Posted by: earthandbeyond | August 1, 2009

Still alive, and I got visited by a hoax believer

I haven’t been very active in this blog lately.  But I just checked on recent comments, and it appears that a Moon landing hoax believer posted a comment at this post:  http://earthandbeyond.wordpress.com/2008/07/28/did-we-go-to-the-moon-this-video-has-me-convinced/

I’m honoured.  Finally, a conspiracy theorist posted a comment on my blog!  He’s just a typical hoax believer, spouting the same old arguments…actually he didn’t provide any evidence for his opinion.  Okay, it’s his opinion, but it’s not one based in reality.

Posted by: earthandbeyond | April 29, 2009

My Youtube channel

Well, I got myself a bit addicted to Xtranormal, and am now making videos.  They’re mostly experimental for now, but I hope to make more about science in general.  Check out my channel.  Xtranormal is a service that allows you to make computer animated movies in minutes.  You type the script, direct the actions, and a video is rendered in a short time.  You can also choose from a few different accents and languages.

But here’s my latest video:

Please comment on here or on the videos.

Posted by: earthandbeyond | April 26, 2009

Sundogs, a conspiracy?

I’ve known about this one Youtube user for a while now, and her videos just make me want to slap my forehead and shake my head.  She seems to think sundogs are manmade.  She also thinks that rainbows from a sprinkler are from HAARP, as they supposedly never appeared 20 years ago.  Well, I remember seeing those rainbows 25 years ago.  I also understood the physics behind them.  Rainbows and sundogs are similar concepts, refraction of sunlight through water drops or ice crystals.  She thinks the ice crystals in the atmosphere are created by the government.  She thinks that it’s some sort of UV shield that the US government created, or something like that.  Just watch.

You can also check out her channel.

Posted by: earthandbeyond | March 31, 2009

JREF account suspended on Youtube

What?? Just watch.

This is ridiculous.  An educational non-profit organisation is suspended from Youtube?  Youtube is completely losing their minds.

Update:  Just saw this on the JREF website.  They’re aware and checking on it.

Posted by: earthandbeyond | March 31, 2009

Youtube votebots fail spectacularly

Recently, there was a votebot attack on many atheist videos on Youtube, where all videos on some channels were voted down from 4.5 or 5 stars to 2 or 2.5 stars with many 1 star votes.  The aim of these attacks are to make the videos less likely to come up in searches, resulting in a kind of censorship.  Well, the votebot had the opposite effect.  Watch this video.

Isn’t that wonderful?  It just made those channels more popular, and the video ratings are back up to where they were before, because so many people watched and voted!  Votebot censorship doesn’t work.  It just backfires.

Posted by: earthandbeyond | March 16, 2009

Why do movies end with the climax?

I was just killing time reading on Wikipedia, when I happened upon the Lord of the Rings: Return of the King page.  In the criticism section, it said that some critics complained about the conclusion being too long.  Well, too bad, it’s part of the story.  Whenever I read books, I expect a proper conclusion.  I almost always get one.  Movies, however, like to have the climax, then have either a 1 minute conclusion or shorter.  To me, this is an incomplete story.  It’s my major criticism of movies.  A conclusion is supposed to provide closure.  While some movies do have proper closure, in which we find out what happens with the bad guys or see what the good guys are going to do next, many end without any information about what happens next in their lives.  Back to LotR:RotK.  If it didn’t have the proper conclusion that it does, it would not be complete, and would not be faithful to the book.  For the most part, Lord of the Rings is very faithful to the book.  If it didn’t have that conclusion, it would have been very, very disappointing.  Honestly, the conclusion was one of the most emotional things I have ever seen in a movie.

I think most critics want all action, no story.  And I want closure in stories.

Posted by: earthandbeyond | March 13, 2009

ISS evacuating to Soyuz, just a precaution

I just read over at Universe Today that the crew of the ISS is evacuating to the Soyuz spacecraft just in case debris hits the station.  The chances of it getting hit by the debris are low, but they are doing everything they can to make sure the crew will be safe.  Check out Universe Today to keep up to date with this development.

Update – According to Nancy_A’s twitter, the danger has passed, and life is returning to normal on the ISS.

Posted by: earthandbeyond | March 13, 2009

*cricket sound*

Sorry for my lack of posting lately.  I’ve been very busy, and haven’t been very interested in doing much typing.  Of course, I keep track of things that are going on in the world of science and space.  I just want to mention a couple of things.

First, Kepler has been launched on the search for Earth-sized exoplanets by using the transit method.  I know the first results won’t be available for a while (they need repeated transits to confirm a planet), but I’ll be keeping tabs on it.

Second, the launch of Discovery keeps getting delayed.  It’s supposed to deliver more solar panels to the station for the anticipated increase to 6 crewmembers.  When the new solar panels are attached, it will be the 2nd brightest object in the night sky, brighter than Venus!  I’ll be looking up quite often, I think.

Posted by: earthandbeyond | February 9, 2009

A little university math humour

Sorry I haven’t been posting lately.  But I thought I’d just leave you with some humour I remember seeing when I was an undergrad studying astronomy in university 13 years ago.

I saw this on a bathroom wall in a building that teaches mainly chemistry, so you know it’s a science major that wrote this:

lim(GPA->0) B.Sc. = B.A.

Not everyone uses the same abbreviations, so a little translation here.  It’s a calculus joke, I’m sure you can guess.  The limit as Grade Point Average approaches 0 of a Bachelor of Science degree equals a Bachelor of Arts degree.  Get it?

Posted by: earthandbeyond | December 13, 2008

Who cares?

Ok, so this isn’t about space or science, but more of an irritation I had when I was on yahoo.com.  See this? This was linked to from the main yahoo page.  Why?  It’s juvenile commentary on what an Olympic athlete happened to wear one day.  I don’t see what’s wrong with it.  They call it a fashion faux-pas.  I call it clothes that she probably feels comfortable wearing.  The photos on that website are commented on by some kind of fashion “journalists” who have too much time on their hands, so they say negative things about what celebrities are wearing.  Who cares??  Are these journalists adults?  They seem absolutely devoid of any intelligence.  I’d like to say it again….who cares?

My biggest question is why in the world is something so incredibly stupid and useless on the main page of yahoo?  It’s supposed to provide news.  This is not news.

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