Sun vomits forth giant prominence

Think about the scale of this particular flare, which was captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory yesterday. I know it’s hard to imagine, with it zoomed in like this, but this is absolutely immense. Eyeballing it against a “size of stars” image I have up on the wall, I’d say both ends of this flare are at least as wide as Wolf 359, a distant red dwarf star. And it’s probably dozens of times wider than Earth.

It’s a good damn thing this flare isn’t aimed anywhere toward us. Sure, our magnetosphere could probably shield us, but not without repercussions.

As Troythulu and I were discussing on Twitter when he linked this, it’s absolutely no wonder to me that people would worship the sun, a tangible, massive, and powerful entity, without which life couldn’t exist here. Compared to other religions, I totally get sun worship.

Gamers For Godlessness gameathon – Date (and name) set!

Ladies and gentlemen, JT Eberhard and I are finally set to do our long-planned 24-hour gameathon for charity!

We’ll be playing random NES, SNES and Genesis games over netplay, and broadcasting via Twitch.tv so you can watch JT kick my ever-loving ass at Street Fighter over and over again. And we’ve got a ton of guests lined up to chat about gaming, atheism, skepticism, or whatever the hell else seems like a good idea at the time, and if Random Number Generator willing, joining in on the gaming proper.

The whole point of the exercise — well, aside from hanging out and playing awesome video games — is raising funds to give half to Camp Quest and half to the Women In Secularism conference.

The gameathon will take place on December 1st, starting at 12 noon EST. This is the same weekend as Eschaton so we’ll be competing a little bit for Twitter traffic, but we’ll be sure to plan a bit better next year. And there will be a next year, oh yes.

Oh, the name, you ask? Well, Gamers For Godlessness is of course just the short version. The full name is:

The Gamers For Godlessness 24 Hour Gameathonapalooza Starring JT (Eberhard) and J(ason)T(hibeault), With Special Guests!

Tell me that’s not fried gold.

I don’t want to tip our hand too much with regard to what games we’re playing, or what guests we have lined up, but I can tell you that filling up 24 hours with content will not be any kind of problem whatsoever. In fact, I’m sort of having problems fitting everyone in who wants to join.

And the best part is, the entire broadcast will be available after the fact, if you missed it live.

More details soon. Mark your damn calendars! Saturday, December 1st, 12 noon to 12 noon EST!