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Heritable true fitness and bright birds
Posted by Alcuin on 15 September 2014

alcuin_stevenson-0826alcuin_stevenson-5067Pygmalion, his offering given, prayed before the altar, half afraid, ‘Vouchsafe, O Gods, if all things you can grant, my bride shall be’ – he dared not say my ivory girl – ‘The living likeness of my ivory girl.’ And golden Venus  (for her presence graced her feast) knew well the purpose of his prayer; and, as an omen of her favouring power, thrice did the flame burn bright and leap up high.  

– Ovid, Metamorphoses 10.243
Posted by Alcuin on 15 September 2014

Alcuin-Stevenson-8763 Alcuin-Stevenson-8981Five years ago, neuroscientist Christof Koch of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), neurosurgeon Itzhak Fried of UCLA, and their colleagues discovered that a single neuron in the human brain can function much like a sophisticated computer and recognize people, landmarks, and objects, suggesting that a consistent and explicit code may help transform complex visual representations into long-term and more abstract memories.

like a ghostship in a storm.
Posted by Alcuin on 14 September 2014

Alcuin-Stevenson-0189 Alcuin-Stevenson-9404Octopuses have large nervous systems, centered around relatively large brains. But more than half of their 500 million neurons are found in the arms themselves, Godfrey-Smith said. This raises the question of whether the arms have something like minds of their own. Though the question is controversial, there is some observational evidence indicating that it could be so, he said. When an octopus is in an unfamiliar tank with food in the middle, some arms seem to crowd into the corner seeking safety while others seem to pull the animal toward the food, Godfrey-Smith explained, as if the creature is literally of two minds about the situation.

Alcuin Stevenson-2971 Alcuin Stevenson-0022 Alcuin-Stevenson-7076A simple graphic consisting of 73 rows of 23 “bits” per row. This number of rows and columns was chosen because each is a prime number. Prime numbers could be easily guessed by any recipients, and that would help them to decode the graphic. The message was sent by simple shifting of the signal between two frequencies in the 2,380 MHz band. It took three minutes to send the message.

The message itself gives the kind of information that any culture would want to learn about us: where we are located (at least within our solar system), what we look like (a crude stick figure), a simple drawing of the telescope used to send the message, and something about our biological construction (DNA and some of the building blocks of our biochemistry.) This message was sent as a “demonstration” to commemorate the upgrading of the 1,000 foot diameter Arecibo telescope with a new, more accurate reflector surface.


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“between us on the table were our two minidisc units, connected together via a sony optical cable”

#551A8B (85,26,139)
Posted by Alcuin on 14 September 2014

Alcuin-Stevenson-8015 Alcuin-Stevenson-8017 Alcuin-Stevenson-8020Photospheric composition:

Hydrogen 73.46%
Helium 24.85%
Oxygen 0.77%
Carbon 0.29%
Iron 0.16%
Neon 0.12%
Nitrogen 0.09%
Silicon 0.07%
Magnesium 0.05%
Sulfur 0.04%
Posted by Alcuin on 6 February 2014

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(intensity, intensity, intensity, 1.0);
Posted by Alcuin on 6 February 2014

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Posted by Alcuin on 16 July 2013

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approaching civil twilight
Posted by Alcuin on 13 July 2013

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an opportune –
Posted by Alcuin on 13 May 2013

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no fox, Käsmu
Posted by Alcuin on 13 May 2013

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Kyoto, Dijon
Posted by Alcuin on 13 May 2013

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Celebrating Wildflowers, lichen tea
Posted by Alcuin on 13 May 2013

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bullet h
Posted by Alcuin on 13 May 2013

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two far away lands
Posted by Alcuin on 13 May 2013

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f, sl
Posted by Alcuin on 13 May 2013

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Posted by Alcuin on 2 May 2013