X-Ray Vision

If you actually had the ability to see X-Rays, the world around you would look pretty boring.  Actually it would be invisible, since nothing around you gives off X-rays.  You might be able to see an imaging device if you live or work near a medical office, but that’s about it.  If you looked at the night sky, you would see many interesting sources of X-Ray light, mostly from active black holes in our own galaxy and beyond.  Recently a high-resolution scan of the Andromeda Galaxy revealed a plethora of sources, showing where black holes and neutron stars are feeding...

Sol’s Newest Dwarf Planet

A couple of weeks ago, using the Subaru Telescope, astronomers from the Carnegie Institution for Science discovered the newest dwarf planet of our solar system, which may end up claiming the title for most distant dwarf planet. The object, which isn’t even confirmed as a dwarf planet yet, is called V774104.  It resides a distance of 2-3 times that of Pluto, around 9 Billion Km.  It is expected to be a little less than half of Pluto’s size, and it may have a highly eccentric orbit, bringing it closer to the Sun over it’s multi-century trip around the solar system. “That’s...

Motivation Monday: Fear

I am afraid. You are too. We are all afraid of something, and it’s not a bad thing, at least not always.  Sometimes, our fear is a natural reaction that truly can save our life.  But more often than not, I would argue, it prevents us from doing something that really wasn’t that dangerous in the first place and would have given us some kind of benefit in the long term. Why do we fear things? It’s all an evolutionary mechanism that has given our species a survival advantage for hundreds of thousands of years, since before we had all the...

Perigee Lunar Eclipse This Sunday!

Let me start by saying I despise the term ‘Supermoon.’  So much so that I refuse to use it throughout the rest of this article.  The sad reality is that the term draws a crowd.  It aggrandizes the event to the point where people who normally wouldn’t take notice are paying attention, which ultimately is a good thing, as long as they learn the science that goes along with it. So here I am to teach the science, and show that the Lunar Eclipse visible across Canada this Sunday evening will be a gorgeous event to watch and participate in, especially with the increased brightness of the...

Maritimes Trip Day 2: Magnetic Hill, Hopewell Rocks, and a tour of PEI

Over the next week or so I’ll be posting highlights of my summer trip to Canada’s maritime provinces with my girlfriend Kate.  We had a blast, and love to have adventures and experiences in new places.  This is our story of the things we did and what we thought of them. Today was day 2, which involved a long drive mixed with sightseeing and sunshine. Day 2: The Sun greeted us in the morning, and we had a lovely breakfast next to the coldest air conditioner ever, seriously I could see my breath, it was glorious.  Some other travelers enjoyed...

Motivation Monday: If you Want to Be, Do.

The old saying goes ‘If you want something done right, do it yourself.’  Many a person filled with hubris about their own abilities takes this too far and often ends up never trusting others to help or take on any challenge, no matter how small or insignificant.  The real meaning behind this idea is that if you ‘have an idea in your mind about the way something should be done, do it yourself.’  This can lead to the founding of a successful business, if you take it along the lines of ‘if you found a better way to do something,...

Motivation Monday: Ask yourself why

Why do you go to work every day? It seems like a simple question, yet its one that very few people can answer confidently.  We spend our young lives learning in school all of the basics until we are teenagers.  Then we have to choose post-secondary education that focusses on a specific profession that we are interested in, even though we have only heard about it from a friend or family member.  Then suddenly we are in the workforce, battling it out to find a good job that pays well, and then we go on and work faithfully for a...

Science on the Ground Gives Clues to Planetary Formation

Astronomy is a science that is always associated with the sky, and rightly so.  But since the beginning of modern science there have been discoveries made on Earth that teach us about the formation and evolution of the Universe.  As telescopes become more powerful and allow us to look deeper into space, the technology to simulate outer-space conditions here on Earth has grown significantly.  In Albuquerque, New Mexico, a powerful tool called the Z machine generates quick high-energy pulses of electricity, which can be used to generate X-rays and Gamma rays to be used in experiments. Outside of astronomy, the...

Motivation Monday: 5 Minutes a day to Incredible Progress

Note: This post parallels my post from last week on SMART goals, but adds a lot of valuable information for achieving your goals. Okay so it’s the new year, you’ve settled back into work, school, or whatever else you do for a few hundred days a year.  You’re motivated to get a new project started, get going on those new goals, or even just make some positive change because you are feeling fresh.  You may have had a busy holiday, but it was fun to see all your old friends and family, and you are totally re-energized. So you start all...

29 on the 29th: A Birthday post for Motivation Monday

Fitting it should fall on a Monday – so we should call this a motivation Monday post.  This won’t be about me per se.  I’m not going to spend two hours writing about my life, expecting you to read every minute detail and be captivated.  The truth is, even though its been interesting and even hilarious at times, I haven’t really lived a life that’s any more captivating than anyone else’s.  I’ve had fun, and I’ve taken risks, and I’ve made mistakes, and I’ve loved and lost time and time again.  Even though every single person can say the same,...