Introverted non-communicative type here, please don't take it personally.

A collection of eclectic and fascinating things. May not be SFW. Including but not limited to: Books, Language, Science, Beauty, Bats, Turtles, Cats, Owls, Cephalopods, Star Trek, Doctor Who, Avengers, Loki, Community, Coffee, Politics, Halloween, and ...
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Because of Reasons ♥

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"I didn’t realise we were really good friends…"

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NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day 2014 July 27

Rho Ophiuchi Wide Field

The clouds surrounding the star system Rho Ophiuchi compose one of the closest star forming regions. Rho Ophiuchi itself is a binary star system visible in the light-colored region on the image right. The star system, located only 400 light years away, is distinguished by its colorful surroundings, which include a red emission nebula and numerous light and dark brown dust lanes. Near the upper right of the Rho Ophiuchi molecular cloud system is the yellow star Antares, while a distant but coincidently-superposed globular cluster of stars, M4, is visible between Antares and the red emission nebula. Near the image bottom lies IC 4592, the Blue Horsehead nebula. The blue glow that surrounds the Blue Horsehead’s eye — and other stars around the image — is a reflection nebula composed of fine dust. On the above image left is a geometrically angled reflection nebula cataloged as Sharpless 1. Here, the bright star near the dust vortex creates the light of surrounding reflection nebula. Although most of these features are visible through a small telescope pointed toward the constellations of Ophiuchus, Scorpius, and Sagittarius, the only way to see the intricate details of the dust swirls, as featured above, is to use a long exposure camera.

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Boosting the force of empty space

Vacuum fluctuations may be among the most counter-intuitive phenomena of quantum physics. Theorists from the Weizmann Institute (Rehovot, Israel) and the Vienna University of Technology propose a way to amplify their force.

Vacuum is not as empty as one might think. In fact, empty space is a bubbling soup of various virtual particles popping in and out of existence – a phenomenon called “vacuum fluctuations”. Usually, such extremely short-lived particles remain completely unnoticed, but in certain cases vacuum forces can have a measurable effect. A team of researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science (Rehovot, Israel) and the Vienna University of Technology has now proposed a method of amplifying these forces by several orders of magnitude using a transmission line, channelling virtual photons.

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What sign language teaches us about the brain

The world’s leading humanoid robot, ASIMO, has recently learnt sign language. The news of this breakthrough came just as I completed Level 1 of British Sign Language (I dare say it took me longer to master signing than it did the robot!). As a neuroscientist, the experience of learning to sign made me think about how the brain perceives this means of communicating.

For instance, during my training, I found that mnemonics greatly simplified my learning process. To sign the colour blue you use the fingers of your right hand to rub the back of your left hand, my simple mnemonic for this sign being that the veins on the back of our hand appear blue. I was therefore forming an association between the word blue (English), the sign for blue (BSL), and the visual aid that links the two. However, the two languages differ markedly in that one relies on sounds and the other on visual signs.

Do our brains process these languages differently? It seems that for the most part, they don’t. And it turns out that brain studies of sign language users have helped bust a few myths.

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I have always been one of those nerdy people who gets overly excited about school supplies. When I discovered these highlighters, I was completely beside myself. My poor roommates had to tolerate my ramblings about how cool they were and demonstrations of how they worked even better than the liquid markers I used to be overly attached to.

I am obsessed with these highlighters for a few reasons. Most notably, they do not contain any plastic. They are also free of harmful chemicals and dyes. They smell slightly of wood instead of that horrible chemical highlighter smell. They are made of wood that will easily biodegrade, and they will last quite a while because they cannot dry out. On a practical level, they are great because they travel well, don’t bleed through pages, and are easy to use both to underline or completely color a line. While they do not erase completely if you make a mistake, you can significantly lighten the marking and make it less noticeable. They are also priced well for their durability and the amount of highlighting you can accomplish with each pencil.

For more information or see the other cool colors these highlighters come in, visit Stubby Pencil Studios.



The Cheshire Cat


I know, it is ironic that this is a character I have praised for his mysterious nature, yet it is a character that I would love to know more about. Yeah, it’s contradicting, but hear me out…

In the book, the very first time, we see him, he is with the Duchess and the Cook. Alice acknowledges that he is the Duchess’s cat, yet the Duchess herself does’t seem to even pay much attention to him. So, I interpret it as him being there enjoying the chaos in the scene. After all, if you were someone that loved chaos, wouldn’t you enjoy being a home where a woman is being abusive to a baby. the baby is crying like crazy, and the cook is screaming and throwing plates around?

But what truly makes Cheshire so fascinating is the fact that out of all the things in Wonderland, he is the most fantastical of them all. Yeah, Wonderland itself is a fantastical place, but the characters themselves are not really that magical. Yeah, the humans look weird, the cards are people, and the animals talk and behave like human beings. But none of them are able to bend reality or show any kind of supernatural power that is exclusive to Wonderland. The Cheshire Cat is the only character in the book that can disappear at will, and can let certain parts of his body to disappear.

Disney’s Cheshire Cat creates even more of an enigma…


In the film, we see him messing and trolling poor Alice, but at the same time he does share some important information, about how everyone in Wonderland is mad in a way, and that she should be careful. Then the next time we see him, he is in his own unique way consoling Alice, and helps her get to the Queen’s castle. Yet, during this scene, he gets the Queen mad enough that she sends Alice to court for something HE did. And in court, he continues messing around with the Queen while Alice takes the blame. His actions threatened Alice’s life and forced her to flee Wonderland.

His agent of chaos and discord mantra is given even more strength in Kingdom Hearts…


Much like in the original movie, he messes around with Sora and friends, until he unleashes the final boss of the Wonderland level. In the Kingdom Hearts manga, it is even stated that he was in cahoots with the Disney villains when he unleashed the Heartless boss.

So, I would like to know more about him, mainly to see how far his powers go, as well as understand better his agent of chaos mentality.

still-she-haunts-me-phantomwise, injoy1984


the notebook problem: you see a notebook. you want to buy the notebook. but you know you have like TEN OTHER NOTEBOOKS. most which are STILL EMPTY. you don’t need to notebook. you’re probably not gonna use the notebook anyway. what’s the point? DONT BUY THE NOTEBOOK. you buy the notebook.

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