Just wanted to give all of you a heads up in case you haven't heard about this yet. Apparently NASA has made some sort of "Astrobiology Discovery" and they're going to be discussing it during a press conference on Thursday.
For those unfamiliar with NASA's attempts to find life outside of our own atmosphere, Astrobiology is essentially a field that attempts to describe and investigate the conditions under which life can emerge and propagate in the universe.
Until now, we've found quite a few clues that life could exist (or at least existed in the past) in our galaxy. For example, investigations of mars suggest that there were once large oceans of water that carved out the numerous ravines, canyons, and mountains that are spread all around its surface. However, we still haven't found any definitive evidence of currently living organisms.
Granted, nobody has any idea what they're actually talking about (though there have been hints that it may have something to do with Saturn's largest moon, "Titan"), but they have noted that this is likely going to "impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life." It may be a long shot, but I can't help but be excited about this.
A live stream of the conference will be broadcast this Thursday, December 2nd at 2:00pm eastern time (11:00am PST). Check out http://www.nasa.gov/ for the video.
Update: So it looks like this announcement may have something to do with large amounts of arsenic on Saturn's largest moon, Titan. One of the members on the team has been trying to find evidence of organisms that live off of arsenic in California, so maybe this has something to do with what they've found...only time will tell!
I know it's been quite some time since my last post, but unfortunately I wasn't able to sneak blogging into my schedule between mouthfuls of turkey and gallons of eggnog. Given that I am still in a mild post-turkey state of lethargy, I'm going to forego writing anything and instead give you a link to an absolutely amazing commencement speech I recently heard.
The speaker is David Foster Wallace, an fantastic and enlightening author that clearly understands more about the world than I could ever aspire to. Describing his speech would sort of counterproductive, so I'll just appeal to two things. One, it gives a glimpse at how to be a better person (in the real sense, not the fake self-help book sense), and two, it comes across as one of the most honest speeches I've heard. Give it a listen, I know you'll be impressed!
I recently came across this fascinating TED talk by Eric Berlow, a scientist that specializes in complex systems ranging from ecological networks to the political spectrum.
As someone who's job is to understand the interconnected nature of complex systems, he's got an insight into our world that we'd all benefit from learning...luckily that insight has been packaged into a 3 minute presentation!
It's often easy to get mired in the multidudes of information that are presented to us each day, but it's important to remember that underneath that jumbled mess of data is often a beautifully simplistic trend that can explain most of the effects that we're trying to understand.
Take a look at this short presentation, and think about how you might be able to pull the simple out of the complex in your own life.
It's been a while since I threw a cool picture up here, so I thought I'd show this leaked plan for IKEA's new business venture: DIY Particle Accelerators!