Links: November 2014

I decided to skip the Late October installment, and this Early November installment is late, but here it is now.

  • A curious coincidence concerning the planets.
  • Everything you wanted to know about goldfish.
  • Chimpanzees plan ahead when it comes to breakfast. (This gave me an idea for a card game, but it needs a lot of work.)
  • How humans, birds and grasshoppers breathe.
  • Einstein and the nature of reality: a brief history.
  • A very nice 3D video from Mars.

In personal news, I recently bought my calendar for 2015. The theme I’ve chosen is a collection of Rob Gonsalves paintings — illusionist paintings in the tradition of M. C. Escher. [Update: larger collection here].

I’ll be going to see James Randi on December 1st. (I decided against the “Meet and Greet” ticket, though; it’s about a hundred dollars extra which is more than I can justify.) In preparation, I’ve rewatched this video from 2010.

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2 Responses to “Links: November 2014”

  1. Minnesotastan Says:

    I wonder with what degree of accuracy the diameter of Jupiter is measured and reported. It is, after all, a gas giant, and presumably the gases gradually thin out as one moves away from the center. Can the diameter actually be measured to an accuracy of 1 km (as implied by the reported 139,822 at the link). An error of only 3-4% would be greater than the remaining space between the aligned planets…

  2. Adrian Morgan Says:

    That’s a good point, which breaks down into questions about (a) the physics of a gas giant’s outer atmosphere, (b) the method used to define/measure a gas giant’s diameter, and (c) the extent to which the measurement is sensitive to the method.

    I could run it by an astronomer (plenty of them online), but because it’s the holiday season it won’t be the first thing I do. A cursory Google didn’t turn up anything helpful, but it was only cursory.


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