Why you should get a pair of binoculars

 

When you are searching for lists of equipment to help prepare you for any survival situation or a new adventure, binoculars aren’t often found on them. However, you should consider keeping a pair around, for more than one reason. From hunting animals to scouting missions and spying on your neighbors, binoculars are exceptionally useful in any scenario.

 

They make great gadgets for travels

For decades, sailors have used premium binoculars during their exciting missions, to help them spot ships on the horizon and to help them survive changes in weather conditions.

So if you’re planning a trip to the sea, a good pair should be found in your backpack. They will allow you to see every coastline and every marine life form that crosses your path from a safe distance. Also, in case something goes wrong, they could help you find your way or see if help is coming.

They might also be good when exploring mountains, as you can’t possibly reach every peak. This way, you can enjoy your travels more and for less money. A good pair of binoculars is also helpful for those snap moments when something unexpected happens because you can get first row seats as you will have an extra pair of eyes to watch that event unfold.

Hunters consider them must-haves

You will want to get high-performance binoculars if you like to hunt on a regular basis or just from time to time. Before your hunting trip actually starts, binoculars can allow you to gather recon about the animals you’re about to hunt.

You can quickly figure out where bears, turkeys, and other animals regularly walk, so you’ll be one step ahead and in the perfect position for your next adventure. Later on, binoculars can let you see through dense forest that would be improbable to see through in normal conditions or at nighttime.

 

Survival of the one that has the fittest tools

In most extreme survival situations, binoculars and other devices like these can even be adjusted to start a fire. Basically, you can use them as magnifying glasses if you do not have matches available. Furthermore, the lenses themselves can be used as signaling devices if nothing else is available.

Also in emergency situations, a high-end pair can buy you extra time for things like strategic planning, an approach which is going to increase your chances of success massively. For example, you’ll for sure be able to see a riot or a tornado coming your way from afar, which will give a lot of time to prepare and take cover.

You can next use your binoculars to scout around, to analyze terrains and routes and determine where to set camp if something bad could happen. Rangefinder binoculars are more reliable than normal ones for this task, so you need to read a buying guide if you want to make sure you’ll find the right type for your needs.

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Things you should know about Stephen Hawking

 

Even if you don’t closely follow developments in physics, you’ve most likely heard of Stephen Hawking, the renowned physicist who figured out black holes. He prided himself on bringing complex physical concepts to the public in an accessible way by writing the impressive bestseller, A Brief History of Time.

Even if you might be familiar with his academic papers, however, there are many mind-blowing facts you might not know about this genius, stretching from his early life to the gradual development of his disability, his beliefs, and sad death. Let’s get to it!

Doctors told him he was going to die young

As a graduate student, S.H started showing worsening symptoms of tripping, tiredness and general clumsiness on a daily basis. His concerned family got worried when he came back home during his Christmas break, and they soon started to insist for him to see a doctor.

However, before he even booked an appointment, he went to a New Year’s party in his hometown where he met his future wife, the equally famous Jane Wilde.

A week later, he turned 21, and not long after he entered the hospital for more than two weeks of tests taken so the doctors could discover what was going on with him. The devastating news came fast. The diagnose he was given was amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS, a neurological disease which makes patients lose control of their voluntary muscles. Then he was told by specialists that he only had a few years left to live.

 

How did he die?

The disease Hawking suffered from is unforgiving. ALS is a debilitating disease with no cure and that destroys the neurons which help us control the voluntary muscles of the body.

That’s why the professor spent most of his adult life confined to a high-tech wheelchair. And ultimately, it was this disease that killed him. The good news is that he was one of the world’s longest survivors of ALS and that he died at the of age 76, so he had plenty of time to bless us with his magnificent mind.

 

He believed in peculiar things

Hawking believed humanity would bring its extinction upon itself. In November 2017, during the annual Tencent WE Summit in Beijing, he told the audience that humans would devour enough energy to turn the planet into a giant ball of ruthless fire by the year 2600.

He also thought that it is likely too late to change anything about this course and our only chance of survival, ridiculous or not, is to escape planet Earth as soon as possible.

 

Books made him famous

In early 1988, Hawking became internationally acclaimed with the now-famous publication A Brief History of Time. The short and informative book became an instant bestseller and an account of cosmology for the masses. It offered the public an overview of space and time, black holes and the existence of God, which got him some criticism from the Catholic Church.

 

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How to learn more about the world around you

 

Hit the road, Jack

One of the best and the most fun ways to experience the world is to travel. This is a no-brainer, but it works miracles. If you can afford it, go to Europe or Asia and experience something that is very different than what you are used to. Keep your mind open wide and try not to compare cultures, but rather appreciate them for what differences they bring to the table.

Get out of your familiar comfort zone! Travels are the perfect excuse to get a little wild and to try stuff you’ve always been afraid to try. Just be polite and responsible, as recklessness can lead to troubles. If you can’t afford to go to another continent, just explore your backyard with a new perspective. Plan some sort of a “staycation” and visit your hometown as if you were a tourist fresh off the plane.

Read, children read

I might be subjective here since I am a book nerd, but except for traveling, I don’t think there’s a better way to experience different points of view and to educate yourself about the ways of the world than to read books.

It doesn’t matter if you read nonfiction or fantasy novels, you’d still be in contact with someone who lives in a different part of the world than you do, with someone who has opposite ways of seeing the world and behaving. This will expand your knowledge database, and it will make you less judgy, which is a real problem we, modern humans, have.

Books are the perfect vehicle to travel to remote places where you wouldn’t otherwise have access to, for cheap – as books are not expensive. Plus, they come in many forms like audiobooks, hardcovers and paperbacks, or ebooks which you can read on your Kindle.

 

Languages made us who we are today

This next trick is a bit more unconventional. But I think another exceptionally efficient way of figuring out the world is to learn a new language. This will allow you to communicate with a large number of people and it will automatically teach you a lot of new and cool things about the culture of the nations who speak that language. And people say that polyglots are more compassionate and open-minded.

The small things make all the difference

The last advice is a philosophical one. Try and see things from a new perspective. When you’re eating your favorite meal, ask yourself what is it about it that gets you so excited. Try and focus on each taste and smell and feel them as you felt them for the very first time.

Because, in all honesty, there’s no way of discovering the world if you don’t discover and learn who you are as a human being first.

 

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3 cool physics experiments

 

 

I’ve always liked putting on a show and, given the fact that Easter is fast approaching and I will be spending some time with my nieces and nephews, I’ve been thinking about learning a few cool physics experiments that I could use to show them how fun science can be. And, because I like sharing my discoveries with you, I decided to make a blog entry about it, as it may come in handy to some of you too.

 

The Egg and the Bottle is a classic, easy to master, experiment that I’m sure you’ve all seen by now. To conduct this experiment, you need a glass bottle whose neck is wide, but not wide enough for an egg to go through, an old milk bottle is the best fit, a sheet of paper, a lighter, and a hard-boiled egg. Then, once you have gathered all your materials, the first step you need to make is to fold the paper so that it fits the bottle. Then, you set it on fire and drop it in the bottle. As it burns, place the egg on the bottleneck and watch the magic in action. Due to the burning process, the molecules of air in the bottle move away from each other, and some even escape the bottle. When the flame goes off, the partial vacuum effect happens, and air molecules from outside the bottle are sucked inside. However, because the egg is in the way, the pressure vacuums it inside also.

The diet coke and mentos mix is another fun experiment you could try. For this one, take your audience outdoors because it will get messy. To make the fountain happen, just drop a peppermint flavored candy in the soda bottle, and the result will follow. As scientists explain, the resulting jet is a simple reaction. Because mentos have many small pits that provide a place where monoxide bubbles can form and then escape. Or, as scientists call it, the nucleation of bubbles in supersaturated solutions.

Is your audience fascinated with tornadoes? Why not teach them to create their miniature tornado in a bottle! To make this possible, just fill a half a liter bottle with water, add some drops of soap and, for the young ladies, some glitter. Then, stir the bottle around to form a cyclone. The miniature whirlpool is a great depiction of how a wind vortex looks from up-close. To make things even more eye-catching, you could combine the experiment with a fun video about tornados. I suggest you play them a video that it is child-appropriate while still informative.

So, give these cool experiments a try and let me know about how it went and how the small ones reacted to them.

 

 

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What everyone should know about Stephen Hawking

 

He has not only made guest appearances on Star Trek and The Simpsons, but globally-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking has also earned huge praise thanks to his complex physical concepts made accessible to the ordinary guy via his bestselling book A Brief History of Time.

Few know that despite Dr. Hawking’s influential body of work, he has yet to be awarded the Nobel Prize. Despite this, he has earned some of the most remarkable distinctions in the scientific community.

Dr. Stephen Hawking is the author of some popular science books. Born on January 8, 1942, Dr. Hawking was born on the day of Galileo’s 300th death anniversary.

Although Hawking’s theories are challenging for a non-scientific mind to understand, this impressive cosmologist did not exactly show the level of brilliance you would expect in his school studies. His grades ranked the worst in his class when he was nine years old. He did exert some extra effort to drive those grades up to above average and little else.

That said, Stephen Hawking showed a keen interest in the workings of many things. He was known to take things such as radios and clocks apart but nevertheless, putting the disassembled items was something he wasn’t quite good at.

He would have loved to major in mathematics because of his intense liking for the subject from an early age, but his father thought otherwise. Stephen’s dad wanted him to take up medicine. However, Stephen Hawking wasn’t fascinated with biology since he found it too descriptive and extremely inexact.

Stephen Hawking apparently wanted to focus on distinct, precise concepts. Thus, although Stephen attended Oxford, he majored in physics. To combat the loneliness and isolation he felt in his first year at Oxford, Stephen Hawking joined the rowing team. He did not have a muscular or large build even before he was diagnosed with the motor neuron disease.

However, he served as a coxswain, a non-rowing position. As a coxswain, it was his responsibility to control the stroke and steering rate of the rowing team. As such, he was called by a fellow boatsman as an adventurous type of teammate.

Shortly after a week of getting to know Jane Wilde, who became his wife, Stephen Hawking went to the hospital to undergo two weeks of tests to find out what was wrong with his health. It was then that he was diagnosed with ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

He was told he most likely only had a few years to live. Although Stephen was shocked and kept wondering how this could happen to him, he felt luckier that others were far worse than he was.

In 1983, together with Jim Hartle, Stephen Hawking developed the theory that the universe is without boundaries. Utilizing the concepts of quantum mechanics and general relativity, he and Jim sought to understand the shape and nature of the universe. Thus, they proved that although the universe is a contained entity, it has no boundaries.

Stephen Hawking, genius that he is, actually lost a bet about black holes in 1997 with John Preskill, a fellow scientist. Hawking admitted he had been wrong when he said that information gets lost in black holes that eventually evaporate.

In 2004, he conceded he was wrong so when delivering a lecture during a scientific conference, Stephen declared black holes have more than one topology so when the information coming from all those topologies are measured, the information is not lost.

Truly a brilliant mind such as Stephen Hawking is still very much human in all aspects of the word.

 

 

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How I chose my telescope

 

 

Now is as great time as any to shop for a telescope. I myself took advantage of the way manufacturers of quality telescopes have tried to outdo each other with their various products. The buying process was both fun and challenging, but I did my homework sufficiently to know I got a top-of-the-line instrument and nothing less.

It has become an exciting time for novice astronomers because of the many choices of telescopes and accessories. However, to ensure I was getting a device that would fit my needs, I first needed to determine what was important to me.

This meant knowing how dark the skies could become at night where I live, or what celestial objects I would be predominantly observing up close. Since I am not yet an expert, I also took that under consideration, so I wouldn’t be getting an overly complicated tool that would probably only end up in the closet than on the lawn.

I wanted something light but not overly so to prevent the instrument from toppling over with the slightest accidental bump. After I had gotten familiar with what the market had to offer, the buying process became somewhat easier.

 

I had read that a telescope’s aperture is its most vital specification. The aperture denotes the diameter of the scope’s primary optical element, which can be a mirror or a lens. The dimension of this element is an indication of the instrument’s ability to collect light for viewing a faraway object.

The resolving power of the scope depends on the aperture too. I decided early in the day that it was critical to know as much as possible about the aperture of a scope if I was to optimize night sky viewing. A bigger aperture is always better than a small one. A 3-inch scope may not be able to let me distinguish the craters of the Moon in a manner that a 6-inch scope can.

Of course, this is under the same conditions and using identical magnification. With the surface area of a 6-inch scope being four times larger than that of a scope that is half smaller, the bigger aperture scope is more capable of gathering four times as much light to make the galaxy look four times more brilliant, or 1.5 magnitudes brighter.

I knew beforehand I should not be fooled by the seemingly stupendous magnification of some devices on the market. Magnification varies according to the eyepiece I use on the eye end of the scope, so that element is not constant, to say the least especially if you are looking to buy the best telescope for a beginner.

Of course, there was also a need to factor in aperture as well as the conditions of the atmosphere when assessing the magnification. What was more important was to know how much detail is delivered by the lens or mirror of the scope to enable me to find the optimal magnification to support the viewing of that much detail. This is without scattering the target’s available light.

This is something I didn’t need because it would render the object too dim to see or too blurry. To enable me to look at nebulae, galaxies and other faint objects, I should use low power objectives. Medium-high power objectives are ideal for observing bright objects such as the Moon and planets.

Excess magnification will only cause blurry views. To find the top useful magnification, I just needed to figure out the aperture of the scope in inches multiplied by 50, which would be the same as twice the aperture in millimeters.

This means a high-quality 4-inch scope cannot be pushed beyond around 200x. I got a small device with good optics that enables me to view the rings of Saturn or the main cloud belts of Jupiter, which can be seen even with just a magnification of 75x.

I steered clear of department store scopes that promised silly things like 700x power or something to that effect, as it would all simply be hype.

That’s how I got my beautiful telescope.

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My favorite websites about science

 

 

My fascination for plenty of things has driven me to explore the web to locate many scientific sites where I can pick up much information on science, especially astronomy.

Space.com has been ranked among The Most Popular Science Websites by eBizMBA, which evaluates a variety of websites according to the specific categories they belong to. Space.com gets an estimated unique monthly visitors of 3.5 million and is regularly updated, so there’s always fresh news and features on the site.

Space.com even has the trailer for the new sci-fi thriller entitled ‘Life,’ which hits theaters on March 24 this year. The movie stars Ryan Reynolds, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Rebecca Ferguson, among a superb cast of others. However, that’s just one of the things that make Space.com endlessly superlative, as it also features plenty of stuff to go crazy about on astronomy.

This includes the 4th flyby of Jupiter by NASA’s Juno spacecraft. And there’s plenty more where that came from.

 

ScienceDaily covers the latest scientific discoveries and breaking news in the science world. One of the most popular science news sites, this one provides access without any subscription fees to more than 65,000 research articles along with 1,500 book reviews, 2,500 encyclopedia entries, 15,000 images as well as limitless numbers of education videos, all for free.

There’s always an article for every topic in science, from zoology to astrophysics. The great thing about this site is it gets updated several times a day for seven days every week, which means there’s no shortage of something fantastic to read or go over to get any science enthusiast like me engaged all the time.

I have even signed up for the email newsletter to ensure I am given notifications of critical scientific discoveries along the way.

Fans of The New York Times will be delighted to know it has a special Science page dedicated to scientific events about the cosmos, space, and the environment. Do check the site out, won’t you?

NOVA, which just happens to be public television’s most watched documentary series, aside from being the highest-rated TV series on science, is accompanied by articles, personal essays, interviews, and slideshows along with 360-degree panoramas plus interactive features to accompany every topic.

National Geographic has its Science and Space site that provides plenty of information on a variety of topics such as space, technology, archaeology, the Earth, the prehistoric world, the human body, and health.

 

Another free and fun resource of scientific knowledge online is Understanding Science, a website designed to communicate what science is and help learners know how it works. I love how the site provides an inside look at the core principles, motivations, and methods concerning science in general.

K-16 teachers will find the site highly useful as it provides strategies and resources that can improve their understanding as well as reinforce the nature of science as they tackle their scientific teaching role.

Understanding Science delivers a highly informative reference for students and the general public to also understand the nature of science more accurately.

Indeed, the web has become a veritable source of scientific information with something for everyone!

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