Category: smart stuff

Orbiting around Earth

I know I go off sometimes on how amazing and mind boggling it is to me that we’re just specks on a speck in a cosmos of specks, but this footage taken from the International Space Station of Earth as they revolve around it is truly awe inspiring. Don’t watch this until you have a quiet moment to concentrate on the 4 minute video. Play and go to Full Screen. Enjoy.

Child Of Rage

Last week, a few days before the attack on the children in Connecticut I had seen this documentary from 1990 called Child of Rage which showed me a world I wish didn’t exist. Beth, the young girl in the documentary, was sexually abused by her biological father and since then has lost the ability to feel compassion, remorse for her actions or understand right from wrong. The anger and hatred she feels towards others and herself is so saddening when you hear her describe her feelings in such a matter-of-fact fashion that only a child can give. This short documentary consisting of mainly video footage from interviews with her adopted parents and interviews between Beth and her therapist cut deep, and show how some scars, though they will never completely go away, can sometimes heal over if treated properly*.

I don’t know what type of mental health issues the shooter in Connecticut who killed his mother and all those tiny children had, but I wish some how we could have helped him, and in the process have saved those innocent children. Some mental health issues a person is born with, others are caused by outside influences. So please, nurture your babies.

After watching the whole thing, and only AFTER you’ve watched it, should you click THIS LINK to see what Beth looks like today, if you’re curious.

*Beth was treated by using Attachment Therapy. Though it seems to have worked for her it is a controversial category of alternative child mental health interventions intended to treat attachment disorders. Attachment Therapy itself is considered by many as potentially abusive and has been linked to at least six fatalities. If you have further interest: Attachment Therapy

NASA’s 100,000 stars project


Carl Sagan on dealing with thiests.

Theism, in the broadest sense, is the belief that at least one deity exists. In a more specific sense, theism is a doctrine concerning the nature of a monotheistic God and God’s relationship to the universe. Theism, in this specific sense, conceives of God as personal, present and active in the governance and organization of the world and the universe. As such theism describes the classical conception of God that is found in Christianity, Judaism, Islam and some forms of Hinduism.

(Click for full size)

Rob Dunn and his team analyzed bacteria and archaea from the belly buttons of humans from two different populations; they aren’t your average navel gazers – they’re professional navel gazers, and they’re doing it all… for science!

The basic idea is that the belly button is one of the least scrubbed places of the human body, making it one of the most pristine bacterial environments humans harbor – which could kind of explain why some people are totally grossed out by navels.

The team analyzed 60 belly buttons, finding a total of 2,368 bacterial species, 1,458 of which may be new to science. Like with most people, some belly button harbored more species, some less, but most had 67 species. Ninety-two percent of the bacteria types showed up on fewer than 10 percent of subjects – in fact, most of the time, they appeared in only one subject, which is pretty significant in itself.

The subjects were varied; one science writer, for example, harbored a species of bacteria only found in Japan – a place he or his family never visited. Another subject, who hadn’t washed for years, hosted two species of so-called extremophile bacteria that typically thrive in ice caps and thermal vents.

Not even a single strain appeared on all subjects, but 8 were found in over 70 percent of subjects; and when one of the species found often was present, others followed in great numbers.

Copied and pasted text from this original article HERE

Follow The Frog

A little video about you and the universe.

Pale Blue Dot

I know it’s very difficult and scary for some people to imagine and come to understand just how small we actually are in the universe.

That’s our planet. That’s the “little” sphere which we live on. Of course it’s feels crazy to imagine it as a small thing considering how long it takes us to commute to work each day, or to drive to visit our families, let alone travel across the great expanse of the sea to another continent. In relation to our puny human size the Earth is enormous. But in comparison to the rest of our galaxy it is just one tiny speck of dust in a cloud floating through space.

That alone is mind boggling! Each dot in that image represents a planet, moon or sun within our galaxy. Can you fathom that? Are you fully comprehending how small we are when you see this? I know it’s difficult for me. Now, take a look at this image. (click image for full size)

This was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope and shows approximately 5,500 galaxies!!! And this is just the small window the telescope was pointing at, and only shows galaxies who’s light is strong enough to reach the telescope. What you’re not seeing in this image are all the galaxies behind it who’s light is not strong enough to be picked up by the Hubble, and that goes backward into space, INFINITELY! FOREVER!!! There is no end to the universe, it just keeps going. And going. And going.

And while this is scary to most people it somehow makes my life, though so very tiny and inconsequential in the grand scheme of time and space, easier to live because it’s a reminder that what I may view at the time to be a big deal really ain’t shit. It’s scary and freeing at the same time.

I’ve linked this video here in the past, but it is worth watching again. Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot. It’s quite humbling.

And I wanted to add a side note about my beliefs on alien life forms and their existence. I do believe there is other intelligent life out there. With the shear size of the universe and all the infinite possibilities I can not, nor will I accept, that the human race is the most intelligent life form in the universe. It just can’t be.

Geography and the Gods

Click image for full size.