Chris Hadfield Still Rocks

A brief note aside: Yes, we know. Every once in a while it behooves us to check the instructions. It really is that easy to embed a tweet. This Unfortunately Requisite Duh has been brought to you by Diving Under Many Bogus Assumptions. Take the note.

More importantly, there is a reason why @Cmdr_Hadfield remains awesome.

Cosmic Coolness

ISS TryptichWe would be remiss if we failed to mention Nathan Bergey’s incredible visualization of location data harvested from the International Space Station photographs of Earth. Analyzing the data from 1.13 million images, Bergey plotted a map that is as entrancing as it is enlightening.

It really is that cool. Science is only boring if one cares none about the answers.

Or the questions. There are no answers. The adventure is its own reward.

Okay, so science is occasionally boring. But as Bergey’s plot and, say, Chris Hadfield’s photographs remind, it all pays off in the end.

Skip the aphorisms, proverbs, and witless witticisms. Just follow the science.

Linkadelica

File under Whoops: I somehow managed to kill my Linkadelica template. No worries, I guess. I still haven’t figured out exactly what to do with it.

Abell 68 Space Invader (detail)Space Invaders! Or, a note on gravitational lensing.

Helicoprion! Or, the mysterious, spiral-toothed, squid-eating fish of antiquity.

Zen Pencils! Or, an ode to Chris Hadfield.

Dolighan! Or, as long as we’re speaking of Cmdr. Hadfield.

Tim Dolighan, March 1, 2013Thunder! Or, what Cmdr. Hadfield sees.

Physics! Or, Rhett Allain uses Neil deGrasse Tyson complaining about The Daily Show logo to teach us some science.

Heat! Fascinating and philosophical. Yes, really.

Regina: A Beacon of Science, Philosophy, and Skates

Regina, Saskatchewan; detail of photo by Chris HadfieldI don’t know why, but Chris Hadfield’s orbital photograph of Regina, Saskatchewan, taken earlier today, absolutely fascinates me. Perhaps it’s the bit of perspective we need in order to remember just how cool the world really is, or something like that. But the scale of isolation, the darkness of the city in contrast with the snowy land around it. The neat little boundaries making rectangles; roads, it seems, though if we didn’t know the scale it might as well be counties in Iowa. But it’s Canada.

And tonight, I’m told, the Pats are in Moose Jaw, looking to make it two straight over the Warriors. Hockey makes a lot more sense in the context of Regina, Saskatchewan, nestled amid the snowy plain, viewed from orbit. You know, science, philosophy. Inspired reflections on the human condition. Junior hockey in Canada. Seems obvious.

Linkadelica

“D’oh!”

—Homer Simpson

The Pluto formerly known as a planetI really need to work on my repertoire. I shouldn’t have to stop and think of a brilliant quote from someone, somewhere, sometime, every time I do this. Meanwhile, we can file under “live and learn” the idea that I’ve been doing it wrong. Instead of using unordered lists, I should be using “p style” tags. Or something like that. So if things look a little strange over the next few days, that’s probably why.

• Just when I thought it was safe to beam up to the Enterprise, it turns out spacetime might not be so cooperative

• As long as we’re in a Trekkie mode, can you guess the most popular suggested name for the fourth moon of the former planet Pluto?

• And considering the final frontier, David S. F. Portree offers his reflections on the current and future American space program.

• In more Earthbound news, yes, your dog is plotting subversion.

• The National Institutes of Health have achieved new insight into Fetal Alcohol Syndrome; now they just need to figure out what to do with it.

• And let us head back into orbit, because Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield is really cool.