Love & Rockets

Tonight I was reminded of something that happened to me a long time ago, and although it was never a secret, I honestly don’t think I’ve ever told anyone. But if you’re interested in knowing about relativity and/or the real me, read on.

I took an astronomy course the summer between high school and college. In order to really see the night sky clearly you need to give your eyes about three hours away from light pollution, so we all went out to the middle of a golf course, spread blankets, and just chilled in the dark for three hours. There was a girl I was kind of sweet on, and to my surprise she and I talked to the exclusion of everyone around us the entire time. I didn’t think she was interested in me, but those three hours just flew by. Before I knew it, the instructor had gathered the class around a telescope, but she and I were in our own little world and didn’t hear a thing. He was incredibly cool about it. I think he saw what was happening long before we did. He walked over to us, and with nothing but kind amusement in his voice, said, “Hey, guys. Look up.”

I’m not religious, and I don’t want to overstate things, but I’m not exaggerating when I tell you it looked like God had thrown the master switch and turned all the lights on. It was ASTOUNDING. There were thousands of stars, of all sizes and brightness. I could see colors splashed across the sky I never knew were there. It was breathtaking. And when I finally looked down, I had my arm around her. I didn’t even know I had done it. But the moment was overwhelming, and in that fleeting instant, all my teenage insecurities and self doubts just silently vanished like they were never there, and I reached out for what I wanted most right then. Love. Connection.


That was a pretty magical night. My seventeen year old self didn’t realize it at the time, but that’s the day I found out how personally important love and wonder and science are to me. And how those things are in no way unconnected. That’s the day I found out I was a romantic. Which means I am a ridiculous human being sometimes. Just unmanageably, unforgivably ridiculous. I am dramatic and emotional and way too intense. I own those faults. But they’re also my strengths, because my forty-seven year old self finally has the wherewithal to see that I’m at my absolute purest and best when I love something full bore. Because, deep down, for better or worse, that’s who I am. It’s who I’m supposed to be.

And I will never stop reaching for her.


So it turns out I actually CAN successfully replace the magnetron in a microwave. And not get myself electrocuted. I’m counting that as two separate wins.

Something else of note: if you paid for a $1200 top of the line Maytag microwave, what you actually got is a $300 Samsung. Samsung power supply, Samsung magnetron, Samsung circuit board… it was fucking ridiculous.


Five species of venomous snakes can compress their bodies into a functional airfoil, allowing them to glide and control their flight. “Flying snakes are able to glide better than flying squirrels and other gliding animals, despite the lack of limbs, wings, or any other wing-like projections, gliding through the forest and jungle it inhabits with the distance being as great as 100 m.” Note to self: KILL ALL THE SNAKES.

Click the pic to read the flying snakes article on Wikipedia. The DOD is already studying these slithering tubes of nightmare fuel.

Tsutomu Yamaguchi

Tsutomu Yamaguchi was in Hiroshima on a business trip when the bomb was detonated. He spent the night in Hiroshima, then took a train back to his hometown… Nagasaki. He returned home on August 8, one day before the nuke was dropped there, which he also survived. That was 1945. He died at the age of 93, in 2010. Hey, Japan: HARVEST THIS MAN’S DNA. The world could use an invincible superhero.

The Goldschmidt Process

Thermite is 8 grams of iron oxide to 3 grams of aluminum. The formula is by weight; because aluminum is very light, it will volumetrically appear to be an approximately 50-50 mix. Mix evenly. Mix four parts thermite with one part clay or Play-Doh and knead thoroughly for moldable thermite. I don’t have kids, pets or religious/political obsessions, so this is the kind of stuff I post on Facebook. You’re welcome, internet.

Thermite is the name of the above mixture which, when ignited, burns at an incredibly high temperature. Contrary to a common misconception, thermite is not an explosive (when mixed properly). Its primary use is as a welding agent, used particularly on railroads where it is inconvenient and impractical to carry welding equipment into the field. Thermite burns so hot that it can be used to smelt the iron out of iron bearing ores like hematite, and can melt through the engine block of a car. And it’s cheap. Your kids can easily make it and an ignition device at home using things found around the house or at any toy store. If you’d like, I’d be happy to teach them how. I’m all about the science, baby. Knowledge like this can make children extremely popular among their peers, and can even result in appearances on local news programs.

Pilonidal Sinus

In extreme pain. I have a huge cyst on my tailbone and I’ve pretty much been laying in bed because that is the only thing that doesn’t make me want to cry like a little girl. Standing hurts. Sitting hurts BAD. Laying down hurts, unless I lay on my side in a very specific position which eases the pressure. The doctor cut an inch and a half deep hole into my back and couldn’t find the fluid sac, so he told me I’d just have to wait for it to burst open on it’s own. In the meantime I have a job where I have to sit in front of a PC for 10 hours straight, so I’m miserable. The OTC pain meds don’t work anymore because I’ve taken so many of them, and the aspirin has thinned my blood to the point that my nose pours blood if I so much as sneeze. I’m honestly considering looking for some pain meds through unofficial channels at this point.