Photographer Johan Lolos captures outstanding images during year-long, 25,000-mile trek around Australia

Posted in 2014 with tags , on October 20, 2014 by theboldcorsicanflame

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It was not a trip to undertake lightly. Photographer Johan Lolos has just completed an epic 25,000-mile, year-long journey around Australia taking stunning pictures of breath-taking scenery from every corner of the country.

Despite the vast distances and the long time away from home the intrepid Belgian explorer confesses: ‘I didn’t prepare or plan anything. I arrived in Melbourne with no accommodation booked.’

From Melbourne, he couch surfed, trekked, flew, sailed and hitchhiked his way around Australia and over 12 months managed to visit every state, traversing across deserts, mountains and beaches and passing through cities.

From the Blue Mountains and Ayers Rock to Sydney Opera House and Kalbarri National Park, no Australian stone was left unturned (or not photographed).

Johan encountered kangaroos, sea turtles, swam with whale sharks and wild dolphins, sailed about the Whitsundays, flew over the Great Barrier Reef and got a PADI diving licence.

But in all his time in the country, one experience may have surpassed them all.

He said: ‘One of the best moments came in Bare Sand Island, Northern Territory when I witnessed sea turtles coming out of the sea to lay their eggs on the beach. 

‘Then I watched as turtles from another nest began hatching and helped them find their way to the sea. Truly unforgettable.’ 

Comet Siding Spring’s near-miss of Mars is today! October 19th 2014

Posted in 2014, astronomy, Galaxy with tags , , , , on October 19, 2014 by theboldcorsicanflame

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UPDATE OCTOBER 19, 2014. Hurtling through space at about 35 miles (56 kilometers) per second, Comet Siding Spring (C/2013 A1) will sweep very close to the planet Mars today. It will be less than one-tenth the distance of any known previous earthly comet flyby on October 19 at 18:28 UTC, or 1:28 p.m. Central Daylight Time in North America.

The comet won’t collide with Mars, but its nucleus is expected to come within 82,000 miles (132,000 kilometers) of the Red Planet, or about one-third the moon’s distance from Earth. The comet’s coma of gas and dust may engulf Mars! In way of contrast, the closest comet to swing by Earth in recorded history was Lexell’s Comet, at six times the moon’s distance from Earth (6 x 384,400 kilometers or 238,855 miles) in the year 1770. Follow the links below to learn more about the comet that’s buzzing Mars today

MORE  ON THEIR WEBSITE

http://earthsky.org/space/comet-c2013-a1-siding-spring-mars-encounter-october-19-2014

 

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Behemoth sunspot AR2192 has unleashed an X1-class solar flare

Posted in 2014, astronomy, Galaxy with tags , on October 19, 2014 by theboldcorsicanflame

This comes as no surprise. Behemoth sunspot AR2192 has unleashed an X1-class solar flare. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the blast in this extreme UV image of the sun on Oct. 19th (0500 UT):

A pulse of ultraviolet and X-radiation from the flare caused a brief but strong HF radio blackout on the dayside of Earth, mainly over Asia and Australia.

Update (8:30 AM PDT): Remarkably, this explosion did not yield a significant CME. Just-arriving coronagraph images from SOHO show no cloud emerging from the blast site.

Big sunspots tend to produce big flares, and clearly AR2192 is no exception. More X-flares are likely as AR2192 turns toward Earth in the days ahead. Also, if you have a solar telescope, point it at the sun. This active region is a real beauty. Solar flare alerts: text, voice

http://spaceweather.com

Squirrel Cam: Adorable close-ups with the fluffy creatures

Posted in 2014, animals with tags , , , on October 19, 2014 by theboldcorsicanflame
Oh nuts! Furry little creatures have become the stars of their own reality TV show thanks to Squirrel Cam

Oh nuts! Furry little creatures have become the stars of their own reality TV show thanks to Squirrel Cam

The Squirrel Cam Facebook page was born ; it now has over 14,000 likes and fans from all over the globe.

That’s hardly surprising considering it caters to animal lovers with a fantastic selection of pics, drawings, videos and memes for them to feast their eyes upon.

Cheeky things! The Facebook page is dedicated to adorable images of squirrels, chipmunks and birds stocking up on food in time for the cruel winter months 

American beauty: The site was launched in Illinois by nature photographer Pandiaundre Q Dax

Cheeky things! The Facebook page is dedicated to adorable images of squirrels, chipmunks and birds stocking up on food in time for the cruel winter months 

Just one more? Chipmunk wants all the nuts on Squirrel Cam

Munching: This cutie is about to go diving in a big bowl of peanuts

Munching: This cutie is about to go diving in a big bowl of peanuts

The Illinois resident decided to get a closer look and began to video squirrels, chipmunks and birds, scurrying about and foraging for seeds, almonds and peanuts.

Stretchy: It's nuts how wide their mouths open in order to fit the super-sized snacks 

Stretchy: It’s nuts how wide their mouths open in order to fit the super-sized snacks 

Trick or treat! Sly squirrels will often pretend to bury food to deceive onlookers before hiding their real stash elsewhere 

Trick or treat! Sly squirrels will often pretend to bury food to deceive onlookers before hiding their real stash elsewhere 

Halloween: October is the prime time for these fuzzy creatures to stock up before the weather takes a turn for the worst 

Halloween: October is the prime time for these fuzzy creatures to stock up before the weather takes a turn for the worst 

 
Squirrel Cam: ADORABLE close-ups with the fluffy creatures
 Check out the page to get up close and personal with squirrels whose cheeks will stretch more than you’d imagine to accommodate their secret stash of tasty snacks.

It’s a miracle they don’t choke as they stock up.

As the vital period of winter dormancy crawls nearer, we are sure this footage will make you wish you could join these hungry squirrels in a long state of slumber…dreaming of nuts. 

What heaven’s really like – by a leading brain surgeon who says he’s been there

Posted in 2014, spirituality with tags , , , , on October 18, 2014 by theboldcorsicanflame

after_life

 

Read his testimony before you scoff…it might just shake your beliefs

When I was a small boy, I was adopted. I grew up remembering nothing of my birth family and unaware that I had a biological sister, named Betsy. Many years later, I went in search of my biological family, but for Betsy it was too late: she had died.

This is the story of how I was reunited with her — in Heaven.

Before I start, I should explain that I am a scientist, who has spent a lifetime studying the workings of the brain. 

When I was a small boy, I was adopted. I grew up remembering nothing of my birth family and unaware that I had a biological sister, named Betsy. Many years later, I went in search of my biological family, but for Betsy it was too late: she had died.

This is the story of how I was reunited with her — in Heaven.

Before I start, I should explain that I am a scientist, who has spent a lifetime studying the workings of the brain. 

My adoptive father was a neurosurgeon and I followed his path, becoming an neurosurgeon myself and an academic who taught brain science at Harvard Medical School.

Although nominally a Christian, I was sceptical when patients described spiritual experiences to me.

My knowledge of the brain made me quite sure that out-of-body experiences, angelic encounters and the like were hallucinations, brought on when the brain suffered a trauma.

And then, in the most dramatic circumstances possible, I discovered proof that I was wrong. Six years ago, I woke up one morning with a searing headache. Within a few hours, I went into a coma: my neocortex, the part of the brain that handles all the thought processes making us human, had shut down completely.

At the time, I was working at Lynchburg General Hospital in Virginia, and I was rushed to the emergency room there. The doctors ascertained that I had contracted meningitis — a rare bacterial strain of E coli was in my spinal fluid and eating into my brain like acid. My survival chances were near zero.

I was in deep coma, a vegetative state, and all the higher functions of my brain were offline. Scans showed no conscious activity whatever — my brain was not malfunctioning, it was completely unplugged.

But my inner self still existed, in defiance of all the known laws of science.

Magical: He said he found himself as a speck of awareness on a butterfly wing, among pulsing swarms of millions of other butterflies

Magical: He said he found himself as a speck of awareness on a butterfly wing, among pulsing swarms of millions of other butterflies

For seven days, as I lay in that unresponsive coma, my consciousness went on a voyage through a series of realms, each one more extraordinary than the last — a journey beyond the physical world and one that, until then, I would certainly have dismissed as impossible.

For thousands of years, ordinary people as well as shamans and mystics have described brief, wonderful glimpses of ethereal realms. I’m not the first person to have discovered that consciousness exists beyond the body.

What is unique in my case is that I am, as far as scientific records show, the only person to have travelled to this heavenly dimension with the cortex in complete shut-down, while under minute observation throughout.

It

Extracted from Map of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon Explores the Mysteries of the Afterlife & The Truth About What Lies Beyond by Dr Eben Alexander, published by Piatkus at £14.99. 

© 2014 Dr Eben Alexander. Offer price £12.75 until 25 October. Order at mailbookshop.co.uk or call 0808 272 0808, p&p free for a limited time only. 

Concetta Antico is an Artist sees 100 times more colours than the average person

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on October 17, 2014 by theboldcorsicanflame

rtist sees 100 times more colours

When most of us look a buttercup, we simply see yellow.

But one artist sees a whole host of extra colours around the flower’s edge, because she is a tetrachromat and can see 100 times more hues than the average person.

Concetta Antico, who lives in San Diego, California, has more receptors in in her eyes to absorb colourful light, enabling her to see – and paint – the world around her in a different way to most people.

The average person can see approximately one million colours, whereas tetrachromats have an extra cone class in their eyes for colour vision that dramatically increases their range up to a potential 99 million.

Cones are structures in the eye that are designed to absorb particular wavelengths of light and transmit them to the brain.

Most people have three types of cones, but tetrachromats like Ms Antico have four types.

While only a handful of human tetrachromats have been identified, it is thought that around two per cent of women may possess the genes to see extra colours.

The average person has three types of cones, which are tuned to wavelengths of red, green and blue, and tetrachromats’ fourth types can vary. 

It’s thought that the condition is caused by mutations in the X chromosome, which make people to see more or less colour, PopSci reported.

These mutations make men more likely to be colour blind and mean that women more likely to be tetrachromats if they have mutations on both X chromosomes.

Concetta_Anti

WHAT IS TETRACHROMACY? 

Tetrachromacy is the condition of possessing four independent channels for conveying colour information – which means four different types of cone cells in the eye.

The average person has three types of cone cells.

A tetrachromat’s retina contains four types of higher-intensity light receptors or cone cells with different absorption spectra.

This means they can may see wavelengths beyond those of a typical human being’s eyesight and may be able to distinguish colours that to a human appear to be identical.

Lots of animals are tetrachromats, including birds, fish, amphibians, reptiles and insects.

For example, the humble goldfish has cone cells for red, green, blue and ultraviolet light. It is thought that it gives animals an advantage when spotting minute dust particles, food and the movements of prey or predators.

A large and active sunspot is rotating over the sun’s southeastern limb on Oct. 17th

Posted in 2014, astronomy, Galaxy with tags , , on October 17, 2014 by theboldcorsicanflame

J. P. Brahic sends this picture of the behemoth from Uzès, France

“I inserted a picture of Earth for scale,” says Brahic. The sunspot’s primary dark core could swallow our entire planet with room to spare.

This sunspot could cause a sharp increase in solar activity over the weekend. Earlier this week, while it was still hidden behind the southeastern limb, the active region unleashed several M-class solar flares and hurled a massive CME into space. Considering the fact that the blast site was partially eclipsed by the edge of the sun, those flares were probably much stronger than their nominal classification. Now that the sunspot has revealed itself, X-flares may be in the offing. Solar flare alerts: text, voice

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