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Archive for the 'Science' Category

Meteorite makes 30-meter crater in Peru


A meteorite fell Saturday night in the Peruvian area of Puno, close to the border with Bolivia, forming a crater with a 30 meters diamater, and six meters in depth, the local press reported today.

A luminous object fell a little before midnight of the day before yesterday in the town of Carancas, in the province of Chucuito, about 1.300 kilometers to the south of Lima.

According to sources of the Territorial Direction of the Police, the alarmed inhabitants of the area heard a great noise, similar to that of an airplane falling.

Later, the witnesses saw a luminous object in fire in the sky that hit the ground, producing an explosion that left the earth charred.

The meteorite didn’t hurt anyone, but the authorities are investigating if the remains found in the area are of animals that may have died because of the explosion.

The farmers of the place fear the appearance of some disease, since chips of lead and silver were liberated in the shock of the meteor with the soil, the local broadcasting station “RPP” informed.

The member of the National Academy of Sciences, Modesto Montoya, told to the “Andean” state agency that the fall of meteorites in Peru doesn’t present any danger, unless they hit some structure.

“None of the several meteorites that fall in Peru and make perforations of varied sizes are harmful for people, unless they fall over a house”, Montoya said.

In June, another meteorite fell in the Mascapampa hill, in the province of Arequipa (south), leaving the population alarmed.
[source: EFE, UOL news]

Curiously, the meteorite fell exactly one month after the terrible earthquake that hit Lima, on August 15.

UPDATE: Peru crater: meteorite, secret satellites and zombies

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New Mexico Fireball

“On Sept 13th at approximately 3 o’clock in the morning MDT, an extremely bright fireball streaked over New Mexico, “It was terrifying,” says eyewitness Susan K. Burgess. “I was stargazing outside my house near Santa Fe when the landscape started becoming very bright, as if a brilliant full moon was quickly rising from the southwest. The fireball itself [slowly moved] over the house and disintegrated with a great deal of scatter in the northwest sky.”

Seen above, at the Sandia National Labs in Albuquerque, a Sentinel all-sky video camera captured the fireball in flight.

Based on data from the video, the visual magnitude of the fireball was -14.6, about four times brighter than a full Moon!

“The fireball was a pure emerald green, uncomfortably bright to look at,” adds Harald Edens located in the Magdalena Mountains west of Socorro, NM. “The object was disintegrating when I saw it, with pieces parallel-tracking and trailing the fireball. Those smaller pieces had all different colors–most notably red. I think it has been a piece of space junk.”

Amateur radio astronomer Thomas Ashcraft not only photographed the fireball, but also recorded echos of a distant radio station bouncing off the meteor’s ionized trail:

“This fireball turned night into day!” he says.

[From SpaceWeather.com]

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The Buddhabrot


The Buddhabrot is a special rendering of the Mandelbrot set which, when traditionally oriented, resembles to some extent certain depictions of the Buddha.

Mysticism aside, it’s one representation of the beauty that can be found on mathematics. And religious representations too.

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Real boys like pink?

boypinkr32qhuikIt seems I missed the media frenzy over the study that supposedly proved girls really prefer pink, boys blue, and advanced that that was because “it may have helped women gather ripe fruit, or pick healthy mates“.

But as Ben Goldacre over at Bad Science pointed out, the study itself didn’t prove any of those. In fact, it found that this preference is not consistent over culture, exactly the opposite of what it speculates and was widely embraced byt the media.

The most interesting thing here, though, is that Goldacre notes how:

Back in the days when ladies had a home journal (in 1918) the Ladies Home Journal wrote: “There has been a great diversity of opinion on the subject, but the generally accepted rule is pink for the boy and blue for the girl. The reason is that pink being a more decided and stronger color is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.”

The Sunday Sentinel in 1914 told American mothers: “If you like the color note on the little one’s garments, use pink for the boy and blue for the girl, if you are a follower of convention.” Some sources suggest it wasn’t until the 1940s that the modern gender associations of girly pink became universally accepted. Pink is, therefore, perhaps not biologically girly. Boys who were raised in pink frilly dresses went down mines and fought in World War 2. Clothing conventions do change over time.

What do the future reserves for our color preferences? I suspect in the future everyone will be tetrachromat, and the real nice colors will be those us poor trichromats can’t even distinguish.

[via Apothecary’s Drawer Weblog]

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Truzzi’s "Zetetic Scholar" available online


The first five issues of the “Zetetic Scholar”, published by Marcello Truzzi, are available online for download on George Hansen’s website. As Luis Ruiz Noguez points out:

“The consulting editors are impressive. We see an incredible and unrepeatable mix of believers and skeptics of all camps of the paranormal world: Milbourne Christopher (magician and skeptic), Persi Diaconis (mathematician and skeptic), Martin Ebon (writer and editor of paranormal subjects), Christopher Evans (magician and skeptic), Martin Gardner (science writer and skeptic), Michel Gauquelin (astrologist), Bernard Heuvelmans (criptozoologist), Ray Hyman (psychologist and skeptic), J. Allen Hynek (ufologist), David M. Jacobs (ufologist), Edward J. Moody (parapsychologist), Charles T Tart (parapsychologist) y Ron Westrum (writer in paranormal subjects).”

All edited by Truzzi. You can’t, no, you shouldn’t miss them.
[via Note Zetetiche, Paranormal Trickster]

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