Just Science and Music today

Ryan Adams was great. Though I’m not the biggest fan of his latest album, he still put on a great show and played a lot of personal favourites from previous albums. Well worth it.

I’m not going to Kings of Leon and just to save my sanity for that decision, I’ve convinced myself that they won’t play as many of their awesome songs from Aha Shake Heartbreak (which I still love and play constantly) and will instead perform more from their later albums which are nice, but not as awesome.

Meanwhile what I’m really looking forward to is The Kills in March. I just love this duo and their album Midnight Boom was one of my favourites of last year. Should definitely check it or… fuck, anything of theirs.

So onto the interesting stuff of the internet…

Is the Roman Pantheon a colossal sundial?

During the six months of winter, the light of the noon sun traces a path across the inside of the domed roof. During summer, with the sun higher in the sky, the shaft shines onto the lower walls and floor. At the two equinoxes, in March and September, the sunlight coming in through the hole strikes the junction between the roof and wall, above the Pantheon’s grand northern doorway (see diagram). A grille above the door allows a sliver of light through to the front courtyard – the only moment in the year that it sees sunlight if its main doors are closed (see diagram). [full article]

Alien world is slimmest and fastest known

Astronomers have found an extrasolar planet with the smallest diameter yet measured – it is no more than twice as wide as Earth. The rocky body is also the fastest known, whipping around its star in less than a day. [full article]

Giant Titanoboa snake ruled the earth after the dinosaurs

It weighed 1.25 tonnes and with a length of 45 feet or more it would have been able to take on and eat pretty much any other animal it came across.

The newly discovered type of snake, named Titanoboa in honour of its immense size, was for 10 million years the largest land predator on earth.

At least 28 individual specimens have been uncovered in Colombia and, with all of them being around 40 feet long, researchers said it is likely the species could have reached much further than 45 feet. [full article]

Bill Gates Unleashes Mosquito Swarm

TED, the annual gathering of the most pretentious people from the fields of technology, entertainment, and design, just got punk’d. Microsoft chairman Bill Gates released a swarm of mosquitos into the crowd.

Ending malaria is a particular passion of Gates’s, whose Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has spent millions fighting the disease. But he apparently didn’t feel like TED attendees were taking the threat seriously. “Not only poor people should experience this,” Gates said as he let the bugs loose on his audience. [full article]