David Attenborough and More on Youtube!!

17 01 2010

The man himself! Sir David Attenborough.

The unparalleled naturalist David Attenborough has participated in a huge number of fantastic nature documentaries over the year, and it turns out a fair number of these are available on youtube! Having stumbled on these yesterday and spent several hours enjoying them, I felt compelled to share them with you, the public hungry for knowledge!

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE!

Read the rest of this entry »





Water on the Moon Confirmed

13 11 2009
Full_Moon_Luc_Viatour

You can spot the water, can't you?

And another layer of the cosmic onion is peeled back! Scientists from NASA’s LCROSS project have confirmed their previously hesitant assertion that water exists on our moon in the permanent shade of its impact craters. I’m going to defer to the public relations folks at NASA on this one and just send you to their press release, which contains nice charts and pictures to help bring the issue into focus.

So go ahead, and click this link!

I’m hardly qualified to speak on the full implications of the discovery of water on the moon, but I suppose I could outline at least one provocative point. The existence of water on the moon makes human settlement there far more simple. With accessible frozen water (and ample sunlight for hydrolysis), we have a source of oxygen (for breathing) and hydrogen (for fuel). We also of course have the water itself that can be melted and used for drinking or for any of the other myriad purposes water can fulfill. The moon is of course still relatively inhospitable, and I would not expect resorts to start springing up there any time soon, but the presence of frozen water does make the prospect of limited colonization or the establishment of permanent bases a bit more likely.

Until next time, Earthlings!

-Neil
P.S. The lovely photo of the moon was taken by Luc Viatour.





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!

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE!

Read the rest of this entry »





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.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE!

Read the rest of this entry »





Water, Part Two. Two Reasons to Get Excited About Hydrogen Bonds

29 07 2009
A gorgeous iceberg off the coast of Greenland. You're about to find out why it floats!

A gorgeous iceberg off the coast of Greenland. You're about to find out why it floats!

And we’re back! Gosh, did that last article on water make you thirsty for more? Ha-ha, get it! Thirsty! Thirsty for water!

As I was saying, you couldn’t exist without water, or more specifically, without hydrogen bonds. Right now I’m going to give you two of the reasons why. There are more, but we’ll get to those another time. I could write about this stuff all day, but I know you’re busy and you have important business to attend to.

Reason number one you better be thankful for hydrogen bonds: hydrogen bonds are the reason that ice floats.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE!

Read the rest of this entry »