August 18th, 2013
I’ll be brief today, as I’m behind schedule on a proposal due in a couple of days that could fund Launch Pad for a couple of years. Still a lot of hours to put in on it today. I did manage to catch Kick-Ass 2 out with my wife on Friday night, and can recommend it (despite poor reviews) if you’re a fan of the first. If not, pass — more of the old ultraviolence, cussing, and the like.
What’s in a Nova? I explain the differences between different kinds of novas over at Amazing Stories. And yes, I have seen the nova in the sky with the help of my night vision goggles. Binoculars work, too.
Nine things writers can learn from science. Right up my alley. A little forced, but worth a look.
More than one kind? An article about a mix of dark matter. This would not surprise me at all, and was part of the premise of my second novel Spider Star.
Another positive vote for Europa Report. I need to see this movie.
An Economist article about uploading minds, wherein an old friend of mine, Pedro Domingos, is quoted.
The Science of Baseball on the longest homeruns. I like applying science to popular culture.
I was pretty critical of NPR blogger Adam Frank’s article about Pinker and scientism last week. Here’s a better effort from him, with more reporting and less of his unsupported opinion, about quantum gravity and wormholes.
Why teleportation could be slower than walking. The answer is, in part, because of the assumptions made in the study discussed.
This one’s a little old in internet-time, but I wanted to say a few things about the investigation into the NASA viking photo. American government at all levels wastes a lot of money to make sure that other people don’t waste money. While there should be some oversight, if government funds had actually been spent to make the inspirational NASA Viking photo, I would have been satisfied it was money well spent. NASA and other scientists get money to do science and learn new things, but almost no money in the way of telling the American public about it in innovative, inspiring ways. NASA, and science more generally, could use a PR campaign. There’s funding for programs to get students to study STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) disciplines, but those programs provide things like scholarships rather than anything that would directly inspire kids. One popular TV show, fictional or reality, about being an astronaut or a NASA engineer would be much better than what’s happening now. And remember what’s happening now…one inspirational photo promoting NASA’s space exploration in an entertaining way is being investigated as a waste. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley: you suck!
Here’s a nice follow-up article. A mission to capture an asteroid runs into politics.
Scott Sigler on regaining that sense of wonder.
And let’s finish with a great prank that makes people think they’re vampires:
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