Our closest stellar neighbor, Proxima Centauri, is about 4.25 light years from our sun. Our closest galactic neighbor, the Andromeda Galaxy, is about 2.5 million light years away. While almost any human can compare those two numbers and tell you the Andromeda Galaxy is much, much farther away than Proxima Centauri, both distances are so vast that they are almost impossible for humans to comprehend. If you give a person a large sheet of paper and ask them to draw a square with sides that are 1 foot long, most people could probably do it within a reasonable allowance. The
A few years ago at a criminology conference, there was an old grizzled police sergeant presenting about one thing or another. While I have long forgotten the content of his presentation, one thing he said stuck with me: “Confidence come from competence.” He was talking about policing, of course, but I felt that this statement was true regardless of what you were doing. We feel confident about our actions when we have reached a level of competency at performing them. Anyone who has started a brand-new job understands this. We start off unsure, unconfident. We ask a lot of questions.
Yesterday, Astra’s LV0006 took off from its Kodiak, Alaska launch pad with what can only be described as some serious lateral movement. Unbeknownst to those watching the launch, one of the five engines exploded right as the rocket took off, reducing its thrust-to-weight ratio to 1:1. The result was that it didn’t have the power to go up, so it went sideways for a bit until it burned off enough fuel to increase the thrust-to-weight ratio above 1. The end result, however, was a foregone conclusion. At about T+2:30, flight controllers shut down the remaining engines and the rocket crashed
Since Sir Richard Branson rocketed into space last week and Jeff Bezos is set to do the same this week, there have been a lot of conversations about the so-called “New Space Race.” These discussions cover where space actually starts, concerns over a perceived wasteful use of money by billionaires, and tons of misinformation about what is actually going on. As someone who has had an interest in space my whole life and has spent years following these companies, I think it’s time to throw my two cents into the pond. Virgin Galactic doesn’t reach space because it doesn’t get
The Arch Mission Foundation, a non-profit that aims to “preserve and disseminate humanity’s most important knowledge,” recently solicited stories for their Billion Year Archive. The “story” is a four-question survey that anyone can add to. The collected stories will be archived and sent across the solar system for future civilizations to find. I found the questions to be thought provoking and insightful, and decided to reproduce my story here. I hope everyone shares their story. A story starts with a name. What is your name? Matthew D. Kenyon 2. What do you wish to say to the future? We’ve never
Since November 2, 2000, the human race has been split between two worlds. While the vast majority of us have continued to live on the surface of the earth, there has always been a human living off the earth. As of this writing, 244 people have called the International Space Station (ISS) home at some point over the past 20 years. With China starting construction on a new space station and plans already underway to replace the ISS, it seems likely that never again will we all inhabit the same planet. So, where do we go from here? Exoterra colonies,
On March 13, 1964, 28-year-old Kitty Genovese was attacked outside her New York apartment building after returning home from work. She was stabbed 82 times over a 30-minute period and ultimately succumbed to her wounds. Her murderer was captured, confessed, and convicted. The death of Kitty Genovese was one of 636 murders in New York City that year. Since 1964, there have been well over 55,000 murders in New York City, but perhaps none has been more analyzed or written about. Looking at the elements of the crime, there was nothing particularly remarkable. Genovese was not famous, her killer nothing
To me, the short story is the pinnacle of writing. It represents the distilled essence of storytelling where every plot, character, and theme has a central purpose. There are no minor characters or side stories. There is no fluff or filler. Short stories are concise, concentrated, and powerful. My love of short stories really comes from more than just this, however. It comes from the focus not on characters, but on ideas. In your typical novel, the plot moves along through the characters. We get to know and love (or hate) them, we root for them, we feel their pain.
I was looking at my bookcase this evening and it dawned on me that everything in life is baby steps. Nothing worthwhile happens overnight, and nothing that makes you happy happens in an instant. These things take time. They need to age; to mature. If you want to drink bourbon, you need to wait for it to age. Only time makes the process work. The bookcase is the best example of this. I have read every book on that bookshelf (and many more). But it didn’t happen in a day. It didn’t happen in a week or a year. That
You might not know this, but….I’ve had a blog before this one. I found it to be an amazing creative outlet, but it just didn’t work the way I hoped. Part of it was post-wiring fatigue, but I think the main problem was that it just wasn’t me. I wrote a lot about criminal justice topics, and while I feel I am fully qualified to talk about criminal justice, I just didn’t feel passionate about it. At least, not enough to sustain a blog. So, here’s the second attempt. I’m trying to be more frank, more “me”. I guess that’s