Tag Archives: space

Where In The World. . .

Learning geography doesn’t have to be boring.

Although, honestly, dudes, just typing that sentence above has me yawning. Stuffing your head full of facts and figures and geospatial relationships can put anything to sleep, no matter the caffeine dose or the biochemical load of stimulants.

Or so I’ve heard.

From other people.

Moving on.

Despite the boredom inherent in the academic learning of geography, the global citizens of today (that’s you folks and your young dudettes and young dudes) need to know more than the nearest neighborhood. It helps to understand that when news talking heads are discussing Ukraine and Russia fighting, we know where they are in relation to each other.

The best way I’ve found to instill a if not love of, then tolerance for geography, is maps.

My dad and his wife travel. A lot. What I like to do is find where they’re going to be and then do a little research. My young dudes used to talk with their grandfather before he set off, he’d tell them where he was going and then they’d hit the maps with me to find the country.

We would look at that country’s information and physical layout to think about what he might want to do while he’s there, or what other countries he might want to visit.

The young dudes actually loved doing that and still, to this day, remember some interesting facts about various countries that had played host to their grandfather, yet still exist today.

You don’t have to have a globetrotting relative to play this game, though. While watching some of the World Cup matches, I realized we could be doing the same sort of game, only with countries participating in the tournament.brasila_1000

The good folks at Wired Magazine had the same idea. They went out and secured satellite pictures of every country participating.

That’s Brazil, by the way. It’s a nice little travelogue flipping through the various satellite images. Get your little dudes with you when you sit down to look and see what questions you can answer.

Who knows? You might even learn a thing or three.

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Why Are They?

Why are men such morons?

Every little while, I’ll go digging deep into the metadata here at A Dude’s Guide . . . to Everything and what I find is sometimes a big of an experience.

For instance, take that question a couple of sentences above here. No, really. Take it. This kind of thing just annoys the heck out of me.

I mean, let’s look at the assumptions behind this, all right, dudes? First off, since the Questioner was asking about men being morons, that would imply that being a moron is something only men do? After all, Q didn’t ask about people being morons. This interrogative simply assumes that men are, in fact, morons and is asking the reason for this totally believable state of affairs.

Yes, I’ll readily admit that some men are morons. Huge, drooling, mouth-breathing morons. No question. However, that state of being isn’t reserved simply for those sporting a Y chromosome. I’ve run into plenty of the ladies who wouldn’t know what to do with an original thought if it snuck up on them and slapped them in the face with a semi-conscious cod.

Morons cross the gender barrier with a great deal of ease.

But you don’t see anyone asking why women are morons, now do you? Instead, the most common question you hear asked about women is something along the lines of “What do women want? I’ll never understand them.”

Basically, both questions are looking to pierce the same heart of darkness: they don’t understand the motivations that drive the opposite sex. However, in both cases, in both questions, the dudes are to blame Either men are morons because of the way they act, or they are morons because they can’t figure out what women want.

Seems as if the deck is a bit stacked there, yeah?

And, really, neither gender is all that hard to figure out.

Women want what they want, when they want it because they want it. Unless they don’t want it.

See? Dead easy.

Men aren’t morons. Really, we’re not. We are simple beings at heart. The vast majority of us seek physical comfort, a group to which we can belong, and a chance to run riot every once in a while, as long as we’re not causing permanent damage.

Again, dead easy.

If anyone sat down and thought about this seriously for about five minutes, it would all be solved and we could go home early, maybe score some steaks for the grill and sit in our chairs watching football. Or something.

The problem isn’t in what men and women are. The problem is what we say.

Which is a perfect time to say I’m outta here for the day. We’ll reconvene tomorrow and I’ll finish my thought. Provided I can actually come up with something semi-intelligent sounding between now and then to fill in the space.

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Sit And Spin (Well, Sit And Watch It Spin)

Have you ever really gone somewhere if you don’t bring back good pictures?

Well, yes, of course you have. Still, it’s good to haul out the camera-equipped futurephone and grab a couple of quick snaps as something to share when you get back.

Or, in the case of NASA, you could launch a hideously complex, astoundingly expensive camera at the moon and then set it into orbit, gaining some of the most thoroughly researched photos of our closest celestial neighbor.

Not exactly a few cameraphone snaps, but it’ll do.

Even better, some researchers at Arizona State University performed some complex calculations and created an algorithm that would allow them to stitch together the photographic mapping information of the moon gained by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, launched in 2009, and combine it into one single, beautiful movie.

It was more difficult than you dudes think it was to create this compilation of greatest hits. The hard part wasn’t simply stitching the views together, it was compensating for the different positions in space the LRO was when it took the photographs, the different angle of the sun’s rays hitting the moon, the location of the moon in the shot, etc.

It wasn’t easy, is that I’m saying.

It is beautiful. Watch this.

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