Coolest optical illusion ever?

Via Phil Plait at Slate.  Soooo cool.

Color animation

Why is this so cool?  The colors of the background don’t change at all.  The shifting horizontal to vertical lines make them appear that they do.  More (including more cool optical illusions) at the link.


The depressing state of Americans and science in one chart

Beliefs in evolution from Gallup:

Trend: Which of the following statements comes closest to your views on the origin and development of human beings?

There is just no way you can be even a tiny bit scientifically literate and believe that God created humans in the present form in the past 10,000 years.  No way at all.  Yet this is the plurality winner– ugh.  I’m totally fine with humans evolved with God guiding as there is nothing testable about that which has to imply science is wrong– rather, that God just really likes Natural Selection.

Why I love my job

Interesting piece today in NYT on why people hate their (white collar) jobs.  Here’s the key chart:


Any you know what, unlike most all the respondents, I can pretty much answer “have this” to just about all these questions.  Hooray for being a college professor.

Photo of the day

From the Telegraph’s photos of the week:

e Eta Aquarid meteor shower captured over Mount Bromo, Indonesia. - A SPECTACULAR array of stars fills the night sky as they soar over this active volcano. Captured in East Java, Indonesia, these images capture the annual meteor shower that takes place above Mount Bromo. The spectacular photographs were captured by Singapore photographer Justin Ng. 'In these photographs you can see the meteor shower taking place above the active volcano, Mount Bromo, which was spewing sulphur,' says 36 year old Justin.

Singapore photographer Justin Ng managed to take this wonderful photo of the Eta Aquarid meteor shower over Mount Bromo in IndonesiaPicture: Hotspot Media/Justin Ng

Today in NC politics

1) Hooray, school teachers can finally participate in prayer.  What’s that you say?  This law is pretty much identical to others that have already been struck down as unconstitutional?  Minor point when you’ve got to prove that Republicans love Jesus and Democrats don’t.

2) A NC House Committee voted to begin the process of opting out of Common Core standards:

House Bill 1061, which still needs to go through the Appropriations Committee before heading to the House floor, would create an Academic Standards Review Commission to develop standards “tailored to the needs of North Carolina’s students.”

I’m still waiting to find out just how exactly, math, science, etc., should be “tailored to the needs of North Carolina’s students” that is different from the needs of students in other states.  Is it something in the water?

3) Speaking of something in the water…. nice NYT Op-Ed of how we can expect more crap in our water here in NC.  Hooray for deregulation!

In fact, even as North Carolina faces the worst threat to its waterways in a generation, state politicians have started a process to eliminate dozens of environmental protections that have kept our water safe and clean for decades.

Last year, the General Assembly mandated that every single safeguard on our state’s waterways and drinking water be allowed to expire, unless regulators went through a burdensome process to readopt each one. To further stack the deck, legislators have simultaneously slashed 40 percent from the budget of the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the agency charged with ensuring these safeguards are in place and enforced.

Nearly four months after the Dan River spill was discovered, Duke Energy has barely begun to clean up the river (though it reached a deal with the Environmental Protection Agency to do so last month), and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources has yet to force Duke to begin a comprehensive cleanup in its 13 other coal ash sites across North Carolina — all of which are slowly leaking pollutants into our rivers, groundwater and drinking water.

I mean, come on, it’s not like water is essential to human life and health or anything.

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