Odds and ends, part whatever

By Phil Plait | August 4, 2008 12:00 pm

As you might expect, things are a little crazy around BA HQ. I’m having a hard time keeping up! Until things settle down, a few bits-n-pieces for you.

0) Before anything else, I want to let everyone know how truly amazing the response has been to my new job title! The flood of email, tweets, IMs and everything else has been making my heart sing. It’s incredible to see just how many friends are out there, and how many people have been influenced by Randi and the JREF. Thank you everyone. Wow.

1) Didja see the solar eclipse? No? Never fear. Emily has a cool pic, here’s a cool video, and this is an astonishing video of the view from an airplane. You can see the shadow of the Moon on the sky! Better yet, you can see the shadow move as the eclipse progresses.

2) The Carnival of Space is up! Woohoo!

3) Last week was NASA’s 50th anniversary. I wasn’t invited to the party. Maybe it was something I said.

4) I can haz pareidolia? It’s not Jesus, though, it’s the Geico caveman. And, of course, Cheesus. But don’t go looking for his mom in the Sun (though I’ll note that while researching my first book, I found that there have been no permanent complete blindness cases ever reported due to staring at the Sun. It does temporary damage, or can do permanent partial blindness, but not permanent total blindness).

5) On a more realistic note, these LHC pictures are HAWESOME. Better than mine. The LHC rap, though, not so much.

6) The Neural Gourmet interviewed, um, the Phoenix Lander.

That’s it for now. I have more cool stuff for later….


Comments (22)

  1. I can’t imagine how busy your life just became! :) Still, I am very happy for you, and thanks for all the tid bits. I was getting bored just sitting here waiting on my flight.

  2. Blu-Ray-Ven

    the #4, the holy cat. i live in that area. i remember seeing that on the news i happend to come across. this is goofy when it comes to religion. but alot of places are like that i guess

  3. zer0

    Kudos for enumerating your first item with zero!

  4. Sili

    The LHC rap, though, not so much.


  5. I plan to show the LHC rap at my astronomy club’s meeting Wednesday night. Something light to get them on their feet, ya know.
    BTW, Phil, will you be moving to Florida now? Or will the JREF move to Boulder? Or telecommute via Skype? I doubt Mrs. BA would like moving so soon after the earlier move. I know -MY- wife would take a dim view of a move!
    Rich in Charlottesville

  6. kuhnigget

    Airplane shot of the eclipse was bitchin. Back in 1979, I watched one from about 16,000 feet above Yakima, Washington while in the front seat of a little Cessna. Still have the 8mm movie I shot of it. Pretty durn cool. And the best part…? I didn’t have to listen to a chorus of whoops and whistles and “oh my gawds!” I mean, really, some tour operator could probably make a mint selling eclipse tours for people who just want to watch the damn eclipse and not listen to the inane chatter that seems to come with them.

    Borderline misanthrope, what can I say?

  7. This is a really cool video of the eclipse as well. Some guy caught an airliner transiting the sun!


  8. Wasn’t there some torture technique in Japan or China sometime where they would have prisoners stare into the sun unable to blink their eyes? I’m sure they went blind, and crazy, and dead…

  9. Thanks for the mention Phil!

  10. Philip

    There is this extremely funny LHC picture of the server room:
    “Computer Center during the installation of servers”

    With the billions spent on the project, they at least saved a few euros
    on the operators monitor.

  11. Donald

    I love those pictures of the LHC. Any picture of any doomsday device built in any Bond/sci-fi film cannot compare to those. If an alien invasion fleet turns up the day it is switched on, and is promptly vapourised, I honestly won’t be surprised. Oh, and congratulations on the JREF gig, Phil.

  12. IBY

    We should celebrate the anniversary by watching all of When We Left Earth nonstop. :)

  13. That’s not a Geico Caveman, Phil. That’s Cat Stevens!

    See what I did there.

    Of course, it could be Che Guevara. Or maybe it’s Samuel L. Jackson… that dude’s in everything.

  14. Cody B

    The LHC rap…oh just…no…

  15. themadlolscientist

    @ neuralgourmet:

    I LOLd……… I dunno why, but somehow I’ve always thought of Phoenix as “she” too! (And both Spirit and Opportunity as “he.”) :-)

  16. madge

    The LHC pictures are just amazing. That is without doubt the most impressive and beautiful machine we humans have EVER built. Go CERN!

  17. Re. the eclipse: I was looking at a sequence of weather satellite images last week, and noticed sort of a dark smudge moving across the picture. Didn’t know what it was – until I remembered about the eclipse. Pretty cool to “discover” the moon’s shadow without someone pointing it out.

  18. Jose

    one last test.

  19. Geoff

    I went to a big and experimental Firefly convention once that hadron glass.


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