Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Phobos Flyby

Check out this photo.  The rock in the center frame is Phobos, one of Mars' moons.  The photo is curtsey of the Mars Express orbiter, skimming the surface at a mere 28 miles!

Why?  Well the ten year old orbiter was helping scientists to determine the density of the moon.  One unfortunate thing is, no cameras were in use at the time because of the orbiter's orientation, but this week it did make a 300 mile pass which did have cameras pointed at the moon.

If you think the photo here is spectacular, take note.....it was taken at over 4000 miles.  Yes, we are going to have some spectacular results once the data is transmitted to Earth.

For more.....check out the Dvice image of the day  HERE 

Half of Sol Type Stars May Be Binary?!

In a new study, astronomers have concluded that half of all sun like stars are in a multiple star system.   This comes from scientists using  the upgraded Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array.   These conclusions from scientists that observed a previously unseen companion star.  

The standing theory as to how such a strange formation could have taken place is that the companion must have occurred as the primary star formed and then fractured into two separate bodies during formation.

John Tobin, of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory stated that:
  • "This fits the theoretical model of companions forming from fragmentation in the disk"
  • The new observations add to a growing body of evidence supporting the disk-fragmentation idea.  This showed that disks are present early in the star formation process, a necessity for binary pairs to form through disk fragmentation.

For more, read the complete Daily Galaxy article HERE

Also Science 2.0 for some detailed information HERE

2013 A Lunatics Review

Well, let’s see. What happened this year? Or at least, what happened worth noting, and what happened that we wish we could forget.
            Okay, I have spent days working on this, and have come to the conclusion that there is no way to do this properly, so instead I am simply going to list some of what I think were things that happened this year worth noting,
            Curiosity’s information I am sure you understand tops my list this year. Big surprise there I am sure. But outside of my basic prejudices for Curiosity a lot of other things happened well.
            And there are no links to anything here, as this is all from my own brain after I gave up looking for everything that happened.
            Space X made news for its Dragon flight to the ISS.  We now have private space flight companies moving around up there, so maybe things are looking up in a few ways. Though I wish they would get it in gear, as some of us aren’t getting any freaking younger.
            An asteroid blew up over a city in Russia, basically being the biggest one I think since the 1908 Tungusta event, which for a while then was considered to be the explosion of an extra- terrestrial craft.
            Over 5000 cave paintings were discovered in Mexico that may go back as far as 6,000 BC.
            Japan succeeded in cloning a healthy mouse from a single drop of blood.
            We got photos of earth from Cassini as it aimed it’s camera back at us from Saturn.
            It is thought that there is a possibility of there being as many as 40 billion or so planets in our galaxy in what is called the habitable zone of solar systems.
            The first exoplanet orbiting a brown dwarf was discovered somewhere around 6000 miles from us.
            3D printing has made an extreme impact, from being a cheap way to manufacture a prosthetic hand, to forming engine parts for space craft.
            Doctor Who celebrated 50 years, and gave us a new Doctor, and a whole new set of regenerations as well. Still on BBC America.com if you missed it. At least it was yesterday when I watched it again.
            And let’s be honest, the year could have gone better in many ways. For one, NASA needs more money.
            And some of the movies released this year, well, I am going to be nice here so I am going to avoid that topic I think. If I don’t, I would be forced to get involved in this Man of Steel thing (good for a movie, horrible as anything supes), and that Elysium thing which was just, well, average at best. Or that Star Trek needs to get back to being Star Trek, and not let’s shoot everything that moves, or the greatest insult of the year, Evil Dead. (Talk about horror. Yeah, it was; just not the way they intended it to be).
            Needless to say, let’s hope next year does better. Now I know that none of us will agree collectively on movies, or many other aspects, but in one place I am sure we can all agree.
            Can we get a movement to stop the butchering of the English language in 2014. I know language has to grow, and evolve, but when it begins to de-evolve into silliness, and text speaking in public to people that they don’t know, it is time to change something. Or maybe, just maybe, in 2014 we’ll all just make up words that we choose, and make the language completely incomprehensible to everyone at last.
             Now I know there are many other things that happened, but after I realized that my draft was about 7 pages on word, and I wasn't close to being done, I gave up and went this way about it. Random thoughts falling out all over the place. 
So, for everyone out there in Beam Me Up land, Happy New Year to you all, if you follow the date of January 1st as your new year that is.
Or, as it is said in the language of the new America of 2014:
Gooby cupoo lork chuck, naxgo muilhja binky butt.
See you all next year folks. (Provided we can still communicate that is).


Monday, December 30, 2013

Two Brown Dwarfs And An EXO!!

There is something very exciting going on only a little over six light years from Sol.  Two Brown Dwarfs in a binary orbit seem to be harboring an exoplanet.   Exciting point one....Brown Dwarfs and in a binary orbit.  

Brown Dwarf stars are a curious animal.  First for a star, they are tiny.  For the most part hardly larger than a gas giant planet, in Luhman 16AB case, astronomers determined that the mass of these brown dwarfs is about 40 times that of Jupiter,  but very much smaller than a star.  Plus they are miserly with their energy putting out mostly infrared energy, some even so cool that if you could stand in the gravity, you could walk on the surface for the most part barefoot.  

But to find two in a binary orbit is a bit rare.  Whats more, it would seem that there is a planet in the mix as well.  

Discovered by astronomers using NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) spacecraft, Luhman 16AB is threefold more interesting as this system is only 6.6 light years away from Earth.  If further investigation confirms the previous findings, Luhman 16AB's planet would be the closest exoplanet yet discovered. 

More available on the Dvice.com article HERE

New OS on Curiosity Allows Controllers to Check for Possible Problems


NASA has installed a new operating system on the Mars Rover Curiosity.  This upgrade addresses glitches and allow expansion of old and add new capabilities.   One of the new abilities is to do detailed examination of different systems on the rover.  Of interest of late is how the Martian soil is affecting  Curiosity's wheels.  The rover's wheels are very robust, however knowing how fast they are wearing down will weigh on future courses.      

It should also be noted that this is not the first upgrade for the rover but its' third.  Testing the new upgrade and sending Curiosity on short drives to see how much a recent trip over an area containing sharp rocks may have impacted the wheels.  The rover will begin normal operation shortly there after but hereafter routes with smoother terrain will be explored if available in a hope of minimizing future wear and tear.  

Thanks to Xnewsman for the update

Check out the Space Reporter HERE

Mars One Now Has a Short List

At the point in time when Mars One stopped taking application for a one way trip to Mars, they had amassed 200,000 applications.   Now Mars One has pared down the application base and in doing so has eliminated over 99% of the applications under consideration.

Mars One's list now contains only 1058 applicants.  The percentages now according to a recent Popular Science Article:
  • 55 percent of the new applicant pool is male and 45 percent is female. That's more masculine than the general population, but still substantially more gender balanced than U.S. Congress.
  • 63 percent have a bachelor's degree or higher, while 3 percent of the total hold medical degrees (who wouldn't want a doctor on Mars?). Less than 7 percent of people on Earth in 2010 had college degrees, which means Mars may soon be the most educated planet in the solar system.
  • 76 percent of applicants are employed, 15 percent are still in school, and 8 percent are unemployed. If surviving as a colonist on another planet counts as a job, expect Mars to have an employment rate of 100 percent.
  • 43 percent of applicants come from the Americas, 27 percent from Europe, 21 percent from Asia, 5 percent from Africa, and 4 percent from Oceania. That hardly jibes with the distribution of the world population; if it did, 60 percent of Martians would be Asian and 14 percent would hail from the Americas. A closer match is the distribution of global wealth by nation, of which the Americas claim 35 percent.
As the article points out, the news ... bring a private mission to the red planet one step closer to reality.  The next step for  Mars One is final crew selection, for putting humans on Mars by 2025.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

BMU 392 Now Online Kahn's Dark Inspectre + Turnbull's part 1 of A Wondrous Gift - Doug Turnbull

Jason Kahn
Jason Kahn

And here we are the last episode of Beam Me Up for 2013.  I think, considering, that the program went well this year.  But back to what goes on with this program.

I start with one of my favorite pieces of anime music.  The Flame which is the opening music for Requiem for the Darkness.

Then Phil joins me as we honestly started to do Star Trek trivia but got off track as we found that many stars of Star Trek went on to star on Twilight Zone which I really have a soft spot for.  The episode we got off track on was TWO which was I think episode 66 staring Elizabeth Montgomery and Charles Bronson as two soldiers from opposite sides of the conflict.  One of my favs also. Then Terror at 20 thousand feet staring William Shatner which gave me nightmares for years.  lol  and we talk about some of the other episodes we enjoyed.

Then a new episode of the Dark Inspectre series...episode 23.  Things are not looking good for inspector Jack Garrett.

I then review the Will and Cypher Smith in their latest movie After Earth.

From the blog, new evac units that is truly something out of Terminator!

And finally part one of A Wondrous Gift by Doug Turnbull. 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Review: After Earth

After Earth

Jaden Smith as Kitai Raige - Will Smith as Cypher Raige - Sophie Okonedo as Faia Raige
Zoƫ Kravitz as Senshi Raige

What does it mean when your first thoughts in the very first few minutes is "So this is what we can expect from Will Smith as he get older?"  That's what happened to me.  I think it was more the makeup used on Smith to make him appear much older, but then we are treated to his wooden delivery and I start thinking that this can not be a good thing.  I guess you could  attribute it to "bringing your work home with you" as it appears that the elder Smith as Cypher Raige seems to be doing.  

Part of the movie is very confusing because not enough time is really spent in fleshing out the alien encounter and subsequent war that makes Rangers of Cypher's ilk a valuable asset.  Being able to "ghost" is never clearly defined as a mutation or a trait.  Another aspect that might cause confusion is the very animals the Rangers are trained to fight.  It is only mentioned in passing that the creatures are not THE aliens, but bred to hunt humans, hunting by "smelling" their fear.  So,  it may be that the director and writers stepped away from telling the American viewing audience every little minuet instead of letting (read forcing) the viewers to discover why things are happening the way they are.   I could go on, but that would really mean giving away too much.  

The plot is really not to terribly inventive, what am I saying, there is nothing new here at all.  That it is executed reasonably well, is no testimony to anything except that a fairly workman performance is all that was required.  Not that Jaden Smith wasn't interesting to watch, it is a shame though that as the movie progressed, his progress is rated on how wooden he becomes in the end.  Pity.  

Honestly, the whole movie is part and parcel, older science fiction themes sewn together.  There is plenty of action and personal conflict.  But it has all been done before many times and better.   Oh it is not a bad film, just doesn't set the screen on fire either.   I would say watch it for an evening's entertainment but don't expect or demand too much.

I would give the film an overall 7.   

Possible Look At Future Battlefield Evac Ambulances

As the Korean and Vietnam conflicts showed, Helicopter extraction of wounded was great for the infantryman but could be extraordinarily dangerous to the pilots transporting the wounded. 

An Israeli aeronautic company has quite literally put a new spin on the medivac  of the future.   The AirMule, developed by Urban Aeronautics, is a VTOL UAV measuring 20 feet long, over 6 feet wide, and weighing one ton. It is powered by a Turbomeca Ariel jet engine driving a pair of ducted fans.  Flight dynamics is accomplished by 200 directional air flaps, while transporting well over 800 pounds of cargo.

Read more in the Gizmodo article HERE

Monday, December 23, 2013

Sun Spots

Courtney sends me in this excellent pic of a sunspot.  She goes on to write that it is the clearest photo to day of this phenomenon.  It certainly is a very dramatic photo.  Check it out!

BMU #391 now Online

So, here we are at  BMU episode 391.  After a short opening monologue I play Winter Day by John Anealio which I feel is one of his best tracks.

Last week I did not have enough time to play the last few minutes of Dean Giles' Post Human Condition so, I right that wrong this week and take a few moments to make sure that every one get a chance to hear the who work because it really is so good.

Over in the beam Me Up blog, The Chang'e 3's rover Jade Rabbit has sepe

Next I review David Scholes's collection of 21 stories - Trathh and other Stories which is every bit as excellent as you can imagine!

Is it possible that Halley's Comet could have caused death and destruction?  

Neowise is the former NASA spacecraft Wise that has been repurposed. I talk about its new mission.

Have you heard of the Technological Singularity?  In short it is when tech gets so advanced it rivals or surpasses human inteligence...

My final story of the day is Matt London's The Show Must...

Finally I fill out the hour with a Christman favorite played by Kenny G.

That covers this week, I hope you enjoy it.  See you next week.                                 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Short Vid of the Yutu Rover Seperating From Lander

China's Yutu rover separated from it's lander platform Chang'e 3 and successfully rolled several feet away showing that the system is healthy and ready to begin exploration of the Lunar surface. 

Here is a video of the translation from lander to ground.

Review: Trathh and Other Stories by David Scholes

Trathh and Other Stories is a very unassuming title of which this collection of stories is most definitely not.

Author David Scholes, a long time BMU contributor serves up some tried and true and a lot that is new, and it is a great mixture.

Dave has given us some Trathh stories to once again whet our apatite on one of our favorite characters. Then adds in some mystery with a completely diffent venu with stories like Aftermath or The Lodger.  Both have a feeling like we know the main characters, but then we don't.  The Lodger gives a feeling of how it may have begun...but with a healthy serving of Young Old War we are thrust into a complete new malestrom.

Take the story Aftermath.  Again, we almost recognize the main protagonist and the post apocalyptic venue is also just out of reach and then with a clever twist we are again presented with a completely new venue that just cries out for more.  If I had a bitch about Aftermath it would have to be there just isn't ENOUGH!  I hope Dave turns this into a novel at some point.

I really could go on and on, but I really do not want to give too much away.    Trathh and Other Stories contains 21 short stories and is available in paperback and electronic form.  You can find the e-book at Amazon, but if you yen after a hard copy, it can be found at various sites, such as Booktopia HERE.  Or The Book Depository, E-Bay, Barnes & Noble etc.

In closing I know it must sound like I am pushing a regular author, but I can guarantee that is not the case here.  Trathh and Other Stories is thoroughly captivating and entertaining.  I would give the collection high marks in both categories.

If you have enjoyed the Trathh stories on BMU then this book is a custom fit for you.

David Scholes  Trathh and other Stories.

Halley Harbinger of Doom!

Can you wrap your head around it?  Halley's comet as the bringer of famine and death!? So it would seem.  

A recent LiveScience article suggests that the famine of 536A.D.  may have been brought about by a massive impact from a fragment of none other than the famous comet.    The climate changes brought on by the kicked up debris devastated crops and as such many people starved and sickened.  

In these weakened conditions, many people became susceptible to "Justinian's plague" in 541-542 A.D.  to go on later to be know as Europe's The Black Death!  

  • The new results come from an analysis of Greenland ice that was laid down between A.D. 533 and 540. The ice cores record large amounts of atmospheric dust during this seven-year period, not all of it originating on Earth.
 Of course there is only circumstantial evidence to suggest that a fragment was present to do this level of damage.  But to do the type of damage it is suggested that  the fragment measuring about 2000 feet wide disintegrated high up in the atmosphere spreading enough dust around the globe to cause the wide spread famines that history records.  

Check out the LiveScience blog entry HERE 

Thanks to Xnewsman for the heads up

NASA's Neowise Reactivated

NASA's Neowise (previously WISE) comet and asteroid hunting spacecraft, which during its mission

discovered more than 34,000 asteroids and  158,000 more object throughout the solar system during its prime mission in 2010 and early 2011.

The spacecraft was reactivated after more than two years in hibernation.  In its new mission Neowise will  assist NASA in identifying  potentially hazardous near-Earth objects.  NEOWISE also can assist in detecting asteroids that could be considered potential targets for future exploration missions.

In preparation of its renewed mission, Neowise released its first set of test images.

Check out the complete NASA article HERE

The Tech Singularity IS Coming & the Untruths You Have Been Told About It.

Yes, a Technological Singularity.  Do I hear mutterings about...WTF is that!? so first here is what a tech singularity is....  From the IO9 article:
  • the Technological Singularity is a term used to describe the theoretical moment in time when artificial intelligence matches and then exceeds human intelligence.
However when AI surpasses that of humans, it will, by the very nature of Moore's law, evolve into SAI or super AI.   

for the most part they are referring to John Von Neuman who said:
  •  "ever accelerating progress of technology and changes in the mode of human life, which gives the appearance of approaching some essential singularity in the history of the race beyond which human affairs, as we know them, could not continue."
But through all this interesting discussion, some misleading information and ideas have disseminating as well.  Such as, the Tech Singularity will not happen.  But if we look at Moore's Law, instead of slowing down, the doubling capacity and halving the size seems to go on unabated.  

Next is the opinion that SAI will be self aware.   I find that a bit unlikely.  They will be fast with processors beyond comprehension.  Mate that with ultra dense instruction sets  and you will have a system that can emulate consciousness and might even be able to fool a Turing Test   but human and machine intelligence is markedly different systems.   

SAIs will be friendly....As the article says that many believe that as intelligence increases so will empathy and benevolence.  Now I am not saying that the AIs in Terminator were in any way indicative, but I think this is more an option just for the reason that both empathy and benevolence require introspection and a system of ethics neither of which is something that instantly manifests itself in a vacuum.  No, I suspect that a SAI will neither be inherently friendly nor will it develop a self agenda. 

The IO9 article goes on to make several more points that are very thought provoking.  You can follow this link here                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Transcendence Trailer

Oh and just one mention of the Singularity and here is a trailer for a rather spooky disturbing film with Johnny Depp.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Coldest Plance on Earth?

Nope, it is not what you think.  It is Chamber A NASA’s vacuum chamber.    Chamber A can subject anything within its 400,000 cubic feet to the  deadly conditions of deep space while maintaining the scrubbed conditions of a clean room. To give you a sense of scale, look at the two people standing in the door of the massive chamber.  The door itself weighs in at  40-tons.   Chamber A can also reach 11 Kelvin, making it the coldest place on Earth.

The chamber was originally commisioned to test Apollo equipment in a space environment and was later refitted to test air bag landing systems used by some of the earlier Martian rovers. 

Chamber A recently went through a refit for testing the James Webb Space Telescope. 

Wikipedia listing Here

Monday, December 16, 2013

Chang'e #3 is on the Moon!

Check out this YouTube video of China's Chang'e #3 Jade Rabbit as the probe/lander descends and lands on the moon. Got to admit, shades of Apollo here, as the craft descends, hovers, chooses a landing spot and lands. All captured on video.

According to the Popular Science article, Chang'e 3 didn't land where the engineers had chosen but in a much younger geological zone.

From the article HERE :
China's next plans are for craft, Chang'e 5 and Chang'e 6, that will be able to not only land on the moon, but also scoop up some samples and return again to Earth. the #4 craft is a backup for Chang'e 3.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

BMU 390 Now Online

This week in episode 390 of Beam Me Up, after the intro and a short conversation with Phil on the ill fated Spiderman broadway play, I play the conclusion of Games by Kathyrn Maclean.

Have to play some John Anealio Christmas music, this week, Melenium Falcon for Christmas.

From the blog, recent heating and cooling problems with the ISS
I review Monsters U, a study suggesting that laughter might be bad for your health....honest!!!  Kallimus reviews the Broken Sword series of computer games.

I finish this week's program with part three of the Post Human Condition by Dean Giles



Friday, December 13, 2013

Laughter: Good for the Soul, maybe, but also can be bad for the Body!

A fellow of the BMJ has written a paper on the study of laughter.  While touted as being overall good for improving the mental state but also promoting health in lung functions, lowering blood pressure and improving mental health. 

But in all honesty the author points out that there are numerous severe side effects that can be quite debilitating, such as: dislocated jaw, incontinence, headaches, cardiac rupture,syncope,oesophageal rupture,  protrusion of abdominal hernias (from side splitting laughter or laughing fit to burst), asthma attacks, interlobular emphysema, cataplexy. 

It should also be noted that infectious laughter can disseminate real infection, which is potentially preventable by laughing up your sleeve., or into your elbow. 

There are of course pathological causes laughter that have to be treated medically, but for the most part someone needs merely to be made aware that they are at risk of injury (ie a short swift blow to either side of the head) is often enough to effect a prevention of any of the above mentioned side effects.

The paper goes on to   category references for laughter being less than beneficial: 
  • Psychological harms:   Humour weakens resolve and promotes brand preference   
  • Respiratory harms: The quick intake of breath that accompanies laugher can provoke inhalation of foreign bodies  
  • Gastrointestinal harms: A good belly laugh can make a hernia protrude 
  • Musculoskeletal harms: Laughing can dislocate the jaw     
  • Urinary tract harms:  Laughter can cause stress incontinence. ( “giggle ncontinence”) 
and many and much more...Here is a link to the BMJ 

Broken Sword 1-5

            The game is a point and click adventure game that is a series called Broken Sword. There are a total of five of them at present, and I have played three of them, and not in the right order either. Two are available for the kindle fire, being the first and second ones, and frankly they seem to work better than the original pc versions of the game. The series started back in 1996 with the release of the first story about the protagonist George Stobbart, an American patent lawyer, and Nicole "Nico" Collard, a French freelance journalist.
            Now for those that have never tried a point and click adventure, they are actually quite fun. This is not one of those hidden object games. Those things drive me freaking batty after about the fourth or fifth round. I get bored to death quickly with those. These are the type where sometimes you have to combine items or know what to ask about to someone, etc. In the second one I kept trying to hand out dog biscuits as treats. (Hey, it got some interesting responses). There are plenty of puzzles to solve along the way as well. And though they aren’t super hard usually, they can consume some time.
            Now these are basically 2D games except for the third and fourth that went to 3D graphics. It was nice, but in my opinion they should have stayed with the 2D for this type of series, but I did really enjoy that one also.  It also used a different control scheme which has since been dropped again as well.
            The games themselves are listed in order as follows.
1996  Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars
1997  Broken Sword II: The Smoking Mirror
            These are the first two games in the series, and both used 2D rendering, and the basic point and click interface for movement and for object use, conversations etc.
2003  Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon
            This was the third in the series, and actually the first one I ever got to finish playing.  This one went to 3D and a full keyboard type interface, using WASD for movement forward, left, back, and right. 
2006  Broken Sword: The Angel of Death     
            This one also featured the 3D graphics, but returned to the point and click interface.
2013  Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse
            This one returns to the original style of point and click, with 2D graphics, and hand painted scenes. I haven’t played this one either, yet, but from what I have read of it, they have returned to the true spirit of the story, (which only in #2 was it not somehow tied to the Templar Order in some way), and also in the spirit of the mystery involved.
            Now I am rating this series on what it is. A point and click mystery series for the most part except for three. which only has the control interface being different in this respect.  
So for numbers 1-3, I would give them an average score of 8.7, This is for some of the hand painted scenes, the story itself, the love of characters that you develop over time, (even to the point of wanting to slap Nico silly sometimes, and George as well), and for some puzzles just being interesting and kind of fun. (I will also admit that a few are enough to drive you nuts at times).
I will also go so far as to say that I believe #4 to rate a bit lower from what I have heard from fellow fans of the series, coming in I am going to bet at around a 7 or so.
Now number 5 I am guessing is going to end up the highest rated of them all, as what has been released (and is also available for download on Gog.com for 25 bucks and a 2.4 gig download), is only part 1, with part 2 due out next year.  
Folks, if you are looking for that lazy adventure, or mystery game where you lie in bed and relax and play, this is a great style for you. The story is great, and you just have to figure out how to put it together basically.
If you have a kindle fire, and want to spend 4 bucks for a decent bed game or lazy afternoon game, then give it a try. I just got it that way to play it, and will be getting my hard copies here as soon as possible.
Give it a try folks. If you are one that has an interest in video gaming, but don’t have the reflexes for what some of us play, these are great then also. Sometimes you want to chain saw a zombie, and sometimes you want to sit back and have a drink, and enjoy a good novel. This is basically that, with the addition of you also have to do some of the work yourself.
Hope you all give it a try, as it really is a great game series. 
Was going to put some scenes in here from the series, but apparently things aren’t going to co-operate tonight in that department.  Well, maybe it’ll be working again when I do my next point and click review on a double series game set I have. 

NASA Releases Juno Flyby of Earth Photos of the Earth Moon System.

During October of this year 2013) NASA's  Jupiter bound Juno spacecraft made a close pass of Earth to boost the craft's  speed by almost 9,000 miles-per-hour, captured with it's low-res camera never-before-seen view of the moon orbiting Earth.

Here is the NASA link for the flyby

In short thehe spacecraft, when it arrives in 2018 will be placed in a polar orbit .  There it will study Jupiter's composition, gravity field, magnetic field, and polar magnetosphere.

According to the wiki Juno will also search for clues about how it formed, including whether Jupiter has a rocky core, the amount of water present within the deep atmosphere, and how its mass is distributed.   Wikipedia URL

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Mars 1 Way, Closer to Reality - Starting To Sound Like It

Yep, I have visited this subject a few times before, but it is beginning to like more than a complete pipe dream.    Earlier this week Netherlands-based private spaceflight project Mars One announced that Lockheed Martin and Surrey Satellite Technology have been contracted to quote :
  • "study and develop concepts for a Mars lander and a data link satellite, respectively, for a 2018 exploratory mission."
If both systems are in place and operating successfully by 2018, then Mars One feels it can start and hopefully have a human settlement on Mars by 2025.   As you can see by these dates, both missions have been pushed back a couple of years due to delays.

There are some interesting factoids on the Popular Science page, which you can  find  HERE 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Girl & It - Extended Trailer....

Here is what YouTube describes this totally charming film from filmmaker Mohammad Ahmed Fikree

  • The hunter sets out to hunt a horned beast to prove himself worthy of taking the throne after his father. After he encounters the beast, he chases it into the deep forest. While searching for the it, he stumbled upon a mysterious girl who lives with the beast.
The full length version is around 40 minutes, this 1 minute plus cut gives you a great idea just how inventive and novel it is, even though you might have seen this animation style, you will be so enchanted by the film, that even if you do not enjoy this form of animation, you will love the characters.

I honestly can't wait to see the full length feature.


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Episode 389 of the Beam Me Up podcast is Now Online!

wow, what a funky feeling today...but I stivered through, and all said and done, I think 389, after some work, came out ok. This week, after some observations, I play one of my fave tongue in cheek song - Game On: The Guild.

Next is a return to Games. 

This time I corrected for on air distortion that I didn't know was there, so for those of you that mentioned the crackling, here is a clean copy.

Next on the blog the Chinese launch a moon mission! Evolution may have been kickstarted by interspecies breeding!  Solar power from the moon? Could happen.....

Aaaaaaaaand we next go for another installation of the Post Human Condition.  Now I know, I keep calling it part three....duh, but this is the second installation of Dean Giles fantastic story.



you can listen to the podcast   HERE

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Moon Based Solar Cells Could Power the Earth

An article on Dvice reports on a truly originally inventive idea from Shimizu Corp.  to build an array of solar cells will extend along the entire 6,8353 mile lunar equator. This belt will eventually grow  to a width of  249 miles in width. 

Construction would be left to construction robots who wold be shipped to the Moon along with the supplies needed to construct the  array. Once installed, the Sun-facing cells would collect energy and store it until they were facing the Earth once more. Then laser and microwave transmitters would fire up, beaming power to their partner stations around the globe.

The microwave antennas on the Moon would be 12 miles in diameter augmented with high density laser transmitter 

Shimizu Corp's Plan

 DVice article on the solar project

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Interbreeding in Early Humans- Much More Widespread Than Previously Thought

DNA found in ancient bones from Spain  suggest that interbreeding between human species in Ice Age Europe was more widespread than suspected.
Geneticists at the Max Planck Institute  in Germany extracted  human DNA,  more than 300,000 years old, from  bones found at the bottom of a cave shaft  in northern Spain, where remains of 28 early humans that belong to an unknown species have been discovered.  

The bones suggest that these fore-runners to modern man likely  looked like stocky, barrel-chested Neanderthals. But their genetic samples showed that  maternal DNA, drawn from cell mitochondria, was different than that of Neanderthals and also unlike that of more modern humans. It was most closely related to a little known species called the Denisovans, who were unknown  until 2010 when the dna was isolated from samples from a young female.   Those remains were 40,000 years old which indicates Neanderthals, anatomically modern humans and Denisovans coexisted at that time. 

With the discovery that Neanderthal DNA and the newly discovered material, geneticist Michael Hammer said “This tells us something interesting about how our species evolved. It may be that interbreeding was a common process in all of human evolution. ”

Read complete Wall Street Journal article HERE

Monday, December 02, 2013

China Launches Moon Mission

China launched a Long March 3B which carried aloft the Chang'e 3 moon lander, which is scheduled to land on the lunar surface  December 14th or 15th.  The Chang'e 3 will be the first spacecraft to land on the moon since the  Soviet Union's Luna 24's mission in 1976, more than 37 years.

The Chang'e 3 mission marks China's first-ever landing on the surface of an extraterrestrial  body.

This mission marks the second step of a three  steps mission plan.  The first was to orbit the moon, second, land on the moon and third, return moon rock samples to Earth by 2020.

The Chang'e is in fact a multi-part system consisting of the lander and rover much like NASA's earlier rover Pathfinder or Opportunity.  Chang'e will land on the moon using powered desent stage as did NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover.  Chang'e 3's rover is called Yutu or Jade Rabbit which was the pet of the Goddess Chang'e.  Much like Pathfinder, Yutu  got it's name by asking the public at large to suggest names for the rover and Yutu won out.

Yutu's three month mission traverse the luna surface.  While doing so, it will be utilizing radar modules attached to the bottom of Yutu which will study the s layers of the moon down to several hundred feet.  

For the complete article, to to Space.com HERE

***UPDATE*** Evidence Ison Survived

Information from the IO9 blog has some pretty disapointing news:

From the blog
  • After a weekend of hemming and hawing from experts, the sun-grazing ball of ice and dust has been declared officially dead. Again. Except this time, it's pretty much for sure
As you can see, as of Nov 30 Ison had disintegrated into a dusty smudge.  The Bad Astronomy site has a killer time lapse video

Evidence in the form of  material, appeared, streaming away, on the other side of the sun,  which appeared in  NASA's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory late in the evening on Nov. 28, 2013. This seemed to
indicate that Comet ISON survived, at least in part, it's close encounter with the sun and now it is on a trajectory that will fling it out of the solar system proper.

The question now is whether it is just left over debris  or some portion of the comet's nucleus. Analysis supplied from staff at the NASA's Comet ISON Observing Campaign suggest that it may be at least a small portion of the comet's nucleus.

For more information on Comet ISON: www.nasa.gov/ison

BMU # 388 now online

This week is episode 388 and I think this will be as equally entertaining which is either a good thing or not….. after this brief, I open with Help! by Ayana Taketatsu which opens each episode of the anime series MM group.

 Then I keep finding really good Star Trek trivia!

The first story of the evening is part two of Games by K. Maclean.

This week from the BMU blog I start with a look at the new comic titled Letter 44 which the publishers will let you read the complete first. Next Kallamus is back! He covers Dr. Who, among other great subjects. I read about a planetary system that is almost the clone of our Solar System. 12 things you may not know about comet Ison.

And finally The Post Human Condition pt1 Dean Giles

 And that is Beam Me Up in a nutshell for this week. I hope you enjoy it.


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Read the First Issue of 44

Seems like the net is going crazy over Letter 44, a new comic book Sci-Fi series.  The number refers to a letter that an outgoing president writes to his replacement.   But the letter to 44 has some very disturbing information in it.  

I wont give away anything else, but if you are into comics and enjoy sf than this series is looking good.  So good in fact, the publishers are going to let you read the first issue for free. Click the url below and enjoy. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Doctor's 50th, and a birthday Bill

            Well, what can I say about this?
            Amazing would be a good place to start I guess. Admittedly seeing my own Doctor from the past may sort of bias me, but hey, this is Doctor Who. Let’s be honest here, I’m pre-biased already.  
            So in case anyone out here hasn’t seen this yet, and wants to, I will try not to throw any real spoilers out here.  That’s not going to be easy. And probably hopeless anyway now that I am guessing it is all over the net anyway. So I may as well give up the spoiler idea I guess. So, let’s make this simple.
            They all showed up to do battle. All 13 doctors at one time. Gallifrey has been saved, though lost in time and space apparently somewhere. Basically, the doctor started at number one, and started working on a way to save the planet. Yeah, there’s a lot of timey whimey stuff going on.
            But when three doctor’s make an entrance by blowing a Dalek away (through a picture by being in the past on gallifrey) and into our world with 3 sonic screwdrivers, and then walk in side by side, well, you just know things are not going to go well for someone.
            And for those that missed it, Hurt did become the Doctor again by the time it was all over.
            Even so, the best for me outside of the three entering together, and creating mass havoc, was the end. My Doctor. Tom Baker showed up as a curator, maybe. As usual, the Doctor answers a lot of questions, only to open a can of a hundred more.
            I can’t say I will like the new doctor yet, but when he came on after the general decided that it couldn’t get any worse than three of them. His next statement was “I didn’t know when I was well off. All 12 of them.”
Then he got an answer I am guessing almost killed him. “No sir, all 13.” And all you saw was the control panel, and his eyes, and he did not look happy at that time. So we’ll see. He definitely made an entrance though already, and a damn good one. Yeah, I’m watching it again as I write this. That makes 5 times now.
            The one thing My Doctor made clear at the end however was the painting. It had two titles; “No More,” and “Gallifrey Falls.” Both are wrong. The true title is “Gallifrey Falls No More.” And to hear Tom Baker say it, how he says it, just chills you. Gallifrey lives.
            Of course, now that we are off to hunt down the lost planet of the timelords, who knows what is coming next.
And for those that missed it, the painting of Gallifrey was on the day it burned, shortly before. And it is an oil painting in 3d, sort of. It’s Gallifreyan art. A slice of time used for a picture.  Absolutely amazing. What can I say, they had emotions running everywhere for all of us Whovians.
            Now then, where do the next regenerations come from.  A reward for saving Gallifrey? Does the system no longer work on regenerations since the Gallifreyan law is no longer in effect? Will the Minyans return and aid him? A thousand bloody questions, and no good answers. And this time, I think I will avoid theorizing, and just enjoy the bloody show. Yeah, that’ll happen won’t it. They have to do something. Who wants to live in a universe with no Doctor.

            We have a good one this week too. He was born on Nov. 27th, 1955 in Washington D.C. Not a reason really fior me to say anything about this guy, except one thing, as you will all know who this is. Happy Birthday Bill Nye.

            And as I am beat, and have to get up way too early to cook, that’s it for now folks. Good to be back though. See you all soon. And please excuse the rambling nature of this as I am a little out of practice here as I haven't written a word since my last time here. Plus I'm just beat. I'll be back to normal next time folks. 

New Star Koi-351 Has Something Strangely Familiar Orbiting it

European Astrophysicists have uncovered something unexpected orbiting newly discovered star KOI-351.   This star has 7 planets, which in and of itself in unusual, but even more unexpected was the arrangement of these planets. 
The arrangement of planets around KOI-351 is remarkably similar to our own system with the small rocky planets close in and the gas giants in the outer orbits.
Astrophysicist Juan Cabrera commenting on the importance of the discovery said that it is a big step in the search for a twin to the Solar System (and a step closer) in finding a second Earth. 
Of course the placement of the planets is not completely ideal.  All the planets orbits fit inside of Earth own orbit with the gas giants where Earth's orbit resides in the solar system. 

Check out the Daily Galaxy article here

Monday, November 25, 2013

E-cig Smokin Time Travelin Bounty Hunter?

Ron sent me  an article from the Onion and you know if the Onion reports it....well it must be true.....anyway, several witnesses in Atlanta spotted a man smoking a high-tech e-cigarette device must, in all likelihood, be some sort of futuristic bounty hunter.....speculation has it that he probably traveled back in time to track down a deadly fugitive hiding in the early 21st century or something.

 From the article:
  • Reports further indicated that the person, who in all likelihood is a futuristic soldier of fortune with off-world military training, stared off into the distance, scanning the building across the street with what must be enhanced optical implants to locate an elusive outlaw’s bio-signature, then exhaled what appeared to be an odorless vapor.
Further reports have it 'that the man’s skeletal system was almost certainly reinforced by an indestructible alloy as yet unknown to today’s engineers.' 

And it goes on and on like that!!!  It is freekin highlarious!  Check it out HERE

12 Things you may not have known about Comet ISON

Xnewsman has sent in a great article that lists some fun facts that you may not have known about the Comet ISON, Like:

1)  This is the first trip to the inner solar system for ISON and its last.  Its orbit will swing it around the sun and back towards deep-space, with enough energy to exit the solar system all together.

2)  ISON's orbit inbound will take it a mere 700 thousand miles above the surface of the sun!

And other fun fact!  Take a trip over to Slate.com for the remainder of this article.   It really is a fun read. 

BMU #387 Dark Inspectre #22 - Jason Kahn

Episode 387 of Beam Me Up turned out better than I expected!  After an intro and short music interlude,  I do some interesting Star Trek trivia and some interesting trivia it was indeed.

Then something really exciting, I get back on track with a return to Jason Kahn and his Dark Inspectre series and inspector Jack Garrett.  This month episode 22.  I am so glad to get this series started again.

Before I play the last story of the afternoon, I spend some time at the blog with this week's news.
First I review the new Superman: Man of Steel.   I think I hit the nail on the head with this one.  But you judge.   A really unusual handling of the movie Bladerunner.   NASA really wants to get a system in place to transport astronauts to the ISS.  China's super computer is still the fastest computer out there again.

The final story this week is part one of Games by Kathyrn Maclean from Galaxy magazine.

Download or play from this url HERE