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Scott Toste
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Want to see something absolutely cool? A photographer named Levon Biss has made absolutely beautiful photos of insects using a camera and microscope lens. The detail is outstanding!

"By trade, Biss is a portrait photographer who specializes in capturing world-class athletes; his talent for capturing insects started as a side-project in his home, and featured bugs caught by his own son. But he poured his whole skill as a photographer and light master into those images, and when he showed them to the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, Microsculpture was born and his specimens got a LOT more intricate. With his pick of the museum’s massive collection of insects, Biss picked some of the most colorful, beautifully textured, and perfectly preserved specimens the museum had on hand and took them home to produce images . . ."

Here's a Vimeo video showing how he practices his hobby. https://vimeo.com/157712307
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Pretty powerful stuff.
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+Andrew Shinn, I find myself at an age where I can look back at the life I've lived, which now spans half a century, and I realize the years that are left will go by quickly. It's humbling. I've done things and visited places, achieved goals, and gained stability and security. But I've come to understand that what is most meaningful to me is to let people know that they have been important to me and that I love them. My challenge is to do it in a way so they will understand and feel it deeply. I haven't yet fully figure out how to do this. But this video has given me an idea.
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The National Park Service used my photo of the General Grant Tree, located in Kings Canyon National Park, on their website.
https://www.nps.gov/seki/learn/nature/grant.htm
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Nicely contributed, +Scott Toste.
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Philosopher of Science Jonathan Shear, Ph.D. talks about the nature of the self/Self, and about the advantages of meditation.
Philosopher of Science Jonathan Shear, Ph.D. talks about the nature of the self/Self, and about the advantages of meditation. Interview shot as part of forthcoming…
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Thanks +Andrew Shinn, I'll look into the app.
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Like sending sensors up into a hurricane, we’ve flown four spacecraft through an invisible phenomenon in space, called magnetic reconnection. This process is one of the prime drivers of space radiation. For the first time, we’ve directly observed this fundamental process! Details: http://go.nasa.gov/1rNefup
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On May 12th, 1851, a treaty was signed between the Yokut Indians and American settlers. It created a lull in the fighting that came to be known as the Tule River War that happened right here in the San Joaquin Valley.

I had never heard of the Tule River War until I read this article. It's a sad tale of the clash between California settlers attracted by the Gold Rush and the indigenous Yokut Indians living along Tulare Lake and the eastern Sierra foothills. The geography ranged from what is now Millerton Lake down to the Grapevine and Fort Tejon. The final clash of the war happened near Porterville. This is my backyard, and I'm slightly embarrassed to say I knew nothing of these events. After reading this article I've come away with not only a better understanding of my local history, but what happens when different cultures come in contact and vie for resources.

Here are a few highlights:

"During the tumultuous 1850s, the Yokuts of central California made a courageous attempt to defend themselves against an invasion of their lands — and, for a length of time, succeeded. On a hilltop located just to the east of present-day Porterville, Calif., a siege occurred in 1856 — at what is now known as Battle Mountain — during a confrontation that the newspapers of the time referred to as the Tule River War."

"When the Spanish first settled California, there were more than 20,000 Indians living in and around the Tulare Valley (now known as the San Joaquin Valley). Along with the Yokuts were a significant number of coastal Indians who had fled from the missions into the interior valley. Making good use of stolen horses, the Yokuts had become deft raiders of livestock from missions and sprawling rancheros near Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Jose, San Fernando and San Luis Obispo. They saw the newcomers who arrived during the California Gold Rush as a threat. One miner wrote a letter to the Cleveland Plain Dealer in August 1849, mentioning that there was an abundance of gold on the Kings River but that the Indians were so hostile, that those [prospectors] who attempted to work there were driven out."

"John Wood and fellow miners had settled on the south bank of the Kaweah River. In December 1850, area tribesmen told Wood and company to leave. When the mining company was slow to go away, the Yokuts attacked, leaving all but two of the settlers dead. Wood was skinned alive."

http://www.historynet.com/the-tule-river-war.htm
From their earth-and-rock fortification at the base of a small, solitary mountain, the Yokuts of central California were determined to defend their land.
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Relationship Between the Unit Circle and the Sine and Cosine Functions

I share another great animation about sine and cosine functions that can facilitate the understanding of them.

We have the unit circle (with radius = 1) in green, placed at the origin at the bottom right. In the middle of this circle, in yellow, is represented the angle theta (θ). This angle is the amount of counter-clockwise rotation around the circle starting from the right, on the x-axis, as illustrated.
An exact copy of this little angle is shown at the top right, as a visual illustration of the definition of θ. At this angle, and starting at the origin, a (faint) green line is traced outwards, radially. This line intersects the unit circle at a single point, which is the green point spinning around at a constant rate as the angle θ changes, also at a constant rate.
The vertical position of this point is projected straight (along the faint red line) onto the graph on the left of the circle. This results in the red point. The y-coordinate of this red point (the same as the y-coordinate of the green point) is the value of the sine function evaluated at the angle θ, that is: y coordinate of green point = sin θ

As the angle θ changes, the red point moves up and down, tracing the red graph. This is the graph for the sine function. The faint vertical lines seen passing to the left are marking every quadrant along the circle, that is, at every angle of 90° or π/2 radians.
Notice how the sine curve goes from 1, to zero, to -1, then back to zero, at exactly these lines. This is reflecting the fact sin(0) = 0, sin(π/2) =1, sin(π) = 0 and sin(3π/ 2)= -1.
A similar process is done with the x-coordinate of the green point.

However, since the x-coordinate is tilted from the usual convention to plot graphs (where y = f(x), with y vertical and x horizontal), an “untilt” operation was performed in order to repeat the process again in the same orientation, instead of vertically. This was represented by a “bend”, seen on the top right. Again, the green point is projected upwards (along the faint blue line) and this “bent” projection ends up in the top graph’s rightmost edge, at the blue point. The y-coordinate of this blue point (which, due to the “bend” in the projection, is the same as the x-coordinate of the green point) is the value of the cosine function evaluated at the angle θ, that is: x coordinate of green point = cos θ.

The blue curve traced by this point, as it moves up and down with changing θ, is the the graph of the cosine function. Notice again how it behaves at it crosses every quadrant, reflecting the fact cos(0) = 1, cos(π/2) = 0, cos(π) = -1 and cos(3π/2) = 0.

► Image and explanation source>>
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trigonometric_functions#/media/File:Circle_cos_sin.gif

#trigonometric_functions, #sine, #cosine, #mathematics, #animation
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+Andrew Shinn, one of the things I enjoy about this era (for lack of a better term) is our ability to animate things that were previously just numbers in tables or static graphs.
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Hyperloop technology looks promising. It's a conceptual high-speed transportation system originally put forward by Elon Musk (the guy behind Tesla Motors and SpaceX). Basically, it uses tubes instead of rails. Pods carrying people or cargo travel along the interior of the tubes suspended by a thin layer of air like an air hockey puck. The interior of the tubes run at a partial vacuum and the pods are projected to attain speeds around 760 mph. A couple companies are actively working on the technology and it has attracted investors. Elon Musk would have worked on actively developing the technology, but he's focused on his SpaceX company and getting to Mars.

This seems like a viable, if not superior, alternative to the current high-speed rail design.
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Here's a link to the other company working on developing the technology. https://hyperloop-one.com/
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I post this here because the process of the sun's and earth's magnetic fields converging (called the magnetic reconnect) vaguely reminds me of the process of sentience found in biological systems but on a much larger scale. Watch the embedded video to see what I mean.
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I just finished reading the book "When Breath Becomes Air" by Paul Kalanithi. I found it deeply touching and recommend it.

The following is from the inside of the book's dust cover:

At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a naïve medical student “possessed,” as he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life” into a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity, and finally into a patient and new father confronting his own mortality.

What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when the future, no longer a ladder toward your goals in life, flattens out into a perpetual present? What does it mean to have a child, to nurture a new life as another fades away? These are some of the questions Kalanithi wrestles with in this profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir.

Paul Kalanithi died in March 2015, while working on this book, yet his words live on as a guide and a gift to us all. “I began to realize that coming face to face with my own mortality, in a sense, had changed nothing and everything,” he wrote. “Seven words from Samuel Beckett began to repeat in my head: ‘I can’t go on. I’ll go on.’” When Breath Becomes Air is an unforgettable, life-affirming reflection on the challenge of facing death and on the relationship between doctor and patient, from a brilliant writer who became both.
Buy When Breath Becomes Air on Amazon.com ✓ FREE SHIPPING on qualified orders
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Patagonia 8K explores the beautiful and rough landscapes of southern Chile and Argentina. Shot in 8K resolution on a medium format camera it's aimed to deliver the most realistic experience.

Shot in 6 weeks, travelling over 7500km from Santiago to Punta Arenas we captured roughly 100.000 still frames that combine into this timelapse video.
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Have him in circles
322 people
Partha Mukherjee's profile photo
Brent Nicholls's profile photo
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Basic Information
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Male
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Explorer - Scientist - Scholar - Farmer - Family Man
Introduction
So what can I briefly say about myself? Nature fascinates me, and I am passionate about exploring it. I use the tools of science and technology to understand it, my senses to enjoy it, and photography to record it. Oh, and I love maps.

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My photography site
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Photography is my hobby and I'm an avid hiker and explorer. The Sierra Nevada Mountains of California and the Pacific Coast are my favorite places to visit. I have an incredible wife and two boys. My oldest son survived childhood cancer and has been cancer free since the end of 2008! I have a Doctorate in Pharmacy.
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Farmer & Pharmacist