What do shooting stars, ancient Romans, earbuds, and an app, all have to do with each other?
They’re all the cool, geeky things we’re going to talk about on my first studio episode of GeekBeat! I’m Scott Ellis.*
That’s right, they finally let me off the CES floor and out of my office, now that the new GeekBeat and Geek House websites are done I get to play in the studio!
Astronomy: The Perseid Meteor Shower
When I was a kid I was obsessed with space, and I still LOVE looking up at the stars. And for the next couple of days we’re smack in the middle of the Perseid meteor shower.
They started yesterday and run through August 13th so if you’re going to get a good view or take some pictures, now’s the time. Unfortunately the moon is still pretty bright so you’ll want to get as far away from city lights as possible to maximize your chances of seeing some meteors. As for timing, your best bet is to get up early to catch them in the pre-dawn hours. This years’ shower is expected to give us 60 – 100 meteors per hour.
60-100 meteors per hour, that’s 1 per minute or … like a million per night, roughly.
For those of you in the Dallas area, look to the North East and up about 30 to 40 degrees into the sky.
For the rest of you … if you need help figuring out where to look from wherever YOU are, http://timeanddate.com can help you figure it out, this link and all of the others are (as always) in our show notes at http://geekbeat.wpengine.com/889.
If you’re directionally challenged, and trying to figure out things like azimuth, and altitude gives you nightmares, try the SkyView app by Terminal Eleven and point it just above the constellation of Perseus.
SkyView is an augmented reality app that overlays astronomical features like planets, stars, galaxies, and satellites over a view of the world around you. So anytime of day you can find out where things are, even by say, looking through the floor.
Best of all, the app calibrates to your location so you’ll always have accurate readings.
Sorry Androids, SkyView is iPhone only and comes in both a free and paid version. If you’re on Android, take a look at Google’s Sky Map and let me know what you think in the comments below.
The History of Rome Podcast
Ok, so about a year ago I stumbled upon Mike Duncan’s “The History of Rome” podcast.
If you’re a history geek, especially for Roman history, then this podcast is an absolute must. It’s 180 episodes of audio taking us from the founding of Rome in 753 B.C. all the way through the fall of the Roman Empire in 476. I’m just a couple of episodes away from finishing it and have a newfound appreciation for all of the things the Romans gave us. Many of our holidays, our Wedding Traditions, advancements in things like concrete, and even indoor plumbing … thank you Rome for that one! They even gave us the modern 12 month, 365 day calendar, including leap year. Did you know that!?
Thank you, Mike, for making the 1200 year journey so fun and entertaining. It took Mike about 5 years to produce all the episodes, and now you can run through them as fast as you want.
Monoprice Noise-Reducing Earbuds
I’ve been listening to The History of Rome on my morning commute to the Geek House and during the cardio portion of my GeekFit workouts.
If you were able to join us for the Geek House grand opening, you may have gotten a pair of Monoprice noise-reducing earbuds in your gift bag.
If you weren’t here for the big event you can pick up a pair on Monoprice.com for 8 bucks! Just visit this link to see the same ones we have.
Now before you roll your eyes in skepticism over 8-dollar earbuds, hear me out. Ha! See what I did there?
These earbuds sound amazing, I mean … REALLY amazing. I was blown away by how comfortably they fit in my ear, how well they stayed in during my workout, but mostly just by how good they sound.
I can’t believe these things are only $8! I’ve had far more expensive ear-buds that didn’t perform nearly as well.
All right! That’s it for now, give us a thumbs up, share, or like if you had as much fun with my first studio-episode as I did and I look forward to seeing you guys on-line. Hit me up on Google Plus at plus.google.com/+Scott Ellis or on Twitter.
I’ll see ya next time!
Sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
You guys know how much we love the geekbeat community so please don’t try to use this app, or any app, while you’re driving. Distracted driving is as dangerous as drunk driving.
Look, each year on average, more than 10,000 people die on the road due to drunk driving. This is serious stuff. My family’s had to deal with the results of a drunk driver, not only was our family affected, he was too, and I can tell you, you do NOT want to be responsible for altering someone’s life just because you didn’t hand your keys to a sober friend. In order to stop this deadly epidemic, law enforcement in every state and most U.S. towns and cities will be cracking down on drunk driving from August 15th through Labor Day. And they’re serious! So Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over