In the Moment

Julius Caesar and Leap Days

Today, February 29th, is a leap day – a relatively rare occurrence. In 46 BC, Julius Caesar, featured here in a self-decreed minted coin, created a calendar system that added one leap day every four years. Acting on advice by Alexandrian astronomer Sosigenes, Caesar did this to make up for the fact that the Earth’s year is slightly more than 365 days. In modern terms, the time it takes for the Earth to circle the Sun is slightly more than the time it takes for the Earth to rotate 365 times (with respect to the Sun — actually we now know this takes about 365.24219 rotations). So, if calendar years contained 365 days they would drift from the actual year by about 1 day every 4 years. Eventually July (named posthumously for Julius Caesar himself) would occur during the northern hemisphere winter! By adopting a leap year with an extra day every four years, the calendar year would drift much less. This Julian Calendar system was used until the year 1582 when Pope Gregory XIII provided further fine-tuning when he added that leap days should not occur in years ending in “00”, unless divisible by 400. This Gregorian Calendar system is the one in common use today. via NASA http://go.nasa.gov/1L0LBOV
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In the Moment

Google Is Finally Selling VR Headsets Directly

Google’s Cardboard VR viewer is the cheapest way to get in on the virtual reality game, but up until now, they’ve only been sold by third parties (or given away en masse). If you’ve got a cheap, slightly abrasive Cardboard-faced hole on the front of your face, Google will now help fill it.

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via Gizmodo http://bit.ly/1neuyNQ

In the Moment

The Morgan EV3 Is The All-Electric 3-Wheeler Of Future Past

The Morgan Motor Company, known for its vintage-looking wooden roadsters and 3-wheelers seeming like something straight out the First World War, has unveiled it’s all-electric EV3. The ultimate representation of the last century of motoring is finally here.

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via Gizmodo http://bit.ly/1QitdQx

In the Moment

Ski Jumping On a Ziplining Bungee Sounds Fundamentally Unsafe

Look, I’m sure a large team of well-trained ropework professionals have decided that ski jumping while attached to a bungee line, attached to a zipline, is a safe thing to do. But every single part of my brain involved with self-preservation is telling me it’s a bad idea.

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via Gizmodo http://bit.ly/1L0qQmp

In the Moment

The Pentagon Is Unleashing Mass Cyberwarfare Strikes On ISIS

During a Pentagon press briefing today, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford said that the U.S. military will drastically accelerate attacks on ISIS where it may hurt them the most strategically: in cyberspace.

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via Gizmodo http://bit.ly/1LrW8T7

In the Moment

Oh My God Everything About Marvel’s Poe Dameron Comic Sounds Amazing

Fact
: The X-Wing books were the best Star Wars books. Double fact
: The Rogue Squadron comics from Dark Horse were awesome. Unassailable triple fact: Poe Dameron is the best. Bearing all this in mind, we’re just a touch excited about Marvel’s upcoming Poe Dameron comic, which seems to be a spiritual successor to the Rogue Squadron tales.

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via Gizmodo http://bit.ly/1XWuAHm

In the Moment

Biologists Turn Bacteria Into ‘Swarmbots’ 

We’re covered in bacteria every day. They help us digest our food and protect our skin, and they’re potentially a great medical tool—but only if we can control them. Scientists think they’ve taken the first step by engineering bacteria that can live in a swarm, but die when they try to escape individually to new areas.

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via Gizmodo http://bit.ly/1XWrkfh

In the Moment

An Adorably Tiny RC Version of the House From Up That Can Be Flown Indoors

The amateur aeronautical engineers from YouTube’s Flight Test are known for their massive flying experiments
that are often surprisingly successful. But it’s this tiny creation, an RC version of the flying house from Pixar’s Up that’s held aloft by actual helium balloons, that we’d most like to see available as a kit.

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via Gizmodo http://bit.ly/1TiI15M

In the Moment

One Animal in Zootopia Has More Individual Hairs Than Every Character in Frozen Combined

Computer animation evolves at an alarming rate. One year, a movie like Frozen or Big Hero 6 looks like the peak of what’s possible. Then, only a year later, the next thing goes way beyond that. In this case, the next thing is Zootopia, and in this movie a single giraffe has more individual hairs on it—nine million—than every single character in either Frozen, Big Hero 6, or Wreck-It Ralph.

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via Gizmodo http://ift.tt/1QnLD3K