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But partisan politics that does not touch on these elements should be left alone, because it would unnecessarily divide our community over non-astronomy topics and tarnish our reputations as objective seekers of truth. The standards of truth in partisan politics are so appallingly low (what will the press print without qualification, what won't get someone convicted of perjury or defamation) that scientists, with ostensibly high standards for truth and persuasion, cannot help but be sullied by the exercise. Individual astronomers can, and in many cases should, dive into the fray as citizens, but the AAS and our other official bodies and organizations should not.Nice response, Prof. Wright!
It's been fascinating to be backstage on both sides of a scientific dispute, and to move from "umpire" to "participant".
Recognizing facial expression patterns is also very important. If you want to get along with the people in your group, you have to know if they’re upset with you or happy or worried. So our brains love to see faces. They are looking for any piece of information that will tell them what is going on, if there is any danger, if anybody looks like they are angry. That’s why when faced with pure random noise, our brains try so hard to find a clue about what is going on, and they start to see things that aren’t really there. Bam! Pareidolia.
What this leads to in the wider scheme of things is cultural beliefs in things like Bigfoot, aliens, and ghosts. One famous example of pareidolia is the “Face on Mars.”(Image from Wikipedia)
In 1976, the spacecraft Viking I took an image of a Martian rock outcropping that resembles a face. Some people interpret this as evidence for intelligent life on Mars. Others might recognize that seeing such a pattern in Martian rocks is just a result of pareidolia and our brains’ tendency to see faces when none are there.
When the Face on Mars was imaged again in 2001 by the Mars Global Surveyor, it's facial features are no longer visible.
Any experts out there who can verify this?But how come you can hold your pee just fine until that first bathroom break, and then it seems you have to go constantly? First, it takes a little bit of time for alcohol to suppress ADH and for the kidneys to ramp up the water works. When you crack open your first beer, you may have some urine in your bladder already, but also some ADH in your system to keep things from getting out of hand. As you continue to drink, though, your ADH levels drop and your urine production increases. By the time your bladder has filled and you’re ready to go to the john, you’ve probably had a few more drinks. Your ADH is more suppressed and your kidneys are working at full tilt, so you’re going to have to go more often.
NASA's Curiosity rover and its parachute were spotted by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter as Curiosity descended to the surface on Aug. 5 PDT (Aug. 6 EDT). The High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera captured this image of Curiosity while the orbiter was listening to transmissions from Curiosity.
Curiosity and its parachute are in the center of the white box; and a separate image is a smaller cutout of MSL stretched to avoid saturation. The rover is landing on the etched plains just north of the sand dunes that fringe "Mt. Sharp."