Astronomer Patrick Moore, who presented the BBC's The Sky At Night for more than 50 years, died Sunday at his home in England. Moore turned me on to stargazing as a youngster, and he was the eccentric and enthusiastic embodiment of science for my generation--and for so many other generations that I was sure he'd live forever, always popping up for a near-silent late night science segment, cyberpunk videogame show or xylophone performance.
It's tempting for us to dwell on his dark side: though an opponent of bloodsports and a tireless debunker of conspiracy theories and pseudoscience, Moore was also a sexist, homophobic, xenophobic dinosaur. What you want to take from it all is, of course, up to you.
Here he is watching a total eclipse with Queen guitarist Brian May. And here he is chatting with Carl Sagan about extraterrestrial civilizations:
Sir Patrick Moore, astronomer and broadcaster, dies aged 89 [BBC]
The Cobham catalog, exposed by The Intercept, features countless pages of surveillance gadgets sold to U.S. police to spy on American citizens: tiny black boxes with a big interest in you. In the creepily bland feature lists and nerdy product names is a whisper of a dark future; perhaps darker than anyone can imagine.
This image depicts the most commonly-found stylesheet colors on the web’s top sites—Paul Hebert did an amazing amount of analysis and this is just one of the intriguing visualizations he came up with. Most of these are obvious staples, especially HTML red and blue, though it’s interesting how far the blue “cluster” is from the […]
With the cacophony of an election year ablaze with unparalleled drama being fought on the front lines of Twitter, we find ourselves slowing down and staring at it like a bad accident. The need for escapist relief is perhaps more dire than usual right now. This fall, if it’s drama you crave, but the Hillary […]
I’ve never really felt the need to purchase a smartwatch because a lot of them aren’t very functional, but at just shy of $30, the Martian Notifier Smartwatch was worth checking out. For that low of a price, it actually does feature an impressive amount of functionality, and comes in handy when you don’t want to be carrying around your […]
Geek Fuel is a subscription delivery service that caters to those of us that love comics, gaming, and general geek culture. Every month, Geek Fuel will assemble a box of goodies with a value of $50 or over. The specific items are a mystery, but you’ll always get an exclusive t-shirt not found anywhere else, a full […]
If you like to DIY and you like helicopters, you’re going to really love the Flexbot Hexacopter Kit. This copter blows traditional models out of the water: it includes everything you need to actually build your own hexacopter, and then pilot it like a pro, too.The construction is complicated enough to give you a challenge, […]