Diamond Star Thrills Astronomers [via the BBC]
A chunk of crystallized carbon 50 light-years from earth has astronomers is a tizzy. An old white dwarf star now faded and collapsed on itself, the “diamond” is estimated to be 10 billion trillion trillion carats. “You would need a jeweller’s loupe the size of the Sun to grade this diamond,” said astronomer Travis Metcalfe of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Astronomers have named the object “Lucy” after the Beatles song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.”
Facebook-Fed Plant Killed by Kindness [via Discovery News]
A Queensland, Australia plant set up to be watered by people on Facebook was killed by kindness, scientists report, when too many people fed the plant. The project was attempting to examine the intersection of emotions and social networking. “There have been some people who are very proactive with the plant’s engagement who maintain conversations with the plant over some weeks,” creator Bashkim Isai said. “But there are a very large number of people who just come on there, say hello and then do nothing more, they don’t really have an interest in continuing.”
The Face of Facebook: Mark Zuckerberg Opens Up [via The New Yorker]
The New Yorker profiles Facebook creator and youngest-ever billionaire Mark Zuckerberg. Zuck, as his friends refer to him, is notoriously reclusive, and indeed the opening up referenced in the title is often gleaned through IM records and interviews with friends and family rather than testimony from the man himself. The piece expertly examines issues of privacy that have plagued Facebook recently, and reveals the drive Zuckerberg has to continue developing Facebook as a product and a social media marketing tool.