Friday, November 7, 2014

Friday Round Up

For a blog where I talk a lot about baking and television, these Friday Round Ups sure seem to feature a lot more stuff about science and space than any of that! I'm not sure why that is, but I guess it's always good to keep a well-rounded mind, yes? So let's just get to it then!

In the first picture of its kind, the Moon and the Earth are pictured together in the above photo. It was taken by China's Chang 5 test vehicle while it was doing a loop around the moon. Isn't it crazy to think that everyone we know, everyone we've ever known, has existed on that little blue dot there? Yeah, I try not to think about that sort of thing too much, as it can get your mind in a bit of a boggled place, but still. The link also features some other cool pictures of the Earth and the Moon taken from the same vehicle, if you're into it.

Not to be outdone, another moon in our galaxy had some action this week. That far off moon of Saturn, Titan, has some hydrocarbon seas, as you may or may not know. But, most of the moon is turned too far away from the sun to really get any light. But, recently, the Cassini spacecraft was able to get some pretty cool photos of the sun glinting off the surface of the liquid. There's some speculation as to what may be happening on the surface of Titan. For example, could life possibly develop in a state where methane is more prominent than oxygen and nitrogen? I feel like we need to invoke some Jurassic Park here and say... Life finds a way.

Okay, moving on from space! But only sort of, because my next topic still involves it in a way, but on a more local level. There are still a lot of people who won't believe that global warming is a thing, and that humans are causing it in drastic amounts. But maybe people would be more inclined to just listen already if they called it climate change more often than global warming. Anyway! To combat roadway pollution, in Geneva, Switzerland, a design firm has invented an algae farm that sits above the freeway, taking in the carbon dioxide while giving off oxygen. The algae itself can then be used in a variety of ways, such as for biodiesel, medications, even makeup. Seems like a pretty cool idea to me, although I'm not sure what the actual environmental impact is. Like, how much carbon dioxide does that one farm soak up? Hmm.

In entertainment-related news, Interstellar comes out this week. Now, as you can see above, I love space. And space movies? Definitely. I enjoyed Gravity, and loved Sunshine. Moon was decent. Galaxy Quest is definitely a classic. And duh, of course the original Star Wars. I also like the new Star Trek. Anyway, while I am looking forward to seeing Interstellar, I am a bit worried I may not like it as much. Now, I won't deny Christopher Nolan is certainly talented with visuals and all of that, but personally I find most of his films pretty overrated, and in reading a couple different articles and finding I was nodding my head along with them, I think it has to do with the fact that I rarely see emotion in his films. They have a lot of polish and spectacle, but the human parts aren't always there. Anyway, I haven't seen Interstellar yet, and I will be, and hopefully I will be pleasantly surprised this time around.

To end on a more baking relevant note, I will share a recipe I saw this week that looks absolutely delish, and that would be Smitten Kitchen's Date Cake with Toffee Sauce. Dates plus toffee? Um, yes and yes.

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