World’s Strangest

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The Jet Propulsion Lab: Up-Close & Personal

I recently took a trip to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in nearby Pasadena to interview a couple of the rocket scientists who successfully guided the Curiosity Rover to the surface of Mars. One of them is now involved with driving the rover around the Red Planet. I’ll post those two interviews separately in the days [...]

8 Useful Tattoos for Practical Ink Enthusiasts

Tattoos have their fair share of downsides: the pain, the cost, and the disapproving glares from elderly family members. But if you select the right design, there can also be sweet functional benefits to getting inked. Here are some ingenious uses for tattoos that may even cause staunch opponents to soften their stance. 1. Give Baldness [...]

What’s That Mysterious Spot on Uranus?

All right, stop laughing. In all seriousness, there is a mysterious spot on the gas giant. No, really. Discover Magazine explains: Uranus, like the other giant planets in the solar system (Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune), is made up almost entirely of [...]

One Year of Neptune

The planet Neptune was first observed by telescope on September 24, 1846, although astronomers knew of its existence by other evidence, namely the effect it had on the orbit of Uranus. Since that discovery, Neptune has traveled exactly once around the sun. Today, Neptune is back at the same point in orbit as it was [...]

Where did Triton come from ?

Neptune’s moon Tritan is unusual in that it is geologically active and has a retrograde orbit. The last good look at Triton scientists had was back du…

Liberace’s 15 Most Extravagant Possessions

While Liberace’s talents on the ivory keys made him famous, it was his showmanship that made him one of the world’s highest-paid entertainers throughout the fifties, sixties and seventies. But it was his flamboyance that shaped his legacy. In honor of the late performer’s birthday (May 16), let’s take a look at some of the [...]

Your Age on Other Planets

If I lived on Neptune I would be less than a Neptune year old, how old would you be? This nifty calculator allows you to figure out your “age” on different planets (including dwarf planet Pluto). Every grade school student knows we measure years by how long it takes the Earth to travel around the [...]

Lifetime Achievement Award: Neptune, the Most Persistent Planet

This article originally appeared in our Jan-Feb 2011 issue, “The 2011 Golden Lobe Awards.” Congratulations, Neptune! Astronomers first spotted the outermost planet in 1846, and since then, they’ve been waiting patiently for Neptune to complete its first recorded orbit around the Sun. According to NASA, on July 12, 2011, that wait will be over. After nearly [...]

Ship Figureheads: Symbols of the Sea

“QUANTUM SHOT” #672Link – article by Simon Rose and Avi Abrams The art of glorious (or frightening) “hood ornaments” for ships The elaborate decorative wooden carvings known as figureheads were found on the prow of ships built between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries. Many depicted human females or animals, but other designs could be found as well. [...]

How Could Alien Astronomers Detect Planets in Our Solar System?

(Video Link) In the past few years, astronomers have detected many planets orbiting other stars. This led some to wonder what our solar system would look like to alien astronomers on the same quest, using similar technology. They concluded that the key to finding planets around our sun at a distance would be Neptune. This planet’s [...]