Watching Phil Plait blow Hank Green’s mind by explaining how we measure cosmic distances is just as rewarding as having Phil Plait blow your own mind. This is how astronomers—amateur or otherwise—are born, gentlepeople.
What we know is amazing. How we know what we know is even more amazing, and now, seeing someone make the connection of how we know what we know; well, that is amazing too. Go humans!
When I returned from NAMM and came down from all the excitement of the show, I decided that enough was enough and I needed to tackle all the research I was uncomfortable and afraid of. I had never taken an Artificial Intelligence or higher level Statistics courses at school, but all the research papers I was reading over the years made frequent references to concepts that I was completely unfamiliar with.
I re-read all the papers I’ve used over the years for reference, and read them again. I got in touch with Taemin Cho to get some clarification on some of his work, and he led me to newer papers which required additional learning on my part. For a solid 6 weeks I was doing nothing but reading papers and exploring in MATLAB.
When Newton was asked to explain why planetary orbits were ellipsis, he invented calculus. Chord intelligence is not as critical to life on earth as understanding planetary motion, but this is the kind of drive that pushes our species forward. Chris Liscio is the kind of people who needs to pass on his genes.
By the way, Capo Touch is worth buying an iPad for.
Reddit user NoSkyGuy on why US freedom is not quite up to par with other free countries.
American’s [sic] often confuse their practice of religion and freedom to own guns as real freedom. Neither has anything to do with freedom; participating in a country that as [sic] an active press (the US doesn’t) with a functioning democracy (because of money the US doesn’t), with a [sic] educated populous who can debate issues properly (the US doesn’t due to media control and a 3rd rate education system), with health care for all (this is getting repetitive), so that people are fit to work and participate in society, with safe streets (naw), etc. you start to have freedom. I wish America would stop believing its propaganda and get to work.
I think I loved this comment more than the post itself. Bummer about the grammar, though.
Francis, it was not the bones of 800 dogs and cats that were discovered dumped into a septic tank at an Irish Catholic home for unwed mothers.
Your empire’s record of the value of children as people worthy of compassion and respect has no credibility at all, so in regards to children, your opinion on how and why life should be lived has no credibility at all.
If you didn’t already just love astronaut Mike Massimino to death, he goes and writes something like this.
The first thing I had to do was to remove a handrail from the telescope that was blocking the access panel. There were two screws on the top, and they came off easily. And there was one screw on the bottom right and that came out easily. The fourth screw is not moving. My tool is moving, but the screw is not. I look close and it’s stripped. And I realize that that handrail’s not coming off, which means I can’t get to the access panel with these 117 screws that I’ve been worrying about for five years, which means I can’t get to the power supply that failed, which means we’re not gonna be able to fix this instrument today, which means all these smart scientists can’t find life on other planets.
And I’m to blame for this.
It’s people like this that make me proud to be human.
Phil Plait tweets cool astronomy facts with the hash tag #BAFacts on Twitter. Most of them link to detailed articles he has written on the subject. Last week he compiled all of his BAFacts for the year in a single post. Even if you have been reading the Bad Astronomy blog since it started in 1382, there is some amazing stuff in there for you to get lost in! I’ve been stuck in it for three days.