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see an amazing hurricane on saturn

04/30/13 2 Comments


pictured above is a gigantic storm brewing on the north pole of saturn (taken by nasa’s cassini spacecraft).  some perspective:

– the eye of hurricanes found on earth usually range from 5 mi (8 km) to over 120 mi (200 km).  the eye of this storm is 1,250 miles (2000 km) wide.

– hurricane katrina reached 175mph (78 m/s).  this hurricane is almost doubling that at 330mph (150 m/s).

learn more about it on nasathe atlantic & national geographic.

related: watching god play


horizontal rainbow in paris

04/27/13 3 Comments


taken by betrand kulik. here’s nasa‘s explanation for this natural layer cake of color:

Why is this horizon so colorful? Because, opposite the Sun, it is raining. What is pictured above is actually just a common rainbow. It’s uncommon appearance is caused by the Sun being unusually high in the sky during the rainbow‘s creation. Since every rainbow‘s center must be exactly opposite the Sun, a high Sun reflecting off of a distant rain will produce a low rainbow where only the very top is visible — because the rest of the rainbow is below the horizon. Furthermore, no two observers can see exactly the same rainbow — every person finds themselves exactly between the Sun and rainbow’s center, and every observer sees the colorful circular band precisely 42 degrees from rainbow’s center. 

related: pictures of perfection | great blue hole | watching god play | all of the lights

atomic lemon drops #8: package for my teacher

03/24/13 3 Comments

this atomic lemon drop isn’t the first poem i wrote, but it’s the one that kept me writing. check it out below along with some background. per usual, feel free to share any questions/criticisms about the poem as well as any other comments.

Package for My Teacher

Teacher, Teacher, remember me?
3rd Grade, front row, Susie B?
Shared my dreams of
flying through space.
Looking for support,
your doubts came in its place.
“But you’re a girl,
and even worse than that,
too short,
too Black,
and way too fat.
Astronaut? Something I cannot see.
How ‘bout assistant manager at Mickey D’s?”
but spirit stayed intact.
Too determined to get off track.
Your vision has improved by now, I hope.
If not, you can still see me
through this telescope.

dr. mae jemison, 1st woman of color in outer space

dr. mae jemison, the 1st woman of color in space


senior year of high school, ms. bodnar gave my ap english class the option to write two poems instead of an essay (one had to be love-related since we were near valentine’s day; also had to recite one in front of the class).  i don’t remember writing any poetry beyond the red rose-blue violet variety before that.  at the time though, churning out a few verses seemed easier better than slaving over some paragraphs so i went for it.

the first poem, simply titled i love youwas about a girl i had a crush on in that class.  reading it aloud introduced me to leg-trembling nervousness (thinking back, the jitters were due to exposing myself and wanting to be accepted, both not just on the love tip but with the poem i birthed).

the second poem was package for my teacher.  i didn’t have the same emotional investment in the story as in i love you (not a girl named susie, didn’t have my dreams stepped on, etc.) but it was cool to ride out the poetic freedom (which was especially good for me since i was missing a creative outlet).  beyond that though, what really kept me writing poetry was what ms. bodnar said when she gave the poem back to me:

you should enter it in a contest.

it was a little comment that i never acted on but still managed to mean a lot.  after that, i began to write poems on my own.  i kept a notebook in my pocket to write lines & topics for potential pieces.  later, i was accepted into poetry workshops that helped me learn more about the craft.  i started performing my poems in different settings and eventually got to the point where my leg doesn’t shake anymore.  i’ve also sent other poems to contests & i’m working on a poetry manuscript.  again, all from a little comment that i never acted on.

part of package touches on the impact parents, teachers & other adults can have on the youth by being willing (or even unwilling) mentors.  the teacher in the poem dropped the ball, but salute ms. bodnar and all others who inspire goodness in people that would’ve been left buried otherwise.

think about someone who had an impact on your progress.  if you were to send the person a package inspired by the role he/she played, what would be in it?  share in the comments.

previously in atomic lemon drops: a confusing two minutes and four seconds | barbershop | grim reaper | dear leader | weekend in jamaica | rehearsal for “when doors slam shut” | a poem called lauryn

© Carlton Williams Jr. and atolemdro, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this poem without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Carlton Williams Jr. and atolemdro with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

here’s an awesome time-lapse view of the earth shot from the international space station.  seeing lightning reduced to the size of blanket static provides some perspective of our own relatively small place in the vast cosmos.  you can find a playlist of the locales covered after the jump. thanks to petapixel.


on top of the world


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