How long would it take to get to Kepler 22b?

Kepler 22b, the extrasolar planet discovered by NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope is apparently around 600 light years away. I wondered how long it would actually take for us to get something there. Maybe if we start today, we could surprise our descendants with a signal from a probe in a 10,000 years or so.

Apparently not. Using the current speed of the Voyager 2 probe as my unscientific example of “something flying through space real fast”, and the handy Wolfram Alpha service, it would take 11.64 million years to get to Kepler 22b.

I find this simultaneously boring and existentially terrifying.


BoingBoing delves much deeper into the idea of the (im)practicality and cost of interstellar travel. While Kepler 22b might be a boring 11-million-year flight away, the article discusses the nearest star, Alpha Centauri would would be a brisk 70,000 years or so.


Google Music from the rest of the world

Google’s new Music service is so simple, it doesn’t have any links or buttons. They didn’t even need a period at the end of the second sentence:

Google Music screenshot


The Live Music Video

I’ve always liked the idea of using a live performance for a music video. Not necessarily concert footage – it could be live to camera just for the video. The band Hey Rosetta! (the exclamation mark is theirs) have done just this in their beautiful and affecting video for the song Bandages. It was filmed “in and around St. John’s, Newfoundland.”


Baby Rock

In this interview with Chris Murphy from Sloan, he was asked about song-writing themes as the band gets older. Chris says:

“I’m trying not to write songs about how much I hate getting up at 5:30 am with the baby. It’s so boring but that’s all I know these days.”

Chris, I would love to hear that song.


New York Times Interactive Audio Presentation of 9/11 Tapes

The New York Times has a well-executed presentation of various audio recordings from the FAA, NORAD, and American Airlines from September 11, 2001. The clips are presented in chronological order with both audio and text. The effect is chilling.


Radiohead YouTube Remix

This mix of dozens of YouTube clips of musicians covering Radiohead’s Paranoid Android is a remarkable editing job:

Thanks to Paul Kim for sharing.


New Album from Sloan: The Double Cross

Sloan - The Double Cross album coverOn their 20th anniversary as a band, Sloan has release their best album in a while. The Double Cross arranges song order, bleeds one song into another, and calls back to hooks from other songs in the way that made their 1998 album, Navy Blues, so amazing.

Like all of their albums, The Double Cross can be streamed for free or purchased in digital form (even in FLAC, audio nerds) from their website.

There is also a great series of short interviews with the band about the new album, and with other artists about their love of Sloan over the last 20 years.


Luis von Ahn on reCAPTCHA and his next project

Luis von Ahn speaking at TEDxCMUA friend and client, Luis von Ahn, gave a great TEDx Talk at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Luis runs through the creation of the captcha, his project reCAPTCHA, and his new language learning project, Duolingo.

One of my favourite things about working with Luis, is that one of his lead developers and co-founder of Duolingo is actually blessed with the name Severin Hacker.


Interesting chart mapping the life, death, and popularity of web browsers over time. I haven’t seen this type of presentation before.


Updated the previous post with a link to the presentation video: A Brief History of (and .org)