Friday, May 24, 2013

Weekly Rundown

            Yep, you read that right folks. Sally Ride is receiving the Medal of Freedom posthumously. This is the highest civilian commendation possible, and will also have a camera on the ISS named for her as well. For those that don’t know, the Medal is for meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors. She is the ninth astronaut to receive the award, joining the ranks of those such as John Glenn, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and others. She was also honored earlier by naming the intentional lunar crash site the Sally K. Ride impact site.
            Sally Ride also was a great proponent of getting kids to study math, science etc that would aid in stellar research and space travel. Okay folks, before I run amok here again, as I am trying to shorten these a bit due to my sometimes long winded nature, I am going to say one other thing. It is high time she is receiving Medal. Though to be completely honest here, and not to lower her accomplishments in any way, or anyone else’s, I feel all astronauts that spend time in space deserve this award. I mean, what can possibly be more dangerous than a mission into space. It’s not like you can step outside and wave down help. You are in a position where something as small as a pebble could actually end not only your life, but the lives of everyone that is there with you if it impacts correctly with your vehicle. These men and women are true heroes, and deserve every honor possible. Folks, go read the article. It isn't long, and well, frankly you owe it to her to do so, and to every other astronaut as well.

            Maybe. NASA has given a 125,000 dollar grant to Systems and Materials Research Corporation based in Austin Texas to build a prototype food synthesizer. They are hoping that such technology can be used on long term space flights like going to Mars, etc.
This is done by dividing the various components of food into powder cartridges that would theoretically enable users to mix them together, basically the same as mixing up a recipe at home, only it seems this would be a bit easier actually. At least less of a mess than I usually have I guarantee it. To prove that it could be done, they created chocolate using this method. The next step is to create the prototype to make a pizza.
            Now this isn't quite a true replicator yet, but it is definitely moving in that direction at least. They also believe that it could aid in the problems of food shortages from rapid population growth. I would agree with this, if we get to the point where we can alter basic molecules into something else to do so. And somehow, I don’t think this is as far off as a lot of people think it is. And if we do manage to get that far, then we will have a basic recycling system that will be able to break down our waste into the basic molecular components, and well, you get the idea here. And I know some out there are already disgusted with that concept, but once we get that far, it wouldn't matter. We already use waste to fertilize, so there really wouldn't be any difference here in my opinion.  I will give two links to this as well. The first of course is to, and the second is to a short article on it where they give a picture of the basics that will help in explaining how it all works. 

            Kind of self-explanatory here, but recent events has proven it again.  A 1 foot wide rock slammed into the moon at a speed of around 56,000 mph, creating a 65 foot wide crater. The impact created the largest and brightest explosion ever seen since we started monitering impact activity on the moon in 2005. Not only did the impact equal the explosion of 5 tons of TNT going up, it also saturated the camera according to Bill Cooke, head of the Meteoroid Environment Office at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.
            Rocks of this size enter our atmosphere on a daily basis, but our atmosphere burns them up before impact, or breaks them up into such small pieces that they do no real damage on impact. The moon, having no atmosphere, has no protection from such things and basically just takes the full force of the impact with no protection at all.
            Now this also points out what I was saying earlier about the dangers of space. As far as suits are concerned, a millimeter sized rock would rip right through it with no problem in any way.  So even by building a moon base under the surface, which I personally think would be the best idea, and having an above surface observatory would still make working there extremely dangerous for anyone that had to go outside on the surface.  Even with these dangers, and the high radiation, I still believe that a moon base should be our first real outpost off world, or build a massive station.  Even though I want us on Mars, with me there of course if I could figure out how, with the fuel supply that is available on the moon, we should be starting there.

             Now as I move into the sci-fi part this week, I have to add something here. I am noticing a lot more articles on, and other places that are dealing with whether or not we can pull off a warp drive, or wormhole travel. Most seem to be on Warp Drive however. Now I may be wrong here, but is it possible that the return of Star Trek bringing in a new generation of people is getting us back in the direction we need to be going. Frankly, I see nothing stopping us except for the power requirements which they are beginning to say now that we might actually be able to do it. However, I am in agreement with the biggest obstacle to the entire situation here. Us. People. Home bloody sapiens. Without a peaceful world, and the end to our ignorance of war, all we would accomplish is a way to build a massive weapon that would wipe not only us, but probably our entire planet from existence. Just my two cents there worth folks.

            Here’s a really cool article about the technology of Star Trek, from Warp Drive to Phasers. It explains how it would work, and it also lists where it was first done.  Here is an example from the article. I’ll use one of everyone’s favorites here. Transporters. We all know the basics of this. Matter is transformed into energy, then beamed to a target within about 16,000 miles and reassembled again as what it was. And I am not getting into the debate here of whether or not it actually kills you.  The problem with this, is that the human body has an immense amount of atoms, and the data storage to pull this off would be incredible. Plus we would have to be able to measure each and every atom and even quantum physics has reached that point yet. Frankly, I’d say we are much closer to Warp Drive than any form of Transporter technology by a long shot.  But do you know when it was first done? Frank K Kelly wrote a story in 1933 called Into the Meteorite Orbit. In the story, he used a concept of the human body being reduced to a vibration and travelling on a wave channel. It was then reintegrated into matter in a receiving chamber. He called it a Vibra-Transmitter.  Check out the article to see the rest of the stuf there. You’ll be surprised at what and when a lot of the stuff was first thought of and used, even if it was under another name, and worked slightly differently.

            Yeah you got it. Dinobots are apparently coming to Transformers 4. According to the article, both Optimus and Bumblebee will actually be riding them into battle as well. And apparently is is going to get even better here. If you can call what Bay does better. We’ll see. But here’s the scoop on the big one I think. Megatron will be returning again. But not as Megatron. Yep, he will be returning as none other than Galvatron. I hope I am wrong, but I am guessing this will be another disaster not unlike Revenge of the Fallen.  I mean, that one wasn’t as horrible as some make it out to be, but it just seemed to get silly at times there. And way off course of what the legend is. Yeah I’m a pretty big puritan in some of this stuff.  If he ever does Thunercats, I predict I won’t be reviewing that unless i want to go to jail for some reason. Bay either does it right, or I swear just does something without thought or reason. No in-between with him it seems.

            Okay, this has been rumored I think since Star Wars first hit the big time. But it has been mentioned again by Disney after getting the rights to SW.
            Now I’ll be honest here, I’m not what you would call a Star Wars fan. I liked the first one, but that was basically because of my man Han, Chewie, and the Falcon.  That was actually a fun movie, and then you could see everything in the other ones coming from 12 parsecs away. 
            Now if they would do it like they say they want to, it would probably be a good movie. But lets leave the Star Wars silly stuff out of it. I mean in terms of the force, those dippy Jedi, etc. If you want to do a Han Solo movie, then do it right. He was a smuggler, gun runner etc. Make it an outer space adventure movie without the silliness involved.  Just keep the force stuff out of it. Sorry folks, but I truly despise Jedi’s. They are the most arrogant hypocritical group in that galaxy, and then act like their stuff doesn't stink.  And they are supposed to be the great heroes.
            Sorry, ran off on a tangent there again.  But Josh Holloway is the one that a lot of people would like to see play Han I guess. Basically it is wild speculation and hope at the moment, but looking at the pic in the article, I have to say, I think he could pull it off. At least in the looks department anyway.  But with Disney in charge now, I wouldn't be surprised to see them put it out after the next Star Wars movie, just to keep the money rolling in between what seems to be a never ending deluge of Jedi silliness. Just remember, this is all speculation and hope by a lot of people. Can't be sure I am one of them though, even though I loved Han.

            That’s what Microsoft has said. Entertainment Studios announced a live action Halo series to be produced by Steven Spielberg and 343 Studios. Now this isn’t a movie people. They are talking about a TV series here. A lot of people want a movie, but for a game as large and as long as this is, a movie will never cover it. I think the best way is to go with a series or a mini-series even. Now I have never played it, but have a friend that did. And from what I have heard from him and others, a movie would never cut it. One explained it to me this way. Imagine taking Tales of Symphonia, which is a two disk game on the Gamecube, (and around 80 hours for first play if you want everything, and I fell in love with it and played the first time for 52 hours straight, and I’m 50 so I get the concept of gamer love),  and turning it into a 2 hour movie. My response was no way. Same for Halo I guess. But there is one thing that concerns me. If they are doing this for TV, what channel. If they let the former sci-fi channel have it, they may as well just throw the entire thing into file 13 right now. Let’s hope they get it somewhere like TNT with their Falling Skies, or AMC and their Walking Dead. You may not get a lot of episodes in a season, and it seems to take a TARDIS to live long enough to get to the next season before old age sets in, but at least the quality is there, and it wouldn’t get cancelled for some insane silliness. Fans of this game have to read the article, as you will all know more about this than me, and you owe it to yourself to go there and check it out. 

          Now back to science for just one quick question that I am kind of wondering what the people out here on Beam Me Up think. Do you think we should go with a station on the moon, on Mars, or build a massive Station in orbit. And I mean massive. I don't mean just 2 or 3 times the size of the ISS. I mean one big enough to build the ISS inside of it multiple times over. Just curious as to what the folks out here think would be the best idea to move us forward. 
       Hope you all enjoyed the rundown, and for those of you that do sorry about missing last week folks. Sometimes technology just fails at the worst possible moment. And on a personal note here, thanks for helping me get back up and running here Paul. 

1 comment:

kallamis said...

And after I just let Star Wars have it again, I just now found out that Luke's pants sold for $36,000. I might have paid $10. Now maybe that or more for Spock's uniform, I would do. Wish I had Leia's slave outfit. Just think of all the books I could buy selling that. I could probably afford a brand new F650 for that matter, and still have money left over.