Archives for April, 2008

How to Destroy the Entire Universe

Since the dawn of time man has yearned to destroy the sun. – C. M. Burns There’s no need to stop at the Sun, though. Since yesterday was Earth day, I thought it was only appropriate to spend today telling you how not only to destroy the Earth, but to effectively destroy the entire Universe.…

Happy Earth Day in Pictures!

As you may have noticed from yesterday’s unusual post, today is Earth Day! I thought I’d share with you some of my favorite pictures from space of it, including the famous photograph from Apollo 8 known as Earthrise: This combination shot made from NASA’s Terra satellite and NOAA’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite: The known satellites…

Sometimes we need to look Down!

What makes earthquakes? Although there are many causes, including volcanoes, the most common thing that causes them are tectonic motions, which also cause tsunamis. But as valuable as it is to understand other planets in our solar system and in other star systems, sometimes it’s important to understand what’s going on inside our own planet.…

Weekend Diversion: A Fun Online Game!

Sometimes, gravity and motion has the power to mesmerize me. I found this online game called “compulse” which was so much fun, that I spent about 90 minutes this week just playing this game until I had beaten every level on the “pro” setting. Yikes. (My score is 104 under par, 8 under pro.) And…

DAMA is at it Again!

Remember how I told you earlier this week that DAMA was going to announce that they found dark matter, even though the signal that they found is not consistent with other experiments? Looks like my powers of predicting the future are pretty damned good. They have a new plot with more data showing the continued…

On String Theory from a String Theorist

Bret Underwood, a friend of mine from my time in Madison, WI, saw my post on String Theory, and took issue with my statement that it wasn’t testable. I’m still standing behind what I said, but let’s address what Bret has to say. I don’t understand your argument above for why string theory is untestable.…

Genesis Teaser Trailer is Up!

What is the future of this website? I’m going to be creating videos for the web about the Universe. I’ll be answering questions ranging from what the Universe is like today to how it got to be that way. I’m going to address every step that we know of, from the Big Bang up to…

Gravitational Waves: Inflation or not?

Nothing gets past you, does it? A scientific paper came out earlier this week, and I took a look at it, sighed, and Jamie asked me, “What?” And I said to her, “When I see bad science, it just makes me a little bit frustrated and sad.” Of course, I had no intention to write…

Why are Brown Dwarfs so Dim?

Ahh, stars. Giant furnaces of nuclear fusion. Doing the stuff our Sun does, burning hydrogen fuel into helium (among other things) and emitting lots of visible light and energy in the process. But when we take a look at brown dwarfs, they aren’t like normal (i.e., main sequence) stars like our Sun. Instead of burning…

You can grow Marigolds on the Moon!

…just bring your own air and water. The BBC is reporting that the European Space Agency has determined that Marigolds, when planted in lunar soil, would be able to grow without adding any extra nutrients. How cool is that?