Friday, February 24, 2017

The Soothing Sounds of an Arctic Icebreaker - 10 Hours of Background Noise

Here's something you didn't know that you need in your life, but you'll be totally happy to discover. The Youtube page Relax Sleep ASMR has recently uploaded a video that contains ten hours of white noise and the sounds of an Arctic icebreaker ship. It's absolutely glorious. Last night I put on some instrumental metal music along with this while writing and it really helped my mind to focus solely on the writing. You can check out the 10 hour long video below or at the Youtube page, but, whatever you do, definitely bookmark this one.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Holy Planets, Batman

The Google Doodle celebrating the TRAPPIST-1 system announcement on 22 February 2017
Hopefully you've already heard about today's announcement during a NASA press conference about the confirmation of discovery of 7 Earth-sized planets around the star TRAPPIST-1, three of which are in that star system's Goldilocks Zone for liquid water. This star system is only 39 lightyears away from Earth (coincidentally, that's 12 parsecs, so just within one good Kessel Run if you have the right ship). 39 lightyears is practically down the street in the context of our galaxy (which spans over 100,000 lightyears from one end to the other). This announcement isn't only exciting, but it also comes with a lot of implications for astrobiology. We have the capabilities right now to start observing these planets closely to look for signs of biosignatures in their atmosphere and that will only get better in the coming years (especially when the James Webb Space Telescope goes into operation). I'm still in the process of crunching out my Ph.D. dissertation, so I can't write up all of my thoughts about this incredible announcement right now, but definitely stay tuned to the exoplanet and planetary science community to see what more we can learn in the coming years about these world so close to our own. 

Credit: JPL/NASA

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Arrakis, Dune, Desert Art

The above image is now my desktop wallpaper. It's a piece of concept art from Gary Jamroz for the Dune Universe. You can find this piece and more like it at Concept Art World. For instance, here's a rather stunning piece by Jordan Lamarre-Wan:

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Billie Jean, smoothly done, by Alexandr Misko

Alexandr Misko, a young musician from Russia, has been bouncing about the interwebs lately with some of his acoustic arrangements for some well-known covers. For instance, I just caught his take on Michael Jackson's Billie Jean and it is pretty damned slick. Definitely worth a listen, my friends. Check it out:

If you dig that, then you might also like some of the tunes from his album that came out last year, "The Songs of Adolescence".