Friday, June 14, 2013

Weekly Rundown

            Maybe. They seem to be finally looking at something that we should have been doing already a long time ago. Nuclear Fusion Rockets in other words. Yeah, those things I've been screaming about since you all met me out here.  This would cut travel time down immensely, and would pretty much open up the solar system for us to explore. Imagine getting to Saturn in just a couple months or so. This would mean manned mission to Saturn, not just sending a probe that takes forever to get there anyway. Here’s a quick comparison for you. NASA’s Cassini spacecraft took off in October of 1997. It finally managed to enter into an orbit around Saturn in 2004. Now this is still a good ways off, and won’t be happening anytime next year, but at least NASA has started funding the research for it. And considering it is figured that it could take only 30 days to reach Mars for example, I’d say it is high time. Why we weren’t doing this long ago is just beyond me. They are also looking at other advanced systems, but for the moment this is the most logical solution in my eyes. Yeah, I know about solar sails, and ION drive, and they are even interested in matter antimatter, but that is still a long long long way off for us.  Now though this has been studied for decades now, there are those I saw on a science program, (through the wormhole I believe),  a few are getting closer to it. And now that it is being looked at for space flight, and has NASA behind it, it may not be always 30 years away any longer.  Let’s hope anyway.

            Some of the gullies on Mars now appear that they were formed by large chunks of frozen carbon dioxide, (dry ice). Serina Diniega of NASA’s jet propulsion lab in Pasadena California has this to say. “"I have always dreamed of going to Mars. Now I dream of snowboarding down a Martian sand dune on a block of dry ice." Okay, I have to admit that sounds like a lot of fun. I wonder if you could carve them into small ski like things and do it that way. She and her colleagues were studying one type of groove on a Martian hillside known as a linear gully. It doesn’t appear to have been made from liquid. With a liquid flow, material eroded transfers to the bottom and spreads out in a fan shape. In these, you are carving out the gully, and pushing the material to the sides instead.  Now this is only for this one type of gully, and there are plenty of other types on Mars as well. They took dry ice out to the dunes in California and Utah to test their theory, and the blocks they slid down the dunes made similar markings. Seems to me we have another reason to go to Mars now. This would definitely appeal to the extreme sports people and a few others out here as well.

            In order to demonstrate the viability and value of propellant free propulsion, a huge solar sail is set to be sent into space in November of 2014.  Nasa’s Sunjammer Spacecraft as it is being called, will have a solar sail that is 13,000 square feet. Basically, this is sailing in space on a different type of wind, being photons from the sun. It is scheduled to lift off atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral. This will be a secondary payload for Falcon 9, with the main payload being the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) toward a gravitationally stable location called the Sun-Earth Lagrange Point 1, which lies about 900,000 miles from our planet. Sunjammer will monitor space weather using several different instruments, though the $27 million mission's primary goal is to help prove and advance solar sail technology, which it is said could power future missions cheaply and efficiently.
            Even though Sunjammer will be the biggest solar sail ever deployed in space, it won't be the first. Japan's Ikaros probe unfurled a 46-foot-wide sail in June of 2010, becoming the first spacecraft ever to cruise through space propelled only by sunlight.
            We have also sent up ne previously ourselves. Five months aftger Ikarus, NASA launched its NanoSail-D demonstrator craft, which sported a solar sail with a surface area of only around 110 square feet.  NanoSail-D deployed its sail in January 2011, and zipped around the Earth for 240 days before burning up in the atmosphere.

            Now we will move on to the sci-fi portion, and will be starting with something that may or may not be sci-fi, depending upon which book you use. But it still sounds a bit silly to me.

            Okay, I am sure we all remember those books that were out for quite a few years that were called Choose Your Own Adventure.  Just in case you don’t remember these, I’ll give you an example. You read the first page, or first few pages, and then you had a choice to make. Say you were a thief in the book. Your choices could be something like this.
            If you choose to hide turn to page 10
            If you choose to attack the guards turn to page 43
            And so on and so on. They came out in the 70’s and basically vanished in the 90’s after 180 titles.
            Anyway, some real braincases out there in Hollywood have apparently come up with the idea that this would be a good thing for a movie, or number of movies to do. Yeah, right, whatever. This is what they are proposing. That the people in the theater at a certain time in the movie would have to text or something similar their choice as to what to do, and how they wanted the story to move forward. Okay, so a group of 300 people all deciding on a decision. Yep, I see no problems there. Except of course for those whose choice was not played out.  Now the books could be fun when you didn’t have your RPG group together to play. But an entire theater doing this? Umm, no. I know for a fact that trouble would ensue, believe it. I have done something similar with a movie before. It’s on DVD, and is titled “Scourge of Worlds - A Dungeons & Dragons Adventure.” I have it and it isn’t bad, but that is at home alone, or with a few friends. It’s actually kind of fun. But to do this with a theater full of people I just don’t see happening easily. Anyway, I will list 2 links here. The first is to the article, and the second will be to Amazon and the DVD that was already done back in 2003. And played this alone and with my buddies who are all D&D and RPG gamers as well, and we survived both times. I let a few other people play it that weren’t gamers, and they died, twice. And they want to do this on a theater level. Can anyone else say freaking disaster.

            Well, it’s apparently official now. Terminator 5 will start filming in January 2014. Arnold had this to say at the 21st Century Financial Education Summit seminar in Australia.
            ”I’m very happy that the studios want me to be in Terminator 5 and to star as the Terminator, which we start shooting in January.”
            So basically we get a 65 year old terminator now.  Okay, I’m not going to gripe on that. The guy still looks pretty good, and he is back for King Conan, or The Legend Of Conan, or whatever they finally decide to title the thing. Now the question is this, and I think it’s a big one. Is there still a place for this franchise any longer? Though I admit I am on the edge about a basically 70 year old terminator, I’m kind of looking forward to it. Sounds better to me than some of the underwear model he’s still a good guy Zombie silliness we are starting to get now at least. Sorry, but zombies do not recover, that is why they are called zombies. They are rotting flesh no brained biological killing machines that eat flesh, etc. Anyway, looks like Arnold isn’t done with the action flicks yet, so that is probably a good thing at least.  Guess we’ll see when it is done and hits theaters. Until then we can only wonder about it.

            I don’t know. No one knows yet. If they have decided, they are being closed mouthed about it to the extreme. However, there are rumors to the extreme, including maybe a woman taking over the part, (which i do not agree with as the puritan guy I am when it comes to characters), and also a list of about 900 other people.  So if they ever say anything there, I’ll let you all know. There is even a rumor that says Tenant will be taking over for a few episodes again as he tried to set the regeneration right. Now that would be interesting to see, but in my opinion, just give us the new doctor and don’t be playing any smegging games here. It’s always hard enough to say hello to the new guy and say goodbye to the one that actually does die. I’m sorry ladies out there, but let’s not be femming up the Doctor. Although, he is running out of regenerations, or is supposed to be now, I guess since women are the ones that give birth, and the time lords are gone, (maybe), that might be a way to solve that problem. But I won’t get into that here as it would end up being a mile long before I got done, and when you start trying to throw a logical theory of renewing regenerations into this, it’s going to get really weird. But then, without Gallifrey, that limit may no longer be in effect anyway.  No link on this really, just was passing on the rumors and wonderings here.

Well, that's it for this week folks. See you all next week, and hopefully before Friday night. Everything is running behind this spring, me included apparently. So I will try and aim for Thursday night again next week, when I want to get this up.

No comments: