Sunday, July 29, 2012

Long life to Sally Ride Science

Sally Ride passed away this week. The world has lost a great star and role model. I was very saddened by the news.

I didn’t know her personally, but I met her once at UC Irvine when her company “Sally Ride Science” had a special event on campus. There were seminars, she gave a talk/slideshow about her life as an astronaut, and of course, she signed autographs. She was very nice and patient, and she was in fact inspirational.

I love space exploration, so I left the event especially happy to have been able to meet her and to have an autographed picture. But I also left the event impressed and pleased to see how she was using her fame for such a noble cause: to encourage and to inspire young girls to go the non traditional way, ie. to study in science, engineering and mathematics.

I have no doubt that a lot of young kids were and are positively influenced by the “Sally Ride experience” and that it will continue … Long life to Sally Ride Science.

Monday, February 1, 2010

The iPad Tablet is out... Woohoo!!

I know you are not learning it from me, but I think it is a pretty cool gadget. I had to post it :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Getting Closer and Closer to Space Tourism

Virgin Galactic just unveils their commercial spaceship. They announced that as early as 2011, the vehicle should have passed all the battery of tests required to bring civilians, like you and me, to!! It will be a 2.5hour trip, with however only 5 minutes of weightlessness; it's short but that's a start.

Coin Toss Not Random

Researchers have finally shown that even relatively un-trained individuals can manipulate the outcome of flipping a coin. The details can be read in the Holiday Review of the Canadian Medical Association Journal. So, beware if you're not the one flipping the coin :)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Kids!! Buzz Lightyear needs your help!!

NASA has launched a contest to design a mission patch for Buzz Lightyear. Buzz just came back from a 15 months stay on the Space Station; he really has a fortunate career... To commemorate the event, Mike Fincke and Buzz Aldrin were given the privilege of parading on Main Street USA at Walt Disney World. Buzz Ligthyear is an exclusive member of the "space jet set" :)

The winner will get a tour of the Kennedy Space Center, and of course, win a trip to Walt Disney World. The winner might be allowed to have an experiment conducted on the Space Station... it makes you wish you were still a kid...

In free fall without a net - Cirque du Soleil in space

Canada has currently its first space tourist visiting the space station: the founder of Cirque du Soleil. For someone associated to a circus, Guy Laliberté will hold the record for the longest free fall without a net... yahoo!!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

We need the real Q

There is a challenging design project outhere. Not everyone can afford it, but it gives something to think about. The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has issued a "broad agency announcement" requesting "a concept design and proposals for proof of concept experiments" for a submersible aircraft. They want an aircraft that can reach a destination, whether it is 1,850km away by air or 185km by sea or 22km travelling underwater, in less than 8 hours." The vehicle must be capable of "carrying a crew of eight and 2,000lb of payload," and "would use a snorkel to provide its powerplant's air supply while submerged at shallow depths once at its target." It sounds more like a project for a James Bond movie but no, it is a real project so, all the wanna be "Qs", at your drawing table (or computer), get set, GO! You can visit for more information.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Bye Bye Titanium

Not too long ago, titanium was known as a revolutionary material for its lightness and its use in composites. This time might be over. Researchers from Caltech have produced metals they call "metallic glass" composites. These metals are reported to be twice as tough and elastic as titanium. A 3mm rod of the composite can support a 2 tons truck. The new composites could be used in the making of lighter vehicles and consumer electronics. For more details, please visit

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Send your name to the Moon

NASA announces that we can send our name to the Moon with the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter mission. A database on a microchip will carry the names. Having your name in the database includes the possibility of printing a certificate. If you are interested in sending your name, please visit before June 27.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Polycarbonate made using CO2

A good news for the environment. It is apparently possible to make polycarbonate (commonly used for lenses and bottles) using CO2. Two scientists presented their work on the subject at the American Chemical Society annual meeting. For more details on the two presentations, please refer to the proceedings and look for the following authors: Thomas E. Muller and Thoshiyasu Sakakura