Monday Starlinks

November 19th, 2012

Don’t know why, but I got tired and was in bed by 10pm last night.  That NEVER happens.  Except when it does, apparently.  Some kind of rare black swan event, unforeseeable and terrifying.  My grandfather goes to bed around 8:15pm!  What if that’s my future?!  I think I’m still a little screwed up by the near all-nighter finishing up NSF grant proposals last week.

Let’s start with a pretty cool star map of the nearest stars!  A few things strike me as misleading, but still very cool.

Rogue planet spotted 100 light-years away.

And at the other end of the universe…new record holder for farthest known galaxy.

The BOSS Quasar Survey and dark energy.  A buddy of mine works on the project, and it’s pretty nifty.

A forum discussing my list (and additions) of classic hard sf novels.    Some good suggestions, but unfair criticisms of some who didn’t read my post in full.  Also Paul McAuley comments.  There’s plenty of room for lists of all kinds and what seems old and tired to one reader will be a revelation to another, and personally I find it silly to criticize the scope of a list when we can just make more lists.  So, let’s make some more lists.  I bet we will.  😉

Einstein’s brain was different.  “Better than” is an opinion, not a fact, and makes me wonder about journalists who confuse the two.  io9 does better, in my opinion.  See what I did there?

Amazon is the devil by Art Edwards, a possible pen name for “Miss Jones.”

And in this just in news…Astronomer Tycho Brahe “not poisoned.”  Well, there goes the plot to CSI: Middle Ages.

Pentagon spends $100,000 to answer question, “Did Jesus die for the Klingons, too?”  As much as I’d like to like the article, it’s a piece of crap.  Pentagon has a conference on interstellar travel, has one session on how the discovery of aliens would impact Christian theology, a major player in our culture, and it’s a $100,000 boondoggle.  Not in my opinion.  It’s a valid cultural question and an interesting session to add to a conference on this topic, assuming the main topic is worth funding.  We may find life on Mars yet, or in Europa’s oceans, and could find evidence of aliens with SETI.  I’m fine with the impact on Christianity as an academic question.

Marco Rubio is a pandering pussy, won’t give science the respect it deserves and tell us how old he thinks the Earth is.

It’s still hotter than average.  Maybe we should be concerned about that.  Not all of us have so long.

On telling the difference between real science and fake science.  And here’s some wise words concerning the abuse/misuse of science in the political arena.

The astronomy faculty lounge, a forum for talking about teaching astronomy.

Penn Jillette writing about Celebrity Apprentice.  I like his writing and have a guilty pleasure in reality shows.

My Little Lord of the Rings.  Video.  And for the LOTR fan with a statistical background, LOTRproject.

John DeNardo on how far science fiction horror films have come.  And it’s a long, long way!  He also has an article about how to travel a long, long way in space that I enjoyed.

A dilithium crystal spacecraft engine for real.  Mostly sort of.

On relativity and quantum entanglement.  Bonus: cute cat photo.  Maybe a little topology is needed to resolve some of these issues.

Carl Sagan helped open the Explorer’s Club to women.

I’m way late on this last one, but here’s a letter explaining why Indiana Jones was denied tenure.


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