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Sometimes, scientific truth can be so simple and beautiful that it is best represented as art itself. The feature photo, which is soon to become your desktop background, is one of those pieces of art; the periodic table of elements as a ovoid chart of similar elemental qualities from a Time Magazine article in 1947 . Working in space outreach, I get to see and create a lot of art designed to inform and inspire the exploration of our universe. I think this blog is the perfect place to share these one of a kind pieces.

LEGOS: Speaking of one of a kind pieces, I’d like to show you this amazing video of AmputeeOT building a prosthetic leg from Legos. As the video description states, it was done on a dare from one of her co-works. That will teach them to dare her! Go AmputeeOT! Check out her other videos and awesome tattoos on her YouTube channel.

CLASSICAL MUSIC: Keeping on our art theme, lets take a jaunt into the realm of classical music and bar graphs, with this absolutely mind grabbing visual representation of the 2nd movement of Beethoven’s 9th symphony. Let me know if everything keeps sliding to the left when the video is over. If you enjoy it there is a lot more on Smalin’s channel, including the entirety of the 9th.

MORE UP GOER FIVE: Some of you may remember XKCD’s Up Goer Five comic. If not, here it is below. The reason I showed you this is to introduce a blog post by Bill Dunford on the Planetary Society’s website. In this blog you will find a video tribute to the Saturn Cassini mission done in the Up Goer Five style. It really is worth your time and I can’t wait to show it to my own little one.

Up Goer Five

If you made it all the way to the bottom, you deserve a prize. Here is the song of the week, Deadmau5’s Faxing Berlin, arguably the song that started it all.

Saturn on Earth

I’m going to try a new format for this blog, a weekly gathering of  articles, music, stories and events. There is always content I feel I don’t get to share, or archive, content that really effects me every week, and I want to share it with you and my future self, digital time capsule style. One day, my son may even read this. I know I would read my father’s and grandfather’s if they had this technology.

Today is one month and 22 days till I leave my job here in Kabul, Afghanistan working for the CJIATF 435. I’m so excited to be on the precipice of returning home and building a new life in the East Valley of Phoenix. I have met a wonderful person out here in Afghanistan, and I’m looking forward to sharing this readjustment period together and the possibility of more. I have been looking at homes in East and South Phoenix for several weeks now with my family, trying to find a place to lay my head and provide a roof for my son and dogs. I think we are getting close to finding a decent home in my price range that will suit me for the next decade or more. Be sure, that when I get that good news that the sale has gone through, you will all hear about it across the InterWebTubes (TM).

I would rather sail the rings, but the lack of air would be a problem for my lungs.

SATURN: So lets start off the feature photo from an article on The Planetary Society’s website. Click here to see what the sky on Earth would look like with Saturn’s rings. Also, in related news ASU-SEDS is celebrating the announcement that Bill Nye will be the keynote speaker at this year’s SpaceVision hosted in Tempe. I really cant wait to hit the ground in Phoenix and help get that up and running.

PHYSICS: You guys may have noticed that every Tuesday I blow up your feeds with links to and quotes from XKCD‘s “What if” blag. I’m going to try to mitigate that webclogging spam by containing my excitement here. So this week we ask, What place on Earth would allow you to freefall the longest by jumping off it? What about using a squirrel suit?

VIDEO GAMES: Civilization 5 is the only game I play consistently these days.  The replay value is off the charts, its incredibly addictive, plus I feel like I’m learning something about history and strategy. So when I came across Russ Pitts’ interview with the crew at Firaxis I had to share it with all of you who stay up into the wee hours of the morning. “Just one more turn!” 

FUSION RESEARCH: We are not supposed to call it cold fusion anymore, but apparently the last seam on the Wendelstein X-7 was finished this week and is covered in this article.

NSFW: Science Joke of the Week comes from Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal and is NSFW 🙂

VIDEO: Let’s close this week up with one of Melody Sheep’s videos, Blue & Beautiful featuring an auto tuned Neil Armstrong.