Thursday, October 30, 2008
Phoenix has run up an impressive list of discoveries. The lander has recorded snowfall, scraped up ice and found that the dust on the surface of Mars chemically resembles seawater, adding to evidence that liquid water – that may have supported life – once flowed on the planet's surface.
But now to conserve the remaining power, engineers will begin turning off Phoenix's internal heaters, one at a time. If this step is not taken, the electrical needs of the craft would soon surpass the minuscule amount that the solar cells now are generating. By turning off the heaters in a controlled fashion, Phoenix can continue doing science for several more weeks. The remaining experiments that do not require heating can operate for several weeks, but ultimately the cold will shut the lander down, ending the mission.
<- NewScientist via Dvice ->
Like something from a horror movie, the Swarm ripples purposefully toward its prey, devours it and moves on.
<- MailOnline via Dvice ->
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
<- Gizmodo -> <- OlandoSentinel article ->
<- MSNBC article ->
Monday, October 27, 2008
<- IO9 article -> <- Universe Today odd Martian crater article ->
<- newscientist article ->
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Small Beer Press
Benjamin Rosenbaum is certainly no stranger to Beam Me Up. I have featured several of his truly entertaining short fiction in earlier programs. Thought provoking stories like "Start the Clock" and "The House Beyond Your Sky" have entertained me as well as Beam Me Up's listeners. With both of these excellent pieces of fiction included in the publication, sandwiched in between wildly funny urban fantasy "The Ant King" and the introspective science fiction offering "A Siege of Cranes" and you can see that Rosenbaum has pulled out the stops and plans to give you a tour de force look into how his fiction operates. It is clear that there were no thematic rules set. Where Start the Clock is a disturbing science fiction piece, stories like Red Leather Tassels is a technicolor dream sequence that defies classification. Many of the stories stand well on their own, however some are tied together is a type of centralized thread. Some stories are larger than life, yet others illuminate a single moment. The Ant King and other stories could be described as a resume of Rosenbaum's talents - however for me it was like the desert cart, each amazing bite building on what came before and promising so much more in the future.
If your Science Fiction tastes lean a bit toward the Speculative, I can promise you will not be disapointed with The Ant King and other Stories.
<- to purchase this book -> - <- purchase the ebook and save a tree ->
<- free download pdf -> (other formats are available)
<- Benjamin Rosembaum's web page ->
Friday, October 24, 2008
You know, if the shoe had been on the other foot. By that I mean, in the initial race to the moon it was suggested that we send a man with enough supplies to keep him going for about 5 years, no return ticket. Just get there first ahead of the Russians. Maybe in 5 we could get him back. I am serious, it was on the table, but the then astronauts said, no F...in way. And quite honestly I know it isn't going to happen this time. Mr. Aldrin knows that as well. So why bother to say something that ludicrous? Just to get in the press? I hardly think so, He has been the epitome of science and industry and received accolades accordingly. So what makes someone put forth something so patently ridiculous? I hate the think it, but it almost seems the lithium is a bit low.
click article title for comple text at IO9
<- bloodhound images ->
<- Bloodhound page ->
XLR-2 hybrid rocket motor test from Sonny W. on Vimeo.
<- Dvice ->
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Chandrayaan-1 will map the surface of the Moon, determine its mineralogy content, and land a small impact probe which will "give ISRO [Indian Space Research Organization] scientists experience to be used in subsequent lunar landing missions."
The mission cost a relatively minuscule $86m for a mission that is a small step forward in humanity's eventual colonization of the Moon and is a well-deserved source of pride for an important, developing country.
<Moon Daily Article>
<Variety SF Article>
Check out the article in Dvice for a series of really cool pics of this ground breaking installation in operation
<- read more ->
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
My reading of Last Light can be found in the story archives and it appears in Shaun's story collection "Navigating the New World"
<- More ->
Saturday, October 18, 2008
People said Frank got his inspiration from earthworm collectors, some of whom pound the ground, some a stake driven thereto, resulting in the worms surfacing for easy exploitatino.
Vanderbilt University biologist Ken Catania's reserches however, reveal that the reason that earthworms head for the surface when their ground is thumped is that they percieve the noise as the sound of a giant worm-eating mole digging its terrible way worard the,m.
To surface is to flee, then: According to Professor Catania, moles don't hunt prey on the surface. See his report here
So one fears to ask (because it could incite young Herbert into yet another Dune sequel or prequel!) Dares one ask, what dread beast do the arrakis sandworms believe they are fleeing, when they respond to a Fremen thumper????
Friday, October 17, 2008
Shaun Saunders has really sent in an interesting and in depth article concerning the techniques used to get components to self assemble.
Click here for the Nature News complete article
"Tall Poppies" by Simon Petrie
"Please Register" by Shaune Lafferty Webb
"Bummed" by Rick Kennett
"Togetherness" by Greg Austin
"Hunky Dory" by Shaun A. Saunders
"It's Not Everywhere" by Francis Conaty
"Red" by Chris Broadribb
"An Evening's Work" by Andrew Leadbeatter
"Efficiency Gains" by Tom Sullivan
"Let Us Pray" by Lee Giminez
This month's issue also features three fifty-worders, and Jan Napier once again goes critical and finds eldritch in the company of Others in "The Night Watch". Meanwhile, Nuke, in his review column "Vide", is embroiled in a "Heart Shaped Box" and discovers the "Principles of Angels".
Thursday, October 16, 2008
<- F&SF via SFScope ->
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
What makes this extraordinarily interesting is writer Shaun Saunders nailed this home with his story Last Light which we read on Beam Me Up some months ago. His story is available in his newest book "Navigating the New World"and is also available in the show's story archives
<- more space.com ->
<- MSNBC via Boing Boing ->
Monday, October 13, 2008
The Forever War revolves around a soldier who battles an enemy in deep space for only a few months, only to return home to a planet that has moved many years into the future. Due to time dialation he has remained young but his home planet has continued to change. Now he doesn’t recognize his home and no one remembers him.
<- Variety via IO9 ->
<- read more in the Associated Press article ->
Thanks to Shaun Saunders for the post
<- New Sciencetist article ->
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Shaun Saunders sends in an article from BBC News about space tourist Richard Garriot who was part of the crew of the Russian Soyuz that launched towards the ISS recently. Mr Garriott. a software design millionaire, has paid about $30m for his 10-day trip to the International Space Station. Richard's father, Owen Garriott, spent 60 days on the US space station Skylab in 1973. Owen, now 77, will support his son from mission control in Moscow. Richard plans to carry out experiments during his voyage, including one involving protein crystal growth, on behalf of companies that he says have footed a "meaningful percentage" of the ticket price. He will also follow in his father's footsteps and take photos to record how the Earth's surface has changed in the 35 years since his father's voyage.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Not sounding good to me.. considering how the other revamps of tv shows have worked out. Knight Rider anyone?
Thursday, October 09, 2008
<- DeVice article ->
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Now Japan has made the development of space elevator technology a priority as part of the country's long-term space development plans. The Japan Space Elevator Association was created to promote and educate the public on the creation of a space elevator. The JSEA believes that the entire space elevator could eventually be constructed for as little as $10 billion dollars, more or less.
<- Times online article via IO9 ->
- denote(s) that point in a TV show or movie series' history where the plot veers off into absurd story lines or out-of-the-ordinary characterizations, undergoing too many changes to retain the original appeal of the series. Shows that have "jumped the shark" are typically deemed to have passed their peak as after this point critical fans can point to a noticeable decline in the show's overall quality.
So what am I babbling about? Maybe I never fully realized a "shark" moment due mostly to the fact that with the majority of the shows I watch in the science fiction realm often use odd plot devices, strange plot twists and so on. I don't consider these as harbringers of the programs ultimate demise...just a fact of life in Science Fiction. That being said, I can think of a couple of shark jumping moments in science fiction or science fictionish shows.
- Mork & Mindy: The big egg. and the addition of Johnathan Winters.
- SG-1: The depature of Don Davis, addition of Claudia Black who get pregnant & Ben Bower
<- Wiki Jumping the Shark ->
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
324 pp pb
I think I can safely say that this novel may hold the record for the worst title. Here is a title that screams low comedy perhaps, or at best a simplistic plot - And that dear reader would be a shame to pass this gem up. In the end the title may be marketing genius.. lol who knows! Anway:
Aloysius "Spider" Webb is a walking cliche. A down and out x-cop, released from the force for being in the end, too honest. Out of options Spider jumps at a chance to make a living wage. But the catch is, he will be fixing malfunctioning time machines. Thinking that glamour awaits, the reality of his situation is that he is trapped in a no where job, barely making ends meet working for a pig of a boss. All this would have been tolerable until a time machine blows up and leaves behind something nightmares are made of, strangers seem to be spying on him and weirdest of all he finds himself murdered in his own bed.
This list of weirdness doesn't even come close to describing the mind bending twists and turns that take place in Bedford's Time Machines Repaired While U Wait. If you are a fan of the Time Travel science fiction sub-genre you will get enough of what makes this book tick to fill four novels. At the end you will question EVERY character in the book. There are enough twists and turns, to hold the attention of even the most jaded science fiction fan. Some of the places and concepts are truly mind bending. The scope literally takes you to one of the strangest places ever. And in true potboiler cop drama, the ending is scary, disturbing and twisted in so many ways.
I didn't have much of a problem with Time Machines.... other than putting it down.
<- Edge publishing newsletter website ->
I for one hope that this health problem is a transient thing and Mz. McCaffrey will be well enough to venture out in the near future.
<- SF Scope article ->
Killus was the author of two sf novels: Book of Shadows (Ace, 1983) and SunSmoke (Ace, 1985), the latter of which was reissued in 2003. He also had nearly two dozen stories published between 1981 and 2007, including "Flower in the Void", published in the Summer 2002 issue of Artemis Magazine. His scientific papers are more numerous, and his web site has many of them available as pdfs.
He is survived by his wife, Amelia "Amy" Sefton.
Monday, October 06, 2008
Click the link below or the photo of Jupiter to see the full
hi rez photo of Jupiter
From the Fedbizopps.gov Darpa site: DARPA is interested in a feasibility study and experiments to prove out the possibility of making an aircraft that can maneuver underwater.
From Network World: The agency's Submersible Aircraft research project is exploring the possibility of making an aircraft that can maneuver underwater with the goal of revolutionizing the US Department of Defense's ability to, for example, bring warfighters and equipment to coastal locations or enhance rescue operations. DARPA said that the concept being evaluated here is for a submersible aircraft, not a flying submarine.
Darpa has gone so far as to set up preliminary specs for said Uplane: here is a partial list.
- Flight: The minimal required airborne tactical radius of the sub-plane is 1000 nautical miles.
- Loiter: The platform should be capable of loitering i for up to 3 days .
- Payload: The platform should be capable of transporting 8 operators, as well as all of their equipment, with a total cargo weight of 2000 pounds.
Sunday, October 05, 2008
<- Telegraph.co.uk via Gizmodo ->
As a recent article in Science Daily stated: Electronic hardware designers have achieved fantastic levels of reliability so far but, as such devices become more and more complex, such instances can only become more common. Under fault conditions it would, therefore, be highly desirable for the system to be able to cope with faults, and continue to operate effectively even if one or more components have failed; but this is not the way electronic systems are currently designed.
Researchers at the University of the West of England are to carry out ground breaking research with collaborators from the University of York into creating electronic systems that can diagnose and heal their own faults in ways similar to the human immune system.
Drawing on inspiration from nature, the researchers at York and Bristol will look for ways to create electronic systems based on a structure of ‘cells’ which have the ability to work together to defend system integrity, diagnose faults, and heal themselves. The researchers will be looking at the way complex biological systems, such as the defense mechanism of the human body, are able to deal with faults and still keep functioning.
(The science fiction tie in? This is how I envision a true android. A cyborg is a mixture of man and machine, a robot is pure machine. But a self healing machine ? That starting to sound like a biological analogue....an android.)
<- more -> from Science Daily online
Friday, October 03, 2008
Kazan isn't putting any new information on the table and even less speculation. What he is doing is putting all the most important interest points together and the general opinions help by the general populace. All the major mission facets from returning to the moon to stepping off on Mars with comment on what equipment and other problems have to be overcome to get this mission "off the ground and flying" Nothing new, except maybe a clear set of eyes and for that reason, I would give the article a read to get a well rounded look at the problems facing NASA as it pushes for a Mars landing
Thursday, October 02, 2008
On June 10, 2007, a spike of gamma-rays lasting less than five seconds was detected by NASA's Swift satellite. But this high-energy flash wasn't a gamma-ray burst - which would herald the formation of a black hole. During the next three days, the object brightened and faded in visible light 40 times! Eleven days later, it flashed again, this time at infrared wavelengths. Then, it disappeared from view.
Astronomers think the object was a neutron star -- the crushed core of a massive star that long ago exploded as a supernova. A team of 42 scientists have concludes that the object is a special type of neutron star called a magnetar, of which only a dozen have been discovered so far.
Although measuring only about 12 miles across -- neutron stars have the strongest magnetic fields in the cosmos. magnetars may have magnetic fields more than 100 times the strength of typical neutron stars.
So what caused this particular magnetar to put on such a dazzling show? Neutron stars have massive gravities as well as incredible fast rotation. Mix that with the ultra strong magnetic field and you have the makings of what is called a star quake. These quakes are so strong that they fracture the surface of the magnetar and eject huge amounts of energy which is spun up by the magnetic fields.
> NASA's Swift Web site
*these stories and many others by Shaun Saunders can be found in his book Navigating the New World are available from Anti Sf
<- more ->
BI Special Agent who during an investigation is asked to be part of an inter-agency task force. With the help of an Einstein class genius who just happened to be in a mental hospital for 17 years, his estranged son whom he hasn't talked to for an equal amount of time, a Homeland Security Agent who seems to be part of a much larger secret agency and a multi billion dollar corporate executive that may be aiding but more likely is part of a huge conspiracy. The conspiracy? Think X Files only with weird science, corporate intrigue, time travel? and aliens (well maybe aliens...not sure what is going on yet)
I just couldn't get into XFiles but Fringe yanked me in and held my interest. Maybe it the strange quasi sceince that is uncovered from week to week. Big corporations fighting over scientific resources is nothing new, but a female corporate shark seems to spice things up. I am glad that Fox gave this strange/quirky new show an extention. It's worth the attention.
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Reviews and fans seemed to have drifted away from the show. I for one look for it. If I miss it on TV then I hit it on the Fox site. Maybe that is where Fox might be dropping the ball. There are no ads on any of the SCC shows, which I find it hard to believe that no one can be found to throw money at the show? Are the watchers of the online version even counted? Besides that, I think Allison from Palmdale was a great show. I was never quite sure who the off camera interrogator was until the very end of the program. There is still some indication that John's "repair" boardered on a reset instead of fix. The head on a pike line was chilling. I hope they don't axe the show too quickly. I'm really getting into it.