Archive for September 7th, 2007


NASA Needs a Slogan

NASA apparently needs a marketing department.

In early August, NASA internally released its latest marketing campaign, designed to show its relevance and value to the American people. Its new slogan? “NASA explores for answers that power our future.” The campaign now seems to be aborted, but it did get me thinking, could we do any better?

Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides posed the challenge and created a forum to let people create -and vote upon- new slogans and mottos.

I submitted “Ex Astris, Scientia” which is the motto of Starfleet Academy. NASA and Star Trek have been inspiring each other for decades. I don’t see that there’s any harm in using this motto, which means, “From the stars, science.” I’ll submit more when I think of them. There seems to be a lot of interest in the words space, explore (or exploration), and frontier.

A “winner” will be announced on October 1st so even if you don’t have any ideas go and give the up or down to a couple of the entries. It won’t be adopted as an official NASA slogan, but whoever wins will get some degree of geek cred!

1 Comment | Catergorized: geek  science  thoughts


Frozen Smoke and Ten Dimensions

I love science. In an alternate universe I’m a scientist. So when I read about new technologies, even if completely unrealistic, I tend to geek out.

New substances with amazing properties always interest me. That’s why frozen smoke (also called Aerogel) is so intriguing. Created in the 1930s on a bet it’s only recently that direct applications have been found. Some of these applications are pretty amazing, too.

Aerogel, one of the world’s lightest solids, can withstand a direct blast of 1kg of dynamite and protect against heat from a blowtorch at more than 1,300C.

Not too bad from a material that is so light and airy. They can also customize it to absorb oil and mercury spills, capture dust from a comet’s tail, and make bomb proof houses.

Something else that’s always interested me is the concept of multiple dimensions. Conceptualizing the first four is easy. After that it becomes… more difficult. That’s why this video called Conceptualizing the Tenth Dimension, a video based on the book by Rob Bryanton is so interesting. The first time I saw the ten minute video I was a little confused, but after that it started to make sense. One of the concepts I like is each dimension is a mere point for a higher dimension. It makes me wonder if all there is are points, and each point contains all the information for every other possible point.

1 Comment | Catergorized: geek  science
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