Posted in Blog Archive

Posted by abeodbart March 30, 2012 at 8:51 am

Kyle Hill from Science-Based life says about this:

“This is the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium. After the World’s Fair in Okinawa, Japan, this massive aquarium was opened in 2002 to keep the tourism to the city alive.

The main tank called the “Kuroshio Sea” holds 7,500-cubic meters (1,981,290 gallons) of water and features the world’s second largest acrylic glass panel (an incredible 24 inches thick!). Whale sharks and manta rays are kept amongst many other fish species in the main tank.

Suffice it to say that any fish tank that can hold the largest fish on Earth is pretty amazing. Seeing such giants up close must be as close to a spiritual experience as a godless heathen like me could get.”

I don’t think we could handle the first biggest aquarium in the world….

Thanks to Kyle from Science-Based life.


Posted in Blog Archive

Posted by abeodbart March 21, 2012 at 8:48 am

Teller, the mute half of the wonderful magicial duo Penn & Teller talks about the science that makes the magic possible. On you can read an article by Teller’s hand on the deception he uses in his magic acts. Those who find their root in the neurological tricks that fool our brains that make a subtle exploitation of our evolutionary origins into an art-form. The magician’s skill, Teller says, is understanding and utilizing this for their devious plans to continually surprise you;

“But magic’s not easy to pick apart with machines, because it’s not really about the mechanics of your senses. Magic’s about understanding—and then manipulating—how viewers digest the sensory information.”

We can certainly recommend the article to anyone interested in magic and the hidden science behind it, but especially to aspiring magicians who would like to know more about what really makes this amazing craft tick and would like to learn from one of the best.

Once you’ve read the excellent article you can dispel another illusion, by listening to Teller himself talk about his article on the NPR podcast. And what a lovely voice he has, miracle indeed. Don’t forget that Derren has a book out where he makes similar… confessions of a conjurer.


Posted in Blog Archive

Posted by abeodbart March 19, 2012 at 1:04 pm

NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

You thought we were the only planet to have wind and dirt? No way. With the HiRISE camera, short for the High Resolution Imaging Experiment that is fitted in a satellite that orbits the red planet, NASA scientists have snapped a pretty amazing snapshot off of the surface of Mars. What you can see in the picture above — bigger version on this link or by clicking the picture — is a whirling column of Mars-dust 800 meters (or half a mile) long, casting a shadow on the surface. It’s not Martians inventing fire or sending smoke signals, if that’s what you’re thinking, Mars is an arid wasteland with only the theoretical possibility of microscopic life underneath it’s frozen soil.

Mars is the fourth furthest planet out from the sun and hovers on the outer reaches of what we call the Goldilocks, or Habitable Zone around our star, which ought be the most optimal region of orbit for life as we know it. However, the planet is only about half the diameter of Earth and therefore has a measly 10% of the mass that we have, causing the planet to have but a third of the gravity we are used to, which makes maintaining an atmosphere of any kind pretty difficult, as atmospheric gasses simply slowly leak into space. Not to mention the fact that the planet is close to dead in a geological sense, which means it’s inner core is not producing a very strong magnetic field, which we do have on Earth and blocks harmful solar x-rays. Meaning that any Earth-creature living on Mars would slowly be killed by radiation.

That’s not all. Since that thin atmosphere on Mars is in fact 95% carbon dioxide, yet not thick enough to warm it to much above- 60 °C, you can imagine the planet is not very habitable to us regardless or it’s permanent fatal shower of solar radiation. However, it is very amenable to robotic research and may still show evidence of microbial life from an earlier era when the planet was much warmer. That’s the reason there are currently so many robots driving around or orbiting the planet, sending these stunning pictures back.

What we learn about other planets always teaches us something about earth and ourselves. For example, research conducted by the new Mars Science Laboratory rover, now well into it’s fourth month of travel with five more to go, could tell us if the inception of life is a rare event, or if it happens everywhere when the conditions are right, even for a geological instant. Finding life could even imply we are all Martians, since microbes could theoretically hitch a ride from Mars to Earth on rocks hurled our way from cataclysmic asteroid-impacts or volcanic eruptions, which were very common on Mars in the distant past.

So, look at that picture for a moment and reflect on the vastness and beauty of our amazing universe. And when you see some dust whirling around you can stop and think; “…there are also dust devils on Mars”.


Posted in Blog Archive

Posted by abeodbart March 15, 2012 at 8:34 am

We love the natural world here at DerrenBlog, so here’s another wonderful video on the wonders and as of yet unexplored beauty of our oceans. It covers over 70% of the planet and is on average 2 miles deep, yet we’ve only explored a measly 5% of it. This is odd because the oceans are involved in such a huge part of our lives.

Take 8 minutes to marvel at a tiny percentage of the beautiful creatures and mysterious oddities we have already found there. Would you like some underwater river with that?


Posted in Blog Archive

Posted by abeodbart March 12, 2012 at 8:01 am

The most astounding fact, indeed.

Thanks to the guys at Godvoordommen for bringing this to our attention.


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