Every so often I search for some Space Opera movie I haven’t yet seen or perhaps forgotten, and every time the list comes desperately short.
I ended up watching “forbidden planet” again last night, and an internet search this morning yielded zilch.
One story which will unfortunately never make it to the screen is one of my favorite sci-fi, Alfred Bester’s “the stars my destination” from 1956, itself an adaptation of “the Count of Monte Cristo“, and a pretty good one at that.
That said, we still have real life and the ISS, with footage helping us remember why NASA is so important, perhaps now more than ever. So, turn up the volume and bask in Ceiling Cat’s everlasting glory.
The month of May was full of adventures. We had a super moon and a partial solar eclipse and they were great fun, especially as the eclipse was my first. We capped off the science fun with a trip to the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park. We took so many photos that we had to divide them up. Part one begins with the Steinhart Aquarium.
The month of May, when plants grow and bloom, has been spectacular this year. Ka-Pow!
Bookending a visit to the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park were a solar eclipse on the 20th preceded by the apparition of the Perigee (or Super) moon on the 5th. Whamo!
Eclipse and Perigee
This trip to the Academy of Sciences was made even more enjoyable because of the San Francisco Neighborhood Free Days, making our visit free. Zing!
Having said that, and after viewing all the exhibits, it is well worth the regular admission price. We will take you along on our trip in three segments. The fourth would have been the Planetarium, but since photographs were forbidden and the material copyrighted, we are left with the aforementioned celestial shows available to all (or most). Zoosh!
I have played with the solar eclipse pictures a bit as the originals look like this and are not sexy enough (crash!):
My argument is that science often attempts to recreate naturally occurring phenomena by technological means, and that the results often are subject to the “law of unintended consequences”.
Over the past several decades, Hollywood has been instrumental in ‘gently’ opening the lid of the Genie’s bottle, through movies and television series designed to familiarize people with what was just over the horizon. Today, web instruments, like memes for instance, are used with similar intent.
We see hints poop up everywhere until they tend to coalesce into messages picked up and disseminated further by mass media.
Case in point, as we’ve all read and heard: the internet is made of tubes… The internet is made of cats… Fear the cat butt… Photos of cats’ eyes glowing in the dark “assuming direct control”… And now, cat farts. Why? To get a sense as to where this all might lead, let’s first have a look at NASA’s recording of solar events to analyze their occurrences and effects, using technology developed at LawrenceLivermore National Laboratory (LLNL).
The technology, developed to improve computer chips’ manufacturing specifications and performance, was used to great effect by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). Below is a photo montage of slides taken by NASA’s vehicle:
Now for comparative purposes is a now familiar capture of Miss Jenny’s fart using a mass spectrometer:
While there do appear to be similarities, the shapes and energy releases (swirls and lightning) in the cat’s fart seem to display a more organized pattern, maybe even a design. But I’ll leave the potentially religious considerations to proponents of either Ceiling Cat or Basement Cat, and concentrate on the science.
The releases of energy, discovered by the LLNL scientists have been analyzed in conjunction with a researcher at Stanford’s Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC), and have been shown to be ‘influenced’ by emissions of light particles popularly (and erroneously) referred to as “laser eyes”.
Notice the realigning of molecules and energy. An instrument developed jointly by LLNL and SLAC is used to measure the pulse by pulse levels of energy of an X-ray Free Electron Laser (XFEL).
Now, the XFEL’s ability to capture atoms and molecules in motion with minimal disruption led to another intriguing discovery at SLAC’s Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) program: molecules in cats’ farts are imprinted with data and react to photonic emissions from their eyes (the cats’, not the molecules. And if you don’t stop cracking jokes in the back, you’ll get to stay after class).
My theory is that a cat farting on a human is simply an attempt to fully communicate with us, by ‘flagging’ all of our senses, and making us inhale information, so to speak. This process, or more accurately ‘collection of processes’ is now the subject of study for applications ranging from data storage and management to renewable energy (they cannot stop farting, it seems). So if the law of unintended consequences does apply, we may well end up with complete world domination by cats and find ourselves in the litter box… Remember:
3D printing, the process of layering various materials into objects, appears to be moving mainstream, with new applications, such as printing skin cells for burn patients, as the institute of regenerative medicine at Wake Forest University (NC) has been experimenting with.
This video’s not very recent, it was made by a German company manufacturing professional measuring equipment. It depicts high velocity ammunition impacting various materials in very slow motion.
At 10 minutes it may seem a bit long, but it has a strangely soothing quality. Enjoy…
Some places remain within you forever, that is a fact. The Oceanographic Institute in Monaco Ville is so deeply embedded in my mind, I had no clue where this image I photoshopped came from, until reading an article recently:
This year, I realized only this week, marks the 100th anniversary of the Institute. The impressions it left upon me 40 years ago are much more than memories.