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Pastor Rick Warren

Forgive me Jesus, for spending more time talking about you than talking with you.

The Birds of Paradise Project - video

A video introduction to the world's most visually stunning and remarkable birds that are hidden away upon the most rugged and inaccessible island on Earth.<p>It's caturday, but today's video will make you think this day should be renamed to honour birds. This is because I am sharing a video that will …

How Uncle Sam Is Helping to Feed the Honeybees

When I wrote a cover story last August about the plight of the honeybees, I didn’t think I’d still be talking about it half a year later. Yet this …

Whale graveyard shows mass stranding of species millions of years ago

Chilean site branded most diverse on planet for marine mammals after Pan-American highway roadworks discovery<p>A mass graveyard of fossilised whales unearthed in Chile was created by four separate strandings over a period of 10,000 years, scientists believe.<p>The skeletons of dozens of baleen whales …

The man who proved Stephen Hawking wrong

He grew up in grinding poverty and was forever in trouble at school. So how did Leonard Susskind become one of the world’s greatest physicists?<p>The day that Leonard Susskind decided he was not going to follow his father into the family plumbing business, his parents were appalled. “My father was a …

Quantum Mechanics

Black Widow Spiders Would Rather Not Bite You Or Beck

This week, while promoting his new album, “Morning Phase,” the great musician Beck has been doing a bunch of interviews. One line in an NPR story caught my attention: During recording sessions, Beck was bitten by a black widow spider, and wound up in the hospital. “My arm was all swollen up,” he …

Six-sided snowflakes bloom in slow motion

APOD: Cometary Globules (2013 Oct 12) Image Credit & Copyright: Subaru Telescope (NAOJ) & DSS; Assembly and Processing: Robert Gendler http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap131012.html Explanation: Bright-rimmed, flowing shapes gather near the center of this rich starfield toward the boarders of the nautical southern constellations Pupis and Vela. Composed of interstellar gas and dust, the grouping of light-year sized cometary globules is about 1300 light-years distant. Energetic ultraviolet light from nearby hot stars has molded the globules and ionized their bright rims. The globules also stream away from the Vela supernova remnant which may have influenced their swept-back shapes. Within them, cores of cold gas and dust are likely collapsing to form low mass stars, whose formation will ultimately cause the globules to disperse. In fact, cometary globule CG30 (upper right in the group) sports a small reddish glow near its head, a telltale sign of energetic jets from a star in the early stages of formation. http://www.robgendlerastropics.com/ http://www.naoj.org/ Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=131012 #APOD

APOD: The Great Carina Nebula (2013 Oct 15) Image Credit & Copyright: Lorand Fenyes http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap131015.html Explanation: A jewel of the southern sky, the Great Carina Nebula, also known as NGC 3372, spans over 300 light-years, one of our galaxy's largest star forming regions. Like the smaller, more northerly Great Orion Nebula, the Carina Nebula is easily visible to the unaided eye, though at a distance of 7,500 light-years it is some 5 times farther away. This gorgeous telescopic portrait reveals remarkable details of the region's glowing filaments of interstellar gas and obscuring cosmic dust clouds. Wider than the Full Moon in angular size, the field of view stretches over 300 light-years across the nebula. The Carina Nebula is home to young, extremely massive stars, including the still enigmatic variable Eta Carinae, a star with well over 100 times the mass of the Sun. Eta Carinae is the brightest star near the image center, just left of the dusty Keyhole Nebula (NGC 3324). While Eta Carinae itself maybe on the verge of a supernova explosion, X-ray images indicate that the Great Carina Nebula has been a veritable supernova factory. http://www.pleiades.hu/en/index.php Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=131015 #APOD

APOD: Sh2-155: The Cave Nebula (2013 Oct 19) Image Credit & Copyright: Jimmy Walker http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap131019.html Explanation: This colorful skyscape features the dusty, reddish glow of Sharpless catalog emission region Sh2-155, the Cave Nebula. About 2,400 light-years away, the scene lies along the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy toward the royal northern constellation of Cepheus. Astronomical explorations of the region reveal that it has formed at the boundary of the massive Cepheus B molecular cloud and the hot, young, blue stars of the Cepheus OB 3 association. The bright rim of ionized hydrogen gas is energized by the radiation from the hot stars, dominated by the bright blue O-type star above picture center. Radiation driven ionization fronts are likely triggering collapsing cores and new star formation within. Appropriately sized for a stellar nursery, the cosmic cave is over 10 light-years across. http://jwalk.smugmug.com/ Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=131019 #APOD

APOD: A Massive Star in NGC 6357 (2013 Oct 22) Image Credit: NASA, ESA and J. M. Apellániz (IAA, Spain) http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap131022.html Explanation: For reasons unknown, NGC 6357 is forming some of the most massive stars ever discovered. One such massive star, near the center of NGC 6357, is framed above carving out its own interstellar castle with its energetic light from surrounding gas and dust. In the greater nebula, the intricate patterns are caused by complex interactions between interstellar winds, radiation pressures, magnetic fields, and gravity. The overall glow of the nebula results from the emission of light from ionized hydrogen gas. Near the more obvious Cat's Paw nebula, NGC 6357 houses the open star cluster Pismis 24, home to many of these tremendously bright and blue stars. The central part of NGC 6357 shown spans about 10 light years and lies about 8,000 light years away toward the constellation of the Scorpion. http://spacetelescope.org/news/heic0619/ http://hubblesite.org/news/2006/54 http://www.iaa.es/ Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=131022 #APOD

APOD: The Heart and Soul Nebulas (2014 Feb 11) Image Credit & Copyright: Leonardo Orazi http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap140211.html Explanation: Is the heart and soul of our Galaxy located in Cassiopeia? Possibly not, but that is where two bright emission nebulas nicknamed Heart and Soul can be found. The Heart Nebula, officially dubbed IC 1805 and visible in the above zoomable view on the right, has a shape reminiscent of a classical heart symbol. Both nebulas shine brightly in the red light of energized hydrogen. Several young open clusters of stars populate the image and are visible above in blue, including the nebula centers. Light takes about 6,000 years to reach us from these nebulas, which together span roughly 300 light years. Studies of stars and clusters like those found in the Heart and Soul Nebulas have focussed on how massive stars form and how they affect their environment. http://www.starkeeper.it/About.htm Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=32911 #APOD

APOD: NGC 2359: Thor's Helmet (2014 Feb 15) Image Credit & Copyright: Bob and Janice Fera (Fera Photography) http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap140215.html Explanation: This helmet-shaped cosmic cloud with wing-like appendages is popularly called Thor's Helmet. Heroically sized even for a Norse god, Thor's Helmet is about 30 light-years across. In fact, the helmet is more like an interstellar bubble, blown as a fast wind from the bright, massive star near the bubble's center sweeps through a surrounding molecular cloud. Known as a Wolf-Rayet star, the central star is an extremely hot giant thought to be in a brief, pre-supernova stage of evolution. Cataloged as NGC 2359, the nebula is located about 15,000 light-years away in the constellation Canis Major. The sharp image, made using broadband and narrowband filters, captures striking details of the nebula's filamentary structures. It shows off a blue-green color from strong emission due to oxygen atoms in the glowing gas. http://www.feraphotography.com/ Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=140215 #APOD

APOD: A Rainbow Pileus Cloud over Zimbabwe (2014 Feb 19) Image Credit & Copyright: Peter Lowenstein http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap140219.html Explanation: Yes, but how many dark clouds have a multicolored lining? Pictured, behind this darker cloud, is a pileus iridescent cloud, a group of water droplets that have a uniformly similar size and so together diffract different colors of sunlight by different amounts. The above image was taken just before sunset when it was noticed by chance by a photographer in Murambi East, near Odzi Valley and the Mtanda Range of Zimbabwe. Also captured were unusual cloud ripples above the pileus cloud. The formation of a rare pileus cloud capping a common cumulus cloud is an indication that the lower cloud is expanding upward and might well develop into a storm. In this case, however, only a few minutes after the colorful cloud was noticed, it disappeared. Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=140219 #APOD

APOD: The Long Jet of the Lighthouse Nebula (2014 Feb 21) X-ray Image Credit: NASA / CXC / ISDC / L. Pavan et al. http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap140221.html Explanation: The Lighthouse nebula was formed by the wind of a pulsar, a rapidly rotating, magnetized neutron star, as it speeds through the interstellar medium at over 1,000 kilometers per second. Some 23,000 light-years distant toward the southern constellation Carina, pulsar and wind nebula (cataloged as IGR J1104-6103) are indicated at the lower right in this remarkable image from the Chandra X-ray Observatory. Energetic particles generated by the pulsar are swept back into the wind's comet-like tail trailing up and to the left, along the direction of the pulsar's motion away from its parent supernova remnant. Both runaway pulsar and expanding remnant debris field are the aftermath of the core-collapse-explosion of a massive star, with the pulsar kicked out by the supernova explosion. Adding to the scene of exotic cosmic extremes is a long, spiraling jet extending for almost 37 light-years, but nearly at a right angle to the pulsar's motion. The high-energy particle jet is the longest known for any object in our Milky Way galaxy. http://www.nasa.gov/ http://chandra.harvard.edu/ http://isdc.unige.ch/ http://arxiv.org/abs/1309.6792 Starship Asterisk* • APOD Discussion Page http://asterisk.apod.com/discuss_apod.php?date=140221 #APOD

That Time the Beatles' White Album Was Played in Court During the Charles Manson Trial

In 1969, terror and paranoia swept through the film and music communities of Los Angeles after actress Sharon Tate, Hollywood hairstylist Jay …

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The NSA Collects 200 Million Random Texts A Day

wtf so random<p>According to a report just released by <i>The Guardian</i>, the National Security Agency has been collecting and storing 200 million text messages a day--at random, according to leaked documents--in the hopes of tracking down undesireables.<p>Sinister PowerPoint? Yes, sinister PowerPoint! This …

Surveillance