Scipsy

Links Roundup #1

IMPOSSIBLE FIGURES, GRIEF≠DEPRESSION, MATH+CHILDREN, REVERSE ENGINEERING, NUMBER HYGIENE, SPACEWALK & SPACE MUSIC.

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When we admire the artwork of M.C. Escher, or we see some impossibile figure like the Pensore triange, how does the brain processe impossible objects?

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"The DSM-5 Mood Disorders Work Group has proposed eliminating in DSM-5 the major depression criterion E, “bereavement exclusion” (BE), which recognizes that depressive symptoms are sometimes normal in recently bereaved individuals.”

The failing in recognizing the difference between a proportionate response to a devastating emotional event and a mental illness carry the risk to make a caricature of psychiatry. Psychiatrists must think better.

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"Children as young as three to five years of age have the potential to learn mathematics that is surprisingly complex and sophisticated”, and, more impressive, infants by two months understand that unsupported objects will fall, and that hidden objects still exist and by five months of age they expect non-cohesive substances like water and sand to pour. This suggests that babies born with a basic understanding of how things in their environment operate.

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Ray Kurzweil is convinced that ”[…] by 2020 we’ll have computers that are powerful enough to simulate the human brain […] By 2029 […] we will have completed the reverse engineering of the human brain.”

Mh. I’m not sure.

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The Royal Statistical Society proposes 12 rules of “number hygiene” for journalists to at least achieve a basic understanding of numbers, statistics, graphs and so on (all of which are far too loved by journalists).

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"An EVA is probably the most physically demanding task an astronaut can undertake."How astronauts learn to “spacewalk”.

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The Sounds of Space.

"Musics in space is something very important for the moral of the crew and for the psychological support of the crew."

The known universe appears to be the consequence of a unique event.
Globular cluster Messier 55 (M55, or NGC 6809) in the constellation Sagittarius. M55 is about 17600 light-years from Earth. Its mass is 269000 that of the Sun. It was discovered in 1752 by Nicolas Louis de Lacaille while he was observing from South Africa.

"It resembles an obscure nucleus of a big comet" 

Globular cluster Messier 55 (M55, or NGC 6809) in the constellation Sagittarius. M55 is about 17600 light-years from Earth. Its mass is 269000 that of the Sun. It was discovered in 1752 by Nicolas Louis de Lacaille while he was observing from South Africa.

"It resembles an obscure nucleus of a big comet" 

Terrestrial Planet Interiors
APEX turns its eye to dark clouds in Taurus.
Apex telescope captured this image of part of the Taurus Molecular Cloud, the nearest (450 light-years) large star formation region to Earth, showing a more than ten light-years long filament of cosmic dust. Above the filament you can see a bright star, it’s φ Tauri.

APEX turns its eye to dark clouds in Taurus.

Apex telescope captured this image of part of the Taurus Molecular Cloud, the nearest (450 light-years) large star formation region to Earth, showing a more than ten light-years long filament of cosmic dust. Above the filament you can see a bright star, it’s φ Tauri.

Some days ago, a friend on tumblr, knowing of my love for dinosaurs, sent me the link to this Ted talk by paleontologist Jack Horner: ‘Shape-shifting dinosaurs. Horner proposes that a number of bones that paleontologists have classified as belonging to different species, belong in fact to the same dinosaur. He argues that the skull of some dinosaurs, like triceratops, changed with the the triceratops growing older, and the change was so remarkable that scientists, finding bones of young and older triceratops, thought they could not belong to the same species. Horner’s hypothesis is supported by some empirical evidence, in particular from the study of bones histology, but there are some that have doubts.

After watching that video, I found another one, in which Horner talked about his idea of building a dinosaur from a chicken. Basically, since birds are dinosaurs descendant, it’s possible, at least theoretically, through genetic engineering, to reactivate ancestral traits such as tail, teeth, hands, and create what Horner calls “chickenosaurus”. Cool, isn’t it?

Scipsy Valentine’s Edition /2

"We like to feel independent and free of the brain systems that regulate the mating habits and regimens of animals, but the fact is that we’re not"

Yep, falling in love is all in our brain.

Love is in the air? Well, scientists debate the role of pheromones in sexual attraction, so maybe it is really…

What is more clear is that at least a dozen brain regions work together to make you feel love.

But romance is not just for the young, a new research shows that people over the age of 60 represent the fastest-growing demographic of online daters, and that older women don’t want to waste time: 

"They want to make a decision quickly and cut their losses, because they have learned life is too short for dating games."

Tom Whyntie, a researcher at Imperial College London, took data from one of the earliest collisions at the LHC and added simulated data that followed the path of a heart-shaped equation, then used the result as a Valentine’s card for his girlfriend. It worked, now they are married.


But, according to some fMRI studies, love is like an addictive drug that stimulate the same as opioids and cocaine, so, take it with moderation.

Scipsy Valentine’s Edition

From Esa With Love: a romantic animation of heart shaped things as seen from space.

Zookeepers at ZSL London Zoo use CK Obsession to make a perfumed heart-shaped sack to stimulate mating behaviour in Raika and Lampur, two Sumatrian Tiger. (via NewScientist)

Malaria parasite goes bananas before sex, literally, it changes into a banana shape before sexual reproduction. 

The male of Paratrechalea ornata, a south-American species of spider, uses "gift" wrapped in silk as a ”nuptial gift” to encourages the female to accept him as mate.

But talking about humans, did you know that falling in love makes you broody? Yes, especially if you are a man. When one fall in love shows greater activation of brain areas related to parental attachment when they see a baby compared to single people. Be careful.

Anyway guys, I must tell you:

"To date, there is no compelling evidence any online dating matching algorithm actually works.

Ah, another thing: 

This year Valentine’s Day is mathematically cancelled: 14-2-12=0”

Anonymous

: What makes some tumblrs lack originality and depth then?

I just don’t find interesting to follow a tumblr that reblogs the same posts I saw 2 months ago (or 6 months, or a year).

This is the “originality problem”. To follow the nth tumblr and see the same things I saw hundreds of times is frustrating. It’s one of the reasons I follow very few science tumblrs.

The “depth problem” is that along with great pictures or links to interesting articles I would love to find a bit of a commentary (I like him for this reason). This is an aspect I’d really like to improve on scipsy, and trust me, I enjoy much more to write something of my own (like this) than to post a beautiful picture of a galaxy.

Obviously I don’t expect from all those who post science on tumblr to become science writers, but sometimes I enjoy more to look at what random people commented reblogging something I posted than to search in the science tag, because I like to know what people think, not just what people like.