Tunnel Vision

Through the eyepiece of an optical telescope, you see something right in front of you, and your brain says, there it is: a jellybean, four feet away. Of course, Neptune is 17 times the mass of Earth and far-flung as it gets, but that doesn’t compute. It might be the farthest thing you’ll ever see, but it looks so close, and in the absence of contextual clues, the ordinary functioning of perspective fires and misses.

And so your awe is self-inflicted. Your awe is one you name to yourself. You almost have to say it out loud, “that’s Neptune,” forcing the cognitive dissonance into place. Once there, accepting that your mind has seen farther than biological limitation is its own challenge; the implications take their time unfolding.

Astronomer Claire L. Evans on viewing planets through telescope. Complement with a flipside of sorts – astronauts on the psychology of cosmic awe when looking at Earth from space.

Also see: A naked-eye tour of the night sky.

(via explore-blog)

(Source: )


staceythinx:

Darkened Cities by Thierry Cohen imagines the starry skies we’d see in urban areas if we turned off all the lights.
About the project:


Before these pictures can exist, the sky from one place has to be superimposed upon cityscape from another. It is impossible to see this detail in the night sky above a city. Atmospheric and light pollution combine to make looking into the urban sky like looking past bright headlights while driving.
By travelling to places free from light pollution but situated on precisely the same latitude as his cities, Cohen obtains skies which, as the world rotates about its axis, are the very ones visible above the cities a few hours earlier or later. To find the right level of atmospheric clarity, Cohen has to go into the wild places of the earth, the Atacama, the Mojave, the western Sahara.
As more and more of the world’s population becomes urban, and as we lose our connection with the natural world, so it becomes plain that damage is caused by light pollution. There may be connections to certain cancers, and there are psychological burdens of permanent day. The ‘city that never sleeps’ is made up of millions of individuals breaking natural cycles of work and repose. Lose sight of the sky, and you become a rat in a lab.
Cohen hasn’t simply shown us the skies that we’re missing. His cities look dead under the fireworks display above No lights in the windows, no tracers of traffic. They are (in fact) photographed in daylight, when lights shine out less brightly. In urban mythology the city teems with energy and illumines everything around it. Cohen’s pictures are crafted to say the opposite. These are cold cities, cut off from the seemingly infinite energies above.


staceythinx:

Darkened Cities by Thierry Cohen imagines the starry skies we’d see in urban areas if we turned off all the lights.
About the project:


Before these pictures can exist, the sky from one place has to be superimposed upon cityscape from another. It is impossible to see this detail in the night sky above a city. Atmospheric and light pollution combine to make looking into the urban sky like looking past bright headlights while driving.
By travelling to places free from light pollution but situated on precisely the same latitude as his cities, Cohen obtains skies which, as the world rotates about its axis, are the very ones visible above the cities a few hours earlier or later. To find the right level of atmospheric clarity, Cohen has to go into the wild places of the earth, the Atacama, the Mojave, the western Sahara.
As more and more of the world’s population becomes urban, and as we lose our connection with the natural world, so it becomes plain that damage is caused by light pollution. There may be connections to certain cancers, and there are psychological burdens of permanent day. The ‘city that never sleeps’ is made up of millions of individuals breaking natural cycles of work and repose. Lose sight of the sky, and you become a rat in a lab.
Cohen hasn’t simply shown us the skies that we’re missing. His cities look dead under the fireworks display above No lights in the windows, no tracers of traffic. They are (in fact) photographed in daylight, when lights shine out less brightly. In urban mythology the city teems with energy and illumines everything around it. Cohen’s pictures are crafted to say the opposite. These are cold cities, cut off from the seemingly infinite energies above.


staceythinx:

Darkened Cities by Thierry Cohen imagines the starry skies we’d see in urban areas if we turned off all the lights.
About the project:


Before these pictures can exist, the sky from one place has to be superimposed upon cityscape from another. It is impossible to see this detail in the night sky above a city. Atmospheric and light pollution combine to make looking into the urban sky like looking past bright headlights while driving.
By travelling to places free from light pollution but situated on precisely the same latitude as his cities, Cohen obtains skies which, as the world rotates about its axis, are the very ones visible above the cities a few hours earlier or later. To find the right level of atmospheric clarity, Cohen has to go into the wild places of the earth, the Atacama, the Mojave, the western Sahara.
As more and more of the world’s population becomes urban, and as we lose our connection with the natural world, so it becomes plain that damage is caused by light pollution. There may be connections to certain cancers, and there are psychological burdens of permanent day. The ‘city that never sleeps’ is made up of millions of individuals breaking natural cycles of work and repose. Lose sight of the sky, and you become a rat in a lab.
Cohen hasn’t simply shown us the skies that we’re missing. His cities look dead under the fireworks display above No lights in the windows, no tracers of traffic. They are (in fact) photographed in daylight, when lights shine out less brightly. In urban mythology the city teems with energy and illumines everything around it. Cohen’s pictures are crafted to say the opposite. These are cold cities, cut off from the seemingly infinite energies above.


staceythinx:

Darkened Cities by Thierry Cohen imagines the starry skies we’d see in urban areas if we turned off all the lights.
About the project:


Before these pictures can exist, the sky from one place has to be superimposed upon cityscape from another. It is impossible to see this detail in the night sky above a city. Atmospheric and light pollution combine to make looking into the urban sky like looking past bright headlights while driving.
By travelling to places free from light pollution but situated on precisely the same latitude as his cities, Cohen obtains skies which, as the world rotates about its axis, are the very ones visible above the cities a few hours earlier or later. To find the right level of atmospheric clarity, Cohen has to go into the wild places of the earth, the Atacama, the Mojave, the western Sahara.
As more and more of the world’s population becomes urban, and as we lose our connection with the natural world, so it becomes plain that damage is caused by light pollution. There may be connections to certain cancers, and there are psychological burdens of permanent day. The ‘city that never sleeps’ is made up of millions of individuals breaking natural cycles of work and repose. Lose sight of the sky, and you become a rat in a lab.
Cohen hasn’t simply shown us the skies that we’re missing. His cities look dead under the fireworks display above No lights in the windows, no tracers of traffic. They are (in fact) photographed in daylight, when lights shine out less brightly. In urban mythology the city teems with energy and illumines everything around it. Cohen’s pictures are crafted to say the opposite. These are cold cities, cut off from the seemingly infinite energies above.


staceythinx:

Darkened Cities by Thierry Cohen imagines the starry skies we’d see in urban areas if we turned off all the lights.
About the project:


Before these pictures can exist, the sky from one place has to be superimposed upon cityscape from another. It is impossible to see this detail in the night sky above a city. Atmospheric and light pollution combine to make looking into the urban sky like looking past bright headlights while driving.
By travelling to places free from light pollution but situated on precisely the same latitude as his cities, Cohen obtains skies which, as the world rotates about its axis, are the very ones visible above the cities a few hours earlier or later. To find the right level of atmospheric clarity, Cohen has to go into the wild places of the earth, the Atacama, the Mojave, the western Sahara.
As more and more of the world’s population becomes urban, and as we lose our connection with the natural world, so it becomes plain that damage is caused by light pollution. There may be connections to certain cancers, and there are psychological burdens of permanent day. The ‘city that never sleeps’ is made up of millions of individuals breaking natural cycles of work and repose. Lose sight of the sky, and you become a rat in a lab.
Cohen hasn’t simply shown us the skies that we’re missing. His cities look dead under the fireworks display above No lights in the windows, no tracers of traffic. They are (in fact) photographed in daylight, when lights shine out less brightly. In urban mythology the city teems with energy and illumines everything around it. Cohen’s pictures are crafted to say the opposite. These are cold cities, cut off from the seemingly infinite energies above.


staceythinx:

Darkened Cities by Thierry Cohen imagines the starry skies we’d see in urban areas if we turned off all the lights.
About the project:


Before these pictures can exist, the sky from one place has to be superimposed upon cityscape from another. It is impossible to see this detail in the night sky above a city. Atmospheric and light pollution combine to make looking into the urban sky like looking past bright headlights while driving.
By travelling to places free from light pollution but situated on precisely the same latitude as his cities, Cohen obtains skies which, as the world rotates about its axis, are the very ones visible above the cities a few hours earlier or later. To find the right level of atmospheric clarity, Cohen has to go into the wild places of the earth, the Atacama, the Mojave, the western Sahara.
As more and more of the world’s population becomes urban, and as we lose our connection with the natural world, so it becomes plain that damage is caused by light pollution. There may be connections to certain cancers, and there are psychological burdens of permanent day. The ‘city that never sleeps’ is made up of millions of individuals breaking natural cycles of work and repose. Lose sight of the sky, and you become a rat in a lab.
Cohen hasn’t simply shown us the skies that we’re missing. His cities look dead under the fireworks display above No lights in the windows, no tracers of traffic. They are (in fact) photographed in daylight, when lights shine out less brightly. In urban mythology the city teems with energy and illumines everything around it. Cohen’s pictures are crafted to say the opposite. These are cold cities, cut off from the seemingly infinite energies above.


staceythinx:

Darkened Cities by Thierry Cohen imagines the starry skies we’d see in urban areas if we turned off all the lights.
About the project:


Before these pictures can exist, the sky from one place has to be superimposed upon cityscape from another. It is impossible to see this detail in the night sky above a city. Atmospheric and light pollution combine to make looking into the urban sky like looking past bright headlights while driving.
By travelling to places free from light pollution but situated on precisely the same latitude as his cities, Cohen obtains skies which, as the world rotates about its axis, are the very ones visible above the cities a few hours earlier or later. To find the right level of atmospheric clarity, Cohen has to go into the wild places of the earth, the Atacama, the Mojave, the western Sahara.
As more and more of the world’s population becomes urban, and as we lose our connection with the natural world, so it becomes plain that damage is caused by light pollution. There may be connections to certain cancers, and there are psychological burdens of permanent day. The ‘city that never sleeps’ is made up of millions of individuals breaking natural cycles of work and repose. Lose sight of the sky, and you become a rat in a lab.
Cohen hasn’t simply shown us the skies that we’re missing. His cities look dead under the fireworks display above No lights in the windows, no tracers of traffic. They are (in fact) photographed in daylight, when lights shine out less brightly. In urban mythology the city teems with energy and illumines everything around it. Cohen’s pictures are crafted to say the opposite. These are cold cities, cut off from the seemingly infinite energies above.

staceythinx:

Darkened Cities by Thierry Cohen imagines the starry skies we’d see in urban areas if we turned off all the lights.

About the project:

Before these pictures can exist, the sky from one place has to be superimposed upon cityscape from another. It is impossible to see this detail in the night sky above a city. Atmospheric and light pollution combine to make looking into the urban sky like looking past bright headlights while driving.

By travelling to places free from light pollution but situated on precisely the same latitude as his cities, Cohen obtains skies which, as the world rotates about its axis, are the very ones visible above the cities a few hours earlier or later. To find the right level of atmospheric clarity, Cohen has to go into the wild places of the earth, the Atacama, the Mojave, the western Sahara.

As more and more of the world’s population becomes urban, and as we lose our connection with the natural world, so it becomes plain that damage is caused by light pollution. There may be connections to certain cancers, and there are psychological burdens of permanent day. The ‘city that never sleeps’ is made up of millions of individuals breaking natural cycles of work and repose. Lose sight of the sky, and you become a rat in a lab.

Cohen hasn’t simply shown us the skies that we’re missing. His cities look dead under the fireworks display above No lights in the windows, no tracers of traffic. They are (in fact) photographed in daylight, when lights shine out less brightly. In urban mythology the city teems with energy and illumines everything around it. Cohen’s pictures are crafted to say the opposite. These are cold cities, cut off from the seemingly infinite energies above.


jtotheizzoe:

Can plants grow leaves up, roots down … in space?
Some new space science is helping to answer that. A plant experiment recently done on the International Space Station showed that plants do not need gravity in order to grow normal root patterns and send their leaves up toward the light. They grow more slowly, but as long as they have a light source above them, they are able to orient their direction of growth just fine (contrary to previous research).
We’ve all seen a houseplant grow toward the light, right? This is a phenomenon called positive phototropism. The microgravity experiment showed that when a plant senses light, it not only grows toward it but sends its roots the other way. The root effect is called negative phototropism, and it seems to be enough to get a normal looking plant in space.
Of course it’s not that simple, right? Nope. On Earth, it turns out that gravity does help, and plant roots have these dense little “molecular weights” that are pulled down by gravity and help a new seed orient the roots downward. They’re really cool. So it looks like, for now, that Earth plants use a combination of gravity and light to orient upleaves from downroots, and space plants can do almost as gooda  job with light alone.
Bring on the space gardens! Whole Foods Lunar Base by 2020!! Would that count as organic?
(if you want to dig deep into the space plant biology, here’s the original paper) View Larger

jtotheizzoe:

Can plants grow leaves up, roots down … in space?

Some new space science is helping to answer that. A plant experiment recently done on the International Space Station showed that plants do not need gravity in order to grow normal root patterns and send their leaves up toward the light. They grow more slowly, but as long as they have a light source above them, they are able to orient their direction of growth just fine (contrary to previous research).

We’ve all seen a houseplant grow toward the light, right? This is a phenomenon called positive phototropism. The microgravity experiment showed that when a plant senses light, it not only grows toward it but sends its roots the other way. The root effect is called negative phototropism, and it seems to be enough to get a normal looking plant in space.

Of course it’s not that simple, right? Nope. On Earth, it turns out that gravity does help, and plant roots have these dense little “molecular weights” that are pulled down by gravity and help a new seed orient the roots downward. They’re really cool. So it looks like, for now, that Earth plants use a combination of gravity and light to orient upleaves from downroots, and space plants can do almost as gooda  job with light alone.

Bring on the space gardens! Whole Foods Lunar Base by 2020!! Would that count as organic?

(if you want to dig deep into the space plant biology, here’s the original paper)


vicemag:

You’ve probably heard a little bit about the top secret experiment the Army conducted during the Cold War. A room glowing flourescent blue, with an unwitting soldier seated in the middle. A doctor wearing horn-rimmed glasses and smoking a cigarette walks in with a syringe. He mutters something softly as the needle goes into the soldier’s arm. Cut to the outside of the building and the sound of breaking glass, as the soldier’s body falls to the ground. (Pro tip: Stay away from windows when experimenting with LSD.) That’s what it’s like in the movies, anyway.
Turns out these experiments were worse in real life. Raffi Khatchadourian’s sprawling exposée on the Army’s psychochemical warfare program in this week’s New Yorker details the collective confusion and chaos that took hold of the armed forces as they imagined the worst during the Cold War. The program was underwritten by an utter disregard for human dignity and medical ethics: Many of the young soldiers who volunteered for the program weren’t told anything about the medical tests they would undergo at Edgwood Arsenal, the Army’s classified facility on the Chesapeke Bay. And many say they were scarred for life after what happened to them inside.


Read the rest over at the new Motherboard.VICE.com.



View Larger

vicemag:

You’ve probably heard a little bit about the top secret experiment the Army conducted during the Cold War. A room glowing flourescent blue, with an unwitting soldier seated in the middle. A doctor wearing horn-rimmed glasses and smoking a cigarette walks in with a syringe. He mutters something softly as the needle goes into the soldier’s arm. Cut to the outside of the building and the sound of breaking glass, as the soldier’s body falls to the ground. (Pro tip: Stay away from windows when experimenting with LSD.) That’s what it’s like in the movies, anyway.

Turns out these experiments were worse in real life. Raffi Khatchadourian’s sprawling exposée on the Army’s psychochemical warfare program in this week’s New Yorker details the collective confusion and chaos that took hold of the armed forces as they imagined the worst during the Cold War. The program was underwritten by an utter disregard for human dignity and medical ethics: Many of the young soldiers who volunteered for the program weren’t told anything about the medical tests they would undergo at Edgwood Arsenal, the Army’s classified facility on the Chesapeke Bay. And many say they were scarred for life after what happened to them inside.


vicemag:

I Spoke to the Author of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill
David Bahati’s anti-homosexuality bill, which, depending on who you ask, may or may not included language that would sentence gay people to death and a bunch of other stuff that sets society back by about 200 years, is due to be tabled in Uganda’s Parliament any day now. This, obviously, is terrible news for gay people in Uganda and human rights in general.
Clare Byarugaba, co-coordinator of the Civil Society Coalition for Human Rights and Constituional Law (CSHRCL), is mentally exhausted with the “mind-fuck” of checking parliament’s order papers every day, and pessimistic. “Hope for gay rights in Uganda is like expecting corruption in Uganda to end. It will never end. The population is behind the bill and MPs go with the majority.”
I recently met up with Morgan, Bad Black, and Joseph, friends I made in August while covering the country’s first Gay Pride, and they’re terrified about the consequences of the bill passing. They have already been chased out of the one-room house they all shared in the Bwaise slum because the police believe that they’re “recruiting” young people into homosexuality. The issue of “recruitment” is one of the Ugandan government’s principal concerns, with David Bahati telling Clare that he believes homosexuality is an addiction and that people, particularly children, are lured into it. 
It took David two weeks to get back to me, but the day before I left Uganda, he granted me an interview.

VICE: Hi David. Can you run me through this bill?David Bahati: The bill basically has four components. The first component is to outlaw homosexuality. The second component is about the emerging issues within homosexuality we’ve seen over time, including the promotion of it. The bill also concentrates on the inducement of children. There’s no law that stops same-sex marriage, so we want to outlaw and prohibit it and see rehabilitation and counselling for the victims of this grave, evil practice. 
Has the death penalty been taken out?Yes. [NB: according to Clare Byarugaba / CSCHRCL the bill that will be tabled still has the death penalty in.]
What evidence has been taken to the Legal Affairs Committee that people are recruiting children into homosexuality?The committee has considered the bill and passed it and got all the necessary information it needed to make a decision. We have abundant evidence of what is happening in our community—parents and children have come to us. We’re in the business of defending the family between man and woman, as the holy scripture and Qur’an dictates. 
What research is the bill based on? We have enough information about how our society works. Family is between man and woman. Anything beyond that should be outlawed. Most of the research we have is just from life. My mom was with my dad. I know the Bible and the Qur’an are against homosexuality. When an anal organ is used for things it’s not supposed to be used for, it’s hazardous. I don’t need to be taught anything beyond that. 
Continue View Larger

vicemag:

I Spoke to the Author of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill

David Bahati’s anti-homosexuality bill, which, depending on who you ask, may or may not included language that would sentence gay people to death and a bunch of other stuff that sets society back by about 200 years, is due to be tabled in Uganda’s Parliament any day now. This, obviously, is terrible news for gay people in Uganda and human rights in general.

Clare Byarugaba, co-coordinator of the Civil Society Coalition for Human Rights and Constituional Law (CSHRCL), is mentally exhausted with the “mind-fuck” of checking parliament’s order papers every day, and pessimistic. “Hope for gay rights in Uganda is like expecting corruption in Uganda to end. It will never end. The population is behind the bill and MPs go with the majority.”

I recently met up with Morgan, Bad Black, and Joseph, friends I made in August while covering the country’s first Gay Pride, and they’re terrified about the consequences of the bill passing. They have already been chased out of the one-room house they all shared in the Bwaise slum because the police believe that they’re “recruiting” young people into homosexuality. The issue of “recruitment” is one of the Ugandan government’s principal concerns, with David Bahati telling Clare that he believes homosexuality is an addiction and that people, particularly children, are lured into it. 

It took David two weeks to get back to me, but the day before I left Uganda, he granted me an interview.

VICE: Hi David. Can you run me through this bill?
David Bahati: The bill basically has four components. The first component is to outlaw homosexuality. The second component is about the emerging issues within homosexuality we’ve seen over time, including the promotion of it. The bill also concentrates on the inducement of children. There’s no law that stops same-sex marriage, so we want to outlaw and prohibit it and see rehabilitation and counselling for the victims of this grave, evil practice. 

Has the death penalty been taken out?
Yes. [NB: according to Clare Byarugaba / CSCHRCL the bill that will be tabled still has the death penalty in.]

What evidence has been taken to the Legal Affairs Committee that people are recruiting children into homosexuality?
The committee has considered the bill and passed it and got all the necessary information it needed to make a decision. We have abundant evidence of what is happening in our community—parents and children have come to us. We’re in the business of defending the family between man and woman, as the holy scripture and Qur’an dictates. 

What research is the bill based on? 
We have enough information about how our society works. Family is between man and woman. Anything beyond that should be outlawed. Most of the research we have is just from life. My mom was with my dad. I know the Bible and the Qur’an are against homosexuality. When an anal organ is used for things it’s not supposed to be used for, it’s hazardous. I don’t need to be taught anything beyond that. 

Continue