Posts filed under “news”

Tavurvur Eruption

Here’s a video of active volcano Tavurvur erupting in Papua New Guinea in August, recorded by an Australian taxi driver named Phil McNamara. It’s an impressive explosion, with a visible condensation shock and a loud, delayed sonic boom. Tavurvur has killed people before, but current conditions during this eruption have spared surrounding populations from ash […]

Miles O’Brien Loses an Arm

I’ve been a fan of journalist Miles O’Brien since his early days as a space reporter at CNN (following the untimely death of previous space reporter John Holliman). O’Brien recently lost his left arm to amputation, due to complications from acute compartment syndrome after a freak bag accident. He’s written a frank and moving piece […]

Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda): Ships Aground and Ways to Help

An email I sent for distribution at my church, First Baptist DC, answering queries about typhoon relief contribution opportunities for fellow Baptists here in the USA after Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda. Following the call for donations I’ve also included a gallery of ships run aground during the typhoon, a display of the fury of the storm.

Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda)

Typhoon Haiyan (PAGASA name Yolanda) struck the Philippines on November 7th, devastating islands in the Visayas, flattening whole towns and villages, and killing thousands. With sustained winds of 195 mph and gusts up to 235 mph, it was the strongest tropical cyclone on record to make landfall.

LADEE Launch

On Friday night, 6 Sep 2013, NASA launched LADEE, a small robotic spacecraft designed to study the moon’s tenuous atmosphere. LADEE was lofted into space by a five-stage solid-fueled Orbital Sciences Minotaur V from Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island, VA (which I had previously visited for the launch of Antares, another Orbital Sciences rocket). […]


An intelligence leak has revealed PRISM, a massive US NSA data mining operation spying on people’s data shared through Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Apple, Yahoo, AOL, and others. Outrageous, but ultimately not surprising, given that President Obama has, disappointingly, shown himself all too willing to continue his predecessor’s expansion of powers to invade privacy in the […]

Boston Marathon Bombing

Explosions at the Boston Marathon. People killed, including a child; grisly injuries among runners and spectators. Photos of the carnage. Video of the blast as seen by a runner. Schneier recommends responding to terrorism with indomitable calm. How to Help. May all affected find aid and comfort, and the bombers be brought to justice. Update: […]

Asteroid 2012 DA14

A small asteroid named 2012 DA14 flew close by Earth on Friday 13 Feb 2013, flying south to north, 17,200 miles from the surface at closest approach: much closer than the moon and even within the orbits of farther-out geostationary satellites. This was going to be the live space event of the month — until […]

Chelyabinsk Meteor

A meteor (or bolide, the term for a bright, exploding fireball) exploded in the sky over Russia, with a bright flash of light and multiple loud bangs seen and heard in Chelyabinsk in the Ural Mountains. The shockwave injured people and caused light damage to structures in the city. Since dashboard cameras are so prevalent […]

On the Passing of Computer Luminaries

Steve Jobs died on October 5th, shortly after the iPhone 4S was announced. Jobs’ reserved seat sat empty at the event, and as new Apple CEO Tim Cook delivered the keynote he almost certainly knew the time was near. I half-expected that he would demo the new iPhone’s FaceTime app with a call to to […]