The Tusoan

Things you will find here: science, science advocacy, musings on space exploration and technology, anthropological thoughts, maps, charts, descriptions of the evolutionary process, images of stuff, Native American cultural introspection and an open mind.

And hopefully insect portraits. Lot of those soon.
Who I Follow

Regions Field in Birmingham, Alabama

If you don’t know who they are, then I’ll make the sleuthing easy for you: 

Wil Wheaton:

Phil Plait:

A place where something great came to a final end. 

Castellum Lucullanum, destroyed in the 9th century CE, was where the last acknowledged emperor of the Western Roman Empire, Romulus Augustulus, was exiled after he was deposed by the possibly Germanic Odoacer. This exile occurred in 476 CE.

From there Romulus vanishes from the historical record, presumably living out his last days there. A castle was built on the same spot hundreds of years later, Castel dell’Ovo (Egg Castle), which stands today. Although the traditions of the Western Empire carried on in name only and slowly phased out, there is general agreement that this was the end of the Western Roman Empire. 

Here is the modern structure that is Castel dell’Ovo. 

If you are disgusted or disengaged by politics and you are not voting, then you are part of the problem. More people dropping out of the process means, increasingly, that a smaller & smaller fringe minority of angry (and not necessarily smarter) Americans are choosing candidates for the rest of us to vote on in the general election.

To compound the problem, 57% of eligible voters turned out for the general presidential election in 2012.

"Overall, voter turnout among the 25 states that have held primaries is down 18 percent from the 2010 election, according a study by the Center for the Study of the American Electorate. There were almost 123 million age-eligible voters in these primary states, but only about 18 million of them voted.” - Washington Post

You might be thinking that your voice doesn’t matter and that’s why you don’t participate. Perhaps that’s true. You may think that politics as it is won’t change anything. This too rings true. In fact, both of these sentiments will be true if you are not voting.

The United States is the oldest modern democracy in the world (not counting the Haudenosaunee) yet we rank below Kenya, India and Mexico in terms of voter turnout. Things certainly won’t change until these figures do. Maybe if we matched Kenya’s turnout (85%), this might be a vastly different nation?


How much is your vision of the future worth? Think of what kind of world that little guy could grow up in with 1 cent of every federal dollar going to Big Science like NASA.

(In other news, is it me or does Curiosity want to laser zap little dude like a rock?)

The bank of the Cahaba River in Alabama

Thank you, Mr. Sputnik. You will never know how big a noise you made. You gave us a shock which hit many people as hard as Pearl Harbor. You hit our pride a frightful blow. You suddenly made us realize that we are not the best in everything. You reminded us of an old-fashioned American word, humility.

You woke us up out of a long sleep.

You made us realize a nation can talk too much, too long, too hard about money. A nation, like a man, can grow soft and complacent. It can fall behind when it thinks it is Number One in everything. Comrade Sputnik, you taught us more about the Russians in one hour than we had learned in forty years.

"Thank You, Mr. Sputnik", Gabriel Heatter/January 1958 (via demons)

(via boomslovingthealien)

Forty-five years ago, the United States proved, in a fit of nationalistic glory born out of petty tribal rivalries, that humanity is capable of absolutely anything we put to our collective minds. Thanks to the windless lunar surface, boot prints by Americans Neil Alden Armstrong and Edwin Eugene Aldrin, Jr. still stand (and will stand for thousands of years) as a monument to the possible and as a testament to the will power of the human species. 

While media outlets and individuals talk up this significant anniversary today, I’ll remind everyone that we are not done. Mars awaits us more strongly than any birthright we’ve ever claimed. The planet is calling to us, daring us to wade through our dithering and our bickering. 

It is time to make Mars a human home. 

First space selfie?

Buzz Aldrin. Gemini 12. 1966.
Via redditor michaelconfoy

My second favorite “continent”.