Monthly Archives: April 2010

More spectacular SDO imagery

NASA just released this imagery of plasma in a solar prominence rising and falling back to the Sun as “rain”: I think I have a new favorite satellite.

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A Big Bad Hung Parliament?

Alex Masse of Britain’s Conservative-leaning Spectator provides a competent rebuttal to Tory talking points on the horrors of a hung parliament and the prospect of proportional representation in Parliament advocated by the Liberal Democrats, as well as a humorous counterpoint … Continue reading

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The resumption of European air travel

As planes fill the skies above Europe once again, FlowingData points to an excellent visualization of European air traffic from April 16 to April 21, produced by Ito World.  It really underscores the point I made about Europe’s centrality to … Continue reading

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Should we fear alien invasion?

Stephen Hawking has created a new Discovery Channel show called Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking, which covers some of the possibilities of life beyond our own home world.  A few excerpts from the British press have lit a storm … Continue reading

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Voter swings aren’t uniform

Nate Silver has a nice appraisal of the voter swing models that many news organizations are using the connect poll results and hypothetical election results.  Many British news sites, such as the BBC, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, and the … Continue reading

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The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ

Philip Pullman’s The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ got some attention when a man heckled Pullman over the offensiveness of the book’s title and Pullman came back with a principled defense of freedom of speech and attack on … Continue reading

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The beautiful Carina Nebula

To celebrate the Hubble Space Telescope’s 20th anniversary, NASA has released a stunning image from the Carina Nebula, which is somewhat reminiscent of the iconic Pillars of Creation image that helped push the HST into the public imagination 15 years … Continue reading

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A one-way trip to Mars?

In contrast to my post last week about some recently uncovered qualities of lunar craters that will likely make any plans to settle or develop the Moon much more difficult, I am going to focus on Mars and the challenges … Continue reading

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SDO starts up!

This February, NASA launched the Solar Dynamics Observatory into orbit and began to prepare it to collect data about the Sun.  Today, it released some of the first footage from the satellite.  Here is a video showing the eruption of … Continue reading

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The UK election—theoretical problems with single member district plurality systems

On May 6, the UK will be holding a general election, which will determine the composition of the House of Commons in Parliament going forward.  This election is particularly interesting, since it highlights one of the major quirks of the … Continue reading

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