Tag: Mad Art Lab

Mad Art: Giger Counter

By Phil Plait | August 15, 2012 10:18 am

What, you may ask, is this?

That, dear BAtweeps, is a Giger Counter. It’s an actual thing, built by my friend Steve D at Mad Art Lab, and he got the idea from an idle joke I recently tweeted.

Seriously. Go read the whole story behind it, and be amazed at the creativity some folks have. And to know that something I wrote as a silly joke inspired someone enough that he turned it into an actual physical object – especially a pun! – is beyond awesome. I am honored.

Paper plait

By Phil Plait | September 7, 2011 10:35 am

While I was at Dragon*Con last week, I had a lot of folks tell me I was such a doll. What I didn’t realize is that they meant it literally: Steve D at Mad Art Lab made me into a cut-out paper doll. I join the ranks of other people such as Marie Curie, Albert Einstein, Ada Lovelace, and my pal Neil deGrasse Tyson. These dolls feature clothes you can also cut out and put on the figure in question. Jane Goodall’s comes with a cut-out chimp.

Now, I don’t usually put partial frontal nudity on the blog, but in my own case I’ll make an exception. You may wish to avert your eyes (and just in case, I’ll put it below the fold):

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Cool stuff, Humor
MORE ABOUT: Mad Art Lab, paper doll

Congress threatens America's future in space

By Phil Plait | July 14, 2011 6:30 am

One of the most aggravating things about having a representative government is dealing with the consequences of the choices they make.

We don’t get a direct vote on how money is spent, but we vote for the people who do. And sometimes they don’t make the best choices. Shocking I know, but just how bad these choices can be sometimes doesn’t hit home until those consequences come home to roost.

In a week, one of those choices is literally coming home: on July 21st, Atlantis will land for the last time, and the choices made for us over the past few years mean that we have no rocket system to take its place.

I’ll iterate once again that the Shuttle was canceled by Bush, and the followup rocket system, Constellation, was canceled by Obama when it was clearly over budget and behind schedule, and given the circumstances it was also very unclear it would perform as promised. I think both these decisions were correct.

Right now, the House of Representatives is making decisions about the future of NASA, and it’s looking like a 9% cut is in the works. That’s not written in stone; the Senate has to put together their version of the budget and then work with the House on compromises. That’ll be fun, given the Democratic-controlled Senate and the Republican House.

In the meantime, the House subcommittee in charge of NASA’s funds recommended totally cutting the budget for Hubble’s successor, the James Webb Space Telescope. The House committee above them approved it on Wednesday. So that decision to axe JWST will go into the House budget bill.


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CATEGORIZED UNDER: NASA, Piece of mind, Politics, Top Post

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