The Cassini satellite recently finished her mission after 20 years flying through space and 13 years orbiting Saturn and her moons. It was a spectacular mission that gave us mind-bending discoveries, spectacular confusion, and a perspective of our pale blue world floating in the vast cosmic dark. I recently made a cartoon to commemorate the mission, and I wasn’t the only one. Here are several of the Cassini cartoons with all credit to the group of inspired artists who created them. Continue reading Cassini Remembered in Cartoons
The white walkers are coming. The next season of Game of Thrones will see the Night King battle the army of the living in Westeros. Using geography and a little science know-how we can figure out how long Jon, Dany, Tyrion, and the rest have before they must face the army of the dead.
They say the Doom still rules Valyria. The maesters tell us of a city destroyed, of mountains exploding, and of ash clouding the skies. The geologists tell us of something much more terrifying.
When trying to determine the cause of the Doom of Valyria, we must begin with what we know for certain. We know the volcanic mountain chain known as the Fourteen Flames played a part. We know the ground shook. We know that the sea rushed to far shores and swallowed everything in its path. And citizens of Westeros and Essos alike still speak of the vast Valyrian peninsula shattered into countless islands. Fortunately for us, we can use the tools of the geologist to uncover what really happened to Valyria nearly 400 years ago. Continue reading What caused the Doom of Valyria: A geological analysis
In the pursuit of justice, Superman leaps tall buildings in a single bound. Ironman invents and deploys inconceivable technology to defeat evil forces. And Batman outfits himself with everything a flying-vigilante-mammal needs to battle the corrupt underbelly of Gotham City. In their own way, superheroes try to make the planet a better place for us mere mortals. But given the global environmental crisis underway, shouldn’t we examine superheroes more thoroughly? As fellow inhabitants of Earth, don’t we owe it to ourselves to question how many pounds of carbon dioxide the Batmobile releases into the atmosphere? Or how much Ironman and his rocket boots contributes to global warming? In other words, shouldn’t we know what superpowers are really saving the planet, and which might actually be hurting it? Of course we’re still grateful that our superheroes are protecting us from terrifying threats. But when it comes to climate change, we’re all in this together, and you don’t have to be a superhero to help save humanity. Continue reading The Carbon Footprint of Superheroes