Where to go after seeing The Martian?

Where to go after watching The Martion

After watching The Martian you might be craving more realism, more Mars, more mission control, more space exploration, more survival stories, or just better acting. Here are a few documentaries, books, and other movies and how they are related to The Martial, aside from the usual “same director” and “same Matt-saving”

Minimum component infrared Camera trigger timelapse on canon cameras using Arduino

Check out "How Vacuum Tubes Work" to appreciate the convenience you get in your Arduino board.

Check out “How Vacuum Tubes Work” to appreciate the convenience you get in your Arduino board.


EOS M is a great little camera, but only has the Canon IR trigger for interval and timelapse. Here is a link to an Arduino sketch that outputs IR trigger signals on pins 12, 11, and 10 at 5, 15, and 30 seconds respectively. Designed to run on an Uno board with minimum external components – just change the IR LED + pin to the appropriate pin above for the timing you want. Credits in the code header. Let me know if you have any improvements!

.ino file

The Ultimate Outreach Question: What If

What If, Randall Monroe

What If, Randall Monroe

If you have not come across XKCD yet, I envy and pity you. Pity, because you have been missing out, and envy, because you will get to see it all for the very first time. XKCD is in the Spirit of the Pulitzer prize winning book Godel, Escher, Bach, but more of a stick man version thereof. The author of XKCD, Randall Monroe, is releasing a book, “What If” that takes his format into the realm of stupid questions – the best kind – to find some surprising answers. Curiosity is not smart, curiosity is curiosity. It kills cats, it causes nuclear cold-wars and internets, and helps you pop bubble wrap with rolly chairs in the office. What If doesn’t even exist yet, but what if it did? (i.e. it’s on preorder) I hope they can print enough DRM’s e-book editions.

Outreach #2: I F*ing Love Science is going the TV route

Science in mainstream culture is benefiting from the fragmentation of broadcast and upstarts looking for new content. The low production overhead of blogging will be moving up-budget, though the format has not been announced.

The unabashed enthusiasm for curiosity and the love shown for the curious people behind it are what makes IFLS stand out. I hope they can have some associated interactive content to go along with the production budget.

details here

Outreach: The Radiolab experiment, a preview

NPR’s Radiolab is much CBC’s DNTO in that it addresses topics connected by a theme. The themes are seemingly broad and at first, and the stories in each cast are connected are connected laterally. Is it science, society, psychology? It’s all these things and most of all it starts with a question – the more simple, the more innocent, the sharper and deeper they seem to cut into the subject. Having multiple hosts and heavily edited interviews makes for a stream of consciousness production style, quick to turn, tricky to predict or take for granted; it is an ear perking experience.

What makes it realtable is not just the subject, but that it is a result of curiosity followed-through, something we too often ignore for lack of time.

"Black Box" – what goes on in the places where you can’t look

"What’s Left When You’re Right" – Is being right the wrong thing?

"Inheritance" – What part of you is predetermined?