All for the sake of science…

Sometimes you hit the motherlode of strange when you are just randomly surfing. I revisited
Bill Beaty’s
Amateur Science Page. It’s a great site, with many good projects and
links for the amateur mad scientist. His site of the month is the fairly
un-mad Kill B.O., an amateur research project into the use of anti-fungal creams
to prevent body odor. Far more entertaining is the
Stinky Feet
web page. Witness the trials and tribulations of a
guy willing to stomp around the Central Square YMCA locker room, then attach plastic bags around his feet for days to give himself
athletes foot.

If that’s not mad science, I don’t know what is.

DIY Metalworking

As part of my experiments with telescope making, I’ve been exposed through the efforts of some of my friends to the world of metalworking. i did some minimal metalwork (fabrication of some aluminum bearings and C channel using Paul Zurakowski’s lathe and mill) for my “Australia scope”, and that gave me the bug to learn more about metalworking. A bit of research ensued, where I found Lindsay’s Books, a small publisher that specializes in publishing books of interest to metal workers and other technical pursuits. One of their best selling series is
the collection Build Your Own Metalworking Shop from Scratch by Dave Gingery.
Continue reading “DIY Metalworking”

Intelligent Design

Recently the topic of intelligent design has been getting
quite a bit of play in the media. Proponents of intelligent design claim
that the evidence for evolution is not really compelling: that the
biodiversity that we observe must have been the work of an
intelligent designer. Intelligent design theory is the “science” that
is supposed to prove the existence of such a designer.
Continue reading “Intelligent Design”

VLF Radio

An interesting portion of the radio spectrum lies below the normal AM broadcast band. Amateurs are allowed to operate weak transmitters in the region of 160-190khz.
Such amateurs call themselves lowfers, and experimenters are doing interesting work in
propagation, antenna design, modulation and demodulation techniques, and signal detection. The Long Wave Club of America is an interesting place to start.
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Takes a licking…

Just like the Energizer Bunny, many of our early space probes seem to be ticking along way past their original lifetime estimates. According to

an article in Scientific American
, the Deep Space Network recently reaquired the Pioneer 10 spacecraft which had not been contacted in nearly eight months. Not bad for a spacecraft that was launched on March 2, 1972.
But the professionals aren’t the only one’s who can make probes which last and last and last.
Continue reading “Takes a licking…”

Rare Earth

One of the most important and interesting question that science can ask is whether or not life exists elsewhere in the universe. The recent book Rare Earth by Brownlee and Ward hypothesizes that multicellular life is quite rare in the universe, so rare in fact that it is likely that we are the only intelligent civilization in the galaxy. Other’s of course have alternative views.
Continue readingRare Earth


I created this weblog mainly to serve as an outlet for the many myriad topics that my job, family and interests thrust into my brain each day. I have a penchant for the unusual, the trivial, the geeky, and the (hopefully) humorous. If you have a similar bent, I hope you’ll find this weblog fun and return from time to time to check in on it.