British class (BBC)
Two British sociologists have re-drawn the map of the famous British class system. They distinguish seven classes, some old, some new, based on three different kinds of “capital.”
The forms of capital: economic (money), cultural (participation in arts & sciences), social (connections)
- Elite (lots of all three, especially money)
- Established Middle Class (like Elite Lite)
- Technical Middle Class (money but not much of the other two)
- New Affluent Workers (a bit of money but more of the other two)
- Emergent Service Workers (not much money but a fair bit of the other two)
- Traditional Working Class (low on all three)
- Precariat (lowest of all, every day is a struggle)
No dark flow (New Scientist)
The “dark flow” was a stream of galaxies, flowing through the universe in defiance of the general pattern of cosmic expansion. I say “was” because new, better data from the Planck orbital telescope shows no sign of the dark flow.
One basic disorder (Science Daily)
A paper in The Lancet Neurology, a leading brain science journal, claims that a wide variety of psychiatric problems, including autism, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and some forms of retardation, are all variations on “developmental brain dysfunction,” the failure of parts of the brain to reach maturity. Considering how messy psychiatric diagnosis is, any hint of system would be welcome.
Cthulhuettes (Science Daily)
Researchers at the University of British Columbia have discovered two new species of protozoa living the guts of termites. These particular microbes look distinctly like miniature octopi, with lots of tentacles, so the researchers named them after Cthulhu and and his daughter Cthylla, the octopoid (but also humanoid and dragonish) monstrosities created by H. P. Lovecraft – Cthulhu macrofasciculumque and Cthylla microfasciculumque.
Saturn and moons (NASA and NASA)
These two images show Saturn’s moons in their planet’s shadow, and Saturn itself seen over the limb of our own moon.
Uranian Trojan (New Scientist)
Astronomers have found a 60-kilometer-wide (40-mile-wide) asteroid on the same orbit as Uranus, riding 60 degrees ahead of it. Asteroids sharing orbits with big planets is not new – Jupiter has several – but this discovery is puzzling, because astronomers thought Jupiter’s gravity would interfere with such an arrangement for Uranus.
Logic bugs (Science Daily)
Biochemists at Stanford have created a “biological transistor” and used it to create “logic gates” made of DNA and a protein called RNA polymerase. The idea is to have data detection and analysis for biochemistry right on site.
Robot jellyfish (Science Daily)
It’s 5′ 7″ wide and weighs 170 pounds. In short, it’s the size of an adult human. It also swims without being steered. Why a jellyfish? They’re not fast, but they’re very energy-efficient, which is useful for automated surveillance and monitoring vehicles.