Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Scientists Are Fun Too

As a person who avidly supports the space program and astronomy, as well as satirical humor, I loved this interview between Jon Stewart and Neil deGrasse Tyson.  Enjoy!

Anyone Got Some Sunglasses?

This is cool.  In the effort to confirm whether extrasolar harbor extraterrestrial life, scientists need to be able to look directly at the planet itself.  Of course, the light of the parent planet inevitably creates a viewing problem as it drowns out the image.  Now scientists are playing with an idea originally conceived in the '60's by Lyman Spitzer.  They want to build a spaceshade that would be positioned out ahead of the telescope so it could filter out the interfering light.

Now, before anyone offers NASA their used sunglasses so they can save money, it isn't that simple.  The shade needs to be very specifically shaped to avoid the other problem of sunlight bending around the shade to screw up the image.  In short, we're hoping to build a giant sunflower in space.  Wow, that sounds even cooler here than it did in my head.

Scientists are also entertaining other ideas to combat the problem, including coordinating multiple telescopes to cancel out the light or techno-babbly add-ons for future telescopes.

I hope they get this figured out soon, because I really can't wait to see where the aliens might be.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

She Powered Me With Science!

I just read about a new fabric called  Power Felt that is able to produce electricity using lost heat.  Think of a world where you have something that uses your body heat to power your personal electronic devices.  How much money could we save this way?  According to the video linked here, it would only cost $1 to have the fabric attached to a device.

What an interesting way to pursue greener technologies.  Not to mention there can be a whole new market for making this material fashionable.  Instead of wearing tin foil suits like they do in old science fiction movies, we can be bouncing around in brightly colored clothes that can be used to charge your cell phone.  Now when you meet someone new, there might really be sparks flying! (Bad joke, I know.  I can't help myself.)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

That's no moon. It's a space station.

If you ever wondered why the Empire took it so badly when the rebels blew up the Death Star, I have an answer for you.  Math nerds have calculated that it would take $852 quadrillion to build.  And they built and lost two of them.  Ouch!

No wonder no one wanted to take Emporer Palpatine's place after that second time around.  That kind of loss is enough to kill any empire.  Sometimes you just need to know when to quit.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Empire Strikes Earth!

As someone who loves both Star Trek and Star Wars, as well as poking fun of the supposed apocalypse of 2012, I thought this video was kind of fun. A lot of people have wanted a collaboration between the two science fiction masterpieces. Well, here it is.

When thinking about which force (he he) would win, the Empire or the Enterprise, I realized those Borg spheres kind of resemble a smaller version of the Death Star. If that's a valid comparison, then the Enterprise would kick some serious butt! The only question that remains is this: which captain would you want at the helm?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Aurora Borealis Videos

I saw some spectacular raw footage of an aurora borealis that was taken in Northern Europe.  I've always thought the aurora borealis were one of the most amazing sights our planet has to offer.  They certainly looked amazing in the time lapse video taken above the Earth that I posted on January 31st.  I also found the video below on You Tube.  So enjoy the natural splendor from the comfort of your home.  After all, it looks like it was cold outside when these videos were done.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Earth-like Exoplanet Discovered

Artist's depiction of the exoplanet GJ667Cc and the three stars of its triple star system.

Scientists have located a new planet outside our solar system that has them really excited.  Though 4.5 times the mass of the Earth, they believe it is composed of the same types of materials.  The planet resides in a triple star system and orbits an M-dwarf within the star's inhabitable zone.  And at 22 light years away, it should be close enough for us to eventually, with the right advances in technology, analyze the atmosphere and look for signs of life more directly.  Too bad we can't just hop into the Enterprise and go have a look.  I'd love to go along for that trip!

For more interesting information about this discovery (and believe me, it's worth the look), go to the article about it in Times.

Ohh, I love this stuff!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Sharing Designs

Since part of the purpose of this blog is to display some of the projects I've been working on, I might as well do just that.  These designs are some of those available on a variety of items in my Cafe Press online shop.  I know that they aren't all that skillful from an artistic standard (although if I do team up with one of my artist friends like I've been considering, that may change), but they're meant to be funny while embracing a decidedly nerdy outlook on life.

This one is a two part design I call The Ultimate Question.  This one is featured on t-shirts with the first part on the front and the second on the back.  This is a question I've asked myself many times.

Chekhov's Gun refers to the principle in writing that if you show a gun early on, you have to use it in the  story by the end.  My husband suggested that I use a phaser so it could also pay homage to Star Trek, but I didn't want to come across as confusing (even though not everyone will get this reference anyway).  I'll just have to honor Star Trek with something later on.
This is just something those who are bullied for being brainy can use as consolation.
A play on the phrase "and the meek shall inherit the Earth" with a look to the future tossed in.
Obviously this is a reference to "in the beginning, there was the word" and is a tribute to the computer geeks of the world who can do things with 0's and 1's that I could only dream of.
And these last two are separate designs but both play around with the arbitrary nature of the way we organize time into units that have so much meaning for us.

Anyway, I hope I didn't bore anyone.  If I did, oh well.  And if you liked what I had to say with these, keep an eye out for more.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Star Trek Tribute

I found myself in a Star Trek mood, which is quite the common occurrence for me. I found this beautiful 40th anniversary tribute on You Tube and just had to share it here. Wow, I hope we get our space program going again. We need to explore out there. And I hear plenty of people complaining that it costs too much, yada yada. So many people don't realize how much we get back from it. There's just no pleasing some people. But to my fellow nerds, hopefully this video might prove enjoyable. Maybe I should really learn video editing so I can make videos like this myself. I've just never found the time to really work at it. Does that mean I'm not a real geek? I sincerely hope not.