Second Life Silliness

Second Life Silliness

I’m just posting a quick post this evening as I try and recover from yesterdays chaos. As some of you read, I’ve been attempting to play in Second Life. After much help from Anthony Crider of Elon University, I don’t feel as lost or confused or ugly (that’s my avatar 🙂 ), but I still do a fair amount of bashing into walls and falling out of the sky as I try to get around. There is also other silliness inherent in wearing a virtual body. With these personal experiences under my belt, I was reading through blogs today and came across this youtube on Pharyngula that made me giggle. Enjoy...

Read More

Dragon*Con, ASP, and Chaos

Dragon*Con, ASP, and Chaos

This is turning into one of those weeks. I’m in the midst of frantically trying to get ready to attend the ASP’s EPO Conference next week, and I’m trying to look forward to going to Dragon*Con this weekend, but life just keeps getting into the way. While I generally try to leave my personal life out of this blog, this one sentence description needs to be shared: My husband tried to replace a bathroom facet and managed to catch the wall on fire. I blog to you from the secondary story hallway floor outside the bathroom where I am sitting with a fire extinguisher (the pin is pulled). There is currently water coming out the ceiling of the kitchen below. Really. I’m not kidding. Ok. Now that I’ve got that out of my system…...

Read More

Lunar Eclipse Tues, not friendly for North America

Lunar Eclipse Tues, not friendly for North America

Every 6 months-ish there is a lunar eclipse visible somewhere on the planet Earth. While newspapers like to call these things rare, they just aren’t. What is rare is a nicely timed for prime time lunar eclipse. For those of you who aren’t quite sure what causes a lunar eclipse, let me step back a second (everyone else, skip this paragraph). Every 29.53 days the Moon completes one orbit around the Earth relative to the Sun. Kevin Lee has created a neat applet of the moon’s orbit if you want to see things in action. The gist of it is simple. If the moon is between us and the Sun, we can’t see any of the part of the Moon that is being illuminated, so we have a new moon. In order for us to see a full Moon, we need to get out in front of the...

Read More

Mostly Empty Space

Mostly Empty Space

When we look at the cosmic microwave background we see both overly warm and overly cold spots. The warm spots grew into places with a lot of stuff; namely our modern galaxies. The cold spots grew into places without a lot of stuff; these are cosmic voids. While we have known for a long time that some clusters are denser than other clusters, we hadn’t fully realized just how empty and large those voids could be. New research combining existing data from the Very Large Array in New Mexico (the array of telescopes in the movie “Contact”) and the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe has shown their may be a void a billion years across in the direction of the constellation Eridanus. The way they found this possible void is really neat science. First...

Read More

Google Sky just made teaching astro easier

Google Sky just made teaching astro easier

My Office My Sky Oh, what a wonderful Google world we live in. Today, Google unveiled a new feature in Google Earth, the Sky. That’s right, along side your house, your office, and that mutant strange thing you created in Google Sketchup, you can also look at the stars, galaxies, and planets in Google Earth. In collaboration with ESA and NASA, Google now includes sky maps complete with links to Hubble imagery and all sorts of neat factoids. I’m sure you’ve already heard a bunch a bloggers praise Google (and if you haven’t here’s Phil’s take). Now, while it is uber cool, and is certain to waste many many man and woman hours, my first thought was, “This is gonna make teaching so much easier.” Here’s how: 1) If...

Read More
Now live! Expect the Unexpected.
Currently offline.