Thursday, June 20, 2013

Weekly Rundown

This week we will be covering a little science, a little sci-fi, and then we just get strange. To say the least.  

            Eight new astronauts were named Monday, and here is where it starts getting good. Four of them are women. This is the highest percentage of females ever chosen for any class in the history of NASA.  They were named Monday, a day before Sally Rides first flight into space, and hot on the heels of the fiftieth anniversary of soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova's historic spaceflight in 1963, who was the first woman to go into space. Christina Hammock, Nicole Mann, Anne McClain and Jessica Meir will be the newest female trainees housed at the Texas space center. The men are Josh Cassada, Victor Glover, Tyler Hague and Andrew Morgan. Not including this newest group of trainees, twelve of the forty nine active astronauts are women.  This group was chosen from the second largest group to ever apply for the training. More than 6,000 applied for the 2013 selection process. This could be the first group of astronauts to pilot the Orion spacecraft, fly to an asteroid and even land on Mars. Below is a picture of the newest group of heroes, of which yours truly is jealous beyond belief one isn't me. 

            Yeah, believe it or not, they are the ones complaining. It sounds strange I know, considering that at the end, MIR was basically a floating biological experiment, or factory, or disaster depending on the which word you choose to use. Disaster is more accurate, but experiment is nicer. Anyway, on to why the complaining, and for good reason I might add as well. The robotic European cargo ship Albert Einstein was opened Tuesday morning (June 18) at the International Space Station. It was a day late in opening because of concerns that mold may have grown inside ship. This stems from concerns that its cargo may not have been properly disinfected.  It is not known for sure if any mold actually grew, but let’s face it, better safe than sorry when it comes to space.
            James Oberg, space analyst of NBC news had this to say. "It's a well-established principle of spaceflight safety that, under uncertainty, you don't 'assume the best,' you make sure the worst cannot be true.  And if you're not sure you decontaminated these items to rigorous standards, then you do it again, to make sure."
            Now considering that we know for a fact that some things such as salmonella become more dangerous in the micro gravity, extreme caution must be taken in this respect.
            "Apart from the experiments, oxygen and water, ATV-4 also brings personal clothing and food, among which is Italian space food delicacies, such as tiramisu. Luca Parmitano, the only Italian astronaut on board will be sharing this from his personal supply with his crewmates. He stated this on his blog hosted by the European Space Agency. “There is nothing like the promise of an Italian dinner that I will offer from my personal supply to entice my colleagues to work quickly and well!"

            Yeah, about 4 billion years ago that is. The rise of the atmospheric oxygen on Earth was around 2.5 billion years ago. Scientists from Oxford University investigated the compositions of Martian meteorites found on Earth and data from NASA’s ‘Spirit’ rover that examined surface rocks in the Gusev crater on Mars. The fact that the surface rocks are  around five times richer in nickel than the meteorites was had cast doubt on whether the meteorites are typical volcanic products of the red planet.
            According to Professor Bernard Wood, of Oxford University’s Department of Earth Sciences “both meteorites and surface volcanic rocks are consistent with similar origins in the deep interior of Mars but that the surface rocks come from a more oxygen-rich environment, probably caused by recycling of oxygen-rich materials into the interior.”
            The meteorites are geologically ‘young’, around 180 million to 1.4 billion years old, the Spirit rover was analyzing a very old part of Mars, more than 3.7 billion years old.
            Professor Wood also had this to say on the subject.  “The implication is that Mars had an oxygen-rich atmosphere at a time, about 4 billion years ago, well before the rise of atmospheric oxygen on earth around 2.5 billion years ago. As oxidation is what gives Mars its distinctive color it is likely that the red planet was wet, warm and rusty billions of years before Earth’s atmosphere became oxygen rich.
            Anyone else out there saw the Doctor Who episode “The Waters of Mars.” And yeah, I’d love to go on a tear here about more proof that life here started out there, which this is another theory dealing with our buddy next door, but I have other stranger things coming besides my own ramblings here.

             Now we will move on to a quick sci-fi rundown before moving on to some really strange and out there stuff I came across this week, proving once again I should not be allowed to wander around the net unsupervised.

            Well, what can I say. Cool. Looks like everyone, and everything is trying to kill him off this time. Here is the basic synopsis of the movie that has been put out as of now.
            Betrayed by his own kind and left for dead on a desolate planet, Riddick fights for survival against alien predators and becomes more powerful and dangerous than ever before. Soon bounty hunters from throughout the galaxy descend on Riddick only to find themselves pawns in his greater scheme for revenge. With his enemies right where he wants them, Riddick unleashes a vicious attack of vengeance before returning to his home planet of Furya to save it from destruction.
 Basically, everything on the planet wants to eat him. In the meantime you have bounty hunters and mercenaries that want to kill him. And apparently, this is all happening with a huge life destroying storm on the horizon moving its way in. Yeah, this sounds like a Riddick movie.
            Well, we’ve certainly waited long enough for it, that’s for sure. I actually like Riddick. Lots of action, things going boom and a group of people that basically fight like anime characters. Works for me.  Here’s the link to the trailer if you haven’t seen it yet. It is due out on September 6th.

            Okay, let’s be up front here before I jump in with both feet. I am still not happy with the new uniform, but I am pretty puratinistic at heart when it comes to books and comics, etc, but I am slowly getting used to it, sort of. I won’t even go into my continuing tirade over Starbuck in the new Battlestar. But on to Supes here.  I am going to list only one of their major complaints here, and frankly, it is idiotic.
            The action is too large.
            Really people? This is freaking Superman here. Spidey or Green Arrow or Batman, or The Falcon can get away with running around busting normal criminals that may have a few high tech gadgets, but this is Superman for crying out loud.  What part of Super don’t these ding dong critics understand? He doesn’t fight the normal little crooks and criminals. The people he takes on are usually the punch a hole in the planet powered types. How else do show Supes, without some massive action, and also massive destruction based on that fight. I mean, if they are going to fight like they try to in DBZ, and head off to the middle of nowhere, okay, maybe a little less CGI. But if you are going to have a massively powered punch out slam down in the middle of the city, there is going to be a lot of collateral damage. Things are going to get broken, a lot. Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Just how do you do all this without some serious and destructive action?  I always loved Christopher fighting Zod, but I also always thought there should have been more destruction there as well. Let’s face it; critics are the worst when it comes to properly rating any super hero movie. They need to stick with their ancient and worn out old drama movies where they belong. We just don’t have critics that get sci-fi, or anime, or much else usually for that matter unless it is trying to make some great social commentary with zero entertainment value. I may have problems with the uniform, but I still plan on seeing it, as it looks like it is really a good movie. As for the critics, ppttthhhh. Bunch of gits anyway. Here’s a link to some of the other complaints going on by the bloody gits. I would have loved to hear them screaming if the DBZ movie had been done correctly, and not destroyed by an unnameable. These critics would be in the street protesting with signs.

            Not exactly according to what is said, but I’ll believe it when i see it. And I bet if they do actually get around to it, I’ll be off on a complete tirade.  Kets take a look at some of the names that have been attached to writing the new screen play so far. Bryan Singer , Alex Garland, Joseph Kosinski, Will Beall, and Dan Harris have all had a shot at it. Now we are apparently having BioShock creator Ken Levine take his shot at it.  And it is still unknown if it will go by that horrible movie rendition, or stick closer to the book. Really? Like there is even a choice in this. You die at 21, period, that’s it, hook line and freaking sinker, you die at 21. That is how it is written, and there is a bloody good reason for it if people would take the time to read the damn book. And let’s get the gun right this time shall we. It is not a blaster which is basically what they showed before, and the one from the movie you can build at home actually, including the flame out the side ports.  But the real gun is patterned after the old six shooters. There was a good reason for this, as it fired different projectiles, not whatever that thing in the movie was supposed to be firing.
            Only a DS man (Deep Sleep or Sandman for short), could carry a Gun. Each weapon was coded to the operative's hand pattern, set to detonate on any other human contact. With a full load, it carries six charges: tangler, ripper, needler, nitro, vapor -- and homer. Now I will agree on updating the Homer aspect and this is why. A homer was designed to zero in on a person’s body temperature and would burn out every single nerve in the body at one time. Yeah, fun way to die, but that’s what happens when you become a runner and do not obey and die when told to. Now considering the technology of the cities, and what we know now, I would not complain if they used a DNA system for it to track, as it would be more conceivable to have everyone’s DNA code listed in the thinker (the main computer that runs everything in that world). See, even I can get with updating a few things now and then. Let’s face it, firing a homer at someone in a crowd would be beyond dangerous. Way too easy for it to swerve off and simply fly into someone else due to body temperature. I’ll now stop my rant here, as when it comes to my man Logan, I will go into a rant. Here’s the link to the article, but not much there really that wasn’t mentioned here, and frankly, a lot more about Logan here than there.

            Don’t yell at me, I’m just sharing it. I may be a conspiracy man myself, but sometimes I have to wonder about some of my guys out there.  Some are saying it is simply an elaborate hoax, and others of course are saying that it is being called a hoax to throw people off and cover up the truth. To make this simple here, I am simply going to quote part of the article as it is the best way to do this one. So here we go.

            One recent early morning, Kai went out to check on some electric fencing he had set up to help him catch rabbits. Once there, his bicycle began to be beamed up by a strange light. He explains:
“An unidentified flying object like a UFO was suspended above the shore of the Yellow River. I had no idea when my bicycle had gone under that flying saucer, and then five aliens came down one after another.”
Kai threw rocks at the spaceship in hopes of getting back his bike. None too pleased, the aliens started to chase him when one of them ran into the trap intended for rabbits. The other four aliens fled, but Kai was left with the incinerated remains of one of them.
He put the creature on ice and called the cops, who brought in government agents. However, after many mysterious nights of examination, the experts disappeared as quickly as they came.
So anyway. Now he is claiming it was all a ruse, to what purpose i have no idea and isn’t mentioned either. But it is also being said that the Chinese government has forced him to recant his story and are in fact covering up the remains of a dead alien. So, what made these experts so interested in something made out of rubber? And why were they trying to steal this poor man’s bicycle? And I did warn you ahead of time things were going to get weird this week. Do I think there are aliens out there, well of course. You all know that about me. My only conclusion to this however, must have been teenage aliens that decided to come out to the fringe and mess with the primitives again. Or, as I thought when reading this, now how the F are these guys going to embarrass the rest of us? Well, now I know. Here’s the link.

            I am going to list #1 only here, as it kind of fits to the alien deal there above. I just spent half the night at this site the other day, and am still running around it happily filling my brain with all kinds of silliness, and some really strange stuff as well. Yep, a site right up my alley.  Here we go with #1.
First off, the name comes from a Greek historian known for his works in relation to cryptography and for developing the Polybius square.
This is the oldest of the video gaming myths around as far as anyone actually knows at this time. And just a bit scary if it is true. It even appeared in an episode of The Simpsons. It was an arcade game. It mysteriously appeared in an arcade in Portland Oregon one day in the early 80’s. The cabinet was said to be completely black, and incorporated elements of classic shooting games like tempest, mazes like Pacman, and spatial puzzles. However, when it was played, it apparently caused all sorts of health problems such as Amnesia, blackouts, headaches, seizures, night terrors, and it was even reported that some players committed suicide shortly after playing it. And now we enter into my world where it gets even more interesting about this game. Apparently, there were also men that were dressed all in black that were often seen messing with the game. This of course leads to; you guessed it, a government experiment. Now whether or not this game really existed is up for grabs here, as I have no idea, but I doubt it. But if it did, (and I can wish right), I want it, and I want it now. Is it possible that it was real; yeah I suppose it is, but again, I seriously doubt it? But it is fun to think about. And just in case there are any of you men in black out there, bring it on. I want to play it. I’m quite open to moving to the non-existent base with no problem. And you don't even need to kidnap me. I'm willing to pack up and move all on my own.
All you gamers out there especially need to check out the link below.
And for you Morrowind The Elders Scrolls 3 fans, look at #3 especially. It’s about a hack that has driven people to hallucinate that the assassin is crawling on the wall or ceiling when they took a bathroom break from playing, etc. And apparently, the hack does exist, and I have that game here somewhere boxed up. Once this place is done, I’m going to have to look into this, after I finish playing it that is again.

Well folks, hope you all enjoyed the rundown this week, as it seems to have gotten a bit freaky and twisted this time. If anyone does know of any real info on the urban legend gaming stuff here please let us all know at the blog site. See you all next week folks. 

Almost forgot. Supermoon on the 22nd and 23rd. It is the closest it will be to Earth until August of 2014. Fine, I did forget and had to come back to update this real quick. Here's a link for anyone not knowing exactly what it is about, and it has links to commonly asked questions also.


Dave Tackett said...

Riddik: Looks much more like Pitch Black than Chronicles of Riddick, which is a very good sign.

Man of Steel: I visit Rotten Tomatoes fairly regularly and noticed the extreme difference between the professional critics and audience reaction. I think many critics have become too disconnected from actual human beings and are operating in a snobbish echo-chamber. I haven't seen the film yet, so it might not be my cup of tea, but a professional critic's job is to advise people as to whether they'll like a film, not if they should like it.

China: Arrgh! Why are you making me say "I believe the Chinese Government? Why, Kallamis why?

Polybius: Myth!!!! But the Simpsons connection is funny.

And I just listened to your story on BMU #369. Not bad! You show some real potential - keep writing. If you ever want a place (non-paying market) to publish a text story, let me know.

kallamis said...

Thanks Dave. Sorry this took so long to get back here, but life exploded again. And how do you think I feel having to back them up. I am one of the alien people. But sometimes, things just get beyond silly.