Marshmallow Run Game »

Currently, there’s a Kickstarter page to fund a Girl Scouts San Diego project:

You may be wondering, “Why marshmallows?” and our answer would have to be, “Because they make it easy to be creative and learn how to program!” We provide the initial idea for the core group of characters and the game platforms – and then just let our scouts just take these and run with them. The idea of a bunch of marshmallows hanging out with chocolate, graham crackers and other friends makes it fun and easy for participants of any age to engage and come up with stories and scenarios for the characters, and in the process, learn the math and science of programming

I backed this gladly. You should, too.

TRAPPIST-1 »

Earlier this week, NASA announced the discovery of seven Earth-size planets around a single star.

The star itself is an ultra-cool dwarf, burning at much lower temperatures then our own sun. All seven of the TRAPPIST-1 planets are closer to their star than Mercury is to the sun, but the cooler temperature of the sun keeps them from being broiled like Mercury is.

All of these seven planets could have liquid water on their surfaces, but three of them are in the habitable zone of the star, meaning they are the right distance from the star to have Earth-like temperatures.

At about 40 light-years — 235 trillion miles — from Earth, we don’t have the kind of technology to visit this system, but future study can unlock more details about the planets.

Apple Park »

Apple’s new campus has a name:

Apple today announced that Apple Park, the company’s new 175-acre campus, will be ready for employees to begin occupying in April. The process of moving more than 12,000 people will take over six months, and construction of the buildings and parklands is scheduled to continue through the summer.

Envisioned by Steve Jobs as a center for creativity and collaboration, Apple Park is transforming miles of asphalt sprawl into a haven of green space in the heart of the Santa Clara Valley. The campus’ ring-shaped, 2.8 million-square-foot main building is clad entirely in the world’s largest panels of curved glass.

Steve would have turned 62 this Friday, February 24. To honor his memory and his enduring influence on Apple and the world, the theater at Apple Park will be named the Steve Jobs Theater. Opening later this year, the entrance to the 1,000-seat auditorium is a 20-foot-tall glass cylinder, 165 feet in diameter, supporting a metallic carbon-fiber roof. The Steve Jobs Theater is situated atop a hill — one of the highest points within Apple Park — overlooking meadows and the main building.

I can’t wait to see it.

Connected #130: San Frosé »

This week, on a very special episode of Connected:

This week, Stephen and Myke talk about the whirlwind of iPhone rumors and where they keep their data before Myke is joined by a special guest.

My thanks to our sponsors:

SpaceX Brings Life Back to Launch Pad 39A »

On Sunday, SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket — loaded with a Dragon capsule full of supplies for the International Space Station — from Kennedy Space Center Launch Pad 39A.

The launch and recovery of the first stage booster went smoothly, and Dragon should be at the ISS soon. It’s the company’s second successful mission after the AMOS accident last fall.

Launch Pad 40 was heavily damaged during the accident, and is still out of commission. Repairs continue, the company says it will return to Pad 40 this year with its Falcon 9.

Yesterday’s launch from 39A is a big deal. SpaceX signed a 40-year lease back in 2014, and has since been modifying and upgrading the historic site. 39A was home to every crewed Apollo mission starting with 8. The very first space shuttle mission lifted off from 39A in 1981, as did the majority of subsequent shuttles missions; 39B wasn’t ready until 1986, and entered service as the home of a tragedy.

SpaceX will continue to modify 39A to support future crewed missions, and the pad will support the upcoming Falcon Heavy. All of that is exciting, and it’s great to see such an important place in NASA’s history continue see use.