March 2019

Streaks On Mars

sarajean's picture

You can see slope streaks on the red planet, but what do the lines on Mars really mean? Where do they come from? There are a lot of guesses about what caused the streaks but scientists honestly don't know what has made the streaks appear on Mars. Some have guessed that they were made with water or something "wet," while others guess at something dry, but we're still playing guessing games.

Yummy Midwinter Soups

sarajean's picture

Spring is just around the corner, but we've had one of the coldest winters I can remember where I live and I'm still very much in cozy soup and tea mode. I don't think a day has gone by this year without a mug of one or the other! A good soup does wonders against the chill.

Welcome Back, Baby Tortoises!

sarajean's picture

In the last 100 years, baby tortoises have been absent from the population of tortoises in the Galapagos Islands, mostly due to our own fault. Humans haven't taken good care of the islands, overfishing and whaling and otherwise destroying the animals' habitats. We've even unwittingly diminished their numbers by bringing rats, animals that eat their eggs and ruin their nests, to their islands.

Bonnie & Clyde's Poetry

sarajean's picture

Reading the letters and poems that historical couples have written to one another can be quite revealing. I remember reading some of the smutty letters that the "literary geniuses" that our English teachers assigned us to read later in college and realizing just how human they really were. Did anyone else have that startling realization after idolizing teachers, writers and other "professionals" their whole lives?

Book Hangover Recovery Kits

sarajean's picture

You know that terrible feeling when you finish a book series and you don't want it to be over because you loved it so much? Welcome to your book hangover! Not only did I recently discover this phrase, but I also ran across an actual box of goodies you can order to help you deal with said affliction. The makers of Fae Crate, a fun subscription box of bookish items, also sell a Book Hangover Recovery Kit.

Homeless Cat Finds New Life

sarajean's picture

Homeless pets always get us in the feels, don't they? In a perfect world, all cats and dogs would be spayed and neutered, preventing many homeless pets in the first place, but until we can get there hopefully people will continue to rescue pets who need help. This poor cat named Cotton was so rough when found (warning: photos are disturbing) that his transformation is just about unbelievable.

Akata Warrior

sarajean's picture

If you haven't started the Akata Witch series yet, I cannot implore you to read it enough! It's an incredibly imaginative world filled with magic, wonder and danger. Nnedi Okorafor can tell a story, and I love how she doesn't mince words when it comes to just how perilous it is to be a leopard person in the books.

Healthier Ice Cream Treats

sarajean's picture

There are endless ideas for a healthier-for-you ice cream. Many people like to freeze grapes and pop them, while others freeze and mash up bananas for "ice cream." Then, of course, there are various custards and yogurts made with healthier alternatives, depending on what healthier means for your body type and unique nutritional needs. 

Nuclear Reactors 659 - New NASA Budget Provides One Hundred Million Dollars For The Development Of Nuclear Thermal Propulsion



Artist’s concept of nuclear thermal rocket engine

       I have written before about the possibility of using nuclear power to propel spacecraft. This idea has been around for decades but despite success in designs and testing of nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) system it was abandoned as interest in space exploration waned in the early 1970s.

Nuclear Fusion 57 - European Researchers Apply Dual Imaging Method To Components For Fusion Reactors

       If we can harness the power of nuclear fusion, it will solve a lot of the world’s energy problems. The Sun runs on nuclear fusion but in order to create fusion on Earth, it is necessary to create even higher temperatures and pressures than those in the center of the Sun. One of the critical problems that has to be dealt with is engineering components that can hold up to these extreme conditions.