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Hendrik Boom
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On The Bright Side: People Are Reading

1984 is being rediscovered by a whole new generation with an unlikely assist from Trump advisor, Kellyanne Conway.

Barely a day into the new presidency, Conway coined the rather Orwellian phrase "alternative facts" to push back against claims the administration was lying about Trump's inauguration-day crowd size.

The British author's most famous work, the dystopian fantasy 1984, hit the No. 1 spot on Amazon's best-seller list, and demand is so high the publisher is set to print 75,000 more copies.

Orwell's book isn't the only cautionary tale on the Amazon list. Sinclair Lewis' 1935 novel about the election of an authoritarian president, "It Can't Happen Here," was at No. 46. Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World" was at No. 71.

First published in 1949, a year before Orwell's death, 1984 tells the story of a future dictatorship where facts are constantly distorted. The book has spawned numerous neologisms including Big Brother, newspeak, thoughtcrime and doublespeak.

Social media users posted excerpts from the book, such as:

"The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command."

‘Reality control,’ they called it: in Newspeak, ‘doublethink’.”

[& Hollywood Reporter]

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Not too factual, but it rhymes nicely.
I would fractal you into believing the universe has no boundary but no, no, no.........., it isn't so. IT HAD A BEGINNING SO IT MUST HAVE AN END, WHAT GOES AROUND WILL COME AGAIN.
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Andrew Wiles discusses what it feels like to do mathematics.

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Snowflake-a-Day #27
Snowflakes come in many more forms than you can imagine – including the “fuzzy caterpillar” variety! View large!

At warmer temperatures (just under the freezing point of water), snowflakes can grow into columns and needles. This type of growth is common, but many of the snowflakes are too small or distorted by the time they reach the ground, as the ground temperatures are likely warmer than the temperatures in the sky. Occasionally we see a storm that produces very long column-type snowflakes that take on a mind of their own. There are a few things happening here worth discovering!

All of the lines running off the column are plates, should show that the snowflake entered colder temperatures or higher humidity. These plates don’t just randomly start growing off the sides, though the snowflake would naturally grow one plate on either end. In the middle, these plates require a “nucleation site”, some deformation in the surface of the main column for which a new crystal structure can start to grow. In this case, the main column likely encounter some super-cooled water droplets that were still liquid, but when making contact with the column froze on impact. These little additions would be exactly what you need to start new plate-like growth at each point of impact.

That idea is further supported by the balls of ice you see along this crystal. The term here is “sleet”, or frozen water drops / pellets. This happens when the temperature of super-cooled water drops continues to decrease or some turbulence causes them to freeze solid without impacting a snowflake. Sleet isn’t that common, we saw it only twice last year. These tiny pellets of ice adorn the larger structure; many of them could probably be shaken off, but some might have begun to fuse to the crystal structure itself.

All of these conditions together are quite unusual, and with all the snowflakes I’ve photographed I’ve only seen a small handful of weather systems produce anything remotely like this. While all snowflakes are unique, some definitely fall outside of what we think is possible!

Photographing these snowflakes is quite a challenge. With so many shifts in depth and overlapping elements, I can usually add an hour to the editing process when putting one of these together. It’s worth it, however! I love sharing the curiosities of winter, and this one is certainly an enigma.

For more weird and wonderful snowflakes and how they form, check out Sky Crystals: - it will also detail every photographic technique I use for “regular” snowflakes, as well as these unusual skyborne creations that require a slightly different approach. It’s never been more affordable with the current US exchange rate for folks south of the 49th parallel!


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An interesting analysis of the economic malaise that led to Brexit and Trump. Some pointers about what to do about it, instead of Brexit and Trump that will probably make things worse.

I've reposted this link from David Brian's Google+ feed.

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CGI: Sol & Luna.
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In Chinese philosophy, yin and yang (also yin-yang or yin yang, 陰陽 yīnyáng "dark—bright") describe how seemingly opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they may give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another. Many tangible dualities (such as light and dark, fire and water, expanding and contracting) are thought of as physical manifestations of the duality symbolized by yin and yang. This duality lies at the origins of many branches of classical Chinese science and philosophy, as well as being a primary guideline of traditional Chinese medicine, and a central principle of different forms of Chinese martial arts and exercise, such as baguazhang, taijiquan (t'ai chi), and qigong (Chi Kung), as well as appearing in the pages of the I Ching
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