What Happened to the Iceberg That Sank the Titanic?

“Exactly one hundred years ago Sunday, an ocean liner struck a block of ice and sank in the North Atlantic. The story of the ocean liner has been told hundreds of times. This story is about the block of ice.

[These] photos … are quite possibly the only known photographic evidence of the actual iceberg that struck the Titanic. Understandably, nobody had bothered to snap any photographs while the ship was actually sinking, so it’s impossible to make an absolutely confirmed positive identification. But both photographs feature the telltale sign of a collision with a ship, and likely a recent one at that: a streak of red paint.” (via Wired)

Best evidence yet that a single gene can affect IQ

The best front page headline ever!

“A massive genetics study relying on fMRI brain scans and DNA samples from over 20,000 people has revealed what is claimed as the biggest effect yet of a single gene on intelligence…” (via New Scientist).

But that is not the most significant aspect of this finding. The effect, although real, was miniscule, accounting for less than 2 points in IQ. So, is it any surprise that the authors conclude that, to the extent that genetics influences intelligence, it is a function of the interplay of multiple genes, not just one?

Must-See Video: Solar Flare Explodes From Sun’s Surface

“An incredibly stunning solar flare erupted from the sun’s surface, throwing charged particles and searing plasma millions of miles out into space on Apr. 16.

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured data from the flare — a medium-sized M-class event — which was turned into a movie by Steele Hill, media specialist at the Goddard Space Flight Center. The blast was not directed at the Earth and is unlikely to hit any of the planets in our solar system….

The sun is currently entering a time of renewed activity, following a quiet period in its 11-year solar cycle. Peak action is expected from early- to mid-2013. Though it is predicted to be one of the least active cycles in the last 100 years, we have already witnessed several massive flares this year.” (via Wired).

The last film in the Up series?

Michael Apted
Michael Apted

‘The latest installment of the Up Series of documentary films is due out in the UK in May. The films have followed the development of fourteen British children since 1964 with a new film appearing every seven years…the participants are now 56.

This may be the last film in the series…director Michael Apted will be 78 when the next film is due and he’s unwilling to pass it off to someone else to finish.” (via kottke) 

Any documentary lover and any Anglophile (I count myself as both) should have been following this fascinating and unprecedented series of films.

2012 Pulitzer Prizes Awarded (and NOT Awarded)

The Pulitzer Prize Photographs: Capture the Moment

“The New York Times won two Pulitzer Prizes on Monday, for its reporting on Africa and for an investigative series on obscure tax code provisions that let the wealthiest Americans and corporations avoid paying taxes. And in a sign of the changing media landscape, online news outlets made a significant mark among the winners, with The Huffington Post and Politico capturing their first Pulitzer Prizes.

Also notable this year was the absence of prizes in two categories. The Pulitzer Prize Board at Columbia University in New York, which administers the awards, did not name a winner in the editorial writing category and more notably declined to name a winner of the coveted prize for fiction. The last time no winner was named for fiction was in 1977.” (via NYTimes).