Monday, July 29, 2013

Up Into Space and Back Down Again

Cameras mounted on the booster rockets of the space shuttle take you on a ride through the launch, the detachment and the touchdown. I was amazed that the two booster rockets landed so close to one another.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

New York to L.A. in 45 Minutes?

I hadn't heard of this technology! It is still very much in the theoretical stage, but is still interesting to think about. Elon Musk, the man behind Space X and Tesla motors, wants to build an ultra fast transportation system based on vacuum tubes and the magnetic levitation system already in use on high speed trains. Capsules containing four to six people would travel through these vacuum tubes completely free of both metal and wind friction as speeds up to 4000 MPH! It sounds like a great idea... I'll reserve my judgement until I see if they can get it to work.   

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Optical Illusions Using Moiré Patterns

It's amazing to see that these aren't animated at all, but recorded in real time with only the person's hand pushing the transparency across the page to create the Moiré patterns.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Translating Emoji into a Giant Light Show

Another great one from the Creator's Project.
Ancient Chinese texts and social media meet in a new giant light show at the Beijing National Aquatics Center. "Nature and Man in Rhapsody of Light at the Water Cube," an installation created by artist Jennifer Wen Ma and lighting designer Zheng Jianwei, uses a computer program to translate I Ching and the collective mood of the Chinese people into a stunning real-time light display on the building's exterior.

A Conversation with Richard Dawkins and John Huddlestun (College of Charleston)

It's interesting to hear Richard Dawkins sit down in conversation with biblical historian, John Huddlestun, a scholar who studies biblical myths from an evidence-based historical approach. It seems that Dawkins was trying to keep the discussion brief, but I would have loved to have heard more from the historian on the questions posed by Dawkins. I could easily see this 30 minute conversation expanded into a more meaty 2 hour discussion.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Climbing at Paradise on the Brazos

I'm looking forward to getting outdoors this weekend at Paradise on the Brazos. It's about 2.5 hours west of Dallas near Possum Kingdom lake and it's some of the only natural climbing we have in the north Texas area. The walls are about 40 feet high, so it's almost twice as high as most climbing gyms. It's always nice to climb outdoors because natural rock is such a different experience from the plywood walls and plastic holds at the gyms. At the gyms you have these pre-set routes that are designed for climbing, but outdoors the rock has no such design and you have to have to adapt yourself to it instead. This will be my first lead climbing experience outdoors, so that will involve a bit of a learning curve. Having to clip your rope in as you go up is a whole different experience from top-roping where the rope is anchored at the top.

We'll be camping out in a tent the night before, then we'll wake up early and climb while it's still cool. This is a video someone filmed on a climbing trip to POB where I'll be going. Pardon the Guns and Roses (use the mute button if necessary).

What Happens When You Ask Pro-Life Protesters To Think Their Stance All The Way Through?

I thought I would post this after the Texas GOP passed a monumentally bad law yesterday restricting women's already restricted access to safe abortion services. The blueing of Texas can't happen soon enough and I can't wait to see fucking Rick Perry and the rest of the Grand Old Jackasses kicked out of office.