Random nice things

Rosemary

Oh, I’m so tired of the news… And I’m also tired of so many celebrities passing away.   The War Doctor?  Laura Petrie?  Damn.

I’m looking for things to make me feel better for a while.  I’d post cat pictures if I had any, but alas.  No cats.

So, here are some things that amused and diverted me, for a bit:

As I found out on Facebook, NASA has made all of the scientific research it funds available online, for free, for everyone.   This is excellent.   I approve!

But a very interesting thing about this, that I did not realize until I followed the link to the database: they are using PubMed Central to do it.

PMC is a database of biomedical and life-sciences articles.  It’s the contents of the  US National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine  — full text, full access.  So… what is the NASA research doing there?

It’s not just the NASA-funded biomedical research they’ve uploaded (like this one about cardiovascular disease in Lunar astronauts); it’s also non-medical articles (like this one about how closely-orbiting super-earth exoplanets can lose their atmospheres).  They’ve put it all up on PubMed.

Why? As I see it, possibilities are two:

  1.  “Why make our own public access database?  Look, here’s one that already exists.  Let’s save the taxpayers some bucks!”
  2.  “Make our own database?  How long would that take?  No. Let’s get this out there now.  As in Now.  Like, immediately. “

Select the explanation that seems most likely to you… Personally, I’m leaning toward number 2.

But, result: absolute treasure trove for SF writers!

In fact, wait a minute — why am I telling you about this?   Some of you are my competition!

Yeah, well: still a steerswoman at heart.

And speaking of exoplanets, Jason Wang of the Nexus for Exoplanet System Science ( a NASA-sponsored group), and Christian Marois of the National Research Council of Canada’s Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics put together a video of four exoplanets orbiting HR8799.

This is from direct observation, folks.   Yes, we have come that far.  You should head over to the Many Worlds website and check out their story.

And in the field of Fine Arts, artist “breath-art” over at Deviant Arts has created portraits of our local planets, in a lovely stained-glass style:

Prints are for sale through Deviant Arts… And the prices are reasonable, too.  (I’m eyeing them, and trying to decide which one I like best… I don’t have room for all of them.)

Of course, nothing can beat the real thing….

Juno looks at the Red Spot.

Well.  Back to Book 5.  And chores.

Yeah, I have to clean up the house a bit, before my sister gets back from Florida.


One Response to “Random nice things”

  • Pete Mack Says:

    I suspect the NASA archive is at pub med for both reasons. It would take a lot less effort to set up their own site than it would to make a different front page (including URL) that is NASA branded but runs on the same back end. Really, this belongs at library of congress, not NIH.

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