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The mouth is made for communication, and nothing is more articulate than a kiss.
-Jarod Kintz, It Occurred to Me (via observando)
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China | by David
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1. congenial; likable; easy to get along with.
2. of like mind or temperament; compatible.
2. having attractive qualities; pleasing.
Etymology: from Italian simpatia, “sympathy”.
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One of the most amazing things about being a mammal is our sensitive hearing. Where does it come from? — These three little bones in our middle ear.
Our reptile ancestors only had one bone, but our two extra bones enable us to amplify sound.
Learn more and tune in tomorrow night (4/16) on PBS at 10/9c when Your Inner Fish continues.
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Pollution From Asia Makes Pacific Storms Stronger
Brian Clark Howard
National Geographic

What happens in Asia doesn’t stay in Asia, a new study warns. Pollution from booming economies in the Far East is causing stronger storms and changing weather patterns over the Pacific Ocean, which in turn is changing weather in North America, scientists report.

"Whether the weather [in North America] will change in a good direction or bad is hard to say at this time," says Renyi Zhang, a professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas A&M University in College Station. Zhang is a co-author, along with several scientists from the U.S. and China, of a study released in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Monday.

The scientists say pollution from Asia is likely leading to strongercyclones in the midlatitudes of the Pacific, more precipitation, and a faster movement of heat from the tropics toward the North Pole. As a result of these changes, “it’s almost certain that weather in the U.S. is changing,” says Zhang.

Smaller Drops, Bigger Storms

Zhang and his colleagues used computer modeling to study the effects on the weather of aerosols, which are fine particles suspended in the air. The main natural aerosols over the Pacific are sea salt tossed up by waves and dust blown off the land.

But those natural particles are now increasingly outnumbered by human-made ones. According to Zhang, the most significant aerosols the team considered are sulfates, which are emitted primarily by coal-fired power plants. Other aerosol pollutants are released by vehicle emissions and industrial activities.

In the atmosphere, such aerosols scatter and absorb sunlight, and thus have both cooling and warming effects on climate. But they also affect the formation of clouds and precipitation—and the magnitude of that indirect effect on clouds is one of the biggest uncertainties hampering scientists’ ability to forecast climate change.

Clouds form when water vapor condenses around aerosol particles to form liquid droplets. Because pollution increases the number of particles, it leads to more water droplets—but smaller ones. Those smaller droplets in turn rise to greater heights in the atmosphere—and even form ice—before they precipitate back out.

In an earlier paper, Zhang and his colleagues used satellite data to show that the amount of “deep convective clouds,” including thunderstorms, had increased over the North Pacific between 1984 and 2005. The most likely reason, they concluded, was an increase in aerosol pollution from Asia. ”The intensified Pacific storm track likely has profound implications for climate,” they wrote.

Global Effects

In the recent study the scientists took a first stab at considering those global implications. Standard global climate models simulate the atmosphere at grid points that are too widely spaced to resolve the fine-scale processes involved in cloud formation—which is one reason clouds remain such a knotty problem for climate scientists. But the researchers found a way to embed a “cloud resolving model” into a conventional climate model.

They then used that “multiscale” model to compare the preindustrial atmosphere of 1850, when levels of aerosol pollution over the Pacific were low, with the present atmosphere.
read more from Nat Geo
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Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.
-Søren Kierkegaard (via observando)
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He looks at me, not like he’s waiting for an explanation, but like I am the only thing in the room worth looking at.
-Veronica Roth, Allegiant (via a-thousand-words)

(via quoted-books)

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I used to go away for weeks in a state of confusion.
-Albert Einstein (via purplebuddhaproject)
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A couple years ago, someone reported a particularly freaky encounter on Reddit’s LetsNotMeet board. Since then, similar encounters with “The Smiling Man” have been reported across the country, but we’ll give you the terrifying original.The story goes that the poster was out late one night on a deserted Seattle street when he encountered a man “dancing” on the sidewalk. Thinking he was drunk, the guy stopped to let him pass, at which point he got a good look at his face.According to the legend, the “dancing” man wasn’t drunk. Nor was he well. His eyes were wide open, wild, and unfocused, staring at the night sky. His face was split by a wide cartoon grin that looked almost painful. He looked utterly mad.At this point, the narrator crossed the street, and then things got freaky. The Smiling Man began to watch him, following his movements while still grinning at the sky. When the poster turned his back, the man would vanish, suddenly reappearing on the other side of the street. When the poster watched him he’d just freeze, his insane smile unwavering.At this point the poster decided not to take his eyes off him. Bad move: The Smiling Man came toward him, taking exaggerated, tiptoe steps, just like a cartoon. A cartoon that can move very, very fast. After a while he began to chase the poster, running after him at frightening speeds, that insane, wild grin still plastered on his empty face.Eventually, the poster made it to a well-lit street and the story ends. But there is a twist. See, the LetsNotMeet forum isn’t a place for generating urban legends. It’s about telling your real-life encounters with real-life people. That’s right: The Smiling Man is as real as you or us. And he’s out there somewhere, just waiting to meet you in a darkened alley.

You ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?
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