Wednesday, August 11, 2010

George Hrab:Death From The Skies

In June I told you about George Hrab and his new album Trebuchet. During said entry I singled out the track "Death From the Skies", featuring Phil Plait, as one of my favorites on the album. Here's a video of George recording drums for the track which Phil recently linked to on Bad Astronomy. Enjoy!

Posted by Youtube user:geologicrecords

The Perseid Meteor Shower

Sometime after midnight tomorrow night the Perseid or Perseus meteor shower as you may know it, Will reach it's peak raining down as many as a few dozen meteors an hour. As you may already know, meteor showers occur when the earth passes through the paths of comets orbiting the sun which leave trails of ice, dust, and debris in their wake. This dust and ice, most of which is smaller than a grain of sand, heats up as it enters the Earth's atmosphere creating streaks of light commonly referred to as shooting stars.

Named for the region of the sky from which they appear to emanate, Thursday's meteor shower can be viewed in the Northeast region of the night sky around the Perseus constellation which is located between Cassiopeia and Taurus.

If you happen to be a fellow iPhone user, you can download one of my favorite Apps "Planets" from Q Continuum to aid in your search for the constellation. Planets gives you both a 2d and 3d view of the night sky with clearly marked planets and constellations as well as a list of times when planets are visible and animated 3d globes of all the planets and best of all, it's free.

So if you have the ability to stat up late Thursday night then find yourself a safe place to go outside of the glow from the lights of your city and look towards Perseus to enjoy the show.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Music VIdeo Tuesday:GWAR!

One of the factors contributing to my lack of entries as of late has Been the epic failure that is Comcast cable and their inability to provide me with consistent service. I finally had enough and canceled my service with them this week and I am currently in the process of replacing that service with something new.

Until then, my ability to access the intertubes is restricted to my iPhone(this is actually my first post via iPhone) and my ability to get to my parents house to borrow their connection. Since all the photo sites on the web have eliminated my ability to access the URL of images via my phone and Typing on this tiny keyboard is a bit more time consuming than normal, I'm officially declaring today music video Tuesday!

Today's band is a LONG time favorite of mine, the mighty GWAR! From the album,"We Kill Everything". I would also like to dedicate this video to the folks at Comcast,whom I suspect are too busy engaging in the activities described in it to give a crap what kind of service they actually provide.


Posted by Youtube user:MetalHistorychannel

Monday, August 9, 2010

Wave Particle Duality, and Double and Triple slit Experiments.

The past few weeks my schedule has been stupid busy and I simply haven't had the time to sit still long enough to write anything of substance. So I apologize for the lack of activity around here as of late and I promise to do my best to avoid it in the future, although with all the things I have going on at any given moment, lulls are bound to occur from time to time. For now, let me make up for my inactivity and start catching up on some of the cooler things I missed over the past few weeks starting with a light little entry about Quantum Mechanics.

Whereas Einstein's theory of general relativity was designed to describe the effects of gravity on the large scale world, Quantum mechanics on the other hand, seeks to describe the interactions of particles at a sub-atomic level. One of the best known concepts in quantum mechanics is wave particle duality which is the idea that particles, like photons and even electrons, behave as both a particle and a wave simultaneously. while the idea itself dates back as far as the 1600's, the best known illustration of this effect, the double slit experiment or Young's experiment, was first conducted in the early 1800's by Thomas Young.

In his original experiment , Young used a single beam of sunlight passed through a pinhole in a window shutter and then reflected off a mirror to produce as coherent a source of light as could be managed for the time. By then placing a small paper card into the beam, young was able to split a single coherent source of light into two. If light really did act as a wave then those two beams of light would interfere with one another and project their interference pattern on a screen Young had set up in front of the beams which he could then measure and use to determine the lights wavelength. This is of course exactly the result Thomas attained from his experiment. As significant as this first observation was and though the two have become interchangeable in discussions of Quantum mechanics, Young's version of this experiment is not the one that most have in mind when referring to the double slit or even Young's experiment.

In the most well known version the double slit experiment, a laser beam or even a single particle, is fired through parallel slits in a thin plate. When the particles pass through a single slit a single-slit diffraction pattern is produced. When particles are fired through both slits, an interference pattern emerges as the edges of particle waves crash into one another like rings on the surface of a pond. Most astonishingly of all, the same patterns are produced when particles are fired one at a time into the slits. Meaning, even a single particle behaves as both a wave and a particle and actually manages to interfere with itself as it passes through the slits in the plate.

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo in Canada recently conducted a triple slit experiment. The result of this experiment not only continues to support the theory of wave particle duality, but also seems to confirm predictions made by German physicist Max Borne in the 1920's. Borne's proposal that quantum pairs, not triplets or more can interfere with one another, has been widely accepted by physicists for years even though the reason why quantum interference stops at two is unclear and had not been explicitly tested until Waterloo's most recent experiment.

Links and Additional Content

Check out this article on Wired science for more info on the triple slit experiment.And just in case your still a little confused by wave particle duality(don't feel bad quantum physicists are too)Perhaps DR Quantum can help. Remember, You're never too old to learn something cool from a cartoon!

Posted by Youtube user:ReptilianShapeshifte

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Kepler potentially Discovers 140 Earth-like planets

During a recent presentation at the TEDGlobal Conference in Oxford New york, Kepler co-investigator Dimitar Sasselov released data from the probe identifying 140 new objects as potential Earth-like planets located throughout the Milky Way. According to Sasselov, of those objects thus far detected by Keppler small Earth-sized planets "dominate the picture" and he estimates the number of worlds in the Milky-way alone with the potential to harbor some form of life at 100-million. Though not yet officially confirmed by NASA, if Sasselov's interpretation of the data holds true, then further analysis of these exoplanets could lead to the first confirmation of life on another world.


Watch Sasselov's Ted talk for yourself:

Posted by Youtube user:TEDtalksDirector

Also check out Ian O'Neil's article on this story from Discovery News which was my primary source and go search TED for more talks.
Image credit
:David A Hardy

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Yoshie Zero and Mutant Girl Squad

Ya know what American cinema needs? Less Tom Cruise, more tentacles, exploding Heads, breast swords, and anal chainsaws! You heard me, anal chainsaws. Man Japan is weird.
Enjoy Kids!

Yoshie Zero, prequel to Mutant Girl Squad(see trailer below.)

Click HERE to read Twitch's review of Mutant Girl Squad!

Posted By YouTube User:OkiWoreRedShoes