In case you haven't heard yet, there's a comet headed for Mars. It will pass pretty close, close enough for the various orbiters we have in there to get pictures, and for them to be in a little bit of peril. But apparently there is a plan. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oq8lEKAY_fI Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring will make … Continue reading Comet Siding Spring: A Close Encounter with Mars
Chaos theory and doubts about determinism
I've mentioned a few times before that I'm not a convinced determinist, at least not of the strict or hard variety. I have three broad reasons for this. The first is that I'm not sure how meaningful it is to say something is deterministic in principle if it has no hope of ever being deterministic … Continue reading Chaos theory and doubts about determinism
The double slit experiment and the utter strangeness of quantum mechanics
Occasionally I remark about how illogical quantum mechanics is. Sometimes people either insist that it is logical, or simply assert some simple explanation that shows they don't really get how utterly strange this stuff is. This video of Jim Al-Khalili gives a relatively brief explanation of this experiment, including its freaky results. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9tKncAdlHQ If Al-Khalili doesn't strike … Continue reading The double slit experiment and the utter strangeness of quantum mechanics
David Chalmers: How do you explain consciousness?
In this TED talk, David Chalmers gives a summary of the problem whose name he coined, the hard problem of consciousness. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhRhtFFhNzQ via David Chalmers: How do you explain consciousness? - YouTube. It seems like people who've contemplated consciousness fall into two groups, those who are bothered by the hard problem, and those who are not. … Continue reading David Chalmers: How do you explain consciousness?
Why you are still alive, the immune system explained
A cool video explaining the human immune system, or perhaps more accurately, giving a broad simplified explanation while also giving us a glimpse of just how complicated it is. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQGOcOUBi6s
The flower-shaped starshade that might help us detect Earth-like planets
Pretty cool. Jeremy Kasdin in this TED talk discusses an idea to remove the glare of a star's light in order to possibly get a look at its planets. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYNUpQrZISc