Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Flags Remain!

NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera captured the shadowed side of the flag planted at the Apollo 16 site.

Each of the six Apollo missions to the Moon's surface left a patriotic reminder of the mission - The Stars & Stripes, stiffened by flexible metal strips, standing proudly on the landing site.

In a conversation with a listener, he recalls that Armstrong reported that he observed the Apollo 11's flag being blown over by the blast from Eagle's LAM as it lifted off.

This started some speculation that persisted to today, wondering if Armstrong indeed saw their flag topple and furthermore what fate did the other 5 flags come too.

Well according to my friend and backed up with an article from the NY Daily News, sent in by Xnewsman,

The most recent photos taken by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera show that all 5 flags do indeed still stand — except the one placed by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin July 20, 1969.

As you can see in this amazing photo: Not only is the decent module clearly visible but the shadow of the flag, this one from the Apollo 16 & 17 missions.  Of course if you look closely you can see the LRV or "rover".

Now I can not add any validity to this statement, but it was mentioned that further pictures from the cameras aboard the LRV show some of the other discarded   hardware, not confined to just the PLISS backpacks.  I can not imagine why they would discard helmets, gloves and boots considering that these would almost be safety related items, however it WAS mentioned that these items were also jettisoned.  Someone want to correct me on this statement?!

Oh and before I forget, the complete article is linked to this article's title.
Also check out nasa.gov and the WIKI on the LRO here

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Moon Creating Impactor May Still Be Around?!

Huh? Are they serious?! The planet that ripped Earth a new one so bad that the leftover orbits us every 29 days or so, may still be hiding out to finish the job?! That's what I said when I read this in a Dvice article. It would seem that:

  • the rogue planet was not actually destroyed in the impact, and we don't know where it went.

This according to new models. But the odds of this happening are very very low and truth be told that the best time for this to have happened would have been 4.5 billion years ago. Now the truly astute among us are saying, hey wait, that was when it hit us the first time and you would be right! The odds have steadily dropped since that first cataclysmic impact.

The worrisome part of all this speculation is that, studying the competition of the Earth and the Moon seems to indicate that very little of impactor's mass was exchanged and it may have continued on it's orbit with little loss of mass.

Well, like this article suggest though is that it is a "bit" on the fringe, and a fair piece from the standard model. Lots more evidence will have to come to light before it looses it's "crackpot" status....but still...something does not add up and remember it's what you DON'T know that will git ya!

The graphic shows A new model showing a Mars-sized planet impacting Earth to form the Moon and then escaping.

Pillars of Creation, Vaporized Thousands of Years Ago?

I had heard speculation of this a few years ago and even noted it.

Now it seems, if not confirmed, thought by today's astronomers to be very likely that the beautiful construct in the Eagle nebula, called the Pillars of Creation, may in fact have been destroyed thousands of years ago by the shock wave from a nearby supernova. This fact will be extremely hard to to confirm however. Because of the distance ( in overall stellar terms the pillars are pretty close, relatively speaking, some 7000 light years distant) it will be at least another millennium before the light from their destruction starts to reach us.

"The Pillars of Creation" was taken by the Hubble telescope in 1995. The Pillars are of great interest by astronomers because these columns of dust and gas are likely places where stars form. which makes the next time they were re-imaged turned out to be a bit melancholy. In 2007 researchers again focused on this region of space using the Spitzer Space Telescope. These new images showed the Pillars and next to them, a giant cloud of hot dust thought to have been heated by the blast of a star that possibly went supernova.
What's more this shock wave could have already reached the Pillars, causing them to disintegrate about 6,000 years ago. (hence the 1000 year estimate before we start to see evidence of the destruction)

Read more at the Daily Galaxy here

And an excellent break down of this information in the Wikipedia here

Beam Me Up episode 324 is now online

Here we are again for another week of Beam Me Up. This week in episode 324, I start off with an article posted by Kallamis who noted that we have lost one of our greatest scientific and space ...I have to say it...heroes Sally Ride . I note how little recognition Mz. Ride received for being the United States' first woman in space among many other accomplishments.

Next is our first story of the afternoon. I had started reading some golden age science fiction only to discover that Librivox had both of these excellent pieces of fiction already available, so what had started as a celebration of some of the early days of written fiction, instead becomes additionally an example of some of the great fiction available on Librivox!

The first story is “I am a Stranger here Myself” by Mac Reynolds.

Fast on the heals of our first story is Star Trek Trivia. I answer last week's questions and ask two more more trivia questions.

This week I found 3 very good article from Earth Sky that really cover a variety of scientific questions.
I am certain you will enjoy this week's Earth Sky section.

The final article from the blog was an excellent run down of the newest Mars exploratory vehicle called the Mars Mobile Vehicle or Curiosity that is due to land on Mars the sixth of August and there is supposed to be close to live broadcasting as they can get it. Of course there has been some confusion about how live “live” will be, but I am just anxious to see that it arrives healthy!

And finally another Librivox offering called Cully by Jack Egan which details a very mysterious walk across the ocean bottom.


Friday, July 27, 2012

Get A Life!

Xnews man sends in an article from the NY Daily News concerning one of the funniest and one of the most iconic phrases spoken by a science fiction television show personality. I even remember seeing this episode of SNL where William Shatner faces a gathering of fanatical (and faux) "Trekies". After a stream of inane questions from the fans, Shatner informs the gathering in frustration to "get a life!"

Never one to let an opportunity pass, Shatner went on to pen a book in 1999 called “Get a Life!,” exploring the cult of “Star Trek” fans and conventions.

Expanding on the 1999 book, Shatner now plans to host a documentary of the same name.

“Get A Life!,” is set mostly at the 2011 Las Vegas Star Trek convention. It features interviews with fans from around the world who travel to the gatherings, as well as cast members from the franchise.

Life copying art copying life....

For more you can check the NY Daily News article here

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Mars landing 2012

Okay, first off, I can't find half the information I need to find. But from what I have gathered so far, on August 6th, the science channel will cover the mars landing live. I am guessing that NASA will air this also. There is also a video on YouTube for anyone that missed it on whatever science show I saw it on, sorry i forget which one. But here's the link. It's called 7 minutes of terror. Yeah, no kidding, especially for those poor guys at NASA control. It deals with the landing on mars, and is really cool to watch. I think my rear would be puckered immensely being in that control room, even as a visiting watcher.

What's landing is a science lab on wheels, literally. It is called the MSL (Mars Science Laboratory, or Curiosity which I much prefer to MSL. It was launched on 11/26/2011, and is scheduled to drop planet side at 5:31 UTC, (basically Greenwich mean time), on august 6th.  It is about twice the length and around 5 times heavier than either Opportunity or Spirit. It's about the size of a mini cooper, at a length of ten feet and weighing in at 1982 pounds.It also carries more than 10 times the mass in scientific equipment than past exploration vehicles have.It is powered by Plutonium-238 the same as the Viking 1 and 2 were, meaning a radioisotope thermoelectric generator.
  It wil be landing near to the mountain we call Aeolis Mons. This used to be named Mount Sharp. This mountain is in the center of Gale crater and rises approximately 18,000 feet high. The yellow circle at left shows the what i believe is the proposed landing site. It's terrain travel time is around 300 feet per hour under auto navigation, however they believe it's speed on mars will average more around 98 feet per hour. It is also capable of rolling over obstacles up to 30 inches in height. 
  It is expected to explore for at least 1 martian year, which is 687 days on Earth, and cover a range of 3-12 miles. Personally, I am betting it will do better than that. Like the great Mr. Montgomery Scott once said, an engineer is always just a wee bit conservative, at least on paper.
  Curiosity has 4 main objectives:
1. Determine whether mars could have ever supported life.
2. Study the geology of Mars.
3. Study the climate on Mars.
4. Plan for manned mission to Mars.
 In order to do this, Curiosity has 6 main scientific objectives.
Determine the mineralogical composition of surface and near surface materials.
Attempt to collect biosignatures that are the chemical building blocks for life.
Figure out the process that formed and changed rocks and soils.
Determine state, distribution, and cycling of water and carbon dioxide.
An assessment of long term timescale of mars atmospheres evolutionary process.(As in 4 billion years)
Broad spectrum surface radiation including Solar proton events, cosmic radiation, secondary neutrons, and even galactic radiation. 
  It is also measuring the radiation exposure in it's interior as it travels to mars which will be needed to launch a future manned mission. 
I could go on and on and on here, what with the landing systems, equipment carried, etc, and we would all be here for the next year. Here's two links to other sites, one being wiki that explains all that.

This next link runs through a series of artists conceptions showing how the landing system works for Curiosity. Because of the atmosphere on mars, normal landing procedures won't work well. Starting with rockets and chutes. This shows the combination and the series of events in order to land Curiosity. 

I will say it again, Even as a watcher in the control room, I do believe things would be quite puckered during those minutes. I mean think about it, a 2.5 billion dollar project, that is now completely on it's own and out of any control that you could do to help it once it begins it's landing procedure. And just imagine the poor guys that designed and built it. Standing there watching, and knowing there is not a damn thing they can do if something goes wrong. 
Not sure that the term 7 minutes of terror actually covers what they are feeling. 
Maybe we'll get lucky, it'll find a big hole somewhere we didn't know about, and we'll get to introduce ourselves to the Martian Man-hunter. (Yeah I know, but I've been watching DC anime today, so let me hope for what is 99.98% not going to happen for 2 minutes, lol.)
We really don't want to give up on our neighbor, but here's a question. I know the area of the planet around the center and just off are logical places. I however thing we need to land at the southern  pole, and I am curious as to why we aren't trying to find out all we can about that area and what may lie within the ice. If it was melted, it would cover the entire surface of mars to a depth of around 36 feet. I still think we should be looking there, and now the conspiracist in me comes out. Why aren't we? 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Gardens of the Mind - PBS & Mr. Rogers Remix

Mister Rogers remixed by Symphony of Science's John D. Boswell for PBS Digital Studios.

John of Symphony has several works in progress. He writes about this compilation: Symphony of Science is still alive and well, and there will be new videos released shortly.

John's biggest project is called Terra Lumina. He describes it as an original, full length folk/rock album all about science. The Terra Lumina project is being funded by a kick-starter campaign that you can hear the proposal from the man himself here Sounds like a worthy project to me!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Another hero leaves without us

 Sally Kristen Ride
May 26, 1951 - July 23, 2012
She was the first woman, from the United States, to enter space On June 18, 1983, she became the first American woman in space aboard the the Space Shuttle Challenger. She also founded NASA's Office of Exploration.

She was one of over 8,000 people to answer a newspaper ad seeking people for the space program. She was chosen and joined NASA in 1978.

She was also the ground bases Capsule communicator for the 2nd and 3rd Space shuttle flights, and was also involved in the development of the Shuttles robot arm.
In 1987 she left washington DC to work at Stanford University where she was involved in the Center for International Security and Arms Control.

She was also the only public figure to back Roger Boisjoly when he went public with his pre-disaster warning about the tech problems with the Space Shuttle Challenger.

She wrote 5 books on space. These were aimed at children, in an attempt to get them into the sciences and space.

She received numerous awards including the NASA Space Flight Medal twice, and was also the only person to serve on both panels over the two shuttle disasters, Challenger and Columbia.

She was taken from us after a 17 month battle with pancreatic cancer.
Good luck our friend. May the solar winds carry you far into the unknown. We'll catch up eventually.

So long hero, we'll miss you, and you will never be forgotten.

I think it's time for another statue to be made.


   Just a reminder to everyone. Eureka is gone (I'll keep my trap shut), but Warehouse 13, and  alpha's are back on sci-fi tonight. (I refuse to type out sy- yeah that.)
  Anyway, that's it. Just wanted to make sure everyone here knew it was returning tonight.
This has nothing to do with sci-fi or science here however, but thought I'd add this link jujst for a laugh or two. I enjoyed learning it.
  So if anyone here is interested in learning a word or two of Japanese , here's a link.
I won't spoil the amazing teaching technique used here. But it could certainly be used to make some kids return to science if they were taught like this.


Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Stroop Effect

Ever heard of the Stroop Effect? I hadn't until recently, but it is a great insight into the workings of the brain. Here is what the wiki says about it.

  •  the Stroop effect is a demonstration of the reaction time of a task. When the name of a color (e.g., "blue," "green," or "red") is printed in a color not denoted by the name (e.g., the word "red" printed in blue ink instead of red ink), naming the color of the word takes longer and is more prone to errors than when the color of the ink matches the name of the color. The effect is named after John Ridley Stroop who first published the effect in English in 1935.  The effect had previously been published in Germany in 1929. The original paper has been one of the most cited papers in the history of experimental psychology, leading to more than 700 replications. The effect has been used to create a psychological test (Stroop Test) that is widely used in clinical practice and investigation.
One of the things I like about this test is it's ease in replication.  You can manufacture testing material, run the experiment and generate data in fairly fast order. 

There are other equally fascinating test, however the setup and execution is such that one can lose interest easily.  Read the wiki article and some of the online material.  This is truly a fun and interesting experiment with many variations. 

Beam Me Up episode 323 is now online

My rant this week was, I went around and asked some people so what do you know about July 20th? Can you think of anything exciting? I want to thank Xnewsman for breaking the ice on this one because I had ranted before and nada. If you remember great, if not listen to the podcast….nuff said.

Let’s talk about audio fiction.

This week we have a couple of short works that I am sure will keep you interested. The first is “What if /2” by Christine Gladstone, which tell the story of a classic science thought experiment from a VERY unique perspective. The closing story this week is “Shipwrecked” by Mark Webb. Again a very classic tale with a unique perspective. Here is an advanced race of interstellar explorers who are judging Humanity’s fitness to join the galactic federation, by devising a conclusive test that no one can fail to understand. But what happens if there be dragons?

From Christine’s story I proceed straight to Star Trek Trivia, where each week I ask a couple of new trivia questions from the iconic original Star Trek. The Earth Sky website had three great questions in this week’s download file (not to say that the rest were not interesting, however did not really pertain to this week’s material) and I am sure you will want to go to Earth_Sky for more!

This week for review: I managed to get a copy of the newest “hero” dvd. By that I mean, the Black Panther is a relatively new player in the overall DC Comic lineup and recently I have seen this character showing up more and more short / and featurettes. Eventually I discovered that Black Panther was a BET original with Stan Lee, so you will find more details and a information about the episodes and the dvd.

From the Beam Me Up blog I found a youTube video of the Batman tv show window gags. Dave Sholes’ book Alien Hunter / Star Trooper is also reviewed. I should have done it when I played his story Intervention which is in part a telling of the aftermath of a great war (check out episode 320 for the short story) Where Alien Hunter tell the tale of the war itself! The blog (wrfrbeameup.blogspot.com) will really be a great resource as is this podcast in finding out more of where to get it and what it reads like! Before I play the last story this week, I close with my feelings on the loss of Eureka. If you have read the blog you know that I am not a happy camper….well….that’s only the start.

And of course the close is Shipwrecked.


Friday, July 20, 2012

43 Years Ago Today (July 20th) A History Making Day

At 10:56 p.m. ET, on July 20, 1969 these history making words were spoken. "That’s one small step for a man — one giant leap for mankind." This put astronaut Neal Armstrong in the fore front of one of the most historic achievements of the 20th century and there would be little argument towards saying one of the most historic ever!

Xnewsman of course has to keep me on track, so he sent in this article from msn.com  that really brings back the excitement and awe of the moment. For my part this I was reading this Dvice article here which showed the stunning photograph which was the first that Neal took after jumping 3 feet to the surface. And this next one I had never seen before! I love Apollo 8's shot of the Earth from lunar orbit, but from the surface looking straight up the side of the LEM towards Earth! What a stunning photo! You have to check out the Dvice gallery I was looking at because they take a shot of the Luna accent module Eagle preparing to dock with the command module with the Earth in the background! Heart stopping it is so beautiful! Thanks for the update Xnewsman!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Architects still believe.

   This is another of those just interesting tidbits I came across somehow wondering around the net.
Basically it is just concepts done by architects of their ideas of future homes. The first one they showed was this photo here. It is a tornado proof home, that lowers into the ground.  The home is Kevlar coated, and raises and lowers by hydraulics. The roof locks closed to protect the home from wind, water, and debris. 
   The second one is really interesting however, as I can see interesting problems arising from living in a house that is suspended in the air from floating wings and hanging by cables. I can already hear that conversation.
Employee:   Boss, I'm going to be a bit late.
Boss:  Where are you?
Employee:  That's a damn good question.
   Check it out, you'll see what I mean.Talk about waking up in the wrong place. One night of curry and beer milkshakes, and it could really get interesting.
   There are 10 total, and each one is quite interesting. The urban tree house that uses the space above streets to build in looks interesting as well. Great idea to take up all that unused space.  And yeah, some of these I see real problems with, but they are still cool.
   They even have a concept of a housing system for the moon. 
   I could go on and on on every one, and every aspect that is good and bad of each one. Considering space,  lets see who likes what here. 
   Personally I'd be with the house in pics 15 - 16. I like my privacy and the energy savings are always better underground. Plus it is just cool to have a house built into a hill or mountain.
   Check out the houses and imagine what it would be like if they would get their butts in gear and make these available today. At prices that normal house buyers could afford I mean.
   Some of these will remind you of shows or movies I am sure. They did me. And those that didn't, I started creating my own around. 

Batman tv Show Window Gags

Here I came across a very funny series of clips from the old Batman tv show. They were called the window gag. Somehow I don't seem to recall these little asides inside a show, maybe early on I didn't realize the camp and only later, but then it was a double whammy for me, first just enjoying a quirky show and then being able to watch it again for the campy fun...win win.

So check out the window gags and catch the gag within a gag...have fun!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Alien Hunter, Star Trooper

As you notice, just below this post is a review of Dave Scholes Soldier of the Brell.
Also I have mentioned to you that he has been an ongoing sponsor of  BMU and has decided to do so again.  Here is what Dave wrote :

With "Alien Hunter, Star Trooper" -I was going to cut off the original offer at 11.59pm Wednesday 18 July (US Pacific time) then re-introduce it from 12.01am Saturday 21 July to 11.59pm Sunday 22 July (US Pacific time). 

is that ok? hummm  Check for your self on Amazon and get a free one on Dave!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

All Things Good and Scholes

Hey how many of you thoroughly enjoyed David Scholes story Intervention that I read on episode 320? As you may remember this story was about a pair of beings examining a field of battle that capped the end of an ancient titanic war between the godlike benevolent race called the Brell and  a loose confederacy of the agents of chaos and darkness.  

The Brell it would seem are for all intents all powerful, but it is the small set back and reversals that over the ages eventually had drastic effects on Brell to protect themselves and those they had promised protection to and eventually led to defeat. 

Now the after effects are all that were hinted at in Intervention, when the god like Brell ( which now it seems were the basis for the Norse gods legends) appear to recover a long dead hero (who may or may not have been the inspiration for Thor).

Being just hinted at in the previous story, this last great stand by a Brell hero is brought to light in Scholes' Soldier of the Brell where Intervention is expanded and filled in with the book starting with the very same cataclysmic battle of the Gods! 

Even though we had a wonderful treatment in Intervention, the beginning of Soldier brings the majesty back home to roost and that is not the best part!  That is only the beginning!  Soldier of the Brell goes on to greater heights at a pell mell pace!  Because the fabulous part of Soldier is that is is less that 100 pages which leave it in a unique position to give us a rousing read in just a few settings!

The really fun part of this book is that you get the feeling that you have heard the story and recognize the players , but I ascribed this to Scholes solid grip on the Norse mythology and plainly he can weave a wonderful tale.  Scholes indeed would be that person around an ancient cookfire that could mesmerize with the flame and the tale.  

Soldier of the Brell is almost impossible NOT to recommend.  Just because he has managed to hammer a wide vista into a smaller venue and everyone benefits! 

Ebook versions are to be found on Xlibris and Amazon. You can also get a killer paperback version on Amazon as well.  I love the cover!  But if you like your E book version...OMG they are so REASONABLE!  

In other great news from Dave - He writes:
Just to let you know that the e-book version of my Alien Hunter, Star Trooper novella is currently free on Amazon (until 11.59pm Friday 20 July US Pacific Time).

Yep that works Dave!  And you saw it, people!  FREE  Alien Hunter Star Trooper!  Do I need to say more people?! 

Monday, July 16, 2012

COMMENT: Goodbye Eureka

Wow, last episode. I am going to leave the "how

disapointing" or "how disappointed I am with SyFy" and just for a few minutes ponder the loss of another great show. Eureka was always a quaint proposition in the first place. They took their science from the Star Trek school of physics most of the time and often the show was blatant morality plays. But if you were a fan, you were a FAN. The people were easy enough to identify, if you didn't get it right off, our everyman Carter was there to "this is what I do...." But they managed to go out in style, yes a tear jerker at times, I know, but the closed loop at the end?!!! I am SOOOOO loving that.

So not so much as losing a close friend, the feeling for Eureka at the risk of being anthropomorphic, was having that close friend move away.

The sting will fade as it has before with better, far better shows, but if you have enjoyed the years, then you know the characters you have come to enjoy aren't there. TV Science Fiction is plainer for it.

Good bye Eureka

Oh and thanks to Kallamis for the graphic find!  Sweet!

Inside the LHC with LightBox

Oh wow, you HAVE to take a look at this!!!! Courtney sent me in a link for a Lightbox tour of the Large Hadron Collider! You can pan 360 up and down and zoom in to see I swear individual bolts and read signs! Wonderful! highlight the code below, or click the article title


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Doomsday Weatherman

Here a weatherman from Richmond, VA, is really going out on a limb with his hilarious forecast.

You have to figure that getting an accurate weather prediction during doomsday is a difficult proposition. Good to know that some people are professionals under any circumstances!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Higgs boson Dataset Used For Musical Notation

Not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but it sure is an interesting thing.... who knew the music of the spheres played to a samba beat huh?

Relativistic Baseball!

Randall "XKCD" Munroe has started a new blog in the "what if" venue which I really find entertaining. He is taking what if questions and treating them as reasonable questions. The first question was, what would a pitch be like if the pitcher could throw at or near C.

Here is a short piece of the response I found in Boing Boing:

  • The ball is going so fast that everything else is practically stationary. Even the molecules in the air are stationary. Air molecules vibrate back and forth at a few hundred miles per hour, but the ball is moving through them at 600 million miles per hour. This means that as far as the ball is concerned, they’re just hanging there, frozen.
  • The ideas of aerodynamics don’t apply here. Normally, air would flow around anything moving through it. But the air molecules in front of this ball don’t have time to be jostled out of the way. The ball smacks into them hard that the atoms in the air molecules actually fuse with the atoms in the ball’s surface. Each collision releases a burst of gamma rays and scattered particles. fusion illustration fusion zone of baseball
  • These gamma rays and debris expand outward in a bubble centered on the pitcher’s mound. They start to tear apart the molecules in the air, ripping the electrons from the nuclei and turning the air in the stadium into an expanding bubble of incandescent plasma. The wall of this bubble approaches the batter at about the speed of light—only slightly ahead of the ball itself.
Boy does that sound like the most frightening game you ever heard of?  First pitch, top of the first...one pitch and the whole stadium is reduced to slag from the fusion blast!  SWEET!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

WTF Happened 2

   Expanding on my original blog, there are a lot of things the kids are missing, and changes that have made life in some ways, much more dangerous for the common person. Lets start with phones, and first the land line. Don't see many with cords any longer, they all come on a base unit. No power, no phone. Back in the day, phones worked regardless of power outage. Cell phones are an amazing gift, (ty Star Trek) until they are put in the hands of people that have them attached to their brain stem. Here's a comment from the WTF happened blog that applies here.    ...It is going to be oh so much worse than you think...Try this, ask ANY generation Xer who they call the most then ask them what their number is.....see how long it takes for the hinder-brain to come out of the pocket....   So true is it not. 
   Books seem to be a dirty word, along with the concept of reading anything that isn't today current or trendy.
   And what is the point of being able to look anything up, if you don't know the basics to begin with. I remember in school, there was a girl that said she didn't need to know how to change a tire. Since she was pretty some guy would stop and do it for her. That is exactly what she said.(Yeah I know.) Now they all want to just call someone, for everything. The concept of self reliance has given way to do this for me, I have no time because I have to update facebook or something that I just farted. Or even better, they all think they are going to be rich and famous and everyone should start serving them now. At least that is the attitude I see a lot.
   One global accident, and their world crumbles around them and they are completely helpless. One EMP, solar flare, whatever, and without their phone and gps they are done. Most can't even read a road map. The basics are gone, and one mistake and they are all in a lot of trouble. Most have no concept of what made this country and why they have their life. 
   Here's what really sets me off. (Besides the new lovey dovey vamp idiocy I mean). They have what we wanted, (but don't deserve it)  and they have no idea what they even have. No clue as to the great gift they have that we all waited so long for.The future is opening, but what happens when all the basic skills are gone. Great knowledge of tech, but no one to advance it, and maybe no one with a desire to except by silliness of an app. 
  I miss Barnabas, and I want my flying car damn it.

Pluto 5 - Earth 1

    Looks like Pluto isn't done with surprises either.  I love my little Planet. (Yeah, I know.)
    Our little neighbor out there apparently has another moon, bringing the total to 5 now.
    So the newest one isn't that big. Right now they are estimating a 6 - 15 mile diameter.  Makes it the smallest moon in the solar system. 
    Here's a list of Pluto's moons and when found.
    Charon was found in 1978.
    Nix and Hydra were found by Hubble in 2006
    S/2011 P 1 or P4 was found in 2011.
    P 5  just found in 2012

   Image was taken by Hubble from 2.8 billion miles away. 


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

July 12, 1962: The Day Information Went Global

Hey, how many of you out there remember when TelStar went up? All of a sudden we were using space faring satellites for communication not across the state but AROUND THE WORLD!!! Plus if you were lucky you could see it in the early evening hours climbing brilliantly into the heavens! This miricle of space age technology took place July 12, 1962. From the article:

  • launched by NASA on July 10, 1962, from Cape Canaveral, Fla., and was the first privately sponsored space-faring mission. Two days later, it relayed the world's first transatlantic television signal, from Andover Earth Station, Maine.
Of course living in Maine gave it special meaning.  (Matter of fact, the last time I went up there in the early 90s, a great deal of the facility was still there.  Along with some of the (ahem "lesser known") other buildings associated with the Earth Station. 

Telstar was the first satellite to carry a commercial payload to demonstrate the 
demonstrated the feasibility of transmitting information by satellite.  

Many people even today thought Telstar was operational for several years when in fact it was only operational for  a few months.  During that period it relayed television signals of a brief duration as well as pictures and audio.

Read the complete NASA article here

Monday, July 09, 2012

One More Time For Hellboy

I have followed Ron Pearlman's career through movie and tv and have always been impressed by his range. Considering his unique looks he still has managed to cut out a varied list of characters, from a demon from Hell to a neanderthal to a genetically damaged romanticist. All of which points to a lively intellect and a caring personality. That was born out recently when Pearlman was approached by Make a Wish to fulfill the wishes of a six year old boy who is a massive fan of Hellboy. From the article I read that Pearlman submitted to the four hour makeup session all so he could grant the boy's wish to hang out for a day with Hellboy.

Belying his gruff exterior, Prealman demonstrates a huge heart.

Read the article here

WTF Happend?

          What I am referring to is the blasé attitude towards scientific advancement, and the attempts at back yard science wizardry that so many of us grew up with, and were a part of.  I was born in 63, as a reference to what I mean with all the popular science magazines etc. 
            A bunch of us back then were doing strange things with whatever we could find to wire or mix or put together. 
In 1969 I like 6-7 hundred million other people watched history begin.  
            Higgs Boson particle possibly found and we get what? Lackluster interest from the basic population at large, very limited tv news coverage, and an immediate fight from what seems to be a new interest in returning us to the dark ages as fast as is humanly possible.
            I remember the release of star wars, after they made more copies of the film once they realized that the few theaters they released it in were filling up faster than tickets could be sold and people were waiting in lines. 
            Now all the fanatics I knew back then have turned into something else. Kind of like those people that once insisted that comic books would rot your brain. All interest in the fun and excitement of science and sci-fi seems to have gone from them, and thereby none to be passed on to their kids. 
           Kids seem more concerned about the latest piece of hardware to be pushed on them, than about how it all came to be, or the exploration that aided in the creation of their easy life. I don't remember the last kid I met that said he wanted to be an astronaut, or to go into space. Apparently there isn't enough cash or fame in that. 
          Maybe I got lost somewhere, but i'll take my magic of science and sci-fi any day, to living a life of the constant same thing, and no wonder of what is out there. I do admit, that kind seems to be a dying breed these days. All intelligent thought seems to have taken a back seat to what color is someones underwear, or someone getting divorced. And most kids seem to think a book should be in a museum. I'll take them, np.
         So, I will ask once again.
         WTF happened?

13 Minute Featurette Dark Knight Rises

Here is a YouTube featurette of the Dark Knight Rises. As the uploader promises "No plot spoilers but may be considered spoilerish by folks looking to avoid as much info as possible. Mostly just a look at the cast, themes of the film, and the epic shooting schedule."

If you are into DVD extras, this is very much in the "making of" type of short. Something along the lines of what kind of effort was put into the production. Very good little short.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Yeah? uhhhh WHAT?!

Ok yeah, I know...no science, no science fiction  but how about them bananas huh?
And the things you can read into ancient copy huh?  Ok...had my fun...

click the link in the title for the original author copy. 

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Higgs boson Confirmed?

This is why I love my daughter...Oh she is going to kill me..but early Wednesday morning I receive a call from her. She informs me that something very exciting happened today.. Well a twenty something with two young boys still in diapers I expected what....the oldest has finally decided to use the potty exclusively? Now I am not putting the situation down, but a young family takes up all your time and most of your attention so when she hit me with the discover confirmation of the Higgs boson particle, well I had to pinch myself...Two great things...for all intents, the particle that started everything spinning on it's merry way and my daughter is a geek. Lol...see why she will most likely kill me?! lol.

But there we are. The particle search characterized as "one of the longest, most expensive searches in the history of science.. Has finally been confirmed Wednesday, by the scientists at the Large Hadron Collider.

This is heady stuff. It almost has to be particle physic's version of Apollo 11. This seemingly iniquitous Higgs boson is the particle predicted by the standard model to imbue elementary particles with mass. Think about that for a second....no Higgs no universe...

Of course there are those still hedging their bet with "the new particle may not be the particle that has been described by the Standard model and has been the focus of every Physicist for the last fifty years.

LHC physicist Dr. Rolf-Dieter Heuer called the discovery “a historic milestone.” but It may be an impostor as yet unknown to physics, perhaps the first of many particles yet to be discovered.

Well I am a glass half full kind of person. I think that the hemming and hawing that has taken place since December needs to be over with. I am not a physicist and don't pretend to fully understand the full implications of the discovery, but the addage of "if it quacks like a duck....certainly should be in play now.

Read the complete article in the NYT Science

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Super Terrific Japanese thing!

OMG just when you think you have a grip on your sanity, once again along come a piece of perverse weirdness that sends you once more screaming into the night. This then is one of those times and one of those things that you would imagine that if you saw them your eyes would burst into flames and melt down your cheeks. No, I am not going to post a picture....that would be cheating and if you can get through the first 30 seconds or so with out asking WTF!!! Oh and read the authors comments, they are every bit as priceless as well.

Cobra Meets His Financial Advisor

It does not go well. Watch the last few seconds closely, I missed it the first time through. Very Funny.

Looper: Trailer

Oh wow, Bruce Willis in a time travel movie! How absolutely unique idea! Ok, I will stop and in truth "Looper" sound interesting as in a few newt twits kind of thing.

Here is the blurb that youtube had on it.

  • In Looper, time travel will be invented -- but it will be illegal and only available on the black market. When the mob wants to get rid of someone, they will send their target 30 years into the past, where a "looper" -- a hired gun, like Joe (Gordon-Levitt) -- is waiting to mop up. Joe is getting rich and life is good... until the day the mob decides to "close the loop," sending back Joe's future self (Willis) for assassination.

The B612 Sentinel project

Former astronaut "Rusty" Schweickart and other scientific professionals that make up the B612 Foundation who's goal it is to map the roughly one million Earth crossing asteroids that exist in the inner Solar System and possibly pose a threat to Earth. At present we only know of 10 thousand objects. The Sentinal Project, with the aid of the infrared space telescope call Sentinel, hopes to put the telescope into operation in five year time.

Oldest Impact Crater Discovered

Unlike the airless bodies in the Solar System, The Earth as a general example shows evidence of the massive and violent bombardment several billion years ago. Finding any evidence of ancient bombardment is more a scientific version of poke and hope. Continental drift plus the effects of rain, wind, plus the effects of the seasonal weather erase many of the structures that identify an impact crater.
From the article:

  • Now, an international team of scientists say they have found a massive impact crater in Greenland a billion years older than other known asteroid impact on Earth.

The crater is located in the Maniitsoq region of West Greenland and is roughly one billion years older that the next oldest crater. What is truly amazing though is the huge diameter of the Greenland impact which measures a stunning 62 miles across!

Craters of the age of the Greenland impact have been all but obliterated, however the crust around Greenland:

  • has been eroded over the eons to expose crust that originally was 16 miles below the surface. Effects of the immense shock-wave produced on impact penetrated deep into the crust and remain visible.
read the complete article here

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Antipodean Issue 169 Now Online

Here is a list of this month's flash fiction stories in Antipodean. As you can see, some of the authors are even know to us here on BMU. Looks to be a good month issue 169 for July 2012!

And The Stars Fall Into Charon-3, With You And Me By Ray O'Brien

The Ex Book By Jorge Werbin

Alice's Land By Rachel Towns

The Origin Of Species By Kate Krake

The Car Full Of Clowns By Tony Owens

The Thirteenth Dome By Maggie Mundy

How Not To Treat The Tooth Fairy By Wes Parish

In The Service Of The Public By Mark Webb

Safety Features By Jake Wickenhofer

Static Test of the Largest Amateur Liquid Fuel Rocket Engine

Here is the text from the YouTube video that in a nutshell shows the firing on a static test platform of the biggest amateur built liquid fueled engine.

On May 20 2012 Copenhagen Suborbitals tested its liquid propellant TM65 engine running on LOX and 75% ethanol.

Also check the image gallery at: https://picasaweb.google.com/copsub

Trailer for Robot and Frank

Wow now if this isn't an interesting sounding film Frank Langella and Susan Sarandon among others are in a very low key (at first it would seem) film set in the near future. Frank Langella plays an ex-jewel thief who receives a gift from his daughter: a robot butler programmed to look after him. But soon the two companions try their luck as a heist team. Sarandon plays the love interest.

I know I must truly be getting older because even in this trailer I strongly identify with Langella's character!

I have a feeling that this has the makings of a fun, sweet and memorable film. Sadly Langella can not have many left and he is SO good.