"That’s why people like me go to conferences like Bread Loaf. Like most Americans, I live in a world that cannot see the point in work that doesn’t bring in money or instant prestige. I myself can’t see the point in work that doesn’t bring money or prestige, yet I keep doing it, day after day, year after year. At a place like Bread Loaf, I can see up close that people not all that different than me have turned this queer habit of mine into a job that gives them money and prestige. But — and this is the great secret — I also meet hundreds of other people just like me, who will never make money as writers, who will never win a Pulitzer Prize or be the poet laureate, but keep on writing because they love it. And, seeing them, I know I am not alone."
Watch now: Eben Upton, founder of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, shows how he is hooking a new generation of kids on computer programming. “I remember sitting down with my wife for dinner…and we had this sudden, appalling realization that we had promised 600,000 people that we would build them a $25 dollar computer.”
This one is sobering.
“This beings, with soaring imaginations, eventually flung themselves and their machines into interplanetary space.”
30 seconds of breathtaking awe at physics – watch a water droplet bounce in ultra-slow-motion.
(via Open Culture)
Back to School: Learn HTML Basics #30DaysofGOOD
Think there’s no way you could ever write computer code? Think again. You can learn the very basics of HTML in about an hour.
Learn how on good.is
We interrupt your tumblr stream to bring you this important message!
Stop taking cell phone self-portraits in the mirror with the phone in the picture! They will look much more natural if the camera is pointed at yourself. Use the mirror to compose on the screen. And for a more engaging photo, look into the lens before you snap the picture.
Convergent Evolution in Poison Frogs
by Bjorn Carey
Scientists have discovered one of the most intricate examples of convergent evolution with the help of South American “poison” frogs and ants and their cousins in Madagascar. (And here’s an odd fact for smokers: one Madagascan frog studied was found to have nicotine in its system!)
Poison frogs can’t make their own poison—they steal it from ants. Poison frogs secrete a variety of chemicals called alkaloids to create a poisonous defense against predators. Since they can’t produce alkaloids on their own, these frogs maintain a steady diet of specific alkaloid-rich ants to keep up their defense.
Now, Valerie Clark of Cornell University and her colleagues have detailed two instances of convergent evolution—the process in which organisms not closely related independently acquire similar characteristics while evolving in separate ecosystems—between frogs and ants on two continents. First, species of ants high in alkaloids had to evolve on two separate continents…
(read more: Live Science)
(image: Mantella madagascariensis, photo by Valerie C. Clark)
ichthyologist: Viperfish (Chauliodus)
Deep-sea Fish Communicate by Sound
Scientists hear interesting fish sounds from 2,237 feet deep.
Fish biologists from the University of Massachusetts Amherst have published one of the first studies of deep-sea fish sounds in more than 50 years, collected from the sea floor about 2,237 feet (682 meters) below the North Atlantic. With recording technology now more affordable, Rodney Rountree, Francis Juanes and colleagues are exploring the idea that many fish make sounds to communicate with each other, especially those that live in the perpetual dark of the deep ocean.
Though little is known at present about the significance of sounds made by deep-sea fishes, Rountree and Juanes say that if, as their pilot study suggests, these tend to be low-amplitude, then man-made noise in the oceans may turn out to be a particular problem for some important species.
Read full article at Fishchannel
Photo credit: Justine Marshall
Ask the Editor: “Octopi” or “Octopuses”?
Kory Stamper, an Associate Editor at Merriam-Webster, talks about the plural version of octopus.
"A real education takes place, not in the lecture hall or library, but in the rooms of friends, with earnest frolic and happy disputation. Wine can be a wiser teacher than ink, and banter better than books."
"I’m not sentimental—I’m as romantic as you are. The idea, you know, is that the sentimental person thinks things will last—the romantic person has a desperate confidence that they won’t."
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Kelvin-Helmholtz Instability manifested in clouds.
It happens when two mediums (wind and cloud) meet at different velocities and produce waves. Sort of like blowing across a glass of water.
Anyone want to skydive and ‘surf’ the clouds? It might just be a bumpy ride… On the topic of turbulence, these Kelvin-Helmholtz clouds indicate an area of just that. If no moisture or clouds were present, clear air turbulence (CAT) would very likely be occurring. This is due to an inversion being present at the base of the clouds. An inversion is a warming with height, thus creating a stable layer in the atmosphere below. The inversion in the picture above would extend from the surface to the base of the clouds (planetary boundary layer ‘PBL’). Above the inversion (free atmosphere) is where there will be an increase in wind speed with height at a significant rate. This speed shear above the inversion in causing the clouds to break over resembling waves. The increase in wind speed above the inversion is enabled by density differences experienced between the PBL and free atmosphere and less friction.