(Source: metalfuckingheads)

The greatest explorer of recent decades is not even human. It’s the Hubble Space Telescope, which has offered everybody on Earth a mind-expanding window to the cosmos.
Neil DeGrasse Tyson (via whats-out-there)


usually i really like wearing make-up but tonight i felt like i looked really cute without it too so i’m happy and feeling cute generally

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Electronic musician Matthew Dear and GE Acoustics Engineer Andrew Gorton team up to turn the sounds of badass machines into music. Watch the video on YouTube, and download the track at SoundCloud

(Source: plasmarifles)


How neurons in bats’ brains ensure a safe flight

As nocturnal animals, bats are perfectly adapted to a life without light. They emit echolocation sounds and use the delay between the reflected echoes to measure distance to obstacles or prey. In their brains, they have a spatial map representing different echo delays. A study carried out by researchers at Technische Universität München (TUM) has shown for the first time that this map dynamically adapts to external factors.

Closer objects appear larger

When a bat flies in too close to an object, the number of activated neurons in its brain increases. As a result, the object appears disproportionately larger on the bat’s brain map than objects at a safe distance, as if it were magnified. “The map is similar to the navigation systems used in cars in that it shows bats the terrain in which they are moving,” explains study director Dr. Uwe Firzlaff at the TUM Chair of Zoology. “The major difference, however, is that the bats’ inbuilt system warns them of an impending collision by enhancing neuronal signals for objects that are in close proximity.”

Bats constantly adapt their flight maneuvers to their surroundings to avoid collisions with buildings, trees or other animals. The ability to determine lateral distance to other objects also plays a key role here. Which is why bats process more spatial information than just echo delays. “Bats evaluate their own motion and map it against the lateral distance to objects,” elaborates the researcher.

Brain processes complex spatial information

In addition to the echo reflection time, bats process the reflection angle of echoes. They also compare the sound volume of their calls with those of the reflected sound waves and measure the wave spectrum of the echo. “Our research has led us to conclude that bats display much more spatial information on their acoustic maps than just echo reflection.”

The results show that the nerve cells interpret the bats’ rapid responses to external stimuli by enlarging the active area in the brain to display important information. “We may have just uncovered one of the fundamental mechanisms that enables vertebrates to adapt flexibly to continuously changing environments,” concludes Firzlaff.

Journal Reference:

  1. Sophia K. Bartenstein, Nadine Gerstenberg, Dieter Vanderelst, Herbert Peremans, Uwe Firzlaff. Echo-acoustic flow dynamically modifies the cortical map of target range in batsNature Communications, 2014; 5 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms5668

(Source: vaultt-tec)


Perkasie Abandoned Train Tunnel


claymore name meanings


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Mondays are fine. Its your life that sucks.
—Ricky Gervais (via disimba)



Leaf bug (Phyllium giganteum)

The constant wobbling as they move is a part of their disguise, making it seem as though the “leaf” is only moving because of a light breeze.

If you blow on one it will also shake around in the hopes of matching any actual surrounding leaves

(Source: only-by-night)

(Source: seasonsschange)