little infinite Discoveries: What’s New Online this Week

little infinite discoveries - Crown Shyness in Trees Creates Stunning Canopy Visualization

The brains behind the Black Hole image, trees that don’t want to be touched, a pilot’s view of a thunderstorm, and more!

Katie Bouman: The Woman Behind the First Black Hole Image via BBC News

Another element in the universe got ready for its close up this week thanks to the incredible leadership and hard work of 29-year-old Dr. Katie Bouman. Dr. Bouman helped develop the computer program that imaged for the first time, a visualization of a Black Hole. It’s a breakthrough in science and the actualization of Dr. Bouman’s lifelong dream.

Watching in disbelief as the first image I ever made of a black hole was in the process of being reconstructed.

Posted by Katie Bouman on Wednesday, April 10, 2019

That face? That’s the face of someone who busted her butt and made her dreams come true. We love her for her tenacity and her work ethic, and can’t wait to see her top all the 30 Under 30 lists for 2019.

Pilot Reveals How Dramatic Thunderstorms Look from Above the Clouds via My Modern Met

Have a seat, Tom Cruise. There’s a new fearless action pilot in town, and he documents some pretty spectacular views. Pilot Christiaan van Heijst brings his camera with him on his airline runs with electrifying results. He indulges his secondary passion of weather photography, much to our delight. Scroll through the My Modern Met article and you’ll see one image of lighting wrapping around the windshield of the plane van Heijst is flying, his copilot grinning next to him, completely nonplussed. There’s only one word for how the images leave us: awestruck.

“When viewing a big storm of Northern Lights or an active thunderstorm. I feel very small and insignificant, compared to the raw energy, beauty, and size that plays out in front of me.”

-Christiaan van Heijst via Daily Mail

Trees with “Crown Shyness” Mysteriously Avoid Touching Each Other via My Modern Met

Ever have one of those days when all you need is some personal space? These trees are living that vibe. Scientists have been studying the phenomenon for almost a century, since the 1920s. Theories abound on what causes the trees’ hands-off approach to being neighborly, but range from preventing invasive pests from moving through a forest to trees wanting to avoid bumping (and breaking) branches during high winds. Us? We think a canopy like this is a perfect spot to lay and marvel at the mysteries of the universe for awhile, no further inquiry required.

Buying Experiences Makes You a Better Person via Travel & Leisure

As we look forward to summer (all year long) we’re dreaming about far away beaches and local weekend adventures. According to a new study (yay, science!) it turns out that investing in an experience instead of material objects can make you a better person. If you’re wondering how that works, it’s really simple: it all comes back to gratitude. Instead of living a #blessed life this summer surrounded by new stuff, the Travel & Leisure article posits that a more profound and lasting sense of gratitude is the souvenir of the experience-focused traveler. And let’s be honest, a lasting feeling of gratitude for a world experience that shifts your whole outlook on life will last you far longer than anything you can find at Ikea. For our dollars, that’s the better investment every time.