Groovy Science New and Old

A little break from political nastiness to marvel at humanity… a positive “distraction” if you will… a reminder of the capabilities of human potential….


Scientists ‘bind light together’ to create new state of matter resembling lightsabers – Under extreme temperatures, photons were made to behave like molecules – a feat previously thought impossible



How to Make a Jedi Lightsaber: You will need a vacuum chamber, various lasers, some rubidium atoms and a firm grasp of quantum nonlinear optics




Science Benefits From Diverse Landing Area of NASA Mars Rover – NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Unfortunately, due to the government shutdown some of NASA’s website is inaccessible to the public at the moment. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory at CIT was accessible at the time of this posting. So, the link above should still be available.

Curiosity Rover Makes Big Water Discovery in Mars Dirt, a ‘Wow Moment’ |



The Surprising History of the Pencil


John Steinbeck was a pencil fan. Being a viscerally tactile writer (as many pre-word processing writers were) he was quite particular about his pencils, preferring a round pencil to a hexagonal pencil. He composed in pencil and that penchant for pencils shows up in what he composed, like this passage from East of Eden:

“Tom opened the drawer and saw a tablet of Crane’s Linen Lawn and a package of envelopes to match and two gnawed and crippled in pencils and in the dust[y] corner at the back a few stamps. He laid out the tablet and sharpened the pencils with his pocketknife.”


“The writing stopped there. There was a scratch on the page and a splash of ink, and then it went on in pencil, but the writing was different. In pencil it said, “Later. Well, right there the pen give out. One of the points broke right off…”

Excerpt from Pencil Revolution – Pencil Philosophy: Wooden Wisdom, product reviews and ephemera etc.


Portrait of Manuel Pallares, Pablo Picasso, Conte Crayon on Paper, 1898-1899





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