Tag Archives: Science

No Frames, No Boundaries – Schweickart’s Passage

Image result for The Witness Audio Log

Image result for The Witness Audio Log

I don’t have any more of my favorite audio logs from The Witness, but some of these audio logs still stick with me to this day.  There’s something about these unique logs that go deeper than what the game presents to you.  It is then that The Witness becomes not just a challenging and complex puzzle game, but rather a deeper insight into the perplexities of life.  Whether the topic is on religion or science, each audio logs causes you to ponder differently about what you are experiencing within the game.  One of my favorite audio logs involves a long quote from a man named Russell Schweickart.

Image result for The Witness Audio Log

One of my favorite audio log features a long story from Russell Schweickart.  The passage is much too long, so you can refer back to the audio log here.  But rather than repeat the long and extraordinary passage, it’s time to discuss the origins of it.

Image result for russell schweickart 1975

Image result for russell schweickart 1975

Russell Schweickart is a former NASA astronaut who was born on October 25th, 1935.  The audio log comes from Schweickart’s article titled ‘No Frames, No Boundaries’, which is the same title for the audio long from The Witness.  Schweickart’s published article provides a deeper explanation for how incredibly beautiful the earth is from the outside.  He spoke these words in the summer of 1974 in front of a bunch of scholars in Long Island.

Image result for russell schweickart 1975

Image result for Earth from Space

Image result for Earth from Space

Here’s the basis of the story – Schweickart provides references to amazing destinations on the earth (Houston, the Astrodome, the invisible line separating groups within the Middle East) as evidence of how small the earth really is.  We familiarize ourselves with these destinations because we’ve known about them for so long.  After providing some infamous references, he brings us out of the earth and into space.  This is where he pulls us into a deeper connection with our planet.  His imagery of covering the blue and white thing with your thumb goes into detail of how every little thing that matters to us is right on that blue and white thing.  Poetry, joy, food, water, anger, love, history, games, and so much more lies within the blue and white ball covered by a thumb.

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Schweickart’s passage is incredibly insightful, providing a bigger picture of how small we really are on this ever-changing planet.  Even after playing through The Witness a few times, I keep coming back to this philosophical passage every now and then.  Listening to the audio log a few times really gave me a deeper perspective of Earth.

Image result for Earth from Space

Image result for Earth from Space

Think about this for a minute – we are sitting in a flying rock floating in space.  Earth is traveling 25,000 mph and ripping through space like a vacuum, yet there is NO sound whatsoever.  Sure, I may be just another human being writing in the Boston Public Library; but things get really mind-blowing when we think of how small we truly are in this changing planet.  Seeing pictures of our earth from space is one thing, but being out there – within the dark abyss of space – is a whole other journey itself.  When you have no frames or boundaries, you are experiencing the event as a whole.  This is when you have that goldfish bowl and you have no limits to what you are observing at this very moment.

Image result for Earth from Space

Image result for Earth from Space

No frames, no boundaries – the ultimate escape of viewing this spectacular moment as whole.  It’s not enough to look through space pictures and see how vast our universe really is.  Getting yourself out of that blue and white thing in space really puts things in perspective.  Everything that means ANYTHING to you lies within that planet called Earth.

Image result for Earth from Space

The craziest part about this moment?  It’s not just your experience or mine.  This moment is for EVERYONE.  Every living species on this earth realizes that they are just a small spectrum to this complex and ever-changing phenomenon called Life.

Image result for Earth from Space

Image result for Earth from Space

Russell Schweickart’s poetic passage summarizes the deep philosophy of what it means to be truly out there without any frames or boundaries.  This kind of perspective made me realize how truly small I as an individual on this floating rock that is flying 25,000 mph in space.  And yet, while ripping through space each day, society continues to advance forward around the world.

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It’s not just my experience or yours to keep.  In reality, it’s EVERYONE’S experience here on Earth.


10/6 TGIF Quote!

Image result for Andrew Fraknoi

Even if we put all these nagging thoughts [four embarrassing questions about astrology] aside for a moment, one overriding question remains to be asked. Why would the positions of celestial objects at the moment of birth have an effect on our characters, lives, or destinies? What force or influence, what sort of energy would travel from the planets and stars to all human beings and affect our development or fate? No amount of scientific-sounding jargon or computerized calculations by astrologers can disguise this central problem with astrology — we can find no evidence of a mechanism by which celestial objects can influence us in so specific and personal a way. . . . Some astrologers argue that there may be a still unknown force that represents the astrological influence. . . .If so, astrological predictions — like those of any scientific field — should be easily tested. . . . Astrologers always claim to be just a little too busy to carry out such careful tests of their efficacy, so in the last two decades scientists and statisticians have generously done such testing for them. There have been dozens of well-designed tests all around the world, and astrology has failed every one of them. . . . I propose that we let those beckoning lights in the sky awaken our interest in the real (and fascinating) universe beyond our planet, and not let them keep us tied to an ancient fantasy left over from a time when we huddled by the firelight, afraid of the night.

~Andrew Fraknoi, 1988

Comprehending Colors in Nahant

Image result for black rock beach nahant ma

Image result for nahant short beach

Two days ago, I wandered through Black Rock Beach in Nahant.  Black Rock Beach features a small walkway area just a few steps away from Tides restaurant.  This smaller, quainter beach is great for wandering away from the noise within the area.  It stretches for miles from the end of Nahant Beach all the way to Nahant Short Beach.

The day was waning and the weather was becoming cooler.  I sat on the cool sand to watch the sun setting between the buildings.  Colors were slowly fading, with the sun casting silhouette figures.  Noise was quieting down and more people were roaming by to catch this magnificent event happening before them.



As the water was slowly rippling towards the surface, I noticed this small beam of light coming up front.  I looked slowly up to the base of the line to find that big glowing sun right in front of my eyes.  The sun dominated my view, with silhouetted buildings slowly fading.  That ball of sun was the only thing I was fixated on.


A few minutes later and things turned even MORE miraculous.  As the sun was plunging deeper into the depths of the earth, a tall ray of light was shooting upwards into the sky.  What used to become the base of a line has now become a middle intersection between two infinite lines.  One ball of sun casting two rays of light away from each other.


It wasn’t just another beautiful sunset I was witnessing; I was viewing light’s reflection bouncing off upon the air and water.  The light itself generated the colors I see before me and that very same light mirrors off of the atmosphere and the water.  As the sun’s colors was slowly disintegrating, its bright orange color was mirroring off of the clear blue water and sky-blue atmosphere.  These clear blue hues make perfect backdrops for watching nature’s most extraordinary masterpieces.

But what if the colors were different?  What if our atmosphere and water were painted with hues of green or red?  Would it make viewing sunsets much more astounding?  Or would shifting the traditional colors become so catastrophic that it alters our biological system?

Image result for Ocean and Sky

You see that the sky is naturally blue and that the ocean is covered in hues of light green, yet you never stop to wonder why that is.  It isn’t something you learn in school or what someone tells you because you see it yourself.  This is one of those miraculous discoveries you learn in life.  One of the steps in obtaining this kind of knowledge is going deeper down the rabbit hole in figuring out how light is reflected around the earth.  The real fun begins once you ponder about what would happen in certain scenarios.


Viewing this perfect sunset made me think about the importance of light in nature.  Light is reflecting all across the earth, with hues of lighter colors as the day goes on.  Sunset becomes twilight before heading into dawn and dusk.  Four separate stages of sunset where a myriad of colors bounce back into the water and atmosphere.

I thought it was truly amazing how much color stretches across the sky during the last few minutes of sunlight.  You never know how much you take this scientific information for granted until you experience these events firsthand.

If you want to know anything about color, simply step out into your backyard and watch the sky during the sunset.

Funny Cannabis Strain Names

Image result for Cannabis Strains

There are over hundreds of known cannabis strains around the nation.  Some strains are named for an aspect of the plant (Panama Red, Purple Urkle) while some names play off of pop culture references.  As cannabis becomes more popular among American culture, the motivation to spread out unique strains becomes more relevant than ever.  Nowadays, most new strains are discovered from crossing different strains among each other.  Many more strains have yet to be discovered and the names are getting crazier than ever!

Image result for Cannabis Strains

To dive into this topic, MakeSandcastlesNotWar decided to look at a few interesting choices for strain names.  Some strains referred to aspects of popular culture while other names were just flat out strange.  These strains are a few of many others that have a funny name for the plant.  Here are a few hilarious strain names that are out on the market:

Image result for Alaskan Thunderfuck

Alaskan Thunder Fuck:  Alaskan Thunder Fuck is just one of those strains that will make you think ‘what the fuck?’.  Originating in the Matanuska Valley area of Alaska, this legendary sativa strain possesses a relaxing yet intensely euphoric high.  It’s also known for having the ‘creeper’ effect and cause you to get the munchies after consuming.  This strain produces strong odors of lemon, pine, menthol, and skunk.  Consuming Alaskan Thunder Fuck produces happy, euphoric effects that are great for combating depression and stress.

Image result for Herijuana

Herijuana:  While this strain sounds more like something you inject through needles, Herijuana does NOT pose any similarities to heroin.  Herijuana is a classic indica strain that produces THC levels of over 25%.  Consuming herijuana will cause a heavy, numbing feeling (NOT the numb feeling from heroin!)  that will keep you relaxed and sleepy.  This strain is perfect for those suffering from pain and insomnia.

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Phishhead Kush:  Before I start the description…YES, this strain IS an homage to the band Phish.  Another indica-dominant strain, Phishhead Kush produces heavy hypnotic effects that leave the mind and body feeling pure bliss.  This strain inherits this spicy, woody aroma that comes from the Afghani indicas.  Blast some of your favorite Phish records and kick back with some good Phishhead Kush!

Image result for Zombie OG

Zombie OG:  Ironically enough, Zombie OG will NOT transform you into some flesh-eating monster.  This indica strain should be consumed during a lazy night because of its strong sedative effects.  Zombie OG is a cross between Blackberry and OG Kush.  Consuming Zombie OG is great for treating muscle spasms, depression, and even stress.  Consuming Zombie OG would go perfect with The Walking Dead episode premiere on a Sunday night.

Image result for Skywalker OG

Skywalker OG:  May the Fourth Day happened a few days ago, so it’s only makes sense that we add Skywalker OG into the mix.  This indica-dominant hybrid strain could take you to a galaxy far, far away…with its strong body effects such as mild tingling and numbness.  Skywalker OG is a cross between Skywalker and OG Kush that is here to rescue you from pain as well as physical limitations.  Consuming Skywalker OG will leave you feeling happy, relaxed, and euphoric that will melt away that stress or depression.

So there you have it, 5 hilariously-named cannabis strain.  One sounded similar to a harder drug (heroin!), another strain was an homage to Phish, and there was even a strain after a flesh-eating monster.  As wacky as these names were, these are definitely some go-to strains if you’re looking for something different.

I hope you enjoyed reading through some of these funny strains.  If you ever come across one of these strains, be sure to pick them up at your local dispensary!

Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun (to Vaporize Weed!)

All living creatures have relied on the sun for survival since the dawn of time.  Hunter-gatherers had no concept of time, yet they knew that their day started when the sun was up.  Plants draw in energy from the sun to grow stronger each day.  We are millions of miles away from the sun and yet we always conjure up more unique ways to utilize its energy for different purposes.

Whether its growing plants for food or heating up our homes through solar panels, the sun is one of our most essential tools for survival in our daily life.  It’s astonishing how our country takes nature for granted since we depend on sunlight for a variety of benefits.  Soaking in sunlight helps us receive the necessary vitamin D3 intake that will help increase our serotonin levels (thus why we love going to the beach during the summertime!). We would be completely screwed if the sun dies out, but that catastrophic event won’t occur for another billion years later.

Advancement in technology helped us trap the sun’s energy for solar panels as a form of alternative energy.  Solar power has become a popular energy source since the 21st century and we are creating more ways of getting the most use of the sun.  It has made waves here in Massachusetts, but it’s gained a lot more popularity in California (because California has over 300+ days of sunshine each year!).  From homes to hot tubs, solar power is revolutionizing the way we utilize energy for personal benefits.  One unique function for the sun’s energy is for consuming cannabis.

Fredericksburg Virginia-based company The Sun Token created the first solar hybrid vaporizers for vaping cannabis.  Creator hector Campos initiated the company in 2015 after being able to source all the materials to create the Sun Token model that would be beautiful as well as affordable.  The product itself provides a hand-finished cherry wood base that is smooth enough to touch.  It comes with accessories such as the mouth piece, a variety of colorful bowls to choose from, shatter-proof acrylic dome with a magnet base, credit-card sized Fresnel lens, and an owner’s manual.

The concept itself is simple: pack your weed into the top carb piece.  Attach the magnetic dome onto the base to keep the flowers from being blown away.  Hold the Fresnel lens near the carb and inhale when you see the flowers being lit up.  Exhale after you take in the smoke and…voila!  You just got stoned through the power of the sun!  It’s like watching mother nature at her very finest

Remember that old childhood science trick where you held a magnifying glass near the sun to try to burn a piece of grass?  It’s just like that unique science concept, only now you’re using that science to vaporize some weed!  Your favorite science experiment now functions as a unique way for consuming cannabis with your friends.  Yeah! Science, bitch!

This is an awesome cannabis product!  If I were living in California, I would definitely vaporize some weed with my friends using The Sun Token.  It’s a perfect product for soaking up the sun while you use that sun to consume some cannabis on the beach.  The sun’s rays are so vital for our health and now we’ve utilized that function to get even healthier through cannabis.  Cannabis seems to be steering us closer to nature as recreational use becomes more popular here in the United States.

Before the digital age of the 21st century, 90s kids like me used to hold a magnifying glass near the sunlight in an attempt to burn pieces of grass.  We may have grown up years later, but our imagination helped shape the new world we live in.  Cannabis has received much more support since I was a kid and that newfound support means a whole range of innovative ideas on how to consume the product.  The Sun Token is just one of many companies bringing in a unique take on the vaporizing concept.

Millions of years later, we continue to discover more interesting ideas on utilizing the sun’s energy.  This is just the beginning for renewable energy sources.  Who knows, we could be taking bong rips by heating the flowers through the sun’s rays!  One thing is for certain: the sun is our most important tool for all living creatures on this earth.