Red Sandstone of China Danxia

May 30th, 2013 | Space

China Danxia 1

China Danxia 2

China Danxia 3

Danxia Landform Recognized As World Natural Heritage

China Danxia is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the name given in China to landscapes developed on continental red terrigenous sedimentary beds influenced by endogenous forces (including uplift) and exogenous forces (including weathering and erosion). The inscribed site comprises six areas found in the sub-tropical zone of south-west China.

They are characterized by spectacular red cliffs and a range of erosional landforms, including dramatic natural pillars, towers, ravines, valleys and waterfalls. These rugged landscapes have helped to conserve sub-tropical broad-leaved evergreen forests, and host many species of flora and fauna, about 400 of which are considered rare or threatened.” — description from UNESCO

It’s really quite amazing what surprises can be found on this Earth.


[via My Amp Goes to 11]

Black-and-White Vintage NASA Photographs

May 28th, 2013 | Space

Vintage NASA Photographs

NASA was officially created on October 1st, 1958 to “provide for research into the problems of flight within and outside the Earth’s atmosphere, and for other purposes.” However, space and aeronautics research was being conducted for several decades before NASA’s inception under the guidance of NACA, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics.

The images seen here are just a sample of the gorgeous photographs taken during the infancy of the United States Space Program.

Vintage NASA Photographs

Pictured at the top is the Explorer XVII Satellite, a pressurized stainless steel sphere which measured the density, composition, pressure and temperature of Earth’s atmosphere after its launch from Cape Canaveral on April 3, 1963

Pressure Wind Tunnel 1950

This image, taken in 1950, features a 19 foot Pressure Wind Tunnel at the Langley Aeronautical Laboratory.

NASA Analog Computing Machine 1949

An Analog Computing Machine in the Fuel Systems Building from 1949… This is an early version of the modern computer.

Engine on Torque Stand 1944

(April 15, 1944) Engine on Torque Stand at the Aircraft Engine Research Laboratory in Cleveland, Ohio, now known as the John H. Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field

Apollo 11 Crew In Mexico City

(Sept. 23, 1969) The Apollo 11 astronauts (1st people to walk on the Moon), Neil A. Armstrong, Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr., and Michael Collins, wearing sombreros and ponchos, are swarmed by thousands in Mexico City as their motorcade is slowed by the enthusiastic crowd.

NASA Lunar Lander Testing

(June 16, 1969) A Lunar Landing Training Vehicle, piloted by Astronaut Neil Armstrong, goes through a checkout flight at Ellington Air Force Base on June 16, 1969.

NASA Python Engine Installation

(August 25, 1949) An engine mechanic checks instrumentation prior to an investigation of engine operating characteristics and thrust control of a large turboprop Python engine with counter-rotating propellers under high-altitude flight conditions in the 20-foot-dianieter test section of the Altitude Wind Tunnel at the Lewis Flight Propulsion Laboratory of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, Cleveland, Ohio, now known as the John H. Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field.

NASA Pressure Tank 1922

Variable Density Tunnel at the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company at the shipyards. It was sent to NACA by barge and arrived in June, 1922.

These photographs capture a golden age of space exploration. The United States had a clear goal — beat the Russians the Moon — and in 1969, we succeeded. However, I can’t help but feel our space program has been a bit lost ever since…

Find many more at The NASA Commons.


[via Brain Pickings]

“Magma” — A Music Video by Dvein

May 25th, 2013 | Brain

Magma - Dvein Music Video 1

Magma - Dvein Music Video 2

Magma - Music Video 3

Magma - Dvein Music Video 4

Magma - Dvein Music Video 5

“Magma” is a new music video from Dvein, a motion and interactive collaboration between Fernando Dominuez, Teo Guillem, and Carlos Pardo based in Barcelona, Spain. The video is abstract, digital art at its best — a surrealist journey through a deteriorating, mountainous world filled with ghostly faces and swirling streams of liquid paint. Sounds cool, right? Check the video out for yourself above.

From Dvein:

“Besides our commercial activity, Dvein is conceived as a platform based on experimentation. We try to redefine the way of focusing the objectives of every particular project. We are not afraid of thinking outside the box- as we were not afraid in the past of melting a plastic toy helicopter, directing ants and snails, or building a miniature music festival.

I look forward to seeing more from this group.


Daft Punk Helmet GIFs

May 24th, 2013 | Robot, Space

Daft Punk Helmet GIFs 1






Artist Gerrel Saunders created these Daft Punk Helmet GIFs to commemorate the new album, Random Access Memories. The GIF series is titled “Give Life Back to Music” after the first track on the record.  I suggest listening to a few of the songs while watching the animations.  And, if you want to build your own helmet, check out the RobotSpaceBrain Official Tutorial.


[via Laughing Squid]

5.3-Million Brick LEGO X-Wing

May 23rd, 2013 | Space

Lego X-wing 1

Lego X-wing 2


Lego X-wing 3


This new LEGO X-Wing Masterpiece is being unveiled in Times Square today.  It was made from 5,335,200 individual bricks and weighs an astounding 45,980 pounds (20856.2 kg)!  You may be asking yourself how such a creation came to be… Well, 32 “Master Builders” spent 17,336 man-hours in Kladno, Czech Republic constructing the rebel fighter jet — that’s the equivalent of one man spending about 2 years of his life.

The X-Wing breaks the World Record for the largest LEGO model ever built by about 2 million bricks (LEGO robot will not be happy).  The folks at Wired caught up with a team leader, Erik Varszegi:  “My fellow Master Builders and I are always looking for a challenge — and for projects that push our skills to the next level.”  The team chose the X-Wing because it “is one of the most iconic vehicles in the Star Wars universe and the sheer size and scope of the building and engineering challenges was one we couldn’t resist.”

I’m not sure who funded the work, but I’m glad this happened.  Someone should build a giant LEGO Brain to complete the RobotSpaceBrain series!


“No One Knows Nothing Anymore” from Billy Bragg

May 22nd, 2013 | Brain, Space


Billy Bragg is an English musician with a musical history steeped in political activism.  From the artist: “My theory is this; I’m not a political songwriter. I’m an honest songwriter. I try and write honestly about what I see around me now.”

In other words, he writes songs with meaning.  “No One Knows Nothing Anymore” speaks to the barrage of scientific advancement which doesn’t necessarily bring serenity to our lives. Sometimes it’s better to take a step away from all of life’s worries, and enjoy the time we have.

The Lyrics to “No One Knows Nothing Anymore”

“Deep down in the underground, atoms spinning round and round
Scientists monitor readings
Searching for the Holy Grail, the particle or at least the tale
Of the one who gives the universe its meaning.

But what if there’s nothing, no big answer to find?
What if we’re just passing through time?

No one knows nothing anymore
Nobody really knows the score
Nobody knows anything
Let’s break it down and start again

What happens when the markets drop,
If the numbers really don’t add up?
Everyone seeks the safe haven.
And as they contemplate their ruin,
The self-proclaimed smartest people in the room
Are trying very hard not to sound craven

But what if there’s nothing, no pot of gold to find?
Only the blind leading the blind.

No one knows nothing anymore
Nobody really knows the score
Seems nobody knows anything
Let’s break it down and start again

Let’s stop pretending
We can manage our way out of here.
Let’s stop defending the indefensible.
Let’s stop relying on
The lecturing of the experts
Whose spin just makes our plight incomprehensible.

High up on a mountain top, somebody with a skinhead crop
Is thinking deep thoughts for us all.
Serenity is all around, but if you listen you can hear the sound
Of one head being banged against the wall.

But what if our ancestors had stayed up in the trees
Who’d be sleeping weighed down by these worries?

No one knows nothing anymore
Nobody really knows the score
Since nobody knows anything
Let’s break it down and start again”


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