Tag: science

The Great Red Eye

One the great myths–in the sense of “stories we tell ourselves to understand the world”, not in the sense of “lie to be disproven”–of the Internet is how connectivity and open access to data enables all kinds of things to happen. One of the great myths of science is that sharing data allows for the pool of knowledge to continue… Read more →

Because you can

I was just having a conversation on Friday with someone about a bunch of Google employees who had ordered up a ridiculous amount of silly putty so they could do an experiment with dropping it from a great height. As someone educated in a faculty of engineering, this made tremendous sense to me: I’ve done my own experiments with various… Read more →

Link posts are easy

Links, pithy comments, you know the drill. The graphics on this one might not be astonishing, but the idea of supermassive black holes being flung from collisons at galactic cores is probably cool enough on its own to sustain interest. I love how science writers drop line like “these objects can have masses equivalent to one billion Suns” the way… Read more →

Home Sweet Blasted Clean Void

What you’re looking at there is something called The Local Cavity–although in this case “local” takes on a meaning somewhat larger than in typical conversation. It’s essentially a 300-light-year in diameter hole in space. Maybe ‘hole’ is stretching it a bit, since it’s not so much that it’s empty, as that it’s WAY less full than the average across the… Read more →


Very busy this week on birthday-related activities. Regular schedule to resume soon. In the meantime, here are a couple of cool simulations to play with, since that seems to be something I’m interested in this week. First, a physics tool to simulate cloth as a grid of constrained points. Second, a quite cool fire simulation–I especially like making words and images out of wood and then setting them ablaze.

Matters of Gravity

What you’re looking at there is the sad and beautiful story of the death of two stars, and the casting of two other survivors into the darkness. I’ve been sitting here playing with the My Solar System gravity simulator since reading about it in Discovery–it’s a cool educational toy for modelling interaction of bodies under gravity. You can use it… Read more →

The Unholy Tab Closing

OK, my open tab situation has got to the point where I was forced to research new Firefox plugins. I might talk about that soon, since that old “favourite plugins” post is waaaay out of date, and due for an updating. Right now, though, I want to run through a bunch of these things, attaching short, and hopefully pithy, comments… Read more →

Professor Membrane’s Modern Medicine Sideshow…

And the professor is back to lead us through the second in our series of posts looking at real, actual, modern science stories that illustrate the “we’re living in science fiction” notion. Last time we focused primarily on medicine, and specifically on different kinds of regeneration. We’re still working our way through modern mad medical science–I have a giant archive… Read more →

No Fear Of The Dreaded Two-Day-er

It’s weird–or maybe not so weird, really–but reading certain news items my reactions are almost entirely filtered through my years of training as a science fiction reader. Sometimes I read the story and suddenly see all kinds of comparisons between some real world event and things I’ve read–either direct connections, or analogies. Sometimes I read something and can’t help but… Read more →

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada
This work by Chris McLaren is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada.