As if being an astronaut would not make you feel like a boss each time you go to work anyway…
No, you even get to play with the best toys in the pool:
Image © NASA, public domain
Several myth cycles have been featured here before, most often the Cthulhu Mythos, of course, but there have also been mentions of Norse Mythology and more recently the Epic of Gilgamesh. Now it is time for some mythology that is often, sadly, ignored by most:
The fact that African mythology is often ignored in cultural studies is tragic, since this continent offers an astoundingly divers and rich treassure of tales that, due to the nature of human origin, go back longer than anywhere else on earth.
Here is one great example of African mythology: The Mwindo Epic, a tale by the Nyanga people of the Congo:
Also of note is the way the epic is traditionally told (this is according to the Wikipedia, so accurracy may be flexible):
The Mwindo Epic varies from typical oral myths in that it is not only spoken, but performed among gatherings of locals. The myth is performed mostly by a single bard wielding a calabash made into a rattle and donning various bells and other forms of noisemakers. To tell the story properly the bard acts out all the parts and does not refrain from being very animated in his dances and acting. It is not unusual for the bard to throw in some narrative not native to the story detailing his own life and his own personal experiences. The narrator is usually accompanied by four younger men who play on a percussion stick.
Audience participation is important. The audience will often sing along with the narrator and the percussionists during the songs, and repeat certain lines of the story while the narrator pauses between sections. The bard is often shown appreciation by the audience with applause, yells, and gifts.
Engaging Fanboy Mode:
People, go and watch The Expanse!
It has been two weeks since I opened an account with Netflix and I am already despairing! I binge-watched The Expanse, but to my dismay, it is only two seasons long so far, with another season due in 2018.
But what seasons they are!
The Expanse offers a relatively hard sci-fy look into what the solar system could look like in about 200 years. It features:
The Expanse is hands down the best science-fiction series I have ever seen. It is gut-wrenchingly realistic in its portrayal of the struggles one faces when confronted with the fact that outside is nothing but hard vacuum. All the characters are real, have real motivations (even if it just greed) and the really good guys and knights in shinig armor types are few and far between, but all are human and even the bad guys are not beyond redemption.
And the space battles are simply one step beyond everything I have seen so far!
Try it out yourselves, watch it!
I hope The Expanse will be for science fiction what Game of Thrones is for fantasy.
And now, enjoy the Season 3 ComiCon Trailer!
Header image © Syfy, fair use
In times like these, when the majority of billionaires use their money to
bribe invest into the careers of politicians, especially if those billionaires are connected to the coal, gas, and oil industries and do not give a damn of what happens after they have lived out their lives, it is good to see a super-rich individual like Elon Musk.
Elon Musk is a visionary who uses his wealth and genius to bring humanity forward and pushes the boundaries of what a private person can achieve. Tesla Motors, SolarCity and of course SpaceX are only some of the examples where Musk turned his visions into reality and also did something that helps humanity in the present and more importantly in the future.
Of all the billionaires alive today, Elon Musk is the one most likely to turn into Batman, which is the topic of today’s podcast.
And this is the article about the power grid in Australia and Elon Musk’s involvement. I am talking about that in the podcast.
Header image © NASA, Public Domain.
What I like about Google in the Morning (other than the smell of victory, of course), is:
The company is run by geeks and nderds and therefor, they care a lot about science. This morning, when I browsed to Google, I found this wonderfull Doodle and it made me grin:
This Doodle refers to the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn, a combined effort by NASA, ESA and ASI.
The reason for the Doodle could hardly be more epic:
Today, April 26th 2017, the Cassini probe will dive into the space between the Rings of Saturn and Saturn itself, a region where no other spacecraft has gone before.
To keep yourself updated on the status of this part of the mission and Csssini in the future in general, I recommend you follow the brave probe on Twitter.
Go, go, go Cassini! I am rooting for you!
Doodle © Google.com, fair use. Header image © NASA, public domain
The good news on Star Wars in the real world does not cease. After one of the Mars rovers clearly spotted the Mos Eisley Cantina Band, it now also seems like a planet like Tatooine might actually exist.
Tatooine famously orbits a binary star (see header image) and it was thought that binary stars could not have planets because the gravity of the binary star would prevent planets in the habitable zone from forming. But now it seems that our telescopes have actually spotted evidence which hints at the existance of rocky planets around binary stars in their habitable zone.
Yes, Tatooine might be out there, but so far, things are not as great as they sound. but the gentleman here can explain this much better than I can:
Header image © Lukasfilm / Disney, fair use
In today’s episode of the Non-Euclidean Æthercast I have the great pleasure of chatting with one of my oldest international contacts in the Steampunk scene: Jo Lima from Portugal. Since we have known each other for quite a while, a lot has happened and Jo is no longer active in the Portuguese Steampunk scene.
Real life has „forced“ her to become a planetary scientist (to my everlasting envy) and she is currently working on her PhD thesis in Madrid.
Our chat mainly concerns astronomy and planetary science, please enjoy!
Well, well, 2017… You are hardly four weeks old and from a very personal perspective, you have already had a major impact on my life. In a good way.
Let me take a few steps back in time to a time before I started this blog, before I had heard of Steampunk but was already a Cthulhu cultist, as this thesis paper (German) clearely shows.
Back in those days, I worked as a teacher but had to leave teaching for a reason that was beyond my controle. I went into the more tech-related side of online marketing, first more focused on newsletters, then SEO. I have been doing SEO for nine years now but not anymore.
I have come full circle and will be a teacher again, which I have been wanting to do for the past four years but only now got the opportunity.
The subject matters I will teach will be different, I will no longer be requiered to teach accounting (which I hate) but will instead teach sociology and politics. I will still be teaching English (yay!) and will also be teaching IT (even more yay!).
Now, this of course means the whole STEAM vs STEM debate I contributed my own thoughts to is going to haunt me, since IT is part of the STEM cluster. Obviously, I will do my best to teach not only the skill but also the art of coding (or at least try to). My time to do this will be limited, since IT is not a big topic in the schools here, but I can always offer extra lessons after classes ended, do something like a coding club or maybe I can come up with something really creative.
This also means that I will have to do some teacher training again, also afeter school which means in the near future, the update frequency of the blog will decrease (at least for the next 1 1/2 – 2 years) but it will hopefully not go dormant entirely.
At least you know I am engaged otherwise doing something I love.
Something slightly different today:
I would like to recommend the Youtube channel of Isaac Arthur to you. It concerns itself with various aspects of futurism, tackling everything from technological utopias, eco-friendly archologies and transhumanism to interstellar colonization and megastructures.
All videos cover their respective subject in depth and carry lots of information, and they are all extremely fascinating.
Here is the playlist for megastructures (i.e. Dyson Spheres and the like). Please enjoy and have your minds blown:
Header image (c) AdamBurn, fair use
2016 will not stop taking great ones. Yesterday, John Glenn, military aviator, test pilot, astronaut, and US senator has passed on at the venerable age of 95.
Most people will know John Glenn as the first American to circle the earth in space, but he also is famous for another achievement:
He is the oldest person to ever go into space, after flying in the space shuttle at 77 years of age.
John Glenn is survived by his wife Annie, whom he married in 1943.
Ad Astra, John Glenn!