(Bill Gurstelle is guest blogging here on Boing Boing. He is the author of several books including Backyard
Ballistics, and the recently published Absinthe
and Flamethrowers. Twitter: @wmgurst)
UPDATE: This reminds me of the time I checked in a day late for 1 AM flight from LA to Minneapolis. Apparently, this happened last night.
Astronomy enthusiasts in North and South America will stay up light tonight to see the occultation of the bright red star Antares. (Non-astronomers may wonder what this means: the moon will pass in front of the star, so it's an eclipse of a star, more or less.) Antares is a bright red supergiant in the middle of the constellation Scorpio, and home to Fizzbinn. Here's a map of places where the event is visible and the website lists exact times.
Map from Pierpaolo Ricci's website.
I became interested in astronomy when I was eleven years old and read Sir Patrick Moore's book
called The Sky at Night. The Sky at Night was a book that really made a difference to me. It takes a while, but with it, you can become familiar with nearly every bright object in the night sky.
In the first Exploring Your Own Backyard
post, a few commenters thought it was incongruous to use a digital microscope to get closer to nature. My point is to get outside and explore nature firsthand, and if a modern digital device enhances the experience, so much the better.
To this point, I've been experimenting lately with a device called the SkyScout Personal Planetarium
. It's about the size of smallish video recorder. If you point it at any star, planet, major deep sky object, etc, the readout on the side tells you what it is you're looking at. If it's a rather important object, it plays an audio excerpt with additional information. Conversely, you can select the name of a star or other object from a list and arrows on the display will guide you to it.
(Looks rainy tonight in here in Minneapolis - rats.)
Scott Pruitt, the Trump administration’s top environmental official, privately met with the CEO of Dow Chemical just before reversing the EPA’s efforts to ban a widely used Dow pesticide. Multiple scientific studies showed chlorpyrifos can damage the brains of children. Today’s Associated Press story is a clear case for why the Environmental Protection Agency and […]
The YouTube channel HooplaKidzLab demonstrates some awesome science experiments you can try with your kids this summer. Here’s another video from the channel about how to make a robotic arm out of popsicle sticks:
Scientists discovered this new species of “glass frog” in Ecuador’s Amazon lowlands. Hyalinobatrachium yaku’s belly is so transparent that you can clearly see its kidneys, bladder, and beating heart. From Science News: Yaku means “water” in Kichwa, a language spoken in Ecuador and parts of Peru where H. yaku may also live. Glass frogs, like […]
Despite the upfront cost, electric toothbrushes are much better at removing plaque than those freebies from the dentist’s office. For those who struggle to fill the American Dental Association’s recommended two minutes of brushing time, or anyone with limited dexterity, a sonic toothbrush can give your oral care routine a boost.To keep your chops healthy […]
Learning a new language will give your resume an upgrade, sure, but it will also provide a huge cognitive boost for mental tasks outside of translation and conversation. Bilingual brains have been shown to be better at handling multiple concurrent tasks, and gaining fluency in a new tongue is an amazing way to improve memory, […]
If you struggle to get a good night’s rest, consider replacing your pillows before dropping hundreds on a new mattress. You can give your tired neck a break with a 2-pack of memory foam pillows, available now in the Boing Boing Store.Each of these pillows is stuffed with cooling polyurethane foam that molds to your […]