He's off at the lower left, waiting for filmmaker Bryan Smith to say go. Then Dean Potter starts to climb, moving with no pack, no ropes, nothing, up the side of Cathedral Peak in Yosemite until he reaches the highline that will take him straight to the moon. He steps out, arms stretched, no pole; you can watch the line sag a little as it takes his weight, and he's off ...
An illustration shows the Earth's night sky 3.75 billion years from now, with the Andromeda galaxy (left) beginning to distort our own Milky Way as the two collide. While galactic collisions are eye catching, could something bigger be just over the horizon?
Credit Z. Levay/R. van der Marel/T. Hallas/A. Mellinger / NASA/ESA
Maybe some readers recall Immanuel Velikovsky's 1950 mega bestseller Worlds in Collision. The book, which caused a real sensation at the time, was an attempt to "explain" many of the big cataclysms and "miracles" recorded in mythic and folkloric narratives of ancient cultures as real astrophysical events. Velikovsky's thesis was that narratives of floods and mass destructions were not just allegorical or metaphorical but records of events that did take place.
Across the United States, college administrators are poring over student essays, recommendation letters and SAT scores as they select a freshman class for the fall.
If this is like most years, administrators at top schools such as Harvard and Stanford will try hard to find talented high school students from poor families in a push to increase the socioeconomic diversity on campus and to counter the growing concern that highly selective colleges cater mainly to students from privileged backgrounds.
Harry Dent, a financial newsletter writer, has been looking at the Census data, and he's uncovered something odd about American adults. When we turn 50, we dramatically change our clothes-buying habits. It's not gradual; gradual is what we'd expect. Instead, the change is drastic.
You can see it with men's shirts. In our early 50s, American men are at the top of our shirt buying game (either buying more shirts than at any other time in our lives, or maybe we're buying more expensively). Then watch what happens:
Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 12:52 pm
By Adam Frank
Shwetak Patel (foreground), a MacArthur Fellow, recognized that every device in a home has a unique signature that can be used to track energy usage. The data collected by Patel's system showed that digital video recorders were responsible for 11 percent of this home's power use, just one example of <a href="http://humanfaceofbigdata.com/"><em>The Human Face of Big Data</em></a>.
I am just starting to dig into a beautiful new book/project that I wanted to pass along to our 13.7 readers. Its called The Human Face Of Big Data and it is a remarkable attempt to capture the profound transition we are all living through.
The Shell oil drilling rig that ran aground off Alaska last week is now anchored in a quiet harbor so divers can assess the damage. Wildlife officials say they have seen no evidence of a spill from the vessel, which was carrying tanks of diesel fuel. But the accident does raise questions about Shell's plans to drill for oil in the remote and fragile ecosystem of the Arctic.
Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 5:52 pm
By Allison Aubrey
Sushi chain owner Kiyoshi Kimura poses with a bluefin tuna in front of his Sushi Zanmai restaurant in Tokyo on Saturday. He paid more than $1.7 million for the fish.
Credit Shuji Kajiyama / AP
It's become an annual tradition: bidding up an outrageous price for a Pacific bluefin tuna during the first auction of the new year at Toyko's Tsukiji fish market.
And on Saturday, a bluefin tuna big enough to serve up about 10,000 pieces of sushi fetched a mind-boggling price: $1.76 million. That's about three times as much as last year's tuna and equates to about $3,600 per pound for the 489-pound fish.
NASA is facing a conundrum of large proportions; shuttle-sized, in fact. Now that the shuttle program has ended, NASA is no longer using shuttle facilities and equipment. That includes everything from a launch pad to space in the building where rockets were assembled. So NASA is conducting a secret auction. Orlando Sentinel staff writer Scott Powers explains what NASA is selling, why, and who the buyers might be.