While I'm away for a few days...

"If we would only give, just once, the same amount of reflection to what we want to get out of life that we give to the question of what to do with a two weeks' vacation, we would be startled at our false standards and the aimless procession of our busy days." -Dorothy Canfield Fisher

Everyone needs to take a vacation, even your favorite science bloggers. I'm always telling you to get out there and enjoy the world, and while I'm not going to Antarctica like some people (yet), I should have a great adventure ahead of me. Starting today, we're headed up to Vancouver, BC and Whistler, where for the first time I'll get to go dog sledding!

We found a place that will actually train you and let you mush your own dog sled, which has got to be amazing.

But that doesn't mean I'm okay with leaving you guys out in the cold.

Remember hearing some amazing things about snowflakes? Well, perhaps you'd like to check out how they made those snowflakes (and a bunch of other incredible animation tricks) for Disney's 1940 classic, Fantasia.

Our great article on how we got here -- how we went from a smooth Universe to an empty one with great clusters of galaxies -- got picked up and featured at io9!

Are you just itching to build your own cosmic ray detector? Andy Foland, who hangs around here sometimes, has put together a brilliant how-to guide on how to make your very own cloud chamber for just a few bucks. A student version from Scotland's Sci-fun roadshow is available here.

Think I'd make a good interview? Peter Korn at the Portland Tribune did, and you should check it out!

And finally, two of our readers have put together some very entertaining science videos that are worth sharing with all of you.

Zach Charlop-Powers has created an Edwin Hubble rap video, complete with pipe, and gets the physics right!

And Scott Bednar and a friend of his sing -- Ke$ha style -- about astrobiology and the search for extraterrestrial life. (The fun factor is pretty high in this one.)

So don't fret too much; there's plenty to take you forward through the next couple of days. And I'll be back next week with more for you about the Universe!

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Taking advantage of your temporary absence, someone sneaked another "we don't need no stinking dark matter" post on arXiv:


Beware of MMC, no need for dark energy either. I don't see how it solves the lensing by DM issue so.

@Mu: The paper looks nice at first glance, and apparently indeed explains some of the observations - but it neither addresses the peaks in the power spectrum of the CMBR nor the observed galaxy distributions (both discussed by Ethan as pieces of evidence for DM and DE in the last weeks).