Monthly Archives: November 2011

Too Cool Not to Share

Here’s the latest beautiful video pinging around the internet, a time-lapse video taken from the International Space Station as it orbits the earth. Beautiful imagery of stars, aurora, lightning, city lights, clouds . . . our pale blue dot in all its glory.

Best viewed in full screen.

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Filed under Astronomy, Fun Stuff, Science

Symphony of Science: Onward to the Edge

In honor of Carl Sagan’s recent birthday, musician John Boswell has brought us another Symphony of Science, and it’s a beauty.

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Filed under Fun Stuff, Science

Speak up for Kids CASA 5K

Second race in two weeks. This was the Rockwall CASA 5K, a charity org that advocates for kids caught in the court system.

Weather was cold, bright, and breezy, but I was stoked. In last week’s race, I noticed a guy who had beaten me by about a minute, and this morning I saw him again. So I resolved to stick on his back and hopefully make a PR. Around mile 2 I was seriously reconsidering, but I pulled out a couple of my favorite mantras and was able to stick with it, although I was grasping most of the way (groaning and gasping). Just before the 3-mile mark, I found enough in the tank to pass him by, and I thought I might be able to do my typical home-stretch sprint, but I wasn’t counting on the uphill climb and the headwind.

With the finish line in sight, he caught up to me, and my ego kicked in. I dug down deep and pushed hard, crossing the line a couple of seconds ahead of him, less than 25 and a half minutes, beating my PR by half a minute.

Afterwards I introduced myself to “Greg” and told him that if it wasn’t for his inspiring pace I wouldn’t have finished as well as I did. We chatted a bit about our mutual leap-frogging.

At the awards portion, I was surprised and thrilled to learn I had made second place in my age group, a first for me. Now I have a nifty silver medal for my efforts. Yay for me, although my enthusiasm deflated just a bit when I found out that Greg, the guy I could barely keep up with and who looked like he was ready for another race, is 12 years older than me. Oy, I hope I’m as fast as he is when I’m in my mid-50s.

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Filed under Running

The Gift of Apollo

Another entry in the Sagan Series, a collection of videos in the master’s own voice about space, science, and the beauty of discovery.

The ending text makes me glum, however. The bar chart comparing what we spend on guns vs. butter, for example; in this case ‘butter’ meaning the exploration of the universe we live in. That and the fact that we haven’t sent a person beyond low earth orbit since 1972. Imagine telling a person in the early 1970s that they should enjoy this time of world-exploring because it isn’t going to happen again for another four decades at least. I think that they would think that you were narrow-minded, cowardly, and perhaps crazy.

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Filed under Carl Sagan, Space Program