Justin sent me an email this morning with the subject line “CRITICAL INFORMATION” that just contained a link to this story of a pipe-cleaning ferret named Felicia from Fermilab.
Back in the ’70s, the scientists at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory were looking for a way to clear the tubes of their newly built particle accelerator of the bits of dust that could derail a high-energy beam of particles whipping around at nearly the speed of light.
Some ingenious scientist remembered that ferrets were used on English estates to go down rabbit burrows and scare the critters out (hence the phrase “ferret out”) and so, Felicia the ferret was employed by Fermilab to clean out the atom smasher. They tied a piece of string with a cotton swab to her tail, set her in the tubes, and then banked on her natural curiosity to lead her around the four-mile particle collider.
Felicia is now officially my favorite animal in science history.
A win for citizen science: More than a year after one of the oldest trees in the world burned down in arson, scientists resurrect it using branch clippings of the famed cypress preserved by a plant nursery owner, a science teacher, and a team of forestry researchers in an enthusiast experiment launched sixteen years ago.
(via and photograph by Rachel Sussman)
ART: Mixed Media Collages by Pia Hakko
When London-based graphic design student Pia Hakko isn’t busy studying, she spends her time creating these gorgeous and striking collages.
Using symbol, color and space, she creates thought provoking, explosive images that live between fantasy and truth. More after the jump:
There are two yous: Real You and Insta-You. And there’s, like, six income brackets between these people.