Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Post 666

The Number of the Beast is 666 - William Blake
   This is my 666th blog post.  In honor of this rather dubious milestone, here's a selection of 42 of the over one hundred articles I've edited on another website, Wikipedia.

Aerobic anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria:  very abundant marine plankton.

Big Bang nucleosynthesis:  there is an unexplained discrepancy for the element Lithium.

Linda B. Buck:  a Nobel prize winner in biology - recently retracted publications.

Lois McMaster Bujold:  award winning scifi and fantasy author.

Cartesian Coordinates:  French philosopher Oreseme anticipated Descartes by centuries.

Cassiopeia A:  a supernova remnant and a very strong radio source.

Clovis point:  beautiful spear points from ancient America.

Coherent perfect absorber:  a time-reversed laser.

 Dwarf galaxy problem:  there aren't as many as expected.

Geminga:  an unusual neutron star which generated the Local Bubble.

J. Richard Gott: Princeton professor of astrophysics with a Doomsday Theory.

GSI anomaly:  unexplained oscillations detected at a German laboratory.

Guzheng:  a classical Chinese musical instrument.

Haptophyte: tiny uncultured pico-prymnesiophytes are ecologically important.

Helical Dirac fermion:  behaves like a massless relativistic particle.

Helitron:  DNA which replicates by a rolling-circle mechanism.

 Inner Core:  the central core of the earth has an East-West asymmetry.

Richard J. Lipton:  computer scientist, Gödel's Lost Letter and P=NP is his blog.

Local Void:  a vast empty region of space near our Milky Way galaxy.

Mira B: the companion of the variable star Mira is now believed to be a white dwarf.

National Spatial Reference System: is a coordinate system managed by the US.

Pre-solar nebula:  a supernova shock wave may have triggered the formation of the Sun.

Puerto Plata:  is a resort town on the north coast of the Dominican Republic.

Ptychography:  allows X-ray microscopes without using lenses.

Quantum Gravity:  this theory has a Problem with Time.

The Rose of Versailles:  is a Japanese manga set during the French Revolution.

RX J0852.0-4622:  a nearby supernova which should have been visible around 1250.

SCP 06F6: an extremely luminous supernova. 

Second harmonic imaging microscopy:  useful in imaging in living tissues.

Segue 1:  a dwarf galaxy dominated by Dark Matter.

Three Tales:  the tale A Simple Heart by Flaubert inspired the novel Flaubert's Parrot.

Time dilation :  A surprising consequence of relativity.

Topological insulator:  an exotic material that has insulating and conducting regions.

Torquetum:  a medieval astronomical instrument.

Transit of Venus: Venus will cross the face of the Sun again in 2012.

Type IIn supernovae:  extremely energetic supernovae.

Type IIb supernovae:  a star with a mostly helium core explodes.

Venus: the planet was completely resurfaced 300-600 million years ago.

Water window: water is transparent to part of the X-ray spectrum.

Xenocarida:  the "strange shrimp" are a group of recently discovered Crustacea.

Shing-Tung Yau:  distinguished mathematician, Poincaire conjecture controversy.

 Zero Morphism: is a concept in the mathematical subject Category Theory.

Oxygen increase in the Devonian Period

There's new evidence of a substantial increase in ocean oxygen content during the Devonian period about 400 million years ago.  That was around the time that vascular plants arose, so perhaps that's what caused the increase.  At the same time more complicated animals such as predatory fish evolved  - so perhaps the higher level of oxygen is what made that possible.   See Plants set stage for evolutionary drama in Nature.