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February 15 2017


Update after crash ;)

Dear Soup friends,

We had a big database crash, and the backups we had were corrupted.
The only working backup was from 2015.
We are working hard on getting some data out of the crashed database.

Please be patient!
Your Soup.io Team

Hallo Soup Freunde!

Wir hatten einen großen Datenbanken crash, und die Backups, die wir hatten waren Korrupt.
Das einzig funktionierende Backup war von 2015.
Wir arbeiten hart daran noch Daten aus der gecrashten Datenbank heraus zu bekommen.

Bitte bleibt geduldig!
Dein Soup.io Team
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July 09 2015

The first ever image taken from the martian surface from the Soviet Mars 3 probe, 2 December 1971.
Tags: science
Reposted byastronomygrouptentacleguyBlue-sing

July 07 2015

Bloody Europa!
Tags: science
Reposted byastronomygroup919BloodyBirchbesenrunkensteinjalokim0tentacleguyeverybodyliessthe-impossible-girlborsuuukwujcioBat

Glitch-B-Gone: All Systems Go for New Horizons' Final Approach to Pluto by Alan Boyle, NBC News, Jul 6 2015, 7:12 pm ET

As NASA's New Horizons spacecraft enters the home stretch for its historic July 14 flyby past Pluto, the mission's managers say the glitch that briefly knocked the spacecraft offline over the Fourth of July weekend will never happen again.

If anything goes wrong between now and July 14, the probe's computer is programmed to reboot itself and pick up where it left off.

"Just like resetting your computer at home," Glen Fountain, the $728 million mission's project manager at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, told reporters during a Monday teleconference.

Fountain and New Horizons' principal investigator, Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute, explained why the piano-sized spacecraft hit a "speed bump" on Saturday.

The fault occurred when New Horizons' primary computer was compressing previously acquired image data for more efficient storage on a recorder, at the same time that it was loading the detailed command sequence for the flyby.

"The computer was trying to do these two things at the same time, and the two were more than the processor could handle at one time, so the processor said, 'I'm overloaded,'" Fountain said. That triggered protective software that shut down communications with Earth, switched operations from the primary to the backup computer, and then re-established communications about an hour later in safe mode.

Fountain said that it only took about 15 minutes to diagnose the problem once contact was re-established. He said the image data that was being compressed over the weekend was richer than the "test pattern" data that was used for earlier simulations — and that probably contributed to the computer overload.

"These two events will not happen concurrently again," he said.

The process of restoring normal operations and getting back to gathering scientific observations has taken a couple of days, and there are a couple of reasons for that.

Firstly, the spacecraft is nearly 3 billion miles (5 billion kilometers) away. That means it takes 4.5 hours for signals to be sent to the spacecraft at the speed of light, and another 4.5 hours for the spacecraft to send back a response. Secondly, Stern said the team decided to concentrate on spacecraft recovery rather than trying to make the observations that had been scheduled for Sunday and Monday — in his words, to "focus on the cake and not worry too much about the icing."

About 30 observations went by the wayside, out of a total of 496 that had been scheduled to take place starting Saturday and going all the way out past the flyby. None of the mission's high-priority observations will be lost, Stern said.

Stern said the team had weathered nine safe-mode episodes during the nine years since New Horizons' launch, "so we've been in a familiar circumstance a number of times before."

"I probably should tell you I'm more nervous, but I'm not," he said.

New Horizons is currently less than 5.6 million miles (9 million kilometers) from Pluto and closing in at 30,000 mph (50,000 kilometers per hour). On Tuesday, the spacecraft is scheduled to begin a pre-programmed observational campaign for the encounter that will last until two days after the flyby.

During the time that New Horizons is in encounter mode, it won't go into safe mode if the computer encounters a problem. Instead, it will reboot and return to the pre-programmed time line. If the computer fails to execute a high-priority observational task due to a glitch, it will try again. "We make sure that if one trips, we have a backup," Stern said.

Stern noted that the July 14 flyby will take place on the 50th anniversary of the Mariner 4 probe's first successful flyby of Mars. "We will collect approximately 5,000 times as much data as Mariner 4, and for a first flyby reconnaissance, we're gonna knock your socks off," he promised.

Most of the data will be stored in the spacecraft's 128 gigabits of flash memory until after the encounter, and then sent back at an average rate of 2,000 bits per second. It'll take 16 months to transmit everything, Stern said.

"You've got to really be into delayed gratification if you want to be on this mission," he said.

After the teleconference, NASA released new pictures of Pluto that were based on data sent back between July 1 and 3, just before the glitch hit. The images show a swath of dark terrain around Pluto's midsection, breaking into what appears to be a series of regularly spaced dark spots.

"This object is unlike any other that we have observed," Stern said. "While Pluto has some similarities to Triton [Neptune's largest moon], it is not Triton. It looks like it has a much more complicated story to tell us."
Tags: science
Reposted byastronomygrouppaketSpecies5618mondkroete

July 06 2015


New Horizons Returns to Science Ops July 7
A “Hard to Detect Timing Flaw” (a.k.a. "Leap Second") Found as the Cause of Safe Mode

This just in from NASA.gov:

"NASA’s New Horizons mission is returning to normal science operations after a July 4 anomaly and remains on track for its July 14 flyby of Pluto.

The investigation into the anomaly that caused New Horizons to enter “safe mode” on July 4 has concluded that no hardware or software fault occurred on the spacecraft. The underlying cause of the incident was a hard-to-detect timing flaw in the spacecraft command sequence that occurred during an operation to prepare for the close flyby. No similar operations are planned for the remainder of the Pluto encounter.

“I’m pleased that our mission team quickly identified the problem and assured the health of the spacecraft,” said Jim Green, NASA’s Director of Planetary Science. “Now – with Pluto in our sights – we’re on the verge of returning to normal operations and going for the gold.” 

Preparations are ongoing to resume the originally planned science operations on July 7 and to conduct the entire close flyby sequence as planned. The mission science team and principal investigator have concluded that the science observations lost during the anomaly recovery do not affect any primary objectives of the mission, with a minimal effect on lesser objectives. “In terms of science, it won’t change an A-plus even into an A,” said New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute, Boulder.

Adding to the challenge of recovery is the spacecraft’s extreme distance from Earth. New Horizons is almost 3 billion miles away, where radio signals, even traveling at light speed, need 4.5 hours to reach home. Two-way communication between the spacecraft and its operators requires a nine-hour round trip."
Tags: science
Reposted byscienceastronomygroup02mydafsoup-01

July 05 2015

New Horizons’ trajectory and timeline for its July 14th 2015 encounter with Pluto.

(Update on July 04 collision with alien matter / safe mode situation: "Teeny signal occasionally wafts from @NewHorizons2015. Start praying!")
Tags: science
Reposted byscienceastronomygroupSzavislavkuroinekochrisSpecies5618jalokim0xal02mydafsoup-01
9 days to Pluto: New Horizons talking again.
(Canberra Station DSS-43)
Tags: science
Reposted byastronomygroupSpecies5618ambassadorofdumbscienceSzavislavastridxalhavoc00Lynxxx
A Sunny Day
(by the Solar Dynamics Observatory. Featured as one of the finest images on the English Wikipedia.)
Reposted byscienceastronomygroupczeresniaincontrovertibledonaudampfschifffahrtsgesellschaftEathoreventailambassadorofdumbhdiAronjosephinethingsonfirebesensicksinfafnirscaveRainbowDashsl420yellowsoupmarinethe-impossible-girl

July 01 2015

Defending Planet Earth: Near-Earth Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies, by the US National Research Council.
Reposted byastronomygroupRekrut-Kpleplep856p-093-readjalokim0
Tags: science
Reposted byastronomygroupbesenpleplep-093-readjalokim0michalkoziolikarirenanasofiaslolufomondkroeteastridxalSteinkauzbiauekblubber

June 27 2015


Henry George (1879):

Progress and Poverty.
An Inquiry into the Cause of Industrial Depressions and of Increase of Want with Increase of Wealth: The Remedy

Free download, via The Library of Economics and Liberty .
Free download, via the Henry George Institute .
Reposted by02mysoup-aa 02mysoup-aa
Waxing Moons.
(Titan, Mimas, and Rhea, of Saturn, by Cassini.)
Tags: science
Reposted byastronomygroupsciencebesentildepaketzEveRq-raiasparagustentacleguymanticorekoallasuubiohzdrmvlwiBiggerfariMadKamsonmihaicontinuum

June 25 2015

Model of dark matter particles near a black hole,
by NASA via Daily Mail.
Tags: science
Reposted byscienceadmnreloveutionambassadorofdumbpsyentistzamknioczyJimjohnaras1024insomniabloggingoski

June 24 2015

Earth under 'severe' geomagnetic storm conditions.
Tags: science
Reposted byastronomygroupunfoldedjalokim0paket
Three Open Access journals move to Springer
Living Reviews are now affiliated to major academic publisher

MPG, June 24, 2015: "Springer has acquired the three pioneering ‘living’ open access journals: Living Reviews in Relativity (impact factor 19.25), Living Reviews in Solar Physics (impact factor 17.64)and the recently launched journal Living Reviews in Computational Astrophysics from the Max Planck Society. Furthermore, Springer has acquired the domain names livingreviews.org and livingreviews.eu, all registered Living Reviews trademarks, as well as the journals’ wordmarks and logos." -- But, who got the bribes and kickbacks?

June 23 2015


Lives without imagery – congenital aphantasia

by Adam Zeman, Michaela Dewar, and Sergio Della Sala
Cortex, Available online 3 June 2015

1.  Introduction
Visual imagery is, for most of us, a conspicuous ingredient of everyday experience, playing a prominent role in memory, daydreaming and creativity. Galton, who pioneered the quantitative study of visual imagery with his famous ‘breakfast-table survey’, reported a wide variation in its subjective vividness  (Galton, 1880). Indeed, some participants described ‘no power of visualising’. This phenomenon has received little attention since, though Faw reported that 2.1-2.7% of 2,500 participants ‘claim no visual imagination’ (Faw, 2009).

The experience of voluntary imagery is associated with activity in fronto-parietal ‘executive’ systems and in posterior brain regions which together enable us to generate images on the basis of our stored knowledge of appearances  (Bartolomeo, 2008). The relative contributions of lower and higher order visual regions to the experience of visual imagery are debated (Bartolomeo, 2008). Clinical reports suggest the existence of two major types of neurogenic visual imagery impairment: i) visual memory disorders, causing both visual agnosia and imagery loss, and ii) ‘imagery generation’ deficits selectively disabling imagery (Farah, 1984).

In 2010 we reported a particularly ‘pure’ case of imagery generation disorder, in a 65 year old man who became unable to summon images to the mind’s eye after coronary angioplasty (Zeman et al., 2010). Following a popular description of our paper  (Zimmer, 2010), we were contacted by over twenty individuals who recognised themselves in the article’s account of ‘blind imagination’, with the important difference that their imagery impairment had been lifelong. Here we describe the features of their condition, elicited by a questionnaire, and suggest a name – aphantasia - for this poorly recognised phenomenon.

2.  Results
21 individuals contacted us because of their lifelong reduction of visual imagery. We explored the features of their condition with a questionnaire devised for the purpose and the Vividness of Visual Imagery Questionnaire  (VVIQ) (Marks, 1973)  (see supplementary material  for further details). Participants typically became aware of their condition in their teens or twenties when,  through conversation or reading,  they realised that most people who ‘saw things in the mind’s eye’, unlike our participants, enjoyed a quasi-visual experience. 19/21 were male. 5/21 reported affected relatives. 10/21 told us that all modalities of imagery were affected.  Our participants rating of imagery vividness was significantly lower than that of 121 controls (p<.001,  Mann  Whitney  U test  –  see Figure 1). Despite their substantial (9/21) or complete (12/21) deficit in voluntary visual imagery,  as judged by the VVIQ, the majority of participants described involuntary imagery. This could occur during wakefulness, usually in the  form of  ‘flashes’ (10/21)  and/or during dreams (17/21). Within  a  group of participants who reported no imagery while completing the  VVIQ, 10/11 reported involuntary imagery during wakefulness and/or dreams, confirming a significant dissociation between voluntary and involuntary imagery (p<.01,  McNemar Test).  Participants  described a varied but modest effect on mood and relationships.  14/21  participants reported difficulties with autobiographical memory. The same number  identified compensatory strengths in verbal, mathematical and logical domains. Their successful performance in a task that would normally elicit imagery  –  ‘count how many windows there are in your house or apartment’  -was achieved by drawing on what participants described as ‘knowledge’, ‘memory’ and ‘subvisual’ models.

3.  Discussion
φαντασία, phantasia, is the classical Greek term for imagination, defined by Aristotle as the ‘faculty/power by which a  phantasma  [image or mental representation] is presented to us’ (Aristotle, 1968).  We propose the use of the term ‘aphantasia’ to refer to a condition of reduced or absent voluntary imagery. Terms used previously in related contexts include ‘defective revisualisation’  (Botez, Olivier, Vezina, Botez, & Kaufman, 1985)  and ‘visual irreminiscence’ (Nielsen, 1946).

Sceptics could claim that aphantasia is itself a mere fantasy: describing our inner lives is difficult and undoubtedly liable to error (Hurlburt & Schwitzgebel, 2007). We suspect, however, that aphantasia will prove to be a variant of neuropsychological functioning akin to synaesthesia (Barnett & Newell, 2008) and to congenital prosopagnosia (Gruter, Gruter, Bell, & Carbon, 2009). Indeed, aphantasia may have some specific relationship to these disorders, as congenital prosopagnosia is associated with unusually low (Gruter et al., 2009), and synaesthesia with unusually high (Barnett & Newell, 2008), VVIQ scores.

The participants described here were self-selected and some of our findings, such as the male predominance, may reflect the  readership of a science magazine like  Discover. There is a need, therefore, for further study in a more representative sample. The existence of lifelong ‘aphantasia’ raises numerous additional questions. How commonly does  congenital aphantasia occur? Existing data suggest a frequency of around 2% but there is no fully reported large scale study. The evidence of familial occurrence should be investigated further. Does  congenital  aphantasia have objective neuropsychological associations? Correlations between  imagery vividness and cognitive functioning have been elusive in the past, but recently developed measures of autobiographical memory  (Levine, Svoboda, Hay, Winocur, & Moscovitch, 2002), imaginative thinking  and ‘visual-object intelligence’  (Blazhenkova & Kozhevnikov, 2010) open up new avenues for exploration. Personality and mood may also be relevant variables.  Are there subtypes of congenital aphantasia? The descriptions given by our participants suggest that in some cases visual memory is preserved even if visual imagery is absent, while others may rely entirely on non-visual representations in memory tasks; the relationship between aphantasia and congenital prosopagnosia also deserves further study. If, as we hypothesise,  the absence or reduction of visual imagery has neural correlates, can we discover these? We are optimistic that modern structural and functional brain imaging may help to answer questions about the nature of visual imagery that were first posed in ancient Greece and first quantified at Sir Francis Galton’s breakfast table over a hundred years ago.

Reposted byscienceowlyouarenhalsharseel
Sydney Padua: The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Computer. Pantheon, April 2015, 320 pages, ISBN 978-0-307-90827-8.
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June 22 2015

Reposted byastronomygrouptentacleguyLogHiMamondkroeteMrCoffebesenp856lvckstf
The camo surface of the Death Star damaged by some wearout holes.
Reposted byastronomygrouptentacleguyp856
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