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Kevin Clift
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Croissant Maths
by +Chalkdust

Ironically, in France, where taste, fragrance and mouthfeel still trump mere visual impression, the oil and hardened fat versions of croissants, must, by law, be signaled as such by being always curved into a crescent, while the genuine croissant au beurre may be curved, slightly-curved, or straight.

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The recipe to create the best croissant requires a cooling step after the first folding, so that the butter inside gets chilled again, ready for the next folding. The baker then stretches the dough into a rectangle and folds it into thirds, pretty much like he or she did in the previous step. By the time of the second folding, there are 9 layers of butter between 10 layers of dough… and then again, cooling down, stretching and folding, and again (and for some bakers, again). The recipe for a croissant usually takes hours!

More here (Maths article): https://goo.gl/AF5LB8


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Why is a croissant shaped that way, anyway? The first truth is that they are not, necessarily. As veteran visitors to Parisian bakeries know, the superior, all-butter croissants are already commonly articulated as straight pastries—or, at least, as gently sloping ones—while the inferior oil or margarine ones must, by law, be neatly turned in. This sometimes leads those who expect clarity and logic, rather than complexity and self-cancelling entrapment, from French laws to think that the straight croissants are all butter and the curved ones are reliably not. The truth is that a butter croissant can be any shape it chooses, on the general atavistic aristocratic principle that, butter being better, it creates its own realm of privilege.

More here (Cultural article): https://goo.gl/3Pprs9


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The birth of the croissant itself–that is, its adaptation from the plainer form of Kipferl, before the invention of viennoiseries–can be dated to at least 1839 (some say 1838) when an Austrian artillery officer, August Zang, founded a Viennese bakery ("Boulangerie Viennoise") at 92, rue de Richelieu in Paris. This bakery, which served Viennese specialities including the Kipferl and the Vienna loaf, quickly became popular and inspired French imitators (and the concept, if not the term, of viennoiserie, a 20th-century term for supposedly Vienna-style pastries). The French version of the Kipferl was named for its crescent (croissant) shape and has become an identifiable shape across the world.

Croissant (Wikip): https://goo.gl/GfIouF


Image: by SKopp https://goo.gl/4HSDod
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Primary Mirror JWST

Like some giant, golden space-butterfly, one wing of the Primary Mirror for the highly-advanced James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is shown open in this picture, and another nearly so, as it is readied for the system's final cryogenic test before the planned launch of the JWST next year (2018).

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To ensure the telescope's optics will operate at its frigid destination 1 million miles out in space, it must complete tests at cryogenic temperatures in a vacuum. The biggest and final cryogenic-vacuum test occurs in Johnson's Chamber A, the same vacuum chamber where Apollo spacecraft were tested. This test is critical in that it will verify the performance of the whole telescope as a system end-to-end at its extremely cold operating temperatures. Subsequently, the telescope will continue on its journey to Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems in Redondo Beach, California, for final assembly and testing with the spacecraft bus and sunshield prior to launch in 2018.

More here: https://goo.gl/ZDr92T

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This video shows in-depth what will happen when James Webb Space Telescope deploys after launch. For more information, see this description on our website:
Video (YT ~5 mins.): https://goo.gl/Bms2Cx

Image (NASA/Chris Gunn): https://goo.gl/81GCQP
Explanatory text: https://goo.gl/jSCTq4
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Virtual Lorenz

To celebrate the centenary of Mathematician and Codebreaker, William (Bill) Tutte, who was born one hundred years ago on 1917/05/14, Software engineer, Martin Gillow, has attempted to re-create the experience of being a WWII German cipher-clerk with his Virtual Lorenz simulation which allows users like you, with a modern browser, to set-up and use a version of the Lorenz cipher-machine that Bill helped crack mathematically without seeing, and to encrypt and decode their own secret messages.

"Creating this made me realise what Bill Tutte was up against," professional programmer Martin Gillow told the BBC. "All Bletchley Park got was a string of random characters," he said. "It's just such an impossible thing that he did, working it out from almost nothing." More information was available to Mr Gillow but, he said, it was still a tricky programming job to authentically emulate the machine. "There are only four Lorenz SZ42 machines available in the world and they are not running," he said. "There are no full diagrams of how it works, you have to read through the manuals and read between the lines to work it out. "It's been a lot of hard work and I've had a lot of fun doing it," he added. The system is as authentic as possible, he said, and lets anyone encrypt their own text with the virtual enciphering machine. Those on the site can also connect to other people using the virtual SZ42 and talk to them via an encrypted channel.

More here (news article): https://goo.gl/zIUAP5


I haven't exhaustively tested Martin's software. The instructions and video descriptions are not without their typos..


Virtual Lorenz (interactive software): https://goo.gl/n3XtPH
NOISY!


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The basic controls of Virtual Lorenz are simple. Each of the twelve wheels can be rotated with the cover open or shut - you can open the cover of the Lorenz using the Lock image.

If you have a touch screen, try touching just to the top or bottom of each wheel to turn or alternatively, swipe up or down in the center of each wheel to rotate.

If you have a mouse, hovering over each wheel will show an arrow for each direction, clicking on them will move one position. If your browser/computer supports it, try swiping with the mouse in the center of each wheel to move them.

Changing the actual wheel settings can be done by simply clicking on each visible switch (with the cover open) to toggle between active and inactive.

More here (instructions.): https://goo.gl/jQnmdX


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Example of altering the wheel positions and settings for Virtual Lorenz website

Instructional Video (YT ~36 secs): https://goo.gl/LEIcfF



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In 1918, Gilbert Vernam in America, invented a way of encoding teleprinter information by adding a random string of letters to the text using modulo-2 (the same as XOR). This meant that adding the same set of letters a second time would return the cipher string back to it's original format.

More here (The Lorenz Machine): https://goo.gl/oho5ur


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Many people have heard of Enigma before, the code machine used by Nazi Germany to send secret coded messages. Yet, some very clever code breakers were able to break that code and read those messages!

But there was another cipher machine used by the Germans in WWII called the Lorenz machine, and this machine was even more difficult than Enigma, and was used by the top level of the Nazi Party.

However the code breakers at Bletchley Park broke this code too, and could read secret messages from people like Adolf Hitler himself!

It was mathematician Bill Tutte who discovered the breakthrough that allowed the Lorenz code to be broken. On the 10th of September 2014 a new memorial to Bill Tutte is unveiled in his hometown of Newmarket.

More here (video YT ~12 mins.): https://goo.gl/llMfb7
With +James Grime



Related Posts (see their links for more details):

Not Enigma: https://goo.gl/qKNC2M

D-Day Deception: https://goo.gl/1inEnj

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Bee Male

Without droning on about it – it isn't much fun to be male, if you're a bee!

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VI — THE NUPTIAL FLIGHT

[...]

While she lives in their midst the lovers about her know not what she is. They seek her in space, in the remote depths of the horizon, never suspecting that they have but this moment quitted her, have shared the same comb with her, have brushed against her, perhaps, in the eagerness of their departure. One might almost believe that those wonderful eyes of theirs, that cover their head as though with a glittering helmet, do not recognise or desire her save when she soars in the blue. Each day, from noon till three, when the sun shines resplendent, this plumed horde sallies forth in search of the bride, who is indeed more royal, more difficult of conquest, than the most inaccessible princess of fairy legend; for twenty or thirty tribes will hasten from all the neighbouring cities, her court thus consisting of more than ten thousand suitors; and from these ten thousand one alone will be chosen for the unique kiss of an instant that shall wed him to death no less than to happiness; while the others will fly helplessly round the intertwined pair, and soon will perish without ever again beholding this prodigious and fatal apparition.

[...]

VII — THE MASSACRE OF THE MALES

[....]

But the patience of the bees is not equal to that of men. One morning the long-expected word of command goes through the hive; and the peaceful workers turn into judges and executioners. Whence this word issues, we know not; it would seem to emanate suddenly from the cold, deliberate indignation of the workers; and no sooner has it been uttered than every heart throbs with it, inspired with the genius of the unanimous republic. One part of the people renounce their foraging duties to devote themselves to the work of justice. The great idle drones, asleep in unconscious groups on the melliferous walls, are rudely torn from their slumbers by an army of wrathful virgins. They wake, in pious wonder; they cannot believe their eyes; and their astonishment struggles through their sloth as a moonbeam through marshy water. They stare amazedly round them, convinced that they must be victims of some mistake; and the mother-idea of their life being first to assert itself in their dull brain, they take a step towards the vats of honey to seek comfort there. But ended for them are the days of May honey, the wine-flower of lime trees and fragrant ambrosia of thyme and sage, of marjoram and white clover. Where the path once lay open to the kindly, abundant reservoirs, that so invitingly offered their waxen and sugary mouths, there stands now a burning-bush all alive with poisonous, bristling stings. The atmosphere of the city is changed; in lieu of the friendly perfume of honey, the acrid odour of poison prevails; thousands of tiny drops glisten at the end of the stings, and diffuse rancour and hatred. Before the bewildered parasites are able to realise that the happy laws of the city have crumbled, dragging down in most inconceivable fashion their own plentiful destiny, each one is assailed by three or four envoys of justice; and these vigorously proceed to cut off his wings, saw through the petiole that connects the abdomen with the thorax, amputate the feverish antennae, and seek an opening between the rings of his cuirass through which to pass their sword. No defence is attempted by the enormous, but unarmed, creatures; they try to escape, or oppose their mere bulk to the blows that rain down upon them. Forced on to their back, with their relentless enemies clinging doggedly to them, they will use their powerful claws to shift them from side to side; or, turning on themselves, they will drag the whole group round and round in wild circles, which exhaustion soon brings to an end. And, in a very brief space, their appearance becomes so deplorable that pity, never far from justice in the depths of our heart, quickly returns, and would seek forgiveness, though vainly, of the stern workers who recognise only nature's harsh and profound laws. The wings of the wretched creatures are torn, their antennae bitten, the segments of their legs wrenched off; and their magnificent eyes, mirrors once of the exuberant flowers, flashing back the blue light and the innocent pride of summer, now, softened by suffering, reflect only the anguish and distress of their end. Some succumb to their wounds, and are at once borne away to distant cemeteries by two or three of their executioners. Others, whose injuries are less, succeed in sheltering themselves in some corner, where they lie, all huddled together, surrounded by an inexorable guard, until they perish of want. Many will reach the door, and escape into space dragging their adversaries with them; but, towards evening, impelled by hunger and cold, they return in crowds to the entrance of the hive to beg for shelter. But there they encounter another pitiless guard. The next morning, before setting forth on their journey, the workers will clear the threshold, strewn with the corpses of the useless giants; and all recollection of the idle race disappear till the following spring.

[...]


Extracted from The Life of the Bee by Maurice Maeterlinck published 1901

Archive: https://goo.gl/3YQNpO
or Gutenberg: https://goo.gl/n2FhPO


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This bees'-eye view of the aerial mating of domestic honeybees comes from the documentary More Than Honey. [...]

More here (Video YT ~1min.): https://goo.gl/plHgSC


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We filmed flying bees with 300 pictures per second. The wing movement seemed most natural at this speed. The wings move at 280 beats per second. For men, 24 pictures per second give a smoothly moving picture. For the bees, however, a smoothly moving picture happens between 250 and 280 pictures per second, because each individual lens of their compound eyes perceives a different image, and the next one another one, and so on. I was told about the fact after our decision to film the flying bees at different speeds. Therefore, at 300 pictures per second the bees and humans see the wing movement as a flowing movement and not as a stroboscope effect anymore.

Macro Filming (blog post): https://goo.gl/4CTXn2


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More Than Honey (IMDb inc. Trailer): https://goo.gl/KNNdNs


Image: by Waugsberg https://goo.gl/eQnA3s
Drone in flight
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I'm sharing this to the General Science collection too as I don't think collections are working very well for me. I might as well have added it to my Art collection or my Computing collection...
SIGGRAPH 2017

The Special Interest Group on Computer Graphics or SIGGRAPH, is meeting again, this time in Los Angeles, CA, USA, 2017/07/30 – 2017/08/03.

If you'd like to feast your eyes on the latest possibilities with animation and computer graphics then take a look at the following video.

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The SIGGRAPH Technical Papers program is the premier international forum for disseminating new scholarly work in computer graphics and interactive techniques. SIGGRAPH 2017 brings together thousands of computer graphics professionals, 30 July - 3 August 2017 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

More here (text, links and video YT ~3 mins.): https://goo.gl/6Du0pK

If you want the Computer Science...

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Information here is provided with the permission of the ACM

Note that when possible I link to the page containing the link to the actual PDF or PS of the preprint. I prefer this as it gives some context to the paper and avoids possible copyright problems with direct linking. Thus you may need to search on the page to find the actual document.

ACM Digital Library: ACM Transactions on Graphics (TOG) Volume 36, Issue 4 (July 2017) Proceedings of ACM SIGGRAPH 2017

Scholarly work (papers): https://goo.gl/bkbFu7


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SIGGRAPH is the world’s largest, most influential annual conference and exhibition in computer graphics and interactive techniques: Five days of research results, demos, educational sessions, art, screenings, and hands-on interactivity featuring the community’s latest technical achievements, and three days of commercial exhibits displaying the industry's current hardware, software, and services.

SIGGRAPH 2017: https://goo.gl/ZZT2n9

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SIGGRAPH 2017

The Special Interest Group on Computer Graphics or SIGGRAPH, is meeting again, this time in Los Angeles, CA, USA, 2017/07/30 – 2017/08/03.

If you'd like to feast your eyes on the latest possibilities with animation and computer graphics then take a look at the following video.

🎬📖🔗
The SIGGRAPH Technical Papers program is the premier international forum for disseminating new scholarly work in computer graphics and interactive techniques. SIGGRAPH 2017 brings together thousands of computer graphics professionals, 30 July - 3 August 2017 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

More here (text, links and video YT ~3 mins.): https://goo.gl/6Du0pK

If you want the Computer Science...

🔗🔗🔗
Information here is provided with the permission of the ACM

Note that when possible I link to the page containing the link to the actual PDF or PS of the preprint. I prefer this as it gives some context to the paper and avoids possible copyright problems with direct linking. Thus you may need to search on the page to find the actual document.

ACM Digital Library: ACM Transactions on Graphics (TOG) Volume 36, Issue 4 (July 2017) Proceedings of ACM SIGGRAPH 2017

Scholarly work (papers): https://goo.gl/bkbFu7


📖🔗🖼🎬
SIGGRAPH is the world’s largest, most influential annual conference and exhibition in computer graphics and interactive techniques: Five days of research results, demos, educational sessions, art, screenings, and hands-on interactivity featuring the community’s latest technical achievements, and three days of commercial exhibits displaying the industry's current hardware, software, and services.

SIGGRAPH 2017: https://goo.gl/ZZT2n9

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Fay Dowker The Life Scientific

Despite or perhaps because of the fact that her Father was a Physicist, the young Fay Dowker chose Maths as her first love, and only took Physics at A-level to round out the Pure and Applied Maths classes, and would have taken more Maths if it were available. Now she is a Professor of Theoretical Physics at Imperial College, London.

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For a long time Fay Dowker was mathematically precocious, but emotionally uncertain.These days, despite working in an area with few academic allies, she is more confident than ever. Her approach to a Theory of Everything, known as causal set theory, acknowledges the quantum nature of the universe and takes the arrow of time more seriously than Einstein. Bye bye time travel.

Fay started her Life Scientific working on the assumption that the texture of the universe was continuous and smooth, with Stephen Hawking as her supervisor. But mid-career, she changed her mind. She now thinks in terms of 'atoms' of space-time. Down at the tiniest scale imaginable, the universe is granular, made of discrete entities that represent a point in space and a moment in time.

Most theoretical physicists were shocked to discover in 1998 that the expansion rate of the universe was accelerating. Not the causal set theorists. Unlike everyone else, they were expecting this result. What's more, if casual set theory is right, there will be no need to explain dark energy, an idea which seems just wacky and a little bit malicious to Fay.

Listen here (stream, podcast, download MP3): https://goo.gl/X1iOD4

If you are mobile search for the programme in the Global Radio iPlayer app but it also works in mobile browsers.
Post: https://goo.gl/oJBwf0)


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A trio of dichotomies, Atomicity versus Continuity, Locality versus Global-ness and, Being versus Becoming, are persistent themes in our struggle to understand the physical world. In the present era, they are finding concrete expression in the attempt to create a theory of "quantum gravity", which phrase is a shorthand for a framework in which all of physics will find unified expression. In my research these ancient tensions reveal themselves to be intertwined one with another and I am attempting, not so much to resolve them but to put them to work as heuristics in discovering quantum gravity. [...]

More here (Professor Fay Dowker): https://goo.gl/LPa8cJ


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Black holes are hot! This discovery made by Stephen Hawking ties together gravity, spacetime, quantum matter, and thermal systems into the beautiful and exciting science of "Black Hole Thermodynamics". Its beauty lies in the powerful way it speaks of the unity of physics. The excitement arises because it tells us that there is something lacking in our understanding of spacetime and, at the same time, gives us a major clue as to what the missing ingredient should be. Theoretical physicists at Perimeter Institute and elsewhere are pioneering a proposal, known as Causal Set Theory, for the structure held by these most fundamental atoms of spacetime. In this talk, Professor Dowker describes black hole thermodynamics and argue that it is telling us that spacetime itself is granular or "atomic" at very tiny scales.

Video (YT 1hr 12 mins.): https://goo.gl/TQh4aO

Image from fist link.




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Giant Larvaceans

A vital part of the Carbon Cycle (https://goo.gl/ynAhSd) is the oceanic 'down elevator' that takes Carbon from the air converted by seagoing plant life into food for animals and thanks to the resulting food chain eventually deposits it into the reactive sediments and the swimming, crawling, and burrowing animals that live there, at the bottom of the deep, or benthic, ocean.

Given that we are taking vast quantities of carbon that had been previously tucked-away in plant fossils deep under the ground or seabed and are rapidly re-introducing ancient Carbon into the current Carbon Cycle, without a compensating human-made Carbon recovery mechanism of a similar scale, we are increasingly reliant on not overwhelming the natural biogeochemical cycle.

Some years ago +Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) scientists and engineers discovered that, surprisingly, Giant Larvaceans played a role in moving significant amounts of Carbon from their midwater habitat to the depths of the Monterey Bay using filter nets up to a meter wide made of natural polymers called polysaccharides (sugar chains) and proteins.

These mucus filter nets are a gelatinous version of an exoskeleton called a house, with an albeit fragile but complex structure designed for capturing, segregating, and concentrating particles from above. Particles that have been whisked in by the animal's sinusoidal tail, but are too large to eat, are stored in an outer filter net and the pieces that are smaller are concentrated for consumption in the other, and the waste product stored. Due to the quantity of water filtered and the number of particles processed, the house becomes full roughly once a day and is dropped, so that a fresh house can be created relatively inexpensively, and falls quickly to the ocean floor.

It was, however, difficult to get a precise estimate of the filtration rate and number and size of the particles processed by each Giant Larvacean until a special instrument called a DeepPIV was developed and recently built which could slice through the darkness with a laser light and allow a high-definition science camera to capture the dynamics.

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Instead of trying to build a tank large enough to harbor a giant larvacean and its house, MBARI Principal Engineer Kakani Katija has been investigating ways to study larvaceans in the open ocean, using a technique called particle image velocimetry (PIV). PIV systems have been used in laboratories for decades to observe and measure complex water-flow patterns such as currents, swirls, and eddies.

In 2015 Katija set out to adapt a PIV system for use in the deep sea. Her “DeepPIV” system consists of a laser that emits a thin sheet of light and a video camera that records tiny particles in the water, which are lit up by the laser as they pass through this sheet of light. Working with MBARI engineers Alana Sherman, Dale Graves, and Chad Kecy, Katija mounted the laser and video camera on MBARI’s MiniROV, a small remotely operated vehicle (ROV).

More here (Press Release): https://goo.gl/ID97lt


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Bathochordaeus is considered a giant among larvaceans. The giant larvacean’s claim to fame is the huge mucous house it builds. The house is made up of two filters and basically functions as an elaborate feeding apparatus. They eat tiny particles of dead or drifting plants and animals that float through the water column. The outer filter traps larger particles too big for the animal to eat, while the inner filter guides smaller food particles into the larvacean’s mouth. Eventually the filters get clogged and the larvacean abandons them. The sinking houses, packed with food particles, provide an important source of food for animals living on the seafloor. Researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) are using remotely operated vehicles, video cameras, and lasers to study giant larvaceans right in their own habitat. We just described a new species of giant larvacean, Bathochordaeus mcnutti, making a total of three species of giant larvacean now found in Monterey Bay, California.

Video (YT ~4 mins.): https://goo.gl/uYPWrW


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Researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) recently published a paper describing a new laser device called Deep Particle Image Velocimeter (DeepPIV). By mounting this instrument on a remotely operated vehicle (a type of underwater robot), scientists can measure the flow of seawater through the filters of giant larvaceans--tadpole-like marine animals that are important players in ocean ecosystems.

This video shows an experiment in which DeepPIV (on MBARI’s MiniROV) is used to illuminate the flow of particles through the filter of a giant larvacean. After measuring this flow, scientists discovered that larvaceans can filter more water than any other drifting marine animal known to science.

Video (YT ~2 mins.): https://goo.gl/9wBpys


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In a study published in Science Advances on Wednesday, scientists near California’s Monterey Bay have found that, through this process, giant larvaceans can filter all of the bay’s water from about 300 to 1,000 feet deep in less than two weeks, making them the fastest known zooplankton filter feeders.

In doing so, the creatures help transfer carbon that has been removed from the atmosphere by photosynthesizing organisms to the deep sea, where it can be buried and stored long term. And given their abundance in other parts of the world, these organisms likely play a crucial role in the global carbon cycle.

More here (article): https://goo.gl/VVaYby


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[...] Through this process, giant larvaceans contribute significantly to the biological pump and can be regionally responsible for as much as one-third of the carbon flux from near-surface waters to the deep benthos. [...]

More here (paper open): https://goo.gl/lXwnLF


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The DeepPIV (particle image velocimetry) instrument consists of a laser and optics that illuminates a sheet of fluid. Using the ROV’s high-definition science camera to capture the motion of suspended particles in the laser sheet, the motion of fluid can be quantified. In addition, gelatinous structures (such as larvacean mucus houses) can be revealed as shown in the above frame from video footage.

Deep PIV (Particle Image Velocimetry): https://goo.gl/rUOIml



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A giant larvacean lives inside two net-like mucus filters, which are collectively called its “house.” The outer filter traps coarse particles, and can be up to one meter (three feet) across. The inner filter is slightly more dense, and traps small particles that the animals eats. The larvacean constantly pumps water through both filters, which typically become clogged after about 24 hours of use. At this point the larvacean abandons its house and swims off to create a new one. The cast-off larvacean house eventually deflates like a punctured balloon and sinks rapidly toward the seafloor, carrying large amounts of detritus as well as tiny animals that colonize the mucus.

More here (press release): https://goo.gl/CVqhcm


Related posts (Pyrosomes and MBARI): https://goo.gl/DxVZxT and https://goo.gl/S8hM8Z

Image from first video.








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Robert Taylor 1932/02/10 – 2017/04/17

In 1966, in the days when computers were remote mainframes and normal user access to them was with so-called dumb terminals, that weren't much more than hot and hefty CRT displays in a nice box, Robert Taylor, the new director of the Information Processing Techniques Office at the US Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), wondered why he needed three separate monitors on his desk, one for each of three ARPA projects.

My speculation is that he was looking for a simple solution but...

“I went to see Charlie Herzfeld, who was the head of ARPA, and laid the idea on him,” Mr. Taylor recalled in an interview with The Times. “He liked the idea immediately, and he took a million dollars out of the ballistic missile defense budget and put it into my budget right then and there.” He added, “The first funding came that month.”

His idea led to the Arpanet, the forerunner of the internet.

More here (obit.): https://goo.gl/4acXJ7


[...] Having skipped several grades as a result of his enrollment in an experimental school, he began his higher education at Southern Methodist University at the age of 16; while there, he was "not a serious student" but "had a good time. [...]

Robert Taylor (Wikip): https://goo.gl/VTqEkL

Image: by Gardner Campbell https://goo.gl/JmZG7V
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