I'm twenty-one and I'm crazy. Fangirl, (aspiring) scientist and writer. I'm at college in Boston right now, but New York will always be my home. Likes archaeology, astronomy, space travel, history, superhero comics, general science, the oceans, Star Wars, aviation, exploration/geography, mysteries and Disney. (Which is where my title comes from...)
“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
In war-torn Syria, five of six World Heritage sites now “exhibit significant damage” and some structures have been “reduced to rubble,” according to new high-resolution satellite image analysis by the nonprofit, nonpartisan American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
Break out the “Arrrrr, me hearties!” because today is International Talk Like A Pirate Day! But where does our idea of pirate speech come from?
At the risk of spoiling my own punchline, here’s my favourite paragraph from my Lexicon Valley article today. You’ll never be able to un-hear it. I’m not even sorry.
Interestingly, the West Country’s influence on popular culture isn’t just pirate speech. Newfoundland English is ultimately related to that of the founding settlers from the West Country, and it’s also the dialect of the incredibly catchy 1976 hit song “Combine Harvester.” But perhaps the most famous inhabitant of the West Country is Hagrid from the Harry Potter series. Can’t you just imagine Hagrid saying, “Yer a pirate, Harry”?
Both the song (click it if you dare) and the quote have been stuck in my head for two days now, so I might as well infect everyone else.
On September 19, 1848, astronomers William Cranch Bond, George Phillips Bond and William Lassell discovered the first non-sperical, irregular moon orbiting the planet Saturn, which they named Hyperion (Ὑπερίων) after the Greek god/titan who was the brother of Cronus (the Greek equivalent of Saturn). Looking like a giant potato in the sky, Hyperion is the second largest non-sperical satellite discovered, measuring 360.2×266×205.4 km. Lassell and Bond both observed Hyperion independently of each other only days apart, and only a year after William Herschel had published Results of Astronomical Observations made at the Cape of Good Hope in which he suggested the name scheme for the first seven moons of Saturn, and which Lassell and Bond used when they proposed Hyperion.
Why would the sky look like a giant target? Airglow. Following a giant thunderstorm over Bangladesh in late April, giant circular ripples of glowing air appeared over Tibet, China, as pictured above. The unusual pattern is created by atmospheric gravity waves, waves of alternating air pressure that can grow with height as the air thins, in this case about 90 kilometers up. Unlike auroras powered by collisions with energetic charged particles and seen at high latitudes, airglow is due to chemiluminescence, the production of light in a chemical reaction. More typically seen near the horizon, airglow keeps the night sky from ever being completely dark.