Neill Blomkamptacular

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

Neill Blomkamp’s debut film “District 9” comes out August 14. Here’s a peek at some of Neill’s prior works.

Alive in Joberg (the Blomkamp short film that was expanded to become “District 9“)

Tetra Vaal (”Third World Robocop”)

Yellow (for Adidas “Adicolor” shoes)

Jupiter: Broken

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009


Last Monday morning (July 20th, sometime between 3:00-9:00AM Pacific Time), something very large smacked into the southern hemisphere of Jupiter, leaving a dark “scar” in its outer atmosphere larger than Earth’s Pacific Ocean. The unknown and unseen object that pummeled Jupiter was likely a comet or an asteroid.

NASA news/photo link and NY Times link

Unknown Life in the Sewers

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

Claiming to be a “snakecam” video of a sewer main in North Carolina, this is going to go one of two ways:

1). This is a promotional hoax for some upcoming sci-fi/horror film.
2). There is something seriously f-ed up living in the sewers of N. Carolina.
* “slime molds” do not move this fast.

German Scientists Create Big-Ass Element

Saturday, June 13th, 2009


Scientists at the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung (Center for Big-Ass Ion Research) have createdElement 112” – the newest addition to the periodic table of elements. They did this by getting lead and zinc really drunk and smashing them together. Until the official name is declared within six months, this element will be provisionally called Ununbium (Uub) or Eka-mercury.

Name Suggestions for Element 112:
• Bigassium
• Helmholtzzentrumfürschwerionenforschungium
• Jumbonium
• Ausgezeichnetium
• Illudium Phosdex (the Shaving Cream Atom)
• Huskyium
• Energon
• Großefraulienium
• Ziff (the Mormon Metal)
• Orichalcum
• Overactiveglandium
• Carbonite
• Tubbyium
• Wonderflonium
• Amazonium/Feminum (the Wonder Woman Metal)
• Bloatium
• Upsidaisium
• Dilithium

(via Science Daily)

The (Almost) Mysteries of Mars. Or Not.

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

The Face – The infamous “Face on Mars” is so 1977. The odd-shaped hill in the Cydonia region of Mars had a face-like appearance due to the lighting and angle of the Viking 1 orbiter image. Subsequent higher resolution images reveal that this hill does not actually have a face on it . . . it’s more of a “mask.”

The Bunny – In March 2004, the Opportunity Rover and Lander cameras caught images of this small rabbit-eared “thing”, which was blown across their fields of view. Further analyses by NASA/JPL solve the mystery: a piece of insulation. Though it could easily look like some multi-legged martian creature.

The Martian Skull – In 2006 an “independent researcher” claims to have identified a skull (or helmet-shaped thing) in one of the panoramic photos taken by the Mars Spirit Rover. Most likely identification: a rock. However, our Blogadilla forensic sketch artist (me) has taken liberties to make it look more alien-skull-helmet like.

(The above illustrations by me are copyrighted, bitches.)

Aurora Borealis

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

30,000 feet above Greenland, on an international flight from San Francisco to Frankfurt, I look out the window and my jaw dropped. Luminous green ribbons of aurora borealis, rippling and flashing against the dark starry sky, right outside the airplane window. For three hours I stared out the window in utter awe of the natural world.


In simple terms, the Aurora Borealis (in the North) and the Aurora Australis (in the South) happen when charged particles (electrons, protons, and what-have-you) released by the Sun collide with the Earth’s upper atmosphere. The glowing green and red light comes from these particles exciting oxygen in the upper atmosphere (other colors = other gasses). These particles are guided by Earth’s magnetic field lines and pulled toward an area around 65º North or South latitude (Alaska, northern Canada, Siberia, Iceland, southern Greenland, northern Scandinavia and Finland, and the coast of Antarctica).


Two weeks ago, at the Bay Area Maker Faire, I bought an “Aurorarium” – although it doesn’t actually create an aurora, it makes aurora-looking light patterns on the walls and ceiling. It is a Japanese Gekkan science kit and comes with a cool glossy color magazine about Aurorae: available online at the Maker Shed for $29.95.
It’s pretty damn pretty.

BBC’s Chris Lintott shows us Aurora Borealis over Norway:

Snap, Crackle, and Glow Bonus Round:
Listening to the radio discharges of Aurora Borealis:

A Good Thing Glowing

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

National Geographic slideshow:
Glowing Animals – Pictures of Animals Shining for Science.

Animals genetically modified; their bodies now produce fluorescent proteins.


(via Notcot)