Thursday, 10 September 2009

HUBBLE BUBBLE, FROM NASA, THE BUTTERFLY NEBULA.

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28 comments:

lilith said...

I love the Hubble although completely unable to get my head around how it manages to photograph what it does. It's probably all made up in Hollywood, but the images are mind blowing.

mongoose said...

Mr Ishmael,

Fantastic picture, Sir.

My desktop wallpaper is this.

DOn't understand it; don't need to.

Mrs B said...

Absolutely beautiful. All the pictures are fantastic. The Hubble website has an interesting video. Apparently our sun will one day end up like this!

call me ishmael said...

Yes, it's enough to make us all go and sit on our own Ozymandian Naughty Step.

Caractacus said...

And to think....all this wonderment was made just for us (Homo sapiens).

Wasn't it?

call me ishmael said...

In the beginning, Mr Caractacus, was the word.

mongoose said...

And the word was "advertising".

Mothers Ruin said...

I thought it began with the big bang. Or was that the beginning of the end. Has all this wonder been created just for us to marvel at,or are we insignificant specks in a brief moment of time and space? Both sides of the God v Athiest arguement can lay claim to the facts backing their side up,but as a confirmed denier of a supreme being,i struggle with the image of the Moon perfectly covering the Sun during an eclipse. Just a coincidence of an equation of maths,or someone taking the piss out me?

call me ishmael said...

Don't start that one, Mr Mothers Ruin. What about the Moon being just exactly far enough away from us to make the tides work, just exactlt the right number of miles away; and the Earth being just-so far enough away from Sol that we neither roast nor freeze like all the other poor bastards would have done on Venus or Mars. Or any of those other shitholes. And even if they'd aircon suits, the fucking gravity would have smashed them into dust or sent them helter-skeltering out into space with David fucking Bowie whining at them.

It all does seem rather improbable, doesn't it?

Verge said...

Could be a butterfly...or maybe look again and behold God's arse, polished (n.p.i.) to a nice shine by the Cherubim Valet Cleaning Service, catching the light as He prepares to drop a seriously heavy-duty intergalactic load...in the Beginning was the Word alright, and the Word was a vast splattered chirp of aniloquent raspberry juice. "Let there be Shite", saith the Lord, crapulent after a night on the Curry Nebula, "and lots of funny little fuckers to feast upon it. And don't let Me catch any of you cunts forgetting to say grace, now, either..."

Edgar said...

It seems to be a fairly-common belief, Mr Ishmael, that those who study science must necessarily lose some of their wonder in Nature. Indeed, there seems to be a 'non-scientific' faction that seems to believe it has a monopoly on being awe-stricken by the magnificence of it all, while steadfastly, indeed stubbornly, refusing to accept any description of it which smacks of 'explanation.'

Long years ago, I first recognised that television presenters always pretended that they were 'hopeless' at maths. It was never cool to be good at maths, nor at science. It is even less so, these days.

The logic for many who regard themselves as 'artistic' seems to be: the more ignorant I am scientifically, the more aesthetic my sensitive soul must be.

People who are proud to be stupid. How far we have come from Euclid and, who was it? Euripides? And in entirely the wrong direction, every step of the ruinous way.

Anonymous said...

What about the protein paradox?

Proteins cannot exist without DNA, and DNA, one of the most lifeless, chemically inert molecules known to man, serves absolutely no purpose without proteins.

Yet each apparently evolved, completely independently, from the primordial soup with the sole purpose of supporting each other in order to enable life.

Mothers ruin said...

The cleverest chap i ever knew won a scholarship to a top public school on account of being British junior chess champion.
It didn't stop a young,streetwise,uneducated joker from sending him into a bagel bakery to get him a pork pie.
The clever people are the happy people.Intelligence is appreciating what is,rather than what is the answer.

mongoose said...

Mr Ishmael,

It is improbable - vanishingly so. This is why we are not hip-deep in aliens and flying saucers. The nutcases who indeed, Mr Mothers Ruin, pretend to know the answer say that there are 10^25 stars out there. That's 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. Oddly, this is the same number as the number of angels who can dance on the head of a pin.

We have nine planets and only one of them works. So let's just be mad and say that we're average. So if it's just little, old Earth working that's a 1 in 90,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 chance for you. (Jeez, even less likely than winning the lottery.) I think that we should just stick with the pretty piccies.

call me ishmael said...

And of course if, as people insist there should, although not I, there are other intelligent life forms, whatever that means, somewhere, they, the insisters, always neglect the somewhen aspect.

Given that infinity is more than just a very long time why should these life forms just happen to to be lolloping or slithering around just in the brief instant that we are here and not in some of the other gazillions of years.

Sperm to worm, womb to tomb, humus to humus. We bring nothing and we take nothing. Not only are we alone in space and time, we are alone among each other, that's an awesome beauty in itself. Don't it make ya wanna rock and roll, all this emptiness?

call me ishmael said...

My definition, Mr Mothers Ruin is that intelligence is knowing what to do when you don't know what to do.

Anonymous said...

When i don't know what to do,i come here.

mongoose said...

Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must, or perhaps should, be silent.

call me ishmael said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

When i don't know what to do,i come here.

10 September 2009 22:58

Yes, mr anonymous; me, too.

Mrs B said...

Good comments. Caractacus said, And to think....all this wonderment was made just for us (Homo sapiens).

No it wasn't. Yes, I know it was said tongue in cheek. Personally, I'm with John Gray (Straw Dogs - great book). The earth and the solar system does not exist for the sake of humanity, it is self-regulating and has no need of humans. As James Lovelock says the earth will regulate itself long after humanity has ceased to exist. We are no better and less important than Ishmael's little doggy.

Edgar said...

"Intelligence is appreciating what is,rather than what is the answer." - Mother's Ruin.

Who mentioned 'intelligence'?

Do non-scientists think that scientists think themselves more intelligent? scientists that I know appreciate music and art, they go to concerts, and can talk about the situation in Afghanistan. Most of them, I suspect, are well aware that they would probably score 'above average' on an IQ test, but at the same time would express deep doubts that such a figure had any meaning at all. intelligence, Mr Mother's Ruin, is not observable, so how the fuck do psychologists imagine that they can measure it?

As for the non-scientific community, who feel defensive against this perceived slight on their 'intelligences', well, let them learn a bit of science and they will feel better about themselves for at least two different reasons.

my dubble helix is laddered said...

20:59

it was a mistake, naturally...we were both a bit desperate at the time...but we decided to stay together because of the children

call me ishmael said...

Twas me mentioned intelligence and must defend my original precept as it actually contains the subsequent qualifications from others - intelligence is knowing what to do when you don't know what to do - seems so axiomatic as to not need further explanation but it precludes, for instance, the measurement of itself or its confinement within one aspect or another of itself, it is its withoutness, rather than its withinness, its indefinability which defines it; it is knowing what to do when you don't KNOW what to do, intellugence something entirely separate from knowledge, its product, stacked up behind, like bales from a combine harvester.

Times like these, the resident paradoxist, Mr the Dyers Garden is paradoxically,nowhere to be seen.

call me ishmael said...

In his dependence, Mrs B, Buster, is the more important.

I have said elsewhere that to look into dog's eyes is to know the immutable, wordless sorrow of existence.

mongoose said...

Mr Ishmael,

An IT analogy seems apt. Knowledge is what's on your hard drive; intelligence is the crunching power of the rest of the kit, including perhaps most importantly, the processor. Both are useful; one is useless without the other.

call me ishmael said...

By the pricking of my opposeable thumbs, mr mongoose, the intelligence came first, knowledge trailing behind curiosity.

call me ishmael said...

Roberth Heilein, a writer over published and over-rated even in such a hyperbole-rich confraternity as so-called science fiction, remarked that specialisation was for insects; I think it is this feeling, among many, Mr Edgar,which alienates otherwise rational people from what we now call the scientific community. It is their wilful self-exile from normalcy, their determined, often decades-long industry and the absence of normal market-place accountability for their work which sets many against scientists, those and the fact that their work is by definition morally neutral - Hiroshima, Thalidomide, Agent Orange, Zyclon B and so on. The resentment is understandable if not entirely, um, scientific.

I do not dispute your point/s but just offer another explanation of them.

Mothers Ruin said...

Whilst hopefully being intelligent enough to not start a row,Mr Edgar,i just wanted to point out that,although the accumulation and understanding of ever increasing scientific information,is a worthy goal to follow, it doesn't necessarily equate to the true measure of cleverness,which is,i think,to lead a happy and fulfilling life.For every Alan Turing,there is a Richard Feynman. As you point out,the scientific friends of yours are as keen on the pleasures of existance as they are on the reasons.
As it should be.