Have you ever noticed that almost every barn you have ever seen is red? There’s a reason for that, and it has to do with the chemistry of dying stars. Seriously.
Yonatan Zunger is a Google employee who decided to explain this phenomenon on Google+ recently. The simple answer to why barns are painted red is because red paint is cheap. The cheapest paint there is, in fact. But the reason it’s so cheap? Well, that’s the interesting part.
Red ochre—Fe2O3—is a simple compound of iron and oxygen that absorbs yellow, green and blue light and appears red. It’s what makes red paint red. It’s really cheap because it’s really plentiful. And it’s really plentiful because of nuclear fusion in dying stars. Zunger explains:
The only thing holding the star up was the energy of the fusion reactions, so as power levels go down, the star starts to shrink. And as it shrinks, the pressure goes up, and the temperature goes up, until suddenly it hits a temperature where a new reaction can get started. These new reactions give it a big burst of energy, but start to form heavier elements still, and so the cycle gradually repeats, with the star reacting further and further up the periodic table, producing more and more heavy elements as it goes. Until it hits 56. At that point, the reactions simply stop producing energy at all; the star shuts down and collapses without stopping.
As soon as the star hits the 56 nucleon (total number of protons and neutrons in the nucleus) cutoff, it falls apart. It doesn’t make anything heavier than 56. What does this have to do with red paint? Because the star stops at 56, it winds up making a ton of things with 56 neucleons. It makes more 56 nucleon containing things than anything else (aside from the super light stuff in the star that is too light to fuse).
The element that has 56 protons and neutrons in its nucleus in its stable state? Iron. The stuff that makes red paint.
And that, Zunger explains, is how the death of a star determines what color barns are painted.
Me trying to log off of Tumblr
SHARE TO SAVE TUMBLR!
- Let’s try and get 100k notes
A review by one of the folks sums it up perfectly:
“What worries me about Yahoo! buying Tumblr is how it would choose to incorporate the website into its email and homepage features. One of the reasons why Tumblr is so unique is because it’s a niche market. By adding more users who don’t fit into this niche, it would make it more difficult for communities to develop within Tumblr, and Tumblr would have to change to accommodate these new users. Tumblr as a website is not the kind that you can sign up for in a day and be on your way. It is a website crafted so that you can immediately post but must spend several weeks, sometimes even months, to build a community. With new users who would not be willing to spend time growing a community, Tumblr would have to be changed, which would alienate its current users. Those users have spent time and effort to make Tumblr what it is today, and they are the ones who spend time on the website daily. A user who is checking onto Tumblr because it’s attached to their homepage is not going to be as strong of a user nor as dedicated. By changing the website to suit this new user, you would lose the strong users while building an undedicated usership.
To any website that would think of buying Tumblr, they must understand that it is a website that cannot be changed to make it more user friendly to a casual blogger. I think that many Tumblr users would be less worried about a buy-out if they were promised that their communities and ways of using Tumblr would not be changed. No one is going to mind Yahoo! buying the website and gaining a few extra million dollars per year from the minimal advertising; what we will be upset with is if a company like Yahoo! then changes the website to increase casual users and decrease dedicated users. Yahoo! would gain nothing by losing this “cool” group of bloggers in an age group they so desperately want to reach, so they must cater to these individuals by leaving the website exactly as is.” - houseoftombombadilAs much as is does sound like a load of bullshit for someone to buy Tumblr, it’s a possibility. I Personally think it should stay independent and I hope David Karp keeps a hold of it like his own child. Or we make enough noise to where such major changes (if bought) will not happen. I would hate to see Tumblr turned into an advertising dump.We’re not a ‘hip fad group’ to be marketed to. I hate the fact that’s all we look like to businesses in the end.
reblogging again for this ^
NO NO NO I DO NOT WANT TO LOSE THIS LAST VESTIGE OF INTERNET GOODNESS
This is the last place I feel still belongs to small artists, and to close, vibrant communities… We are doing so much good here, don’t turn us over to the crowds, they will eat us up and spit us out…
DID THAT KITTEH JUST
JUST HUG IT’S HEAD
BECAUSE YOU PETTED IT’S TUMMY
WHAT AN ADORABLE KITTEH
queer hogwats kids making buttons w/ preferred pronouns on them that are charmed to yell when ppl use the wrong ones
everything i never knew i needed
Angelina Jolie had a double mastectomy, in case you hadn’t heard. How dare she remove those ticking time bombs from her chest, amiright? Like, hasn’t she learned by now that her body is public domain and we all get to vote on what she does with it? Sheesh, how selfish can ya get.
My dad just won’t understand:
I am not a driver.
I dislike cars. I LOATHE driving.
I have a very hard time concentrating; I don’t see the cars and people around me. I get lost in my mind, and forget about the world, and my eyes stop focusing on anything. If ever I had to make a split second decision in order to survive, or in order not to hit someone, I wouldn’t even notice there was anything the matter. If I drive, I WILL get hurt, or someone else will get hurt. There is no question in my mind about that.
He doesn’t get it. He thinks I’m just being obstinate, and that somehow if he says ‘you should drive!’ the right way, or dangles the right sort of carrot in front of me, I’ll magically agree. No. No way. Never. No cars for Harold.
It’s infuriating that, because he doesn’t have the same obstacles as me, he acts like my obstacles are silly made-up things, like I’m a teen rebelling against his ‘you should drive! agenda’ or something like that. No. I am an adult and I don’t drive because I have valid reasons not to. I have real attention deficit problems. I have real anxiety problems that have been very dangerous a few times when I was driving. I don’t even know what’s going on with my depth perception. Also, I am transgender, and driving takes me WAY TOO CLOSE to police. Police, and the idea I might go to jail, scare the hell out of me. I don’t want to make a mistake and end up in jail.
I wish he would just realize that we are different people, with different but still okay strengths and weaknesses.
I recently received an email from an anonymous fan sharing how she pulled a Hawkeye Initiative themed prank on her CEO to illustrate a problem with some artwork.
My personal compliments to her and her accomplice on a mission well done; they perfectly took they perfectly took the concept of The Hawkeye Initiative one step farther, and effected actual change. I hope this gives you as much of a laugh as it did me (the artwork is currently my desktop), and inspires you to be unafraid to stand up and take action in your own awesome way.
Now, excuse me while I go play my new favorite mech game. :)
I work with an all-female team of data scientists, in the gaming industry. This makes me the professional equivalent of Amelia Earhart riding the Loch Ness Monster.
I love my job. Our company in particular is great. Firstly, our game (HAWKEN) is beautiful and people love it. Secondly, half of our executive branch is female. Half of them are punk rock, and all of them are badassed. Our gender awareness standards, compared to the industry at large, are top shelf. We are talking Amelia Earhart in Atlantis, at a five star resort, getting a mani-pedi from Jensen Ackles. I have it good.
For the last six months of my tenure at Meteor Entertainment, there has been only one thing I did not love about my job. This
Our CEO loves this picture. It is to all appearances his favorite piece of comic art for the game. He had it blown up poster-sized, framed, and displayed on the out-facing wall of his office. There, it looms over the front room like a ship’s figurehead. It is the first thing workers and visitors see when they enter the building and the last thing they see when they leave. This little lady’s undermeats have been the open- and close- parens to my work world for the last six months.
I loathe this picture.
Why do I loathe it? How, you ask, can I stay mad at a sweet young belle who has so obviously taken a break from her important welding to offer me a piping hot cup of coffee and/or a vigorous hand job? (And probably, given her apparent safety consciousness, simultaneously?) If you don’t already know the answer, you might want to check out things like #1ReasonWhy, and the Bechdel Test, and also this, and this, and this and this, and all these other things. (And while we’re talking you should check out this other bullshit right here.)
So at our office holiday party, while our CEO was having everyone in the company sign it, I stand there grinding my teeth into tiny shards. Until, suddenly, it came to me: a vision.
And so it came to be that I approached Sam Kirk, a wickedly funny co-worker who shared my sentiment. Sam, turns out, is a very talented artist who can be bribed-slash-inspired using a medley of feminist indignation, hysterical giggling, and two $90 bottles of añejo tequila.
A month-and-a-half later, our vision was a reality. I give you:
Bro-sie The Riveter.
I want to make it completely clear that everything in this prank that required actual talent was done by Sam. Find this, and more of Sam’s art, at TheRealSamKirk.com.
We blew (ahem) Brosie up poster sized. We framed him. And then, at 7:30 on Monday, April 1st, we snuck into our CEO’s office and switched them.
I stood in the entryway, dizzy with joy. It was glorious. There Brosie stood, proud, nipples testing the air like young gophers in springtime, the post-apocalyptic breeze gently swaying his banana hammock. Brosie said, loud and proud: “Get ready, world! I am here to lubricate your joints and tighten your socket.”
I basically spend the next few hours having a joy-induced neurological episode.
As the morning progressed, Brosie (ahem) revealed himself to our co-workers. The air resounded with startled, suppressed gargles of mingled joy and horror. Some take pictures. Some instantly turn and flee. Several men blush and grin in vindicated solidarity. Several women ask us for prints. At this point I am in total rapture. This is the moment I have been dreaming about for six months.
Yet somehow everyone in the office manages to keep quiet about it. Until, finally, our CEO arrives.
We hear a loud: “What the hell is this?!” And then all goes quiet. Ten minutes pass. We panic.
We are both suddenly and painfully aware that we have, in fact, just punked the CEO of our company. He is by all accounts an awesome dude. He is also a late-50s ex-army guy who happens to determine our employment futures in an at-will state. Meep.
Twenty more minutes pass. And then our CEO comes up to my desk, taps me on the shoulder, and says this:
“That was a brilliant prank. You called me on exactly the bullshit I need to be called on. I put up pictures of half-naked girls around the office all the time and I never think about it. I’m taking you and Sam to lunch. And after that, we’re going to hang both prints, side by side.”
Ruby Underboob and Brosie the Riveter, together at last
Yeah. That happened.
This wonderful experience has taught me two things that I hope to carry with me for the rest of my career in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and in gaming. It taught me this:
Lots of men (like Sam) are already sympathetic to the stupid, constant crap women put up with in gaming/STEM, and they are ready and willing to call that crap onto the carpet.
And, most importantly, many of the guys who are behind that stupid, constant crap are totally decent, open-minded human beings who just don’t realize they’re doing it. You know how sometimes you don’t realize how much you and your girlfriend are talking about shoes or menstruation until some dude walks into the room? Well sometimes guys don’t realize how much they’re talking about titties.
We just haven’t been around enough for them to notice.
There is only one solution to that, ladies. Bust out your baby-Gap tee and your protective welding goggles, and let’s turn this damn industry into the environment we want it to be. It’s hard work, and yes, there are a couple genuine assholes along the way. But if Ruby Underboob can brave the occasional droplet of molten metal, so can we.
Speaking from experience, it’s worth it.
About our CEO, Mark Long:
Mark has a long and storied history with, among other things, research, games and comic art. He’s a partner in the RoqlaRue gallery in Seattle, representing “chick art.” Mark considers himself a feminist activist. He is proud to have created a graphic novel trilogy with Nick Sagan (Carl’s son) that features a female hero so strong, Hillary Swank is attached to star as her.
Mark and I are now in an open dialogue about gender in comics and gaming.
Speaking of different body shapes. These are all basically peak human bodies.
How come 99% of them don’t conform to what the entertainment industry tells us is the perfect body?
These photos are from The Athlete by Howard Schatz, a great series that dispels the notion that there is such a thing as a single “athletic” body type. Not only does it contain an inspiring message—that strong bodies come in all shapes and sizes—but it’s an incredibly useful resource for artists with the diversity of body types on display and the demonstration of all the different ways muscles can appear on a body.
And that’s the most frustrating thing about depression. It isn’t always something you can fight back against with hope. It isn’t even something — it’s nothing. And you can’t combat nothing. You can’t fill it up. You can’t cover it. It’s just there, pulling the meaning out of everything. That being the case, all the hopeful, proactive solutions start to sound completely insane in contrast to the scope of the problem.
It would be like having a bunch of dead fish, but no one around you will acknowledge that the fish are dead. Instead, they offer to help you look for the fish or try to help you figure out why they disappeared.
You know when you read something that’s so accurate that you don’t know how to words?
How I feel almost every night. D:
I know, let’s will your fish alive, you can do it! Think ALIVE!