End of the summer.
Insane in the Chromatophores
Cypress Squid? Close examinations of the colour-changing skin of a Cephalopod, reacting to ‘Insane In The Membrane’ by Cypress Hill - video embedded below:
Via Backyard Brains:
During experiments on the giant axons of the Longfin Inshore Squid (loligo pealei) at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA; we were fascinated by the fast color-changing nature of the squid’s skin. Squids (like many other cephalopods) can quickly control pigmented cells called chromatophores to reflect light. The Longfin Inshore has 3 different chromatophore colors: Brown, Red, and Yellow. Each chromatophore has tiny muscles along the circumference of the cell that can contract to reveal the pigment underneath.
We tested our cockroach leg stimulus protocol on the squid’s chromatophores. We used a suction electrode to attach to the squid’s fin nerve, then connected the electrode to an iPod nano as our stimulator. The results were both interesting and beautiful. The video below is a view through an 8x microscope zoomed in on the dorsal side of the fin.
ASCII Street View by Teehan+Lax Labs
Interactive, brower-based WebGL-powered text-mode view of Google Streetview panoramas. Available in colour and green-terminal modes:
Real-time Ascii Art conversion of Google Street View panorama’s done in WebGL.
Read about this at Teehan+Lax Labs.
Try it out here
Curiosity is the size and weight of a Mini Cooper with a top speed of 0.05 mph. It lands August 6th.
An air bubble, trapped inside a water droplet, on the International Space Station
#171 Seasonal migration – A new minimal geometric composition each day
The Sound of a Fermi Gamma-ray Burst
The NASA blog has posted a video, turning the above data-capture graph of ‘a gamma-ray burst, the most energetic explosions in the universe’ (above) into a piece of music:
What does the universe look like at high energies? Thanks to the Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT), we can extend our sense of sight to “see” the universe in gamma rays. But humans not only have a sense of sight, we also have a sense of sound. If we could listen to the high-energy universe, what would we hear? What does the universe sound like?
… In translating the gamma-ray measurements into musical notes we assigned the photons to be “played” by different instruments (harp, cello, or piano) based on the probabilities that they came from the burst. This particular conversion is a fairly simple one; We built this on work done by other members of the LAT team (Luca Baldini and Alex Drlica-Wagner) who explored converting our data into music in different ways.
In the beginning of the song, before the burst starts, the harp plucks out a few lonely notes. After about half a minute, the piano joins in on top of the harp background, and the notes begin to pile on more and more rapidly. The cello enters the scene as the burst begins in earnest.