Archive for the ‘Week8_Space’ Category

Week 8: Space + Final Abstract, by Erick Romero

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

The topic of space and the universe discussed this week gave us an insight of how we as a civilization have dealt with concepts that we don’t fully understand.  The idea of what the universe is, how it came to be, and how big it is, is something that we wonder and instinctively know thanks to the theories that scientists and philosophers like Einstein, Carl Sagan, Michio Kaku, Stephen Hawking and others.  But knowing something about the universe is different from being able to visualize it. 

When I used to think about the universe when I was younger, I would imagine traveling on a very fast space ship through space and across galaxies.  I wonder what it would be like to visit places and planets so far away.  But back then, I remember that I would imagine reaching a wall of some sort, where the universe would end.  But now I know that there is no such wall, that the universe is infinite.  If there was such a wall, then what would be on the other side of the wall?

While searching on the internet for articles or videos about space and the Universe, I found this video titled “Hubble Deep Field: The Most Imp, Image Ever Taken (Redux)”.  Hubble Deep Field: The Most Imp. Image Ever Taken (Redux)It has a really interesting narration with facts and theories about the size of the universe, along with some really amazing images taking by the Hubble telescope.  But the most amazing part is the picture that claims to be the farthest we’ve ever seen in the universe, making it ‘the most important picture ever taken’.  The “Ultra Deep Field”, as they call the image taken, represents only a tiny region of the visible space, yet contains over 10,000 galaxies, and each one of these galaxies has millions and millions of stars, and each star has planets orbiting around them, and each planet, has the possibility of a civilization in it… take a second to read that sentence again.  This information just given is so overwhelming, at least to me, to just imagine all that space, all those planets and constellations and the possibility that there is life out there, civilizations just like ours, millions, maybe more advanced than us, maybe just like us, maybe us 2000 years ago… it is just simply beautiful, so exciting.  This reminds us how small we are, floating in space in our planet among infiniteness and infiniteness.

It is certainly interesting to examine the effect that what we know about the known universe has on popular culture and society.  Shows like ‘Star Trek’, ‘Star Wars’, ‘Lost in Space’, ‘Alien’, ‘Contact’, and many others are just  a few examples of how people think and imagine our universe and other alien civilizations might look like.  I wonder if we’ll ever meet another alien civilization.  Not that I don’t think that there aren’t any others, but just that they might just be on the same level of technology as we are, and can’t make it all the way from where they are to where we are.  Not even communicate, since we are millions of light years away, any communication would take too long to reach them if we found a way to communicate with them.  But I don’t lose hope.  Even if someone would tell me that it’s physically impossible, that there is no way, I would still think it would be possible.  Because I think that no one really knows everything, and I believe that having hope always makes you work harder and give the best of you.  This is what I really like about science fiction, that even though it’s not possible now, or may never be, it gives wings to your imagination and as a scientist this is vital to make new discoveries and invent new things.

Final Abstract:

For my project I explored the idea of a modified version of the ‘Turing Test’, a test that a machine would have to pass to ‘fool’ a person into believing that the machine is actually a person based on questions that it will ask it.  I proposed this to be a public display at a museum or university where people can play with it, explore it, and hopefully inspire and bring back interest in the subject of robotics and Artificial Intelligence.  I intend to expand on this idea for my final, and to make it more experimental than I originally intended.  The feature to play the ‘guessing game’ will stay, although I will try to add a few things to it.  The major change I will make is to add a feature to the experience where the users can actually modify the way the machine will respond and behave.  Predefined functions will allow the user to ‘program’ the machine and learn more about Artificial Intelligence.

by Erick Romero

Week 8_Space and Abstract by Jonah Batista

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

                          This week in Desma 9 we discussed a very interesting subject. The subject of space can really make one think about a lot more than just the world. For example, when I think of space, I think of how small the earth is, and if there possibly is another planet just like us somewhere out there. Although the subject of space can be overwhelming, we took a very interesting standpoint on it this week. Professor Vesna spent a lot of time showing the class various videos of how earlier generations handled space travel. With Armstrong stepping on the moon to our current space station orbiting the earth, humanity has learned a great deal about space.However, to me, what seems important is finding a planet similar to earth, and possibly finding life somewhere space. I truly have put plenty of  thought into this subject matter, as it does bother me to not know of what is around us. However, the media seems to be the fuel behind space’s anonymous demeanor. When you have aliens, UFO’s, and other types of unusual life forms flying around, the masses will believe it. I for one, have never seen a UFO, and am still on the fence on whether or not I believe people have seen them. Yes, we do have some photos, but some people have mastered photoshop to the point where they can make a tree look like a human being. Now, if we talk about extraterrestrial life, then I would have to say I would believe in that. I am not saying that I believe solely in aliens, but I do believe there is life somewhere out in the universe, maybe similar to ours, but maybe not. Eventually, in my opinion, we will find each other. 

Our guest speaker, Gil Kuno, really did impress me with his work and his presentation. I would have to say the one string guitar piece was my favorite. I used to play guitar but unfortunately gave up, and to see a one string guitar group sound so good made me want to start taking lessons again. The music had its own creative background to it, and sounded very authentic. I also found noise music a little weird. I will say that it is a form of art, but for me I did not really embrace the whole subject. I think maybe my mind is just so used to music I hear off the radio that everything else is almost foreign to me. However, Gil Kuno’s presentation was very impressive and informative as I had left class thinking about some of his work. 



Thought this was pretty interesting as well:



My final will be a continuation of my midterm, which aims to attack our current struggle against obesity. As described in my midterm, patients will be able to analyze their bad habits and be exploited to proper dieting and nutrition. However, in my midterm, patients received a more scientific perspective, and will now view their lives from a artistic perspective. Utilizing sculptures, holographs, and other various displays, patients will be able to understand scientifically and artistically what they are doing to their bodies. Since the human body is the most popular subject of art, our patients will have the ability to determine what their body will look like through various forms of art. They will be able to get various perspectives of their body and also various outcomes.


Jonah Batista

Week8_Space by Kirk Naylor

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

This weeks lecture intrigued me because I have always been fascinated by the concept of space, and specifically the vastness of it. The universe is infinite. Infinity is a mind-expanding concept that most people don’t give more than a few seconds of consideration. I, on the other hand, am always captivated by it. What is infinity? How can something wholly immeasurable even exist? I truly enjoy programs like Carl Sagan’s show or the Powers of Ten video. They show how the world we live in is just a small part of the world that exists, and no matter how much we see and observe, there are millions of things happening all around us that we don’t see.

An essential part of any discussion of space is Man’s attempt to reach it. Billions of dollars have been spent on it, and many have given their lives along the way in the process of attaining the ability to travel away from Earth. Money will continue to be spent on the furthering of our abilities to venture out into space. The Earth is such a tiny speck compared to the rest of the universe, it’s a part of human nature to seek out the unknown.

With continuing improvements in technology, we will be able to venture further and further and understand the rest of our universe more and more. Eventually technology will be advanced enough that no training will be required to visit space, and eventually there may even be colonies on moons and planets one day. Our society has been interested in this for a very long time. Have Spacesuit will Travel, by Heinlein was written in 1958, over a decade before Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon. Books, Movies, and TV shows have continued to show a societal fascination with Space. Star Trek, for example has imaginatively created futuristic technologies that science later developed, showing the cyclical relationship between art and science. Art continually pushes the border with relation to space, and it creates a drive in science to make those dreams a reality. In this aspect, space in art and technology calls back to the first week where we discussed the Two Cultures. Art influences science, and science influences art.

Abstract: For a while, people have thought about the concept of cyborgs. Since the first Jarvik Heart, people have known that replacing parts of bodies is possible, if not effective. Although science has not reached the point where any part may be replaced by a mechanical equivalent, that day is fast approaching. Something that may hinder the progress of such a procedure to replace multiple parts of the body would be the energy requirements of the parts. This installation would show different parts of the body that could be replaced by mechanical components and their battery power requirements as well as how large of a battery would be required to run it.

Week 8_Space Exploration & Abstract by Catherine Yang

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

This week’s lecture on space exploration was striking and mysterious. Space exploration got people thinking are there life on outer space? That answer still cannot be truly answered. However, mankind has designed space shuttles to discover the universe around us. The battle between the first country to be in space had started during the Cold War from 1946-1989. The Russians were the first to have a man-made object to orbit Earth called Sputnik 1 on October 4, 1957. Also, on November 3, 1957, the Russians sent the first dog, Laika, into space. Laika really intrigued me because I wondered if dogs reacted to space like human does and did she go through many trainings like humans did? I found out that Laika did go through training with other dogs and she was chosen to be sent out into space. Laika was founded as a stray on the streets of Moscow. The scientists of Russia chose stray dogs because they think that these dogs were able to survive extreme cold and hunger, since they lived on the streets. As an outcome, she did die a few hours after launch probably because of malfunction in the thermal heating system or stress. However, this showed that humans can be able to launch into space and endure the gravity of space, but it also causes a huge controversy about animal testing. I believe that if scientists had trained these dogs to be able to withstand the environment of space, it would be okay to let them go into space. On the contrary, since humans did not know the real extent of how space was like, there was also a risk factor involved when sending Laika to space because there was a high chance and possibility that she would die in space. In the next year, US had gotten their space satellite, Explorer 1 into space on January 31, 1958. This launch allowed U.S. to discover the Earth’s radiation belt. On April 1, 1960, the USSR launched Vostok 1 carrying the first man in space, Yuri A. Gargarin into space. Following suit, U.S. launched Mercury Freedom 7 carrying Alan B. Shepard Jr. into space on May 5, 1961. The competition between U.S.S.R. and U.S. continued for years and years till now.

Space exploration reminded me of the movie Apollo 13, where a crew of 3 on April 11, 1970 were launched into space for a moon landing; however, after suffering an explosion in the oxygen tanks, they had to abort the mission and NASA and the crew had to work together to get the astronauts home safely. Throughout the movie I was really scared for them because the crew was probably worried too that were they going to survive this disaster or were they going to die in space? At the end, they did eventually find a way and the crew arrived into Earth and got back safely. This movie shows that even though technology for space exploration is expanding and building to be better, there will always be flaws and technical practicalities in the shuttles that are still unable to be perfected.

Apollo 13 Trailer



For my final, I will branch off more from my midterm. My midterm composed of a window that can generate energy and be stored into a battery to be used for later. However, I will expand this idea by allowing the windows to absorb the sun’s light energy and change to specific colors of a person’s choice. Also, the window is more useful than solar power panels because it can absorb the heat energy and convert it to electric energy rather than solar panels having to have certain circuits of wires to capture certain amounts of energy from the sun to be used as electrical energy. Not only that, but during the night the window will create an illusion of the night sky filled with stars and planets. The window has an artistic value on the outside, but within the inside of the window, it has mathematical and scientific functions.

Catherine Yang

week8_space by Nikola Kondov

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

The 20th century was clearly marked by space exploration. People have made a giant leap in uncovering what is “up there”. Even though the reasons for this leap were more political than scientific - the space race was a “creation” of the cold war- it has allowed people to gain a better insight about the universe. Not to mention the enormous benefits it made toward the “evolution” of technology. Cell phones, the Internet, satellite TV and the  GPS are just a small part of what was made possible with the advancement of space exploration. People can now gain an accurate weather forecast, and even view every single place on earth without leaving the comfort of their own home by using the latest Google Earth software. With the use of powerful telescopes on Earth and in Earth’s atmosphere, we are able to view magnificent images of distant stars and galaxies.

We are now able to explore other planets in the solar system and even go beyond it. Now that our knowledge of space is so abundant, we are able to logically answer one question that has fascinated people’s imagination for a long time - are we alone in the Universe? As science has proven, we are only one small planet revolving around one small star that is located in one part of our galaxy.

(the image above  is located on the “FUSE Sightlines Animation Page” website)

If we say, that this position is the only one optimal position of a star that could have planets like Earth, we can infer from that image that at least 10 other similar positions exist only in our galaxy. And this is only if the statement that life on other planets exists is looked most sceptically. There are thousands of stars just around our star that could, in theory, support life. So that makes tens of thousands  of stars that have planets orbiting around them that can have living creatures that inhabit them. And that is only if life can be supported exquisitely on conditions like earth. Latest research has proven that certain organisms can survive conditions that could kill a human being in seconds. So, when we include planets that are inhospitable to people but have conditions in which other organisms are proven to be able to survive, that makes millions of planets that could, theoretically, support life. And that is only if we take the Milky Way,  which is one among millions of galaxies that exist in our universe,  into account. Furthermore, our universe is known to expand. That leads to the thought,  that there must be something beyond the universe. Perhaps another one? As of today, this question cannot be answered. What can be inferred is, that there are billions of possible locations for life in just our universe. Critics argue, that if there was intelligent life out there, we would have known, because we emit signals into space every day. Every television or radio broadcast, every single phone call every youtube video that is viewed at this moment is transformed into a signal that is emitted into space. The Earth has turned into one giant beacon that emits signals into space. So if so many signals are emitted, and we can’t spot any other signal from any place in the universe, people “are the only intelligent beings in the universe”. This statement is as selfish as the statement that we are the only organisms on planet Earth that exhibit consciousness. I can respond to these critics in the following way:

First of all, we humans have evolved the technology that emits signals into space a little over a hundred years ago. Before that, the “beacon” that is now planet Earth was silent. That, of course, doesn’t mean that humans have evolved intelligence in the 20th century. People were intelligent long before the invention of the radio, television, internet, etc.

Second, if you don’t have a radio, you can’t listen to it. That means, that if we don’t have a receiver that can transform radio freqencies into soundwaves, we cannot hear them. I can’t just listen to the radio miraculously on my calculator, for example. The same logic can be used in order to confront this ridiculous criticism. We humans, most probably don’t have the technology that allows us to interpret signals that may come from an intelligent civilization that inhabits another planet.

That, of course, doesn’t necessarily mean that aliens and UFOs come to earth every day and the government desperately tries to hide this for reasons unknown. We are so far away from any other star, that it would be a waste of time and money to try and Even if  the spaceship could travel with the speed of light, some problems arise.It can be inferred from Einstein’s Theory of Relativity that when an object travels with the speed of light, it stays “younger” than an object that remains stationary. According to one famous theory, if we have two twins,aged 20, and one of them gets on a spaceship and travels somewhere with the speed of light, and the other one remains on planet earth, after 40 years the one on Earth will be 60, whereas the one on the spaceship will be around 25-26 years old, because as we move faster, time goes slower. That means that a possible expedition to another planet will probably take hundreds of years for the people on Earth. By the time the space explorers come back, humanity would have long forgotten about them. But not only humans conform to these laws, they are universal. That doesn’t render interstellar contacts impossible, but it makes them “senseless”, at least for most cases.

I am positive, though, that in the near future scientists will make one of the greatest discoveries in history - the discovery of another intelligent species in our universe.

by Nikola Kondov

Week 8 - Space by Morgan Oberstein

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

This week’s lecture about space was, like always, very captivating and intriguing. It is crazy to think back to the year 1969 when the first man stepped on the moon and compare it to today, where we launch people, satellites and rovers not only to the moon, but other planets as well. The progress and advancement associated with humans and space in the past couple of decades is remarkable. Great discoveries have been made by sending humans and machines into space, but there are some downsides. It was sad when Professor Vesna was talking about the crews and people who died on space missions. One crew died within a minute of launching. This aspect of space exploration is sad, but it made me respect astronauts because they are putting their life on the line in order to explore and visit space for the rest of us who are not trained to do so.


            It is clear that space is of interest to many people in our society because it is portrayed through the media in many different ways. From television shows to drawings to movies, space can be presented in many different ways. Some try to portray it realistically while other forms of media take a more fantasy-like approach and present it more artistically. Either way, the mystery of space is appealing to most people. Movies such as “Contact”, “Men in Black”, “Independence Day”, and “Mars” are all focused around space and aliens and all movies were very successful. This shows our society’s interest in the topic.

            Talking about the vastness of space and how there is so much unknown about it, put my life and our world in perspective. To us living on Earth, our world is all we know and, most of the time, all we care about. We think that everything revolves around us, because for all we know we are the only living human race that exists. But is this true? Are there other human-like beings somewhere in space, in some other planet or galaxy? All of these aspects of space exploration are unknown, and this is why space is so intriguing. Its mysteriousness is captivating, and that is why the topic of space fits perfectly into this class. Not only does this class focus on science, art and technology, all of which are associated with space, but this class is about thinking beyond what we know. The class is about challenging what you believe and opening your mind to other ideas that are out there. Space technology and exploration represents this aspect of the class perfectly.




Nearly 30 percent of all car accident fatalities are caused by speeding, totaling about 13,113 lives per year. Speeding has become a very common and dangerous part of driving in today’s day and age, and it is time for that to change. Through the use of wind sensors and color changing paint, a vehicle will change colors depending on the increase of speed that the vehicle is undergoing. The paint will be applied to all manufactured vehicles before they are sold. The purpose of this project is to help police catch and cite speeding drivers, and to help other drivers be aware of speeding vehicles. As a result of these things, less people will proceed to speed resulting in safer freeways and countless lives saved.



Week 8 - Space and Abstract - Destiny Johnson

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

I found this week’s lecture on space quite intersting and it allowed me to view with more detail, the constantly developing space technology that is at hand. There had been a race to space for many years until space was more of a scientifical venture than a goal to the finish. Over the years space shuttles had crashed and soon robots were sent to discover the moon and other planets. We know much about space because of the detail that the robotic space adventurers had been able to pick up with quite a lot of detail about what the planets really consist of. The youtube videos that were about space really put a face on space travel and its development. Space, to us, is a symbol of the future and not necessarily linked with our past failures and ideas on how to get there. The earth, however, even though we are in space is quite distant from it and we do not take it into account considering our changing world all of the time. The questions are usually how can we stop explosives from coming in from other countries and not how can we prepare earth from meteors, possible other life forms and other contact that space could have with earth that could either help us or harm us. Space does not seem to have as much fervor as it used to comparing our interest in it now than in the 1980’s. Although the cold war is over, space techonology and discvoery are both being funded at a slower rate than weapon technology and are waiting to be further expanded which in turn will increase our knowledge of our universe.

In Lecture, the tenth dimension and music technology was addressed in detail. The tenth dimension possibly has the power to take us either backward in time or forward. Since everything begins in the present the tenth dimension works as this circle around what we already know. I feel that someday with more knowledge into what the tenth dimension is travel into different points in time could be a reality. Dimensions are a critical factor in how we see our world in which a two dimensional object can only see a two dimensional world. Our perspective is dependent on the existence of dimensions. Another topic that was covered was the use of music technology. I was very inspired by the Japanese “Noise Music” in which it is a genre of music that has no boundaries and is definitely not limited to sheetmusic only. It is a genre with no boundaries that is still artistic even though it is not following any particular form. From this I conclude, art is what people imagine it to be.

The New Space Race - Neo-Cold War?


For my midterm, I explored the concept of a robotic fish that is currently being developed yet it is not yet used as a scientific tool. This fish would behave and look just like a real fish. It would be basically undetectable that it is a robot to any other sea life. The purpose of the fish is to provide a better outlook on the many stages and/or variations of water pollution. The robotic fish will be able to detect very polluted waters and be able to give more information on the actual safety of our water. Some of the toxins that the fish will be able to detect will be dirt, insoluble solids, trash, lead, mercury, arsenic, pesticides etc. The fish will be able to detect these chemicals due to the sensors in his mouth and underneath his scales. Using sensors and alarms the fish will be able to better protect other fish and also allow scientists to become more knowledgeable on how pollution is actually affecting our bodies of water. In the final I will expand on how a fish will be able to both detect, warn and stay away from predator fish for the sake of exploring the drastic affects of water pollution.

Week_8 Space and the Search for ET + Abstract by Richard Jin

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

Perspectives are a very power thing. The “Powers of 10” video shown by our guest lecturer provided a stark reminder of how vast and mysterious the realm of space. Comparatively, the world our lives take place in is only one of the immeasurable about of planets in the universe, our sun is only one of 400 billion stars in the Milky Way, and our galaxy is only one of the 125 billion currently discovered galaxies in the universe.  And it is in this context that we ask the question, “Are we alone?”

For decades, science fiction writers have tickled our imagination with literature and movies about human encounters with extra terrestrials. Star Trek and Star Wars have become as mainstream terms as wonder bread and Google. Why? Because as human beings, we have an innate curiosity; we want to believe that we are not alone in this vast cosmos, that space is not just an empty void of useless junk.


Star Trek and Alien Encounters

Star Trek and Alien Encounters


Now, with the advancement of technology, we no longer have to wonder as science fiction writers do, but we can actively search for intelligent life in the universe. Statistics alone show that there is a great possibility that there is life, with over 1022 stars in the universe.  Within our own galaxy alone, hundreds of stars have been found to have planetary systems – in the past 14 years, so far 350 systems have been discovered. The Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) is a program that launched 50 years ago, which sought to use the tools of astronomy to try and find evidence of extra terrestrial technology in space. However, any signal they detect would have started a long time ago (as signals would have to traverse hundreds-thousands of light-years), thus, the signals would provide a glimpse of their past, rather than their current condition.  


Hubbles Deep View of the Universe Unveils Earliest Galaxies

Hubble's Deep View of the Universe Unveils Earliest Galaxies


However, although I agree that finding evidence of an extra terrestrial race could be beneficial to the human race, I believe that it is not the proper time to be exploring the stars. Dreaming of the future as science-fiction writers do is not harmful, but there are so many issues facing our world today, how can we expect to make peace with a foreign planet if we cannot even make peace among our own nations. How can we expect to search the vast cosmos if we have only explored 95% of the ocean which covers 70% of our planet? It is like competing in a marathon right after you’ve learned how to walk. I propose we fix the problems in our own planet first before exploring others, and if in the mean time there is an extra terrestrial race that finds us, all the better. The explorations we done in space so far have only proven futile. As one representative from SETI put it, “All of the concerted SETI efforts over the past 40 years is equivalent to scooping a glass of water from the ocean, and no one would decide that the ocean was without fish on the basis of one glass of water.” I believe that we should put our resources to settling the issues of our own world before we put so much effort into going fishing with a cup.

An interesting video discussion on SETI and the search for ET:



We human beings are the masters of our domain – the earth. We manipulate our surroundings to suit our best interests. We pave over forests to create roads; we grow crops in barren lands. And yet, in spite of all of this, we all too often forget our own capacity to both positively and negatively influence our world. By installing an interactive “window into the world,” my project seeks to raise awareness to the consequences of our personal actions and our individual potential to affect change. Viewers will momentarily glimpse a visual interpretation of their potential positive or negative influence on their surroundings as they touch different parts of a transparent partition.


by Richard Jin

Week 8 Space and Abstract by Tanya Patimeteeporn

Sunday, March 1st, 2009


In the course of riding the Killer, the passenger experiences the complete process of how the human body defends itself from disease causing organisms. They will not only be able to see but also feel how the immune system operates. The passengers have a set of options for choosing which bacteria or virus they would want to be and what type of environment they would want to experience, as in experiencing the effects of medicine, vaccines, and treatments of some diseases. The purpose of this ride is to inform the passengers of how their own bodies work when defending against viruses, how man made defenses work in their bodies, and to possibly spark curiosity in the growing field of physiological science. The ride provides a fun and new way to learn about the immune system and since it is a ride, the passengers are more likely to remember the basics of immunology in the human body.

Artist have explored the notion of space as well as invented unique and creative depictions of space. In science fiction, scientists inspired writers and artists and vice versa. For example, the classic cartoon Jetsons came out in 1962 displaying to the public what the artists and writers imagined when living in a galactic world. The Jetsons depicted the contemporary American culture and lifestyle, but in a different age. The ideas of robotic contraptions, holograms, and flying space cars of the artists and writers made up the world that the Jetson family lived in. I thought it was really creative because when I was a child, I thought living in the Jetson world would be awesome. The futuristic appliances seemed like they could really be invented in reality. In fact, some of the technological contraptions in the Jetsons are real inventions now. For example, the use of visually speaking to people through the computer was constantly seen in the Jetsons. Today, this actually happens through the invention of the webcam. As the seasons moved on around the 1980s, the Jetsons showed how computers would have a great influence on life in the future. This is so true because currently in society a computer is needed and is more efficient. In my life, I know I definitely need a computer to post up homework assignments, check my classes, and keep in touch with my family and friends. In fact, one time I didn’t have the computer for about a month because I was on a trip. When I came back home, I felt like I slept through the month because so much happened back at home with friends and family that I didn’t know about. So, the Jetsons cartoon is definitely correct when they depicted the future as computers having a major influence on society’s daily lives.

In lecture, Professor Vesna mentioned a man named Carl Sagan. Sagan was an American astronomer, astrochemnist, author, and highly popularzier of astronomy, astrophysics and other natural sciences. His ideas allowed people to have a better understanding of the cosmos as well as emphasized the value and worthiness of the human race, and how the earth was insignificant compared to the universe. Nikola Tesla is another scientist who probably influenced the creative depictions of the future in later cartoon or television series. Tesla was an inventor and a mechanical and electrical engineer. He invented the radio which greatly impacted his time because people were able to broadcast what was going on around the world or in their own cities. Basically everyone was informed about the latest news, whereas before it would take months for people to know what was going on.

The concept of zero-gravity has also influenced artists. British artist Nasser Azam created a piece of canvas painting art in zero-gravity. To create the zero-gravity piece, Azam and two other artists flew 23,000 feet in ILYUSHIN 76 MDK parabolic aircraft, which was nicknamed the “vomit comet” ride. Azam was interested in how zero-gravity would affect his ability to paint. So, first he drew indefinable figures inspired by Francis Bacon while his feet were still on the ground. Then when Azam was in zero-gravity, he filled the drawn figures with paint. He used oil pastels to do the finishing touches, since normal paint would have floated in the air. As can be seen, the ideas of space have greatly influenced both scientist and artists. It opened up new ways to explore art and gave opportunities for scientists to create new inventions.

(link to see Azam painting in zero-gravity)

Azam's art painting in zero-gravity

Azam's art painting in zero-gravity

Animated cartoon series the "Jetsons"

Animated cartoon series the "Jetsons"

Week 8- Matt Kramer

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

This week’s focus on space was very intriguing.  I have always been fascinated by outer space, and captivated by trying to imagine what may exist in other galaxies.  I definitely believe there is life outside of Earth, and possibly another planet that is extremely similar, with very complex and intelligent creatures inhabiting it.  I would definitely like to explore space some day if it were ever a possibility.

Still, there are concerns I have with our government’s and a lot of other countries’ governments’ focus on space exploration.  As everyone knows, it is incredibly expensive to finance trips to outer space.  While it is definitely important that we discover and understand what occurs in space, there are more important things happening on our planet that we should devote more resources and money to.  I am not sure what the current situation is concerning money devoted to NASA, but at this point in time one would hope that it has become considerably smaller.  The global credit and food crises are much more important than space exploration at the moment.  This does not mean that NASA and other organizations devoted to space exploration should be abolished but they should not have as much power and money flowing into them now as they had in the past.

A couple of weeks ago my brother told me about a Russian and an American satellite crashing into each other.  These billion dollar satellites were destroyed due to their collision in the same orbit and pieces of debris have been making their way down to Earth.  I just thought it was an interesting story and I wanted to see how many satellites are currently in space both private and public, and it is an astonishing figure.  There are an approximate 25,000 man-made objects orbiting in space.  It is amazing how far our country and the world has come from putting the first man on the moon to placing thousands of satellites in space.  Some private communications companies even have hundreds of their own satellites in space.  I only wonder how long it will be before humans start living in space on other planets and large satellites.  


For my project I am going to create a Sleep Capsule, which is like a covering or roof for your bed that will play music and allow for the ultimate sleeping experience.  I really enjoy relaxing and listening to music while I fall asleep but it’s always annoying to fall asleep with headphones on.  So I wanted to create something that allows you to sleep comfortably and gives you an amazing musical listening experience with very pure and precise surround sound.  The clear glass capsule would have the ability to become tinted, have air-conditioning, and would be large enough for people to sit up in and relax comfortably.  

-Matt Kramer