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8 Aug

Africa Enters Space Race w/ Ghana’s First Satellite Orbiting Earth

by Jake Bright | Tech Crunch The GhanaSat-1―Ghana’s first satellite―began its orbit recently, with a little help from some friends. The cubesat, built by a Ghanaian engineering team at All Nations University, was delivered to NASA’s International Space Station in June on a SpaceX rocket that took off from pad 39aat Kennedy Space Center, a NASA spokesperson confirmed. The GhanaSat-1 deployed into orbit from the Center in July, and is now operational, according to project manager Richard Damoah, a Ghanaian professor and assistant research scientist...
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22 Jul

How Playing an Instrument Benefits Your Brain

Lesson Anita Collins, Animation Sharon Colman Graham | Ted-Ed When you listen to music, multiple areas of your brain become engaged and active. But when you actually play an instrument, that activity becomes more like a full-body brain workout. What’s going on? Anita Collins explains the fireworks that go off in musicians’ brains when they play, and examines some of the long-term positive effects of this mental workout. ...
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8 Jul

NASA Sent Salutations & Music Into Space to Communicate w/Aliens

by Chris Coplan Consequence of Sound We already know that space generates its own deeply beautiful music. But back in 1977, as mankind thought about its place amongst the stars and the possibility of extraterrestrial life, NASA decided to add to the cosmic symphony with the launch of the Voyager I probe. There among all the radio gear and high-end cameras is The Golden Record, a disc containing a ginormous auditory archive representing our planet’s menagerie of sounds (via Death and Taxes). From music to greetings in every language and even sorted animal grunts,...
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7 Mar

At M.I.T., Science Embraces a New Chaos Theory: Art

Hilarie M. Sheets The NY Times | Arts & Science “Sandcastle No. 3,” drawn on a single grain of sand, part of a Vik Muniz series from 2013.CreditVik Muniz, via Sikkema, Jenkins & Co.  As a graduate student at the respected M.I.T. Media Lab, Marcelo Coelho collaborated with the artist Vik Muniz to help him achieve a poetic and technical feat that teases the imagination: drawing a picture of a castle on a single grain of sand. After two years of failed experiments with various lasers,...
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29 May

Manhattanhenge: 1/2 Sun 5/30 + Full Sun 5/31/2015

Copyright © 2001, Neil deGrasse Tyson What will future civilizations think of Manhattan Island when they dig it up and find a carefully laid out network of streets and avenues? Surely the grid would be presumed to have astronomical significance, just as we have found for the pre-historic circle of large vertical rocks known as Stonehenge, in the Salisbury Plain of England. For Stonehenge, the special day is the summer solstice, when the Sun rises in perfect alignment with several of the...
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10 Feb

Alviniconcha Strummeri: Deep-Sea Snail Named After Joe Strummer

(Courtesy of Anders Waren / Swedish Museum of Natural History) 'Punk rock' snail named for the Clash's Joe Strummer by Deborah Netburn Los Angeles Times  Scientists have named a spiky shelled, deep-sea snail after Joe Strummer, the late lead vocalist and guitarist from the famed British punk band the Clash. The researchers say the name highlights the "hardcore" nature of the snail, now known as Alviniconcha strummeri, which lives in one of the hottest, most acidic environments on the planet -- right up against hydrothermal vents in...
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