Daily Archives: June 23, 2014

Views from the Solar System (215)


Phytoplankton Bloom Off the Coast of Iceland

NASA – A spring bloom of phytoplankton lingered in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Iceland in early June, 2014. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this true-color image on June 5. At that time, swirling jewel tones of a vast bloom were visible between banks of white clouds.

According to the Icelandic Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture, phytoplankton blooms around Iceland usually occur in early spring and fall. The spring bloom is driven by longer daylight and the warming of surface layers. This leads to stratification of the waters, and allows the phytoplankton to stay in the surface layer and reproduce. By summer the huge numbers of phytoplankton in the blooms decreases nutrients, and the numbers of the organisms begins to plummet.

Image Credit: NASA/Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC

Stopping the Stock Market Arms Race

Bloomberg – Investors now have more than 50 different trading options to choose from. Up to 40 percent of transactions never meet centrally, and instead take place within dark pools, which don’t display buy and sell quotes. This threatens a vital function of the market — price discovery — and may deny some investors a better price.

High-frequency trading compounds the problem.

Regulation NMS [2], despite its good intentions, created as many problems as it solved. But the U.S. equity market needs bigger repairs than the SEC has in mind. more> http://tinyurl.com/nbtxwwj

How to Learn


A Random Walk in Science, Author: Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll).

By Maria Popova – Mental recreation is a thing that we all of us need for our mental health; and you may get much healthy enjoyment, no doubt, from Games … But, after all, when you have made yourself a first-rate player at any one of these Games, you have nothing real to show for it, as a result! You enjoyed the Game, and the victory, no doubt, at the time: but you have no result that you can treasure up …

Once master the machinery of Symbolic Logic [2], and you have a mental occupation always at hand, of absorbing interest, and one that will be of real use to you in any subject you may take up. It will give you clearness of thought–the ability to see your way through a puzzle–the habit of arranging your ideas in an orderly and get-at-able form–and, more valuable than all, the power to detect fallacies, … more> http://tinyurl.com/nenxsqx

Researchers develop fuel cells for increased airplane efficiency

By Tina Hilding – Fuel cells offer a clean and highly efficient way to convert the chemical energy in fuels into electrical energy.

A solid-oxide fuel cell is similar to a battery in that it has an anode, cathode, and electrolyte and creates electricity. But it uses fuel to create a continuous flow of electricity. The process could be approximately four times more efficient than a combustion engine because it is based on an electrochemical reaction. The solid-oxide fuel cell is different from other fuels cells in that it is made of solid materials, and the electricity is created by oxygen ions traveling through the fuel cell. more> http://tinyurl.com/m6lrweo

The New Yorker: Battle Of The Strategy Titans

By Steve Denning – If this academic scuffle was about something as remote from reality as, say, a new interpretation of Proust or the causes of the First World War, we could leave the professors and their surrogates to continue with these scintillating fisticuffs at their leisure. But since real issues are at stake, issues that have a bearing on our prosperity, both now and in the future, it’s worth taking the trouble to sort out what, if anything, is sensible in Lepore’s diatribe and what’s not. more> http://t.co/ReITn05H5X