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Kate Rauner's short stories of scifi & fantasy

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Space Song – Home on Lagrange #poem #poetry #science

astrodynamics diagramOh give me a locus
Where the gravitons focus,
Where the three-body problem is solved,
Where the microwaves play
Down at 3 degrees K,
And the cold virus never evolved.

by William S. Higgins and Barry D. Gehm

Thanks to NASA

Math Problem Solved – 4D Knot #math #mathematics #puzzles

What have you been up to?

Models of Mathematical Knots

In math, knots have no ends, no separate threads. The ends connect like in a magic trick.

It took Lisa Piccirillo less than a week to answer a long-standing math problem about a strange knot.

This isn’t the same problem you and I have when our shoe laces get tangled.

The question asked whether the Conway knot is a slice of a higher-dimensional knot. “Sliceness” is one of the first natural questions knot theorists ask about knots in higher-dimensional spaces… The Conway knot had thumbed its nose at mathematicians for decades.

I’m not likely to understand the question, much less the solution, but for those of you with the math chops, there’s more explanation and diagrams in the article. You’ll find a beauty in the math that, alas, I’ll never share, but I still enjoy the tale.


People Need Electricity – People Need to Stop Global Warming – Here’s a Surprising Possibility #GlobalWarming #ClimateChange #NuclearEnergy

If you’ve heard that nuclear energy is the low-carbon way out of the global warming‘s slow motion (and not-so-slow motion) disaster, you may wonder if the solution is worse than the problem. But wait. Today’s designs aren’t your parents’ nuclear reactors. Not even uranium powered.

I hope that catches your attention. Check out this video for more.

inFact You Tube Video sceen shot: Thorium Reactors

Thorium Reactors: Fact and Fiction

This Lost Bird’s a Turkey #birdwatching #wildlife

wild turkey in New Mexico

View thru my window – turkey’s right below the hanging feeder. Those shapes are there to help birds “see” the glass and avoid neck-breaking collisions

A flock of wild turkeys visited my bird feeder this winter. On and off, I’ve seen turkeys in the arroyo below me, but my windy ridge never attracted them before. This winter, up to 30 came at a time to peck at seed on the ground, but now it’s spring and they’ve gone home to the arroyo.


Lately, one lone bird had reappeared. There was a short turkey hunting season recently, and I heard shots in the forest, so I suspect that scattered his buddies.

wild turkey in New Mexico

Closer look at the turkey

He’s a nervous thing, barely grabbing a few seeds between periods at high alert. Being a lone turkey is a tough job. I enjoy his visits, but I hope he’ll find his way home to his  flock soon.


Deep Time – Virtual Tour from the National Museum of Natural History #MuseumFromHome

National Museum of Natural History InteriorMore to do while you stay safe at home. Interactive tours. Manuver yourself around the museum.

Click to access the Deep Time tour

Check out more virtual tours.

Lead Your Fleet of Robot Planes Into Battle – It’s Not Scifi #ArtificialIntelligence #AirForce #AirCraft

Boeing Loyal Wingman AL planeYour Loyal Wingmen fly alongside you into danger. These craft have no pilots, not even remote operators, and are no burden on you. They can engage the most dangerous parts of the mission while you stand off at a safer distance.

Safety for our pilots, but how sure are we that AI planes will make humane / human decisions? Is a battle that is tidier better for our future? Makes me think of a Star Trek TOS episode, A Taste Of Armageddon. But, I’m binging on TOS, so everything makes me think of one episode or another.

This is a Boeing Australia project, and thanks to Skeptiod’s Brian Dunning for pointing it out.

Universe’s Past is Lost #sciku #haiku #science #astronomy #cosmology #poem

Farther means faster
But the universe has changed
The blind cannot see

Hubble space telescope viewThanks to