Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Humpday AWE

Via sulli's surrogate:

Wire Frame sculpture of a Toyota Corolla, not a Photoshop or CGI effect. More here. Other crazy photos here.

Via BadAstronomy:
"Watching this video brings to mind the astronauts’ claim that they’re just people who work in space. But you know what? They’re people who work in space.

Look what we do."

And, the milky-way by way of animated multiple extended-shutter photos at the 2009 Texas Star Party:

Galactic Center of Milky Way Rises over Texas Star Party from William Castleman on Vimeo.

Via Pharyngula and google:

"This is an important new fossil, a 47 million year old primate nicknamed Ida. She's a female juvenile who was probably caught in a toxic gas cloud from a volcanic lake, and her body settled into the soft sediments of the lake, where she was buried undisturbed.
What's so cool about it?

Age. It's 47 million years old. That's interestingly old…it puts us deep into the primate family tree.

Preservation. This is an awesome fossil: it's almost perfectly complete, with all the bones in place, preserved in its death posture. There is a halo of darkly stained material around it; this is a remnant of the flesh and fur that rotted in place, and allows us to see a rough outline of the body and make estimates of muscle size. Furthermore, the guts and stomach contents are preserved. Ida's last meal was fruit and leaves, in case you wanted to know.

Life stage. Ida is a young juvenile, estimate to be right on the transition from requiring parental care to independent living. That means she has a mix of baby teeth and adult teeth — she's a two-fer, giving us information about both.

Phylogeny. A cladistic analysis of the fossil revealed another interesting point. There are two broad groups of primates: the strepsirrhines, which includes the lemurs and lorises, and the haplorhines, which includes monkeys and apes…and us, of course. Ida's anatomy places her in the haplorhines with us, but at the same time she's primitive. This is an animal caught shortly after a major branch point in primate evolutionary history."

That's the cool I found for today, what do you got?

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