Animals, Videos

Drone Captures Huge Pod of Humpbacks Feeding in Alaska

Humpback whales using the bubble net techniques. Image via Neutrons for Breakfast.

A drone captured amazing footage of a large pod of Humpback Whales feeding in the pristine waters of Alaska. The aerial drone footage, captured by AkxPro, shows a seagull’s POV of the scene. Here, we see a coordinated hunting technique known as ‘bubble net feeding’. The humpback has the most diverse feeding repertoire of all baleen whales. Its most inventive technique is known as…

Feature Post, Great Pics

Past High Tech, Future Low Tech: Mechanical Calculator Gallery

Monroe PC-1421 without cover. Credit: Kevin Twomey

You might be surprised to find mechanical calculators – completely analog computational devices with no electrical parts – competed shoulder to should with their digital counterparts well until the late 1960s, in some respects surpassing them. These devices, like the  Monroe PC-1421 – a high speed multiplication and division device – were among the most complex of their sort ever built. Weighing…

Art, Great Pics

Where Biology Meets Art: BioScapes

The 2nd prize was won by Thomas Deerink, from the University of California, San Diego, for a rat brain cerebellum, magnified 300 times.

When science meets art, some seriously coolness happens – and the perfect example for this is BioScapes, an annual competition ran by Olympus. BioScapes hosts some of the most spectacular images of life seen through a microscope, as exemplified below. “Each fall, four individuals widely respected in the fields of microscopy and imaging are invited to select the winners and…

Nanotechnology, Videos

The World’s Smallest Snowman

snowman

At just 10 µm across, this little guy is only 1/5th the width of a human hair. The snowman was made from two tin beads used to calibrate electron microscope astigmatism. The eyes and smile were milled using a focused ion beam, and the nose, which is under 1 µm wide (or 0.001 mm), is ion beam deposited platinum. Image and…

AstroPicture

NASA’s Sun Watching Observatory Captures Picture of a Solar Flare

Image credits: NASA.

A solar flare is a sudden flash of brightness observed over the Sun’s surface or the solar limb, which is interpreted as a large energy release. The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 11:50 p.m. EST on Dec. 16, 2014. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, which watches the sun constantly, captured an image of the event. Flares occur when accelerated charged…

Feature Post, Green Living, World Problems

The Mesopotamian Venice: The Lost Floating Homes of Iraq

Ma'dan houses

There’s a lot of talk nowadays about how to live more sustainably, but what surprises me is how complicated people choose to make this process. If you really want to live in a sustainable home and lead a sustainable lifestyle, you need not look too further – just go back to the roots. Sadly, the world right now is on the…

Feature Post, Science

Five Scientific Discoveries That Changed the Course of History

the first wheel

Where would we be without science? Dead, probably. Or, at the very least, in a world of trouble. The study of science is something that sets us apart from the other mammals on planet earth. It’s the driving force behind every significant breakthrough we’ve made over the millennia – of which there have been many. But suppose we had to…

News, Offbeat

Norway Builds The World’s First Bike Escalator

Photos: Bic (left) and Alan Ford (right)/Creative Commons

If you’ve ever cycled in a hilly area, then you know what a problem it can be – especially if it’s an urban area; also, for older people, or people with mild cardiac issues but who still practice light cycling, it can be quite dangerous. Norway has come up with a solution to that issue – they’ve developed the world’s…

Great Pics, Space

Astropictures of the Week – as seen by the European Space Agency

While the pastel tones and fine texture of this image may bring to mind brush strokes on an artist’s canvas, they are in fact a visualisation of data from ESA’s Planck satellite. The image portrays the interaction between interstellar dust in the Milky Way and the structure of our Galaxy’s magnetic field. In this image, the colour scale represents the total intensity of dust emission, revealing the structure of interstellar clouds in the Milky Way. The texture is based on measurements of the direction of the polarised light emitted by the dust, which in turn indicates the orientation of the magnetic field.This image shows the intricate link between the magnetic field and the structure of the interstellar medium along the plane of the Milky Way. Image Credits: ESA/Planck Collaboration. Acknowledgment: M.-A. Miville-Deschênes, CNRS – Institut d’Astrophysique Spatiale, Université Paris-XI, Orsay, France.

The European Space Agency (ESA) is the European equivalent of NASA. Recently, they’ve been uploading some amazing images on their website, so here is a selection of the best pictures they’ve published recently. The magnetic field of the galactic plane Ground Displacement in Bucharest, Romania South Kalimantan, Borneo Conducting skin experiments in outer space Vegetation in Europe Berlin, as seen…

GeoPicture

GeoPicture of the week: Volcano in the sunset

J6QjR

This is Volcán Puyehue, in Chile. It is a stratovolcano – a volcano built from many layers of superimposed lava. The volcanic complex has shaped the local landscape and produced a huge variety of volcanic landforms and products over the last 300,000 years. Cinder cones, lava domes, calderas and craters can be found in the area apart from the widest variety…