Time In A Bottle

29 03 2010

So my 4-year-old came up to me tonight with this in his hand:

And pointing at the top half he said, “Know what I’ve got?  I’ve got time!  It’s in the top!”

I watched him as he stared at the last bit of sand running down into the bottom.  “Aww, I ran out.”  I laughed and started to send him on to play with his brothers.  Then he turned it over and his face lit up.  “It’s okay, daddy.  I found some more for us!  It was right there!”

I spent the entire spring break with my family.  We didn’t stay home, but we didn’t go sightseeing, either.  We went off to a condo for the week and spent the whole time just relaxing and being together.  There were a ton of things that needed taken care of at home, but those things were there before the break, and they’re still there now.  Spending a week with my family away from all other responsibilities just seemed so much more important.  I’m really glad we did it, and I think we all got a little closer because of it.

Sometimes it seems like there’s no time for the things you want, but time is always right there if you make it happen.


Buzz Aldrin …can dance?

8 03 2010

Here’s a tasty tidbit that came through the wire last week but I just caught this week…  Buzz Aldrin is set to be on Dancing With The Stars this season!

I’ve got to wonder what would prompt him to do this.  Just think of his long line of accomplishments. Fighter pilot.  Doctorate in Astronautics  (you call him Dr. Aldrin!).  Test pilot.  Astronaut.  Author.  Guest appearance on The Simpsons.  Punching out Bart Sibrel (hehe!).  Oh, and the awards!  The presidents love to give him awards.

At the age of 80, surely he has nothing more to prove about how awesome he is… unless, of course, someone dared him to do it.  Then he’d have to.  ‘Cause one thing I’m sure about Dr. Aldrin — he’s not gonna back down from any silly dare, even if it means sticking his tongue to a flagpole on Pluto!

In a recent interview with Zap2It, Aldrin said, “I have over 800,000 followers on Twitter, I’m coming out with a new iPhone application, and I’ve written two children’s books and a science-fiction story that I hope to get made into a movie.

“Then there’s my recent autobiography, ‘Magnificent Desolation.’ All of that is in pursuit of communicating with diverse groups of people who remember the past and want to see us rebuild on that for the future.'”

Such a man would have no troubles picking up girls on the dance floor, but just to prove it he’ll show us all how it’s done on March 22.

Godspeed, Buzz!

[Tip of the tap shoes to Lauren F.]

Orbital Time Killer

6 03 2010

I’ve debated offering you this site for a week now.  It’s simply a flash app to simulate various orbital models, but man it’s fun!   And addictive!

[deep breath]  Okay, here ya go.

My Solar System

…and you were never heard from again.

All Eyes On Enceladus

2 03 2010

Here’s the new awesomeness:

[click to huge-ify]

This image shows water-ice geysers erupting on Enceladus, a moon of Saturn.  It was taken by the Cassini spacecraft on a close flyby back in November, so obviously I’m behind everyone else on this.  The pass was only 1000 mi above its surface, revealing some pretty spectacular stuff — like these geysers.

Enceladus has been known to have these kinds of geysers for a while, but this pass confirmed 30 of them total.  And what you’re looking at in this image is them spewing water all the way into space!

I’ve always been fascinated by Enceladus because of the mix of elements you can find there.  It’s one of those places in the solar system that could has the slightest of chances of being able to harbor primitive life.  I’m really looking forward to future reports of the molecular makeup of this material.

Check out more about Cassini’s mission at ciclops.org