That’s right, astronauts go through customs.
Sing it, Dr. Mead.
If you’re not following The Reconstructionists, you should be.
Inflating a set of cat lungs
Lungs are by most accounts mundane. Everybody has them, few give it much thought. But sequestered within darkness of the chest cavity, enveloping the fluttering heart, there’s an incredible wonder to this oddly inflatable organ.
Dissection is a destructive process. Rudely excised from membranous mooring and nourishing vessels, the deflated lungs appear little more than bloodied meat; amorphous and exposed…….until a breath of air unfurls its secret glory.
Here, a set of cat lungs is inflated with a straw. Comprised of hundreds of millions of microscopic air sacks called alveoli, mammalian lungs harbor air capacity that is difficult to believe unless seen. The color of the entire organ lightens into a soft pink, as each microscopic sac fills with air.
A debt of gratitude is owed to cyborgraptor for her assistance in creating these gifs, as well as the students that helped me film this demo.
Kids, don’t try this at home, OK?
And now, the swimming pigs of the Bahamas!
open the door, get on the floor,
EVERYBODY WALK THE DINOSAUR
The best thing.
Old Finnish people with things on their heads. That is all.
(OK, I lied, that is not all. These are part of a funny, gorgeous photo series by Karoline Hjorth and Riitta Ikonen called Eyes As Big As Plates, and you should look at as much of it as you possibly can.)
(Also: hat tip, so to speak, to Mr. Benjamin Birdsall.)
The National Science Foundation is having its annual Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge right now.
Lots of cool stuff, like this visualization of (normally invisible) coral flows:
Corals are far from the passive “living rocks” they are sometimes taken to be. This image reveals the hidden flow generated by small hairs (cilia) covering the surface of the coral, between two coral polyps that are 3 mm apart. Two shots taken 1.5 hours apart are combined into a single image, showing how the coral is able to create a long-lasting whirlpool structure that alters the local environment and enhances the coral’s ability to “breathe.”