… go outside on a clear, dark night. Wait until your eyes are used to the dark and look up. Everything you see that is shining by its own light is nuclear powered. Everything you see shining in reflected sunlight (the moon, the planets), all of that is lit by nuclear power. Now look toward your house or a nearby city. Everything you see is lit by chemical bonds being broken and re-established. As someone put it, “everything God powers is nuclear; everything man powers is fire.”
There will be an annular solar eclipse October 14, a week from Saturday. That will be followed by a total eclipse next year on April 8. The paths of both eclipses cross the USA, intersecting in south Texas not far from San Antonio. Here in Kansas I should have a pretty good view of both, assuming the weather is cooperative.
NASA has maps of the paths at various resolutions that you can download here.
The Reykjanes peninsula in southwest Iceland was quiet for 800 years, but it’s awake now. The third eruption there in as many years has begun. I’m suspending my “no YouTube” rule this once to post this video of the eruption’s beginning. For more information, check the recent posts and comments at Volcano Café.
I’ve uploaded some interactive panoramas from the Cosmosphere in Hutchinson. The one above shows the command module “Odyssey” from the “successful failure” Apollo 13, flown in April 1970. You can see the rest of the additions here (click on the “recent” tab). They are best viewed in full-screen mode.
If you want breathtaking landscapes, Kansas is the last place in North America to look. However, there are things worth seeing. I recently spent a couple hours at the Cosmosphere in Hutchinson, which has an impressive collection of aerospace memorabilia, including a SR-71 Blackbird in the lobby.
Whenever I see study titles, or headlines, that involve “models”– I mentally add “In Legend of Zelda” or something equivalent to every conclusion. It helps put it in perspective. So, you know “model estimates covid spread by vaccination rate in Legend of Zelda” or “Climate model predicts 3-foot sea level rise by 2050 in Kingdom of Hyrule” or “Model predicts 10% rise in heart attack deaths with 5% increase in calorie consumption in The SIMS” Because any time you’re working with a model, you’re in video-game land, not the real world: video-game land is simplified, has far fewer variables, by definition cannot have unexpected events or outcomes, etc.