Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category

A real stand-up scientist

I talked about how Neil deGrasse Tyson gave a performance that was close to a stand-up act. That isn’t quite what he was doing; he gave a very funny lecture about his experience with the Pluto controversy. There are, however, a few people around who do a science-fueled stand-up act.

Brian Malow is a San Francisco based comic who does “Full spectrum, high-energy comedy”. Here’s his best-of video:

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Having people vote on the names of missions seems to be the thing to do at NASA outreach.

There was the vote to name the next module on the International Space Sation, predictably bombed by Stephen Colbert. (Althought NASA may have given themselves a way out. I’d be more upset if I wasn’t so happy that Serenity was leading.)

Now there’s a vote to name the next Mars rover (via. PhysioProf). The names are a bit… flat. Vision. Pursuit. Journey. Yeah, yeah, they were sent in by schoolkids, but the final 9 were selected by NASA themselves; there must have been some good suggestions. Ask thousands of second through twelfth grades for suggesions; you’re going to get something better than “Vision”.

The best suggestion, though, was “Amelia”. Because there’s nothing at all problematic about naming a Mars mission after someone who vanished without a trace.

(Actually, you can see why they need thsee votes for names by looking at the NASA Mission Madness, where you vote for your favorite missions like X-43 and NB-52. Sigh.)

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Unintended consequences

Have you ever wanted to be reminded of exactly how old you are every week or so? Then sign up for the Light Cone RSS feed. It tells you every time a star enters your personal light-cone — the sphere enclosing every part of the universe you could potentially have influenced — making sure to give your age to the first decimal place.

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Scientific progress

I’m going to cap off a week of light blogging with a 6 month old quote from Frankie Boyle, talking about the Large Hadron Collider:

I hope that if the experiment is successful the whole of our reality will dissolve, and a big sign will come up saying “Level 2”

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