Archives for August, 2010

Where do Meteor Showers come from?

“Men of genius are often dull and inert in society; as the blazing meteor, when it descends to earth, is only a stone.” -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Once a year, in mid-August, the Perseid Meteor Shower comes to town. If you’re going to see just one meteor shower a year, make it this one. Some years,…

“The most common of all follies is to believe passionately in the palpably not true. It is the chief occupation of mankind.” -H. L. Mencken If you went back 100 years in time, you could rightfully claim that, scientifically, we had no convincing evidence as to where our Universe came from. After all, when we…

Weekend Diversion: Dr. Dre Gets It!

“No matter how hard you work to bring yourself up, there’s someone out there working just as hard, to put you down.” -Dr. Dre I always admire people who can both find success in life while staying true to who they are. And Dr. Dre is someone who, in my opinion, has managed to do…

“Anyone who sits on top of the largest hydrogen-oxygen fueled system in the world; knowing they’re going to light the bottom–and doesn’t get a little worried–does not fully understand the situation.” -John Young, after being asked if he was worried about making the first Space Shuttle flight (STS-1). It may be hard to believe, but…

Five Questions for Private Astronauts!

Homer: Hello, is this NASA? Scientist: Yes? Homer: Good! Listen, I’m sick of your boring space launches. Now I’m just an ordinary, blue-collar slob, but I know what I likes on TV. Scientist: How did you get this number? Homer: Shut up! And another thing, how come I can’t get no Tang ’round here? -The…

Skinner: Well, that was wonderful. A good time was had by all. I’m pooped. Chalmers: Yes, I should be goooo-(notices kitchen on fire)-od lord, what is happening in there? Skinner: Aurora Borealis? Chalmers: Aurora Borealis? At this time of year? At this time of day? In this part of the country? Localized entirely within your…

Advice for Young Aspiring Scientists

“The most useful piece of learning for the uses of life is to unlearn what is untrue.” -Antisthenes As many of you know, in addition to news about cosmology, space, astronomy, and physics, I’m also heavily involved in education. This includes, in various stages, teaching, curriculum design, and mentoring students. But I got the following…