All posts by ifttt

Spider-Man Catches Obama in His Web

Barack Obama

In early October, Time LightBox asked Chief Official White House Photographer Pete Souza to reflect on his time photographing President Barack Obama in a feature story that included a great sampling of his work. One of the stand-out images shows Obama pretending to be caught in Spider-Man’s web in the Outer Oval Office. The young “Spider-Man” is the son of a White House staffer.

photo by Pete Souza/The White House via Time LightBox

via Comics Alliance

via Laughing Squid

Possible habitable zone planet is a mere 12 light years away

An artist’s conception of the potential planet.

Most of the exoplanets we’ve discovered thus far have been found because they’re easy to spot—Jupiter-sized giants orbiting close in to their host stars. But the Kepler mission has been providing a huge catalog of exoplanets and with it we’ve obtained a very different perspective, finding that planets in general are common and most of them are far smaller than the gas giants first identified. This new perspective has raised the prospect that we can identify some orbiting nearby stars, following identification with direct observations searching for signs that the planet’s atmosphere is shaped by life.

More recently, astronomers have started making progress towards identifying planetary candidates that are close enough that we could eventually image them with an orbiting telescope. Just in October, astronomers announced there was a hint of a signal from an exoplanet in the light from one of the closest stars, Centauri B. Today the astronomers have released a paper that suggests there are several planets around the nearby star Tau Ceti, and one of them is likely to be within the star’s habitable zone.

It’s important to note the signals of the planets are buried deep in a variety of optical noise, both from the telescopes and instruments, and from the star itself. Further observations are going to be needed to confirm that the signals appear consistently. But this work certainly suggests those follow-up observations are going to be a high priority.

Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

via Ars Technica

David Carr on Brian Lam and Wirecutter

Really enjoyed this piece by David Carr on former Gizmodo editor Brian Lam’s recent and very different Wirecutter, but this bit stuck out:

Mr. Lam’s revenue is low, about $50,000 a month, but it’s doubling
every quarter, enough to pay his freelancers, invest in the site
and keep him in surfboards. And now he actually has time to ride
them. In that sense, Mr. Lam is living out that initial dream of
the Web: working from home, working with friends, making something
that saves others time and money.

In what way is $50K/month — doubling every three months — “low” for a site with a small staff? I’d say that’s great revenue, and eye-popping growth.

via Daring Fireball