Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Japan’s JAXA space agency plans to use a magnetic net to clean up some of the 22,000 sizable pieces of space junk, before dragging them back into Earths atmosphere where it will all burn up.
The 1,000 foot long net has a magnetic field to attract nearby debris, and was made by a Japanese fishing net manufacturer.

So what happened to this project?


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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Drunk History Christmas with Ryan Gosling, Jim Carrey and Eva Mendes

A very special Drunk History Christmas.


The simplest kind of black hole is a Schwarzschild black hole, which is a black hole with mass, but with no electric charge, and no spin. Karl Schwarzschild discovered this black hole geometry at the close of 1915 within weeks of Einstein presenting his final theory of General Relativity.

The animation nicely illustrates gravitational lensing. The black hole here is taken to have a radius equal to that of the Earth, which requires that the mass of the black hole be about 2,000 suns. The Earth orbits at 3 Schwarzschild radii (the minimum stable circular orbit), and we observe at rest from a distance of 5 Schwarzschild radii. For these parameters, we would see the Earth orbit the black hole 80 times per second.

This animation is not realistic! The Earth would be tidally torn apart in about one orbit if it were orbiting this close to a black hole of this mass.
Notice that when the Earth recedes from us, it appears reddish (redshifted) and slowed, and conversely when the Earth approaches us it appears blue (blueshifted) and speeded up.

Sources & references:

Animation credit and specific info via JILA Science
Corina Marinescu



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Monday, December 29, 2014

Top 20 Most Pirated Movies of 2014 Led by ‘Wolf of Wall Street,’ ‘Frozen,’ ‘Gravity’

The Wolf of Wall Street,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio, and Disney’s animated smash “Frozen” were the two most-pirated movies for the year — with each title downloaded about 30 million times by torrent users worldwide in 2014.
Alfonso Cuarón’s space epic “Gravity” followed with 29.4 million downloads by pirates, then Warner Bros.’ “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” (27.6 million) and Marvel’s “Thor: The Dark World” (25.7 million), according to piracy-tracking firm Excipio. The firm compiled the data for the period between Jan. 1 and Dec. 23, 2014.
Among the top 20 most-pirated titles, superhero, sci-fi, fantasy and action movies were well represented, as were Oscar-nominated films (“Wolf of Wall Street,” “Gravity,” “12 Years a Slave,” “American Hustle”).
One issue in tracking the most-pirated films of the year was that MGM’s 2014 “RoboCop” reboot has the same name as the original 1987 version. Downloads of the two movies combined to reach nearly 30 million, according to Excipio; however, it’s not clear how many of those the most recent “RoboCop” accounted for.
As with “RoboCop,” there was another potential duplicate title in the data set: In addition to “The Legend of Hercules” was the 2014 “Hercules” starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (released in July 2014). However, Excipio confirmed the latter movie was not as popular on torrent sites even though it raked in more than “Legend of Hercules” at the box office.
Here is the full list of top 20 pirated movies of the year ranked by number of downloads (along with studio and original theatrical release date):
1. “The Wolf of Wall Street”: 30.035 million (Paramount, Dec. 25, 2013)
2. “Frozen”: 29.919 million (Disney, Nov. 27, 2013)
3. “RoboCop”*: 29.879 million (MGM, Feb. 12, 2014; and Orion, July 17, 1987)
4. “Gravity”: 29.357 million (Warner Bros., Oct. 4, 2013)
5. “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”: 27.627 million (Warner Bros., Dec. 13, 2013)
6. “Thor: The Dark World”: 25.749 million (Disney/Marvel, Nov. 8, 2013)
7. “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”: 25.628 million (Disney/Marvel, April 4, 2014)
8. “The Legend of Hercules”: 25.137 million (Summit, Jan. 10, 2014)
9. “X-Men: Days of Future Past”: 24.380 million (20th Century Fox, May 23, 2014)
10. “12 Years a Slave”: 23.653 million (Fox Searchlight, Oct. 18, 2013)
11. “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”: 23.543 million (Lionsgate, Nov. 22, 2013)
12. “American Hustle”: 23.143 million (Sony/Columbia, Dec. 13, 2013)
13. “300: Rise of an Empire”: 23.096 million (Warner Bros., March 7, 2014)
14. “Transformers: Age of Extinction”: 21.65 million (Paramount, June 27, 2014)
15. “Godzilla”: 20.956 million (Warner Bros., May 16, 2014)
16. “Noah”: 20.334 million (Paramount, March 28, 2014)
17. “Divergent”: 20.312 million (Lionsgate, March 21, 2014)
18. “Edge of Tomorrow”: 20.299 million (Warner Bros., June 6, 2014)
19. “Captain Phillips”: 19.817 million (Sony/Columbia, Oct. 11, 2013)
20. “Lone Survivor”: 19.130 million (Universal, Dec. 25, 2013)
* Combines data for both 1987 and 2014 versions.
Source: Excipio
VARIETY By Todd Spangler NY Digital Editor@xpangler December 28, 2014 | 09:06AM PT


The blue-ringed octopus is one of the most dangerous creatures in the world. The one shown is displaying agitation. Their venom is deadly enough to kill 26 humans each, and their bite is almost painless, so you may not notice that you were bitten until paralysis sets in. There is no anti-venom.
Know more:

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