Thursday, January 17, 2013

From Smallpox to HIV: 6 Glass Sculptures of Colorless Deadly Viruses



Deadly viruses such as Smallpox, E.coli and HIV have claimed the lives of hundreds of millions of people but they always seem to have these fantastically vivid colors, right? Well, not exactly. As opposed to what we're used to see on TV and in the movies, viruses are actually colorless as they are simply smaller than the wavelength of light. British artist Luke Jerram thought that's just isn't right, so, since around 2004 he has been making his own representations of viruses, alternative to the artificially colored imagery we are used to receive through the media.


Jerram's sculptures are made in collaboration with glassblowers Kim George, Brian Jones and Norman Veitch and are designed in consultation with virologists from the University of Bristol, using scientific photographs and models. The following are 6 scientifically accurate glass representations of deadly viruses created by Luke Jerram. For more about Jerram and his amazing artwork check out the above BBC video or visit lukejerram.com.

[1] Smallpox



[2] T4 Bacteriophage Virus



[3] HIV



[4] E.coli



[5] Swine Flu



[6] Untitled Future Mutation



CultHats to IFeakingLoveScience

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Our New Normal: 9 Reasons to Get Up About Global Warming



GetUp, an independent community advocacy organisation aiming to "build a more progressive Australia by giving everyday Australians the opportunity to get involved and hold politicians accountable on important issues" has published this Infographics titled 'Our New Normal' with some alarming facts about the status of global warming. Here are 9 reasons why it's actually all of us, not just Australians, who need to get up:

  • 1. The hottest average maximum temperature ever recorded across Australia – 40.33 degrees, was set on Monday surpassing the old record of 40.17 °C set in 1976. (Bureau of Meteorology) 
  • 2. The number of consecutive days where the national average maximum daily temperature exceeded 39°C has also been broken this week—seven (7) days (between 2–8 January 2013), almost doubling the previous record of four (4) consecutive days in 1973, (BOM) 
  • 3. According to the National Climate Data Centre, nine of the 10 hottest years on record have been since 2000 (the other is 1998). 
  • 4. While temperatures vary on a local and regional scale, globally it has now been 27 years since the world experienced a month that was colder than average. "If you’re 27 or younger, you’ve never experienced a colder-than-average month" - Philip Bump, Grist, November 16, 2012. 
  • 5. The CSIRO has found Australian annual average daily maximum temperatures have steadily increased in the last hundred years, with most of the warming trend occurring since 1970. 
  • 6. The Bushfire CRC (Cooperative Research Centre) says large areas of southern Australia, from the east coast to the west coast, face “above average fire potential” in the summer of 2012-13. According to the Climate Institute extreme fire danger days are expected to rise more than 15 per cent in south-eastern Australia. 
  • 7. The last four months of 2012 - globally - were the hottest on record. (British Met Office) and 2012 was the hottest year the continental United States of America has ever recorded.("2012 Was the Hottest Year in U.S. History. And Yes - It's Climate Change", Bryan Walsh, TIME 8 January, 2013). 
  • 8. The hot-dry trend is expected to continue, with the Climate Commission predicting large increases in the number of days over 35°C this century. 
  • 9. Around the world, 2013 could be the hottest ever recorded by modern instrumentation, according to a recent study by Britain’s Met Office. If that turns out to be accurate, 2013 would surpass the previous record, held jointly by 2005 and 2010.

Not convinced yet? Check out the GetUp site.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Lunar Calendar 2013: Never Miss a Full Moon


Want to keep tabs on the moon this year? Check out the spectacular lunar calendar for the year of 2013 and never miss a full moon. Designed by Evans & Sutherland, a provider of fulldome digital theater systems and producer of fulldome shows, Lunar Calendar 2013 is available for free download as a PDF. You can also purchase a printed version on the company's Cafepress store. Image credit: Evans & Sutherland.