I paid upwards of $50 to hear a lecture. About science. At a casino. That is capitalism for ya!
It truly is amazing to be in a crowd of a thousand geeks, nerds, children, teachers, and just general people excited about astronomy. If you've seen the Cosmos on Fox (it's streaming on Netflix now) then you may be familiar with who I saw. It would be one, Neil Degrasse Tyson. He is an Astrophysicist, Director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City, and general celebrity scientist extraordinaire.
The talk was somewhat repetitive if you've seen the Cosmos, however, he did broach the subject of earthquakes, considering our recent scare in Eastern CT. IT IS A SCARE, by the way. He showed us that in the same one week period, California had something like 2,000 earthquakes under the 3.3 magnitude; meanwhile, a year previous, there were [slightly] more earthquakes in that same week in California and the East Coast. It's nothing to shake a stick at.
I was incredibly inspired by the talk. Neil is an incredibly charismatic and captivating public speaker. The best part was during the Q and A. There was a number of children who asked questions, or told [bad] jokes, as it were. I enjoyed the somewhat awkward, geeky guys and gals reading three paragraph questions off of their iPhones.
Overall it was extremely inspiring. I have been cruising through any Astronomy media I can find on YouTube and Netflix since then. Here is one I have found particularly fascinating. The instructor Chris Impey has a way of adding in tidbits of information that really makes you want to know what he is going to say next. The first lecture is an awesome introduction to the basics of Astronomy, with many sidebars on the history of mankind and our many civilizations. I highly recommend it.
I was inspired to do this planetary landscape. I imagine the surface to be completely encompassed by this red liquid that has worn down the rocks over thousands of years, but they are still slightly porous-looking. Maybe there is a bacteria in the water that is surviving in the gas-filled atmosphere. (I was thinking Helium but I haven't researched to see the IF's, HOW's and WHY's of that.)
I added texture to the rocks and most of this gaseous atmosphere. I stayed with the same hue (maroon.)
Here's your basic perspective sketch. VP stands for Vanishing Point, all roads lead there. I started with a maroon background instead of white. That is unusual for me but I think that helped this image a lot.
The clouds were not very good originally, so I took a picture while at work of some stormy clouds and used that as reference. I also added some mist being swept across the liquid-filled lands.
Here I added some highlights on the rocks. I also tried to make them more 3-dimensional; however, I didn't draw them like that originally and I wish I had now!
I could work on this for longer but sometimes you have to call it quits and this is just a sketch after all. I added some more pencil texture and highlights to the rocks and the liquid. Overall, I really like the idea of this planet and could see it fully-realized sometime down the road.
Landon R. Wilson
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