We chatted with legendary astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson on extraterrestrial life and more.
Popular Science: Would you rather have a jetpack or flying car?
Neil deGrasse Tyson: What I would rather have is a transportation system that requires neither: a wormhole.
PS: What incredible thing will we see in our lifetime?
NDT: I think that we will know whether or not there’s life on planets other than Earth. And I think the best location would be on Mars or on Jupiter’s moon Europa.
PS: When we find life on other planets, is it going to come and eat us?
NDT: No. People’s first thought every time scientists discover something new is, “Oh, my gosh, you created a virus, so there’s gonna be a killer virus.” I’m not more afraid of something I might find on Mars than I am of a polar bear who’s pissed off because his ice floe is melting.
Read the rest of the Q&A here.
The quest for a national cash for containers recycling scheme has got under the skin of a couple of Inner West high school students and budding artists from Sydney.
Isobel Baker, 14, from Dulwich High School of Visual Arts and Design created this fantastic CHOKE sculpture. She explains:
When planning my major artwork for Year 8 I thought about the amount of rubbish floating in the Cooks River in Marrickville. Local environment groups like the Mudcrabs think refunds on plastic bottles will help reduce the pollution.
When I heard that the Coca-Cola company had challenged the Northern Territory’s recycling scheme in court I decided to use culture jamming to draw attention to the need for a container deposit scheme.
I love that the word COKE can be simply changed to CHOKE and that this describes what their bottles are doing to our environment.
Just down the road, 15 year old Latifah Jackson-Vaughan from Canterbury Girls High School lives right on the Cooks River. Latifah took a discarded plastic water bottle on a trip around the world:
I made my video about plastic bottle pollution in our oceans and waterways because it is a cause I am very passionate about and I wanted to share the message of sustainable rubbish practices with my school, Canterbury Girls.
I am part of the environmental group there, and as the majority of the school is not very informed about the plastic issue, we are trying to improve their understanding. Our school is now becoming more aware and we are helping to reduce the plastic bottle waste that we produce as a whole.
The teacher who organised our green group was very invested and supportive of us. He was the one who suggested that I make the video.
We now sell no coke products (due to them opposing the cash for container scheme) or any water bottles. Instead we have a filtered water fountain, which is a massive improvement from previous years at Canterbury Girls.
Biology: Alternation of Generations: Angiosperms
Daffodils, 5 March 2014, Bartram’s Garden.
sam the beekeeper -
roughly five years ago, when i was twelve or thirteen, i convinced my pa to drive me a few hours upstate to meet a beekeeper. i had spend the year prior studying, researching, learning and soaking in all i could about honey bees. i had binders filled with notes and a decent collection of books, all about honey bees and how to care for them. i was
fascinatedobsessed with them.
pa drove me to meet this beekeeper so i could buy a box of honey bees from him. they smelled of smoke and honey and hummed quietly among themselves, sealed in the darkness. the beekeeper’s name was sam and he was probably around his twenties with a scraggly beard. he was really young for a beekeeper. he wore all loose, white clothing and a straw that hat hid his eyes from the white sun. he had a smoker but barely used it, the bees were humming happily about him, like they were intoxicated with his presence. he was very gentle and kind. there were mounds of dried mud, bricks and sticks on some of the white boxes and that was how he reminded himself of what was wrong with certain hives. he used less invasive tactics and no chemicals with his bees. it was so simple, so natural. i didn’t understand a lot of what he said because he was very soft-spoken so i wandered around as he rambled passionately to my pa. i later found out that sam told my pa about how he often slept under the stars with his honey bees. dad was perplexed as to why one would sleep out in the open like that (with bees!) but it made perfect sense to me.
fast-foward: i was just talking pretty passionately about honey bees to j, raving about them really. then i thought of sam and realized just how radical he is. how he preferred living simply than with all ‘modern’ ways of mainstream and didn’t need much to get by. he was a huge influence on me when i was much younger and still is, despite the fact i barely remember meeting him. he reminded me that i can still be a beekeeper. i don’t need much, land isn’t even necessary. i can still be a beekeeper. looking forward to see where this flow carries me.
These breathtaking gifs of different species of blooming flowers are from a time-lapse video shot by Japanese artist Yutaka Kitamura. Entitled Touched by Stra…
I dunno what it is about plant gifs, but they are keeping me mesmerized.
Requiem with a marginal dragonfly
book of hours, Bruges or Ghent 15th century.
Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, MS 287, fol. 161v