The 116 images NASA wants aliens to see

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Here are all the photos flying through interstellar space on Voyager's Golden Record. http://www.vox.com/2015/11/11/9702090/voyager-golden-record-pictures


Sources:
http://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/spacecraft/scenes.html
http://www.amazon.com/Pale-Blue-Dot-Vision-Future/dp/0345376595
http://www.amazon.com/Murmurs-Earth-Carl-Sagan-ebook/dp/B00BRUQ4HK/ref=sr_1_1

When Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 launched into space in 1977, their mission was to explore the outer solar system, and over the following decade, they did so admirably.

With an 8-track tape memory system and onboard computers that are thousands of times weaker than the phone in your pocket, the two spacecraft sent back an immense amount of imagery and information about the four gas giants, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.

But NASA knew that after the planetary tour was complete, the Voyagers would remain on a trajectory toward interstellar space, having gained enough velocity from Jupiter's gravity to eventually escape the grasp of the sun. Since they will orbit the Milky Way for the foreseeable future, the Voyagers should carry a message from their maker, NASA scientists decided.

The Voyager team tapped famous astronomer and science popularizer Carl Sagan to compose that message. Sagan's committee chose a copper phonograph LP as their medium, and over the course of six weeks they produced the "Golden Record": a collection of sounds and images that will probably outlast all human artifacts on Earth.

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We decoded NASA’s messages to aliens by hand

We decoded NASA’s messages to aliens by hand

In 1977, twin golden records were sent into space on the Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft. Still sailing through space at nearly 60,000 km per hour, the records contain sound, songs, and images from earth. But how did NASA include images on an analog record? Here, we decoded the audio, and see the images the way that aliens were intended to see them.

Special thanks to Ron Barry for walking us through his own audio decoding process, which got us excited in the story over a year ago. You can read about his own adventure and watch his process produce results in real-time in his own video in the links below:
https://boingboing.net/2017/09/05/how-to-decode-the-images-on-th.html
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibByF9XPAPg&feature=youtu.be

Link to Manuel’s code on GitHub:
https://github.com/aizquier/voyagerimb

Link to the full audio data:
https://soundcloud.com/user-482195982/voyager-golden-record-encoded-images

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Why we say “OK”

Why we say “OK”

How a cheesy joke from the 1830s became the most widely spoken word in the world.

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OK is thought to be the most widely recognized word on the planet. We use it to communicate with each other, as well as our technology. But it actually started out as a language fad in the 1830’s of abbreviating words incorrectly.

Young intellectuals in Boston came up with several of these abbreviations, including “KC” for “knuff ced,” “OW” for “oll wright,” and KY for “know yuse.” But thanks to its appearance in Martin Van Buren’s 1840 presidential re-election campaign as the incumbents new nickname, Old Kinderhook, OK outlived its abbreviated comrades.

Later, widespread use by early telegraph operators caused OK to go mainstream, and its original purpose as a neutral affirmative is still how we use it today.

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Why danger symbols can’t last forever

Why danger symbols can’t last forever

How to design fear, explained with 99% Invisible. Check them out here: http://99pi.org

Correction: The correct spelling of “warning” in Persian is هشدار.

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Chances are you wouldn’t be able to recognize a biohazard even if you were looking right at one. But the biohazard symbol? It’s pretty easy to spot. Most warning icons rely on previously established objects or symbols: a general caution might use an exclamation point, and a fire warning might use an illustration of a flame. But the biohazard symbol references an idea that is much harder to picture — and in the 50 years since its invention, it has become one of the most recognizable icons on the planet. But can the meaning of a symbol like this last an eternity? A special Department of Energy project is trying to figure that out.

Read more: https://goo.gl/U82Ehn

This video was made in partnership with 99% Invisible, a podcast about all the thought that goes into the things we don’t think about, hosted by Roman Mars. You can find full episodes at http://99pi.org

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Does Someone Else Have Your Face?

Does Someone Else Have Your Face?

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They say everyone has a doppelgänger, but is that really true? This week we meet a young woman who found her own look-alike, and figure out how we actually recognize faces.

TEST YOUR FACE MEMORY!

Cambridge Memory Test
http://bit.ly/2Gh0UXo

Thorn Child Finder Challenge
http://bit.ly/2QQxmnp

Acknowledgements:
Dr. Teghan Lucas, University of New South Wales
Dr. Martin Eimer, Cambridge University
Dr. Michael Sheehan, Cornell University
Amanda Green (her real Instagram is @4mandagreen)
Ruben van der Dussen/Thorn

Cheng et al. (2017). The Code for Facial Identity in the Primate Brain. Cell 169, 6 (1013-1028. http://dx.doi.org./10.1016/j.cell.2017.05.011

Huckenbeck (2013). Identification of the Living. University Clinic Dusseldorf, Dusseldorf, Germany. Elsevier Ltd.

Johnson et al. (1991) Newborns’ preferential tracking of face-like stimuli and its subsequent decline. Cognition. 40(1-2):1-19.

Lucas et al. (2016). Comparing the face to the body, which is better for identification? International Journal of Legal Medicine. 130(2):533-40 DOI 10.1007/s00414-015-1158-6

Lucas et al. (2015). Are human faces unique? A metric approach to finding single individuals without duplicates in large samples. Forensic Science International 257 514.e1–514.e6

Parr (2011) The evolution of face processing in primates. Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. 366, 1571. DOI https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2010.0358

Robertson et al. (2016). Unfamiliar face recognition : Security, surveillance and smartphones. The Journal of the Homeland Defense and Security Information Analysis Center. (14-21).

Thomas (2013). Forensic Anthropology of the Living. Human Skeleton In Forensic Medicine (408-435).

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Why ships used this camouflage in World War I

Why ships used this camouflage in World War I

Dazzle camouflage was fantastically weird. It was also surprisingly smart.

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Dazzle camouflage was a surprisingly effective defense against torpedoes. In this episode of Vox Almanac, Phil Edwards explains why.


World War I ships faced a unique problem. The u-boat was a new threat at the time, and its torpedoes were deadly. That led artist Norman Wilkinson to come up with dazzle camouflage (sometimes called “razzle dazzle camouflage”). The idea was to confuse u-boats about a ship’s course, rather than try to conceal its presence. In doing so, dazzle camouflage could keep torpedoes from hitting the boat — and that and other strategies proved a boon in World War I.


This camouflage is unusual, but its striking appearance influenced the culture, inspired cubist painters’ riffs, and even entered into the world of fashion. Though dazzle camouflage lost its utility once radar and other detection techniques took over from u-boat periscopes, for a brief period in time it was an effective and unusual way to help ships stay safe.

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