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Thursday, December 12, 2019


Soo dear reader, if you want a suggestion on a good (and scarier even than the idea of Rober Pattison as the new Batman) read about climate change consequences and dynamics, well a bunch of scientists just published a comment paper on Nature which title is self-explanatory: "Climate tipping points — too risky to bet against" (P).

This dumb blog's cheap comment on the topic follows, via cartoon...

@sciencemug's opinion on climate change
@sciencemug opinion on climate change
[Wave pic and beach pic are free images under Pixabay License (source: Pixabay); adapted by @sciencemug)]

In hyper few quotes some main points (not all of 'em) of the paper:
- tipping points "refer to critical thresholds in a system that, when exceeded, can lead to a significant change in the state of the system, often with an understanding that the change is irreversible" (1)
- the system: Earth system
- examples of tipping points: "the loss of the Amazon rainforest or the West Antarctic ice sheet" (P)
- core message: tipping points may be reached even with a 1-2 °C raise of the temperature (P); moreover, there's the possibility of a global domino effect of these tipping points leading to a global, irreversible, catastrophic for human civilization tipping point
- example of such a domino effect: "Arctic sea-ice loss is amplifying regional warming, and Arctic warming and Greenland melting are driving an influx of fresh water into the North Atlantic. This could have contributed to a 15% slowdown since the mid-twentieth century of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), a key part of global heat and salt transport by the ocean. Rapid melting of the Greenland ice sheet and further slowdown of the AMOC could destabilize the West African monsoon, triggering drought in Africa’s Sahel region. A slowdown in the AMOC could also dry the Amazon, disrupt the East Asian monsoon and cause heat to build up in the Southern Ocean, which could accelerate Antarctic ice loss"(P) 
- conclusion: the paper's title
- final comment: humanity is "in a state of planetary emergency" (P).

Well, what to say... Take care, dear human reader, at least till you still can.

P- Lenton, T.M., Rockström, J., Gaffney, O., Rahmstorf, S., Richardson, K., Steffen, W., and Schellnhuber, H.J. (2019). Climate tipping points — too risky to bet against. Nature 575, 592–595.
1- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (2018). Global Warming of 1.5 oC (Chapter 3).

Friday, December 6, 2019


Ho-ho-hooooo hallo dear reader! After Halloween, the Black Friday aaand the Cyber Monday here it's coming a new credit card holiday: Christmas!

A smiling Santa says: "Ho-ho-ho! Merry post!" (by @sciencemug)
Merry post! by @sciencemug

Sooo, a Xmas post is coming soon and, to fit the Xmas spirit of nowadays, it'll tell you a science paper that’s all about... MONEY! Aaand a bit of charity too. Read you soon pal!

Thursday, December 5, 2019


Ooooh hello dear reader! A bunch of Chinese astronomers discovered (P) 19 dwarf galaxies that have way less dark matter than expected, and they don't know how this be possible, considering that in "the standard cosmological model, dark matter drives the structure formation of galaxies and constructs potential wells within which galaxies may form" (P).

This dumb blog, though, has a theory...

The true reason why galaxies with less dark matter than expected exist (by @sciencemug)
The true reason why some dwarf galaxies miss a lot of dark matter (by @sciencemug)

[Vending machine free pic by Mitchell Luo (source: Unsplash); Stars background is a Public Domain pic by NASA (source: Wikimedia Commons); Spiral Galaxy pic by ESA/Hubble is under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license (source: Wikimedia Commons); Dwarf Galaxy is a Public Domain pic by NASA (source: Wikimedia Commons); the planet sketch on top of the vending machine is by @sngshp; all pics adapted by @sciencemug]

Universe composition: 
- 5%, matter [you, Bernard* (the weird little guy depicted on top of the vending machine, with a "B" all over its/his/her... Well, the part between the head and the legs), vending machines, hippos, the annoying neighbor, the annoying neighbor's annoying pet(s), Monica Bellucci, the piece of lettuce stuck between your front teeth during your dream job interview/first date with your huge crush of ten years, Tom Selleck's mustache, all the things inside a woman purse, all the things disappeared inside a woman purse, broccoli, the stars, the stars which don't go to the talk shows 'cause they're too busy doing nuclear fusion, aaaand so on)
- 27% dark matter (who knows, I just draw my two cents 'bout it)
- 68% dark energy (see above)

* Ok, ok, technically Berny's not matter, is an idea (and not even a slightly brilliant one), but with billions of worlds out there, well, who knows...

P- Guo, Q., Hu, H., Zheng, Z., Liao, S., Du, W., Mao, S., Jiang, L., Wang, J., Peng, Y., Gao, L., et al. (2019). Further evidence for a population of dark-matter-deficient dwarf galaxies. Nat Astron 1–6.

Thursday, November 28, 2019


Hello dear reader, three Japanese astronomers/astrophysicists just discovered that as "a natural consequence of the elementary processes of dust growth, [...] a new class of planets can be formed around supermassive black holes" (P)

Basically science just stated that planets, and therefore planetary systems, in theory can naturally form around black holes. 

But this dumb blog has a different story to tell 'bout this...

Planetary system formation around a black hole according to @sciencemug
That's how a planetary system really comes to exist around a black hole according to @sciencemug

[The black hole pic by Event Horizon Telescope is under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license (source: Wikimedia Commons); planets pics are Public Domain images (source: NASA via Picryl); golf flag pic is under Creative Commons Zero - CC0/Public Domain License (source: Peakpx); golf club pic is under Creative Commons 4.0 BY-NC License (source: Pngimg). All images adapted by @sciencemug]


A "Type III Civilization" is the most advanced type of civilization according to the I to III Kardashev scale.
Nikolai Kardashev was a Russian astrophysicist (1932-2019) author of the paper "Transmission of Information by Extraterrestrial Civilizations" (1) published on Soviet Astronomy AJ in 1964. In the paper Mr. K writes about the "distinguishing properties of artificial sources of cosmic radio-frequency emission" (1): basically the guy describes what are the characteristics needed, in terms of energy availability and type of transmissions, for successful communications to happen between galaxies (and their civilizations).
In his paper Mr. K comes up with a classification of civilizations that goes like this:
- Type I civilization has "a technological level close to the level presently attained on the Earth" (1).
- Type II civilization is "capable of harnessing the energy radiated by its own star (for example, the stage of successful construction of a "Dyson sphere" * (2)) (1).
- Type III civilization is "in possession of energy on the scale of its own galaxy" (1) (but apparently it's not in possession of a decent swing, hence, it sucks at cosmic golf...).

* Dude, if you don't know what a Dyson sphere be, well, you definitely don't like Star Trek or sci-fi in general... Anyway, Freeman J Dyson (born in 1923) is a British-American physicist who, in a paper published in 1960 on Science, writes that if "extraterrestrial intelligent beings exist and have reached a high level of technical development, one by-product of their energy metabolism is likely to be the large-scale conversion of starlight into far-infrared radiation" (2) and that it is reasonable to suppose that "within a few thousand years of its entering the stage of industrial development, any intelligent species should be found occupying an artificial biosphere which completely surrounds its parent star" (2). Finally dude Dyson concludes that the "most likely habitat for such beings would be a dark object, having a size comparable with the Earth's orbit, and a surface temperature of 200 deg. to 300 deg. Kelvin [(T-Kelvin=T-Celsius + 273.15... Oooh for The Mighty SI System Sake! Ok, ok, T-Kelvin=(T-Fahrenheit + 459,67) / 1,8 )]. Such a dark object would be radiating as copiously as the star which is hidden inside it, but the radiation would be in the far infrared, around 10 microns wavelength."(2).
There you go pal, that's the Dyson sphere.

P- Wada, K., Tsukamoto, Y., and Kokubo, E. (2019). Planet Formation around Supermassive Black Holes in the Active Galactic Nuclei. ApJ 886, 107.
1- Kardashev, N.S. (1964). Transmission of Information by Extraterrestrial Civilizations. SvA 8, 217.
2- Dyson, F.J. (1960). Search for Artificial Stellar Sources of Infrared Radiation. Science 131, 1667–1668.

Thursday, November 21, 2019


Soooo, dear reader, apparently a team of scientists used epigenetics to find out a scientific way to calculate the actual human equivalent of dogs age. The formula the brains came up with is "human-age=16ln(dog's-age)+31". That is if a dog, for instance, is 3 years old, then its human equivalent age is 16xln3+31, meaning 16x1.01+31, meaning about 47.

What was the true goal of this research, are you asking yourself, dear reader? Well, the following cartoon is the answer this dumb blog has for you, pal...

Chef dog says now science let it know how many candles to put on dogs birthday cakes (by @sciencemug)
Chef dog [dog sketch is a public domain img by drunken_duck (source:; chef hat is a img under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license by Omondi (source: Wikimedia Commons)] adapted by @sciencemug