Making Spacescapes

For no particular reason, I wanted to make a spacescape. I have graphics editing software (specifically, the GIMP), and I was sure there was a tutorial online somewhere. Google was my friend, and within two minutes I had an article that fit my needs — How to Create Space Scenes Quickly and Easily in Gimp.Continue reading “Making Spacescapes”

On 25 Years Since Voyager 2’s Uranus Encounter

Friday evening, I received a press release from NASA. The reason? The twenty-fifty anniversary of Voyager 2’s closest encounter to Uranus. Voyager Celebrates 25 Years Since Uranus Visit Jet Propulsion Laboratory January 21, 2011 As NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft made the only close approach to date of our mysterious seventh planet Uranus 25 years ago,Continue reading “On 25 Years Since Voyager 2’s Uranus Encounter”

On a Decade of the International Space Station

Today, the second of November, is not just Election Day. It’s the tenth anniversary of human habitation of the International Space Station. NASA issued a press release this morning marking the event: NASA ADMINISTRATOR STATEMENT ON 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF CREWS ABOARD THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION WASHINGTON — On Nov. 2, 2000, the first crew arrivedContinue reading “On a Decade of the International Space Station”

On Things I’ve Been Reading

First In Space Written and Illustrated by James Vining Published by Oni Press, April 2007 After the New Year, I was at the local Border’s, then in the midst of their Going-Out-Of-Business sale, and I picked up Tom Wolfe’s The Right Stuff. I’ve loved the film since I first saw it way back in theContinue reading “On Things I’ve Been Reading”

On Venturing Forth to the Moon

Plinky asks today: "If you were offered a free trip to the moon, would you go?" And there's a part of me that wants to say, "Well… duh." 😉 And then there's the part of me that wants to say, "Now that I've gotten the snarky answer out of the way…" Who hasn't dreamt ofContinue reading “On Venturing Forth to the Moon”

On the Flight of the Cheese Wedge

Some news of the weird for the previous week. To commemorate the 40th-anniversary of Apollo 11’s landing on the moon, a group of cheesemakers in Somerset, England, decided to send a piece of cheddar into space on a high-altitude weather balloon. The logic of this, so it seems to me, is that some thought inContinue reading “On the Flight of the Cheese Wedge”

On Winston Churchill, Astronaut

I thought American schoolchildren were muddled in their historical thinking, believing that Abraham Lincoln was at the first Thanksgiving, or that George Washington delivered the Gettysburg Address. (For the record, neither of those are true. Just so we’re clear.) It turns out that factual mistakes of historical knowledge aren’t limited to children on this sideContinue reading “On Winston Churchill, Astronaut”

On The Quiet of the World

Did anything happen over the weekend? It doesn’t seem like it. I haven’t seen anything interesting in the news. Except, of course, that Duke lost in the second round of the NCAA tournament. Which, really, in the long run, is insignificant. I was disappointed. No Cubs on WGN over the weekend. White Sox, yes. ButContinue reading “On The Quiet of the World”