Pyrosomes, North Korea’s internet, Joe Cocker

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Pyrostremma spinosum (Giant fire salp)

“Pyrosomes, genus Pyrosoma, are free-floating colonial tunicates that live usually in the upper layers of the open ocean in warm seas, although some may be found at greater depths. Pyrosomes are cylindrical- or conical-shaped colonies made up of hundreds to thousands of individuals, known as zooids. Colonies range in size from less than one centimeter to several metres in length.


Each zooid is only a few millimetres in size, but is embedded in a common gelatinous tunic that joins all of the individuals. Each zooid opens both to the inside and outside of the “tube”, drawing in ocean water from the outside to its internal filtering mesh called the branchial basket, extracting the microscopic plant cells on which it feeds, and then expelling the filtered water to the inside of the cylinder of the colony. The colony is bumpy on the outside, each bump representing a single zooid, but nearly smooth, though perforated with holes for each zooid, on the inside.

Pyrosomes are planktonic, which means their movements are largely controlled by currents, tides, and waves in the oceans. On a smaller scale, however, each colony can move itself slowly by the process of jet propulsion, created by the coordinated beating of cilia in the branchial baskets of all the zooids, which also create feeding currents.

Pyrosomes are brightly bioluminescent, flashing a pale blue-green light that can be seen for many tens of metres. The name Pyrosoma comes from the Greek (pyro = “fire”, soma = “body”). Pyrosomes are closely related to salps, and are sometimes called “fire salps”.

Sailors on the ocean are occasionally treated to calm seas containing many pyrosomes, all luminescing on a dark night.”

Did the US just take out North Korea’s internet?

“We will respond,” US president Barack Obama declared at his final scheduled press conference for 2014 last Friday. He was referring to the hacking of Sony Pictures, which the US government blames on North Korea. “We will respond proportionately, and in a space, time and manner that we choose,” Obama added.

Inevitably, then many observers are speculating that the US is behind the attacks today that have closed down North Korea’s internet access, as the North Korea tech blog reported this morning. There have been similar reports from several other news outlets including the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg.

The White House and State Department aren’t commenting on the reports.

Despite the timing, this is not necessarily the work of the US. China haslaunched an investigation into the attack, and as Vox’s Max Fisherpoints out, Beijing could be trying to prevent more mischief by Pyongyang. (Although it stands by North Korea, China is often embarrassed by the behavior of its neighbor.) Other theories include the idea that North Korea has taken down its internet voluntarily, to prevent an attack, or that this is the work of cyber-vigilanties.

Since very few people in North Korea have access to the internet—manydon’t even know it exists—it’s not clear what shutting it down actually means.

One thing is clear, if it wasn’t already: we are now in a scary new era of international cyber-warfare.

From the Quartz.

RIP Joe Cocker. I remember listening to his songs quite a bit in the old days. Think I had all his songs on CD for listening on the many trips from Texas to Iowa and back.

? 3 6 9 – “If you only knew the magnificence of the 3, 6 and 9, then you would have a key to the universe.” – N.Tesla
Have you ever wondered why there are 360 degrees in a circle? This short video distills a lot of information about numbers, geometry and the relationship between them.

Kids urged to steal their parents guns! What can go wrong?

Tour Old Car City USA in White, Georgia without leaving your seat. Touted as “The World’s Largest Junkyard,” this gear head destination is located 50 miles north of Atlanta.
The three-legged dog, known as Junkyard Life, toured Dean Lewis’ legendary 35-acre, wooded playground of rusty relics. Muscle cars, hot rods and classic cars can be found along the 6-mile trail.
The Junkyard Life crew, consisting of, Jody Potter, Ron Kidd and Anthony Powell, found ourselves, in a rush to witness the spectacle first-hand. With only 2 hours until closing time, we forked over the entry fee and set out on a mad dash to see if this was the world’s largest junkyard or an outdoor museum of American automotive history.
“Everything is for sale,” said owner, Dean Lewis.
We quickly realized that his prices would be hefty. Breaking up a part of Dean’s automotive collection meant spending several thousand dollars. A tough sell when your looking at a parts car at best. Several complete, restorable cars were also for sale near the front office. Help us look for the diamonds in the rough before they get any rougher.
Filmed during 2012. More photos and videos to come.

Website is HERE.

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