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Jeremy Barbera: Personal Blog

Dawn Finds Similarities Between Ceres and Saturn’s Moons — August 14, 2015

Dawn Finds Similarities Between Ceres and Saturn’s Moons

Lights in the Dark

Ceres (left, Dawn image) compared to Tethys (right, Cassini image) at comparative scale sizes. (Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA and NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI. Comparison by J. Major.)Ceres (left, Dawn image) compared to Tethys (right, Cassini image) at comparative scale sizes. (Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA and NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI. Comparison by J. Major.)

Around 600 miles wide, covered in craters and cliffs, a composition of rock and water ice… these are descriptions of both several of Saturn’s moons and the dwarf planet Ceres, based on recent observations by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft. New topographical maps show that, in terms of surface features anyway, Ceres shares similarities with Saturn’s icy satellites.

“The craters we find on Ceres, in terms of their depth and diameter, are very similar to what we see on Dione and Tethys, two icy satellites of Saturn that are about the same size and density as Ceres,” said Paul Schenk,  Dawn science team member and a geologist at the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) in Houston, TX. “The features are pretty consistent with an ice-rich crust.”

Read…

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Dawn Finds Similarities Between Ceres and Saturn’s Moons —
Rosetta’s Perihelion-Bound Comet Fires a Fountain Into Space —

Rosetta’s Perihelion-Bound Comet Fires a Fountain Into Space

Fascinating

Lights in the Dark

A bright jet erupted from comet 67P for about half an hour on July 29, 2015. Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDAA bright jet erupted from comet 67P for about half an hour on July 29, 2015. Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

On July 29, with ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft in orbital tow, the 2.5-mile (4-kilometer) -long Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko fired its brightest jet yet since Rosetta’s arrival just over a full year ago, on Aug. 6, 2014.

Most of the images of 67P showing jets and outgassing activity released over the past few months have been edited to boost jet visibility but this recent flare-up needed no such enhancement. Rosetta’s high-resolution OSIRIS camera had no problem capturing the brief ice capade from 115 miles (186 km) away.

Read the rest of this article on Discovery News here.

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Battle on the Mara (aka The Tale of the Tenacious Cubs ) —

Battle on the Mara (aka The Tale of the Tenacious Cubs )

I’ve never tried to drag half a dead wildebeest in my mouth but I’m thinking it can’t be easy. It’s not a task I often contemplate mind you, but it came to my attention last year when a determined female from a large pride was doing just that in the Mara Triangle.

Lion drags wildebeest carcass on the Masai Mara, Kenya

The cats had killed two or three wildebeest that morning (it was hard to say, remains were pretty scattered) and eaten their fill, but she wanted to move the head and part of the torso to where the pride was relaxing by a stream about 50 yards away. It was mighty slow going.

The whole escapade was incredibly awkward. Holding the wildebeest by the throat as she straddled it between her legs, she could only take a few steps forward before having to release it, reorganize and try again. And if that wasn’t bad enough, a couple of…

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The Enchanted Gardens of Versailles — July 14, 2015

The Enchanted Gardens of Versailles

Bespoke Traveler

The moment it was mentioned, I was loathe to go. But my friends insisted because they had heard so much about its grand schematic layout, its ostentatious use of gold, and its romantic overtones. For me, Versailles didn’t have any attractions. I felt it was gilding the lily, a period of architectural design run rampant by the hedonistic ambitions of French royalty. A palace dedicated to the overt preening of wealth and ambition. What could I learn from a monument to decadence whose creative design felt stifled by exhibitionism? My friends persuaded me that anything was possible at Versailles and encouraged me to search for a world hidden underneath the glaring pomp. I decided to take them up on the challenge and followed my chums to the château of the French kings, twenty kilometers (12.4 miles) southwest of Paris.

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Cioppino, The Other San Francisco Treat —

Cioppino, The Other San Francisco Treat

Bespoke Traveler

cioppinoIn San Francisco we are always searching for the best way to beat the fog. Hard as we try to fight it, the dampness manages to put a chill in our wanderings around the city. This is why we constantly look for a hearty treat to ward off the clammy climate. We finally found it in this stew chock full of clams, mussels, and other seafood yummies called cioppino. There is something about the spicy broth, the chunky pieces of scallop, and the fun of peeling apart crab legs that has us falling in love with this dish. Not even the rolling waves of cold haze can stop us after a good bowl of this meal.

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25+ apps to make your everyday life easier —

25+ apps to make your everyday life easier

TED Blog

Favorite_appsAt our small, fast-moving nonprofit company, everyone does a couple of jobs — and productivity apps help us manage roles that shift between coding, writing/designing and running a full-scale conference twice a year. We asked the TED staff what apps they can’t live without. And beyond the classics—Instagram, Google Maps, Spotify, Uber, Seamless—we found some great apps that might help you too. (A star denotes that the app is free, or at least has a free version.)

 

For random life stuff…

Dark Sky
A weather app with startling accuracy, its interface tells you things like: “Light rain starting in 22 minutes.” It also shows you beautiful weather maps that let you play local-news weather expert. “It’s like a wizard,” says our CTO, Gavin Hall. “If this app were available in the 1600s, it would have been burned at the stake for witchcraft.”

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Astronomer, actor, role model: TED Fellow Aomawa Shields looks for life on other planets —

Astronomer, actor, role model: TED Fellow Aomawa Shields looks for life on other planets

TED Blog

Aomawa Shields is an astrobiologist who studies the potential for life on other planets. She also uses her training as an actor to teach middle school girls about the joys of astronomy. Photo: Ryan Lash/TED Aomawa Shields is an astrobiologist who studies the potential for life on other planets. She also uses her training as an actor to teach middle school girls about the joys of astronomy. Photo: Ryan Lash/TED

Aomawa Shields is a woman of “contradictions.” An astronomer and astrobiologist, she searches for exoplanets where life might exist by using computer models to calculate the kind of atmosphere they’d need to support it. And she’s also a classically trained actor, who — through her organization Rising Stargirls — teaches astronomy to middle school girls of color using theater, writing and visual art to spark their imaginations.

She talks to the TED Blog about how the threads of her life — scientist, actor, role model and educator — weave together into a unique whole.

“Astrobiology” is a new word to me. What does it mean?

Astrobiology is the study of the origin, evolution, distribution and future of life in the universe. It’s a huge…

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The Art and Business of Book Covers — June 12, 2015

The Art and Business of Book Covers

Longreads

When I moved out of my previous home, I donated more than three-fourths of my book collection because I was moving into a tiny space. I had no logical process for deciding which books I kept. Some were sentimental, with handwritten notes written inside; others were souvenirs I bought during my travels. These books seemed obvious to keep. Yet I was also inclined to keep hardcovers I’d never read or even opened, simply because the covers were attractive. All of these books, together, would represent my best self — the one I wanted to display on my shelves.

As I read more online, and since my physical shelf space has dramatically shrunk, I wonder: what makes an eye-catching, effective book cover? Which books will make the final cut?

Here are pieces I’ve enjoyed, new and old, about the art and business of book cover design.

1. “Judge This: The Power of First Impressions.” (Chip Kidd, Medium, June 2015)

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What It’s Like to Live On Top of a Glacier —

What It’s Like to Live On Top of a Glacier

Very interesting article.

Longreads

The tourists were always curious about glacier life, and I did my best to give them what they wanted. I told them about the hummingbirds that stopped by on their way to the moss-covered mountains, but I didn’t tell them about the time a lightning storm closed in on us and I thought for sure we’d all get electrocuted. I told them how strange it was to live in a world almost totally drained of color, but not about the elaborate plans another guide and I had come up with to escape the glacier on foot if we ever needed to. I told them the food was great and the mushers and dogs were like family and I had the best job in the world. Then I’d go back to my tent and cry.

— The Atavist Magazine presents “Welcome to Dog World,” Blair Braverman’s account of life atop an Alaskan glacier…

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