Water! 140 Trillion Times Earth’s Oceans–Surrounds a Voracious Black Hole at the Edge of the Universe

In the summer of 2011, two teams of astronomers discovered the largest and farthest reservoir of water ever detected in the universe. The water, equivalent to 140 trillion times all the water in the world’s ocean, surrounds a huge, feeding black hole, called a quasar, more than 12 billion light-years away

.The quasar, APM 08279+5255, was discovered in 1998. Observations with optical and infrared telescopes revealed that the quasar, a young galaxy with a voracious black hole at its center image above, was forming new stars rapidly in a starburst. At a distance of more than 12 billion light-years, the quasar is seen as it was more than 12 billion years ago, just a billion or so years after the Big Bang.

via Water! 140 Trillion Times Earth’s Oceans–Surrounds a Voracious Black Hole at the Edge of the Universe Today’s Most Popular.

Why a Song Can Bring Tears to Your Eye.

Why does Adele’s ‘Someone Like You’ make everyone cry? Science has found the formula.

Twenty years ago, the British psychologist John Sloboda conducted a simple experiment. He asked music lovers to identify passages of songs that reliably set off a physical reaction, such as tears or goose bumps. Participants identified 20 tear-triggering passages, and when Dr. Sloboda analyzed their properties, a trend emerged: 18 contained a musical device called an “appoggiatura.”

An appoggiatura is a type of ornamental note that clashes with the melody just enough to create a dissonant sound. “This generates tension in the listener,” said Martin Guhn, a psychologist at the University of British Columbia who co-wrote a 2007 study on the subject. “When the notes return to the anticipated melody, the tension resolves, and it feels good.”

Last year, Robert Zatorre and his team of neuroscientists at McGill University reported that emotionally intense music releases dopamine in the pleasure and reward centers of the brain, similar to the effects of food, sex and drugs. This makes us feel good and motivates us to repeat the behavior.

Measuring listeners’ responses, Dr. Zatorre’s team found that the number of goose bumps observed correlated with the amount of dopamine released, even when the music was extremely sad. The results suggest that the more emotions a song provokes—whether depressing or uplifting—the more we crave the song.

via Why Adele’s ‘Someone Like You’ Makes Everyone Cry – WSJ.com.

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“Kelvin–Helmholtz instability” Covers Florida Condos

Panama City Beach, Florida — Fog rolls up along the shore of Panama City Beach, Florida on Feb. 5th, 2012. Maria found this picture,  but Peggy Sadler shared the link below to the full set.

via PhotoBlog – Spectacular ‘cloud tsunami’ rolls over Florida high-rise condos.

How French Parents Raise Better Kids

While Americans fret over modern parenthood, the French are raising happy, well-behaved children without all the anxiety. Pamela Druckerman on the Gallic secrets for avoiding tantrums, teaching patience and saying ‘non’ with authority.

French Lessons

  • Children should say hello, goodbye, thank you and please. It helps them to learn that they aren’t the only ones with feelings and needs.
  • When they misbehave, give them the “big eyes”—a stern look of admonishment.
  • Allow only one snack a day. In France, it’s at 4 or 4:30.
  • Remind them (and yourself) who’s the boss. French parents say, “It’s me who decides.”
  • Don’t be afraid to say “no.” Kids have to learn how to cope with some frustration.

via Why French Parents Are Superior by Pamela Druckerman – WSJ.com.

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