Friday, July 19, 2013

Weekly Rundown

            First off this week, is a simple question. Does anyone else hate the new Space.con layout as much as I do? It’s just irritating. I’m used to following a story there, and then hitting the home page link, which now apparently doesn't exist. Why do these sites, (Google mail included in this here this week with their new silliness also), always have to change things are working perfectly fine.  Anyway, on to the weekly rundown.

            Yeah, you’re reading that correctly.  NASA and Florida-based company Aerojet Rocketdyne put the injector which was built using 3D printing technology through a series of hot-fire trials, agency officials announced last week. They crafted the injector by using high powered lasers to liquefy and fuse metallic powders into the desired shape and structure.  Now these injectors usually take a year or more to manufacture (which frankly seems like a very long time to me). But by using 3D printing or additive manufacturing as it is sometimes called in certain areas, reduces the time to around four months, and decreases cost by around 70%.
            NASA's associate administrator for space technology in Washington, D.C. Michael Gazarik, had this to say in a statement. "NASA recognizes that on Earth and potentially in space, additive manufacturing can be game-changing for new mission opportunities, significantly reducing production time and cost by 'printing' tools, engine parts or even entire spacecraft. 3D manufacturing offers opportunities to optimize the fit, form and delivery systems of materials that will enable our space missions while directly benefiting American businesses here on Earth.”
            Looking to print an entire ship? I do believe he is getting a bit ahead of himself, but it does remind me of something I read in a sci-fi book once. There was a type of hull that was formed by a molding process, making it a one piece unit. I don’t remember where exactly, but I think it was in book two of the Han Solo trilogy. Frankly, I Am betting that in a few years, 10 at the outside, 3D printing will exist in almost as many homes as computers did 10 years ago. Lets hope so anyway. Personally, I want the food replicators refined and done for one simple reason. When you AC blows up in this weather, it’s just too freaking hot to stand around in a kitchen cooking. Yep, self-serving concept again here. But such things would also work great for people that are disabled or old, etc. Not just lazy excessive heat hating people like myself.  So maybe not so self-serving after all. Okay, it is.

            Okay, so that isn’t quite accurate there. It’s been there the whole time, but we just found it apparently.  The moon is estimated to be about 12 miles in diameter, and lies approximately 65, 400 miles from Neptune. It was discovered by astronomer Mark Showalter while searching for moons inside the faint ring fragments circling Neptune.
            Showalter and his colleagues are working on a name to propose to the International Astronomical Union, which has final say in the matter. Which I do not feel is right. They found it; they should have total freedom in naming it. And frankly, those stuck up prudes at the International Astronomical Union shouldn’t have a bloody thing to say about it, unless of course they were going to name it something extremely vulgar or silly. Maybe they should get hold of that dirty planet killing death star wanna be Mike Brown as well and get his permission before they name it anything also. He was the driving force behind Pluto being demoted for those that don’t know the name.
            Showalter did have this to say about the name however. "We haven't really gotten far with that. What I can say is that the name will be out of Roman and Greek mythology and it will have to do with characters who are related to Neptune, the god of the oceans."
            At the moment, the newly found moon has been designated S/2004 N 1, and is located between Larissa and Proteus. It has an orbit time around Neptune of 23 hours.

            No, I don’t mean the movie Starcrash with the lovely Caroline Munroe, (which was actually a better movie than Star Wars which they ripped off horribly to make Star Crash), but by actual super dense dead stars.  And just so you know, it is thought that this is possibly where all the gold on Earth has come from. The origin of gold in the universe has long been a mystery, as it doesn't form in stars themselves. Edo Berger, of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and lead author had this to say.
            "We estimate that the amount of gold produced and ejected during the merger of the two neutron stars may be as large as 10 moon masses quite a lot of bling!" (This is his statement remember, not mine. Bling. Really?) "To paraphrase Carl Sagan, we are all star stuff, and our jewelry is colliding-star stuff."
            Berger and his colleagues studied a short gamma-ray burst; a class of explosions that are among the most luminous known in the universe which was spotted by NASA's Earth-orbiting Swift spacecraft in early June.  This burst was 3.9 billion LY’s from Earth, and lasted only 2 10th’s of a second. In the aftermath of the burst, scientists noticed that the explosion gave way to a gradually fading glow dominated by infrared light. The team thinks that this comes from exotic radioactive elements. The team expects that the gamma-ray burst ejected about one one-hundredth of a solar mass of material, with some of it being gold. They also think that all the gold in the universe may have been created in this fashion. If that is the case, then there were a lot of collisions over time to put the gold throughout the universe, and it would also explain why gold is so rare in the universe.

            Maybe, and now we are going to try and find out. A team of researchers from MIT, Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) want NASA’s next Mars rover to probe the surface of Mars for genetic material by analyzing soil and ice samples with a DNA-sequencing microchip. Now finding signs of past life has actually already been considered a major priority in the next mission to Mars. The next Rover is scheduled to launch in 2020, and there is talk that one of its main missions will be to search for life there now, or recently extinct life, as in the last one million years or so.
            The study’s lead author Christopher Carr (of MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences), had this to say on the subject.
            “If there’s life on Mars and it is based on RNA and DNA, you would get not one but many sequences and you’d be able to understand the extent of ‘relativeness’ of any Earth life. You could use that to determine whether it’s contamination from Earth or whether it's actual Martian life. That would also allow us to say how Martian life is related to Earth life.”
            Sure seems to me that there is a lot of talk about this recently, where even a few years ago it was being said that it was not possible. Amazing how things seem to change rapidly isn't it? I still say they already know something that they haven’t told us. But then, I’m naturally suspicious.  Check out the article, it is well worth a thorough read, believe me. As usual, I am just giving the basis of it and that is it here in the rundown.  Should be quite interesting if they ever tell us the truth. But I doubt seriously anything went from here to there. Due to the suns gravity alone, it would only be logical to assume that any life that was transferred by meteorite collision would come from there to here. You see, they too are starting to believe that life here, started out there. I seriously doubt that even if they did find absolute proof that they would release it anyway. There is this great conception of thought that if they did so everything would run amok as religions were destroyed by knowledge. I’m not joking on that, that really is a serious thought of way too many people in governments. One of the big reasons that I say they know more than what they are saying, and instead dragging it all out to try and prepare people for the truth. At least my conspiracy theories are based on some kind of logic, and not just a doctored picture of a robot head on the moon, or some crystal pyramid thingy there used by the aliens to watch us. And for those that haven’t heard those, they really are conspiracies that are out there being promoted as absolute truth. Maybe I should do a weekly here on nothing but some of the conspiracy theories of space, aliens, etc. Could probably have a few people here, (Dave) either rolling on the floor laughing, or crying. Anyway, here’s the link to the full article, with a lot more info than I have put here.

            Okay, not much to say about this, as the title I put there describes it entirely. This is the transcript of the Apollo 10 mission as recorded on the command module data storage equipment. Why this was ever listed as confidential in the first place i will never know. Anyway, it is available here at this link. It is also 506 bloody pages long. I am not reading all that at the moment, as I just found the dang thing about an hour ago actually. But I will be reading it, and wanted to list the link here for anyone else that wants to check it out as well.

            No, not the old Atari game. They are making a movie of that game. Why am I already dreading the very thought of this. Oh well, at least they can’t destroy beloved hero’s with this one, like happened with a few anime I could mention here, DBZ and Avatar for two. But this apparently ids not a myth like i thought it was.  Here’s what Di Bonaventura had to say about the whole thing.
            “Really, Asteroids is the one we’re spending our time on now. The truth is, I love the title… when I look at that project, that’s what I think about it, is I think about the scale of it and I think about the possibility of it. It’s not a disaster movie. If we’re successful at getting it made. It’s much more of a space opera. It’s like a great sci-fi movie if we get it done right. It is not at all what people think it is. People think, ‘Oh, the asteroid’s gonna hit the earth,’ and I have no interest in doing that. That’s been done exceedingly well before. No, this takes place in an asteroid belt, the whole movie.”
            Man of Steel scribe David S. Goyer has been brought on board now to rewrite the script. Uh yeah, and for good reason. Here is what the original script was going to be about, apparently.
An early synopsis for Asteroids suggested it would follow two brothers who have to “go through a seminal experience to figure out their relationship, against this huge backdrop.” That was back in 2009.
            I’m not holding out much hope for this to ever actually get made, but it probably will. But as I said, at least they can’t destroy any beloved characters this time, and I won’t be seeking revenge against certain people for that again. Nope, I am never going to let go of what they did to Last Airbender, and especially not to my DBZ.  Some people just need a beating for general purposes. 

            Needless to say, I am not exactly a fan of this rebooted series. I still prefer the original, as I usually do.  Director Matt Reeves however is now letting a few things slip out, basically due to Comic con. Here are two of the things he had to say about it so far. The rest is in the article.  Let’s start with whether the apes will be talking in this one.
            “Caesar talks at the end of the movie; he has some level of speech. I wanted to make sure we’re continuing to go along the path of evolution without missing it, it was so delicious to watch in the first movie. It’s not like now they are talking in verse. Hopefully the movie is emotional and thrilling as you watch the apes come into being.”
            And as for the evolution of the apes since Rise of the Planet of The Apes he had this to say.
            “The world is larger, still growing. For all of us that was exciting to explore, and bring in new performers to our cast of apes, Toby Kebbell and other great actors along with Andy. The apes story is a through-the-looking-glass way of looking at what we are. By what’s going on in the internal lives of the apes we are exploring ourselves, our impulses, our society. So much is roiling inside Caesar. He has a rational side separate from the apes, they’re all instinct. We are seeing how Caesar becomes this leader.”
            I still prefer the original novel, and the original movies to this. I also like the old quickly defunct live action TV series more than this new reboot stuff they are doing now. But that is just me I suppose. To be honest, I was much more impressed with the 2001 remake of this than I am with the reboot going on now. Something about this just doesn’t appeal to me very much. But since I know most of you seem to like this reboot, I included it here for you all. Personally, I won’t be seeing this one till it shows up on a used DVD fro a buck or two, or appears on Netflix or Amazon for free. It just kind of falls into the Twilight movie area for me. And I despise underwear model vampires, period. Needless to say, I will never be reviewing, or watching the new Dark Shadows movie. I’ll stick with Frid when it comes to that. The one, the only, the real Barnabas Collins. Anyway, here is the link to the rest of what he had to say for all those that are interested in this.

            Here is a series of new pics that have been released for the sequel to Hunger Games. Now one thing that sounds a lot better in the sequel is that it is supposed to have ultra-vicious, extra nasty super games in this one. Yeah, right. I’ll believe it when I see it.  If they want nasty, they should come and talk to me or some other gamers about how to make mean, nasty, bloody, violent games for this. Seriously, after watching every episode of Superjail multiple times, I really doubt this movie will live up to the violent hype they are trying to say that it will be.
The new suits look pretty cool though. And there are a series of 11 pics on this link that show the characters in them.  Some of them look really good. I haven’t read the books of this series yet, and here is why. I saw the movie first, and frankly it wasn’t bad in my book at all. However, that means I have to stay away from the books until the series has finished. If I don’t, I’d probably be slamming it right and left right now. Once the franchise is done, I’ll be reading the books. Actually, I’ll be reading book one after the second movie is seen. I figure that way I won’t explode too much on things they did or shouldn’t have done in the movie. Personally, I’m looking forward to the second movie. But for a post-apocalyptic survival game, I really do think there needs to be a lot more violence and bloodshed. I mean, Death Race 2000 actually had more violence than the first movie of this franchise did. 
But since the president is trying to teach them all a lesson about revolting, this one could get pretty nasty actually. Let’s hope so anyway.

            Okay, we have all heard about Sharknado by now I am sure. *Sigh.* This is about two new films coming to that channel soon. And one of them is going to be a direct sequel to Sharknado scheduled for sometime in 2014. Now don’t get me wrong, I actually kind of love Asylum, as I am a super fan of low budget bad B movies. I actually loved Starcrash to give you an example. And Asylum now and then actually turns out a decent film, more or less. But it gets even better with the former sci-fi channel.  Have any of you ever been actually embarrassed to talk about a movie that hasn’t even been made yet. Well this time I am. Here is why.
Ghost Shark
Here is the synopsis of this what I am sure is going to be a waste of film.
”When a young girl’s father mysteriously vanishes in the Gulf of Mexico, she becomes obsessed with finding the truth behind his disappearance, only to discover that the culprit is not only inhuman, but the ghost of a vengeful Great White Shark. Now she must convince the local authorities to trust her wild claims and identify the origins of the spectral predator if she wants to save her friends and family from the unstoppable killing machine.”
I rest my case here. The movie is scheduled for August 22nd.  The trailer on the site this is from has been removed, so the second link will be to IMDb where the trailer is available.

            Okay, I liked the first Star Wars movie. After that they just went to frack, especially the last three, or prequels, whatever.  Anyway, though the two cannot even really be compared, everyone seems to want to do so, and someone wrote up an article giving 5 reason why Trek is of course better than that other one is. I will give one of their reasons here. It is number two on their list, and one of the things I pointed out immediately when I got myself to watch the first of the prequel things.
The Force.
A mystical energy field that surrounds us, that binds the galaxy together. Remember that all. Well apparently old Ben had lost his freaking mind in 20 or so years. Because according to the prequels it was bugs in the blood that did it. Yeah I know there are people complaining that the history of Trek was destroyed, but it wasn’t. In fact, the original Trek is still exactly as it was, and still in existence. A separate timeline was created basically, and to say it wasn’t makes no sense. Without that other time line, there would be no old Spock, and he certainly would not remember what happened there. All Abrams did was create a way to actually reboot the series without taking away from the original. Whereas in Silly Wars, Lucas just simply rewrote the whole bloody thing to the point that everything that had happened in the future now makes no sense any longer. Now I am not a fan of Abrams, don’t get me wrong. I actually don’t like the guy very much at all. But he did do a semi-decent job on Trek, even though the true appeal of Star Trek, (thinking), was actually lost to conform to the mentally deficient society of non-thinkers we have out there now going to movies. Trek was never about big explosions, or excessive violence, or a list of other things I could list here. But for an adventure sci-fi film, it wasn’t bad at all. Hopefully, if it ever does return to the small screen, like so many of us are hoping for after the franchise ends this time, it will return to its proper roots of social thought, etc. Hey, I love action, and violence, but let’s not overdo it with Trek here.
I mean, lets really compare the two here. Man’s quest to understand his place, compared to a brats insanity with severe daddy issues that likes kissing his own sister. When it comes to Wars, I’ll say this. Give me Han, Chewie, and the Falcon. The rest you can keep. I’ll take the Han Solo trilogy over the movies any day of the week. But it was nice to see someone else agreeing with me out there finally. Long live Trek. As for Wars, see you around; if you manage to blind side me that is. I mean really. Hyperdrive is actually one of the silliest things I ever heard of. At least in the way it was done in those movies. And Lucas apparently doesn’t even know the difference between speed measurements, and distance measurements. Personally, I think he should have quit doing anything remotely related to sci-fi or fantasy after THX1138. And that was a snooze fest in itself.

Well, hope I got some info out there this week that you all didn’t know about yet. I’m now going back to waiting till it is cool enough to try and get another couple hours sleep in tonight again. At this rate, the Rundown may just end, as I go the way of the wicked Witch in OZ. In other words, I think I am smegging melting here. See you all next week folks, provided I am not a puddle by then.


kallamis said...

Unbder the title former sci-fi channel has finally lost it,that should have read "not been released yet", and not "not been made yet." That is what happens when you are writing things when you should have been asleep at all hours of the day and night.

Dave Tackett said...

Good roundup! I love that you're not afraid to give your opinions - it makes commenting easier.

Re: new layout - Yes it sucks. Unfortunately, the tech equivalent of fashionistas complain that sites look "stale" if they don't change layouts every few months.

Re: 3d printing. "10 years at the outside" I really hope you're right, but I'd bet against it. I suspect it will remain too expensive to use.

Re: Neptune's new moon. Mini-moons (those too small to be gravitationally rounded) are usually not that interesting. I can hear Paul shuddering at the thought of the Pluto topic resurfacing. Let's wait until 2015 when New Horizons does it flyby and Dawn arrives at Ceres, at which time everyone will know significantly more about the objects now labeled "dwarf planets."

Re: Starcrash the movie. Now, you're just talking crazy.

Re: Mars - Your logic is initially good. However if life had started on Earth and not on Mars, it would still be possible, just much harder, than the other way around.

Ever since the Murchison meteorite of 1969 was found to contain amino acids, there has been scientific speculation about life on Earth having a microbial extra-terrestrial origin. However the popular press hadn't picked up on the idea until recently.

"religions were destroyed by knowledge [. . .] a serious thought of way too many people in governments" I respectfully challenge that assertion. It's a common plot device in cheesy books and movies, but I can find no evidence that that is a current concern.

"a weekly here on nothing but some of the conspiracy theories" Your source?

Re: Asteroids - bet it will be on a par with Battleship. Looking forward to the 2017 big budget release of Tic-Tac-Toe: The Movie.

Re: Apes movies. Yes the originals were better. Especially the first two.

Re: Hunger Games - Apathy here, but at least they're introducing some new fans to the dystopia concept and they're much better than Twilight.

Re the Syfy(lis) Channel. I mostly gave up on them years ago. At least the crap they're showing now isn't pro wrestling (or do they still show that, too?) Starcrash???? Unless you are really badly misspelling Solaris (1972), I'm worried about you my friend.

Re: Trek v. Wars. A lot of agreement here. I hate the midi-chlorians, though they aren't so much a contradiction as they are an unnecessary distraction. Yes using an alternate timeline (i.e. parallel universe) was a good idea and one that had long been a part of the Star Trek universe (e.g "Mirror, Mirror") The lack of violence in TOS is a bit of a myth (ask any red shirt who is about to beam down to a planet). The violence was there, just mostly off-screen due to budgetary and legal restrictions.

As for Luke/Leia, it's important to remember that they were not originally conceived as brother and sister, that was added as a means of separating them when Han turned out to be more popular - Lucas' revisionist claims are irrelevant as he is now making the absurd claim that Greedo always shot first ["Despite the fact that millions of people saw the scene in theaters and no one ever had any doubt about what happened, Lucas is now saying that Greedo always shot first, and his edits were just making that more obvious." NBC News.]