April 21 201411·01 pm3,619 notes

sciencesoup:

Living Fossils

Located in Hamelin’s Pool, a shallow area of Shark Bay in Western Australia, these odd formations aren’t rocks—they’re stromatolites, and they were built over millennia by single-celled cyanobacteria (also known as blue-green algae). 4,000 to 6,000 years ago, a huge bank of seagrass began to block the tidal flow into Hamelin’s Pool, which meant that the water became twice as salty as the open ocean. Animals like snails and chitons that would usually feed on the algae couldn’t survive, so the blue-green algae began to flourish. Gathered in colonies, they trapped sediment with their sticky surface coatings. This sediment reacted with calcium carbonate in the water and formed limestone, essentially creating a living fossil—this limestone is alive, its top surface layer teeming with active cyanobacteria. The limestone builds up slowly at a rate of about 1mm per year. The stromatolites in Shark Bay are estimated to be between 3,000 and 2,000 years old, but they’re similar to life forms in Precambrian times, 3.5 billion years ago, at the dawn of complex organisms. There are over 50 kinds of cyanobacteria in Shark Bay, and one is thought to have descended from an organism that lived nearly 2 million years ago, making it a part of one of the longest biological lineages.

(Image Credit: 1, 2)

(via sci-universe)

Whatever Happened to Yelena Belova?

fuckyeahblackwidow:

image
Bixby: Wait…that’s it? You didn’t even tell me your name. Who are you?
Yelena: I’m the Black Widow.

Yelena Belova came into comics in 1999, after a decade of pouches and ediger, contemporary replacement heroes. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the miniseries which crashed Yelena to Natasha also returned her to the 1970 all-blacks and half-bouffant, after near to two decades of short, angular hairstyles. Yelena had her middriff bare, Yelena used rifles instead of gadgets, Yelena was very 1999. She was also post-Soviet, young and hungry. Natasha was getting older, getting old; that 1999 mini saw her pass a birthday unremarked and unremembered. It also gave her an archfoe, something she hadn’t had for a while.

Yelena Belova was all these hard worn comic book trope: the edgy nineties replacement, the dark mirror. But because she was the Black Widow, none of that was colored in binaries. Natasha didn’t want to defend her codename— she wanted to save Yelena from it. Yelena wasn’t only the villain— she was also the wronged.

Read More

strix-alba:

congragulation:

just precisely how bad was 1500s jerusalem at making maps, you ask? well,

image

no no no but you don’t understand this is actually a really interesting example of the different priorities of modern-day western culture versus medieval europe!

there were different types of maps in the 1500s and some of them were actually used for navigation and accuracy but others (like this one, although this is particularly abstract) were conceptual maps of the world, used to locate things metaphorically rather than giving their actual locations relative to each other. It happened in medieval Europe to a degree that is really bizarre by our standards because we are post-renaissance people of science!

but really religious and conceptual metaphors were much more important than factual accuracy to your average person, who might travel but was probably not going to be globetrotting on a yearly basis. they had maps that were accurate as best they could get, which was pretty damn good. and you can see on most maps from the medieval period: jerusalem was always at the center, no matter what, because jerusalem was the spiritual center of the world and therefore should be represented as the physical center of the world as well! the rest of the world is important, yeah, but it’s only important in relation to jerusalem, which is why you just get three petals representing the continents. they’re there, yeah, but they shouldn’t be the focus of your attention.

basically it’s a conceptual map of the world that highlights the importance of jerusalem to a highly judeo-christian society and prioritizes theological accuracy over physical accuracy and if you don’t think that’s super fucking interesting then you’re entitled to your opinion but you’re wrong.

lacigreen:

daisiesforprudence:

rubyreed:

A few of my favorite activities.

i like how they put capitalism in fun letters

i rly need this framed on my wall
April 21 201401·47 am137,920 notes

lacigreen:

daisiesforprudence:

rubyreed:

A few of my favorite activities.

i like how they put capitalism in fun letters

i rly need this framed on my wall

(via callmekhayleesi)

April 18 201411·18 pm12 notes

yellowperil:

nomlings:

The Nomlings are ready for their closeups!

Still working my way around Zbrush’s render passes, but I think these turned out well. Love the zdepth pass!