salutations bitches. my name is ajay. i'm only 21, but i feel like i'm worth 2 million. they call me a magpie: i like shiny shit. i'm an avid traveler and a college student in Philadelphia. I enjoy black coffee, the concept of love, food of all sorts, snowy days and rainy nights. but most of all i'm so over it that China calls me jaded.
Chrome Alum Crystals by Paul’s Lab on Flickr
This is a photo of chrome alum crystals in a chrome alum solution, at 20x magnification. Taken with my Canon SX110 IS, through a Novex stereo microscope with lighting from underneath. The crystals are grown from a saturated solution and are no more than 1 mm in diameter. Created myself, Paul, from www.paulslab.com
Fluorite is a very popular mineral, and it naturally occurs in all colors of the spectrum. It is one of the most varied colored minerals in the mineral kingdom, and the colors may be very intense and almost electric. Pure Fluorite is colorless; the color variations are caused by various impurities.
These impurities are generally caused by different ion concentration or grain boundaries within the crystalline structure that cause light to be diffracted into different wavelengths
plants are amazing.
I DON’T UNDERSTAND!!!!! THEY’RE ALIIIIIVE!
Thigmotropism is the growth behavior of a plant in response to touch :] so yes, this plant can technically “feel”..crazy, huh?
This is because of the moon’s gravitational pull, which acts in opposition to the Earth. When you see a full moon, the moon is in a position closer to you on the Earth because it can fully reflect the light of the sun down as “moonlight”. Thus, the moon’s gravitational pull on you will be stronger, and since this force acts in opposition to Earth’s gravity, you essentially lose a bit of weight for the night, since Weight = (Gravity)*(Mass)
What Is Transhumanism?
Transhumanism or H+ is a movement which spans the entirety of our world which works with the possibility and desirability of technologies which help us become more than our natural selves. This is to say, technologies which eliminate or slow aging, and augmentation of intellectual, physical, and psychological capabilities etc. The movement studies the benefits and dangers of new technologies that could at some point help overcome human limitations, as well as discuss the ethics behind the technologies.
While a large portion of transhumanists and transhumanist theories seek to improve quality of life through decreasing disease, disability, malnutrition etc. across the globe, transhumanism is distinctive in its want to improve human bodies on the individual level.
As the human brain, the central nervous system is considered the main proponent of humanhood, most transhumanist ideas pertain to the augmentation of the brain. These ideas can range from such things as improving mental capability in those who suffer from CNS impeding disorders, to the uploading of consciousness to an artificial, non-biological system. Other ideas put forward include genetic engineering of hereditary traits that augment mental capabilities, augment physical endurance, reducing susceptibility to disease or addictions, or to reduce the occurrence of miopia.
Technologies of interest range from nanotech, biotech, infotech, to cognitive science, artificial intelligence, cyonics, simulated reality, chemical brain preservation, and the list goes on and on. It goes almost without saying that such theories and ideas come with tough opposition. Some of the arguments against transhumanism are as follow:
- Infeasability (Futurehype argument): This relies on the idea that many predictions about future technological capabilities have been vastly overestimated, and that this will indeed happen again. The technologies that many futurists and transhumanists want to develop and support are thought to never be feasible.
- Hubris (Playing God argument): This is an argument that is a favourite of the Vatican, as it stated that, “Changing the genetic identity of man as a human person through the production of an infrahuman being is radically immoral”. This implies that it is highly inappropriate for humans to substitute themselves for a god.
- Existential risks (Terminator argument): This argument states that in developing advanced nanotechnolgies such as self-replicating robots, and AI intelligence, humans would likely generate their own extinction. Once we create something that replicates and has its own intelligence, we soon lose control of it and it could overrun the ecosystem here on Earth.
There are many more aguments put forth against transhumanist ideas; too many to cover here. In summary, transhumanists support the advancement of many technologies which are thus far on the fringe of science, and they also exist as a pannel of advisors on the ethics of the technologies.
Image via http://pavelpodolyak.blogspot.co.nz
Ribosomes and Translation
In the cells of your body, and every other living organism, a process called protein synthesis is occurring constantly. In this process single amino acids are carried by messenger tRNA to the ribsosomes wherein the ribosome catalyzes the joining of these amino acids.
This is the process of translation; where mRNA is used as a template to organise the amino acids in the correct order.
Ribosomes are made of two subunits, one smaller and one larger. The ribosome will surround the mRNA as it makes its way along the strand of mRNA. This allows the strand of mRNA to be reused if necessary. There may also be more than one ribosome attached to the strand at any one time.
The polypeptide chain produced after this process may be exported from the cell, or moved around the cell using vesicles and motor proteins.
Image via mrc.lmb.cam.ac.uk
The Mathematics of Beauty
The Fibonacci Sequence is a sequence of numbers where each number is the sum of the previous two—i.e., 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34…and so on to infinity. The ratio of one number to the next is approximately 1.61803, which is called “phi”, or the Golden Ratio. It’s not a magical mathematical equation of the universe, but it definitely reflects natural, aesthetically beautiful patterns. The ratio been used as the ideal proportion standard by artists and architects throughout history, and it’s also found in nature because it’s one of the most efficient way to pack things together. The human body can mostly be divided up in terms of the golden ratio, with one nose, two eyes, three segments to each limb, five fingers on each hand, and our measurements and proportions also reflect the ratio, especially the proportions of the human face—the width of the nose, position of the eyes, length of the chin. Our attraction to another person increases if their body and features are symmetrical and proportional, since we perceive them to be healthier, and so the Golden Ratio appears to be connected with humans ideals of beauty. It’s worth noting, however, that although the ratio can create a beautiful face, it can’t create a beautiful mind.