Beautiful Visualization Shows 24 Hours of Flights Over the North Atlantic

North Atlantic Skies from NATS on Vimeo.

According to NATS, the UK's leading provider of air traffic control services, between 2000 and 3000 aircraft fly between Canada, the U.S., and Europe every day—and they've created this mesmerizing data visualization to show what all that air traffic flying over the North Atlantic looks like.

The video shows Transatlantic traffic from an August day last year, when 2524 flights crossed the North Atlantic through the Shanwick Oceanic Control Area, or OCA. The North Atlantic is divided into six OCAs, and the Shanwick is by far the busiest, according to NATS: "It is often referred to as 'the gateway to Europe' and around 80 percent of all North Atlantic Air Traffic passes through it." On that day in August, 1273 of the flights passed through the Shanwick OCA; as many as 1500 flights a day might pass through in the summer.

Hat tip to our favorite astronaut, Chris Hadfield, for tweeting about this!

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The Evolution of "Two" in the Indo-European Language Family
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The Indo-European language family includes most of the languages of Europe as well as many languages in Asia. There is a long research tradition that has shown, though careful historical comparison, that languages spanning a huge linguistic and geographical range, from French to Greek to Russian to Hindi to Persian, are all related to each other and sprung from a common source, Proto-Indo-European. One of the techniques for studying the relationship of the different languages to each other is to look at the similarities between individual words and work out the sound changes that led from one language to the next.

This diagram, submitted to Reddit by user IronChestplate1, shows the word for two in various Indo-European languages. (The “proto” versions, marked with an asterisk, are hypothesized forms, built by working backward from historical evidence.) The languages cluster around certain common features, but the words are all strikingly similar, especially when you consider the words for two in languages outside the Indo-European family: iki (Turkish), èjì (Yoruba), ni (Japanese), kaksi (Finnish), etc. There are many possible forms two could take, but in this particular group of languages it is extremely limited. What are the chances of that happening by accident? Once you see it laid out like this, it doesn’t take much to put *dwóh and *dwóh together.

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Beyond Plumbing: 19 Other Jobs on Mario's Resume
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Nintendo made news this week by subtly announcing that Mario is no longer a plumber. In fact, they're really downplaying his whole plumbing career. On the character's Japanese-language bio, the company says, "He also seems to have worked as a plumber a long time ago."

But Mario has always had plenty of jobs on the side. Here's a look at his resume:


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