________________________________________________________________________________ Neal deGrasse Tyson is an American astrophysicist and science communicator. He is currently the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Rose Center for Earth and Space and a research associate in the department of astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History. From 2006 to 2011 he hosted the educational science television show NOVA ScienceNOW on PBS and has been a frequent guest on The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Real Time with Bill Maher, and Jeopardy!. It was announced on August 5, 2011, that Tyson will be hosting a new sequel to Carl Sagan’s Cosmos: A Personal Voyage television series.
The video shown here is by far the best video tour of a spacecraft I have ever seen. Astronaut Suni Williams, Commander of the station, gives an incredible guided tour of the entire craft including the restrooms (heads), observation stations, science experiments, exercise areas, sleeping accommodations and the Soyuz spacecraft which, by now, has brought her home. The video lasts 25 minutes and is worth watching at full-screen all the way. My question is how do they keep from banging their heads all the time…
A Guided Tour of the Space Station
Suni Williams | YouTube | Nov 12
________________________________________________________________________________ Sunita (Suni) Williams is an Indian American astronaut and a United States Navy officer who holds the record for longest space flight by a woman. She was assigned to the International Space Station as a member of Expedition 14 and Expedition 15. In 2012, she served as a flight engineer on Expedition 32 and then commander of Expedition 33. In addition to holding the record for the longest space flight time among female space travelers (195 days, not counting her ongoing 2012 mission), she holds the record for number of spacewalks for a female, and most spacewalk time for a female. Williams first broke the two spacewalk records for women space travelers—most number of spacewalks, and most spacewalk time—during Expedition 14/15 in 2007, but both records were surpassed by Peggy Whitson during Expedition 16. Williams regained both records during her sixth spacewalk, on September 5, 2012, and currently has 50 hours and 40 minutes of spacewalk time (seven walks).
Remember when you were very small and heard a story about a chicken who ran around warning that “The sky is falling, the sky is falling.” His name was Chicken Little. James Hanson is often likened to that poor chicken and often equally ignored. He doesn’t say the sky is falling though. He says it is warming. But the results are probably the same. You may or may not “believe” in global warming. You may think people like Dr Hanson are simply alarmists who don’t see the whole picture. You may be wrong. Listen to what Dr Hanson has to say and judge for yourself…
Why I must speak out about climate change
James Hanson | TED | Mar 12
________________________________________________________________________________ James Hansen is Adjunct Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University’s Earth Institute. He was trained in physics and astronomy in the space science program of James Van Allen at the University of Iowa. His early research on the clouds of Venus helped identify their composition as sulfuric acid. Since the late 1970s, he has focused his research on Earth’s climate, especially human-made climate change. Hansen is known for his testimony on climate change to congressional committees in the 1980s that helped raise broad awareness of the global warming issue. Hansen is recognized for speaking truth to power, for identifying ineffectual policies as greenwash, and for outlining the actions that the public must take to protect the future of young people and the other species on the planet.
When we were cruising there was one person we looked to every day for critical information about the weather. Dr. Jeff Masters, founder of Wunderground.com. There is probably no person on the planet who knows more about weather then Jeff Masters. In this presentation Dr. Masters shares his observations, insights and forecasts for the future of our increasingly worrisome weather. Given what we just went through near New York, it’s not too encouraging. While the presentation is a bit formal the picture he envisions is enough to make even the most cynical global warming skeptic sit up and take notice. But they probably won’t. By the way, Jeff predicted Sandy would occur and warned it would be devastating to New York. Last year…
What’s Up With The Weather?
Dr. Jeff Masters | TED | Apr 12
________________________________________________________________________________ Jeff Masters co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. Weather Underground is a commercial weather service that provides real-time weather information via the Internet. Weather Underground provides weather reports for most major cities across the world on its Web site, as well as local weather reports for newspapers and Web sites. Most of its United States information comes from the National Weather Service (NWS), as information from that agency is within the public domain by federal law. The Web site is available in many languages, and an ad-free version of the site with additional features is available for an annual fee.
The Amaz!ng Meeting (TAM) is an annual celebration of science, skepticism and critical thinking. People from all over the world come TAM each year to share learning, laughs and the skeptical perspective with their fellow skeptics and a host of distinguished guest speakers and panelists. The speaker here is Sean Carroll, Professor of Theoretical Physics at Cal Tech. His presentation is probably the most coherent and stunningly simple explanation of how the universe works that I have ever heard. See if you don’t agree…
From Particles to People
Sean Caroll | TAM | 19 Oct 12
________________________________________________________________________________ Sean Carroll is a theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology, and a blogger at Cosmic Variance. He has appeared on TV shows such as The Colbert Report and Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman. His most recent book is From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time.
I love to watch those videos where a camera zooms from earth to space showing how insignificant our planet really is in the vast cosmic scheme of things. Carl Sagan’s “Pale Blue Dot” and all that. Probably the best was Charles and Ray Eames’ “Powers of Ten”. This film, produced by the American Museum of Natural History, is notable for its striking clarity. It’s like looking at Google Earth on steroids. Google Universe…
The Known Universe
Hans Zimmer | American Museum of Natural History | 23 Oct 12
When I ride a bike where we live I am in direct competition for space with cars and trucks. They always win. Years ago the idea that people would stop smoking in public places was considered radical, impossible, crazy. Today providing well lit and safe bike paths everywhere is considered too costly, politically inconvenient, impossible. As gasoline prices and healthcare costs continue to rise that thinking will go up in smoke along with cigarettes…
We are used to seeing articles extolling the wonders of nature along with the perils of mistreating the natural environment. Starting with Silent Spring we learned that nature’s resilience to mistreatment is not infinite. Colin Powell famously said, “You break it, you own it.” He was speaking of foreign policy and the cost of war. He might as well have been talking about the environment. Owning it means living with the consequences of mistreating it. This article puts it another way. It is often difficult to see the link between the demise of one species and the survival of another. The author makes us aware that all life on this planet is linked, including us. When nature is out of balance, so are we. And the consequences of that are very uncomfortable…
Why the Beaver Should Thank the Wolf
Mary Ellen Hanibal | NYTimes | 28 Sept 12
THIS month, a group of environmental nonprofits said they would challenge the federal government’s removal of Endangered Species Act protections for wolves in Wyoming. Since there are only about 328 wolves in a state with a historic blood thirst for the hides of these top predators, the nonprofits are probably right that lacking protection, Wyoming wolves are toast.
Flying in a motorized paraglider over one of the most diverse continents in the world, George Steinmetz captures in his photographs the stunning beauty, potential and hope of Africa’s landscapes and people. See the project at http://mediastorm.com/publication/african-air
________________________________________________________________________________ A self-taught photographer, Steinmetz has traveled through more than 30 countries in Africa photographing its diverse wildlife, landscape and culture. For the past decade much of his work has involved flying a ultralight aircraft to photograph remote landscapes. His foot-launched aircraft consists of a backpack motor and paraglider-style wing. It is the world’s lightest and slowest motorized aircraft and allows a unique and more intimate style of aerial photography.
His photographs have appeared numerous times in National Geographic magazine and in the German edition of GEO.
A small but very nice expression on beauty and life by Richard Feynman…
Richard Feynman on Beauty
Richard Feynman | YouTube | 2 Oct 11
________________________________________________________________________________ Richard Feynman was an American theoretical physicist known for his work in the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics, the theory of quantum electrodynamics, and the physics of the superfluidity of supercooled liquid helium, as well as in particle physics (he proposed the parton model). For his contributions to the development of quantum electrodynamics, Feynman, jointly with Julian Schwinger and Sin-Itiro Tomonaga, received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965. He developed a widely used pictorial representation scheme for the mathematical expressions governing the behavior of subatomic particles, which later became known as Feynman diagrams. During his lifetime, Feynman became one of the best-known scientists in the world. In a 1999 poll of 130 leading physicists worldwide by the British journal Physics World he was ranked as one of the ten greatest physicists of all time.
Feynman assisted in the development of the atomic bomb and was a member of the panel that investigated the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. In addition to his work in theoretical physics, he has been credited with pioneering the field of quantum computing and introducing the concept of nanotechnology. Richard Feynman held the Richard Chace Tolman professorship in theoretical physics at the California Institute of Technology.