via SETI Institute: “For decades scientists have believed that galaxy mergers usually result in the formation of elliptical galaxies. Now, for the the first time, researchers have found direct evidence that merging galaxies can instead form disc galaxies, and that this outcome is in fact quite common. This surprising result could explain why there are so many spiral galaxies like the Milky Way in the Universe.”

via SETI Institute: “For decades scientists have believed that galaxy mergers usually result in the formation of elliptical galaxies. Now, for the the first time, researchers have found direct evidence that merging galaxies can instead form disc galaxies, and that this outcome is in fact quite common. This surprising result could explain why there are so many spiral galaxies like the Milky Way in the Universe.”

Nick Frost will appear in this year’s Doctor Who Christmas Special! (via Doctor Who)

Nick Frost will appear in this year’s Doctor Who Christmas Special! (via Doctor Who)

‘A National Admissions Office’ for Low-Income Strivers - NYTimes.com

Interesting. The success of Questbridge stems not only from simplifying the application process and offering small lottery-based prizes for participating students, but also from matching with colleges and, crucially, locking in full scholarships for four years before admission. The results have been amazingly successful with low-income, high-achieving students who otherwise wouldn’t consider applying to some of the top schools.

List of 2014 MacArthur ‘genius grant’ recipients - The Washington Post

The full list, from AP:

__ Danielle Bassett, 32, Philadelphia. University of Pennsylvania physicist who applies mathematical approaches to analysis and modeling of brain connectivity.

__ Alison Bechdel, 54, Bolton, Vermont. Cartoonist and graphic memoirist whose narratives explore family relationships.

__ Mary Bonauto, 53, Boston. Civil rights lawyer, director of the Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders and a leader in the marriage equality movement.

__ Tami Bond, 50, Urbana, Illinois. Environmental engineer at the University of Illinois and expert on global effects of soot on climate and health.

__ Steve Coleman, 57, Allentown, Pennsylvania. Jazz composer and saxophonist who is being recognized for creating a “distinctive new sound.”

__ Sarah Deer, 41, Saint Paul, Minnesota. Professor at William Mitchell College of Law and advocate for Native American women at risk of domestic abuse and sexual violence.

__ Jennifer L. Eberhardt, 49, Stanford, California. Stanford University social psychologist investigating how racial bias and stereotypes affect law enforcement and criminal sentencing.

__ Craig Gentry, 41, Yorktown Heights, New York. Computer scientist at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center whose work has led to the possibility of more secure cloud computing.

__ Terrance Hayes, 42, Pittsburgh. Professor of writing at the University of Pittsburgh and poet whose work has focused on race, gender and family.

__ John Henneberger, 59, Austin, Texas. Co-director of the Texas Low Income Housing Service who has worked to expand affordable housing and make sure all communities have equal access to federal relief funds after natural disasters.

__ Mark Hersam, 39, Evanston, Illinois. Northwestern University materials scientists investigating physical, chemical and biological properties of nanomaterials.

__ Samuel D. Hunter, 33, New York, New York. Playwright whose work confronts what the foundation calls the “socially isolating” aspects of contemporary American life.

__ Pamela O. Long, 71, Washington, D.C. Historian of science and technology who has researched scholarship and craftsmanship in Renaissance societies.

__ Rick Lowe, 53, Houston. Public artist who worked to revitalize a long-neglected Houston neighborhood.

__ Jacob Lurie, 36, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Harvard University mathematician who created a new conceptual foundation for derived algebraic geometry.

__ Khaled Mattawa, 50, Ann Arbor, Michigan. Poet and translator of contemporary Arab poetry at the University of Michigan, where he is an associated professor in the Department of English Language and Literature.

__ Joshua Oppenheimer, 39, Copenhagen, Denmark. Documentary filmmaker who has covered topics such as state-sponsored violence.

__ Ai-jen Poo, 40, New York, New York. Labor organizer who has pushed to improve working conditions for domestic or private-household workers.

__ Jonathan Rapping, 48, Atlanta. Criminal lawyer who founded program to help public defenders provide quality legal representation to the indigent.

__ Tara Zahra, 38, Chicago. Professor at University of Chicago whose research and analysis about twentieth-century Europe helped create a “transnational understanding of events,” according to the foundation.

__ Yitang Zhang, 59, Durham, New Hampshire. University of New Hampshire mathematician who is being recognized for a landmark achievement in analytic number theory.