Monthly Archives: January 2015

Another lull, I know…

There are those out on the internet who have subscribed to my site, and I truly thank you for that. It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted, as you’ve probably noticed. Here’s why I’ve not been quite so productive on this blog lately.

I get to do what I enjoy at work: I research all sorts of space issues, systems, etc. I then get to write about some of what I’ve researched. I do this quite a bit. This means I’m in front of a screen all day long, using whatever search engine I can to find anything to help make sense of certain aspects of space, and then tell that story. If you’re interested in my writing at work, you’re always welcome to read what I’ve put on that site.

So, when I get home, I feel the need to power down. It’s not that I’m not interested in space or writing. But to do good work at work, I need to let my brain–whatever there is of it–take a break. And when I say take a break, what I really mean is to allow it to do background processing. This is the way my mind works–it works whether I want it to or not, gathering bits and pieces of information I maybe didn’t consciously catch, and puts it all, eventually, in a package I can use. I think hunches and other such seemingly random feelings are results of such “background processing.”

So, this results in me not even wanting to touch the laptop at home. But I do enjoy writing about space still, so here’s what I’ll do: I’ll blog when I feel like it. It might be twice a week, once a month, etc.But that’s what I’ll try to do. I’ll focus on space, but reserve the right to stray sometimes. I am a little more active on Twitter, though, so you’re always welcome to interact there, should some insane desire to do so take hold of you.

That written, here’s a little fun post I found on a few weeks ago. Some readers of The Mad Spaceball know I enjoy Legos and Space. Apparently an astronaut or two also appreciate that combination. The picture below was taken IN the International Space Station. This means there are minifigs of the current astronauts zooming overhead. There are a couple more photographs on the Brickset site, so go there to take a gander. It’s good to see this kind of humor among space professionals…

Minifigs in space. Image from


Kepler’s Travel Posters

Image from NASA JPL/Caltech. Click to embiggen.

I found posters, like the one shown above, on The Verge. They’re just a fun take on the Kepler spacecraft’s planet-hunting mission, and also informative. The posters mention the planet’s name and gives an idea of what the planet is like. These posters are just a few of the planets discovered by Kepler. If you want to go directly to the source, instead The Verge, then go to this JPL link. There are two other posters there for you to peruse.

The posters are fun, but the Kepler team is also doing some interesting things with Kepler to keep it running for its planet-hunting mission. If you’re interested in learning how they’re running the mission you can go to this post for an attempted explanation of how Kepler is being aimed. It’s an ingenious solution.

But if you want the simpler things in life, the kind of things that make you smile, then the posters are the way to go for now.

The New Year’s Eve Ball Drop

There are a few connections, believe it or not, between space and New York’s New Year’s Eve Ball Drop. What are those connections you might ask? I ask you just to go to and read this short article with my attempts to explain.

Sorry about the delay in writing. I was a bit, um, gone for a while. Which is why this post is being re-posted now, instead of on 31 Dec, when posted my article.