The SpaceX Dragon capsule splashed down this afternoon, returning over 3,500 pounds of cargo back to Earth from the International Space Station. By completing its 3rd freighter mission, the Dragon brings the gift of over 1,600 pounds of scientific samples and hardware awaiting detailed analysis.
Launched on April 18th with the Falcon 9 rocket, the Dragon capsule brought 4,969 pounds of cargo up to the International Space Station. Between launch and splashdown, the capsule has been away for 29 days, 23 hours and 40 minutes, the longest Dragon mission yet.
Along with the usual load of fresh supplies and new hardware, two pieces of cargo from the resupply mission needed to be plucked from the Dragon using the space station’s robotic assistant, Dextre. Dextre unloaded a high-definition camera suite and an optical laster communications terminal. The equipment pair is being used to capture a high-definition footage from the space station, then stream it back to ground antenna on Earth to give all of us trapped planet-side a glimpse of the stunning view.
WHERE do new words come from? On Twitter at least, they often begin life in cities with large African American populations before spreading more widely, according to a study of the language used on the social network.
Jacob Eisenstein at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta and colleagues examined 30 million tweets sent from US locations between December 2009 and May 2011. Several new terms spread during this period, including “bruh”, an alternative spelling of “bro” or “brother”, which first arose in a few south-east cities before eventually hopping to parts of California. Residents of Cleveland, Ohio, were the first to use “ctfu”, an abbreviation of “cracking the fuck up”, usage that has since spread into Pennsylvania (arxiv.org).
After collecting the data, the team built a mathematical model that captures the large-scale flow of new words between cities. The model revealed that cities with big African American populations tend to lead the way in linguistic innovation. The team is still working on a more detailed analysis and says it is too early to say which cities are the most influential.