Archives for February, 2010

Weekend Diversion: Stacking Treats on Animals

Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened. -Anatole France Those of you who own pets probably know that there’s nothing to grab your animal’s attention like rewarding them with food. A Japanese game show has taken this to a whole new level, and somehow, I can’t look away. I…

Extreme Tides!

The Truth is far more powerful than any weapon of mass destruction. -Gandhi Last time, I spoke to you about how tides work on Earth. In a nutshell, a nearby massive body (like the Moon or the Sun) pulls on the Earth’s center due to its gravity. But the portion of the Earth that’s closest…

How Tides Work

When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn. -Harriet Beecher Stowe Last week, our longtime reader Pamela asked if I could…

Is Dark Energy what we think it is?

Free energy will promulgate a forward leap in human progress akin to the discovery of fire. It will bring the dawn of an entirely new civilization — one based on freedom and abundance. -Sterling Allan Of course, when Sterling Allan talks about free energy, he’s talking about natural energy from sources like wind and solar,…

Weekend Diversion: A question of perspective

When you look at yourself from a universal standpoint, something inside always reminds or informs you that there are bigger and better things to worry about. -Albert Einstein I woke up this morning with the Sun in my face, which marks the first time all year that that’s happened. (The irony, that I’m now listening…

Happy 80th Birthday, Pluto!

We used to think Pluto was a misfit. -Alan Stern Eighty years ago, we solidly had eight planets in the Solar System: the same eight we have now. But in the late 1920s, a young astronomer was looking up at the sky, night after night, searching for tiny moving objects that could possibly be planets…

Looking For New Laws of Nature

You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no…

Saturn: Look and Learn

It is marvelous indeed to watch on television the rings of Saturn close; and to speculate on what we may yet find at galaxy’s edge. But in the process, we have lost the human element; not to mention the high hope of those quaint days when flight would create ”one world.” Instead of one world,…

Weekend Diversion: Valentine’s Day!

It says ‘I Choo-choo-choose You,’ and there’s a picture of a train! -Ralph Wiggum Ahh, Valentine’s Day. What do you think of when you think of it? Do you think of a sweet sentiment about someone dear to you? (Song credit: If I Could by Storyhill.) Do you maybe think of the vast commercialization of…

A Brief History of Time… in the New World!

However time may be measured at the Naval Observatory, the clock seems to tick slowly here when Congress is out of town. -Richard Corrigan The following is the mostly true (but somewhat fictionalized) story of the first clocks in the Americas. In the 17th Century, the finest clockmakers in the world were Dutch, going back…