The Endless Adventures
Just a gal and her guy posting accounts of their adventures backpacking around Asia, Indonesia, and South America. The Endless Adventures has some of the most amazingly beautiful photographs I have ever seen.
If you have ever been curious about where life came from and the differing schools of thought on the subject, two great resources to get an overview of the debate are TalkOrigins and TrueOrigin.
TrueOrigin details arguments against the current mainstream geology, cosmology, and biology and explains intelligent design and young-Earth creationism.
TalkOrigins exists mainly as a rebuttal to every argument in the TrueOrigin archives. Both websites give much to think about.
This great webpage has a list of places throughout the world open to the public for stargazing. These places are far from city lights so that the reflection from natural dust and moisture in the air do not wash out the dimmest stars. They have among the darkest skies on land. Many more stars are visible than will ever be near an illuminated city. They are great places to watch a rare meteor shower or to bring a telescope to see Saturn’s rings.
What would you look for?
While they no longer produce new material, for ten years the creators of Grudge-Match placed real and fictional celebrities into absurd situations where there could be only one victor. Who would win in a fight? Calvin or Bart Simpson? Red-shirted ensigns who always get hit or Stormtroopers who can’t hit anything? Alf or ET? Waldo or Carmen Sandeigo? Spock or Data? Sean Connery or all the others to play Bond? Rock, paper, or scissors? Wrath, greed, lust, gluttony, sloth, envy, or pride? The site is an exercise in imagination and silliness, so it’s right up my alley. I discovered them just as they were ending and so they never took my suggestions, such as Sydney (relic hunter) versus Sydney (Alias). That would have been a fight worth reading about. The commentators are brilliant and the voter comments are hilarious. Check out the archives!
What other matchups would be interesting?
Wayne Barlowe is an artist and the author of Expedition, the story of mankind’s visit to planet Darwin 4, home of large, blind, sonar-using liquivores. His paintings of alien plants, animals, and landscapes are amazing. He describes their physiology and behaviors. This is one of my favorite books that I dig out of storage from time to time just to look through. It has inspired me to make my own exobiology art books out of my old doodles. He also paints demons, hellscapes, and other awesome things and is available for commissions or licensing. Check out his website.
If exobiology interests you, please check out my other blog, FloraAndFaunaOfTheUniverse.com
The Scale of Things
Space is big, but just how big is hard to put into words. This animation allows one to zoom out to large scales by scrolling to the right and zoom in to small scales by scrolling to the left. It ranges from the observable universe to the Plank length. It shows the relative sizes of nebulae, blue whales, and atomic nuclei. Clicking on the little pictures opens info-boxes revealing interesting facts. It’s a fun and educational way to kill twenty minutes while you meditate on the mind-boggling vastness of the cosmos.
If you doodle, you can connect with others with this affliction at DoodlersAnonymous.com, a website that periodically features member works on the blog, holds contests, and accepts submissions for coloring books that they sell. There is always something interesting to see. It’s a place for artists to find and get found.
Cyriak is an animator who specializes in abusing fractals to create freaky, disturbing abominations of biology, physics, and common sense often set to catchy techno beats. I absolutely love it. It is really a form of surreal/abstract art. There is enough of a pattern to his videos that they make a form of sense and feel satisfying. For example, the way Malfunction builds up to a climax, burning through various levels of reality, and ends on a cliffhanger resonates on an emotional level I can only partly explain. Every time I watch it I see something new. Every element is unexpected in a way that makes me laugh just like the punchline of a joke. I might not be making any sense, but they remind me of Flying Circus skits. While some people see only silliness, I feel like I grasp the underlying mathematics. Check out his YouTube channel.
What do we do all day?
If you are looking for fun and/or educational activities to do with your kids (or by yourself), WhatDoWeDoAllDay.com is a great resource. It is broken down by grade level and by subject. They have links to books and outside resources. Here is a list of low-prep activities to keep your 2-4 year old busy so you can finally sit down. Have you ever thought of ripping up old magazines or sorting objects into groups? I kind of want to do this stuff now. Seriously, does anybody have any children I can borrow?
Have you ever wondered what would happen if the entire flow of Niagara Falls was forced through a straw? Well, it seems that it would make several agencies upset – and it would destroy the Earth in a massive fusion reaction. How close to a supernova would you have to stand to get a lethal dose of neutrinos? What is the most expensive way to fill a shoebox? Cartoonist Randall Munroe answers life’s deepest questions using math and science and publishes almost-daily comic strips of everyday social conundrums. It’s hilarious.
Tip: Hovering your pointer over the illustrations gives more information.
Cartoonist Josh Hughes creates weekly one-panel stories of the fantasy adventures of robot brothers One and Two at BotBros.com. They meet ogres, witches, and centaurs. They are cute, comical, uplifting, scary, and thought-provoking – but mostly comical. I love them.
Learn to Blog
LearnToBlog.com has great advice for bloggers on how to get readers, create content, get responses, and monetize. It has numerous guest bloggers tell about their blogs. If you have a blog or are thinking of starting one, read through their articles.
Amanda writes about her myriad visits to interesting places around the world and gives travel advice on her blog, Dangerous-Business. It is what I hope this blog might be in some distant future. It is my inspiration. Check it out.
My name is Dan. I am an author, artist, explorer, and contemplator of subjects large and small.