Thursday, August 30, 2012

Photos from this morning's Atlas V launch

In the wee hours of the morning, an Atlas V rocket launched with NASA's Radiation Belt Storm Probes, twin probes that will study the effect solar wind has on Earth's radiation belt. Ben Cooper at took some amazing photos of the launch, they can be found here, or seen below. (All pictures are posted with written permission from Ben Cooper.)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Book Review: A Game of Thrones

NOTE: If you have not read or watched the book/show A Game of Thrones and do not wish to read spoilers, heed the spoiler warnings. This post WILL contain spoilers.

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin was an excellent book. I watched seasons 1 and 2 of the show before getting into the book series, and I am a HUGE fan of the show. I have fallen in love with the books, and find them to be even better than the show. My "review" here will be comparing the book and the show. 

SPOILERS: To put it simply, A Game of Thrones is about a fight for the Iron Throne; a throne that rules the seven kingdoms of Westeros. There are many claims to the throne, and wars are being fought to claim the throne. There is much more to the book than just war, however. Each character is complex, and the book is seen through what happens with several characters. There are several storylines going on at once, but it is written so masterfully that you never get lost or confused. The characters are so well developed that you grow attached and love them, hate them, cry when they die, etc. It is an extremely well written book,

The first book and the first season of the show are very similar; the first season stays very true to the book. There is a bit more about Lyanna, Ned Stark's late sister and Robert Baratheon's "true love", and the characters are a bit more developed. Joffery is even more horrendous in the books, in my opinion; he often has Sansa hit by his guards, and is much more angry in general. There is also something between Petyr Baleish and Sansa in the books that I don't recall in the show, (to me it seems Lord Baleish is a bit smitten with her, most likely since he could never have her mother). The Hound also seems a bit fond of Sansa. I think Arya is a bit more badass in the books (but a lot of this is developed more as the series progresses. She is a spunky little kid!) You see more into the prophetic dreams that Bran has in the book, though they aren't really explained as such. Dany is of course and lovely as ever, and you get to see more into her and Viserys' past. Overall, I would rate this book a 4/5. (The next book, A Clash of Kings, is just INCREDIBLE, therefore A Game of Thrones gets knocked down a point. The second season of the show also differs from the second book in some respects. Would anyone be interested in A Clash of Kings review?)

Awesome Drake Equation interactive.

Have you ever looked up at the night sky and just wondered, out of so many stars and planets and galaxies... is there life, even intelligent life out there? Are we truly alone. The Drake Equation, created in the 1960s by Frank Drake, is an equation developed to calculate how many detectable alien civilizations may be out there in the universe. There is an awesome interactive on the BBC Future website that allows you to calculate this number, based on different parameters that you set up. I definitely recommend checking it out: Drake equation: How many alien civilizations exist?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Video feature?

Hello everyone! The semester is officially underway, and I am enjoying the start of my classes. Being a junior and being in all engineering classes is exciting! I'll talk more about the beginning of the semester at the end of the week, though. 
I was thinking today, while watching one of my favorite shows, The Nerdist, that I think I would like to add a video feature or something like that to my blog. I don't want to run a separate vlog or podcast, but I was thinking about maybe making a Youtube channel and posting the videos with my blog. As much as I would love to do it weekly, I think that is a bit of a lofty goal to set initially; maybe I can make videos monthly or every couple of weeks, and just talk about stuff. I can even take suggestions from my followers about what to talk about. So what do you think? Is this something people would like to see on 3...2...1... ? Any topics in mind? Let me know in the comments! 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

My new "home"!

Yesterday, I got to move into Osprey Fountains, the nicest place for on-campus living at UNF. It's an awesome place! I share a suite with five other girls, and room with one. There are four smaller individual rooms and one larger double room. I'm in the double room. There are so many amenities; there is a pool, a lazy river, lighted tennis, volleyball, and basketball courts, a video game room, fitness center, study areas, and much, much more. It's a great place to live on campus. I have several pictures & a video of my living area at the end (it's not the best video! But it works). 

Outside of the Fountains.
In the lobby.
Our door!
Kitchenette area
Hallway to each bedroom; mine is at the very end
My bed

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Liebster Award Pt. 2!

I am excited to say I have been nominated for the Liebster Award for a second time! Jade over at You Can Call Me Jadey nominated me. This time it seems like I have to do less than I did the first time, just list 11 facts about me and nominate 11 other bloggers with less than 200 followers. You can see my first Liebster post here.

11 facts about Chelsea: 

  1. I am a huge space geek. I love anything and everything that has to do with space.
  2. My favorite magazine is Architectural Digest. 
  3. I love wearing dresses.
  4. I would love to go to the moon or Mars.
  5. Doctor Who and Game of Thrones are my favorite shows.
  6. I really would like to inspire girls to have interest in STEM fields. 
  7. I was born with red hair. 
  8. I rarely ever talk about politics. People get so heated and angry when it comes to politics, so I prefer to just keep my mouth shut.
  9. I love tattoos. 
  10. I was obsessed with Harry Potter as a kid.
  11. I cannot stand coffee.
My 11 nominees: 


Monday, August 13, 2012

Plunging into junior year & summer recap

This past summer has zoomed by, and with my daunnting junior year of engineering upon me, I am desperately clinging to these final days of freedom. Soon I'll be insanely busy with my classes (16 credit hours!), research, being vice-president of ASME.... Life will be hetic. Thankfully I am a pro when it comes to time management and organization! I think most of my classes will be fine, but there are a few that are quite intimidating.

My blogging will forseeably decrease during this time, but I will not be gone! I will blog at least once a week, but I'm really hoping for more than that. (A girl has to relax somehow!) In preparation of those abnormally busy times in the semester, I have about 20 posts partially or entirely written and saved in my drafts. (Strategic or cheating? You decide.) Unlike my previous semesters, I WILL NOT let my blog fall to the wayside.

Now, to recap my glorious summer vacation that is drawing to a close, here are some of my favorite pictures from the summer ( I put my favorites in the very front and then at the very end, so make sure to scroll all the way through!)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Choose Wisely.

How could you ever decide.... (Source)
Gandalf's staff... lightsaber... Ice (Ned Stark's sword)... the Doctor's sonic screwdriver... The Elder Wand... 
Do I need to say how impossible of a decision this would be!?!?!?!?!?

I think I would have to go with the wand or staff, so I could do magic... But alas, I can not choose between my obsessions. This is like asking me which words I would rather hear; Hagrid's voice saying "Yer a wizard, Chelsea" or a madman with a blue box saying "Hello, I'm the Doctor!". How can you ever decide?!

If you had to choose, what would be your decision? Leave your choice (& maybe why!), in the comment section below.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Panoramic view of Kennedy Space Center, thanks to Google Maps

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of NASA's Kennedy Space Center, (where I have previously interned), Google Maps has made an incredible panoramic street view of several of the Kennedy Space Center locations. You can see space shuttle Endeavour up close (which I've been inside, post about that coming soon!), and tour around so many other areas of the space center. Check it out here: Google Maps- Kennedy Space Center.

Monday, August 6, 2012

More Curiosity...

Amazing video; reactions to landing
Picture without lens cover (Source.)
Curiosity also has a twitter! You can follow updates @MarsCuriosity .
Check out my original post on Curiosity here

Curiosity has landed!

The newest Mars rover, Curiosity, has landed on Mars! This is an amazing feat; Curiosity is five times heavier and twice as big as the Spirit and Opportunity rovers and had to be landed in a completely new fashion. It's seven minute descent and landing was called the "Seven minutes of terror" by NASA. 

Seven minutes of terror

These are the first images from Curiosity: 

What exactly is Curiosity, other than another Mars rover? Originally called the Mars Science Lab (MSL), Curiosity is a giant rover whose main mission is to search for evidence that Mars may once had the "basic building blocks necessary for microbial life to evolve." (Steve Gorman and Irene Klotz). This is also NASA's first astrobiology mission since the 1970's.

Congrats to NASA, the Jet Propulsion Lab, and everyone who worked for the success of the Curiosity rover! 
What do you think about the landing of Curiosity? Leave your comments below! 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

I'm catching the Twitter bug....

And not for the reasons you may think! 

I have grown a fondness for twitter because of the sheer numbers of science and tech twitters I can follow. I follow nearly 500 people on twitter, including every US (and several foreign) astronauts, tech companies such as Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, and Boeing, icons such as Neil deGrasse Tyson, and just fellow science enthusiasts. I also follow a fair number of bloggers, but I have found twitter to be an amazing way to keep up to date on all things happening in science and technology. It also doesn't hurt that a couple of big science and tech companies follow me as well!

If you want to follow me on twitter, you can click on that snazzy twitter icon in the upper right hand corner, or just follow me @Queen_Of_Quarks.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Space social media buttons!

Aren't they they coolest? I really like them, and they go great with my overall blog. What do you think?