"Fierce solar blasts that could have badly damaged electrical grids and disabled satellites in space narrowly missed Earth in 2012, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday." —Oh man, how much of a break could you have used from the Internet in 2012? I guess we can only hope that the next coronal mass ejection finally does the trick. I mean, I'll be dead by then, but I hope it does for your guys' sake.
Here's the planet earth, getting straight up crazy in the midst of the current magnetic storm due to CORONAL MASS EJECTION. "Kp-indices of 5 or greater indicate storm-level geomagnetic activity. Geomagnetic storms have been associated with satellite surface charging and increased atmospheric drag." QUICK, CHECK ALL THE MAGNETS IN THE HOUSE. (via)
“Although it’s becoming fashionable to talk about these solar storms, there is no need for sensationalism.” —Physicist José Carlos del Toro says we shouldn't be too concerned about solar activity disrupting our technology and turning life as we know it into a dark and terrible pit of despair in which all the hallmarks of modern society are eradicated as we devolve to our most primal and barbaric instincts, raping and robbing and killing in an orgy of destruction followed by our total extinction as a species. So lighten up.
Britain's Sun, covering all the bases: "HOT, pouting lips get men in the mood for love – and they could also hold the secret to a woman's sexual enjoyment. A study has found women with a prominent and pointy tubercle – the middle part of the top lip that points upwards, also known as the 'cupid's bow' – are up to 12 TIMES more likely to hit the heights during sex than those with flat lips." "But are your lips also sending warning signals about your health? Dry or sore lips could indicate anything from diabetes to herpes or Crohn's disease."
You know how thinking about space and the speed of celestial bodies makes you kind of want to vomit and put your hands over your ears and lay flat on the ground, like a car-sick dog? Well, bad news! Because yesterday we were pretty much as close to the sun as we ever get, and now we are rocketing away from it and, if I understand the math, picking up speed as we travel away. The good news is that the sun looks about 3% bigger than it does in mid-summer! And there's more light, so your SAD is easily treatable. And if you'd like to learn more and/or [...]
Stop me if you've heard this one: "Musical sounds created by longitudinal vibrations within the Sun's atmosphere, have been recorded and accurately studied for the first time by experts at the University of Sheffield, shedding light on the Sun's magnetic atmosphere." There's a whole lot of Science at that link that I don't understand, but the "music" of the vibrations, which you can hear here, sounds like something that would come right before some stentorian voice-over guy intones, "…and a hero WILL RISE." (Fair warning: It's a little loud.)
"The online Slooh Space Camera — which broadcasts video of the sun and night sky from telescopes around the world — will host a free webcast featuring expert commentary and live views of the sun today (April 18) at 3 p.m. EDT (1900 GMT)."
"The Earth is currently being battered by a storm of charged particles from the Sun, which could disrupt power grids, satellite navigation and plane routes. The storm – the largest in five years – will bombard the Earth's magnetic field throughout Thursday. It was triggered by a pair of solar flares – the largest of their kind – earlier this week…. The effects will be most intense in polar regions, and aircraft may be advised to change their routings to avoid these areas."
The Sun totally ripped one: "What you’re seeing here is a solar flare (an enormous explosion of pent-up magnetic energy) coupled with a prominence (a physical eruption of gas from the surface). This event blasted something like a billion tons of material away from the Sun. Note the size of it, too: while it started from a small region on the Sun’s surface, it quickly expanded into a plume easily as big as the Sun itself! I’d estimate its size at well over a million kilometers across. It looks like most of the material fell back down to the Sun’s surface; that’s common, though sometimes such an event [...]
It's both a celebration and an innovation: "To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the national insitution, we're bringing it into the 21st century with our fab new interactive feature. Who'd have thought 40 years ago that you'd one day be able to interact your favourite Page 3 lovely. Simply click the link to launch a pop-up of today's Page 3 girl Hollie, click and drag your mouse and watch as she turns…. she'll pirouette to your command." [WARNING: Includes tits.]
This absolutely astounding "multiwavelength extreme ultraviolet image" of the sun, taken by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, shows that however much you want to celebrate the earth today, it is pretty clear what celestial body RULES. The sun is badass, and do not forget it. There's plenty more amazingness here. [Via]
The Sun is celebrating the fortieth anniversary of Rupert Murdoch's tabloidization of the paper with a collection of some of its "classic front pages", plus endorsements from such notable figures as Margaret Thatcher's ghostwriter and Dizzee Rascal. (This also serves as an answer to the question "Whatever happened to Dizzee Rascal?" He is doing endorsements for the Sun.) Anyway, this classic is probably the best of the genre. It doesn't even matter if you know who Freddie Starr is or what the story wasn't: It is the platonic ideal of a Murdoch paper front page.
"The happiest region of the whole UK is the most northerly – Shetland, Orkney and the Outer Hebrides. Some islands see only around 1,000 hours of sunshine a year compared to a UK average of 1,340 hours. And when one reads those international lists of the happiest countries, top of the league tend to be places like Norway, Sweden, Canada, Denmark and Finland. There is no correlation between well-being and warm weather – if anything it looks like the opposite." —It turns out nice weather does not make you any happier. You know why? Because NOTHING makes you happier. And why would it? You're on a treadmill of [...]
"The Earth has a roughly 12 percent chance of experiencing an enormous megaflare erupting from the sun in the next decade. This event could potentially cause trillions of dollars’ worth of damage and take up to a decade to recover from." Now, to be fair, that means that there's a 7/8th chance that nothing's going to happen, but seeing as if it does it could result in "disruption of the transportation, communication, banking, and finance systems, and government services; the breakdown of the distribution of potable water owing to pump failure; and the loss of perishable foods and medications because of lack of refrigeration," we should probably just [...]
"A massive solar flare could make for a beautiful night for people in the northern United States – provided it doesn't knock the lights out. The blast of charged particles unleashed from the sun earlier this week has been peppering the Earth over the last few days, but it's biggest punch is expected to hit the Earth's atmosphere on Thursday."
It has been a pleasure blogging for all of you. I'm going to go investigate what this "outside" people keep telling me about really is. (BTW, click here to see that image as an awesome gif.)
What's that, Science? You've got something important to tell us? What is it, boy?
The Sun appears to have jolted from its deep slumber, blasting tonnes of plasma into interplanetary space on Sunday, which is expected to collide with the Earth within the next 24 hours.
"This eruption is directed right at us, and is expected to get here early in the day on 4 August," says astronomer Leon Golub of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. "It's the first major Earth-directed eruption in quite some time."
While Rupert Murdoch might not care what kind of disgusting vulgarity his papers are promoting on this side of the pond, it's a different story altogether across the Atlantic, where NewsCorp's Sun is claiming credit for the discontinuation of the dreaded "paedo bikini." The outfit-which includes a low-cut haltertop and padding to indicate where breasts will someday grow-was pulled by discount retailer Primark after understandable outrage and revulsion at the blatant sexualization of children. "A padded bikini for seven-year-olds is too much at too young an age," said one expert. "No wonder girls are confused about their bodies and self image." This is too sadly true. Also [...]