"My mother died rather suddenly when I was eighteen. One thing that I didn’t expect was the amount of resentment I would feel. I know it’s not fair of me to put that sort of thing on other people. But when I see someone walking down the street with their mother, I feel jealous. I know their relationship is going to have its ups and downs, and it’s going to evolve, and it will have this trajectory to it that I’ll never have, and it just seems unfair. Of course I know it’s absurd to talk about fairness in the universe."
"Why is that absurd?"
"Because there’s no such thing as karma. I mean, when you’re a good person, people can sense it and they’ll reciprocate that goodness. But the universe isn’t keeping some balance by guaranteeing you a reward."
Master of Sir John Fastolf - Saint Denis Holding His Head (c 1430 - 1440)
A cephalophore (from the Greek for “head-carrier”) is a saint who is generally depicted carrying his or her own head; in art, this was usually meant to signify that the subject in question had been martyred by beheading. Handling the halo in this circumstance offers a unique challenge for the artist. Some put the halo where the head used to be; others have the saint carrying the halo along with the head. The term “cephalophore” was first used in a French article by Marcel Hébert, “Les martyrs céphalophores Euchaire, Elophe et Libaire”, in Revue de l’Université de Bruxelles, v. 19 (1914).
In a first for laser-driven fusion, scientists at a US lab say they have reached a key milestone called fuel gain: they are producing more energy than the fuel absorbed to start the reaction.
Okay, okay, okay, okay, guys. Scientists at the National Ignition Facility have taken the first itty bitty baby steps towards fusion and I’m having trouble containing my excitement.
First of all, they’re using 192 laser beams, which are pointed at a gold chamber that converts the lasers into X-ray pulses, which then squeeze a small fuel pellet and make it implode and undergo fusion. That anyone ever figured out even how to do this is completely nutso.
Secondly, the lead researcher is named Omar Hurricane. I have never in my life heard a better name. He sounds like a comic book character. Please someone write a comic starring Omar Hurricane and his band of laser-wielding scientists.
And then there’s what it actually means. So far, they’ve been able to get 15 kilojoules of energy out of a fuel pellet that was blasted with 10 kilojoules. But, as The Guardian points out, much more energy is delivered by the lasers (and lost in the conversion to X-rays): “The lasers unleash nearly two megajoules of energy on their target, the equivalent, roughly, of two standard sticks of dynamite.”
Even so, this is a hugely significant tiny step forward toward recreating the clean energy production that happens in the heart of stars.
Due to a peculiarity of nuclear physics, you can release energy either by 1) breaking apart heavy atoms, or 2) forcing together light atoms. Breaking apart is called fission and forcing together is called fusion. We already know how to generate energy by man-made fission, but generating energy by man-made fusion remains an aspiration. (Of course, we know how to build bombs both ways. Nuclear and thermonuclear bombs respectively.)
Essentially, solar power is fusion, though. Because the sun is a fusion reactor, and its light lands on our planet and makes everything happen.(via clearscience)
Be worthy to serve the suffering
i’m starting to lose the memory in my fingers’ tips, blades that once carved the bones in your head now lie dull at my writing desk —
i have yet to move my hands to write important prose or grocery lists (i look to the bruised apple, perched at the corner of the table as if a threat of suicide) — i only have the effort to scribble
and re-scribble reminders in my brain to buy cigarettes (although these words never have enough time
to weather). Divine
Apathia, if You’re alone, i’m alone. i know that doesn’t make sense, it’s just that everyone else’s unholiness frightens me. say, if i were to wed a dangerous love, a painful surrender, i’d
tap, force nails into these knees, become anxious, fidgety, and
write, ache, write — feverishly about what it used to be like to run — with scissor fingers, sculpting poetry int’your bones