Saturday, June 21, 2008

I could watch this for hours

Every once in a while (mostly when digging through wikipedia), one encounters a cool animated image of an object in the solar system. The animation of lunar libration above is a new favorite. (click the image for a larger version.)

So often, extraterrestrial objects exist only as abstractions. Sure, Jupiter is big, but how does one really get a handle on exactly how big? How does one relate? And more importantly, what would the thing look like if you were looking at it through the window of a spaceship? What's so great about this animation of the moon is that it really gives a sense of the concreteness of the object, its approach and retreat from the Earth during its orbit, and the wobble of its axis of rotation. Very cool.

(Also very cool, The Hubble Ultra Deep Field, as per Robin Sloan.)

Friday, June 13, 2008


It's not available yet, and if it's anything like version 1.0, it may be hard to get one's hands on in the U.S., but the $100 laptop version 2.0 (from the One Laptop Per Child project) is almost exactly the computer that I've been waiting for.

Take note Apple! If you made this, I would buy it tomorrow. Tomorrow.

And this may be more of a Snarkmarket topic, but how interesting that this sort of innovation, particularly in form and design, is taking placed based on the demands of anticipated third-world deployment? Even considering the ways in which Apple does (and doesn't) push the design envelope, are we stuck with our more traditional laptops because of the conservatism of the market?

Friday, June 06, 2008

I'm quite excited about this

Thomas McGuane, Richard Ford, and Jim Harrison are speaking on MSU's campus on July 10.

Seating is free but limited, and will be first-come, first served. Anyone want to meet up and go? Or form a short term reading group before the event? Maybe just watch McGuane and Harrison's movies?