0877: "Beauty"

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0877: "Beauty"

Postby LucasBrown » Fri Mar 25, 2011 4:06 am UTC

Image
Alt text: "The best hugs are probably from hagfish, which can extrude microscopic filaments that convert a huge volume of water around them to slime in seconds. Instant cozy blanket!"

Poe's Sonnet: To Science comes to mind in the first panel... and is immediately blown to pieces by the rest of the comic.

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Re: 0877: "Beauty"

Postby glasnt » Fri Mar 25, 2011 4:08 am UTC

And this is how we got the movie Flubber.


Hi joee!

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Re: 0877: "Beauty"

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Mar 25, 2011 4:15 am UTC

Aww I want to hug it.

And as of this time, wiki~ says it is dog vomit slime mold.

But some slime molds really are amazing. Some of them are actually 1 giant cell, with thousands of nuclei. Including Dog Vomit.

See the cute!

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Re: 0877: "Beauty"

Postby Vnend » Fri Mar 25, 2011 4:17 am UTC

So true.

Though I am not sure that being covered with slime counts as 'cozy'.

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Re: 0877: "Beauty"

Postby ysth » Fri Mar 25, 2011 4:38 am UTC

Carrying a microscope with one hand? Not cool, not funny, not a good comic.
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Re: 0877: "Beauty"

Postby CalculatingGod » Fri Mar 25, 2011 4:56 am UTC

Why does yellow pigmentation make slime zinc-resistant?

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Re: 0877: "Beauty"

Postby JamesGecko » Fri Mar 25, 2011 5:06 am UTC

Instant classic.

How active are slime molds? Eating them in NetHack would have been slightly more disturbing if the game had mentioned that they were squirming around.

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Re: 0877: "Beauty"

Postby glasnt » Fri Mar 25, 2011 5:17 am UTC

CalculatingGod wrote:Why does yellow pigmentation make slime zinc-resistant?

Anti corrosion applications are usually yellow-ish.
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Re: 0877: "Beauty"

Postby squareroot » Fri Mar 25, 2011 5:18 am UTC

I love the slime molds that dissolve their cell walls and merge (as mentioned above)... kinda reminds me of the Overmind, although I have never so much as watched a game of Starcraft.

Also, slime molds create their connections very efficiently (in the exact same manner as highway planners, it seems. ^.-), they have been show to act like memristors, and they can learn to keep a "rhythm" by alternating their temperature; even after the temperature has stabilized, they will continue to slow down (as if in cold) and then relax (as if in warmth) at the same rhythm.

Someday, I want to build an adder from slime mold cells. :D
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Re: 0877: "Beauty"

Postby Maximus_Light » Fri Mar 25, 2011 5:25 am UTC

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."
To which I saw some people have a very shallow view.

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Re: 0877: "Beauty"

Postby Icalasari » Fri Mar 25, 2011 5:26 am UTC

I don't care how ugly it may look. It instantly becomes cute if it tries giving you a hug

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Re: 0877: "Beauty"

Postby masher » Fri Mar 25, 2011 5:44 am UTC

ysth wrote:Carrying a microscope with one hand? Not cool, not funny, not a good comic.


And the eyepiece will fall out, smashing on the ground.

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Re: 0877: "Beauty"

Postby rpgamer » Fri Mar 25, 2011 6:04 am UTC

Maximus_Light wrote:"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."
To which I saw some people have a very shallow view.

"Don't forget to check all of its eyes. I've heard they often carry a ring of human influence."
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Re: 0877: "Beauty"

Postby vodka.cobra » Fri Mar 25, 2011 6:10 am UTC

The problem with scientists is they find beauty in things most people don't, and they don't find beauty in things most people do.

Why? Because most people are narrowminded and scientists are like, "Yo, I'm going to devote a lot of my time and knowledge figuring this shit out. I appreciate it."
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Re: 0877: "Beauty"

Postby Arariel » Fri Mar 25, 2011 6:45 am UTC

Ugh, I just hate people like the girl with the ponytail.

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Re: 0877: "Beauty"

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Mar 25, 2011 6:51 am UTC

Slime molds are also intelligent.

Scary. I'm sad that if we go extinct, we won't be able to watch the slime molds, ant mega-colonies, bee hyperswarms, and wasp hordes all wage glorious conflict for supremacy over the remains of our shattered world.

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Re: 0877: "Beauty"

Postby NotAllThere » Fri Mar 25, 2011 7:07 am UTC

The problem with non-scientists is that they often have no idea what science is really about, and what makes scientists tick. I like nice pretty theories with beautiful maths.

I think we missed a trick by not naming the heaviest quarks Truth and Beauty. After such a good start.
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Re: 0877: "Beauty"

Postby Noah1989 » Fri Mar 25, 2011 7:17 am UTC

Randall, get out of Feynman's head!

Image

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Re: 0877: "Beauty"

Postby SeaBeecb » Fri Mar 25, 2011 7:48 am UTC

I was introduced to this video in a biology class. I think it beautifully shows how life on a microscopic level can be quite awe inspiring: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mszlckmc4Hw

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Re: 0877: "Beauty"

Postby Plasma Mongoose » Fri Mar 25, 2011 8:01 am UTC

masher wrote:
ysth wrote:Carrying a microscope with one hand? Not cool, not funny, not a good comic.


And the eyepiece will fall out, smashing on the ground.


The microscope she's carrying reminds me of the kiddie microscope I used to have when I was a kid.
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Re: 0877: "Beauty"

Postby legopelle » Fri Mar 25, 2011 8:48 am UTC

I liked this comic. Perfect to show my non-scientista hombres.
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Re: 0877: "Beauty"

Postby TV4Fun » Fri Mar 25, 2011 9:32 am UTC

The problem with people other than scientists is they think all beauty is only superficial.
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Re: 0877: "Beauty"

Postby sippawitz » Fri Mar 25, 2011 9:35 am UTC

thankyou.

thankyou thankyou thankyou.

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Re: 0877: "Beauty"

Postby Technical Ben » Fri Mar 25, 2011 10:07 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Slime molds are also intelligent.

Scary. I'm sad that if we go extinct, we won't be able to watch the slime molds, ant mega-colonies, bee hyperswarms, and wasp hordes all wage glorious conflict for supremacy over the remains of our shattered world.

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Re: 0877: "Beauty"

Postby kryton » Fri Mar 25, 2011 10:14 am UTC

I got quite a kick out of the episode of "Dirty Jobs" where Mike Rowe got to play with Hagfish and their "slime".
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Re: 0877: "Beauty"

Postby Kanonfutter » Fri Mar 25, 2011 10:26 am UTC

I really appreciate this one. It is funny and carries a high degree of truth in it.

On the other hand, the problem with scientists is that they dont see the beauty of an arc because they marvel at the balancing of forces.

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Re: 0877: "Beauty"

Postby BlitzGirl » Fri Mar 25, 2011 10:34 am UTC

Icalasari wrote:I don't care how ugly it may look. It instantly becomes cute if it tries giving you a hug


And that is why constrictors are adorable.
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SirMustapha
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Re: 0877: "Beauty"

Postby SirMustapha » Fri Mar 25, 2011 10:48 am UTC

I was just going to praise the fact that the comic is nowhere as snobbish and arrogant as it could have been. But then, of course, the discussion thread had to make a quick move and fill in that blank. Congratulations.

The problem with scientists is that all of them make dumb generalizations.

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Re: 0877: "Beauty"

Postby sportsracer48 » Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:13 am UTC

couldn't agree more. My dad (biologist) often brings home amblypigids, twelve inch millipedes, and lung fish, and talks about how cute they are.

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Re: 0877: "Beauty"

Postby Turing Machine » Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:19 am UTC

TV4Fun wrote:The problem with people other than scientists is they think all beauty is only superficial.


All generalizations are true.

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Re: 0877: "Beauty"

Postby SpaceShipRat » Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:47 am UTC

Isn't this so heartwarming? :D thankyou Randall.

On the subject of slime molds, I first saw them as a little girl, on tv in a hotel in germany, as they creeped along and ate through a forest in fast motion. What with not speaking german, it definitely stuck in my mind as a nightmarish image!

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Re: 0877: "Beauty"

Postby saut » Fri Mar 25, 2011 12:14 pm UTC

Reminds me of the Richard Dawkins book Unweaving the Rainbow.

Quote from wiki: "His starting point is John Keats' well-known accusation that Isaac Newton destroyed the beauty of the rainbow by explaining it. The agenda of the book is to show the reader that science does not destroy, but rather discovers poetry in the patterns of nature."

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Re: 0877: "Beauty"

Postby chrth » Fri Mar 25, 2011 12:31 pm UTC

Hey, that slime mold was in an episode of Bones! (Speaking of enthusiastic scientists)

On the subject of science and beauty, here's something I've never been able to figure out: why do humans (at least Americans; I can't speak for all cultures) find such beauty when the leaves change color? If I'm hanging out as primitive man (i.e. before agriculture, and therefore before "harvest"), the leaves changing colors would be the first sign of impending Winter, and thus a lot of cold and death; I don't think I'd find much beauty at all in them. Then again, the vast majority of primitive culture were in tropical/sub-tropical climes, so maybe it was a non-issue and sense of beauty in color derived from different means?

Maybe it's a little simple-minded to think evolution would either encourage either appreciation of or fear of something like leaves changing colors. But it has to exist for a reason, right? (And if someone says "God" I'll beat you with a juniper stick)

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Re: 0877: "Beauty"

Postby Hephaestus16 » Fri Mar 25, 2011 1:14 pm UTC

I think bees would give the best hugs as they could hug the whole body and they raise their body temperature for optimum snugglyness.

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Re: 0877: "Beauty"

Postby saut » Fri Mar 25, 2011 1:15 pm UTC

I think that leaves in autumn are beautiful as symbols of death because we know that they'll be green and alive again in a few months. They arent' symbols of death alone, but of the cycle of death and rebirth.

That's not to say that there isn't something beautiful about death itself. Reminds me of one of my favorite poems, Spring and Fall: To a Young Child by Gerard Manley Hopkins:


Márgarét, are you gríeving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leáves, líke the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! ás the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you wíll weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sórrow's spríngs áre the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It ís the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.

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Re: 0877: "Beauty"

Postby Moose Hole » Fri Mar 25, 2011 1:37 pm UTC

Why are scientists so damn ugly?

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Re: 0877: "Beauty"

Postby Fixblor » Fri Mar 25, 2011 1:48 pm UTC

That's some grade-A, PURE yellow you've got there. We're talkin' fully-saturated, one hundred percent luminous, spot-on sixty-degree yellow.

How much you want for it?
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Re: 0877: "Beauty"

Postby jc » Fri Mar 25, 2011 1:53 pm UTC

Turing Machine wrote:
TV4Fun wrote:The problem with people other than scientists is they think all beauty is only superficial.

All generalizations are true.

Nah. All generalizations are false. This has the aesthetic advantage of being a paradox, and how can you not love a paradox?

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Re: 0877: "Beauty"

Postby mewshi » Fri Mar 25, 2011 2:19 pm UTC

Lots of my friends in college who were science majors (including social sciences) have this amazing child-like wonder about everything. It's honestly one of the few things I like about people as a group, is that some people still have that "What does this do?" drive to learn everything they can, even well into their 20s and 30s.

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Re: 0877: "Beauty"

Postby atomfullerene » Fri Mar 25, 2011 2:19 pm UTC

chrth, about the leaf color thing. If I were to come up with an evolutionary just-so story, I would say people like to see the leaves change for the following reason:

When leaves change color, they generally turn red, yellow, and orange. People like this because many people like the colors red, yellow, and orange (and they typically like bright colors in general). This comes out in other things too, eg, why people like to look at flowers even though they don't eat them. Primates generally are interested in reddish colors because ripe fruits are often reddish, and ripe fruits are a major part of the diet. But the color preference is nonspecific to fruit. Incidentally, bright red often shows up in mating related contexts in primates (think baboon bottoms) and it's thought that this is to take advantage of the preexisting preference in members of the other sex.

Also, loved the comic. May have to post this one on the door of the lab.


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