Three iPhone apps recently came out that pertain to some favorite topics on this blog, so here's a quick roundup of them.
Overall I like this app, and it's bound to be handy if you find yourself in a situation where someone is using these same claims (it's the Sun, the hockey stick graph is flawed, Al Gore is boring, and so on). I might quibble with some of the details -- for example, it talks about 1934 being the warmest year on record, but doesn't mention that 1998, the second warmest, trails behind by a statistically insignificant 0.02 degrees. There's more like that, but this is such a small detail it really comes down to a matter of style; an "I woulda done it different" kind of thing. The content is good and links are provided for further info.
I recommend having this one handy, so here's the direct download link.
2) Next up is a NASA app called 3D Sun. And not to trick you or anything, but it's an app that displays the Sun in 3D. Put out by the folks behind the STEREO probes, it's a pretty cool gizmo that reports new sunspots and aurorae, lets you look at movies of solar events like plumes, filaments, and coronal mass ejections, and gives you the latest solar news.
The best thing is the 3D Sun itself. It displays the current solar disk, and you can look at it in different wavelengths (UV shows more violent activity) and from different solar observatories. You can zoom in, out, rotate the view, and pretend you're on a spaceship roaring past our nearby star.
Now that the Sun is finally starting to show some life again, this app is pretty useful so you know what's the latest. Here's the direct download link.
However, I do think some younger kids will enjoy this. The graphics are quite good, and there is real information displayed and used in the game that provide lots of teachable moments. Here's the download link.
So, do you agree, disagree? All three apps are free, so I encourage readers to grab 'em, play with 'em, and leave your own comments below!