Martian dawn. Photo taken August 13, 1977 by the Viking 1 Lander. Pruned
Tweets for August 5th 2012
Turing Centenary Speech (New Aesthetic) | Beyond The Beyond | www.wired.com/ www.wired.com/beyond_the_beyond/2012/06/turing-centenary-s... Instapaper Aug 5th, 1pm
Science news this week are all about the almost certain discovery of the Higgs Boson. From what I gather that’s big news, even if my understanding of particle physics is also in an infinitesimal scale, so I go with the explanation that the finding of the Higgs particle closes and vindicates the Standard Model of particle physics in pretty much the same way the discoveries of elements such as Gallium, Ytterbium or the noble gases in the late 19th century vindicated the atomic model and Dmitri Mendeleev’s periodic table.
However, I find myself in utter lack of awe at such discoveries. I think it’s sad all cutting-edge science nowadays seems to deal with the negative Powers of Ten, the infinitesimal, starting at nano and working its way down. It feels as if Mankind is retreating, into Earth, into tinier and tinier spaces. That’s not to say the study of the infinitesimal isn’t interesting and without awesomeness — just look up stuff on quantum levitation or Bose-Einstein condensates — but we also need to look at the stars — at the positive powers — for inspiration.
Hence The Voyagers by Penny Lane. Go watch it in silence. Let’s not retreat into tiny holes in the ground.
The NASA Graphic Standards Manual. A style guide for the future that never was…
Soviets in space! Here’s an interesting set of USSR space propaganda posters. Politics aside, I always thought the Russian space program rocked. Just look at how the Soyuz spaceship is now the only reliable vehicle for taking cosmonauts to orbit, now that the Space Shuttle has been decomissioned. Or consider that the Soviets managed to land a probe in Hell (meaning, of course, planet Venus) and send back some pictures. Trivium
The Boston Globe’s incredible gallery of Martian landscapes, as photographed by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
And also: CGR posted a wonderful picture of the Martian night sky, in which both the Earth and Jupiter (and its moons!) can be clearly seen.