The Future is Now and I’m in Scotland

First things first: I’m in Scotland! Which is why I have been slacking on my posts. But, hey, it’s still September so I’m technically¬†still on time for my one-a-month quota. Admittedly, I’ve been extremely busy and pre-occupied as a result, my aim for this post isn’t exactly to be blogger-laureate. It is, however, sort of unendingly beautiful here so I’ll give you some snapshots.

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St. Andrews is pretty cool (cold, actually (haha) and windy). We’re on the North Sea and, as I’ve been learning in my Geology class, we get cold wind all day and a warm breeze at night due to the specific heat of water and atmospheric convection currents. Woohoo! Specific, or latent, heat of a substance is the amount of energy it takes to change 1kg of water from a solid to a liquid. That energy usually comes from the sun for processes that happen on earth. The specific heat of water is greater than that of land, which means that it takes more energy to change the temperature of water than it does land. Thus, the water stays fairly warm (relatively) at night even though the sun is gone. The difference of temperature between the land and the water causes convection currents to form and we get a nice warm (again, relative) sea breeze in the evening, which is a nice surprise.

Just a few updates on science in the real world:
3-D Printers continue to be awesome and soon I think we’ll have replicators:

They even have 3-D printers combined with fax technology now, so I could fax my neighbor a wrench (described a bit more, here). But seriously, watch this video on 3-D printers here, from PBS.

I’ve become a big fan of learning through internet videos lately. It’s how I study now. Check out khanacademy.org if you want to learn science and math stuff from a legit website. Also, there are increasing numbers of free, online university lectures now being offered through things like href=”http://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm”>MIT¬†and “http://www.apple.com/education/ipad/itunes-u/”>iTunes U. A good site that I like for learning computer code is here.

Other updates:

Physicists have apparently discovered a way to make photon molecules. If that’s not enough to impress you, how about the fact that these never-before-seen molecules act like light sabers. Best. Thing. Ever.

Let’s see, what else has been happening? I know there are lots of things, but I’m too excited about the light sabers right now to remember. The news was especially exciting to me since I’ve been in York, England fighting against storm troopers.

Photo: Guns are illegal in the UK you know Ashley Baker!
Oh yeah! They’ve successfully connected two brains via the internet. I don’t know about you, but this just makes me think about how awesome it would be if I could have Google’s search engine in my brain (“so you think you know everything?” well, yeah.). Instant knowledge…if you call the information on the internet knowledge. We’d have to get some serious filters though.
Eh, I know there are other cool science things out there but I’ll blog about them next month! Thanks for reading, sorry for the rush : )
-Ashley

2 comments

  1. Jessica says:

    I’ve been using iTunes U for free classes. Mom is also using it. So far I’ve learned that I’m better at doing math in my head than I thought, and CS is pretty fun times.

  2. Helen Baker says:

    As usual, I enjoyed your post and it always makes me happy to see you have some videos to go with it. Helps me understand things better. I also am enjoying iTunes university, I’m taking a history class because I really do enjoy learning about our country’s history. It’s free and I’m cheap, so it works well! Also, enjoyed your photos, love them and can’t wait to see it for myself!

    Great job, always learn something from your blog!

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