New Kepler Planets Confirmed!

In a major announcement this week, researchers with the Kepler Space Telescope science team have confirmed the existence of 1,284 new planets that had originally been found by Kepler.  This is a huge leap in the number of confirmed planets, bringing the total to over 2,300. The previous science data collection done by Kepler was completed in 2013, so why is this new news? Well the exciting part is that these are confirmed planets.  Usually when Kepler detects a signal indicating a potential planet, it needs to be verified by using some of the larger ground-based telescopes.  Kepler is not immune...

The Essence of Science and the Fringes of Reality

Data is fascinating.  And what’s even more fascinating is that the laws of nature produce predictable patterns in data.  For example, if you toss a coin 100 times and measure how many times heads comes up, you’ll get a number between zero and 100.  If you repeat that experiment again and again and again, you’ll get different values each time, but usually the number will be around 50, and 50 will come up more than any other value if you repeat the experiment enough times.  If you plot this data, with the # of heads in 100 coin tosses on...

Motivation Monday: Your Past Exists to Guide You, Not Define You

It’s possible you had a past that is less than glamorous, that you’ve had things happen to you that hurt you deeply, things that you just want to forget.  You spend years of your adult life trying to forget it all, and maybe you succeed. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned, its that trying to forget, remove, or replace an old experience is not the best course of action.  The best thing to do…. Is own it. Your past mistakes are meant to guide you, not define you. It can be painful to look back sometimes, to remember an...