Thursday night (Nov 9) Roberta Bondar, Canada’s first woman in space, will be speaking at Festival Place. https://festivalplace.ab.ca/view/shows/id/1004#showtimes

Tomorrow the Alberta/Canada Fusion Technology Alliance is hosting a public forum on fusion energy, 9am-4pm at U of A.   Fusion energy is extremely clean, with bountiful fuel that releases a MASSIVE amount of energy (1 truckload of fuel would last a whole year at a power plant). But it’s very difficult to do. If we can make it viable in a reactor form, it would go a massive way toward addressing the world’s energy needs.   Registration for the Forum is free and includes a free lunch…

Astro Hal made a surprise trip back to Earth this Halloween.

The contributors to Between the Shelves, after being peppered with my incessant queries, thought it only fair to ask some of me in return. Below are their questions, and my answers. Brian Clarke: What is the biggest thing you have learned from this self-publishing experience? Hal J. Friesen: I learned how achievable it is to put out a product of professional quality using readily-available tools. There were some frustrating moments getting the book formatted properly and tweaking cover blurbs, but on the whole it felt great to see…

It starts with a look, a passing glance between strangers: one blazing through the cosmos at the speed of light, the other drifting slowly with its head in the clouds. The collision is unexpected but somehow inevitable, a union that promises some of the sweetness that lay beyond the rainbow. The heavier partner is excited beyond measure, active and hopeful. It never occurs to them that their marriage is borne of chance, of probability, of particle calculations drawn up on a chalkboard in a dusty old professor’s office….

One of video games’ most famed princesses, Princess Peach has been kidnapped at least 12 times and has likely developed Stockholm syndrome along with bipolar disorder (based on her emotion-focused/mood-swing attacks in Super Princess Peach). While the Toad security force’s efficiency as a protective agency is questionable, Peach’s ability to float has been unwavering, present in every single Mario game where she is a playable character. How does she do it? Peach is not alone in her hovering abilities. There are many female characters in popular media who…

We all know the lovable green dinosaur from the Mario series — so lovable she was the 3rd favourite video game character in all of Japan in 2008, and voted #1 sidekick by several sites. But is Yoshi just a pipe dream, as unfeasible as dinosaur cloning from Jurassic Park? This is not a simple question, and there is no simple answer. The road to resolution takes us through the cutie’s most notable traits: 1. Yoshi reproduces asexually. Yoshi never mates with anyone,  yet lays eggs regularly within…

This poem was written months ago at the Astro-HAL blastoff party by my good friend Brad OH. I’ve been meaning to share its simple brilliance for a while now, so without further ado… As I took a walk through space I came upon the strangest place A Comet circling a star A nebulous cross of near and far And who lived there except my pal The one and only Astro HAL. -Brad OH (www.BradOHInc.com)

I spent a good chunk of my Master’s research on fusion, so I have to share this. Nuclear fusion milestone passed at US lab. Wow. This is AWESOME news. Why? At the end of a very expensive research campaign that made big promises, there was great potential for fusion research to be shunned and pushed to the fringes indefinitely, to the great detriment of humanity. This milestone means more legitimacy in scientific communities around the world, with more effort toward this ultimate source of green energy. We’re not…

Yes. You can. Here’s how I did it: 1. Find one on Kijiji.  The one I got was a Free Spirit 302001, about 7-8 years old. Free Spirit is a good company for value treadmills without a lot of frills, and some other ones to keep in mind are True, Life Fitness, Pace Master, and Lifespan. I saw some Nordictrack treadmills in the $300 price range and most were willing to part with it for $250, but I’ve heard mixed reviews on their quality. I got mine for…