Falling Leaves: the Ardes blog

Monthly archives for "February 2015"

Frozen Methane

Ray Drainville

The Guardian has a series of photos of frozen methane in Canada. If released into the atmosphere, methane creates 20 times more greenhouse emissions than burning petroleum. If lit, however, its byproduct is water: it’s the cleanest form of hydrocarbon you can get. The problem is condensing & pressurising it in a cost-effective way. If we can achieve that, we have another source of fuel that will last us longer, and reduce our emissions to nearly nothing.

Riding Light

Ray Drainville

TL;DR: Warp 1 sucks.

On Earth, the speed of light seems incredibly quick. It’s actually quite slow in the larger scheme of things. This video has you travel with a photon in real time to each planet until you get to Jupiter. I dare you to get to Mercury, the innermost planet to the Sun, before you start skipping ahead.

I think the accompanying soundtrack does a splendid job setting you up for an exciting journey, but this urgency is wonderfully undermined by reality.

Political Pangea

Ray Drainville

An Italian man named Massimo was inspired to create a map showing the Pangea landmass with today’s political borders. This is a fascinating exercise in understanding the connections between shapes & terrains on the Earth, on both how they do, and do not, interconnect.

When I was a child, I’d pore over maps & was fascinated by how the east coast of South America seemed to neatly mirror the west coast of Africa. I knew about tectonic plates, but this was before I’d heard of the ultimate origin of today’s landmasses.