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Sea Slug Penises, Tentacle Porn, And Other Terrible Sci-Blog Things

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I am Not an Alien!Hi there, Wonkeratti! We Interrupt your Normal Programing for another weekly excursion into – Science! It’s highly likely that Your Estimable Editrix will see the error of her ways fairly soon and we will return to your Regularly Scheduled Rude Snark, Wife Beating, Troll Harpooning and Diplomacy.
Please stand by.

So, what is it that you all know about the Sun?

You know it’s the closest Star to Earth –  nominally 93 million miles away – and it provides a nicely constant, predictable flow of light and warmth and makes almost all life here possible? And that it’s a middle aged, calm, comfortably Main-Sequence spectral class G2 hydrogen furnace that’s the center point of our solar system right?

Well, no matter what you may know, it’s easy to forget exactly how much more complex and remarkable than a simple ball of fire Old Sol is. What you need to do is look closely, with the right kind of specially shielded eyes, and you will see utterly astounding things. Look, and you begin to realize just what kind of a magnificent and almost living entity we live next to:  a practically perfect sphere of incandescent plasma, convection cells, spikes and flares interwoven with incredibly strong magnetic fields, where impossibly violent, extremely incongruous events happen as a matter of course.

For instance – did you know that it rains on the Sun? Oh, but not any kind of rain you’ve ever imagined. Watch what happens when a medium sized solar flare interacts with one of the vast looping magnetic field structures in the solar atmosphere. Behold the Plasma Rain on the Sun, in all its Magnetohydronamically Driven Glory.

Video courtesy NASA’s Goddard Spaceflight Center.

I am a VulgarianWell Wonketteers, in spite of my heartfelt plea over at Wonkville for you to deluge the SETI Institute’s online “Name Pluto’s Moons” poll with “TruckNutz” and “Buttsechs,” the Trekkies have gone and won with the name “Vulcan.” And Shatner was involved! Aren’t you ashamed of yourselves?

It would be so very easy and comforting to abandon all of our worry, relax and follow the few solidly Corporate-supported and astoundingly well-funded Pipers down the Garden Path of Anthropogenic Climate Change Denial. Really, who wants to believe that we’re facing a series of global catastrophes very soon, if we don’t make several critical changes in how our Civilization operates. Changes, it seems, that very powerful organizations are determined not to even acknowledge. So much simpler to follow the pretty Garden Path and the soothing music.

It’s just too dammed bad that the International community of professional Atmospheric scientists, Climatologists and Geophysicists,  with their peer-reviewed science, supercomputer mathematical models and experimental verification, are busily sketching in the blank spaces on the Map of exactly where this Garden Path of Denial is leading us. And it’s becoming apparent to everyone – who isn’t paid to think otherwise –  that this path could very well be one that none of us would ever come back from. Here then, are a trio of the latest of those unsettling sights sketched out for our immediate future:

  • Anton Vaks and his colleagues at the University of Oxford in the UK have reconstructed the history of the Siberian permafrost going back 500,000 years. They have extrapolated these characteristics into our warming future and found we’re nearing a catastrophic warming tipping point in the Russian Arctic.
  • Scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) said on Monday that they have identified a physical mechanism behind the extreme weather that has plagued many parts of the world in recent years—–and that it is tied to Climate Change
  • Researchers from France’s National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) have published a study in the journal Science definitively linking rising atmospheric CO2 levels with past melting of the Antarctic ice sheets.

  • Slugs! He created slugs!By Popular Demand, here is the heartwarming Valentine’s Day story, found and posted to Wonkville by none other than our own Mumbletypeg. It’s a lovely tale of a humble Sea Slug and his Detachable Penis.

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    Show Me Your AcronymAlso under Threat by Popular Demand, from actor212 and imissopus, the frightening story of the huge ravenous introduced species that’s devastating Lake Tahoe’s aquatic ecosystem – the domestic Goldfish. One of the best things about this story is it’s provided me with my New Favorite Acronym for the Tahoe Invasion Team Scientists.

    awshitThe meteor that exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia, was probably the most video recorded impact in human history. Now Astronomers, using collected video footage have back traced the object’s entry path and computed its trajectory and orbital plane within the solar system. They’ve determined that it’s part of the Apollo family of near-Earth asteroids. This means that there’s a whole lot more of them out there.

    We can't swim here! This is bat country!Ok now, here is a story that’s destined to become a terrible SyFy Saturday Night B-Movie: Documentarians capture vampire bats on video feeding on juvenile penguins. Cheepnis!

    Bulbous, also tapered.Lastly, all you Gentle Readers didn’t seriously think that you’d get away without a Cephalopod Story today, did you?

    Well, that’s probably enough blog damage from me for today. It’s hard to believe Your Editorial Staff have given this space over to such a Fish Head, but look at me now.

    Hey! It’s the End of the Post as we know it, but I feel Fine.

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