Tag: Science Travel

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The Best Places for Viewing Tonight's Perseid Meteor Shower

August 12, 2013 at 1:09 PM | by | ()

Tonight, between 10:30 p.m. and 4:30 a.m. local time, those in areas away from light pollution and heavy cloud cover will be able to observe some 60-100 meteors streaking across the sky as the annual Perseid Meteor Shower hits its peak. According to NASA, you'll want to look straight up and budget for the extra time it'll take for your eyes to adjust.

Wondering where is the best place to view the celestial event? Here's a few ideas from our recent travels:

· On an airplane!: Just as the Northern Lights are visible from airplanes in flight, so too are meteor showers. After all, in a major jet aircraft you fly above the clouds and, at night, the crew typically turns off the cabin lights. Even @BritishAirways is encouraging travelers tonight to keep their windowshades up—talk about in-flight entertainment!

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Disney's Newest Tech Seeks to Control the Air Around You

July 22, 2013 at 9:35 AM | by | ()

When it comes to controlling the world of theme parks it’s pretty clear that Disney is on top of things. Beyond that their engineers—we mean imagineers—do a pretty good job at making the impossible seem possible. Their latest trip into the Disney laboratory seems to have gone pretty well, as Mickey and friends might soon be able to control the air.

Engadget has the full scoop, but basically Disney has figured out a way to bring live feedback to the air around you. The magic is contained within something known as AIREAL, as the system can send out punches of air to here and there. The goal is to bring touchy feely feedback to all three dimensions of space and your surroundings.

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Visiting the Birthplace of Modern Medicine on the Greek Island of Kos

Where: Kos, Greece
July 9, 2013 at 10:17 AM | by | ()

We gave you five reasons why you should suck it up and go on a Greek Islands cruise, and now allow us to add a sixth: You can actually visit the birthplace of modern medicine, where Hippocrates performed his infamous research at the Askleipion on Kos.

Today, there is a bit of doubt about whether Hippocrates actually wrote the medical pledge that is referred to as the Hippocratic Oath. In fact, there’s a lot of skepticism surrounding the sixty or so medical writings that have survived and bear his name. But regardless of whether the documents were written by he or one of his students, it is certain that he was the lead medical researcher of the 5th century B.C., and that his life’s work had a great effect on the practice of medicine, both then and now.

One of the first things you'll notice upon your arrival is that, while Hippocrates might have been the first to discover that diseases were natural and not caused by the Gods, he truly believed that morale was a huge part of the recovery and healing process. Why? Well, just look at the photos above and below, taken from the top of the ruins. You'd feel better, too, if all hospitals had that kind of scenery!

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Popocatepetl, Popocatepetl Go Away and Spread Your Ash Another Day

Where: Mexico
July 8, 2013 at 10:51 AM | by | ()

Oh heck—here we go with another big ash problem. This time it’s some volcanic activity down in Mexico that’s creating the problems, as Popocatepetl is the one messing up the atmosphere this time. This sucker is kind of half way between spots like Mexico City and Puebla, so if you have flights in or out of the area just be aware.

The delays and cancellations were all over the place last week, as carriers like Delta, United, American Airlines, and US Airways all had to mess with their schedules to accommodate the stuff up in the skies. At one point there were around 40 flights cancelled on just one day, so Popocatepetl is certainly less than friendly.

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Yet Another Moronic Study on Cell Phones and Airplanes

May 20, 2013 at 3:57 PM | by | ()

Last time we went over this nonsense we included the line "yes of course this is idiotic," before stepping back and promising to watch our language because "this is a family blog." But now those same moronic 2011 anecdotes are being recycled as proof that cell phones and tablets can interfere with the navigation systems of gigantic airliners? And now Bloomberg is declaring that "more than a decade of pilot reports and scientific studies" imply that it's true? Fuck. That.

Listen. If you believe that something you bought off the shelf at an Apple Store has the ability to interfere with a Boeing 747... well, we're not going to do the stand-up comedian thing where we tell you to kill yourself. But at a minimum, as a public service, consider chemical castration. "A decade of pilot reports and scientific studies"? Holy. Shit.

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Alaska Volcano Erupts; Are Ash Cloud Flight Delays on the Way?

May 6, 2013 at 8:56 AM | by | ()

In case you missed it, over the weekend there was explosion over in Cleveland—but don’t worry—it wasn’t that Cleveland.

Apparently it’s time again for the annual volcanic eruption, and that means potential disruption to air travel. This time the ash and smoke is doing its thing up in Alaska, as the Cleveland volcano is getting a little cranky.

In case you want to know where to look for the troublemaker on the map, this volcano is roughly 940 miles southwest of Anchorage, stuck on Chuginadak Island within the Aleutian chain of islands.

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Virgin Galactic Zooms through 'Cold Flow' Test to Inch Closer to Space

April 23, 2013 at 9:51 AM | by | ()

We haven’t heard that much from Virgin Galactic recently, but that doesn’t mean the space ship team hasn’t been hard at work behind the scenes. They’re still doing their very best to ensure that space tourism becomes a reality sooner than later. That’s definitely good, since from what it sounds like, the space flight carrier already has more than a few customers on the books and ready to go.

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShip Two just finished its latest round of testing, and thankfully things all went according to plan. The latest aerial endeavor was known as a "cold flow” test. They haven't lit the rocket engines on this sucker just yet, but it means they've completed pretty much everything else—so that means they’re ready for the next step. The ship’s contrail was even visible for the first time, so now we know how awesome the thing will look like when it blasts away from earth.

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Find Your Way to The Smithsonian's New Navigation Exhibition

April 18, 2013 at 8:37 AM | by | ()

If you’re tying to figure out how the world moved around prior to Google Maps, then now’s a good time head down to the museums of the Smithsonian. The Air and Space Museum is holding a new exhibit all about getting from here to there—and back again—so set your GPS to Gallery 213 on the second floor of the east wing.

The exhibit–Time and Navigation–aims to transport visitors back hundreds of years, for a sneak a peek into the tools of the trade from the past. Clocks, compasses, and other navigation devices will be on display, basically anything which deals with keeping accurate time. In total there’s around 144 different objects on display, and they’ve got things broken down into five sections: Navigation for Everyone; Navigating at Sea; Navigating in the Air; Navigating in Space; and Inventing Satellite Navigation. No word on if they have a special place to discuss the bummer that is Apple Maps.

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Europe Joins the 'Vomit Comet' Game as Zero-G Flights Begin

Where: France
March 18, 2013 at 10:24 AM | by | ()

We’re all about in-flight comfort—from fine wining and dining to the latest in sleeper suites, it's all of interest to us, and of course we want to try it. However, that doesn’t mean that we aren’t interested in something a little more adventurous when climbing aboard an aircraft. That’s why we’re pretty intrigued about the Zero-G flights now available to the paying public over in Europe.

You’ve probably heard of the “Vomit Comet” before, as aircraft flying wild courses to experience reduced gravity is hardly a new concept. Space agencies have been using airplanes for years to simulate varying degrees of weightlessness, but you no longer need to be an astronaut to climb aboard. Trips like this have been available in the United States and Russia, but this is the first time these kinds of flights have been open to one and all in Europe.

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A Visit to Arizona's Barringer Crater, AKA the Best Preserved Meteor Site in the World

March 12, 2013 at 12:06 PM | by | ()

Know what's cool? Space. Know what's even cooler? When things floating around in the vastness of space come pay a visit to earth. Ok, that's only cool when it happens thousands of years ago and doesn't hurt anyone. Luckily for us, that's exactly what happened near Winslow, Arizona 50,000+ years ago.

Formerly known as "Canyon Diablo Crater," this meteor crater, now known as the "Barringer Crater," is said to be the world's (that's right, world's) first proven and best preserved meteor crater. It's so well preserved that NASA used it in the '60s to train astronauts preparing for Apollo missions to Earth's moon. They did this because the crater very closely matches those found on the moon.

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Can Jet Lag Be Cured by a Scientific Shower?

March 4, 2013 at 9:32 AM | by | ()

We thought Delta was hard at work adding plenty of those Economy Comfort seats as well as WiFi on each and every flight, but apparently they also have a little extra time to work on some other projects. They’re actually trying to solve the problem of jet lag, and they just showed off some of their most recent ideas at the Technology, Entertainment and Design—TED—conference out in Long Beach, California.

This stuff might be a little bit above our pay grade when it comes to understanding the science behind things, but basically what Delta has created is some kind of light shower. Photon light rains down upon you, and then like magic you’re cured from any and all jetlag—at least in theory.

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Russia Meteor Tourism Now Becoming a Thing

March 1, 2013 at 2:50 PM | by | ()

A Russian region once shunned as the site of the world's third-worst-ever nuclear disaster, in which hundreds of people were killed, has now become a potential tourist destination because it was hit by a giant space rock that injured thousands of additional people. The local tourism board is actually talking about making parts of the territory into a "Meteor Disneyland," a reference to last month's Russian meteor.

That's it.

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