Link Friday

Posted by barb on Jul 15, 2005 in Random Thoughts

I’m supposed to be working, so I thought I’d blog the easy way this morning — links. Happy Friday!

  • From Pharyngula, “The cost of being a woman in science”. Women have to be over twice as productive in science to be taken as seriously as the least productive men. And, women do this to ourselves as much as the men do it to us. Sigh.
  • Quantum Diaries is a collection of blogs by physicists living through the World Year of Physics. Most of them are personal blogs, rather than “physics blogs”, but still fun to read through.
  • Bitch. Ph.D. urges us to let O’Connor and Rehnquist make their own retirement decisions. Rehnquist doesn’t want to retire yet, and just because he’s been hospitalized doesn’t mean he’s finished yet. Having the country on a death-watch has got to suck. And, sure it sucks for us that O’Connor is retiring, but come on. She’s had a full career, and she wants to spend some time with her husband, who has Alzheimer’s, while she can.
  • Another reason to enjoy the Harry Potter books
  • Just for fun: Calvin and Hobbes are traveling back to the Jurassic



Thursday fun link

Posted by barb on Jul 14, 2005 in Memes, Etc.





Weirdness in the Blogosphere

Posted by barb on Apr 1, 2005 in Random Thoughts

There’s a lot of weird things happening today…

  • Water on Mars! — APOD has a picture of water on Mars!
  • Google Gulp — Google is moving into the beverage business
  • Bloglines adds Klingon — Bloglines added the Klingon language to their services.

    “The custom of sharing grand stories of conquest and battle has a long standing history among the Klingon people,” said Mark Fletcher, founder of Bloglines. “Blogging is simply an easy way to continue the tradition while stuck in deep space, away from your family. We feel that presenting Bloglines in the Warrior Tongue was long overdue.”

  • President Bush Shuts Down Shuttle Program

    During a brief two-minute period provided for questions from the press, the first reporter asked if this meant the Space Station was also being shut down. To which the President answered, “we plan to either hold an auction on Ebay or give it away to “our international partners.



An Easter Peep

Posted by barb on Mar 27, 2005 in Random Thoughts

For Easter, a few Peeps links:

Enjoy! And Happy Easter!

[Update: By the way, that link for the Peeps contest was from last year’s contest. They held another contest this year, and you can check out the related article (you might need to register) and slideshow of winners My favorite of the new bunch is #13, “Peeps Attacks”.]



News from the Universe: 02/01/05

Posted by barb on Feb 1, 2005 in Science Musings

January was a busy month for astronomy!

  • The biggest news, of course, is the Huygens probe. For those of you living in a bubble, Huygens is the probe that was carried to Titan, one of Saturn’s moons, on the Cassini spacecraft. It was released on January 14 and decended through Titan’s atmosphere to land with a splat in Titan “mud”.

    The reason scientists are so interested in Titan is that next to the Earth, it is the only other body with a significant atmosphere in our solar system. Huygens has already shown that there is a significant amount of methane in the atomosphere, which is a surprise because methane gets destroyed by ultraviolet radiation. Since our sun emits an abundance of UV radiation, this methane on Titan must be renewed somehow, or it would all be gone by now. The main source of methane on Earth is life; however the methane on Titan is not from life. This leaves the scientists with a puzzle to work on.

    You can keep up with the latest news on the Cassini-Huygens mission at Space.com.

  • On January 17, Swift detected and imaged it’s first gamma-ray burst. Swift has been going through it’s testing phase, and has observed other gamma-ray bursts, but this is the first one that Swift detected and autonomously slewed to observe. It is the first time that a burst has been observed in X-rays while the burst was still going on.
  • Deep Impact successfully launched on January 12. This is a mission that will rendezvous with comet Temple I and send an impactor to the comet. This will give astronomers a first look at what’s beneath a comet’s surface. The rendezvous should occur on July 4th.
  • Hipparchus’ star chart found in plain site. Hipparchus was the greatest astronomer of antiquity and produced the first star chart around 129 B.C., which has been lost. Only a few bits of his work remain. The Farnese Atlas sculpture, dating from the late Roman period, sports a globe with constellations etched into it. Bradley E. Schaefer of Louisiana State University was able to deduce, from precession calculations, that the positions of the constellations coincide with the time of Hipparchus, and are likely based on his star catalog.
  • SOHO is having a contest to see who can predict when it will discover it’s 1000th comet. SOHO was not built as a comet detector — it’s a mission to monitor the Sun. However, it has now detected over 900 comets, and is the most prolific comet-finder in history. You can enter here, and the prizes for guessing correctly include SolarMax DVD, a SOHO T-shirt, and solar viewing glasses.
  • Just for fun, Mr. Potatohead hss turned to the dark side.

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