Who ate your homework?

By | Space and Aliens | 2 Comments

Black hole ate my homework

Back to a favourite stomping ground – aliens and space – and this cartoon happens to be the perfect lead into the topic of black holes. Cool, huh!

Many of you know my affinity with all things astronomical in nature and black holes are up there in my favourite top space wonders of the universe. So tell me, have you ever wondered about the humble black hole and what would happen if you ever had the misfortune of getting sucked into one? Well, you wouldn’t be the first to have wondered. In fact, there are many scientists who dedicate their time to understanding more about the black hole and some of them conduct thought experiments to theorise what would actually happen to someone entering the hole of no return. Many thought experiments have been undertaken and there are three versions that I’m particularly fond of.

If you’re a wee bit curious, click on here to download your very own black hole (yes, I’m not joking this time), along with the thought experiment details. All you need is a computer, printer, scissors and sticky tape and you could be the proud owner of your very own black hole in less than 5 minutes! (Hang on, why are you still reading? You should be in print mode by now).

Hey, and if you enjoy that, come and visit my fun space website. I call it Cosmic Caboodle and if full of, you guessed it – aliens and space stuff.

In the mean time, let me know what you thought of the black hole download above.


First encounter

By | Space and Aliens | 7 Comments

We come in peace alien invasion

I’ve been inspired by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope’s recent discovery of 7 new earth-sized planets within the habitable zone around one star.  And what names did they give these beautiful babies of the Milky Way? An uninspiring: b, c, d, e, f, g, h – not even capitals!

But wait, it gets better. The star these planets are revolving around is named TRAPPIST-1 (short for Transiting Planets and Planetesimals Small Telescope); but that name was created for commoners such as myself. It’s astronomical catalogue name is 2MASS J23062928-0502285. No wonder they ran out of imagination by the time they reached the planets.

I’m sure you could do better. What would you call them?

Back to alien cartoons

By | Space and Aliens, That's life | 6 Comments

Got a parking ticket a while back. I ‘stood’ in a No Standing for 20 seconds. They’ve become so cunning these days, I received the ticket along with a digital photo of my passenger disembarking the car, just to prove I was ‘standing’.

Had a parking ticket lately?

In space, no one can hear you scream

By | Space and Aliens | 11 Comments

why can't you hear in space

The tagline for the movie Alien was ‘In space, no one can hear you scream’.

Well, I guess I couldn’t help myself and played with the tagline for my own still movie, called a cartoon.

But seriously, why can’t you hear in outer space? You might recall a recent Frank cartoon, which explored the concept of hearing under water. Well, the key to hearing is to understand that sound requires a ‘medium’ for the vibrations to travel through. In outer space, there isn’t much – no air, no gas… well, there might be the odd gas cloud or two, but the gases within the cloud are spread so far apart that you would need a super sensitive microphone to hear it.

So what’s your favourite tagline or quote from a movie?

Martians are from Mars

By | Space and Aliens | 6 Comments

Martians are aliens from Mars

You know, it’s hard to be the first in anything these days. There I was, creating this simple cartoon on aliens, thinking I might possibly have been the first person to name a alien within our solar system, aside from the famous Martian. Google sorted me out in less than 0.35 seconds and provided me with 1,890,000 results for my alien query.

Google has spoken, below are the official names of aliens within our solar system

  • Mercurians are from Mercury
  • Venusians are from Venus (Personally, I think Venetians are funnier)
  • Jovians are from Jupiter
  • Saturnians are from Saturn
  • Uranians are from Uranus (it’s also a 19th century term that referred to a person of a third sex)
  • Neptunians are from Neptune
  • Poor Pluto misses out, after having been downgraded from planet to dwarf planet. Maybe aliens only live on planets.

Have you been the first in anything?

Dalek misunderstanding

By | Space and Aliens | 6 Comments

Dr Who and the dalek humor

Must know facts about Daleks

  • 4 daleks were made for their first grand appearance in Dr Who’s second serial, titled The Daleks, in 1963
  • Terry Nation was the scriptwriter who initially thought up this delightful nemesis. Luckily for him, he received royalties as part of the merchandising of this very successful foe
  • Not so for Raymond Cusick who was the master mind behind the iconic dalek shape. On leaving the corporation in 1966 he received a one hundred pound handshake and Blue Peter badge
  • Ridley Scott might thank his lucky stars for missing out on Ray’s gig, as he was the initial BBC designer lined up for the job. When the episode came through, Ridley had just started his director studies. The rest is history and he went on to create Alien, Blade Runner and Gladiator

As a child, I loved watching Dr Who. Hard to believe now that those daleks used to scare me sensless. I still remain a fan with daleks on my top 10 list of favourite enemies.

How about you? Who is your number 1 scary nemesis?


The great Aussie BBQ goes universal

By | Space and Aliens | 12 Comments

When Australians have a barbie in outer space

As an Aussie, I love a BBQ; it’s an intrinsic part of our culture.

To me, it’s one of the quintessential summer time activities we enjoy sharing with family and friends. I have many fond memories of BBQs I’ve hosted or had the pleasure of attending. My favourite barbie story occurred some years back when we invited the street neighbours to our house for a ‘get to know you’ BBQ (we had just recently bought a house in the street and it was way of becoming part of our new local community).

Not only was our house in need of major renovations, but so too was our barbie. Not being flushed with funds, we were grateful for any donations, so when my sister offered her old BBQ, we naturally accepted it with open arms. Unfortunately for the BBQ, it would be the last day it would share its company with us.

Halfway during the cooking, one of the children shouted out that the BBQ was on fire. We all looked towards the BBQ, which was in full blaze. Thank goodness my work had gifted its employees with a kitchen fire blanket, which we used to smother out the fire.

So how did it all end up? Well, the meat was well cooked beyond recognition; the children thought it was the best Barbie they had ever attended and the adults will forever remember the first time they met their new neighbours. We still joke about it ten years on.

Got a BBQ moment to top that? Perhaps barbies aren’t big in your neck of the woods. Why’s that?