I'm Chels. I blog about science, art, tennis, and my adventures in journalism. Officially, I'm a Science Writer at Brookhaven National Lab and I blog for them, too. Unofficially, I'm pretty awesome.

Or, you know, owsome.

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This afternoon on the internet: 

Chels: I don’t know what this is. And I have watched it a few times now.

Justin: It’s a victory. That is some inspiring work.

I seriously thought this was an art project of some kind, but it’s a Kickstarter for a pickle company and the videos on that page are also weird and fascinating and I wish I lived in Philadelphia so I could go make friends with these people right now. 

Oh good, this is on Spotify finally, so I can just listen over and over and drive myself crazy slash enjoy my entire day. 


Pianophase.com is a performance and visualization of the first section from Steve Reich’s 1967 piece Piano Phase. Two pianists repeat the same twelve note sequence, but one gradually speeds up. The musical patterns are visualized by drawing two lines, one following each pianist. The sound is performed live in the browser with the Web Audio API, and drawn with HTML5 Canvas.

created by Alexander Chen

Good morning
 Good morning
  Good morning
Good morning…

I love this
  I love this
    I love this
      I love this

The crashes of Flight 370 and Flight 17 are not Malaysia Airlines’ first unusual insurance claims, however. The airline had an unusual claim in 2000 for the total loss of an Airbus A330 traveling in the opposite direction on the same route as Flight 370.

In that case, a canister of a mysterious Chinese shipment destined for Iran broke open near the end of a trip from Beijing to Kuala Lumpur and began leaking, producing a smell that prompted the captain to conduct an emergency evacuation upon landing of all 266 people aboard. A subsequent investigation found that the hold was contaminated beyond cleaning with mercury and other chemicals that may have been precursors for the manufacture of nerve gas.

The Malaysian government ended up digging a large hole in the ground near the airport tarmac and burying the entire plane. Insurers paid a full settlement of $90 million.


Honestly, a mutant with powerful eye-beams becoming our next president is more plausible than Brookhaven Lab’s Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider creating a dangerous black hole. The same goes for CERN, the European Lab that actually hosts the Large Hadron Collider.

But we love to see particle accelerators appearing in popular fiction! Who knows if seeing Scott Summers and crew vanquish a black hole will inspire readers to dig deep into the awesomeness of atom smashers? Spoiler alert: You may find that the facts are stranger (and more exciting!) than the fiction.

Brookhaven made it into the latest X-Men comic with all the facts all mixed up and wrong, but hey, it’s still fun to see. 

Sometimes I’m not even sure I’m real

Whenever I go shopping, I like to come home and put on everything I bought. Which is why I am currently walking around my room in high heels and pajama shorts, listening to The Way You Make Me Feel on my new Harmon/Kardon wireless speaker. I danced by Siena, who was lounging on top of the dresser and leaned in close to do Michael’s signature “Ow!” that starts the song, and she scrambled to sit up, pulled her head back and spat her fiercest hiss at me. She’s not a fan of MJ, which is a felony in this household. Out on the streets with you, kitten. 

Zebras, hedgehogs, leopards, and unicorns. I’m all set to have some real happy feet.

Art is something that happens inside us. We look at things in the world, and we become excited by them. We understand our own possibilities of becoming. And that’s what art is.

In this video clip, from the 1970 movie “Moon One,” we hear from the ladies who sewed the suits that protected the first men to walk on the moon. One of them started out sewing boxing gloves. I like hearing how excited they are about the idea of going to, and even living in, space. I don’t hear that much anymore. When I talk to people, they seem less enamored of the idea, less trustful of the possibility of safety. As a kid, space was always the place I wanted to go most. I’d still take a ride in a rocket any day, if it were offered. 


Apollo 11 Flight Plan

The flight plan for Apollo 11 was a minute-by-minute time line of activities for the mission crew—Neil Armstrong, Mike Collins, and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin—and Mission Control in Houston. The flight was launched July 16, 1969. Touchdown on the moon took place, as scheduled, on July 20, 102 hours, 47 minutes, and 11 seconds after launch from Cape Kennedy. The astronauts spent 21 hours and 36 minutes on the moon, and returned to Earth on July 24.

Apollo 11 Flight Plan

From the series: Pre-Shuttle Flight Data Files, 1968 - 1977. Records of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 1903 - 2006

I love this little GIF of the flight plan for Apollo 11. Yesterday, on the 45th anniversary of the moon landing, I chatted with my folks about where they were on that historic day. 

Mom was in Oregon, a year after she’d come to the States from Iran, at her college boyfriend’s house. She said they were watching the broadcast and kept running outside to look at the moon and running back in to see the astronauts. They couldn’t quite believe that what they were seeing on the TV was happening out there in the night sky. 

Dad was in the Navy, on the way from Hawaii to Japan. He said they pumped in the audio from the broadcast through the ship’s speakers, and then they got to watch the broadcast when they had crossed the Pacific. 

This is one of the only moments where I wish I could go back in time and know what it was like. I’m generally happy to live in the time we do, but man, I wish I’d experienced the wonder and excitement of the moon landing first hand. 

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