending paths, as indicated by the tracks of many previous dust-devils. The dust plume itself is about 30 meters in diameter.

Numerous bright tracks trend from northwest to southeast. It is interesting to see that these tracks are bright, whereas dust-devil tracks elsewhere on Mars are usually dark. Dark tracks are believed to form where bright dust is lifted from the surface by dust devils, revealing a darker substrate.
http://www.uahirise.org/images/2012/details/cut/ESP_026051_2160-1.jpg

Here in Amazonis, the dust cover is too thick to be penetrated by such scouring. A blanket of bright dust was deposited over this region recently, just before the arrival of MRO, so the surface dust here can still be moved. Perhaps the bright tracks form when the settled dust is stirred up by the strong winds generated by the dust devils (tangential wind speeds of up to 70 miles per hour have been recorded in HiRISE images of other dust devils).

It’s also interesting that this image was taken during the time of year when Mars is farthest from the Sun. Just as on Earth, Martian winds are powered by solar heating. Exposure to the sun’s rays should be at a minimum during this season, yet even now, dust devils act relentlessly to clean the surface of freshly deposited dust, a little at a time.

Written by: Paul Geissler (7 March 2012)

This is a stereo pair with ESP_025985_2160.
http://www.uahirise.org/ESP_025985_2160

– Credit HiRISE – NASA/JPL/University of Arizona –

Link – http://www.uahirise.org/ESP_026051_2160

Nice, huh?

Peace.

YouTube link

Uploaded by on Feb 13, 2012

Chris Packham examines some of the weirdest natural events on the planet. With the help of footage taken by eyewitnesses and news crews, he unravels the facts behind each story.

Episode 1 (3rd January 2012)

In the first programme, there is the mysterious case of the car cocooned by caterpillars in Holland, and the baffling case of the exploding toads in Germany. In Switzerland a lakeside town is entombed in ice and a once in a lifetime storm turns Sydney, Australia crimson overnight. There are some disturbing plagues of mice and locusts and a swarm of ladybirds. And finally there are extraordinary strandings of starfish, crabs and whales.

Chris tells the real story of the events behind the headlines and helps to explain what on earth happened.

YouTube link

Uploaded by on Feb 13, 2012

Episode 2 (4th January 2012)

The second programme features the incredible sea foam which turns part of the Australian coast into what looks like the world’s biggest bubble bath. Plus there is a look at the mysterious death of thousands of sea birds on America’s west coast, and the otherworldly phenomenon known as milky seas.

Other strange events include thousands of birds falling from the sky in America, causing panic and predictions of the apocalypse among the residents, and the fish that fell from the sky in south London.

And finally there is the story of the truly terrifying holes which open up in the earth’s crust and swallow not only buildings, but in the case of a nature reserve in Florida, an entire lake.

Pretty cool, pretty cool. Two hours of Fortean fun.

I must say that the causes found for a few of of these incidents are nearly as odd as the events themselves. That’s always nice. They do give the “standard ‘excuse’” for the fabulously Fortean fish falls, though, defaulting to waterspouts, which I suppose is to be expected, but I must note that it is in fact a plausible cause for at least some of them. For one such event that is mentioned, though, I think you’d agree that… it would be a stretch.

The most interesting segment to me is the examination of the behavior of crows in episode 1 within the exploding toad story. It is really amazing to learn just how intelligent these birds really are. I am seriously impressed and I assure you that you will be, too.

There’s a nice piece on glows  coming from the sea, or milky seas, and although it is simple bioluminescence, the scale is just astounding and you’ll find the end result of the work of a scientific team quite fascinating.

A few of the events are a little mundane looking at them now from afar, but they did cause a stir and a couple did the rounds on the internet, but if you were there they’d be mighty impressive. They’re all worth a watch. Mother Nature is always good for a shocker…

Peace.