scientific travel

Help!

What is it?

I need to travel several days into the past to avert a terrible calamity!

I get it. Say no more.

Have you been getting a lot of these with the election?

I have.

So you can help? You can send me back to stop this?

Well, maybe. I know we’ve messed around with time travel before.

Also this time.

One of my favorites. But in those cases, we kind of glossed over just how scientifically improbable time travel actually is.

Come on. People travel through time all the … time.

In fiction, sure. But that’s because writers are astounding hacks. If you actually look at the way time travel is presented in most stories, you can see how ridiculous it is. People accelerating unpopular cars up to a modestly high speed. Falling down clock-lined wormholes. Haunted fortune-telling machines. All preposterous. You might as well mash some plutonium into a VCR and hit rewind.

Where the fuck is someone supposed to get a VCR?

So You Want To Go Back In Time And Fix History

00Q Very Important Questions

Does Bond bring back tacky keychains or scientific souvenirs from his travels for Q?

Are Q and Bond snuggles or sprawled when sharing a bed?

Who hogs the blankets?

Who do the cats prefer?

What’s Qs favorite mug for at home?

What’s Bonds “honey I’m home” tradition after missions (he totally has one)?

What’s their go to comfort meal?

How many blankets have people gifted Q because of mother henning?

4

In May I went to Bonaire, an island off the northern coast of Venezuela, for a couple weeks of scuba diving. These are some notes and watercolor sketches from my travel journal. Bonaire has a lot of great stuff to see!

The juvenile forms of many fish are sometimes radically different in both appearance and behavior than the adult forms. It can be hard to believe they’re related, and sometimes hard to believe they’re even fish! The baby Smooth Trunkfish (which we unofficially renamed the Hoverbot) is a tiny pea-sized, polka-dotted sphere with glorious butt cheeks. 

Hi! + life update

Hey Tumblr,

Long time (like, really really long time), no update. I’m sorry for such a long absence! Last year, when I dropped off the face of the earth, I got so busy with school that I kind of forgot this site existed. Lately, I’ve been remembering how much I used to enjoy it and would like to start up this blog again. I know I’ve lost a lot of followers due to this page being dormant, but for those of you that are still here, thanks. =) Since my last post I have:

A. finished grad school

B. completed an internship at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

C. traveled around Europe (mostly Italy) for six weeks

Maybe I should make individual blog posts about each of those things? It’s been a wild ride. I’ve had some major ups and downs, but overall, I’m so happy with the direction my life has taken. I’m a much happier, healthier person than I was a couple years ago. Now that things have slowed down, I’ve been hopping around between Ohio, Virginia, DC, and California, job searching, and just generally trying to figure out my life. This is the first time that I haven’t known what the next step is, and that’s a little scary. I would like to move back to California permanently, but I’m really open to go anywhere. Job searching has been frustrating, but I haven’t lost all hope yet. Someone will hire me soon, right..?

Well, that’s a short summary. Thanks for listening! Here’s some pics from my experiences over the past year and a half or so. More to come soon, and more art to share!

My class and teachers at the opening reception of our final exhibit! I love these people so much and miss them terribly. <3


A conceptual project from school about conservation genetics, inspired by an article from Scientific American.


I learned how to mount herbarium specimens at the National Museum of Natural History! This was oddly thrilling for me. Such a plant nerd. =P


A botanical plate of Piptocarpha lechleri created for my internship at NMNH. It will be published in the new edition of Flora of Ecuador. =)


I did some sketching during my travels in Italy. This is the view of San Giorgio Maggiore from Piazza San Marco in Venice.


Obligatory selfie on top of Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome!

Happy Birthday Mr Celsius!

Today is the birthday of Anders Celsius, a Swedish astronomer with many accomplishments in a short life, most notably the system for measuring temperature on a decimal scale. Born in Uppsala, Sweden (27 November 1701 – 25 April 1744), Celsius had an extremely productive and influential scientific career-traveling Europe to visit observatories and befriending scientists from every field.

The Celsius scale was originally called the centigrade scale, from the Latin words centus for one hundred and gradus meaning degree. The eponym Celsius wasn’t adopted by the scientific community until 1948 and remains the only scientific symbol in the upper case (°C), to distinguish it from the lower case c (constant) famous from Einstein’s energy equation.

Despite his obvious genius, the centigrade scale originally proposed by Anders Celsius had 100 as the freezing point of water and 0 as the boiling point. In 1744 and shortly after his death, the great Swedish scientist Carl Linneaus reversed the scale making hot temperatures have higher numbers than cold temperatures.
Today the Celsius scale is the most widely used scale for measuring and reporting temperature. In addition to his interest in a better scale for measuring temperature, Anders Celsius participated in expeditions to confirm Isaac Newton’s theory that the Earth is not a perfect sphere but rather ellipsoid, and also was the first to use colored glass plates to try to analyse and catalog magnitude and differences in stars. He supported the formation of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (along with Carl Linneaus and several others) and was elected to the Academy in its first meeting. He died of tuberculosis in 1744 at the age of 42.

DW S08 Is Proof of Time Travel

I have long held this belief that Steven Moffat is a time-traveller. The core of his work–aside from the cool images on the screen–is very 19th century. I thought he was the only one, but S08 proved to me there are other time-travellers in Doctor Who. Alas! None of them comes from the future.


Exhibit A: Mummy on the Orient Express

Any 21st century writer who has an idea about space and space travel would realise the folly of building a railway on space. They would know that in the faraway space and future, people would have means of travel that are suitable for the distance that is counted by light years and the lack of solid ground that paves the way between planets and stars. They would know that the Orient Express was a symbol of an empire long gone, and when the human race inhabits other planets it won’t be anything more than a tribal affair in a small planet somewhere in a vast, expanding universe. They would probably think of new monsters for space rhymes.

The episode seems written by someone travelling on the Orient Express, while feeling an intense envy towards Agatha Christie. They decide to rival her story with a story in which the Orient Express is in space, and it has a mummy on it. The Orient is littered with mummies, as any well-read British citizen would tell you. The people who are important to the story are white. The black people are in the background. The computer kills the staff because they are servants and they don’t matter, not as much as the passengers who are also scientists. The mummy is a soldier because young lads like soldier stories. Beat that, Christie!


Exhibit B: Kill the Moon

Perfect science fiction in the late 18th century early 19th century. People back then had no idea what the Moon was. There was no Moon-landing, and no strong theories about the Earth-Moon system. They had no idea what the Moon’s mass was, and how much it weight, and the effect an embryo would have on the planet.The episode is filled with what was considered scientific back then, but now is just balderdash.

The episode has a moral, three women: one hag who wanted to kill the baby and realised the error of her ways. One young woman who was would now be introduced to the duties of woman by the wonderful teacher Miss Oswald who chooses the baby over the lives of seven billion living human beings who had voted for it to be killed. Miss Clara teches young women to always choose the baby. The wicked woman apologises at the end, and the Moon is a dragon that lies another Egg Moon, which is both Virgin birth and child giving birth to a child. Perfectly relevant themes in their time.


Exhibit C: In the Forest of the Night

The story is about a wise man who tells children to stop taking their medication because everybody knows that those new doctors with their “modern” methods are just ruining our children. People are either lunatic to be kept in an asylum where they are beaten until they regain their wits or die, or are magical little girls who hear the angels singing and receive messages from them. There is no way that mental illness is something normal and treatable like a common cold. That’s the talk of ill-reputed modern doctors whom no good family would consult.

The story has a moral that is relevant to the viewers. The faith of the little girl brings back her sister. Faith is important. Bad things happen to people because they don’t believe hard enough. The episode is very scientific, too, because everyone knows that the Sun shoots fire and will bring the end of the world with its flaming rays.