Scientists have the strongest evidence yet that granite exists on Mars. The findings suggest a much more geologically complex Mars than previously believed.
Large amounts of a mineral found in granite, feldspar, have been detected by the spectrometers on board the NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter; the granite is present in an ancient Martian volcano. Moreover, minerals that are common in basalts that are rich in iron and magnesium, ubiquitous on Mars, are nearly completely absent at this location. The location of the feldspar also provides an explanation for how granite could have formed on Mars.
Granite, or its eruptive equivalent, rhyolite, is often found on Earth in tectonically active regions such as subduction zones. This is unlikely on Mars, but the researchers studying the data suggest that prolonged magmatic activity on Mars may well have led to these compositions on large scales.
I know some of you will be starting to think about Christmas already…don’t worry, that’s fine. I’ve got a little sing-along-a-Dave treat coming up for you with which you can begin the “celebrations”. I might even accept gifts this year, as long as they’re of the 40% distilled C2H5OH-H2O flavoured azeotrope variety, preferably from Northern Ireland rather than Scotland.
Anyway, if you are starting preparations early (it’s 15th November folks, no need to rush), here’s a little festive warning you can cut out and pin to your noticeboard or stick to your fridge with that Xmas pudding fridge magnet you got in your stocking in 1997, you know the one that falls off when you try to stick anything heavier than a dead fly’s wing with it…
You can get 12-armed snow crystals that are essential a double 6 with a twist and triangular crystals are like compressed hexagons. If I remember, rightly it’s all in Deceived Wisdom where I quote from the main man in this area http://www.its.caltech.edu/~atomic/snowcrystals/class/class.htm
NB: I temporarily removed this post from circulation while I thought about the details. Given the public bile surrounding these photos I didn’t want to give any vigilante details that might help someone locate the alleged hunter, but I think this current edit tells the story without raising potential problems. My concerns about the photo: there is smearing and blurring of these low res photos as if they have been manipulated so there is still ambiguity, but there is an additional photo and description on the hunter’s blog post that would suggest that any tweaks or jpf compression artefacts are incidental and the photos are genuine, after all.
UPDATE to the UPDATE: A sciencebase reader found what appears to be a blog from the hunter himself, in which he discusses the various people pictured and how killing an elephant was apparently his life’s ambition.
UPDATE: A detailed analysis of the low-res, grainy images that were available show that (obviously) the main man in both photos is the same person. So, we might now assume that he shot the elephant and had two photos taken, one with a fellow hunter and a second with various other people on the hunting safari at a different time. In one photo (the one with the group as opposed to the pair) flash was used, hence the colour tonal differences between. The sky behind and the fact that the surrounding foliage and twigs etc on the ground have not moved.
ORIGINAL: There’s a “photo” on the internet that’s been circulating for months, but is gaining new traction on Facebook for some reason as people start to share it blindly. It purports to show an elephant that has been shot while eating and shows the “family” who allegedly killed it. I was suspicious of the pixel edges around the bizarrelly well-staged family grouping who are supposedly honkered down behind the dead animal.
I checked on Snopes. Nothing. Hoaxslayer has done a detailed analysis and claims it’s a genuine photo from a hunting safari company called “Frikkie du Toit” which has a gallery of various people with their kills.
Here’s the photo that’s doing the rounds right now:
Accompanying this photo are a lot of expletive-heavy comments and the text “This Rich Family Killed an Elephant while it was eating. Let’s make them famous. I see 5 animals and 1 elephant!”
To be honest, that looks like the most unlikely hunting group ever, to my eye. But there are also tell-tale signs that it’s faked. Look at the guy’s right hand, doesn’t it look a bit blurred as if someone used imaging editing to hide what he was really resting his hand on?
The gun? Doesn’t look like any weapon I’ve ever seen, looks like someone drew it on with a 3pixel line tool in their photo editor. The pixel edges of the female on the left and the boy at the back don’t look right either. And, why are they all grinning inanely as if it were actually just a family snapshot rather than their looking mean and hunter-like. Oh, by the way, do hunting safaris allow minors along?
But, here’s the real clue that it’s not genuine: There’s an almost identical photo with different hunters on the “Frikkie” site, which looks just as fake (look at the placement of the hunter on the left’s elbow):
So, who killed the elephant? I suspect it was not hunters nor poachers (tusks are still present) and that it was probably killed legally at a time when there was an elephant cull in that region. I don’t know why anyone would simulate this photo. But, if it were current and genuine, don’t you think one of the real news outlets as opposed to activist blogs and facebookers would have reported on it?
The real worrying thing is the murderous, vigilante intent of many people who comment on the image, whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty? Imagine if someone ‘shopped your head into a nasty photo like this, blurred it a bit and spread it around the internet telling everyone you should be shot for being such an “animal”…
If anyone has any real evidence that there really was a family that killed this elephant while it was eating, I’m happy to update this post
More poetic silliness with a scientific bent. This time another hero, one of the great polymath scientist and science communicators – Michael Faraday – who started out as a chemical assistant to Sir Humphry Davy, inventor of the eponymous miner’s lamp.
It’s a distant memory to me, but apparently barbers and hairdressers still chunter on to their customers as they snip and tease the cranial follicular extrusions: “Turned out nice again…although they’re forecasting snow…oh that Chancellor’s got a nerve cutting benefits and introducing new taxes, and have you seen the price of petrol these days…going anywhere nice on your holidays, then?
In case you hadn’t already guessed, hairdressers, like beauty therapists, nurses, taxi drivers and many others involved in one-to-one occupations (with the exception of doctors) are generally not interested in your responses to their verbal outpourings. The stream of consciousness, the unceasing gossip, the endless chit-chat is a barrier. An aural barrier they erect to create an auditory fog that lets them escape into their own world and focus on the task in hand whether that’s tussling with your tresses or taxiing you from A to Z…
There are many occupations that create a wall of sound around employees, factory work, construction, railway engineer etc and as such, those involved in that work are encapsulated by the sound or if it is above a certain threshold they wear ear protection which encapsulates them in what you might think of as a negative sound space. They might fancy a chat on the job but there’s no opportunity until a tea break comes along. For those who work in the not-so-splendid isolation of the office cubicle, the whirring of a printer, the background chatter of colleagues on the phone and the trundling of the post-room trolley set up the aural landscape for them. But, unless they’re engaged in a phone conversation themselves they need not create the kind of barrier needed by those working one-to-one, such as the hairdresser and taxi driver.
Recently, Harriet Shortt of the Department of Business and Management, at the University of the West of England, Frenchay Campus, in Bristol, UK, has focused specifically on the auditory landscape of the hairdressing salon. In her research, reported in the International Journal of Work Organisation and Emotion, Shortt explains how employees construct their auditory barriers, or one might say, their imaginary escape routes, to help them cope with the constant emotional labour of their task. This is an especially important consideration in ensuring employee wellbeing and mental health where an occupation requires the employee to be constantly on display and offers little refuge behind the walls of a cubicle or in front of a screen or in the more naturally noisy environment of the factory floor, for instance.
Shortt H. (2013). Sounds of the salon: the auditory routines of hairdressers at work, International Journal of Work Organisation and Emotion, 5 (4) 342. DOI: 10.1504/IJWOE.2013.057400