Buelteman’s technique is an elaborate extension of Krilan photography (a high-voltage photogram process popular in the late 1930s) and is considered so dangerous and laborious that no one else will attempt it—even if they could get through all the steps.
Buelteman begins by painstakingly whittling down flowers, leaves, sprigs, and twigs with a scalpel until they’re translucent. He then lays each specimen on color transparency film and, for a more detailed effect, covers it with a diffusion screen. This assemblage is placed on his “easel”—a piece of sheet metal sandwiched between Plexiglas, floating in liquid silicone. Buelteman hits everything with an electric pulse and the electrons do a dance as they leap from the sheet metal, through the silicone and the plant (and hopefully not through him), while heading back out the jumper cables. In that moment, the gas surrounding the subject is ionized, leaving behind ethereal coronas. He then hand-paints the result with white light shining through an optical fiber the width of a human hair, a process so tricky each image can take up to 150 attempts.
Dr. Frankenstein harnessed the power of lightning to bring his giant monster to life. Photographer Robert Buelteman uses thousands of volts of electricity to create these dreamy photos of plants and flowers. He might not be a mad scientist himself, but he’d probably get along quite well with others. They could exchange tips and tricks for playing with electricity.
The process that produces images like the ones you see here is called Kirlian photography and was made famous in 1939 by Russian inventor Semyon Davidovich Kirlian who accidentally discovered the process through experimentation:
Kirlian believed that the image he was studying might be a human aura, if such an aura were to exist. It is now well understood that the coronal discharges identified as Kirlian auras are the result of well-understood stochasticelectricionization processes, and are greatly affected by many factors, including the voltage and frequency of the stimulus, the pressure with which a person or object touches the imaging surface, the local humidity around the object being imaged, how well grounded the person or object is, and other local factors affecting the conductivity of the person or object being imaged, including oils, sweat, bacteria, and other ionizing contaminants typically found on living tissues.
Buelteman’s own process in painstaking. First he carves at the plants with surgical tools until they are thin and sheer. Then he places a sheet of transparency film below a metal sheet floating in liquid silicone. He puts the plants on top of the film and connects them, with clamps, to a source of electrical current. Buelteman then sends up to 80,000 volts through the plants to capture the resulting glow on film.
Buelteman works in complete darkness. After shocking the plants, he goes one step further and paints with light across the shape of the plant to add additional illumination and detail to the image. While viewers might be inclined to assume otherwise, the creation of these beautiful images of radiant, almost spectral plants does not involve any digital manipulation.
Buelteman says, “While I remain fascinated by the organic design of simple flowers and plants, I have become increasingly drawn to the power of abstraction made available through the manipulation of color, form, and light.”
Paleontologists routinely resurrect and sequence DNA from woolly mammoths and other long-extinct species. Future paleontologists, or librarians, may do much the same to pull up Shakespeare’s sonnets, listen to Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech, or view photos. Researchers in the United Kingdom report today that they’ve encoded these works and others in DNA and later sequenced the genetic material to reconstruct the written, audio, and visual information.
The new work isn’t the first example of large-scale storage of digital information in DNA. Last year, researchers led by bioengineers Sriram Kosuri and George Church of Harvard Medical School reported that they stored a copy of one of Church’s books in DNA, among other things, at a density of about 700 terabits per gram, more than six orders of magnitude more dense than conventional data storage on a computer hard disk. Now, researchers led by molecular biologists Nick Goldman and Ewan Birney of the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) in Hinxton, U.K., report online today in Nature that they’ve improved the DNA encoding scheme to raise that storage density to a staggering 2.2 petabytes per gram, three times the previous effort.
To do so, the team first translated written words or other data into a standard binary code of 0s and 1s, and then converted this to a trinary code of 0s, 1s, and 2s—a step needed to help prevent the introduction of errors. The researchers then rewrote that data as strings of DNA’s chemical bases: As, Gs, Cs, and Ts. At the storage density achieved, a single gram of DNA would hold 2.2 million gigabits of information, or about what you can store in 468,000 DVDs. What’s more, the researchers also added an error correction scheme, encoding the information multiple times, among other tricks, to ensure that it could be read back with 100% accuracy.
WORMHOLES – tunnels through space-time that connect black holes – may be a consequence of the bizarre quantum property called entanglement. The redefinition would resolve a pressing paradox that you might be burned instead of crushed, should you fall into a black hole.
Knowing which hazard sign to erect outside a black hole isn’t exactly an everyday problem. For theoretical physicists, though, it reveals an inconsistency between quantum mechanics and general relativity. Solving this conundrum might lead to the sought-after quantum theory of gravity.
Relativity says if you fall into a black hole, you would die via “spaghettification” – a gradual stretching by ever-more intense gravitational forces. But last year, when Joseph Polchinski at the University of California in Santa Barbara and colleagues explored the quantum implications of black holes, they hit a problem. Black holes emit photons via something called Hawking radiation, and these are “entangled” with the interior of the black hole and also with each other. This breaks a quantum rule that particles can’t be entangled with two things at once…
Do extrasolar planets have water?In an attempt to find out, the orbiting Spitzer Space Telescope made detailed observations of the atmospheres of two planets that orbit stars other than our Sun. Unfortunately, water vapor was not detected in either exoplanet. Spitzer watched star systems HD 209458b and HD 189733b closely in infrared light both before and after the parent stars eclipsed their known planets. By comparing eclipsed and uneclipsed spectra very closely, astronomers could deduce bright light-emitting atmospheric gasses that were being blocked during eclipse. Were water vapor one of these atmospheric gases, a new indication that life might exist outside of our Solar System would have been found. The planets being analyzed are known as hot Jupiters — they have sizes close to Jupiter but orbits closer to the distance of Mercury. The above illustration shows an artist’s depiction of one of these dry worlds. Although no water vapor was detected this time, the techniques of measuring exoplanet atmospheres are quite promising, and the search for distant water and other biomarkers is just beginning.
Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are flashes of gamma rays associated with extremely energetic explosions that have been observed in distant galaxies. They are the brightest electromagnetic events known to occur in the universe. Bursts can last from ten milliseconds to several minutes. The initial burst is usually followed by a longer-lived “afterglow” emitted at longer wavelengths (X-ray, ultraviolet, optical, infrared, microwave and
Most observed GRBs are believed to consist of a narrow beam of intense radiation released during a supernova or hypernovaas a rapidly rotating, high-mass star collapses to form a neutron star, quark star, or black hole. A subclass of GRBs (the “short” bursts) appear to originate from a different process - this may be due to the merger of
binaryneutron stars. The cause of the precursor burst observed in some of these short events may be due to the development of a resonance between the crust and core of such stars as a result of the massive tidal forces experienced in the seconds leading up to their collision, causing the entire crust of the star to shatter.
Gamma-ray bursts are thought to be highly focused explosions, with most of the explosion energy collimated into a narrow jet traveling at speeds exceeding 99.995% of the speed of light. The approximate angular width of the jet (that is, the degree of spread of the beam) can be estimated directly by observing the achromatic “jet breaks” in afterglow light curves: a time after which the slowly decaying afterglow begins to fade rapidly as the jet slows and can no longer
Particles come in pairs, which is why there should be an equal amount of matter and antimatter in the universe. Yet, scientists have not been able to detect any in the visible universe. Where is this missing antimatter? CERN scientist Rolf Landua returns to the seconds after the Big Bang to explain the disparity that allows humans to exist today.
s Earth the only known world that can support life? In an effort to find life-habitable worlds outside our Solar System, stars similar to our Sun are being monitored for slight light decreases that indicate eclipsing planets. Many previously-unknown planets are being found, including over 700 worlds recently uncovered by NASA’s Kepler satellite. Depicted above in artist’s illustrations are twelve extrasolar planets that orbit in the habitable zones of their parent stars. These exoplanets have the right temperature for water to be a liquid on their surfaces, and so water-based life on Earth might be able to survive on them. Although technology cannot yet detect resident life, finding habitable exoplanets is a step that helps humanity to better understand its place in the cosmos.
Dionys moser photographs the alien like landscape of the ethiopian dallol hydrothermal field, a vast area of uplifted thick salt deposits affected by intense fumarolic activity, famous for being the only known volcanic area bellow sea level and for being both the hottest place on the planet, with average annual temperatures well above 30 degrees celsius, and the most colourful, with its pools of a hot sulfuric acid brine and ferrous multicolored salt deposits.
Created by University of Queensland PhD student Daniel Stoupin, this remarkable macro video of coral reefs, sponges and other underwater wildlife, brings a fragile and rarely-seen world into vivid focus. Stoupin shot some 150,000 photographs which he edited down to create the final clip. He shares about the endeavor:
Time lapse cinematography reveals a whole different world full of hypnotic motion and my idea was to make coral reef life more spectacular and thus closer to our awareness. I had a bigger picture in my mind for my clip. But after many months of processing hundreds of thousands of photos and trying to capture various elements of coral and sponge behavior I realized that I have to take it one step at a time. For now, the clip just focuses on beauty of microscopic reef “landscapes.” The close-up patterns and colors of this type of fauna hardly resemble anything from the terrestrial environments. Corals become even less familiar if you consider their daily “activities.”
Breeze, a 10-day old Dartmoor Hill pony, was found in a state of shock and suffering from severe malnutrition and dehydration by a farmer in England’s Devon County. According to The Mare and Foal Sanctuary website, the foal’s mother was nowhere to be found. The organization rescued him and brought him back to the sanctuary where he received extensive care and nutrition but without his mother, Breeze was lonely. After an appeal to find the pony a new companion, Breeze was given a giant 4-foot stuffed teddy bear with which to snuggle — appropriately called Buttons.
At GE Global Research, a tube of almost pure quartz is heated to temperatures of around 1,700 degrees Celsius to create custom laboratory glassware. The material is then molded and tailored specifically to the experiment it’s being created for.
The spotted handfish (Brachionichthys hirsutus), an amazing creature that walks the ocean floor, is a rare Australian fish from the family Brachionichthyidae. It is classified as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List 2002. is the first Australian marine species to be threatened with extinction.
The greatest threats to the handfish appear to be siltation and invasive species. The Derwent Estuary where the fish lives is highly urbanised and industrialised, and a range of marine pests have been introduced through shipping. One key pest is the Northern Pacific Seastar (Asterias amurensis), a particularly large and voracious predator that is now abundant in the estuary. Studies by CSIRO show that the seastars eat the stalked ascidians that the handfish use to attach their eggs.
Baby Okapi Shows Off Stripes at San Diego Zoo Safari Park
Okapi mother Ayana watched over her 2-week-old calf as he took a break from nursing this morning at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. The male calf, named Jackson, was born on July 6 and is spending time with his mother in the okapi barn at the Safari Park as he gets to know his surroundings.
Okapi newborns can stand up within 30 minutes of birth and nurse for the first time within an hour of birth. They have the same coloring as an adult but have a short fringe of hair along the spine, which generally disappears by the time they are 12 to 14 months old.
Sculptor Andy Yoder spent two years building this...
Sculptor Andy Yoder spent two years building this amazing world globe out of thousands of individually-painted matchsticks. One by one, Yoder attached the hand-painted matches with wood glue to a frame constructed out of a mix of foam and cardboard inside a plywood skeleton.
Io’s colors derive from sulfur and molten silicate rock
A bit larger than Earth’s Moon, Io is the third largest of Jupiter’s moons, and the fifth one in distance from the planet.
Io’s mountains are much taller than those on Earth, reaching heights of 16 kilometers (52,000 feet).
The unusual surface of Io is kept very young by its system of active volcanoes. In fact, it’s the most volcanically active body in the solar system
The intense tidal gravity of Jupiter stretches Io and the resulting friction greatly heats Io’s interior, causing molten rock to explode through the surface.
Io’s volcanoes are so active that they are effectively turning the whole moon inside out. Some of Io’s volcanic lava is so hot it glows in the dark.
Volcanic plumes rise 300 km (190 miles) above the surface, with material spewing out at nearly half the required escape velocity.
Io can develop 400,000 volts across itself and create an electric current of 3 million amperes. This current takes the path of least resistance along Jupiter’s magnetic field lines to the planet’s surface, creating lightning in Jupiter’s upper atmosphere.
As Jupiter rotates, it takes its magnetic field around with it, sweeping past Io and stripping off about 1,000 kg (1 ton) of Io’s material every second! This material becomes ionized in the magnetic field and forms a doughnut-shaped cloud of intense radiation referred to as a plasma torus. Some of the ions are pulled into Jupiter’s atmosphere along the magnetic lines of force and create auroras in the planet’s upper atmosphere. It is the ions escaping from this torus that inflate Jupiter’s magnetosphere to over twice as big as expected.
This coaxial microwaveplasma source (MPS) generates plasma without using a magnetic field. It works like an inverse luminescent tube excited by microwaves. The coaxial microwave plasma generator consists of a copper rod (antenna) as inner conductor surrounded by quartz tube filled with argon gas, the plasma is the outer conductor. The inside of the tube is at atmospheric pressure whereas the outside is at low pressure. The plasma formed around the quartz tube acts as an outer conductor in such a way that a spatially extended surface wave is created, just in an equivalent (‘inverse’) situation to that found in the Surfatron source (where the plasma is inside the tube instead of outside).
The microwave with a frequency of 2.45 GHz generated by two magnetrons is fed into the copper rods at both ends. On the outside of the tube, in the low pressure, the microwave fields ignite the plasma. The plasma represents a conductive medium so by increasing microwave power the plasma grows from both ends along the tube, and a homogeneous plasma is formed. The high power microwave breakdown at atmospheric pressure leads to the formation of filamentary structures. These striations or string-like structures, also known as birkeland currents, are seen in many plasmas, like the plasma ball, the aurora,lightning,electric arcs, solar flares, and even supernova remnants
The Flame Extinguishment - 2 (FLEX-2) experiment is the second experiment to fly on the ISS which uses small droplets of fuel to study the special spherical characteristics of burning fuel droplets in space. The FLEX-2 experiment studies how quickly fuel burns, the conditions required for soot to form, and how mixtures of fuels evaporate before burning. Understanding how fuels burn in microgravity could improve the efficiency of fuel mixtures used for interplanetary missions by reducing cost and weight. It could also lead to improved safety measures for manned spacecraft.
Glaucus atlanticus, the blue dragon (also called sea swallow and blue angel), is a species of small-sized blue sea slug. This tiny animal spends its life floating upside-down on the surface of the Pacific, Atlantic, or Indian Ocean thanks to an air bubble which it swallows and keeps inside its belly, going wherever the currents and the wind take it.
This cute-looking creature is actually an aggressive predator that feeds on organisms much larger than itself, including the most venomous ones. It also can give you a poison sting when picking one up barehanded.
A man in Japan claims he has made a pet of what is reputed to be the world’s most aggressive insect, the lethal Japanese giant hornet. The 2in-long insects - which can fly at up to 25 mph - are feared for their powerful, poisonous stings that are responsible for about 40 fatalities in Japan every summer. The high death rate makes them the second most lethal animal in Japan, after man. Twitter user Mikuru625 reportedly captured the hornet with a butterfly net and then held it with tweezers while he removed its sting and poison sacs. After that, he put a string lead around its thorax, and now the harmless hornet goes everywhere with him. ‘He does bite occasionally but it doesn’t really hurt,’ said its owner.
Goblin-like Creature A mom (Argentina) captures a strange creature while filming her son. She believes it to be a Duende, which is a fairy or goblin-like creature from Latin American or Filipino folklore.
Originally made for the Guggenheim Bilbao Museum, this installation covered two buildings in holographic panels that shifted color once lasers were reflected off it, creating a dazzling array of invisible light pyrotechnics.
Electric Fields Made Visible Physics educator James Lincoln helps people understand the natural world. The gifs above are from a Youtube video he made on how to “see” an electric field, the region around a charged object where electric force is experienced. When the object is positively charged, electric field lines extend radially outward from the object. When the object is negatively charged, the lines extend radially inward.
Kirlian photography is the term used to describe the techniques used to capture the phenomenon of electrical coronal discharges. It is named after Semyon Kirlian, a Russian electrical engineer, and his wife Valentina, who in 1939 discovered that if an object on a photographic plate is connected to a high-voltage source, an image is produced on the photographic plate. They developed Kirlian photography after observing a patient in Krasnodar hospital who was receiving medical treatment from a high-frequency electrical generator. When the electrodes were brought near the patient’s skin, they noticed a glow similar to that of a Neon Discharge Tube. Afterwards, the Kirlians conducted experiments in which photographic film was placed on top of a conducting plate, and another conductor was attached to the a hand, a leaf or other plant material. The conductors were energized by a high frequency high voltage power source, producing photographic images typically showing a silhouette of the object surrounded by an aura of light. Though the Kirlians reported the results of their experiments in 1958, their work remained virtually unknown until 1970, when two Americans, Lynn Schroeder and Sheila Ostrander published a book, Psychic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtain. While Kirlian photography has been the subject of mainstream scientific research, it has largely been co-opted by promoters of pseudoscience, parapsychology, and paranormal health claims. In many ways, the technique has effected greater mass influence because of these associations, and speaks to the ways “energy-culture” enters popular thought.
For dog lovers, comparative psychologists Friederike Range and Zsófia Virányi have an unsettling conclusion. Many researchers think that as humans domesticated wolves, they selected for a cooperative nature, resulting in animals keen to pitch in on tasks with humans. But when the two scientists at the Messerli Research Institute at the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna studied lab-raised dog and wolf packs, they found that wolves were the tolerant, cooperative ones. The dogs, in contrast, formed strict, linear dominance hierarchies that demand obedience from subordinates, Range explained last week at the Animal Behavior Society meeting at Princeton University. As wolves became dogs, she thinks, they were bred for the ability to follow orders and to be dependent on human masters.
Range and Virányi developed their new portrayal of dogs and wolves by giving a series of tests to socialized packs of mixed-breed dogs and wolves, four packs of each species, containing anywhere from two to six animals each. The scientists raised all the animals from about 10 days old at the Wolf Science Center in Game Park Ernstbrunn, Austria, living with them 24 hours a day until they were introduced to pack life, so that they were accustomed to humans
Range and her colleagues tested the dogs’ and wolves’ tolerance for their fellow pack members with a mealtime challenge. The researchers paired a high-ranking dog with a low-ranking pack buddy and set out a bowl of food, then gave the same challenge to a pair of wolves. In every matchup, “the higher ranking dog monopolized the food,” Range told the meeting. “But in the wolf tests, both high- and low-ranking animals had access” and were able to chow down at the same time. At times, the more dominant wolves were “mildly aggressive toward their subordinates, but a lower ranking dog won’t even try” when paired with a top dog, Range said. “They don’t dare to challenge.”
Range and Virányi suspect that the relationship between dogs and humans is hierarchical, with humans as top dogs, rather than cooperative, as in wolf packs. The notion of “dog-human cooperation” needs to be reconsidered, Range said, as well as “the hypotheses that domestication enhanced dogs’ cooperative abilities.” Instead, our ancestors bred dogs for obedience and dependency. “It’s not about having a common goal,” Range said. “It’s about being with us, but without conflict. We tell them something, and they obey.”
“It’s wonderful work,” says James Serpell, an ethologist at the University of Pennsylvania. “But it’s not what the dog training community wants to hear; you can’t say the word ‘dominance’ around them. Does dominance exist as a phenomenon in dogs? The answer is clearly ‘yes,’ ” Serpell says, although he notes that there are breed differences. Other researchers, for example, have shown that when in packs, poodles and Labrador retrievers are more aggressive than are malamutes and German shepherds.
Monique Udell, an animal behaviorist at Oregon State University, Corvallis, says her own study of dog and wolf behavior, also presented at the meeting, supports Range’s contention that dogs are waiting for orders. To find out if dogs are “independent problem solvers,” she presented 20 adult dogs (10 pets and 10 from shelters) with sealed containers of summer sausage. Each animal was allotted 2 minutes to open it. Ten captive wolves were given the same test. Not one of the adult dogs succeeded; most did not even try. Meanwhile, eight of the 10 wolves opened the container in less than 2 minutes. So did dog puppies, indicating that dogs are no less capable of the task than wolves, but “as the dog grows and becomes more dependent on its human owner that [independent] behavior is inhibited,” Udell said.
Underscoring the point, she found that adult pooches could open the container after all—when their human owner told them to do so. Because dogs “suppress their independence, it’s difficult to know what their normal problem-solving abilities are,” she told the meeting.
It may be that we have to give Fido a command to find out.
Despite its resemblance to the jellyfish, the bluebottle is more closely related to coral. known as a zooid, the bluebottle (or portugese man of war) is a colonial animal composed of many highly specialized and physiologically integrated individual organisms incapable of independent survival.
the blue dragon — a type of nudibranch, here no larger than a thumbnail, with its own potent sting — is able to eat the nematocysts (stinging cells) of the bluebottle without discharging them and internally relocate them to the tips of each one of the fingers you can see in the pictures.
for their part, the violet snails also feed on the bluebottles.
notes matt, “despite their potentially dangerous sting, the bluebottle is an amazingly beautiful creature. with strong winds, hundreds of these cnidaria are blown into the bays around my home town and trapped overnight.”
this allows him to capture the above shots, which he creates with use of a fluorescent tube in his strobe light and a homemade waterproof lens dome.
Others are “Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back” and “The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb”
"Curiosity killed the cat but satisfaction brought it back":
Your curiosity can get you in a lot of trouble, but if you do go looking for an answer or what ever you were looking for, your satisfaction of knowing was well worth the trouble that you went through to get it.
“The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb”:
Meaning that relationships formed by choice are stronger than those formed by birth.
Study of leaping toads reveal the mechanisms that protect muscles
Most people are impressed by how a toad jumps. UC Irvine biologist Emanuel Azizi is more impressed by how one lands.
“Toads are ideal for studying jumping and landing because they’re so good at it,” he noted. “This work is providing the basic science on how muscles respond during high-impact behaviors like landing or falling.”
They discovered that during landing, toads’ muscles adapt to the varying intensity of impact. As the creatures hop over longer distances, their landing muscles increasingly shorten in anticipation of larger impacts.
This pattern indicates that rapid and coordinated responses of the nervous system can act to protect muscles from injury, said Azizi, who added that future efforts will be aimed at understanding what sensory information is used to modulate these responses.
Azizi’s findings on the underlying function of muscle control, he said, could one day improve rehabilitation programs for people with neuromuscular deficiencies.
Just look into the light: not quite, but researchers at the UC Davis Center for Neuroscience and Department of Psychology have used light to erase specific memories in mice, and proved a basic theory of how different parts of the brain work together to retrieve episodic memories.
Optogenetics, pioneered by Karl Diesseroth at Stanford University, is a new technique for manipulating and studying nerve cells using light. The techniques of optogenetics are rapidly becoming the standard method for investigating brain function.
Kazumasa Tanaka, Brian Wiltgen and colleagues at UC Davis applied the technique to test a long-standing idea about memory retrieval. For about 40 years, Wiltgen said, neuroscientists have theorized that retrieving episodic memories — memories about specific places and events — involves coordinated activity between the cerebral cortex and the hippocampus, a small structure deep in the brain.
"The theory is that learning involves processing in the cortex, and the hippocampus reproduces this pattern of activity during retrieval, allowing you to re-experience the event," Wiltgen said. If the hippocampus is damaged, patients can lose decades of memories.
Have you ever wondered what the inside of ESO’s Very Large Telescope looks like? Well, wonder no more, as this picture of the week shows the internal structure of one of the VLT’s Unit Telescopes (UTs) — specifically UT3, otherwise known as Melipal.
Seen here, lit by moonlight, is the main steel structure of the Unit Telescope’s optical assembly. The main mirror, measuring 8.2 metres in diameter and weighing in at more than 23 tonnes, requires a sturdy frame to allow it to rotate within the structure, while maintaining high optical resolution. This movable steel frame itself weighs over 430 tonnes, about the same as a fully loaded jumbo jet!
The structure, optics and electronics are housed within a further steel enclosure, which provides protection from the harsh Atacama environment.
Melipal is named after the Mapuche term for the constellation of the Southern Cross. All four of the VLT’s Unit Telescopes have Mapuche names relating to well-known and prominent astronomical features: Antu, Kueyen, Melipal, and Yepun, or the Sun, Moon, Southern Cross, and Venus respectively. The Mapuche people are indigenous to the Southern Central region of Chile, and have a long history of astronomy.
Angelina Jolie: Daughter Vivienne Jolie-Pitt was cast in 'Maleficent' because she was only kid on set who wasn't scared of me
Angelina Jolie told Entertainment Weekly that her daughter Vivienne Jolie-Pitt got a part in ‘Maleficent’ because she was the only kid on the set who didn’t fear her mother in full evil costume.
It wasn't nepotism; it was a real life fairy tale.
Angelina Jolie revealed that the reason her now 5-year-old daughter Vivienne Jolie-Pitt got the plum role of a young Princess Aurora in Disney's upcoming "Maleficent" is because the pint-sized cutie was the only kid on the set who wasn't afraid of her mother in full costume.
"We think it's fun for our kids to have cameos and join us on set, but not to be actors. That's not our goal for Brad and I at all," Jolie told Entertainment Weekly in this week's cover story. "But the other 3- and 4-year-old [actors] wouldn't come near me. Big kids thought I was cool- but little kids didn't like me.
"So in order to have a child that wants to play...it had to be a child that liked me and wasn't afraid of my horns and my eyes and my claws. So it had to be Viv."
Jolie herself plays the titular schemer in "Maleficent," which focuses on the backstory behind the villainous witch in the studio's 1959 animated classic, "Sleeping Beauty."
In her full makeup and costume regalia, the 38-year-old actress cast a powerful spell on other children .
"I had a friend come with their children and when I met the kids, the kids froze and screamed so much that I had to go wait in my trailer," Jolie told EW.
"When (son) Pax saw me for the first time he ran away and got upset - and I thought he was kidding, so I pretended to chase him until I actually found him crying.
"I had to take off pieces (of the makeup) in front of him to show him it was all fake and not freak him out so much."
"Maleficent," co-starring "District 9"'s Sharlto Copley and "Super 8"'s Elle Fanning, hits theaters on May 30.
The film marks the directorial debut of Robert Stromberg, who won a pair of Oscars for production design for "Avatar" and "Alice in Wonderland."
Curiosity finds active and ancient organic Chemistry on Mars
NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover has measured a tenfold spike in methane, an organic chemical, in the atmosphere around it and detected other organic molecules in a rock-powder sample collected by the robotic laboratory’s drill.
Researchers used Curiosity’s onboard Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) laboratory a dozen times in a 20-month period to sniff methane in the atmosphere. During two of those months, in late 2013 and early 2014, four measurements averaged seven parts per billion. Before and after that, readings averaged only one-tenth that level.
Curiosity also detected different Martian organic chemicals in powder drilled from a rock dubbed Cumberland, the first definitive detection of organics in surface materials of Mars. These Martian organics could either have formed on Mars or been delivered to Mars by meteorites.
Organic molecules, which contain carbon and usually hydrogen, are chemical building blocks of life, although they can exist without the presence of life. Curiosity’s findings from analyzing samples of atmosphere and rock powder do not reveal whether Mars has ever harbored living microbes, but the findings do shed light on a chemically active modern Mars and on favorable conditions for life on ancient Mars.