I’ve a couple of great vids by Phil Plait, the Bad Astronomer this morning! In the first, we see spokes, almost like those of a wheel, in the rings of Saturn. The mechanism by which they come about is a bit complex to get into here, but one explanation involves micron-sized ring particles electrically charged by the ionizing UV radiation from the distant Sun, focused by Saturn’s magnetosphere outward along the width of the rings, creating what basically amounts to enormous natural linear particle accelerators. How kewl is that? When Voyager I was here on its survey of the Saturn system, it was basically being blasted with radiation when crossing the plane of the rings along the path of the spokes! I love the fact that our species can build craft that durable, a craft now venturing in to the space between the stars!
Below, we have the recording of the entry of the Cassini Huygens lander entering and landing on the surface of Saturn’s moon Titan with the aid of a parachute. Here, we can see details of the surface, below the ever-present upper clouds of smog, worse than L.A. California in the 1970s, and the mountains and other land formations near the landing site. These are details that no one on Earth had ever seen before!
This week was the time for the Perseid meteor showers, an event I sadly missed from the profoundly annoying persistence of cloudy night skies, and the resident inebriated from the local pub. But all was not lost: as I type this, I’m involved in a GURPS game with the gang as our characters engage in a bit of literal rocket science, with a super-tech edge. It’s all part of our diabolical plan…Heh, heh, heh!
Beside that, I’ve been importing more video posts over to the new blog venue over the last couple of evenings, and have saved as drafts this site’s pages over there as well. I’ll publish those after editing and updating them for their new home. Have an excellent weekend as Sunday rears its dire head, and as (almost) always…
English: Nandini Ghosal performing an Indian classical dance: Odissi at the Coffman Memorial Union in the University of Minnesota. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Whelp, a month of study gone by, another soon to recede from future to past, and a lot more learned. I’ve recently completed a course in Philosophy of Religion (even as one of those Vile Heathens™), Philosophy of Science (because Science!!), and this month I’ll be continuing an introductory Forensic Science course with a mixture of others on my viewing schedule.
In a couple of days or so, Tamil study resumes in earnest with continued revising on most other previous subjects. I’m having a blast learning languages from the South Asian subcontinent and thereabouts, my favorite region of the planet in terms of its diverse peoples and rich history, and I expect to continue doing so at least for a couple of more years into more advanced study.
None of this is currently being done at university. It’s all informal study.
I’ve decided on a new policy: To create a new fictional character each week, and learn a new word, in any language I know or am learning, each day. So far, keeping pace in my blogging and study activities has been fruitful. I multitask when I must, but I know I’m not that good at it, so I single-task on several things in sequence each day, making time to do what needs doing and readying tasks for later when that’s not possible.
Here’s a month full of wonders and with hope, more free of hardship and personal trials than usual for you all. I’ll be sprinkling a bit of Tamil vernacular in my posts as well as the speech of my alien Kai’Siri this month, and working on ideas for a new blog series, Lost in Translation, dealing in depth and context with particular words in a language being developed or studied.