Good luck, Discovery

I always get excited when a new NASA mission comes around, and 3:51 PM EDT tomorrow is the scheduled launch of STS-114, Space Shuttle Discovery. It is of course a milestone for NASA to be launching its first shuttle since Columbia, but I find each launch to be pretty amazing in its own right. As a geek, I can appreciate (read: drool over) the incredible technological complexities that go into making it happen. As a science fiction fan and observer of human evolution, I can appreciate the role that space exploration plays in inspiring and pushing our strange existence on this puny little planet to new heights. I have fond memories of a family vacation when we toured the Kennedy Space Center, and just the physical enormity of the undertaking left an impression, not to mention the impacts of its successes and failures.
Continue reading "Good luck, Discovery"

A Short History of Nearly Everything

I'm having a really great time right now reading/listening to Bill Bryson's book A Short History of Nearly Everything. The book itself is very intriguing - a lively and engaging narrative of how our universe came to be and where it is now, the sciences and people who have explored those questions for so long, and the amazing oddities and subtleties about how our world works. It's a little geeky, but definitely written for non-geeks who want the Big Picture in the biggest sense of the word.
Continue reading "A Short History of Nearly Everything"