Are you looking to think outside the box this Christmas?
Look no further than the levitating un-Christmas tree, which features all the aspects of the traditional Christmas tree minus the pine tree itself.
Whether by virtual reality or a Harry Potter magic wand, the ability to minimize a Christmas tree into nakedness is a fascinating concept. As Leonardo Da Vinci said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
PS: If you’re interested in building a floating Christmas tree, you can find the instructions here.
If you’re looking for other creative Christmas tree ideas, look no further than teasing people’s imagination by going through the roof!
Reddit user harpalss used animation software D3 to create a beautiful visualization of the changing patterns of daylight in one year. This is how the user describes it:
Equation to calculate the hours of daylight for a given day of year and latitude can be found here. The animation was built with D3.
Both the northern and southern hemispheres experience longer and shorter days, depending on the time of year. That means less daylight right now (late November) for those in the United States and Canada and longer days for those in South America.
Daytime is shorter in winter than in summer, for each hemisphere. This is because the Earth’s imaginary axis isn’t straight up and down, it is tilted 23.5 degrees. The Earth’s movement around this axis causes the change between day and night.
During summer in the Northern Hemisphere, daylight hours increase the farther north you go. The Arctic gets very little darkness at night. The seasonal changes in daylight hours are small near the Equator and more extreme close to the poles.
You never know when you’ll get a black eye. These tips, as illustrated in the infographic below, may come handy.
While most of the tips seem obvious — use cold compression, take an anti-inflammatory, see the doctor if still bloody — others like massaging the eye and eating pineapple and oranges to reduce swelling come as a surprise.
Ever had a black eye? Tell us on Twitter how you treated it.
Scientists are developing a vaccine to help treat Lyme disease.
Humans can get Lyme disease through the transmission of the Borrelia burgdorferi bacterium from the bite of an infected tick.
Called VLA15, the vaccine works by stimulating the immune system to make antibodies that ward off 6 of the most common types of Lyme-causing bacteria in the tick’s gut.
Valneva, the biotech company in France developing the vaccine, is currently in phase II of testing. Writes the Scientific American:
The Food and Drug Administration gave VLA15 fast-track designation in July 2017. Valneva completed initial safety studies in a Phase 2 clinical trial and, according to a company press release , VLA15 “had no associated safety concerns.” The company is now working to determine the dose. Based on current estimates, Lingelbach said Valneva plans to test the vaccine in a clinical trial of at least 15,000 people, and it should be available in four or five years.
There is a second immunity being developed to prevent Lyme disease as well.
Called Lyme pre-exposure prophylaxis (Lyme PrEP), it works by sending a single antibody as a vaccine and is known to have fewer side effects than the VLA15.
The new vaccines build off the original Lyme disease vaccine called LYMErix developed twenty years ago. But production stopped due to fears of the side effects.
Unlike other viruses, Lyme disease is hard to treat since it pervades the body’s tissue in addition to the blood. Joint pain, heart palpitations, muscle weakness, and confusion are some of the symptoms of Lyme disease.
In a worst-case scenario, the bacteria can even dominate the entire central nervous system, producing disastrous effects on the human body.
“These cities capture the breadth of themes running through civilization, from the re-appropriation of the natural landscape to our unquestioning faith in technology, set in the backdrop of architecture refined in elegance and logic,” writes Di Sturco.
“It is the post-modern city. A vision, or perhaps a mirage, it is a window of opportunities to solve the dilemma of modernity: reconciling economic development and sustainable growth.”
Active regions on the sun combined to look something like a jack-o-lantern’s face on Oct. 8, 2014. The active regions appear brighter because those are areas that emit more light and energy — markers of an intense and complex set of magnetic fields hovering in the sun’s atmosphere, the corona. This image blends together two sets of wavelengths at 171 and 193 angstroms, typically colorized in gold and yellow, to create a particularly Halloween-like appearance.
Writes Engineering Director Hartmut Neven on Google’s blog:
Today, the scientific journal Nature has published the results of Google’s efforts to build a quantum computer that can perform a task no classical computer can; this is known in the field as “quantum supremacy.” In practical terms, our chip, which we call Sycamore, performed a computation in 200 seconds that would take the world’s fastest supercomputer 10,000 years.
IBM has downplayed the innovation saying that the the classical computer can run the same simulation in 2.5 days.
Writes the IBM Research Blog, “We argue that an ideal simulation of the same task can be performed on a classical system in 2.5 days and with far greater fidelity. This is in fact a conservative, worst-case estimate, and we expect that with additional refinements the classical cost of the simulation can be further reduced.”
IBM also said that Google “failed to fully account for plentiful disk storage” in a traditional supercomputer to exaggerate the supremacy of its machine.
Both Google and IBM make valid points, with the objective takeaway being how quantum computing will make its way into everyday tasks and how much more potential there is in classical computing.
Yongqing Bao’s photo of a fox surprising a marmot in the Qilian Mountains in China won the top prize in the 2019 Wildlife Photography Awards.
The photograph entitled “The Moment” is a suitable title of a freeze-frame that foreshadows the fox’s imminent attack.
What makes the marmot’s palpable shock more extraordinary is that the animal had just ventured outside for a hunt of its own after spending 6 months in hibernation.
Writes the Natural History Museum in London which hosts the prestigious annual awards show:
This Himalayan marmot was not long out of hibernation when it was surprised by a mother Tibetan fox with three hungry cubs to feed. With lightning-fast reactions, Yongqing captured the attack – the power of the predator baring her teeth, the terror of her prey, the intensity of life and death written on their faces.
As one of the highest-altitude-dwelling mammals, the Himalayan marmot relies on its thick fur for survival through the extreme cold. In the heart of winter it spends more than six months in an exceptionally deep burrow with the rest of its colony. Marmots usually do not resurface until spring, an opportunity not to be missed by hungry predators.
Check out more of the best wildlife photos of 2019 here.
Have you ever wondered what’s on the other side of the rainbow?
These two videos reveal a stunning full rainbow in their entirety, one from many stories up and the other from the beach.
Rainbows — they are a full circle of light but we typically see the arc because most people view them from ground level.
Take another 360 degrees look of this spectrum of beauty from the sky above.
Yet, even cooler may be seeing a rainbow at night, what’s deemed a “moonbow.” This image was taken by photographer Fred Wilder, who writes:
In the spring around the nights of the full moon when the snow is melting in the mountains, it is possible to see rainbows at night in the mist of waterfalls in Yosemite National Park. These lunar rainbows, to the camera, look like the ones produced by sunlight during the days that are visible to our eyes.
This image was taken during the June full moon at lower Yosemite Falls. It is a combination of 25 x 30-second images to provide the equivalent of 12 1/2 minutes of exposure to show the stars circling the north pole. The camera lens needed to be wiped dry between shots due to the large amount of mist at the base of the waterfall, so the star trails wiggle a little as this moved the camera a bit … I find it really cool that the light of the full moon can produce this rich color at night.
Rainbows can also display as clouds, almost always above a large body of water.
Rainbows, they brighten up the day. Now we just need to find out which side contains the pot of gold.
The history of the price tag goes back to the founding of brick and mortar stores.
Can you imagine having to haggle over everything you bought in a store?
But as businesses got bigger in the 1870s, shopkeepers needed a way to streamline pricing for both sales clerks and customers alike. Two department stores helped pioneer the price tag: Macy’s in New York and Wanamaker’s in Philadelphia.
They adopted the Quaker’s concept of one price on all items, no questions asked. Price tags thus removed the hassle for both stores and the customers.
The price is right, usually
Dynamic pricing still exists though. Whether it’s an Uber surge or last-minute airline tickets to Tahiti, we churn across the internet looking for the best price.