All Episodes of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos Are Available Online!!

30 10 2009
carl_sagan

Just look at him. As majestic as the Milky Way.

 

Holy Moley did I cry with joy when I learned this. Our friends at Hulu have put up all thirteen episodes of Carl Sagan’s magnum opus, Cosmos. If you’re unfamiliar with Cosmos, it’s an awesome series. Sagan explores a different topic each episode, outlining a particular feature of our wonderful universe with his characteristic awe and infectious enthusiasm. Stars, galaxies, the formation of the Earth? The origins of the elements, the subtleties of star death? You’ll find it here! I whole heartedly recommend you watch every single episode. Dang, it’s just so cool!
Go now! Go and be entertained and educated!

 

-Neil





KABOOM! Lightning is Spectacular!

28 08 2009
Here's a time lapse photo of a lightning storm over boston, taken by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association.

Here's a time lapse photo of a lightning storm over boston, taken by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association.

Hello there! I’m sorry for the long delay in new content. I’m in the beginning stages of constructing a Van de Graaff generator. Don’t worry – there will be video, and it will be awesome.

Anyway, I wanted to start a new series of posts. The subject of this series is “amazing stuff right here on Earth.” I think when we have something we are commonly exposed to, we often forget the really remarkable characteristics that it may have. This is the case with water, a ubiquitous but really wonderful chemical, and this is why I wrote that series on water. And so I want to do the same thing with the planet Earth! People get all worked up about the volcanic activity of Io or the great storms of Jupiter or the rings of Saturn. But our own Earth is home to a huge variety of astounding and even mysterious phenomena! To prove this point, I’m going to start off this series with everyone’s favorite electrostatic discharge, lightning! Everyone has experienced lightning, but how many of us really know what it is, and how it forms? Judging by this site’s traffic, that number might just increase by 1-2 dozen! Let’s get to it!

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Hot Content Injection

27 08 2009
A sphere of water floats in the International Space Station.

A sphere of water floats in the International Space Station.

Ahh! So many days without an update! I apologize profusely. I am working on a post about lightning (far more complicated than I imagined!) and am also in the preliminary stages of building a Van de Graaff generator, which is going to be totally sweet. I just haven’t gotten anything into postable form yet. But, let me at least share a couple awesome youtube videos with you! These are from a series of experiments that International Space Station Science Officer Don Pettit did called Saturday Morning Science.

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Everything You See Is Moving

14 08 2009
DeadHorse

In the fullness of geologic time, even the tallest mountains crumble to the sea.

This is the process of erosion, where rock is pulverized into sediment and transported far away from its original source.  Eventually the sediment gets deposited in a new location, buried, and then baked into new rock by the immense heat and pressure of the Earth’s interior.  This rock may then be uplifted and eroded again, continuing the geologic cycle that has been slowly and inexorably churning up the crust of this tiny dot we call a home ever since its birth four and a half billion years ago.

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Email Question Bonanza

11 08 2009
The moon! Photo by Luc Viatour.

The moon! Photo by Luc Viatour.

Hello! I’m sorry for the drought of posts these past few days. Let me try to make it up to you with two great posts at once! Wow! I want to answer two questions I received in emails (dangthatscool@gmail.com). If I continue to receive emails on a regular basis, I’ll make this a regular sort of post. A kind of grab-bag. If I get emails with enough regularity, I might even be able to make it a weekly feature! Grab-bag Tuesday, or something. Anyway, here goes.

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