Tuesday, May 28, 2013

STEM links of the week

Old Mars rover finds more proof of possible life
The "old" Mars rover Opportunity has found a rock that could have favorably hosted life in the Cape York are in a time when Mars hosted water.

Astronaut Packs Crafts for Creative Space Station Trip
One of my favorite astronauts and idol Karen Nyberg is launching to the International Space Station for a six month stay, and is bringing her love of sewing with her.

Scientists identify the mystery killer behind Ireland's potato famine
The strain of potato blight that caused the notorious Irish potato famine has finally been identified by scientists, and it isn't the "usual suspects".

This Incredible Full Scale Lego X-Wing Is the Largest Model In History
An absolutely mind-blowing full scale replica of the Star Wars X-Wing spacecraft was constructed from over five million lego bricks. Reinforced with metal components, this beauty took about 4 months to construct.

Hubble Telescope Reveals True 3D Shape of Ring Nebula
New Hubble images show that the Ring Nebula is not quite ring shaped, but more "jelly doughnut" shaped.

Monday, May 20, 2013

STEM links of the week

My regular readers may have noticed that I have not made a "STEM links of the week" post in quite a while, and I am really sorry for that. My semester had gotten so busy that I decided to cut back on my blogging, and I figured that if it came down to posting only one post a week (which oftentimes, it came down to that or less), that I didn't want this to be the only thing I posted. But now I am in the summer semester, and even though I am taking a couple of classes, I have much more free time to blog! Therefore, I feel that now is an appropriate time to bring back the "STEM links of the week feature"!

In addition, I would like to open my blog for my readers to submit articles they would like for me to feature as well. You can comment on any post with the link, and if you have a URL, I'll share that and credit you to have submitted the link. (This will also help keep these posts going if things get crazy bust again.)

Without further adieu, here are this week's STEM links!

Property of Rarest Element on Earth Measured for 1st Time
The ionization potential of astatine (atomic number 85 for those who are curious), was discovered by CERN physicists using artificial isotopes of the element.

Moon Explosion Sparked By Meteorite Crash On Lunar Surface, NASA Says
This article & video describes the March 17 meteorite crash discovered by an analyst at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center.

Warp Speed, Scotty? Star Trek's FTL Drive May Actually Work
This article & accompanying video describe the theory behind "warp drive" and current efforts by NASA to achieve fast-than-light craft.

Scientists create world's tiniest drops of liquid in biggest atom smasher
Not only has CERN measured the ionization potential of the rarest element of Earth, but they have also created the smallest ever droplets of "liquid", quark-gluon plasma, in the Compact Muon Solenoid.

Let me know what you think of this week's articles! And remember, feel free to share any science, tech, engineering, & math articles with me, and I'll include them in next week's links!
 


Saturday, May 18, 2013

Currently

Good morning everyone! Hope everyone is having a fantastic start to the weekend. I hope you enjoy this month's "Currently" post! If you have any thoughts or comments, stop by the comment section!

Listening to: "Save Rock and Roll" by Fall Out Boy
Source
Loving: That it is summertime! Even though I am taking a couple of classes this summer, it is still a break, relative to the much heavier course load in the fall. The weather is also fantastic!

Reading: My circuits textbook. I know that may not seem like the most exciting thing, but I am still waiting for the library to get my copy of A Dance With Dragons.

Listening to: FALL OUT BOY! Their new album is amazing and perfect for summertime!  

Anticipating:  The NSRC conference! Not only am I presenting, but there will be plenty of other space-minded people like myself, as well as many cool sponsor companies. It will be an invaluable opportunity for me to network with others in the suborbital community.
Watching "The Big Brain Theory: Pure Genius"
Source

Thinking about: My circuits homework.... Kirchoff's Laws, anyone?  

Watching: I've been watching all of my usuals lately, but the greatest new show I've found is Kal Penn's Big Brain Theory: Pure Genius. It is a competition show of engineers competing for a cash prize and a one year contract at WET. As an engineering major, I think an engineering show like that is fantastic! 
Working on: Finishing the design I'm presenting at conference, my presentation, and my circuits homework. 

Wishing: For certain things to work out. If they do, I shall write about them later, (I don't want to jinx myself!)

Monday, May 13, 2013

UNF in pictures

Today I thought I would share a photo post, with my school UNF, (University of North Florida), being the focus. These are all pictures I've taken over time since being at UNF for the past two years. 

Enjoy! 

















Saturday, May 11, 2013

Happy birthday Richard Feynman!

“Fall in love with some activity, and do it! Nobody ever figures out what life is all about, and it doesn't matter. Explore the world. Nearly everything is really interesting if you go into it deeply enough."
-Richard P. Feynman 

Happy birthday to the late Richard Feynman! 


Richard Feynman was a Nobel Prize winning physicist and an overall awesome man. He was very much an eccentric and cool character. He worked on the atomic bomb and made groundbreaking discoveries in quantum physics, but was also an artist, safecracker, bongo-player... he was very much a well-rounded and interesting character.  Stories chronicling his crazy adventures can be found in his semi-autobiographical books "Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman" and "Classical Feynman". Feynman is one of my idols; not only was he absolutely brilliant, but he also knew there was more to life than just physics and math; he in fact said "Physics isn't the most important thing. Love is." 

Again happy birthday to Richard Feynman, one of the most individuals to ever live. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Book Review: A Feast for Crows

WARNING. THIS POST WILL CONTAIN SLIGHT SPOILERS FOR GEORGE R.R. MARTIN'S A FEAST FOR CROWS. PLEASE PROCEED WITH CAUTION.

This is only the second time I have done a book review on this blog (I barely have time to read entire books nowadays for pleasure), but I HAVE FINALLY FINISHED A FEAST FOR CROWS. For my regular readers, or anyone who has read my "Currently" posts in recent months, know I have been reading this book for a long time, and I am very happy to finally have gotten through it all.

The other books in the ASOIAF series did not take me nearly as long, but for the longest time, I had trouble getting into this book. This book is actually the first half of two "sister books". A Feast for Crows had gotten so long, that GRRM split it in half, with the following book, A Dance with Dragons, running in parallel. Half of the characters, (and coincidently, all of my favorite characters), are not in Crows. But once I got through the first few chapters of each character, the book started getting much better, in my opinion. You get great details of new adventures, and a deeper look into many characters.

My favorite character to read about surprisingly became Cercei. Although I loathe her, Cercei is downright fascinating. She is very twisted and evil, but all with the interests of her children at heart, which lead her to do many crazy things. She is still plagued by her fears of Tyrion, thinking that she is the younger brother that she will die from (referring to the old witch's prophecy of Cercei's life), but the ending of the book makes me think otherwise. She is still very much alive at the end of Crows, but she is not exactly in power anymore at that point.

I also loved the greater look we see into characters in Dorne. Several new characters are introduced, and it is really, really cool in my opinion to see how the events in King's Landing are affecting the people so faraway in Dorne. Arianne Martell is also a new favorite of mine and I hope her role continues to grow throughout the series. She is a very awesome character and I would love for her to rule Dorne, or even be one of the heads of the dragon. (I know this is INSANELY unlikely, but she was technicallysupposed to marry Viserys, and the head of the dragon could be a spouse, as Jorah mentioned in the first novel. She would be prefect alongside Dany. They are like my OTP, in a non-romantic sense.)

Arya gets even more badass in this novel, but her storyline doesn't develop too much until the very end of the novel. The one storyline that absolutely BORED me, despite my love for the character, was Brienne's. Much like Arya's storyline, it didn't develop much until the end. Now, the ending was CRAZY and so fast, it was quite the head-turner and jaw-dropper, but I thought it was extremely slow and repetitive up to that point. I also hated every storyline related to the Iron Islands. They really don't interest me that much. Sure, the entire Euron-Victarion-Dany tie together was kinda interesting, but that won't be developed until later novels. I pretty much dislike all of the Iron Islanders though, so I am very wary of what will happen when my favorite character gets tied in with them. (Especially if one of them becomes one of the heads of the dragon. I'm thinking Jon, Tyrion, and/or Arianne are the best potential characters, but GRRM loves throwing in twists you never see coming.)

Overall, A Feast for Crows was another excellent piece of literary mastery by George R.R. Martin, although I would not call it my favorite out of the four I have read so far.

What do you think of A Feast for Crows? Do you agree/disagree on any of the points I made? I would love to hear feedback in the comments!


Saturday, May 4, 2013

May The Fourth Be With You!

Happy May Fourth and Happy Free Comic Book Day everyone!

Today, my sister and I went to Black Hive Comics for Free Comic Book Day! It was pretty awesome, despite the dreadful rain. Black Hive Comics is a pretty rad place over in the riverside area.

We waited in line for a while, but got a few comics each. I got these:



Planet Fall is a new comic made by a local writer. Part takes place here in Jax! It's about life on Earth after aliens have taken control.

My sister got these:



There was even free BBQ for everyone that got free comics! Later in the day, I got on a fancy hat and watched the Kentucky Derby with my family.

Overall, today was a really good day.

Friday, May 3, 2013

JEA Brandy Branch Trip

A few weeks ago, the club I am now president of, ASME, went on a trip to JEA's Brandy Branch. It was really cool; we got to see turbines and really cool things that we learn about in school but don't necessarily get to see. Here are some pictures taken from the trip.












Thursday, May 2, 2013

Help send me to the NSRC Conference by shopping with Thirty-One!

Hey everyone! I am raising money to attend the Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference (NSRC) this June in Broomfield, Colorado. I will be presenting on the research I do at this conference. Right now, if you shop Thiry-One until May 15 at the link below, 25% of your purchase will go to me to help me make this trip a possibility. 

TO SHOP:

Click this link and click "My Parties" then "Shop Now" at Chelsea's NSRC Fundraiser! Thirty-One

If you would prefer, you can also donate directly at this link: Send Chelsea to the NSRC Conference

Thank you for the consideration and support!