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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Interesting Idea - The Sounds of the Cosmos

Astrophysicist Janna Levin of Barnard College presents simulated sounds of gravitational waves from black holes in various systems. The idea is that, because gravitational waves, which are predicted by Einstein's general theory of relativity, would stretch and compress our ears at certain frequencies. This would be equivalent to what air pressure waves do to the ear drum membrane in our ears, which is sound. Relativity predicts the frequency of gravitational waves from any astrophysical system, and Levin then simulates what the equivalent sound would be. Keep in mind there is no direct observation of gravity waves yet, but there is a growing collection of indirect evidence that these are real and travel at the predicted speed of light. There are several sophisticated experiments running that look for gravity radiation, and most scientists do not doubt they will be found some day, as they are a natural, necessary consequence of the warping of space-time in relativistic models.

Check it out and enjoy some of the computer simulations of black hole systems.

First Pic of Mercury from Messenger Probe

Check out the first picture of the planet Mercury, taken from an orbiting probe called Messenger. If I did not know any better I would have guessed this is our own moon! Congrats to NASA for the successful mission.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Nuclear revival?

This one is thanks to Ben:

I found this article a while back and realized that it now has some greater weight due to the recent damages done with the nuclear breakdown in Japan after the earthquake:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

ScreenToaster Back Up (for the moment)

I know the numerous how-to videos I have made over the past couple years have been down for the past couple weeks. These screencast videos are made with software from, and stored in a different, non-standard format on their servers. So when those servers are down, we lose access to the screencasts. The site is back up, but for how long is anyone's guess. I am trying to find options for saving the videos in a more reliable location and format, rather than remaking several dozen videos. But if you want to watch anything, the list is at:

Thank you for your patience!

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Good Radiation Dose Chart - Puts exposure into perspective

Thanks to Mr. Lewandowski for this (through Mr. DuBrow):

There is obviously much concern about the nuclear reactor leaks in Japan. But while it is natural to be scared of radioactive contamination, it also helps to keep the science in mind as far as the amount of radiation being leaked and how much exposure one receives over time. To help find this perspective, check out the site below. You can see how the reactor leaks compare to average exposure just by being alive on earth, and other circumstances that will be familiar.

12 Areas of Science that will Change the World in the Next 50 Years

Thanks to Brian E. for this one:

Here is a website I stumbled upon that I thought was pretty interesting. Basically, it outlines 12 areas of science that scientist think are most likely to have an increasing impact on the earth and its people roughly by the year 2050. The child in me liked this website because it was interactive but it also is impressive because it outlines areas of science that will most likely become more and more relevant in the coming years. Check it out:

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Final Shuttle Mission for NASA

Thanks to Alejandra for this one:

This articles is about how NASA is supposedly sending off people on the final missions to space. This is really sketchy because NASA has many more reasons to not stop sending shuttles off to space. It could be dangerous that the US won't be learning more about what is going on in space and the future that space holds. It is also blocking the chance for future development and it will be harder to understand the world outside. It is expensive to run these missions, but it is worth it every now and then. In my opinion, it is almost a necessity. Frequent visits are not necessary, but occasional ones are.