[syndicated profile] badastronomy_feed

Posted by Phil Plait

As I make my final preparations for my eclipse travels (rural western Wyoming, if you’re curious) I’m hearing stories that are making me very unhappy: Some school districts across the country are telling children to stay inside during the eclipse, out of fear they’ll damage their eyes.

Let me be clear: Schools, administrators, teachers, parents: Don’t do this. YOU CAN LET THE KIDS SEE THE ECLIPSE. You just have to be safe about it.

I understand the reasoning behind this fear. Looking at the Sun without protecting your eyes can in fact damage them (more on that in a sec), and there are some companies selling fake eclipse glasses, ones that say they are rated for safety but aren’t*.

Given that, worrying over the safety of the vision of schoolchildren is natural. However, forbidding them from seeing the eclipse is overkill, and completely unnecessary.

First, a great number of eclipse glasses are fine. The American Astronomical Society has a list of vendors known to be safe. If the ones you have are on that list you should be okay. If not, you can perform some easy tests to see if they work or not, and again the AAS has you covered (rule of thumb: if you can see anything — an LED, a bright light bulb, anything — except the Sun through them, they are not safe).

My friend Stephen Ramsden, who runs the Charlie Bates Solar Astronomy Project (he travels all over the American southeast showing people the Sun through his incredible suite of telescopic equipment), has a page up on Facebook with descriptions and pictures of some glasses that aren’t up to snuff. I suggest following him there for updates. He has also personally given away thousands of glasses from Rainbow Symphony; I have some of these and I like them. If you got your glasses from Stephen, you’re good to go.

Second, and this is very important too, you only need to protect your eyes during the partial phase of the eclipse. That’s from when the Moon first starts to edge into the Sun’s face until it completely blocks the solar surface. Totality, when the Sun is completely blocked, is perfectly safe to look at, even with binoculars or other equipment. That lasts about two minutes; check your local listings.

When totality ends — the Moon slips off the face of the Sun — you need to have protection on again (it’s even more important at this point, because when the eclipse is total your pupils will open up to let in more light, so when totality ends that flash of light can do even more damage). To be safe, give yourself plenty of padding in time near the end of totality. Give it a good 20 seconds or so before the end to stop looking.

pinhole projection of an eclipse

My friend Anne Wheaton literally punched a pen nib through a paperboard ticket to project an eclipse from 2012 onto a friend's jacket. Credit: Anne Wheaton

Third, you don’t even have to look at the eclipse directly to enjoy it! You can very easily make a pinhole projector, which will magnify the image of the Sun and project it onto a piece of paper. This costs almost literally nothing (two sheets of paper and a thumbtack), protects your eyes, lets you enjoy the eclipse when it’s partial, and is also educational! It’s also fun: The kids can punch a bunch of holes to make patterns, spell their name, create a cartoon character, whatever. My friend Emily Lakdawalla has a fantastic worksheet online on how to do this (it’s even been translated into multiple languages).

So I implore you, please, please, please don’t prevent your kids from seeing this eclipse! It’s a wonder of nature, a chance to learn science, a chance for them to have fun, and a chance for them to stretch their imaginations. These are all things we must encourage in them, and the Universe is giving us a gorgeous chance to do all of that at the same time.

* Let me be clear about that: Any person who knowingly sells fake eclipse glasses is a piece of human filth. They could be hurting tens or hundreds of thousands of people, including kids. There is no circle of Hell painful enough for these monsters.


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A woman uses safe eclipse glasses to view the partial solar eclipse over Greece in 2015. Credit: Shutterstock / Ververidis Vasilis
[syndicated profile] whedonesque_feed


IFC Center in New York is having multiple screenings of "Rebel in the Rye," written and directed by Danny Strong (with Adam Busch in a small role). There will be Q&As with the filmmaker at most screenings.

conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly posting in [community profile] metaquotes
It should be pretentious and snobbish to say: “Sure I eat hot dogs, I have homemade mustard and homemade lingonberry ketchup on it”. Then to take the DIY philosophy serious you have to make the hot dog yourself.

Context sounds delicious!
[syndicated profile] science_blog_feed

Posted by ScienceBlog.com

Researchers in New York have induced mice to run and lose control of their extremities on demand by activating small groups of cells in their brains via magnetism. So-called magneto-thermal stimulation allows for a remote, ... Read more

[syndicated profile] bruce_schneier_feed

Posted by Bruce Schneier

Watch a brittle star catch a squid, and then lose it to another brittle star.

As usual, you can also use this squid post to talk about the security stories in the news that I haven't covered.

Read my blog posting guidelines here.


Aug. 18th, 2017 09:16 pm
[syndicated profile] dailykitten_feed

Posted by Tom "The Kittenmaster" Cooper

Please join me in welcoming our newest Star Kit, Leo. He is an 8 week old Maine Coon from Detroit, Michigan.


Little Leo was rescued from high up in a pine tree in a town called Leonard at 7 weeks old. He had no home and was adopted by his current owner.


He is friendly and sweet to everyone he meets, and his energy embodies that of a little lion.


[syndicated profile] science_blog_feed

Posted by ScienceBlog.com

Perhaps their brain-like shape should have been a giveaway. Scientists in Boston have shown that eating walnuts lights up a part of the brain associated with hunger and cravings. The good news is that instead ... Read more

More on My LinkedIn Account

Aug. 18th, 2017 07:14 pm
[syndicated profile] bruce_schneier_feed

Posted by Bruce Schneier

I have successfully gotten the fake LinkedIn account in my name deleted. To prevent someone from doing this again, I signed up for LinkedIn. This is my first -- and only -- post on that account:

My Only LinkedIn Post (Yes, Really)

Welcome to my LinkedIn page. It looks empty because I'm never here. I don't log in, I never post anything, and I won't read any notes or comments you leave on this site. Nor will I accept any invitations or click on any "connect" links. I'm sure LinkedIn is a nice place; I just don't have the time.

If you're looking for me, visit my webpage at www.schneier.com. There you'll find my blog, and just about everything I've written. My e-mail address is schneier@schneier.com, if you want to talk to me personally.

I mirror my blog on my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/bruce.schneier/) and my Twitter feed (@schneierblog), but I don't visit those, either.

Now I hear that LinkedIn is e-mailing people on my behalf, suggesting that they friend, follow, connect, or whatever they do there with me. I assure you that I have nothing to do with any of those e-mails, nor do I care what anyone does in response.

News Post: The Digital Revolution

Aug. 18th, 2017 07:00 pm
[syndicated profile] pennyarcade_feed
Tycho: I love Housemarque - Super Stardust HD is one of my favorite games of all time, and defeating it with Kiko is one of my favorite gaming memories.  I thought Resogun was very good also.  Now they’re dropping this Matterfall shit, and it’s bonkers but I love it too. As an adult, I was surprised and delighted to learn that Hair Metal (I’m aware there are more technical terms, subgenres which begat subgenres, etc.) continued to progress elsewhere in the world after it stopped being a going concern here.  That is the ground Housemarque treads: they make arcade…
[syndicated profile] science_blog_feed

Posted by ScienceBlog.com

Six-hundred-foot waves crashed down on the coasts of Taan Fiord, Alaska after a massive landslide sent more than 100 million tons of rocks into the water on Oct. 17, 2015. Results published this month in ... Read more

[syndicated profile] science_blog_feed

Posted by ScienceBlog.com

When we have a new experience, the memory of that event is stored in a neural circuit that connects several parts of the hippocampus and other brain structures. Each cluster of neurons may store different ... Read more

[syndicated profile] science_blog_feed

Posted by ScienceBlog.com

onday will mark the first coast-to-coast total eclipse in the United States in 99 years and the first total eclipse that can be seen only from American soil in the history of the United States, ... Read more

[syndicated profile] eff_feed

Posted by jmalcolm

The opening round of a series of negotiations over a proposed revised North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) began this week in Washington, D.C. between trade representatives from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Already it is clear that the office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has ignored our specific recommendations (to say nothing of USTR Robert Lighthizer's personal promises) about making the negotiations more open and transparent. Once again, following the failed model of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the USTR will be keeping the negotiating texts secret, and in an actual regression from the TPP will be holding no public stakeholder events alongside the first round. This may or may not set a precedent for future rounds, that will rotate between the three countries every few weeks thereafter, with a scheduled end date of mid-2018.

Although EFF has been keeping an open mind about the agreement until we have a better idea of what it will contain, the secrecy of its first negotiation round augurs poorly for what is to come. Already, the usual copyright lobbyists have descended upon the negotiations, sending a letter to the USTR this week which directly opposes the inclusion of a "fair use" copyright exception in the agreement, as EFF had suggested. This "creative industry" letter relevantly states:

The three-step test strikes the appropriate balance in copyright, and any language mandating broader exceptions and limitations only serves as a vehicle to introduce uncertainty into copyright law, distort markets and weaken the rights of the small and medium businesses and creators we represent. For that reason, we strongly urge USTR to not include “balance” language similar to what appeared in the TPP or any reference to vague, open-ended limitations.

But more than two dozen public interest groups, including EFF, Creative Commons, Public Knowledge, Public Citizen, and OpenMedia, have written a letter of our own, in which we counter this argument and raise some of our own key concerns. Aside from the fact that we have been shamefully shut out of the negotiations, without any opportunity to see the texts that are being negotiated on our behalf, our letter also warns against the inclusion of one-sided copyright and digital trade provisions in NAFTA, such as those that had previously been part of the failed TPP:

We also share concerns about the suitability of trade mechanisms to create prescriptive policies that govern Internet use, cultural sharing and innovation. In general, developments in technology happen quickly, and trade processes that do not keep pace with technological and social advancement may inhibit each of our respective governments from making necessary and appropriate changes to related rules, especially with regard to intellectual property regulations that impact our rights to culture and free expression.

The letter will be delivered to the trade ministries of the three countries today. You can read it in full below.

Quitting smoking? Higher prices help

Aug. 18th, 2017 04:51 pm
[syndicated profile] science_blog_feed

Posted by ScienceBlog.com

Think old folks are set in their ways? Well, yes, they are. But they’re also cheap! And if you want people 44 to 84 to quit smoking, adding a $1 to the cost of a ... Read more

A Posey and Cleo Update!

Aug. 18th, 2017 09:47 am
[syndicated profile] ittybittykitty_feed

Posted by Laurie Cinotto



We had an update on Enzo Framboise last month, and today we're saying hello again to sisters Posey and Cleo!  That's young Posey in the top photo and Cleo below.

Here's what their ma and pa had to say:

Posey and Cleo have grown ever so big and beautiful, and have just passed the one year mark. They're happy, healthy, extremely silly, and have absolutely exquisite soft coats, the likes of which we've never seen. Cleo clocks in at over 12 pounds now, and Posey will surely maintain her smaller stature through adulthood.

The girls have grown into total love bugs, and are just incredibly sweet. They really love each other, too, which is such a joy to behold. At least once a day we'll witness them curl up and tuck in together, often in each other's arms. Adorable!

We're tickled that their tongue bleps still happen, too, though not quite as frequently as when they were tiny. Sparkleballs are still Posey's favorite toys. Cleo loves larger playthings like her Kickeroos, which she'll toss up in the air and throw around as if she were a puppy. And of course, they still love chasing each other and wrestling just like when they were babies.

This video of the Alexanders you posted recently also may have solved a great mystery in our lives. Since the very first night we brought home our dear girls, Cleo found a spot on our hallway wall that she loves to pounce on regularly. We jokingly call her "Trinity" because she'll manage to get all four paws up on the wall, a few feet off the ground, and it reminded us of that early sequence from The Matrix, where Carrie Anne Moss's character runs up the wall in the first action sequence. We were trying for the longest time to figure out where that behavior came from, and the "get that dot" clip above seems to be the answer.

We're so grateful to share our lives with these delightful little beasts. They're ever so loved.

All our best to you and Craig, Charlene, and Wylla. Thanks so much again for all you do!

Warmest regards,

Dan & Erin

What a wonderful update! Thank you so much for taking the time to share the stories and photos of the girls. They are so lovely and loved!

And just so we can see all of the Framboise Family together, here's Enzo.   What stunning tabbies they all are!

SaveSave DSC_6369
[syndicated profile] opengl_news_feed

Sundog Software released version 5.0 of the SilverLining Sky, 3D Cloud, and Weather SDK, featuring support for OpenGL 2.0 through 4.5. SilverLining is a C++ library that simulates real-time skies for any given time, location, and weather conditions. It implements a variety of volumetric rendering techniques to represent many different 3D cloud types in a physically realistic manner from any angle, while maintaining high frame-rates. SilverLining 5 introduces new hand-modeled storm clouds suitable for use in flight simulators. Large, natural-looking cumulonimbus thunderheads and towering cumulus clouds in various stages of development are included. SilverLining integrates into any OpenGL application easily with simple calls to initialize, update, and draw its skies, clouds, and precipitation effects. Integration code for OpenSceneGraph is included. SilverLining is widely used in the training and simulation industry, and powers the popular “SkyMaxx Pro” add-on for the X-Plane flight simulator.

[syndicated profile] science_blog_feed

Posted by ScienceBlog.com

Attention, Donald Trump: Sometimes journalists get it right. That’s the conclusion of security researchers who found a big success in an unlikely place: the “Panama Papers.” The Panama Papers project, you’ll recall, was a year-long ... Read more

[syndicated profile] ittybittykitty_feed

Posted by Laurie Cinotto



Bernadette was a repeat customer. She adopted Ramon (previously known as Ramona and currently known as Hugo) first, then six months later, adopted his buddy/brother Ernest (now Walter).  She sent us a sweet update for us today:

Hugo (Ramon), now 2.5 years old, is the cuddly lap cat that I've always wanted! Whether on the couch or at bedtime, I can always count on Hugo for snuggle time. He also likes to help me pick out my outfit each morning and insists that I pick him up when standing in front of my closet when deciding what to wear for the day.

Walter (Ernest), soon to be 2 years old, is my elusive runner. He likes to cuddle with us, but only after we've showered. He tries to escape to the outside world by darting out the door when we come home and then only goes so far before immediately turning around and running back into the house towards safety. He still really loves his orange pom pom balls from his IBKC days and we find them in the water or food dish. When Walter does decide to let us hold him, he is a purring machine complete with plenty of air biscuits!

Getting a second kitten to keep Hugo company was one of the best decisions I have made! Hugo and Walter play together, snuggle together, and groom each other. They look and act like brothers and get along so well. The two of them sit next to each other at the front window, waiting for us when we get home.

I'm so in love with my fur babies! They are the sweetest cats ever. I personally think they have such great temperaments because they started their lives at IBKC!

I had forgotten about Ernest/Walter's obsession with the orange puffs!  There's a fun post on the subject HERE.

Thank you so much for sharing this update, Bernadette! I'm so glad the boys became such great buddies. Enjoy those sweet peas of yours and tell them we love them!

More to come, folks!



August 2017


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