Saturday, February 11, 2012

Under the Microscope


The human body is an amazing instrument with the ability to heal itself from a variety of different maladies. A T cell (depicted in the video above) is one of the immune system's responses to external threats. These cells identify and attack diseased cells in order to eradicate them from the host's body. A cytotoxic T cell, which is what the above cell is classified as, exists with the single purpose of going around looking for cancerous cells, whereupon is eradicates them without causing any damage to the healthy cells in the area.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Vastness of the Universe

How big is the Universe? Well, what do you want to compare it to? After all, it's all relative. It's interesting to note that between the Planck length and the size of the known universe, humans (magnitude 100) are at about 65%, which means we're pretty huge.

A website developed by Cary Huang called Scale of the Universe allows for an interactive experience, whereupon the user can scroll in and out, all the way from Quantum Foam to the very edges of the observable universe.

I love the diversity of objects included, and the animations and text descriptions round out the experience nicely. It's an awe inspiring depiction of humans and our impact, but also of the limitations of what we know and can experience.

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Earth at Night

This is an image of the world at night, thanks to NASA's Visible Earth, 2001. The various colors that can be seen are city lights, natural gas flares, wildfires, and lights from fishing fleets. (Disclaimer: Obviously, this is a compiled image since the earth is never all dark at once, nor is it flat...)