324 - The North America Nebula
From a young age, Frank was fascinated by maps and atlases, and the stories they contained. Finding his birthplace on the map in the endpapers of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings only increased his interest in the mystery and message of maps.
While pursuing a career in journalism, Frank started a blog called Strange Maps, as a repository for the weird and wonderful cartography he found hidden in books, posing as everyday objects and (of course) floating around the Internet.
"Each map tells a story, but the stories told by your standard atlas for school or reference are limited and literal: they show only the most practical side of the world, its geography and its political divisions. Strange Maps aims to collect and comment on maps that do everything but that - maps that show the world from a different angle".
A remit that wide allows for a steady, varied diet of maps: Frank has been writing about strange maps since 2006, published a book on the subject in 2009 and joined Big Think in 2010. Readers send in new material daily, and he keeps bumping in to cartography that is delightfully obscure, amazingly beautiful, shockingly partisan, and more.
The discovery and naming of nebulae (i.e. interstellar clouds of star-forming matter) is similarly recent, and some also carry names that could not have been given by the Ancient Greeks or Babylonians, such as the Boomerang nebula, Barnard’s Loop, or this one, the North America nebula. This nebula, discovered in 1786 by British astronomer William Herschel, was named by his German colleague Max Wolf, because of its remarkable similarity to the North American continent – especially the outlines of Mexico, the Gulf of Mexico and Florida.\n
These areas are in reality a jumble of gas, dust and newly formed stars, and they are lit up by the brightness of these young stars. The North America Nebula covers an area more than ten times the size of a full moon, but is not bright enough to be seen with the unaided eye. It spans about 50 light years, at a distance of about 1,500 light years towards the constellation of Cygnus (the Swan), more specifically Deneb, the brightest star in the constellation. The North America Nebula also carries the less imaginative names of NGC 7000 and Caldwell 20.\n
These modern-day hermits can sometimes spend decades without ever leaving their apartments.
- A hikikomori is a type of person in Japan who locks themselves away in their bedrooms, sometimes for years.
- This is a relatively new phenomenon in Japan, likely due to rigid social customs and high expectations for academic and business success.
- Many believe hikikomori to be a result of how Japan interprets and handles mental health issues.
How a cataclysm worse than what killed the dinosaurs destroyed 90 percent of all life on Earth.
While the demise of the dinosaurs gets more attention as far as mass extinctions go, an even more disastrous event called "the Great Dying” or the “End-Permian Extinction” happened on Earth prior to that. Now scientists discovered how this cataclysm, which took place about 250 million years ago, managed to kill off more than 90 percent of all life on the planet.
A new study discovers the “liking gap” — the difference between how we view others we’re meeting for the first time, and the way we think they’re seeing us.
We tend to be defensive socially. When we meet new people, we’re often concerned with how we’re coming off. Our anxiety causes us to be so concerned with the impression we’re creating that we fail to notice that the same is true of the other person as well. A new study led by Erica J. Boothby, published on September 5 in Psychological Science, reveals how people tend to like us more in first encounters than we’d ever suspect.
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