Friday, January 21, 2011

Comfort with the Unknown

http://www.space.com/10656-astronomy-religion-cosmos-intersection.html

You'll have to read the article to understand my comment, but here it is anyway:

But never entertain the notion that maybe some of "God's" other creatures might have paid a visit or influenced the mythology of this planet long, long ago. That would just be silly. ;)

Anyway, I'm okay with not knowing, and refuse to make up answers as a means to placate my own happiness or comfort. In fact, I am comforted that there are things I don't understand and things I may never understand, because I enjoy the knowledge that comes with trying to accurately and honestly solve those unknowns without adding mythical attributes to them.

All that does is give a false sense of comfort within a universe that is so much more amazing than that.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

One Stop Spot

I often note that space exploration helps bring about technologies that are not just useful in space, but eventually find places to be used on Earth, as it should be. In tackling the unforgiving and harsh environment of space, we invariably will develop technical systems and ideas that could be used and/or modified to solve terrestrial issues as well. Higher the target, broader the scope.

With that said, sometimes the opposite occurs, where a technology designed for use on Earth ends up being quite useful for some space application.

The fun part about all this is learning and finding out about all these new and interesting technologies. The hard part is having to sift through many technology news websites to find something, and even then, it might not be very easy to isolate any particular topic you might be interested in.

However, this is no longer the case:



ZeitNews is a new technology news aggregate website that brings to light many various new and developing stories from many different websites, so that you can find out about the newest news, hence the term "zeit" which is "time" in German. Timely technology news, up to date and constantly updated. There's nothing quite like a one stop spot to see what's clicking in the realm of science, engineering and technological development.

I love information sharing and knowledge expansion. :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Curse You, Infinity!

In a random act of brilliance, if I do say so myself, I made up a catchy little phrase and then posted it to my Facebook as my status, as any self respecting social butterfly in the 21st century should do. :)

"In the beginning, there was no beginning. Who am I to tell time when to start?" ~ Me

Well, that's true, isn't it? Who am I, or you, or anyone else to dictate when time itself begins? We have no clue about the scales of which we speak. We pretend too, a false sense of self importance, but in all reality, all we've ever known are finite scales, not the infinite.

Human life is short. We're born, we live, we die. Everything around us follows similar patterns of birth, life and death, from trees, to animals to stars! Because of this, we seem prone to attaching that model onto everything, as if it's universally applicable.

The problem begins when finite starts losing its relevance. In math, the mathematicians cancel infinity as much as possible. They fear the lazy eight. Infinity is turned into some constant, or "normalized" as a way to make it disappear. It's with this rationale that I believe we start breaking down reality, forcing the space/time continuum into our own comfort zone. Since when did the universe have to appeal to OUR sense of comfort?

I'm actually okay with infinity, in both directions of scale. I bet once the LHC breaks open the "smallest" thing we know of, it will reveal even smaller things. And smaller, and smaller. The catch is that you need a lot of energy to get smaller and smaller. Infinite energy to reach infinite smallness. That's a hard goal to reach, and not very easy to get funding when your goal is infinite, so it's best to put a stopper on it and claim, "Voila! That's as small as she goes! Gimmie the cash to do that." At least until the next person finds something smaller.

As for infinite big, I'm good with that too. Same goes for time. I have no idea when it started, and honestly, I don't care that much. I could extrapolate a thousand generations from now and none of that time would be a fraction of a fraction of the time this planet has been around, much less the universe. Can we just be a little humble...just a little?

Also, we have no idea whether or not the universe itself is cyclical. There may be a crunch to accompany the bang and it's been going on for 10^100 years! Who knows!? So all this speculation could be for naught if the whole thing behaves like a gigantic heart.

Of course, during the process of trying to chase down infinity, you do learn many neat things, so I think it's high time we start looking at infinity as our friend, not the enemy, and see how things pan out with that new mindset.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Hacky Sack Wheels?!

http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2011-01/mcgill-universitys-beanbag-space-wheels-are-due-moon

I'm sure the stoners who love hacky sack...and those of us non-stoners who also love hacky sack...will find this technical advancement totally cool and far out...man. ;)

On a serious note, I find this to be quite interesting on a practical level. A tire like this can "hug the road" a lot better, and get over obstacles a lot easier because of that.

I think it's about time we start looking at different tire options for our vehicles right here on Earth. Tire pressure affects gas mileage, and tire blowouts are obviously dangerous in and of themselves. I've always been a fan of solid tires, made of light weight, squishy (such a technical term, right?) materials that could last decades and provide adequate safety and security while on the road.

With all the material advances we've had, why do we still use such old school tire systems? Inquiring minds want to know! :)

A One Month Hiatus

Hello friends,

Well, yes, I've been off for about a month. I don't really make any money with this blog, so it's not like I'm up against a wall, so with that comes the benefit of getting away for a little while and not worrying about it. Of course, I do risk the chance of followers and subscribers ejecting and leaving because I'm not posting anything new, but since this is just my hobby, I'm okay with that.

With that said, I'm back. It's been a very busy past few weeks on many fronts, not the least of which is the chance that I may get a new job with Virgin Galactic, the amazing company that I've talked about many times here on this blog. If you don't know what Virgin Galactic is, first get out of the cave you're in (lol), then go here:

http://www.virgingalactic.com/

I expect to find out this week if I get the job. If I do, I'll be moving to California and starting this February. Yes, a fast turn around, but I'm 110% eager and ready to get going! After all, it's NewSpace, and anyone who knows me (or follows this blog) understands my passion for NewSpace and how I feel about it. In poker terms...I'm ALL IN! :) After about 2 years, whenever Spaceport America is completed, we'll all be moving operations to New Mexico and setting up our permanent address. Woohoo!

I'm not sure what will happen to this blog if/when this happens. I might just post once a week. That's basically what I've been doing recently anyway since it seems that space news has slowed, a lot. I thank a retarded Congress for that, since government space is still the biggest player in the game and they are woefully inept at pretty much everything. But that won't be the case for too much longer...well, the "government space being the biggest player" bit...I don't think government itself will ever NOT be inept. lol. I see government space falling away, and NASA becoming a shell of its former self. We'll fund the hell out of wars, but not so much for the advancement of the human species. How nice. But I digress.

I hope I'll be able to ramp up this blog again, getting back to my in depth analysis of things sci/tech/space related. Don't be surprised if I talk about articles that aren't exactly space related, but have a space connection in some way. I've always said that one of the greatest purposes of space exploration are the innovations that can be turned around and used back on Earth for the benefit of mankind. If I see a space based tech that fits the bill, I'll talk about it.

So, that's it. I hope everyone had a great holiday season. Talk atcha later peeps!

Ad Astra! :)