Jet Packs – Finally!

August 29, 2010

I finally feel like the 21st century has arrived!  I still don’t have my flying car, but at least I know I can by my jet pack (as soon as I win the lottery).  According to this Popular Mechanics article, I can get my very own jet pack plus flying lessons for a measly $155k.  And with two companies offering them for sale already, market forces may push down that price point to a more affordable $100k in the next few years.


Waves of Hawaii

May 17, 2010

Clark Little, a photographer in Hawaii, has some of the most incredible photographs I’ve ever seen.  He gets inside the waves – literally taking photos in the water as the waves crash over him – to shoot a perspective most people have never seen.  Check out his gallery here.  Blue Night is my favorite so far.  Sadly, I can’t copy and paste the images, else I would give you a taste to entice you.


Diamond Seas?

January 27, 2010

How awesome would that be?  Whole seas of diamonds swirling and flashing in the light…I can picture it and it is beautiful.  So what gave me this idea, you ask?

Well, my son is doing a research project on a space topic and he picked Uranus.  My husband jumped on the bandwagon and looked around on the web to help him find some interesting articles, and he found this one on Discovery News.

Apparently, both Uranus and Neptune have a magnetic north that is significantly off geographic north.  The theory is that, due to the high temperatures and pressures and the abundance of carbon on both planets, there may be seas of liquid diamond on the planets.  Scientists recently created conditions similar to what they believe exist on these planets in a lab and found that they could in fact liquify diamond, and surprisingly enough, when they did so the liquid diamond had similar properties to water.  Water is one of the few substances that is more dense in its liquid form than its solid form, which is why ice floats.  According to these experiments, diamond is the same way – as the scientists reduced the pressure on the liquid diamond and solids started to form, they floated.  So in the diamond seas that are becoming more and more plausible on Neptune and Uranus, there could even be diamond icebergs!

Now we just need to send spaceships to Neptune and Uranus to see if we’re right.  If so, I want a diamond iceberg!


A New Link in the Evolution Chain

October 1, 2009

Once again it has been too long since I last posted.  This real life stuff just takes so much time!  But I saw this articleon MSN.com (so probably everyone who looks at real news outlets has already seen it) about the fossil of the human ancestor believed to be 1 million years older than Lucy – she was previously the oldest human-linked fossil ever found.  The new guy is nicknamed Ardi, short for Ardipithecus ramidus, and is dated at 4.4 million years old.  He is not a human fossil of course, but he is believed to be another link in the chain back to a common ancestor of humans and apes.  He has some human type characteristics, some ape/chimp type characteristics, and some that are neither but could be from a common starting point before both human and ape/chimp characteristics evolved fully.  This explanation makes sense to me, since I never got how apes could have essentially stopped evolving when humans branched off – it seems much more logical to think that there was a common starting point but that both branches have continued growing and changing since then, than it does to think humans evolved from apes and apes haven’t changed since then.  Maybe that’s how evolutionary scientists have seen it for years, but it isn’t how it was taught in schools as recently as 15 years ago (yes, I’m dating myself here).


NASA plans to blow up the moon!

June 17, 2009

According to this articleon Slashdot (and there are lots more in various places – I just like Slashdot), NASA plans to set off an explosion on the moon that will create a 6 mile high debris plume so that they can look for water in the debris.

On the serious side, if they find a significant source water it would be another major step toward starting a real lunar colony, because water is one of the most important resources (right up there with air and soil – well, with hydroponics, I guess soil is less important) that are currently absent on the moon.

But, really, it’s very hard to be serious when you’re talking about NASA blowing up the moon.  I mean, have they thought about what could go wrong?  Two moons, anyone?  What would that do to our tides?  Ah, the imagination can run wild.  Thanks, NASA.


A new babysitter?

June 15, 2009

Pink Tentacle has an articleabout a robot that can read books.  The robot’s premiere had it reading a fairy tale, and the designers said that once they figure out how to put a little more feeling in its voice so it sounds, well, less like a robot, it will be ready for a job reading to children and the elderly.  Now they just need to program it to prepare meals, keep the kids (or grandma and grandpa) from wandering off, and put out fires – and it can take over babysitting duties!  Of course, it’s better than just sitting your kids in front of the tv and using that as a babysitter.


The Continuing Obsession with Rubber Ducks…

June 12, 2009

absolutely befuddles me.  And yet, there it is.  I am still getting 10 or more hits every single week just of people looking at my giant rubber ducky picture.  So for those ducky lovers out there, here are some sites devoted to our squeaky pals.

http://rubaduck.com/pictures/rubber_duck_pictures.htm

http://katiejeffreys.com/ducky/duckpix.html

http://duckshow.com/

http://www.getodd.com/duck/gallery.html

Enjoy!


Where are we compared to Star Trek?

May 6, 2009

I love these articles.  This one from MSN sums up where our current tech is in comparison with Star Trek tech (from the original series) – we’re still way behind on some of it, but we’re actually ahead on a couple of things!


Awesome sand sculpture pics

May 5, 2009

Thanks to Pink Tentacle for pointing out these totally awesome pics.


Teaching Twitter in Schools?

March 26, 2009

And other modern comminication technologies, including blogging and podcasting, according to this article in TechCrunch.  Actually, it doesn’t sound like a bad idea – as long as core subjects like reading, writing, and math don’t get shortchanged in the process.  It won’t matter how tech savvy the next generation is if they don’t know how to think and express themselves logically and coherently.


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