I was busy reading an article on Star Stryder about the current economic trends in education. It’s an astronomy blog by Pamela Gay. I got half way through and decided to got to bed and finish it in the morning. When I can back to my trusty 20-foetsak mac mini the next morning it had crash on the page of the article…
I’ve refined my idea of what I’m trying to achieve with my astronomy posts.
I want to inspire awe, curiosity and child-like wonder!
Today I was reading about neutron stars. Now a neutron star is a dead star, thus it doesn’t have any fuel to burn. It has about the mass of our sun and consists almost completely of neutrons! This means it has roughly the density of an atom nucleus! So a neutron star with the mass of the sun but it’s only the 20km in diameter! whoa!
My renewed interest in astronomy a couple of months ago was sparked when I started listening to some introductory lectures available freely online. I then found out about the public lectures given at the South African Astronomical Observatory. These are given to celebrate the International Year of Astronomy which marks 400 years since Galileo look through a telescope at the stars. After attending the lecture, the local amateurs setup their telescopes and let the assembled masses look at some obvious targets ie. Alpha Centauri, The Jewel Box, Jupiter.
Since rediscovering astronomy I’ve found some awesome resources for beginners that I have personally listened to and read. Hope you enjoy!
- Astronomy 161 An Introduction to Solar System Astronomy (OSU)
- Astronomy 162 An Introduction to Stars, Galaxies and the Universe (OSU)
- Silicon Valley Astronomy Lectures
- Astronomy 160 Frontiers and Controversies in Astrophysics
For those of you who don’t know who Paul Graham is, here’s a quick primer:
He’s is a coder and he started and sold an Internet Startup company during the .com bubble and sold it for a handsome sum. He’s now an internet startup guru and the co-founder of Y Combinator , writer(Hackers and Painters), essayist and coder. Quick enough?
I’ve been an avid reader for 15 years now, enjoying mostly fiction (sci-fi, fantasy) and an odd smattering of non-fiction here and there (mainly science and related). To date, I have yet to read a better essay writer than Paul Graham, although I must admit my experience is quite limited. I haven’t read his book, “Hackers and Painters“, yet, but his essays are really fantastic.
I’ve always been interested in how things work and how they’re built which usually resulted in thinking up new ways to build things and the internet has channeled a lot of my creativity the last few years partly because building things online requires less physical recsources. I’ve recently been toying with the idea to get some funding to help me build an idea or two of mine and I’ve been getting lots of my inspiration from This Week in Startups – TWiST. It’s been running now for 13 episodes and is the brain child of the ultimate fan of the Entrepeneur – Jason Calacanis the Counder of Mahalo.com
I’ve recentlty started listening to Astronomy Cast, an amazing podcast about astronomy. It reminded me that space was my first remembered love! I was always fascinated with planets, asteroids and stars. One of my earliest dreams was to be the first person on Mars. “A facts-based journey through the Cosmos helping you undersstand not only what we know but how we know what we know” is it’s intro and it delivers. It’s hosted by Fraser Cain from Universe Today and Pamela Gay from Star Styder.
I Love Afrikaans!
I went-a-walking in Table Mountain Reserve a week ago, above the Constantia Valley and came across this gem!
For those who don’t know Afrikaans “Aambeibossie” translates to “haemorrhoid bush” but in the image it gives the English name as “Christmas Berry”! That’s comedy!
Hello! My name is Dale Botha and welcome to my blog! As you may have guessed, I’m curious! (both definitions!)
I was always the guy in class that asked too many “apparently“ stupid questions (which, when answered, actually weren’t so stupid..i’d like to think). I also used to take things apart, a lot, to see how they worked (and only relatively recently developed the skill and patience to put things back together again!) and have had “small things amuse small minds“ said to me more times than I can remember because I can become interested in some “small thing“ which gets me thinking and wondering. eg. watching and playing with bubbles while washing dishes!
I like: reading – sci-fi, fantasy, science, running in the forest (off the path :) ), spending time with family, podcasts about technology and programming, audio books, thought provoking conversation, good wine, good coffee, meeting and connecting with new interesting people, the internet, heavy metal, exploring new (and old) places, driving fast, motor cycles and space.
Writing has always been a peripheral interest and I’d like to put some out there on the interwebs. So I’ll set my hand to airing my opinions and divergent interests in the form of an article every couple of weeks. I”ll also be blogging about various topics – Ruby on Rails, my blogging project – winemonkeys.co.za, tech news, stuff more pertenant to South Africans.
I would especially like to mention 4 authors whose writings in inspire me in one way or another: