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February 21, 2020

Big Hair

From The Pudding:

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, one could argue that the hairstyle in your yearbook photo is at least 990 of them.

Hair is decade-defining — it’s hard to think of the 1930s without finger waves, the 1960s without beehives, the 1970s without afros, the 1990s without mullets, or the 2000s without frosted tips.

And, if you think of the 1980s, well, you probably think of hair teased to the heavens.

After all, "the higher the hair, the closer to God."

But were the 1980s really when big hair reached its height?

That's where data comes in.

Using deep learning and neural network classifiers (more on this in the methodology), we looked at a dataset of more than 30,000 high school yearbook photos from 1930–2013 to see what should really be crowned the "Big Hair Era."

February 21, 2020 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

"Pale Blue Dot" Revisited


[This updated version of the iconic "Pale Blue Dot" image taken by the Voyager 1 spacecraft uses modern image-processing software and techniques to revisit the well-known Voyager view while attempting to respect the original data and intent of those who planned the images. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech]

From SciTechDaily:

For the 30th anniversary of one of the most iconic views from the Voyager mission, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, is publishing a new version of the image known as the "Pale Blue Dot" (above).

The Pale Blue Dot is a photograph of Earth taken February 14, 1990, by NASA's Voyager 1 at a distance of 3.7 billion miles (6 billion kilometers) from the Sun.

The image inspired the title of scientist Carl Sagan's book, "Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space," in which he wrote: "Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us."

The updated image uses modern image-processing software and techniques while respecting the intent of those who planned the image.

Like the original, the new color view shows planet Earth as a single, bright blue pixel in the vastness of space.

Rays of sunlight scattered within the camera optics stretch across the scene, one of which happens to have intersected dramatically with Earth.

The view was obtained on February 14, 1990, just minutes before Voyager 1's cameras were intentionally powered off to conserve power and because the probe — along with its sibling, Voyager 2 — would not make close flybys of any other objects during their lifetimes.


[The original "Pale Blue Dot." This narrow-angle color image of the Earth, dubbed "Pale Blue Dot," is a part of the first ever "portrait" of the solar system taken by Voyager 1. The spacecraft acquired a total of 60 frames for a mosaic of the solar system from a distance of more than 4 billion miles from Earth and about 32 degrees above the ecliptic. From Voyager's great distance Earth is a mere point of light, less than the size of a picture element even in the narrow-angle camera. Earth was a crescent only 0.12 pixel in size. Coincidentally, Earth lies right in the center of one of the scattered light rays resulting from taking the image so close to the sun. This blown-up image of the Earth was taken through three color filters — violet, blue and green — and recombined to produce the color image. The background features in the image are artifacts resulting from the magnification. Credit: NASA/JPL]

Shutting down instruments and other systems on the two Voyager spacecraft has been a gradual and ongoing process that has helped enable their longevity.

This celebrated Voyager 1 view was part of a series of 60 images designed to produce what the mission called the "Family Portrait of the Solar System.'

Voyager 1 was speeding out of the solar system — beyond Neptune and about 3.7 billion miles (6 billion kilometers) from the Sun — when mission managers commanded it to look back toward home for a final time.

This sequence of camera-pointing commands returned images of six of the solar system's planets, as well as the Sun.

The Pale Blue Dot view was created using the color images Voyager took of Earth.

The popular name of this view is traced to the title of the 1994 book by Voyager imaging scientist Carl Sagan, who originated the idea of using Voyager's cameras to image the distant Earth and played a critical role in enabling the family portrait images to be taken.

The Voyager spacecraft were built by JPL, which continues to operate both.

JPL is a division of Caltech in Pasadena.

The Voyager missions are a part of the NASA Heliophysics System Observatory, sponsored by the Heliophysics Division of the Science Mission Directorate in Washington.

February 21, 2020 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

What green eyes you have

February 21, 2020 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

iPhone Easter Egg

Screenshot 2020-02-21 at 8.06.49 AM

Just in from my Crack Pittsburgh Correspondent©®: "TIL that the iPhone calculator app — when the phone is turned sideways — becomes a scientific calculator."

Screenshot 2020-02-21 at 8.07.14 AM

Well, butter my butt & call me a biscuit: it's true!


So easy, even a TechnoDolt®© can do it.

If it doesn't work for you, let me know and I'll refund twice what you paid for this tip —


on Tuesday.

February 21, 2020 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (4)

Darth Maul Face Pack — Star Wars character-themed beauty mask


From the website:

After Darth Vader, Darth Maul is Star Wars' most distinguished Sith Lord, and a huge fan favorite thanks to both his amazing skills with the crimson double-bladed lightsaber and his devilish looks.

So when Isshindo Honpo created its Star Wars Face Pack series, there was little doubt it would include a Darth Maul version: behold, the Darth Maul Face Pack!

If you are among the legions of fans of the dark side of the Force's tattooed champion, you definitely need a set of these packs.

Looks aside, like most of Isshindo Honpo's beauty masks the Darth Maul Face Pack also contains an expert mix of water, glycerin, hyaluronic acid, collagen (hydrolyzed and water-soluble), and vitamin C derivative (magnesium ascorbyl phosphate) to guarantee that after using it, your skin feels firmer, healthier, and more youthful.

Get a set of three disposable face packs and enjoy beauty sessions at home while, at the same time, flashing your evil, crimson colors!

Instructions in Japanese (but easy to use).

Three-pack: $30.

February 21, 2020 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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