Daily Archives: April 3, 2011

Movie Review: True Grit, a Re-Imagining

The classic western has always been popular with American moviegoers, as it encompasses so many of the elements that make movies a good experience, while still grasping the spirit of the freedom that makes it fun. “True Grit,” starring Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, and Hailee Steinfeld, is no different. In an age when conspiracy theories, fast-paced gun fights, and mind-bending alternate realities are what reach the top of the blockbuster charts, “True Grit” reminds us of a time when life was simpler and decidedly more definite. What you see is what you get.

The stars shine brightly above Mines: How to find a planet

Just as every person is essentially different, so too is there a remarkable variety of stars that dot the sky. Where once the stars were believed to be pin holes in the fabric of night, through the advent of massive telescopes, it is now possible to observe the great variety of stars. Despite claims from some scientists, the Earth does not orbit an average star. Our fair Sol is among the higher percentages in star size, yet is relatively calm. Larger than Sol are the giants and super giants, vast spheres of hydrogen that can barely contain their own mass and fight for existence within their own radiation winds. Smaller than Sol there are the brown dwarfs.

Beer Review: Boulder hazed and infused

Boulder Beer Company often touts the “dry hopping” process used to make its Hazed and Infused pale ale. While this may sound a bit racy, the process actually involves adding crystal and centennial hops after most of the fermentation is finished. This infuses citrus and floral flavors into the beer without adding much bitterness. The process is normally reserved for stronger and more bitter India pale ales, so Hazed is somewhat unique for a pale ale.


Seeing is believing with the Nintendo 3DS

The Nintendo 3DS is truly a captivating system that must be seen to be believed.  That is the basic summary of this revolutionary new system that was released just last week.
At first glance, it does not appear much different than the current line of the DS systems. It has the same basic rectangular shape with a flip-up screen. The left and right buttons are now less of in-line buttons and resemble what you would expect to see on a console controller. The basic buttons have been moved around and the power button is now stowed safely on the inside to prevent any grief caused by putting the slider on the outside as it was on the DS lite. The set of three cameras for outside 3D pictures along with the internal self camera are also quite interesting and fun to toy around with.

Scientific discoveries this week: 4-4-11

Wellington, New Zealand – The wasp most common to North America, “Vespula Vulgarum,” invaded the island nation of New Zealand about 30 years ago, and since then, it has multiplied at an astounding rate. New Zealand now has the highest density of wasps of anywhere in the world. Biologists and behavioral ecologists have been studying wasps to see how they will interact with native species of insects on the islands. To see just what wasps will do when food becomes scarce, biologist Julien Grangier placed a small pile of tuna in a cage with a swarm of ants. When he introduced the wasp, it started grabbing the ants one by one, in its mandibles, and dropping them just a few inches from the tuna. It did not crush them, because the ants apparently do not taste very good.


Digging Deep into the Earth’s Past

Geologists are lucky in that their profession gets to study some of the oldest material available to observation, but just like every topic concerning origins, it is fraught with controversy and competing claims. Such elements were a prime focus of this past week’s Van Tuyl lecture by Dr. Stephen Mojzsis of the University of Colorado. Mojzsis has had the distinction of working on the rocks of the Nuvvuagittuq Supercrustal Belt, or the NSB for short. The rocks of the NSB are some of the oldest in the world, dating around 3.8 to 4.2 billion years old. The NSB exists within the Canadian Craton, which is by far one of the oldest blocks of geological material in the world.

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