Rosetta will crash into its comet and die on September 30th


Farewell, young spacecraft. The European Space Agency’s Rosetta probe has been surveying Comet 67P (or Churyumov-Gerasimenko) for the past 12 years, and on September 30th it will crash into the space rock and end its mission. Rosetta is nearing the orbit of Jupiter, which means it’s running short on solar power and bandwidth required to downlink necessary data.

We knew this day was coming. In 2011, Rosetta was placed in hibernation mode for 31 months as it traveled to the most distant part of its journey, but in 2014, the ESA discarded attempting another, even longer, hibernation. The probe is currently riding alongside the comet, whose maximum distance from the sun, 850 million km, is farther than Rosetta has ever traveled before. The spacecraft lacks sufficient power to guarantee its heaters would be warm enough to ensure its survival.

On its way down, Rosetta will be able to take once-in-a-lifetime measurements, including high-resolution imaging and other close-up data, the ESA says. Most recently, Rosetta discovered the amino acid glycine, a crucial building block of life, in the dust surrounding Comet 67P.

"We’re trying to squeeze as many observations in as possible before we run out of solar power," ESA Rosetta project scientist Matt Taylor says. "September 30th will mark the end of spacecraft operations, but the beginning of the phase where the full focus of the teams will be on science. That is what the Rosetta mission was launched for and we have years of work ahead of us, thoroughly analyzing its data."

Rosetta follows its companion probe, Philae, onto the comet’s surface. Philae successfully touched down on Comet 67P in 2014, a first for humankind. After a rough landing, Philae collected important information about the comet’s surface and structure, including its potential to support life. The European ground crew routinely lost contact with Philae after its landing, and German space agency DLR officially ended communication attempts with the probe in February of this year.

Landing Rosetta will be tricky, with the first changes to its trajectory coming in August. Scientists are still figuring out the best location to set down Rosetta, but the descent is planned to hit just 50 cm/s, about half of Philae’s landing speed.

"Planning this phase is in fact far more complex than it was for Philae’s landing," ESA Rosetta spacecraft operations manager Sylvain Lodiot says. "The last six weeks will be particularly challenging as we fly eccentric orbits around the comet — in many ways this will be even riskier than the final descent itself."

Source: ESA

from Engadget

15 quotes that show the strange, relentless genius of billionaire Alibaba founder Jack Ma (BABA)


Jack Ma Alibaba

Jack Ma, founder and chairman of the Chinese internet behemoth Alibaba, built his empire through charisma and perseverance.

He founded Alibaba in 1995, and back in the mid-2000s, reporters used to call him "Crazy Jack" because of his animated speeches and bold claims. 

Today, his company has a market value of nearly $200 billion. Not bad for a man who failed his college entrance exams twice and started his career as a poor schoolteacher.

Here are some of the memorable gems he’s dropped over the years:


SEE ALSO: Here’s how Facebook decides what you see on your News Feed

On not giving up: "Today is cruel. Tomorrow is crueler. And the day after tomorrow is beautiful."


On people: "Hire the person best suited to the job, not the most talented. This can be a very painful lesson. There’s no point putting in a Boeing jet engine when you need to run a tractor."

Dongguan Network Operators Meeting, March 2005 via "Never Give Up"

On ethics: "Never deceive others, in business or in life. In 1995, I was deceived by four companies — four companies that are now closed. A company cannot go far by deceit."

Shanghai Network Operators Meeting, July 2005 via "Never Give Up"

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

from SAI

Navy SEAL Traveling In A Tesla Becomes First Fatality From An Autonomous Car Crash


This was inevitable, but it doesn’t make it any less heartbreaking. The first known fatality from an accident involving a self-driving vehicle is being investigated.

On Thursday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened a formal investigation of a 2015 Tesla Model S sedan crashing into a tractor-trailer. Joshua D. Brown died in the accident in Williston, Florida on May 7. Apparently the car’s cameras failed to distinguish the white side of a turning tractor-trailer from a brightly lit sky and didn’t apply the brakes.

Brown, a 40-year-old from Canton, Ohio, was an owner of a technology company and a member of the Navy SEALs for 11 years. He was excited about his Tesla, and even nicknamed his car “Tessy.” Brown wrote, “Hands down the best car I have ever owned and use it to its full extent.”

Brown’s Tesla was in Autopilot mode and he was watching Harry Potter when his vehicle collided with the 18-wheeler.

“It was still playing when he died and snapped a telephone pole a quarter-mile down the road,” Frank Baressi, the 62-year-old driver of the truck and owner of Okemah Express LLC said. “He went so fast through my trailer I didn’t see him.”

From the Associated Press:

Preliminary reports indicate the crash occurred when Baressi’s rig turned left in front of Brown’s Tesla at an intersection of a divided highway where there was no traffic light, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said. Brown died at the scene of the crash, which occurred May 7 in Williston, Florida, according to a Florida Highway Patrol report. The city is southwest of Gainesville.

By the time firefighters arrived, the wreckage of the Tesla — with its roof sheared off completely — had come to rest in a nearby yard hundreds of feet from the crash site, assistant chief Danny Wallace of the Williston Fire Department told The Associated Press. The driver was pronounced dead, “Signal 7” in the local firefighters’ jargon, and they respectfully covered the wreckage and waited for crash investigators to arrive.

Autopilot mode makes frequent checks, ensuring that the driver’s hands are on the steering wheel, and gives visual and audible alerts if no hands are detected, and will gradually slow down until the driver responds.

Tesla released a statement on Brown’s death, but did not identify him by name.

We learned yesterday evening that NHTSA is opening a preliminary evaluation into the performance of Autopilot during a recent fatal crash that occurred in a Model S. This is the first known fatality in just over 130 million miles where Autopilot was activated. Among all vehicles in the US, there is a fatality every 94 million miles. Worldwide, there is a fatality approximately every 60 million miles. It is important to emphasize that the NHTSA action is simply a preliminary evaluation to determine whether the system worked according to expectations.

The statement ended by saying:

The customer who died in this crash had a loving family and we are beyond saddened by their loss. He was a friend to Tesla and the broader EV community, a person who spent his life focused on innovation and the promise of technology and who believed strongly in Tesla’s mission. We would like to extend our deepest sympathies to his family and friends.

Tesla founder Elon Musk mentioned Brown’s death on Twitter, “Our condolences for the tragic loss.”

This could be a giant setback for autonomous driving cars that utilize sophisticated computer software, sensors, cameras and radar to navigate.

Of course we must remember that there were 32,675 traffic fatalities in 2014.


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One Snapchat filter is too real for some teens


It me.

If you haven’t opened Snapchat in a while, the app has an ever-changing pack of face-morphing filters, which allow you to swap faces with others and transform into everything from a dog to someone with an abnormally large forehead. One such filter turns you into a stereotypical geeky teen, complete with glasses held together with tape and a set of braces.

Now, while it can be fun to return to your awkward adolescence, a huge core of Snapchat’s users are, well, teens. So naturally, a few of them will already look like what the filter is trying to emulate. 

Popular person of the internet Freddy Amazin tweeted a photo of an IRL nerdy braces teen earlier this week, which was retweeted over 9,000 times.

And while it’s hilarious to some, other teens with similar hardware shared side-by-side comparisons of their likeness to the filter.

Too real, Snapchat. Too real. 

Bonus: Can you find the bald eagle in this sea of patriotism?

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

from Mashable!

Girl Puts On 10 Lbs. Of Pure Muscle To Go From Skinny Skeleton To Internationally Competitive Powerlifter

before after


A 21-year-old recent college graduate, Redditor Tovero began her weightlifting journey four years ago when she took a weight training class in school. “I made decent progress in my shoulders and abs during that time” she explains, “…eventually I hit a plateau and switched to a PPL program I designed. I stuck to that for 1 year and saw my first leg gains!”

For the past year, Tovero says she has been on an “upper/lower split” and that she’s found the current program “lets me recover best for optimal strength, while still letting me see visual gains.”

Her lifting schedule is as follows:

DAY 1: Deadlift + light squats + glute/hamstring accessories
DAY 2: Bench + tricep/chest/upper back accessories
DAY 3: Rest
DAY 4: Squat + quad accessories
DAY 5: Bench + tricep/chest/upper back accessories
DAY 6 + 7: Rest

As for her diet, Tovero says she is on a “light cut” so that she stays within her weight class for an upcoming competition in August. “I am eating 1800 calories or less most days with 1 or 2 cheat meals a week. I am for at least ~100g of protein a day, eat high fat, and limit carb consumption to less than 30% of my daily calorie intake on most days. I limit sugar to primarily pre and post workout.”

The four years of work she’s put into her body shows – these progress photos are fucking sick.


1 - MxJmYoS


2 - pqNgqyi


3 - 93grb5N


4 - 50QO1Cc


1 - full body


2 - full body


3 - arm


4 - legs


5 - xx7gYHu


6 - abs relaxed vs flexed


7 - back


8 - chest


9 - chest

[Via Reddit]

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This Slick Camera Brings Polaroid Into the Digital Age


In 2008, Polaroid announced it would no longer produce instant film. Then, the Impossible Project took the opportunity to buy up what little was left of this division of the company and has spent the last eight years reformulating and reviving the once-popular original format instant film. The I-1 ($300) is Impossible’s first proprietary camera, and it has done an excellent job of marrying the old school format with new school technology. It’s basically a funky-looking Polaroid camera you can control with your phone.

My greasy handprints aside, the camera is sexy. It reminds me of the US Navy’s newest Zumwalt-class destroyer, minus all the weapons. The I-1 does come armed with five lens configurations (macro 0.3-0.5m up to far-field 4.5-∞), a ring flash made of twelve LEDs, a rechargeable lithium battery, a built-in light meter (that I could never get to work), Bluetooth capability, and an awesome app (iOS only).

That’s far more than a cheap old drug store Polaroid could say.


There are currently two I-type films on the market: color and black and white. A box of either will run you about $20 for eight exposures, putting you at $2.50 a click—which feels steep when photos are missing chunks of their surface or they come out looking like this.

But let us not forget, this is a film camera, and with any analog process there are going to be fuck-ups and surprises. That’s what makes it all exciting!

Shooting With The Camera

Using the I-1 is pretty simple: turn it on, decide if you want to use the flash, adjust your exposure, bring the camera up to your face, look through the detachable viewfinder, and click the shutter. You hear that unmistakable zzzzzwwweeeewwwwwoooowwwaaaaaa, the film pops out, you wait two to twenty minutes (for black and white and color respectively), and voilá you have a fully developed photo—or at least a thing that will at pass as one on most days.

The automatic focus works decently well. And if an image does come out blurry, just remind yourself that Warhol shot Polaroids (although of a different type), so by some weird transitive property you must have just made something cool.

The New School

The best part of the camera is the iPhone app. It gives you a whole group of modes that instantly make shooting on instant film more fun. In Remote Trigger/Self-Time Mode, you can control the phone from afar. You can adjust the aperture, shutter speed, focus, and flash intensity in Manual Mode or paint with light in Light Paint/Color Paint Mode. There’s also a cool feature that lets you trigger the shutter via sound, and (my personal favorite) one that allows you to shoot double exposures.

What the app—and the camera itself—does not let you do is preview your image or generate a digital version of your image. That commitment to the film format is commendable and also a revenue generator for the company, because the camera is useless without more (expensive) film.

A sampling of the iOS app features
JUMPING is one of my favorite things to do. I used the NOISE TRIGGER setting on the app—jumped and barked loudly at the apex of the jump. It is not my best jumping photo, but I keep reminding myself….WARHOL!
This was shot in LIGHT PAINTING mode. Simple concept—long exposure and your phone’s flash becomes a light source to paint with.
MANUAL MODE image of a cactus. 1/4 shutter speed and 11 aperture setting, no flash. It would have come out better if I could have gotten the built in light meter to work.
It is not uncommon to take photos unintentionally. Your finger hits the button accidentally or when the battery is low, the camera can be slow to shoot. When you think it is not working, you take a look, it suddenly goes off and you are left with up nose photos.
A chunk of my ‘Banana Face’ was eaten.
THE Democrat. (Andy Tobias, Treasurer of the DNC + an American flag)

All in all the I-1 camera is a fun excursion. With the reliance on film (and all the package and detritus therein) there is a lot of waste associated with shooting on it, and it doesn’t always generate the best image, even in fully automatic mode. Plus, if you plan on shooting more than eight images in an outing, there’s a lot of film and crap to haul around. And each click is the cost of cup of coffee.

But considering all of that, the magic of the process makes it all worth it. For $300 you can become the Andy Warhol of the digital age—or at least pretend.


  • $2.50 a click is expensive, but I imagine Impossible is working hard to bring that number down.
  • The photos will rarely come out as you imagined, but they will always come out with some character.
  • Polaroids are crowd pleasers and always a fun gift. This camera will definitely make you the center of the party.
  • Double exposures for life!

from Gizmodo

The Ozone Hole Is Finally Healing


False-color image showing ozone concentrations above Antarctica on Oct. 2, 2015. Image: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Nearly thirty years after an international treaty banned the use of chlorofluorocarbons, the Antarctic ozone hole is finally starting to heal. By mid to late century, it should be fully recovered.

“This is a reminder that when the world gets together, we really can solve environmental problems,” Susan Solomon, an atmospheric chemist at MIT, told Gizmodo. “I think we should all congratulate ourselves on a job well done.”

Solomon is lead author on a study published today in Science, which presents the clearest evidence yet that the Antarctic ozone hole is showing signs of long-term recovery. The researchers attribute this to the 1987 Montreal Protocol, which banned the use of chlorinated compounds in refrigerator coolants and aerosols, after scientists learned that these chemicals were making their way into the stratosphere and wreaking havoc on Earth’s ozone layer.

Cartoon depiction of ozone (O3) being broken apart by chlorine. Image: NASA Scientific Visualization Studio

Scientists have been monitoring the Antarctic ozone hole, which opens every year in late August or early September and reaches its full size by October, since the 1980s. The size of the ozone hole varies widely from year to year, because the chemical reactions that destroy ozone are highly sensitive to changes in sunlight, temperature, and stratospheric cloud cover. For researchers interested in tracking ozone recovery, the challenge lies in pulling a faint signal out of a noisy background.

This problem piqued the interest of Solomon and her co-authors last October, when the ozone hole reached a record size of 23 million square kilometers (9 million square miles); some 20 percent larger than the previous year. “This was very unexpected, and we thought that the reason might have to do with volcanoes,” Solomon said, explaining that the aerosols released during volcanic eruptions contribute to polar stratospheric clouds, creating additional surface area for ozone-destroying reactions to occur.

Animation depicting predicted changes to Earth’s ozone layer with and without the Montreal protocol, via NASA Scientific Visualization Studio

Sure enough, the team was able to show that a string of eruptions at the Calbuco volcano in the southern hemisphere widened the spring ozone hole. But they discovered something else, too. “We learned that the September is not nearly as variable in weather as October, and that it’s less sensitive to volcanic activity,” Solomon said.

This got the researchers thinking that September may be the best month for teasing out subtle signs of ozone recovery. So they assembled September records from 2000 to 2015, including data on the rate at which the ozone hole opens, its average size and depth, meteorological conditions and volcanic activity.

“We found that because there is less chlorine in the atmosphere, the ozone hole is opening about ten days later than it used to,” Solomon said. “That has a huge effect on the September average.” Overall, Solomon’s analysis showed that the September ozone hole has shrunk by an average of 4.5 million square kilometers (1.7 million square miles) since 2000.

Susan Strahan, an atmospheric chemist at NASA who was not involved with the study, agrees that the evidence is very encouraging. “This is the emergence of a trend,” she told Gizmodo, while cautioning that it’s a bit early to say exactly how the recovery will play out. That’s because the different chlorofluorocarbons present in the atmosphere degrade at different rates, and while some have already vanished, others will stick around for decades to come. Most researchers, however, expect the ozone hole to be fully patched by around 2060.

“It’s important,” Strahan continued, “because I think a lot of people feel that environmental stories always have bad endings. In this case, the recovery will happen, but it’ll take time.”

from Gizmodo

Marijuana Shown to Protect Brain Cells From Alzheimer’s


Image: AP Photo/Eric Risberg

A new study suggests that compounds found in marijuana can stave off the brain damaging effects of Alzheimer’s disease. It’s a promising discovery, but claims that pot can prevent this age-related brain disorder are premature. Put the pipe away, man.

Researchers from the Salk Institute have shown that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other compounds found in marijuana can contribute to the removal of toxic proteins, known as amyloid beta, which have been linked to Alzheimer’s disease. This research offers new insight into the role that inflammation plays in this neurological disorder, which could point the way to new drugs.

But this research should be taken with a grain of salt. The protective effects of marijuana were observed in neurons grown in the lab, so it’s not immediately clear if the same process is applicable to living human beings. What’s more, this study doesn’t speak to the potential negative effects of marijuana on the aging brain. It’s far too early to be making claims about pot being some kind of miracle cure for Alzheimer’s, or even as something that can be used as a protective measure. Only time—and further research—will truly tell.

Previous research has shown that compounds in marijuana, called cannabinoids, protect the brain from the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. This new study is unique in that it’s “the first to demonstrate that cannabinoids affect both inflammation and amyloid beta accumulation in nerve cells,” as the study’s lead author David Schubert put it in a statement.

Scientists are fairly certain that these toxins contribute to the growth of damaging plaque deposits in the brain, but they’re not entirely sure about the precise role that’s played by amyloid beta in the process. To learn more, Schubert’s team studied nerve cells that were modified to produce high levels of amyloid beta. Left untreated, these cells were subject to inflammation and higher rates of death. But when the researchers exposed these cells to cannabinoids, the levels of the amyloid beta proteins were reduced. The inflammation disappeared, and the neurons were able to survive. The compounds found within marijuana appeared to be protecting the cells from dying.

As noted, this research was conducted on neurons in a petri dish, so it’s not clear if an actual brain would respond to cannabinoids in the same way. Scientists will need to perform clinical trials to find out.

They’re also going to have to consider the potential tradeoffs of using marijuana as a drug to stave of neurodegeneration. Previous studies have shown that pot can screw around with our memories—which is clearly a bad thing in a disease that already ravages memories. Recent research also shows that marijuana alters the brain reward system, and that that long-term use makes it more difficult to recall memories during middle age.

Pot may very well help with Alzheimer’s, but we’re clearly going to have to be mindful of its negative effects as well.

[Aging and Mechanisms of Disease]

from Gizmodo

Live By the Five Hour Rule to Always Keep Learning New Skills


Learning or practicing new skills is so important, it’s hard to ignore how vital it is to a successful career. To keep your educational momentum going throughout your life, give yourself five hours a week to learn something new or practice a skill.

As business site Inc. explains, the five hour rule is simple: invest at least five hours every week—that’s one hour per weekday—into deliberately learning. What form that takes can be up to you, but the point is to spend a meaningful amount of time bettering yourself. Like everyone who wants to learn to be better, Inc. uses Benjamin Franklin as an example:

Franklin’s learning time consisted of:

  • Waking up early to read and write
  • Setting personal-growth goals (i.e., virtues list) and tracking the results
  • Creating a club for “like-minded aspiring artisans and tradesmen who hoped to improve themselves while they improved their community”
  • Turning his ideas into experiments
  • Having morning and evening reflection questions

Every time that Franklin took time out of his busy day to follow his five-hour rule and spend at least an hour learning, he accomplished less on that day. However, in the long run, it was arguably the best investment of his time he could have made.

What you do with that time isn’t necessarily as important as blocking it out in the first place. As most of us instinctively know, if you don’t budget your time, someone else will. Before your time gets overrun by other people’s to-do lists, set aside an hour every weekday (or however five hours fits best into your schedule) to learn something new or practice something that will help you in the long run.

Why Constant Learners All Embrace the 5-Hour Rule | Inc.

Photo by Gustavo Devito.

from Lifehacker

10 Signals From Your Body Telling You Should Sleep More


sleep deprivation

Sleep deprivation is so much a part of American culture that many people don’t even see it as a problem — and some people will actually brag about how little they can “get by” on. But the truth is that there are serious consequences to not getting enough zzzz’s at night: the Sleep Foundation notes that, each year, there are 100,000 car accidents, 76,000 injuries and 1,500 deaths that occur due to not getting enough rest.

Here are ten important things that can happen when you don’t get enough sleep:

1. Weight Gain

Multiple studies have shown a link between weight gain and lack of sleep. In one study, people who were sleep deprived ate 300 more calories a day than when they were able to get a full night’s sleep — and those 300 calories can add up over time.  Also, lack of sleep causes the body to become stressed, which increases levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that signals that body that it needs to put on fat.

2. Impaired Thought Processes

Most people realize that they tend to feel foggier or less able to concentrate if they have had a late night. This is because going without even one night’s sleep can decrease alertness and other mental processes by 32%; with one study even finding that over a lifetime, the brains of those who are chronically sleep-deprived become smaller and less dense, affecting many important mental processes.

3. Emotional Problems

Again, most people can tell that they feel crankier if they have been up late the night before.  And multiple studies have backed this up, showing a link between sleep deprivation and less emotional control and the ability to cope with stress.  If it goes on long enough, sleep deprivation can even cause problems like depression.

4. Poor Memory

Sleep deprivation can also affect your ability to remember even very simple things — like where you left your keys or checkbook!  Studies have shown that the REM waves which people experience when they get a good night’s sleep help to boost memory and other mental functions; without a normal amount of sleep, however, these REM cycles  don’t occur.

5. Decreased Immune System

When you do not get enough sleep, none of your body’s systems function well — and this includes your immune system. Because of this, if you are sleep-deprived, it will make you more vulnerable to everyday infections like the flu or the common cold. This can greatly decrease your quality of life and lead to missed work and other similar problems.

6. Decreased Sex Drive

Several studies have also linked a long-term lack of sleep with a decreased libido. This is because of several factors, including hormonal changes that occur in the body when it does not catch enough zzzz’s and because of the lack of energy that most people feel when they have simply not gotten enough rest.

7. Decreased Longevity

A long, healthy life is probably at the top of most people’s wish list — but chronic sleep deprivation can stop this from happening.  In one study, it was shown that women who got less than five hours of sleep per night over a lifetime were less likely to live as long as women who got adequate rest.  This is probably due to the chronic stress that sleep deprivation puts on the body.

8. Heart Disease

Because of the link between sleep deprivation and weight gain and because not getting enough rest can also raise blood pressure levels, lack of sleep can also be a contributing factor to heart disease, which is still the number one killer for both men and women in the United States (and in many countries around the world).

9. Injuries and Accidents

The statistics quoted from the Sleep Foundation in regards to accidents and injuries are due to the fact that when people are less likely to focus, concentrate or pay attention, they are more likely to make mistakes that lead to things like accidents while driving or performing job-related activities.

10. Chronic Disease

Because of the chronic stress and associated compromising effects on the immune system of sleep deprivation, it can lead to a number of chronic diseases, and studies have linked it not only to heart disease but to strokes, obesity and mental health problems among other chronic conditions.

Avoiding Sleep Deprivation

The consequences of sleep deprivation are severe — but the good news is, there are simple ways that you can make sure that you avoid it and give your body the rest it needs to stay healthy.  These include:

  • Planning on getting 7-8 hours of sleep most nights.
  • Trying to get to sleep and get up around the same time each day.
  • Keeping your sleep environment cool, dark and quiet.
  • Taking a warm bath or shower before bed to relax the muscles.
  • Keeping TV/electronic devices out of the bedroom.
  • Scheduling an hour or so of a quiet activity to relax before going to sleep.
  • Avoiding caffeine, sugar and heavy meals before sleep.

So don’t try to skip out on your sleep tonight!  Although it may seem difficult on a daily basis to get enough shut-eye, in the long run, it is worth it for both your happiness and your health.

The post 10 Signals From Your Body Telling You Should Sleep More appeared first on Lifehack.

from Stepcase Lifehack