Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Outer Space

Created by filmmaker Sander van den Berg this video is pieced together from photographs mined from NASA archives. Just watch. Drool:

Friday, May 25, 2012

Quiet Arcs: Aurora Australis as seen from the ISS

Footage taken by Expedition 28 of the International Space Station on September 17, 2011. The green "curtains" are photons emitted by oxygen (and nitrogen) atoms returning to ground state after being excited by solar winds. Observe and drool:

Quiet Arcs are A- when the aurora form long solid curtains, and B- the perfect name for a post-rock band, from some town in the middle of nowhere (but probably not near any aurora).;  B - are a hardcore band from Philadelphia.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Book Report: The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi

The Quantum Thief (The Quantum Thief Trilogy #1) Left hook, straight punch. But no knock out. That's pretty much my review of Hannu Rajeniemi's The Quantum Thief. Often miscategorized as Science Fiction, sometimes even as "Hard" Science Fiction, this Science Fantasy book packs a galloping adventure of post-humans fighting for... well, I'm not totally sure what they were fighting over. In fact, can anyone tell me why exactly Mieli busted le Flambeur out of the Dilemma Prison? And why did the zoku take over a population of gogols (mind copies) indentured into a Mars terraforming prison that was data-scrambled after the Spike (the explosion of Jupiter) in a deal with the Cryptarch (former warden?), who seems to be an incarnation of Jean le Flambeur, and then buffer said deal by creating the tzaddikim to counter the Cryptarch's power? It's not just your head that's spinning.

Here's a breakdown straight from the book
An interplanetary thief is building a picotech machine out of the city itself while the cryptarchs take over people's minds to try to destroy the zoku colony in order to stop the tzaddikim from breaking their power.
Course the book doesn't actually answer why any of this happened.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Attack of the Lyrids as seen from the ISS

You might not have known it, but the Earth was attacked in April from the Lyrids. Their bombardment peaked on April 21st, followed by the largest hit which came from an object estimated to be about the size of a mini-van and coming it at 43 kilometers a second: the Sutter's Mill meteorite. It hit on April 22nd with an energy yield of ~4 kilotons of TNT. Take a look for yourself from footage taken from the ISS, the blue-white explosions are meteor strikes:

This video is gorgeous! You got a view from the ISS of cities at night against the curve of the earth, a backdrop of stars, and a layer of Aurora. Mind is blown.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Info-Graphic of Disruptive Consumer Technology

Some dude just sent this to me. It takes a long circuitous route to get to the point (okay, it does mention it in the first paragraph), which is: we've done so much and yet so few, globally, have access to technology that could reshape our politics, our economy, our societies, our planet. But, it's pretty good content and it looks snazzy, if a bit long. The gulf of the digital divide is so wide it's kind of mind boggling. And I want to use iCow.