20 maio 2017

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In the Center of the Lagoon Nebula


The center of the Lagoon Nebula is a whirlwind of spectacular star formation. Visible on the lower left, at least two long funnel-shaped clouds, each roughly half a light-year long, have been formed by extreme stellar winds and intense energetic starlight. The tremendously bright nearby star, Hershel 36, lights the area. Vast walls of dust hide and redden other hot young stars. As energy from these stars pours into the cool dust and gas, large temperature differences in adjoining regions can be created generating shearing winds which may cause the funnels. This picture, spanning about 5 light years, was taken in 1995 by the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope. The Lagoon Nebula, also known as M8, lies about 5000 light years distant toward the constellation of Sagittarius.

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Speaking Threads: New Evidence about the Mysterious Incan Quipus

Quipus were tied strings used widely in the Incan Empire. We know they were used for record keeping – counting people and livestock and potatoes – but it has long been speculated that the quipus might have been used for storing more complicated information. Could knotted strings have been their writing system? New evidence suggests it was, at minimum, possible. Two quipus have been protected by one remote Andean village since around the time of the Spanish conquest. San Juan de Collata’s village elders recently invited a researcher to study the two quipus the community had carefully preserved for generations.

Village leaders said the quipus were “narrative epistles about warfare created by local chiefs.” That’s much more complex than counting goods for taxes. It was the first hint that these quipu might be different than the ones studied before. The Collata quipus are the first quipus ever reliably identified as narrative epistles by the descendants of their creators

The quipus were stored in a wooden box that until recently was kept secret from outsiders. The quipus it held are larger and more complex than typical accounting versions, and unlike most quipus, which were made of cotton, the Collata quipus were made from the hair and fibers of Andean animals, including vicuna, alpaca, guanaco, llama, deer, and the rodent vizcacha. Animal fibers accept and retain dyes better than cotton. Thanks to their dark storage, and the materials they were made out of, the two quipu still showed 14 different colors! In fact several variables — including color, fiber type, even the direction of the cords’ weave or ply—encode information, villagers explained, so that reading the quipus requires touch as well as sight. The more variables are included the more complex the information it can contain.

For now, we cannot “read” the quipus. But this new information is extremely valuable for furthering our understanding. Who knows, in fifty years, the San Juan de Collata quipus may be known as the Rosetta Stone of the Incas!

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"When Ernst Lubitsch’s anti-Nazi comedy To Be or Not To Be (1942), starring Jack Benny and Carole..."

When Ernst Lubitsch’s anti-Nazi comedy To Be or Not To Be (1942), starring Jack Benny and Carole Lombard, opened in Miami, Jack’s father went to see it, and when he saw Jack appear on the screen wearing a Nazi uniform, he left the theater in a fury. Late that night Jack, who heard what had happened, called to explain, but his father let loose a flood of abuse. Finally Jack interrupted, told him the movie was a satire, and explained that in the film he was only pretending to be a Nazi in order to rescue some people from the Nazis.

The following day Jack’s father went to see the movie again, loved it, and went to see it every day after that as long as it played in Miami. And he usually cried at the end too.



- Quoted from this post which is quoting “Hollywood Anecdotes” by Boller & Davis.
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Estrela com “megaestrutura alienígena” está escurecendo novamente

A misteriosa estrela tem sido algo intrigante para os astrônomos por anos devido ao seu comportamento errático e inexplicável.

Originalmente encontrado entre as constelações Cygnus e Lyra pelo telescópio espacial Kepler em 2009, a estrela conhecida como KIC 8462852 tem provado ser um enigma.

Ao contrário da maioria das outras estrelas hospedeiras de planetas que exibem ligeiras quedas periódicas de luz quando seus planetas passam na frente delas, esta parece exibir mergulhos extremamente erráticos e indicativos de uma variedade grande e bem embalada de matéria em órbita à sua volta.

O fenômeno ganhou fama quando o astrônomo Jason Wright sugeriu que uma explicação possível era a presença de uma estrutura extraterrestre gigantesca no espaço.

Um estudo recente descobriu que o escurecimento da estrela parecia ocorrer em 0,34% ao ano para começar, mas inexplicavelmente caiu para 2,5% por 200 dias antes de retornar à sua taxa de escurecimento original.

Agora, um novo período de escurecimento inexplicado começou na segunda-feira e colocou os astrônomos de todo o mundo em seus telescópios para observarem novamente a estrela.

Com alguma sorte, se houver um número suficiente de pessoas observando o fenômeno em ação, pode ser possível aprender algo novo sobre ele e possivelmente ajudar a explicar o fenômeno.

Se a resposta está nas ações de uma civilização alienígena, porém, continua a ser visto.



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Horóscopo do dia – 21 de Maio - Previsões para todos os signos

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The Desert That Wasn't

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