Barron of Blog Wife, Kids, and the Pursuit of Happiness



Oh hi there! Why yes, you are right - I have not blogged for some time. My sincere apologies.

No, wait. Screw the typical apologies. I'm not really sorry; life is busy, and wonderful, and full. And this blog is just one small piece of life's kick-ass puzzle. There are a few exciting posts on their way... at some time. In the future. But not now.

Now it's time to enjoy this video of Neil deGrasse Tyson talking about "the most astounding fact" that he knows - that we are all made from star-stuff (a meme first made popular by Sagan):


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Blind Spots and Seeing Your Own Eye’s Vascular Network

I actually did the activity near the end of this video (looking through a pin hole of light to see the vascular network inside my own eye). It was incredible and, pun intended, eye opening. Try it - you will be amazed:

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Fun with Sulfur Hexafluoride

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Perspective (With Respect to Time)

It's good to keep a proper perspective about how big the universe is. It is also instructive to remember just how old the universe is as well.

Carl Sagan popularized the idea of compressing the entire history of the universe since the beginning of time into a single calendar year as a way for us humans to better relate to the vast numbers involved. Here is a nice version of that calendar (each month is equivalent to a little more than 1 billion years):

You can see a more detailed example, with all of the various eras and more human-scale events, here.

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Perspective (With Respect to Space)

Perspective is important, so you get a two-fer today. 🙂

First, the relative sizes of our planets and various stars. The largest celestial body in the previous pane is the smallest in the next pane:

Second, our place in the universe (click to make gigantic). The previous panel will always be in red in the next panel:

Now go out and have a great day, you teeny tiny speck of carbon on a minuscule rock floating midway down one spiral arm of a typical galaxy among billions. 🙂

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