"...sweet smile and mind of steel."
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A young Jewish refugee with her Chinese playmates. Shanghai, China (x)

Between 1933 and 1941, it is estimated that 20,000 Jews escaped persecution by fleeing to the Chinese port of Shanghai. Shanghai was one of the few places in the world that would accept Jewish refugees at this time, Japan being another.

i am furious that i am just now learning about this important fact.

Because it has nothing to do with the USA being the superhero and saving all the Jews


Two Alien Planets With Endless Oceans - Unlike Anything in our Solar System

“These planets are unlike anything in our solar system. They have endless oceans,” said lead author Lisa Kaltenegger of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy and the CfA.

“There may be life there, but could it be technology-based like ours? Life on these worlds would be under water with no easy access to metals, to electricity, or fire for metallurgy. Nonetheless, these worlds will still be beautiful, blue planets circling an orange star — and maybe life’s inventiveness to get to a technology stage will surprise us.”

These two “Water World” planets orbit the star Kepler-62. This five-planet system has two worlds in the habitable zone — the distance from their star at which they receive enough light and warmth that liquid water could theoretically exist on their surfaces. Modeling by researchers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) suggests that both planets are water worlds, their surfaces completely covered by a global ocean with no land in sight.

Kepler-62 is a type K star slightly smaller and cooler than our sun. The two water worlds, designated Kepler-62e and -62f, orbit the star every 122 and 267 days, respectively. They were found by NASA’s Kepler spacecraft, which detects planets that transit, or cross the face of, their host star. Measuring a transit tells astronomers the size of the planet relative to its star.

Kepler-62e is 60 percent larger than Earth, while Kepler-62f is about 40 percent larger, making both of them “super-Earths.” They are too small for their masses to be measured, but astronomers expect them to be composed of rock and water, without a significant gaseous envelope.

As the warmer of the two worlds, Kepler-62e would have a bit more clouds than Earth, according to computer models. More distant Kepler-62f would need the greenhouse effect from plenty of carbon dioxide to warm it enough to host an ocean. Otherwise, it might become an ice-covered snowball.

“Kepler-62e probably has a very cloudy sky and is warm and humid all the way to the polar regions. Kepler-62f would be cooler, but still potentially life-friendly,” said Harvard astronomer and co-author Dimitar Sasselov.

“The good news is — the two would exhibit distinctly different colors and make our search for signatures of life easier on such planets in the near future,” he added.

“Imagine looking through a telescope to see another world with life just a few million miles from your own. Or, having the capability to travel between them on a regular basis. I can’t think of a more powerful motivation to become a space-faring society,” said Sasselov.

Kaltenegger and Sasselov’s research has been accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal.






Parrot caught singing let the bodies hit the floor

I was so done when it whispered…I would shit bricks if I heard that when I got up to get a drink in the middle of the night…

“Let the bodies hit the….FLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOR!!!”

oh my god he’s so into it





Grey Peacock-Pheasant (Polyplectron bicalcaratum) of southeast Asia.

yo why didnt i know about these

Wow man forget regular peacocks this thing is magical.

Mehndi (or henna painting) in India is a very important part of the wedding ritual and ceremony. As the story goes, the deeper the color obtained on the skin, the longer the love between the couple will last; hence the belief that a proper mehndi application is tantamount to a prayer to the gods for everlasting love and a successful marriage. 



Today I caught the rainbow in my cat’s ear

all my years of blogging have led me to this moment i can officially close now

Track: Lisztomania +
Artist: Phoenix
Album: Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix


Basket Star - Astrocladus cf. euryale

Basket stars are a group of ophiuroids (Ophiuroidea - Euryalida - Gorgonocephalidae) in which the five arms are very branched. Most of them remain hidden during the day but come out at night, extending their arms into the water to trap food particles.

The Basket Star Astrocladus euryale (in the photos) is a species native to South Africa, whose arms are branched successively and are covered with pale spots. Sometimes this Basket star is commonly referred to as Gorgon’s Head.

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: ©Andrew Taylor | South Africa (2006-2007) | [Top] - [Middle] - [Bottom]


A mite attack, preserved for the ages

A parasite that bit into an ant’s head and rode its host to a sticky doom millions of years ago has been preserved in a dime-sized piece of amber. The fossil, reported online today in Biology Letters, is the first of a mite from a group whose species commonly plague today’s ants, bees, and wasps. Purchased from a collector who unearthed the gem somewhere in the Baltics, the tiny chunk of amber is probably somewhere between 44 million and 49 million years old. The mite (the large, tick-shaped blob at upper right, above the ant’s head) is one of only 14 known fossils from a group known as Laelapidae, whose modern relatives often live among fallen leaves on the forest floor and parasitize ants. (They’re rare in the fossil record because they’re typically preserved only when they hitch a ride into the trees on a host unfortunate enough to become trapped in oozing resin.) Further study of this gruesome specimen—and others possibly sitting undiscovered in museum drawers worldwide, the researchers say—might provide more information about the origin and evolution of such parasitic mites. That’s of interest because one of this group’s closest modern relatives is the varroa mite, a devastating parasite that afflicts honey bees worldwide.

via science.org

| image: J. Dunlop/Museum für Naturkunde Berlin