Archives for July, 2009

That’s right, the absolute best eclipse of our lifetimes is going to occur tomorrow! First off, total Solar Eclipses are rare enough, and spectacular when they happen. After all, a total solar eclipse allowed us to first test Einstein’s General Relativity! A total Solar Eclipse happens when the Moon passes directly in between the Earth…

A Charity Extra! Going Above and Beyond

As many of you know, I am raising money and volunteer time for charity by shaving my head. Yes, I’m nervous about it, and yes, I’m definitely going to do it once we get 100 donors. If you’d like to donate, some fantastic charities that I can recommend are: Heifer International: providing livestock and training…

Happy Moonday!

Today: July 20th, 2009. The 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. The very first time mankind walked on the Moon. From liftoff, to walking down the lunar landing module for the first time, to some of the most iconic images in all of human history: It brings up a sense of wonder unlike…

Weekend Diversion: A Charity Challenge!

I was driving to work one day this past week, thinking about how to make some positive change in this world, while this song — Lochs of Dread — by Béla Fleck was playing: And a great idea hit me. You see, all over my town, small, local, community-based non-profit organizations (such as museums, libraries,…

Understanding the Universe requires a lot more than just knowing some advanced mathematics, and even more than knowing how to apply that math. It requires a knowledge of natural history, and an understanding of the requirements for allowing that history to happen. In other words, the laws of nature must be such that the Universe…

Apollo landing sites: 40 years later!

I’ll keep this simple, as you can get longer writeups at Universe Today, Bad Astronomy, and the NASA site, but a NASA spacecraft currently orbiting the Moon just released images of five of the six Apollo landing sites. Why am I so excited about this? Because you can see the Earth-junk we left there! There’s…

By the 1990s, we knew an awful lot about the Universe. You can check out what the greatest discoveries were (in my opinion) from the 1910s, 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. By this point, we understood the origin of the Universe as well as we understand it today, knew about dark matter…

Science: What is it really all about?

In the wake of the release of Unscientific America, a lot of discussion has ensued as to how scientifically literate we are, how scientifically literate we need to be, and what to do about science education in America. There are a lot of interesting perspectives out there, and I’d like to synthesize a few of…

What happens when things go too fast?

The coolest things about science are often at the frontiers. We love to press the limits of nature: to cool things down as close as possible to absolute zero, to raise energies as high as possible, and to speed them up as fast as possible. But when it comes to speed, there’s an absolute limit:…

It’s time for an easy weekend for everyone. To kick it off, here’s a song that almost everyone knows of, by the Eagles. Only, the Eagles didn’t write it. Jackson Browne was screwing around in his flat with this song that “wasn’t quite done” according to him. He played it for Glen Frey, and was…