ResearchCategory Archives

It's All One Big Experiment

Consider Everything an Experiment!

If you get called out on something, call it an experiment and see what the boss says.

You can call it research. You can call it fun. You can call me anything but late for dinner.

"Sorry, boss! I was trying something new. I've been thinking about it for weeks. I thought this might make things move faster. I thought it might save a few bucks. I had to give it a whirl, to see if it worked."

I was working in the lab late one night
When my eyes beheld an eerie sight ...


Get out the proverbial beakers and Petri dishes, kids ... because life is one. big. experiment.

Nothing great happens without experimentation, whether it's a marketing campaign, a research project, or new product development. If it works, wham! If it doesn't, give it another whirl.

So do your planning, form that hypothesis, don a lab coat, press the big green button, and document everything along the way.

NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO)



If it's hard to get to, nearly impossible to exist in, and super-cool to look at—not to mention 62 feet under the sea—then NEEMO is there! No, not the cute fish from the movies.  We're talking NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) which is essentially outer space, under water.
NEEMO — the NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations project — is a NASA analog mission that sends groups of astronauts, engineers and scientists to live in Aquarius, the world's only undersea research station, for up to three weeks at a time. The Aquarius habitat and its surroundings provide a convincing analog for space exploration. Much like space, the undersea world is a hostile, alien place for humans to live. NEEMO crew members, known as aquanauts, experience some of the same challenges there that they would on a distant asteroid, planet or moon. During NEEMO missions, the aquanauts are able to simulate living on a spacecraft and test spacewalk techniques for future space missions. Working in space and underwater environments requires extensive planning and sophisticated equipment. The underwater condition has the additional benefit of allowing NASA to "weight" the aquanauts to simulate different gravity environments.

Aquanauts! We love having a cool new career to aspire to. In true bureaucratic/alphabet-soup fashion, Aquarius is owned by NOAA, managed by UNCW, and used by NASA.

Dedicated StickerGiant fans won't be surprised by our love of NASA. We're more than a little smitten by astronauts in general (and now aquanauts). But we're completely dazzled by the organization's enthusiasm to tell their story, as evidenced by their embrace of social media. Um, and their blogger is named Dr. Love. Who says scientists don't have a sense of humor?

P-3 Aircrew Tactical Team Trainer



A project of  the Naval Research Laboratory, the P-3 Aircrew Tactical Team Trainer (PACT3) has one goal: "improving anti-submarine warfare skills." That's right: Top Gun in real life.
The Department of the Navy's Office of Naval Research (ONR) provides the science and technology necessary to maintain the Navy and Marine Corps' technological advantage. Through its affiliates, ONR is a leader in science and technology with engagement in 50 states, 70 countries, 1,035 institutions of higher learning and 914 industry partners. ONR employs approximately 1,400 people, comprising uniformed, civilian and contract personnel, with additional employees at the Naval Research Lab in Washington, D.C.

Supposedly there's a 3D version of Top Gun coming out in 2012. Which means a whole new generation of kids will get to know Goose, Maverick, Iceman and the rest of the flyboys. Not to mention Kenny Loggins. Hm. Wonder what that much acid-washed denim looks like in three dimensions?

Antarctic Trail Crew



Every so often we make stickers for people who do extreme activities...because they want to. Like swimming for miles or jumping out of airplanes or trying to change the world. And every time, we marvel at their bravery, wonder a little bit at their sanity, and usually feel just a bit oafish in comparison to such hardy souls.

And then there's today's sticker. From what we can gather, the Antarctic Trail Crew are an annual bunch of volunteers who groom the trails on Ross Island in Antarctica. Yes, that Antarctica. You know, that place covered in ice that doesn't see a sunrise for 6 months in a row. THE COLDEST PLACE ON EARTH. Too cold for penguins, some of the time. The place that refers to ice with a capital I.

We bow down in awe...you Trail Crew kids are truly some kind of superhero tough wingnuts!

Here's a glimpse at the research bases that allow hundreds of scientists to do research and whatnot on The Ice. Surely it's not for everyone, but it could be pretty cool, right? You know they get up to some crazy good times down there.

NASA EDGE



No joke: StickerGiant has breached the final frontier! One of the custom stickers we printed hitched a ride to the International Space Station in May 2011. And one of the kindly humans involved in STS-134 captured this image and the image somehow it made it to us. How cool is that?

NASA EDGE takes a "unique look in and around the greatest space program on the planet" through a series of podcasts, interviews, online features, and videos. It's like NPR for the intergalactic set.
Whether it's the latest launch or the coolest gadgets, NASA EDGE hosts provide an offbeat, funny and informative look behind the NASA curtain. If you've ever wanted to learn about NASA but thought you needed to be a rocket scientist, wait no longer. Watch NASA EDGE and embrace your inner astronaut.

First we were featured on Jeopardy! and now we're on the space shuttle. w00t! Forgive our boastful excitement, but we're in geek heaven over here!

*This photo was taken during mission STS-134. That's space-speak for when the Atlantis shuttle was way up there by the moon and stars and stuff.

 

Maker Faire

Maker Faire

Maker Faire



It's Maker Faire! Brought to you by Make Magazine! It's DIY!
Started in San Mateo, California in 2006, and also being held in Detroit and New York, Maker Faire is the premier event for grassroots American innovation. As the World's Largest DIY Festival, this two-day family friendly Faire has something for everyone - a showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness and a celebration of the Maker mindset.

It's the kind of thing that makes me wish I had a talent for building things, especially things that shoot fire. Oh yeah, go to their site, there's things on fire. You've got a Maker Faire coming up in the Bay Area May 21st and 22nd, one in Detroit on July 30th and 31st, and one in New York at the site of the 1939 and 1961 World's Fairs on September 17th and 18th. Enjoy and maybe make something that I can read about on the Internet.