The Big Think

March 21, 2008

A Big Bang a Long Way Away

Filed under: Space/Astronomy — jasony @ 10:25 pm

If you were a lucky insomniac yesterday morning (wednesday about midnight am), and happened to be looking in the right place of the sky, you would have seen a mega-explosion that happened halfway across the universe (note: not “galaxy”). This super-explosion happened approximately 7.5 billion years ago and the light was just visible with the naked human eye wednesday for a few minutes.

“No other known object or type of explosion could be seen by the naked eye at such an immense distance,” says Swift science team member Stephen Holland of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. “We don’t know yet if anyone was looking at the afterglow at the time it brightened to peak visibility. But if someone just happened to be looking at the right place at the right time, they saw the most distant object ever seen by human eyes without optical aid.”

Scienceblog has more.

This Man is My Hero

Filed under: Science — jasony @ 10:15 pm

In five hundred years I believe the world will look back on early 21st century humanity and will see Dean Kaman much the same way that we now look back on Leonardo da Vinci. Kamen has done a lot of things in his long and eclectic career, but I think he’ll be remember most not for the crazy thing he invented a few years ago, but for something much more mundane and important.

Kamen was on the Colbert Report last night showing off his latest invention. Colbert sticks to his schtick, unfortunately, and tries to milk some comedy out of an invention that I believe is truly revolutionary and important. Check it out.

Kamen is one of those guys that I’d really, really like to meet. He seems to have a knack (Segway jokes aside), for picking one or two really intractable problems and then focusing on them (with his brilliant team) until he gets them licked.

I mean, how cool is it to invent a relatively cheap water purifier that can basically change the lives of 1,200,000,000 people? How’s that for a contribution?

Podcast Guys

Filed under: Audio — jasony @ 2:12 pm

Storme and Lee got interviewed on Churchy Media. Cool.

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