About Dr. Nunatak

Robotics, Radio and Geomorphism (oh My!)

AGU 2014

Just back from the AGU Fall Meeting and still collating my thoughts.  It was exhausting and quite exciting at the same time.

I met fascinating people, attended some riveting (and not so) sessions. Asked some bright questions (and a few not so bright).  Saw a number of fascinating posters and was constantly reminded right down to the moment I was on the AirTrain at SFO that the community of science is a rare lot.

Scientists, of all ages and rank, constantly seek truth about the world.  Not to conquer but to better understand.


Things To Come (1936)


PASSWORTHY: “I feel–what we have done is–monstrous.”

CABAL: “What they have done is magnificent.”

PASSWORTHY: “Will they return?”

CABAL: “Yes. And go again. And again–until the landing
can be made and the moon is conquered. This is only a

PASSWORTHY: “And if they don’t return–my son, and your
daughter? What of that, Cabal?”

CABAL (with a catch in his voice but resolute): “Then
presently–others will go.”

PASSWORTHY: “My God! Is there never to be an age of
happiness? Is there never to be rest?”

CABAL: “Rest enough for the individual man. Too much of it
and too soon, and we call it death. But for MAN no rest and
no ending. He must go on–conquest beyond conquest. This
little planet and its winds and ways, and all the laws of
mind and matter that restrain him. Then the planets about
him, and at last out across immensity to the stars. And when
he has conquered all the deeps of space and all the mysteries
of time–still he will be beginning.”

Production – 1936

Screen writer H.G. Wells

Starring Raymond Massey, Cedric Hardwicke, Ralph Richardson

For the Twitterati (you know who you are)

twitter bird

I confess … I use Twitter.

I’m not addicted to it as some people are, you are quite unlikely to see me walking down the street aimlessly sliding my finger across my smart phone looking for the latest 140 character inspiration!

What you will discover if you ‘follow’ me, is that I have a pretty wide range of interests and interesting people that I follow but they tend to have one thing in common.  The whole vast majority of them are in the sciences.

You will find planetary scientists, geologists, astronauts (lots of them), atmospheric chemists, cosmologists and astronomers (see a trend?).  I follow some pretty famous people like Buzz Aldrin, and (the ghost of) Werner Von Braun.

I follow instruments and robots like the Greenbank Observatory, the Hubble Telescope and the Chandra.  I follow Voyager and the Mars Science Laboratory.  I follow the ISS and NASA … (lots and lots of NASA)

I’m a chemist you see, I got into the field because I considered it a ‘foundational’ science, right up there mathematics, physics and biology.  You can think of them as the Quadravium of modern times – I know I do.

My hero’s tend towards those individuals who did incredible things.  Von Braun and Galileo come immediately to mind but then so do Barbara McClintock and Yvonne Brill.

Follow me as you wish but please keep in mind that 140 characters will never replace Shakespeare or Arthur Conan Doyle.  Twitter may be a spark to some, but it is an awfully dim spark to me since I spend my days and parts of my nights buried in the journals, testing ideas and doing research.

But don’t keep that from following me along on my adventures, I don’t mind the company, not at all, but don’t feel let down if all I do is make observations about … well … observations.

After all, that is what science is really all about, making observations and from those observations making sense of the beautiful chaos of our natural world.



NASA Asteroid Initiatives

NASA Asteroid

NASA is involving the public in the direction and focus of its asteroid initiatives.  As it is a publicly funded agency, this is not anything new but will give the broader public a view of how NASA makes its mission planning decisions.

For further information : –