Tuesday, November 30, 2010

To explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before

Senator Jake Garn [wiki article here] visited Hillcrest High School today. He retired some time ago, and holds the distinct distinction of orbiting our planet aboard the space shuttle Discovery. He has a building at NASA named for him--and his name is used a measure (though, no, it's not an SI unit, sadly) of space sickness.

It was great to hear him speak--his message clear--about education leading your way into the great unknown of life. 6th period Honor's Chemistry was in attendance.

Why was he here? To honor three students who will have an experiment travel aboard Endeavor's final mission in February.

As point of interest I was in attendance at the landing of the first space shuttle at Edwards Air Force base (STS-1 Columbia) on April 14, 1981 [I was a freshman in high school].

[By the way, I'm FIRST to publish ANYTHING online or otherwise about his visit. Ha ha ha--so there!!!]

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Shone like a meteor, streaming to the wind

So, here's the deal. Comets leave a trail of dust as they travel through space. Our planet passes through that dust trail on our journey around the sun. Those dust particles create a brilliant trail of their own as they hit our planet's atmosphere and heat up. They get so hot they burn and are destroyed. Only large meteors ever hit the surface. Generally comets only leave small particles the size of a grain of sand. This meteor shower is called the Leonid's because it appears the dust particles are coming from the constellation Leo in the eastern sky.

There are several websites that describe it far better than me. But really, if it's not cloudy tonight look up. The magic of something so small making such a beautiful trail of light is something you need to see...more than once.

And wish upon that falling star.

Monday, November 15, 2010


Ever carry a flash drive? Or burn a disc to transfer files?

I used to. Now? I use Dropbox. It's pretty cool and I use it ALL the TIME, and so should you.

Really. Access all your files from any computer. Write your paper at home, and edit it at school. No flash drive.

Want to try it? It's free--2 GBs of storage free. Click here and you can get an extra 250MB for free.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Give Me Liberty, Or Give Me Death!

Have you read his whole speech that day? March 23, 1775. The Speech in whole is here.

Thank you Mr. Henry. Thank you every soldier that has put their life on the line for our freedom.

Happy Veteran's Day.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Only by the good influence of our conduct may we bring salvation in human affairs; or like a fatal comet we may bring destruction in our train

Breaking news.

The NASA spacecraft EPOXI passed just 400 miles from the nucleus of comet Hartley 2.

Here is one of the many images from the flyby. 

The Bad Astronomy blog at Discover description is excellent. It's here

Credit for image is gladly given to NASA. Their website with tons of information and more images is here.