June 8th, 2011

just Chris

The greatest music video ever made.

This is one of the most-moving things I've ever seen. This kind of brilliance and cooperation - and all of it on a volunteer basis by what seems to be most of the city of Grand Rapids - restores my faith in humankind. Plus, it's one of the most powerful songs of all time. If you were offline during Memorial Day weekend like me (at the lovely ConQuest SF party convention), you might have missed it.

Roger Ebert calls it "the greatest music video ever made." WATCH NOW!

I teared up almost immediately and had to wipe my eyes almost constantly at the beauty of what it took to make this happen, with hundreds (thousands?) of people spontaneously getting together to declare their unity and delight together.

mushroom cloud

Astro-Porn of the Day: HUGEST Solar Eruption Ever Recorded!

Holy-the-Sun-is-exploding, Batman!

Click the image to see NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory article on the event - and FRAKKING AMAZING VIDEOS.

An almost unimaginably huge mushroom of belched plasma exploded from the Sun and almost immediately plummeted back onto the surface yesterday, launching perhaps the largest amount of solar material into space ever recorded. The solar flare itself was only considered a "moderate" event (sorry, but the cell-phone network will likely survive), though the volume of the eruption was the most we've ever seen. Space observatories in the past year recorded about 70 such solar flares, each roughly ten times weaker than "extreme" flares, of which only two have occurred since 2007.

What shocked scientists was the unusual amount of material that bubbled up, expanded, and collapsed over roughly half the surface area of the Sun. The event's simultaneous launch of particles into space is called a coronal mass ejection.

"This totally caught us by surprise. There wasn't much going on with this spot, but as it came from behind the Sun, all of a sudden there was a flare and huge ejection of particles," said NASA astrophysicist Phillip Chamberlin. "We've never seen a CME this enormous." That's what she said! (Apologies, but someone had to....)