Monday, February 29, 2016

Mean Tweets - Movie Edition


In 46 BC, Julius Caesar, created a calendar system that added one leap day every four years. Acting on advice by Alexandrian astronomer Sosigenes, Caesar did this to make up for the fact that the Earth's year is slightly more than 365 days. In modern terms, the time it takes for the Earth to circle the Sun is slightly more than the time it takes for the Earth to rotate 365 times (with respect to the Sun -- actually we now know this takes about 365.24219 rotations).

So, if calendar years contained 365 days they would drift from the actual year by about 1 day every 4 years. Eventually July (named posthumously for Julius Caesar himself) would occur during the northern hemisphere winter! By adopting a leap year with an extra day every four years, the calendar year would drift much less.

This Julian Calendar system was used until the year 1582 when Pope Gregory XIII provided further fine-tuning when he added that leap days should not occur in years ending in "00", unless divisible by 400. This Gregorian Calendar system is the one in common use today.

Info via APOD


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Sunday, February 28, 2016

Solar eclipse of March 8 - 9, 2016

A total solar eclipse will take place on March 8-9, 2016. A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, thereby totally or partly obscuring the image of the Sun for a viewer on Earth. A total solar eclipse occurs when the Moon's apparent diameter is larger than the Sun's, blocking all direct sunlight, turning day into darkness. Totality occurs in a narrow path across Earth's surface, with the partial solar eclipse visible over a surrounding region thousands of kilometres wide. It will have a magnitude of 1.0450 visible across an area of Pacific Ocean, beginning in Indonesia, and ending in the northern Pacific Ocean.[1]

If viewed from east of the international date line, for instance from Hawaii, the eclipse will take place on March 8, (local time). The Indonesian region has a 60-70% likelihood of cloud cover in March; clear skies are more likely further to the East in the Pacific.[2] However, in February 11, 2016, Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics (BMKG) forecasted that western parts of Indonesia have less likelihood of cloud cover and 20 percent chance of rain in westerly cities such as Bengkulu, Palembang, Palangkaraya, and Palu, less than its eastern parts during eclipse with a 90 percent chance of rain in Ternate and Maba with an accuracy of 65 percent.[3]


Saturday, February 27, 2016


Pneuduino  is a hardware platform for kids, students, artists, designers, researchers who are interested in controlling air flow and pressure for their projects.

The Pneuduino toolkit is currently used in workshops with high school or college students. While each workshop has a different focus, they all introduce concepts of air as actuator and sensor as well as different fabrication methods to create transforming artifacts. Workshops haven been held in Boston, Tokyo, London, Eindhoven, etc.

Air is one the most abundant resources on earth. By adding computation ability to air, we can create new types of materials that enable us to design robots that are soft, furniture that is adaptive, clothing that is intelligent and art pieces that are breathing.

Read & Learn:


This is a Levitron

It's a top that floats due to magnetism and gyroscopic stability.Watch this experiment with a fire bubble and a levitating

How does the Levitron work?
Read & Learn:

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Friday, February 26, 2016

Supersonic Green Machine

This future aircraft design concept for supersonic flight over land comes from the team led by the Lockheed Martin Corporation.

The team's simulation shows possibility for achieving overland flight by dramatically lowering the level of sonic booms through the use of an "inverted-V" engine-under wing configuration. Other revolutionary technologies help achieve range, payload and environmental goals.

This concept is one of two designs presented in April 2010 to the NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate for its NASA Research Announcement-funded studies into advanced supersonic cruise aircraft that could enter service in the 2030-2035 timeframe.


Image credit: NASA/Lockheed Martin Corporation