Twenty Years Ago Today the World Wide Web Went Public
Twenty years ago today, something happened that changed the digital world forever: CERN published a statement that made the technology behind the World Wide Web available to use, by anybody, on a royalty free basis.
That decision, pushed forward by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, transformed the internet, making it a place where we can all freely share anything and everything—from social media updates, through streamed music, to YouTube videos of cats. It has fundamentally shaped the way we communicate.
To celebrate the momentous occasion of 20 years ago, CERN—the same guys behind all those experiments at the Large Hadron Collider—has republished its very first website at its original URL. It’s not much to look at—but it’s a fine reminder of just how much the web has changed in the past twenty years.
In fact, the republishing of that site is part of a broader project to excavate and preserve a whole host of digital gems that remain from the inception of the web. You can go read a lot more about the project over on CERN’s site.
It is super weird to me that I am older than the internet.
It’s even weirder to me that there are people in high school who didn’t experience the 90’s. The 90’s were such a magical time full of hand drawn cartoons and colourful fashions.
The 90’s were like the metaphorical childhood of todays culture. It was awkward and we did strange things but we loved it because we were young.
I feel old now.
“Naki’o, a mixed breed dog from Nebraska, has become the first dog fitted with four prosthetic limbs. This strange achievement was accomplished by US company Orthopets, which specializes in artificial pet limbs. Naki’o lost his limbs and part of his tail to frostbite when he was abandoned in a cellar as a puppy, but now, thanks to a successful operation, he can run and play freely like other dogs.”
White Blue Peacock
This bird is a crossbreed between blue and white peacocks. The result is one spectacular creature.
wow, I haven’t seen such a dramatic display of genetic mosaicism before.
It’s a Shiny Pokemon.
Piano notes made visible for the first time
Music is beautiful isn’t it? The team at CymaScope visualized the dynamic sounds of the piano’s first strike and the eventual plateau and decay phase of different notes. You can listen to the sounds here and watch as the geometric shapes come to life.
Cymascope - Sound Made Visible
Did you see my post about piano notes as visualized via the Cymascope last week? Now with hypnotic animations!
I love when our senses combine to illuminate something that would otherwise be invisible, or worse, ignored. A reminder of the limitations of our senses, and an artistic nod to synesthesia.
Follow that with another example of sound made visible: Beautiful Chladni lines.
Click on the link and play!!! So cool to watch the note fade.
Nikola Tesla’s home and laboratory, Long Island, NY.
- The official name of a “Rollie Pollie” or “Pill bug” is Armadillidiidae (As in “armadillo”, a relation to the way both creatures roll up in armored balls as a defense mechanism)
- Pill bugs are crustaceans, not insects.
- They breathe through gills (but will not survive while completely submerged in water)
- They don’t urinate
- They can drink with their anus
- They eat their own feces
- When sick, they turn bright blue
- Their blood is blue
They can drink with their anus
An illustration from the 1840s of surgeon James Young Simpson and his friends who would spend evenings together sampling new chemicals to see if they had any anaesthetic effect. Simpson discovered the anaesthetic properties of chloroform and successfully introduced it for medical use where it quickly replaced ether as the anaesthetic of choice.
It’s almost like they’re RIGHT HERE.
Don’t you tell me to shush, Chuck. We have a lot to talk about. I have so many questions.
Yesterday on the train I read Scientific American’s special report on parallel universes. Briefly: they ain’t science fiction. They’re theoretical, of course, but at least some of the theories are at this point pretty darned solid and make sense of increasingly huge heaps of data.
There are several kinds. Level I multiverses are simply areas of space so far away we haven’t seen them yet. Space only has so many different types of subatomic particles, and a limited number of ways in which they can combine. By limited I mean confoundingly huge…but space is infinite. Eventually, you’re going to get repeats: exact copies of all our friendly, neighbourhood subatomic particles, organized the same way. Somewhere, bogglingly far away, there’s an identical version of you, reading an identical blog post by me. Somewhere slightly closer to home, there’s a another you, but genderswapped and wearing a pince-nez. Infinite universe, infinite rolls of the dice.
Level II multiverses are much like level I, except on an even bigger scale. Cosmological inflation theory posits that all the busy little level one multiverses are suspended like bubbles in an even bigger, but mostly empty volume, nucleating like raindrops in a cloud. During nucleation, variations in quantum fields change the physical constants of these multiverses, such as the strength of electromagnetism, and the number of their observable space and time dimensions. (Yeah, you know how we’ve got three dimensions over here? Apparently that’s out of an available nine.). So these buddies are a lot like us: the same laws of nature apply; they’re just a little wonky (to use a highly technical term).
Level III is quantum mechanical. Sliding Doors. A good, old scifi staple. Briefly, every time you make a decision (keep reading/close the tab; blow on your tea/burn your tongue), you split into multiple copies of yourself, one for each outcome. None of your alter egos is aware of the next; you notice the branching merely as a slight randomness, an awareness of a possibility. Or, explained from a different perspective, with each decision, you choose to inhabit one of multiple preexisting copies of yourself: quantum theory states that all possible conditions coexist simultaneously. What our brains interpret as the passage of time is actually us hopping madly from universe to universe. Now you are in universe A, the one in which you are reading this sentence. Now you are in universe B, in which you are reading this other sentence. Everybody around you is hopping, too, and so are all the identical yous and all the aliens, pachyderms, and buckyballs in every level I and II multiverse in the stew pot.
And level IV? Level IV multiverses are…mathematics. Math describes the world. But mathematicians have discovered more elegant, immutable, provable mathematical structures than can describe our own physical world. Why should this be? Why this apparent asymmetry in the fabric of reality? Why would this math exist if it’s not good for anything? One theory suggests, “Well, what if all mathematical structures do exist physically, just not here? What if each corresponds to a parallel universe that exists outside of time and space?” Studying and categorizing these structures, which embody laws of physics completely different from ours, help us refine our search for the equations that describe home sweet home.
Why should fandom care? Well, mostly because science is cool. But also? It means our stories are real. Quite literally. Every course of events and configuration of particles, every decision and every outcome you can possibly imagine is, in an infinite universe, occurring right now. Kurt and Blaine? Somewhere, incomprehensibly far off, they’re as solid as you and I, and muddling through snowstorms and love. Somewhere slightly off to the left, they’ve already been married for eighty years. We’ll never meet them, and nor will our descendants, because, among other problems, the multiverse is expanding faster than it’s possible to travel though it. But they’re out there.
They’re making up stories about you.
The official White House response to a petition to secure resources and funding, and begin construction of a Death Star by 2016:
By Paul Shawcross
The Administration shares your desire for job creation and a strong national defense, but a Death Star isn’t on the horizon. Here are a few reasons:
- The construction of the Death Star has been estimated to cost more than $850,000,000,000,000,000. We’re working hard to reduce the deficit, not expand it.
- The Administration does not support blowing up planets.
- Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?
However, look carefully (here’s how) and you’ll notice something already floating in the sky—that’s no Moon, it’s a Space Station! Yes, we already have a giant, football field-sized International Space Station in orbit around the Earth that’s helping us learn how humans can live and thrive in space for long durations. The Space Station has six astronauts—American, Russian, and Canadian—living in it right now, conducting research, learning how to live and work in space over long periods of time, routinely welcoming visiting spacecraft and repairing onboard garbage mashers, etc. We’ve also got two robot science labs—one wielding a laser—roving around Mars, looking at whether life ever existed on the Red Planet.
Keep in mind, space is no longer just government-only. Private American companies, through NASA’s Commercial Crew and Cargo Program Office (C3PO), are ferrying cargo—and soon, crew—to space for NASA, and are pursuing human missions to the Moon this decade.
Even though the United States doesn’t have anything that can do the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs, we’ve got two spacecraft leaving the Solar System and we’re building a probe that will fly to the exterior layers of the Sun. We are discovering hundreds of new planets in other star systems and building a much more powerful successor to the Hubble Space Telescope that will see back to the early days of the universe.
We don’t have a Death Star, but we do have floating robot assistants on the Space Station, a President who knows his way around a light saber and advanced (marshmallow) cannon, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which is supporting research on building Luke’s arm, floating droids, and quadruped walkers.
We are living in the future! Enjoy it. Or better yet, help build it by pursuing a career in a science, technology, engineering or math-related field. The President has held the first-ever White House science fairs and Astronomy Night on the South Lawn because he knows these domains are critical to our country’s future, and to ensuring the United States continues leading the world in doing big things.
If you do pursue a career in a science, technology, engineering or math-related field, the Force will be with us! Remember, the Death Star’s power to destroy a planet, or even a whole star system, is insignificant next to the power of the Force.
Paul Shawcross is Chief of the Science and Space Branch at the White House Office of Management and Budget
Similar to the last video: My friend Drakavai recorded two sunset videos at a beach in Center Moriches last night, and it wasn’t until he got home and rewatched them that he discovered these weird objects.
In this video, watch from the very beginning, right side, top 1/3 of the video. This one moves right to left. Again, this doesn’t look like an airplane contrail to me.
Does it look like a meteor, or fireball to anyone else? If so, TWO IN ONE NIGHT, seriously? What’s that about?
Does anyone have any opinions, or suggestions?
My friend Drakavai recorded two sunset videos at a beach in Center Moriches last night, and it wasn’t until he got home and rewatched them that he discovered these weird objects. In this one, watch from about 10 seconds in, right in the center of the video, above the flare from the sunset. This one moves from left to right. (You can see it better on full screen.)
It’s not a plane, because they leave a longer contrail, right? So WTF is this? A meteor? If so, there were TWO of them. I’ll post the second video in a minute.
someone studying atoms is just atoms trying to understand themselves
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