I'm Amber and I'm from Ireland. This is a blog mostly about physics but with some other interesting things thrown in. So if you have an interest (as I do) in astrophysics, particle physics, theoretical physics, mathematics, technology and other science related topics, then I invite you to follow my blog.

 

Debunking the Myers-Briggs personality test

i-want-a-callisto:

"Several analyses have shown the test is totally ineffective at predicting people’s success in various jobs, and that about half of the people who take it twice get different results each time," Stromberg writes.

Stromberg says one of the key flaws to the test is that it relies on “limited binaries”. Most humans, he says, fall along a spectrum and are not easily classified into opposite choices. People aren’t exclusively extroverts or introverts - and where they fall on the spectrum can fluctuate widely based on how they are feeling at the moment.

Personal favourite quote:

"It’s 2014. Thousands of professional psychologists have evaluated the century-old Myers-Briggs, found it to be inaccurate and arbitrary, and devised better systems for evaluating personality. Let’s stop using this outdated measure - which has about as much scientific validity as your astrological sign - and move on to something else.”

(Source: briangefrich)

zerostatereflex:

What is DNA?

This BBC explainer video does a wonderful job telling us.

We, and every other living thing on Earth, are connected.

ageofdestruction:

hex: Saturn’s north pole, photographed by Cassini, 3rd April 2014.
The hexagon is an atmospheric vortex, the shape apparently created by interaction of winds circling the pole at different speeds. Each side of the hexagon is about 13,800km long, wider than Earth.
10 images taken over about a quarter of a Saturnian day, which is about 10 hours and 40 minutes long.
Image credit: NASA/JPL/SSI. Animation: AgeOfDestruction.

ageofdestruction:

hex: Saturn’s north pole, photographed by Cassini, 3rd April 2014.

The hexagon is an atmospheric vortex, the shape apparently created by interaction of winds circling the pole at different speeds. Each side of the hexagon is about 13,800km long, wider than Earth.

10 images taken over about a quarter of a Saturnian day, which is about 10 hours and 40 minutes long.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/SSI. Animation: AgeOfDestruction.

Anonymous asked
a length 550cm of thin thread wraps around a cylinder exactly 25 times. calculate the circumference and radius of the cylinder...

To get the circumference just divide the length of the thread by the number of times it wraps around the cylinder i.e. 550/25 = 22cm

To get the radius you first need to get the diameter of the cylinder. You can get this by dividing the circumference by the constant pi (3.1415926…) i.e. 22/π ≈ 7cm

since the diameter is 7cm, then the radius must be half that = 3.5cm

Fact of the day

procyonsuniverse:

How long a star can stay shining depends on how massive it is - but it probably works the opposite way to how you’d expect! Even though less massive stars have a lot less hydrogen fuel to burn*, they still last much longer than more massive stars. How does that work?

It’s all because more massive stars have stronger gravity, which pulls them in tighter and compresses the core more. This raises temperatures and pressures in the star’s core, causing the nuclear fusion which powers the star to happen faster - much faster. More massive stars have more fuel, then, but they’re burning it much, much faster than less massive stars are, and will run out sooner. It’s a bit like a spendthrift millionaire spending all his money in one go vs. a careful student carefully budgeting every penny she spends. The millionaire will go broke faster.

The Sun has a predicted lifetime of around 11 billion years or so (so it has another 6 or so billion years left), but very massive stars (~40 times the mass of the Sun) can only live for one million years! And the least massive stars - tiny, dim, red dwarf stars only 80 times more massive than Jupiter - can stay shining for over a trillion years! That’s far, far longer than the age of the Universe, which means the earliest red dwarfs to form after the Big Bang are still with us and will be around long after our Sun is gone - and after several new generations of Sun-like stars have been able to form, live their lives and die as well!

androgynouskelly:

What are the ingredients of an “all natural” banana?
Thanks to I F-ing Hate Pseudoscience 

Just to make this entirely clear (the quotation marks on the “all natural” confused me) this is literally what a natural banana contains. These aren’t dangerous, synthetic chemicals, (not that synthetic chemicals are automatically dangerous), but they are found in nature and are perfectly safe in the context of a banana. The point of this image is to show that just because a substance may have an off-putting name, it doesn’t make it dangerous 
Be aware of chemophobia and make sure you don’t fall into the trap! 

androgynouskelly:

What are the ingredients of an “all natural” banana?

Thanks to I F-ing Hate Pseudoscience 

Just to make this entirely clear (the quotation marks on the “all natural” confused me) this is literally what a natural banana contains. These aren’t dangerous, synthetic chemicals, (not that synthetic chemicals are automatically dangerous), but they are found in nature and are perfectly safe in the context of a banana. The point of this image is to show that just because a substance may have an off-putting name, it doesn’t make it dangerous 

Be aware of chemophobia and make sure you don’t fall into the trap! 

CERN to switch to Comic Sans

oplik:

From today, all of CERN’s official communication channels are switching to exclusive use of the font Comic Sans. The move comes after weeks of deliberation by CERN management and top web designers about how best to update the image of the laboratory for this, its 60th anniversary year.  
"This is an important year for CERN and we wanted to make a bold visual statement," says CERN Head of Communications James Gillies.

"We thought the most effective way to communicate our research into the fundamental structure of matter at the very boundaries of technology was by changing the font." For Gillies, Comic Sans says: ‘This is a serious laboratory, with a serious research agenda.’ - "And it makes the letters look all round and squishy," he adds.

(Source: astronemma)

The universe does not behave according to our pre-conceived ideas. It continues to surprise us.

Stephen Hawking (via we-are-star-stuff)

(Source: inthenoosphere)

we-are-star-stuff:

As we now know the Earth is round. Therefore, the challenge of any world map is to represent a round Earth on a flat surface. There are literally thousands of map projections and each has certain strengths and corresponding weaknesses, but the one you’re now picturing in your head most likely isn’t the area accurate representation.
The most widely used map today is the Mercator projection map. Mercator maps often appear in businesses, in libraries and in classrooms where geography is taught. This popularity is surprising, given the fact that the Mercator projection was first constructed in 1569. The more accurate representation of land mass is the Peters Projection Map:

Here’s a direct representation of the previously assumed factual map with the real flattened version:

The Peters Projection Map shows how Africa is larger than the combination of China, the US, Western Europe, India, Argentina, three Scandinavian countries and the British Isles. 
Mercator maps show Europe as being larger than South America. In reality, South America is almost twice the size of Europe. Alaska appears to be three times larger than Mexico, although Mexico actually is larger than Alaska. Greenland looks roughly the same size as Africa, when, in fact, Africa is fourteen times larger than Greenland. Africa also looks considerably smaller than Russia, even though Africa is actually 33% larger.
To see how big the western countries have become, it’s hard to see how this has nothing to do with suppression; to make us believe they are ‘bigger’ and ‘on top’. A simple change in the look of a map can cause a reconsideration of your fixed ideas about a place.
Bonus:
The world turned upside down.
Who says North is up?

we-are-star-stuff:

As we now know the Earth is round. Therefore, the challenge of any world map is to represent a round Earth on a flat surface. There are literally thousands of map projections and each has certain strengths and corresponding weaknesses, but the one you’re now picturing in your head most likely isn’t the area accurate representation.

The most widely used map today is the Mercator projection map. Mercator maps often appear in businesses, in libraries and in classrooms where geography is taught. This popularity is surprising, given the fact that the Mercator projection was first constructed in 1569. The more accurate representation of land mass is the Peters Projection Map:

Here’s a direct representation of the previously assumed factual map with the real flattened version:

The Peters Projection Map shows how Africa is larger than the combination of China, the US, Western Europe, India, Argentina, three Scandinavian countries and the British Isles. 

Mercator maps show Europe as being larger than South America. In reality, South America is almost twice the size of Europe. Alaska appears to be three times larger than Mexico, although Mexico actually is larger than Alaska. Greenland looks roughly the same size as Africa, when, in fact, Africa is fourteen times larger than Greenland. Africa also looks considerably smaller than Russia, even though Africa is actually 33% larger.

To see how big the western countries have become, it’s hard to see how this has nothing to do with suppression; to make us believe they are ‘bigger’ and ‘on top’. A simple change in the look of a map can cause a reconsideration of your fixed ideas about a place.

Bonus:

distant-traveller:

2012 VP113: A new furthest known orbit in the solar system

What object has the furthest known orbit in our Solar System? In terms of how close it will ever get to the Sun, the new answer is 2012 VP113, an object currently over twice the distance of Pluto from the Sun. Pictured above is a series of discovery images taken with the Dark Energy Camera attached to the NOAO’s Blanco 4-meter Telescope in Chile in 2012 and released last week. The distant object, seen moving on the lower right, is thought to be a dwarf planet like Pluto. Previously, the furthest known dwarf planet was Sedna, discovered in 2003. Given how little of the sky was searched, it is likely that as many as 1,000 more objects like 2012 VP113 exist in the outer Solar System. 2012 VP113 is currently near its closest approach to the Sun, in about 2,000 years it will be over five times further. Some scientists hypothesize that the reason why objects like Sedna and 2012 VP113 have their present orbits is because they were gravitationally scattered there by a much larger object — possibly a very distant undiscovered planet.

Image credit: S. S. Sheppard (CIS) & C. Trujillo (Gemini Obs.), NOAO

distant-traveller:

2012 VP113: A new furthest known orbit in the solar system

What object has the furthest known orbit in our Solar System? In terms of how close it will ever get to the Sun, the new answer is 2012 VP113, an object currently over twice the distance of Pluto from the Sun. Pictured above is a series of discovery images taken with the Dark Energy Camera attached to the NOAO’s Blanco 4-meter Telescope in Chile in 2012 and released last week. The distant object, seen moving on the lower right, is thought to be a dwarf planet like Pluto. Previously, the furthest known dwarf planet was Sedna, discovered in 2003. Given how little of the sky was searched, it is likely that as many as 1,000 more objects like 2012 VP113 exist in the outer Solar System. 2012 VP113 is currently near its closest approach to the Sun, in about 2,000 years it will be over five times further. Some scientists hypothesize that the reason why objects like Sedna and 2012 VP113 have their present orbits is because they were gravitationally scattered there by a much larger object — possibly a very distant undiscovered planet.

Image credit: S. S. Sheppard (CIS) & C. Trujillo (Gemini Obs.), NOAO

(Source: apod.nasa.gov)

s-c-i-guy:

Women in Science Interactive

Women in Science, a new interactive tool, presents the latest available data for countries at all stages of development. Produced by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, the tool lets you explore and visualize gender gaps in the pipeline leading to a research career, from the decision to get a doctorate degree to the fields of research women pursue and the sectors in which they work.

[Source]

The press still thinks [global warming] is controversial. So they find the 1% of the scientists and put them up as if they’re 50% of the research results. You in the public would have no idea that this is basically a done deal and that we’re on to other problems, because the journalists are trying to give it a 50/50 story. It’s not a 50/50 story. It’s not. Period.

Neil deGrasse Tysonpodcast interview (via fourteendrawings)

(Source: )