Tag Archives | Report

…Humans are amazing?

I was trying to explain to someone how incredible I think the fact that we landed the Phoenix rover on the surface of Mars is, and was unfortunately coming up short for words.

However, I think this picture does it pretty good justice:

Phoenix Parachute

Not much to see, eh?

Well, think about this: What you’re seeing is a photo of the Phoenix rover as it descends to the surface of Mars under its own parachute. The photo was taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter’s HiRISE camera as it circles a planet that is tens to hundreds of millions of miles away. As it circles that planet, it’s tracking and photographing a man made object that is gracefully touching down onto the surface of that planet under the guide of its own parachute. Both objects are acting remotely and robotically, and then sending their data back to earth at the speed of light (and it still takes 15 minutes to get here). In short: We created a remote controlled vehicle, shot it millions of miles into the sky, landed it on a precise location on another planet, and then programmed it to run its own scientific experiments and then report back to us with the results.

See what I mean?

[Image Via: Bad Astronomy Blog]

Also, if you’d like to keep track of the rover, follow it on Twitter: http://twitter.com/MarsPhoenix

(What I like most about the Phoenix Twitter is that it’s probably one of the smartest people in the world (a NASA scientist) that has to dumb down what he’s saying and then put it into the third person so that the rest of us can understand what’s going on. Somewhere there’s a guy sitting in a room that’s hating life and wondering when he can leave his Twitter post and get back to playing with the world’s coolest remote control car.)

…Synchronicity needs your help?


The Synchronicity Project is a simple yet beautiful idea to “Share the Time and Environment. Photos and Reports of the Globe at Glance.”

Created by Jun Tsuzuki, it’s supported by participants who find the project interesting, and is free to join if you fit that single criteria.

To participate, simply take a picture of where you are at and what you are up to, regardless of what that is, at a designated time.

The designated time is chosen by Jun, and has either a neat and euphonious look (Examp: 11:11:11 on 11/11) or a time during which a historical event took place (Examp: 9/11)

The designated time is also based on the GMT, so your specific time might not match up with the perfect time, but that’s actually the point. It’s supposed to be a portrait of the world at a single point in time, though not necessarily the “perfect” point in time.

If the project interests you, and you’d like to participate, then you’d better find a camera quick, because the next time is January 1st at 00:00:00 GMT (December 31st at 04:00:00PM on the West Coast, and 07:00:00PM on the East Coast if you’re in the US).

What will you be doing?


[Via: Cool Hunting]

…Nauru does billion-dollar laundry?

Nauru Flag

What does a billion-dollar bank look like?

If you said a shack on a small island in the Pacific Ocean, you would unfortunately be correct.

This shack, located on the eight square miles of the island nation of Nauru (a tiny island of 13,500 people located 1,200 miles east of New Guinea) has seen billions of dollars flushed through its system recently, as those that are working with less than legal tender are looking to the island for its money laundering services.

It wasn’t always this way though, as Nauru used to be a prosperous phosphate mine, until the bird dropping based wealth was sucked form the land, leaving little more than a crater and a distant memory of prosperous times.

Recently, Jack Hitt of The New York Times had a chance to tour this highly unlikely bank, and his resulting report is a great read about a country that can’t find its way, and the things that they do to survive.

Care to make a deposit?

[The New York Times – The Billion-Dollar Shack]

[Wikipedia – Nauru]