Science meets science fiction

When people write science fiction, they’re often extrapolating current technology and devices and looking into the future of what they may become. This can lead to some quite odd parallels as science catches up with what the authors once just dreamed about.

For instance, in 1945 Arthur C. Clarke wrote about “extraterrestrial relays”–geostationary artificial satellites–which were the inspiration for the subsequent development of communication Continue reading “Science meets science fiction”

When lifetime isn’t

I’ve bought two Garmin hardware GPS units in my time. The displays were a little small by modern standards, but they worked well enough and were a wonderful enhancement to our frequent road trips. The additional comfort of knowing you can always find your way somewhere (even if you miss the occasional turn) is very liberating and a definite safety benefit as it frees you from worrying about maps etc. The GPS turned our sometimes frazzled cruises into carefree joyful pleasures.

A few years ago I decided to buy the Garmin Viago phone app. This looked very promising–offering the same navigation software as the dedicated units but in the handy package of your phone. I tried it a few times and it was okay. The app was a little glitchy perhaps Continue reading “When lifetime isn’t”

Cana-Drone

Drones are fascinating technology and these days seem to come in all different sizes and prices. People are flying them racing them, using them to film movies and weddings. You name it and there’s probably a plan to use a drone for it.

20160604_120902Apart from the sheer pleasure of flying one of them there’s also the lure of technology behind them. Drones wouldn’t exist without it in fact. The ultra miniaturized GPS and accelerometer sensors that makes smartphones work is also what enables drones to be so small and feature-rich.

Recently my local library held a “Lunch & Learn” event for people to Continue reading “Cana-Drone”

Smartphone Science – APOD & NASA Apps

I’ve written before about the opportunities to contribute to citizen science, but did you know that your smartphone can also be put to scientific use?

The good news is that there are a number of science related apps that are entertaining and in many cases absolutely free!

1. APOD
The Astronomy Picture of the Day website has been around for many years, providing a daily feast for the eyes with a never ending stream of beautiful astronomical images accompanied by Continue reading “Smartphone Science – APOD & NASA Apps”