Apollo 11 launched from Cape Canaveral. Four days later, two of its crew stepped out of the Lunar Landing Module onto the moon's surface. I remember. I was--with my parents, my sister, and my infant brother--summering at home in the UK. We'd rented a television, because many of the locals didn't have one. And we… Continue reading On This Day–Fifty-Three Years Ago…
Where did the universe come from? How does it work? When did it begin and when--and how--will it end? People have asked variations on these questions since people started asking questions. Where Did the Universe Come From? And Other Cosmic Questions, by Chris Ferrie and Geraint F. Lewis examines those questions. The authors show how… Continue reading Book Review by Seawriter: Answering Cosmic Questions
Today, July 10, 2021, is the fifty-ninth anniversary of the launching of Telstar 1, a 170lb communications satellite launched for the purpose of receiving ground signals and re-transmitting them back to earth. According to britannica.com: Following Telstar’s launch on July 10, 1962, a giant movable horn antenna near Andover, Maine, locked onto the satellite when… Continue reading Musical Interlude: Telstar
During the decades humans first reached outer space, they were also reaching for the ocean’s uttermost depths. They even managed to reach those depths before placing a man in orbit. Opening the Great Depths: The Bathyscaph Trieste and Pioneers of Undersea Exploration, by Norman Polmar and Lee J. Mathers tells that story. It is a… Continue reading Book Review By Seawriter: To the Uttermost Depths and Back
One shortcoming of current machine-learning programs is that they fail in surprising and decidedly non-human ways. A team of Massachusetts Institute of Technology students recently demonstrated, for instance, how one of Google’s advanced image classifiers could be easily duped into mistaking an obvious image of a turtle for a rifle, and a cat for some… Continue reading I Know a Hawk From a Handsaw. And a Cat From Some Guacamole
Sure there are. Starting with any that involve frivolous harm to bunnies or other completely innocent four-legged or two-legged living creatures (as is not the case with many makeup and cosmetic brands She does not endorse). Frankly, I've never felt that the softness of the tissue surrounding my eyes, or the fullness of my lips,… Continue reading Are There Any Crazy Science Projects that RWKJ Would Not Support?
Hey, guess what? My Granny knew what she was talking about! About lots of things actually, but in relation to this post, about only one. She was a great believer, on a stinking hot day (remember, we’re taking about England, so any day on which the temperature goes above 60 degrees Fahrenheit qualifies as scorchio), in… Continue reading Want To Cool Down? Have a Nice Hot Cuppa Cha!
You see, one thing is, I can live with doubt, and uncertainty, and not knowing. I think it’s much more interesting to live, not knowing, than to have answers which might be wrong. It comes at about the middle of this interview excerpt: https://youtu.be/cRmbwczTC6E A man of science. Not a religious man, but one who… Continue reading QOTD: Richard Feynman on the Unknown
This week's book review by Ricochet's Seawriter takes us out of this world and on a journey to other galaxies. It's a look at The Founder Effect, a collection of stories by well-known authors with an interesting perspective on how histories and legends grow from man's initial colonization of a new world. One day humans… Continue reading Book Review By Seawriter: The Founder Effect
"The road to Hell" as they say, "is paved with good intentions." And so it is. A group of Hungarian scientists, faced with what's clearly a first-world problem--saving from extinction the fish responsible for producing the world's finest caviar--decided to tinker with the piscine gene pool, taking sperm from the American Paddlefish and using it… Continue reading From the Annals of the “What Could Possibly Go Wrong?” Department