to boldly go

Posts Tagged ‘to boldly go’

A Squirrel’s Guide To The Universe

The Missing Scarf was one of the unexpected thrills of the program of Oscar-nominated shorts that screened in (a few) theaters early this year. The only problem was, you couldn’t really watch it anywhere. That changed this last month when Eoin Duffy posted her existential epic to Vimeo.

George Takei narrates the story of a boxy squirrel’s journey into the unknown. The animation stays playful and nothing is as it seems. Treat yourself.

The Sky’s Not The Limit. The Limit Is A Construct.

Colin Rich photographs and makes things. This is one of his splendiferous creations:

Pacific Star II from Colin Rich on Vimeo.


Friday was a good day for stories about cooperation. Trouble was, Sean already had a great Double Down in the works and frankly, Fridays should be reserved for the most fun-filled of posts. Let’s be honest, I have a tendency of posting the drier, more sciency side of good. If there’s one thing I know, it’s that Fridays aren’t academic- Fridays are all about the platypus.

Back to the cooperation though- the underpinning of any good cooperative effort is the principle that two or more partners can achieve greater results together than they could alone. Normally, it’s rare that government agencies or corporate giants engage in this sort of thing. But recently, they’ve been doing just that.

(A team of international space adventurers. Joe Raedle/Getty Images).

Speaking from the Berlin Airshow last week, NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver told reporters that NASA’s new direction would allow it to expand international partnerships beyond what had previously been possible. It gives me a warm feeling to know there will be more international cooperation in the space program. If exploring the vastness of space can’t bring this pale blue dot together what can? Furthermore, I hope this leads to the speedy establishment of an Intergalactic House of Pancakes.

The second, and infinitely more surprising, example of cooperation that I stumbled upon came out of the pharmaceutical industry- a sector rarely recognized for it’s feats of teamwork.

(Getty Images).

As it turns out, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s research are pretty challenging pursuits. These brain disorders can affect people of dramatically varied ages and may progress differently depending on the patient. Studies often focus on small groups of patients which can make it hard for researchers to draw meaningful conclusions about either disorder as a whole.

Now, the Coalition Against Major Diseases has brought pillars of big pharma such as AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, and Pfizer together to share the data they’ve collected studying these diseases. By pooling their findings, these pharmaceutical giants will be more able to effectively analyze and develop new approaches to combating these widespread and debilitating medical mysteries. Even if this collaboration is motivated by the promise of profits, patients will be the inevitable beneficiaries from any resulting medical breakthroughs.

Today, there are many reasons to cooperate. With a tough economic climate and increasingly entrenched political divisions, cooperation might be a necessity for institutions hoping to weather the storm. At the end of the day though, cooperation carries emotional benefits too- at the intersection of teamwork and togetherness is a powerful force of good.

Happy Birthday… Laser?

This year marks the laser’s 50th Anniversary and fans of the laser are celebrating the innovation that made this nail-biting moment possible:

Lasers, which began as a ‘scientific curiosity’, are now used in medicine, defense, optics, manufacturing, and many other fields. It’s hard to imagine a laserless existence. Ponder, if you will, what Office Space would be without our trusty friend the laser printer. Consider what your cat would do without his laser pointer nemesis. Frightening questions indeed…

We should point out that lasers aren’t just for tormenting pets or blowing up Alderaan; lasers have practical applications too. From DVD players to price guns, lasers are an integral part of every day life.

True laser afficionados should check out LaserFest, a year-long celebration of all things laser. Read more at

Crashers party as particles get smashed

What comes after 16 years of work and $10 billion come together in a breathtaking moment of wonder engineered to push the boundaries of the known universe?

The sickest party this side of the French Alps, that’s what.

CERN scientists working on the Large Hadron Collider celebrated this morning after the world’s largest physics experiment successfully collided subatomic particles at 99% of the speed of light. After two false starts, scientists and technicians were ‘stoked’ with the successful operation of the collider and planned to get ‘hyphy’ at the soonest possible juncture.

Read more at NYTimes.
(Photo courtesy: Fabrice Coffrini/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images)

Orange Gerard the Antarctic Amphipod

In the latest installment of our ‘Things Under the Ice’ series (begun by my dear colleague Zach Hunsaker), we bring you an inquisitive young shrimp I’ve named: Orange Gerard.

Gerard’s whereabouts were previously unknown until NASA saw fit to probe a camera more than 600 ft. below the West Antarctic ice. Imagine their surprise when Orange Gerard made an appearance and did what can only be described as the most unusual pole dance of all time. Enjoy!

Orange Gerard is a shrimp of few words

Click HERE for video. Courtesy of NASA.

Goodnight moon, goodnight stars.

I’m a big proponent of Twitter as Facebook without any of the time-wasting (or seedy undercurrent of rampant drug use and unprotected intercourse). You say what you want to say quickly, and read only what you want to read — also, quickly. But even the most interesting Twitter user is going to have a hard time topping ASTRONAUTS TWEETING FROM SPACE. Now, those two white fellows do a lot of talking, but a Japanese fellow by the name of Soichi Noguchi seems to know exactly what we want: PICTURES, and lots of them. As NASAs popularity declines with politicians, maybe social networking can help it increase with the people.

(Psst, I mean us.)