A curated weekly newsletter/blog of mostly-tech links that are interesting, strange, surprising or funny. From the BGP Bitcoin theft in 2014 that started it to Kugelblitzes, hashmaps in Rust and licking Nintendo cartridges, the Weekly Weird is me dumping my browser tabs into an email just in time for lunchtime on Friday (EST). No politics unless the underlying story is really compelling. Subscribe here.
I've created a fun and hopefully good-looking new animated series set in space. There are three short episodes, and they're all in one video. Later episodes — assuming I'll have the time and inclination to keep going — will reveal that the mission for these astronauts is establishing a sports franchise in space, for television. But for now, dodging space rocks and worrying about avatars takes up most of their time. Enjoy! [more inside]
Run (or walk) from the Sun to Neptune in 10k! My company created this smartphone-driven educational virtual race for the British Science Association on our new Racelink platform. It comes with kilometer-by-kilometer narration by Dallas Campbell, who does fun science and space things on TV in the UK, and it's 100% free to enter - all you need is an iPhone or Android.
It's a pair of Twitter bots: Pokémon in the NYPL, which sends Pokémon into the depths of the New York Public Library Digital Collections, and Pokémon in Space!, which uses the Astronomy Picture of the Day as a guide for Pokémon space exploration. [more inside]
I was curious to know what it would look like if you swapped the time axis with one of the space axes (x or y). I tried it on a random sampling of short black-and-white movies. [more inside]
After ten years, more or less, since putting together an album of my music, I've spent six months polishing off a new one, and so I've taken on a new name - Hammerfest by Milford Progress Association is up on Bandcamp. Give it a spin if you like warm noisy ambient drone. Find it on your favourite streaming service soon.
It's the 100th anniversary of Einstein's theory of General Relativity! The BBC recorded a conversation with me about Einstein's ideas, and they turned that recording into a short animated video. If you want to know more about general relativity, then (in my extremely biased opinion), this is a simple and fast explanation of the basic idea. (Also, I do not own the shirt that my animated avatar is wearing, but I wish I did.) [more inside]
It's an astronaut instruction manual. For pre-teens. [more inside]
A bot that pairs randomly selected images from outer planet space probes with computer-generated poems. Also available on Tumblr. [more inside]
In commemoration of the impending flyby of Pluto by the New Horizons mission, I have created a twitter account, inspired by other such "fact" oriented accounts as @CatTipps, @FactsAboutEggs. Will publish a fact or two about Pluto every day up through the NASA flyby, or as long as the inspiration lasts.
A few years ago, I helped build a prototype of an original idea for a web game, and today it's out of beta and open to all! "What is it?" you ask. It's one of the very few games in which you are yourself and not playing a character. It is an experience you can have over the course of a month or so, a few minutes at a time. It increases your understanding of exobiology. It's exploring a new planet, one picture at a time. [more inside]
Since early this year, I've been writing periodically about the science and engineering details behind current and upcoming NASA missions; most recently, I've posted a 27-page comic about a trip I made to the Kennedy Space Center to watch a satellite launch. There's an enormous amount of exciting work being done right now, and I'm doing my best to give a small cross-section of it a little more attention. [more inside]
A "game" (requires flash). [more inside]
A generator for pulp sci-fi settings inspired by How to Host a Dungeon and the Dwarf Fortress world generator. You can view an animated description of the setting's evolution, pause at any time, and export a detailed description of the world as a text file. Direct Download (450 kB jar file). [more inside]
A friend and I decided we wanted to get some Android development under our belt. What better way than to make a retro-themed videogame that harkened back to one of the favorites from my youth? Droidius: 1945 is a short, vertical shooter with old-school graphics and a kickin' rad soundtrack to match. Only a daring ace with skills to match can defeat Hitler and the Nazi Menace. Will you deliver victory? Or defeat? It's at your skillful fingertips!
This is a project that I'm working on with some members of my local hackerspace. The project invites teams from around the world to compete in the design and assembly of a weather balloon equipped with cameras to take photos of the Earth from near space. We also are trying to promote this type of activity in schools by attempting to get balloon kits into science classrooms.
Rather than dwell on the eventual sinking of the International Space Station, let's instead celebrate ISS with my 800x2500 jpeg construction timeline.
Dear Astronomer lets readers submit their questions about Astronomy and Science. Topical posts include: Answering reader questions, NASA press releases, Breaking Space/Science news, Product reviews, editorial posts/opinions and science humor. The site is a spinoff from a Facebook page that was used to "beta-test" the site concept.
A little tumblelog about astrophotography, both professional (e.g., the Hubble and other space- and ground-based observatories) and amateur, with a certain amount of geeking out about the equipment and the science. I set this up to prevent my personal blog from being completely taken over by look-at-the-pretty-space-pictures posts, which I'm now doing here with reckless abandon.