Thursday, August 27, 2009

GalileoScope : Enlighten a Kid

I recently heard about this fantastic deal of a telescope while listening to AstronomyCast. I have to and am going to buy one. The deal is they are $20 plus s/h, unless you want to go for over a hundred of these things. Then they are $15.

Out of all the money that was ever spent on me and my public education, I would have certainly requested that one of these was given to me, ... .. to keep. Fifteen bucks?? Did I mention it is a good one?? One that you get to assemble and/or dissasemble?? One where you learn about the lenses and physics and even history involved in such astronomical viewing? One that might inspire children to study and excel in science??

Alright, this may seem like a wacky suggestion, but how about a $15 telescope for every student?? The possibilities in instruction are far reaching for such a small amount of money. In this age, kids deserve a good view of what we are exploring. And they deserve the real world connection to astronomy that is often times lacking.

I'll have to confess, I haven't bought one yet. So I'll give more feedback when I've bought and successfully(or not) used one. In the meantime, I'm sure there are lot's of things you've bought for 20$ that were basically useless. If it becomes worthless, ..well, .. give it to a kid.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Recently Extinct : A Photo Album

Many factors can be responsible for the obliteration of a species. Even subtle ones. While we, as humans, haven't been responsible for the extinction of even several decimals of a percent of all the past species, I would say that even one extinction at our hands is enough. Overhunting is the chief factor in many of these extinctions.

At worst it should have us evaluate our effect on the environment in both biotic and abiotic realms. At best it should prompt action now when the will and education neccessary to avert such tragedies is missing.

I still have some hope that a few Tasmanian Tigers have escaped the peril of extinction. But maybe I've been watching too much MonsterQuest.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Roger Ebert: Quantum Mechanics & Reincarnation

Roger Ebert on quantum mechanics. Yes, that Robert Ebert. And not just quantum mechanics, but the idea of reincarnation as well. A thought experiment if you will. Because as strange as things get in the purple haze of subatomic behavior you may find yourself neither here nor there, but BOTH here and there, ... and then entirely nowhere.

Robert Anton Wilson on Quantum Mechanics (linked to in Ebert's blog)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Photo of the Day - Shuttle

One of the Space Photos of the Week from National Geographic.