Are we living in a 2D hologram?

I edit on a daily basis. I edit A LOT. I’m one of the lucky ones though. My job is full of interesting science. All day, every day. However, every now and again something really catches my eye and piques my interest.

In a world of maxed out 3D everything, researchers at Fermilab are delving into the world of 2D. To be specific, they want to know if we are all just tiny pixels in a 2D version of space time, as if we’re actually living inside a hologram. To be even more specific, they want to know what the true nature of our universe is.

The researchers say that, “Much like characters on a television show would not know that their seemingly 3-D world exists only on a 2-D screen, we could be clueless that our 3-D space is just an illusion. The information about everything in our universe could actually be encoded in tiny packets in two dimensions.”

Deep…I know. Are we all living in a Simpson’s world?

Rather than go into detail, which I’m still trying to wrap my head around (but I eventually will), here’s the article. I’ll let you decide. It certainly is a great read, and research I wish I could be a part of because they’re using lasers. Yummy!

Image courtesy of Fermilab (Lasers, baby!)

Love, Lola

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>> Debunking the MSG Myth…

From the American Chemical Society:

Few ingredients come with as much baggage as monosodium glutamate. More commonly known as MSG, the compound has had a bad reputation for nearly 50 years, so we at Reactions felt it was time to clear its name. In this week’s video, we debunk MSG myths and explain why the scientific consensus is that this flavor enhancer, known for its savory umami flavor, is perfectly safe for the vast majority of people.

Here’s the video:

For more on MSG’s undeserved reputation, check out this great infographic from Compound Interest: http://www.compoundchem.com/2014/08/25/msg.

MSG Undeserved-Reputation

Love, Lola

>> Marine conservation or skin cancer?

This morning I had two conflicting articles to edit on the topic of sunscreen, both very good on their own merits and fields of study.

The first article was from experts at the Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies. This particular study suggested that some ingredients in sunscreen could be harmful to certain forms of marine life, phytoplankton to be exact – a very important part of the marine food chain.

Researchers Antonio Tovar-Sanchez and David Sánchez-Quiles say “the titanium dioxide (TiO2) and zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles which are found in sunblock can react with UV light from the sun and form hydrogen peroxide (H2O2).” Hydrogen peroxide is “a strong oxidizing agent that generates high levels of stress on marine phytoplankton.”

Despite their research, they caution that sunscreen is still the best way to protect human skin from hazardous UV rays, provided that staying indoors is not an option.

Which leads me to the next article…

Artist and photographer Thomas Leveritt set out to showcase some new and cool technology. What quickly happened, however, has certainly become the best visual argument ever for wearing sunscreen.

By using several cameras, Leveritt was able to capture his subjects’ faces as they look in real life, as well as what they look like under a special UV lens. Let’s just say the results were astonishing, spectacular, humorous and a bit scary.

Once his subjects were shown what damage the sun had already done to their skin, he then had them apply sunscreen. Under the special filters, the sunscreen looks completely black – evidence that the protective liquid really does block out the sun’s harmful rays.

So there you have it. We all need sunscreen. That’s a fact you should never ignore. But what can be done to avoid damage to those little creatures that are at the bottom of the marine food chain, thereby protecting even larger species, even whales?

Image above courtesy Thomas Leveritt

Love, Lola

>> Space, tweets and photography…

Are you going to be in Florida on September 19? Love to tweet and take awesome pictures? Now’s your chance to REALLY have some fun. Better hurry though, signup is limited to only 50 people.

From NASA:

Cover the Next SpaceX Launch In-Person

We’re inviting social media users to apply for credentials to attend the Sept. 19 launch for the next cargo resupply flight to the International Space Station by Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX). Photographer on Instagram? Come photograph the launch. Prolific tweeter? Come live tweet the event. Long read writer on your blog? Come write about NASA. We invite you to the launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, targeted to liftoff at 2:38 a.m. EDT Friday, Sept. 19, from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

A maximum of 50 social media users will be selected to attend the two-day event on Sept. 18 & 19 and will be given the same access as news media in an effort to align the experience of social media representatives with those of traditional media. NASA Social media accreditation for the SpaceX launch opens on this page on Tuesday, Aug. 19. For U.S. social media, the deadline to apply is 5 p.m. EDT Sunday, Aug. 24. All social media accreditation applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

NASA Social participants will have the opportunity to:

• view a launch of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket
• tour NASA facilities at Kennedy Space Center
• speak with representatives from both NASA and SpaceX
• view and take photographs of the SpaceX launch pad
• meet fellow space enthusiasts who are active on social media
• meet members of SpaceX and NASA’s social media teams

Follow this link to find out how to apply.

Image above courtesy of SpaceX

Love, Lola