Thursday, October 31, 2013

Last Days on Mars Trailer

Have you heard about this one yet?  "Last Days on Mars"   if the trailer is any indication it surely is going to be one hell of a coaster ride!

As the copy states on the  IO9 site:
  • The Last Days On Mars is a space thriller set, well, during the last few days of a crew's exploration of Mars.
  •  "A group of astronaut explorers succumb one by one to a mysterious and terrifying force while collecting specimens on Mars."
Check out the WEB SITE HERE

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

ABC Orders Nine More S.H.I.E.L.D.s

Sci. Fi. Storm is reporting that:
  • ABC has given a back nine order for Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., bringing the series up to a full season of 22 episodes. The show has been the best drama so far this year in the 18-49 demographic, and it was the highest rated debut in nearly four years.
From the Wiki article:
  • created for ABC by Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen, based on the Marvel Comics organization S.H.I.E.L.D. The series ... is set in the Marvel Universe, sharing continuity with the films in that franchise.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

NASA's MAVEN Still Go for November Launch

The recent government shutdown threatened NASA's MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution) 2013 launch date and move it out to 2016 costing the agency millions and dealing a blow to it's already cash strapped budget, but now NASA is saying that MAVEN is go for a November 18th 2013 launch.  

When it arrives in 2014, MAVEN will begin studying Mars' atmosphere.  According to the IO9 article: 
  • (MAVEN) will search for clues about the planet's past, and how it quickly lost what is theorized to have been, not long ago, a much thicker atmosphere.
Check out the complete IO9 article here    


Mission website HERE

LUNAR a Short Film from Tyson Wade Johnston

Wow the short films are coming fast and furious this week! Here is Luna and it is a hard hitter for such a short film. Written & Directed by Tyson Wade Johnston, this is how the short is described:
  • Set in Los Angeles City, 2057, an outlaw is captured and sentenced to a lifetime of imprisonment on the LUNAR penitentiaries. To reunite with his family, he must become the first convict to escape the corrupt system and return to Earth. 
The film is dark, grainy and exudes depression and hopelessness.    It is so worth the watch!

LUNAR, Short Film from Tyson Wade Johnston on Vimeo.

Beyond: an excellent short SF film

Wow, you have got to check out this short video, it really pushes the envelope when putting on the SF mantle. Some of the ideas are wildly original!

In a somewhat "Bladerunner" type of start,  A woman with who it seems has been modified  genetically and imbued with an ability that allows her to survive teleportation to other worlds is tasked with just that type of mission.  However when she arrives, strange things begin to occur when she receives  a mission that takes her impossibly to a world beyond the universe.

From the brilliant mind of  Raphael Rogers we are treated to the short video "Beyond"

Predawn Excitement for November!

Carole just sent in an article from National Geographic - Star Struck - with some fun stuff to look for in November. 

From the NG article:
  • On Friday, November 1, and for the rest of the month, the much-talked-about comet ISON will be visible in the predawn sky. At the beginning of the month ISON shines at about 9th magnitude making it visible as a faint fuzzy speck in binoculars. Expectations are that it will continue to brighten, possibly reaching naked-eye visibility by the end of the month when it reaches its closest approach with the sun on November 28.
  • Joining ISON just a few binocular fields to its far lower left is another icy interloper, the comet 2P/Encke, which will also be visible a couple hours before local sunrise. Flying through the constellation Leo, the Lion, Encke shines at about 7th magnitude, making it the brightest comet in our skies for now. For sky-watchers this means that Encke is an easy target to see with binoculars and small telescopes. The two comets appear about 20 degrees apart—equal to the width of two side-by-side fists at arm’s length.
Please check out the complete National Geographic article for the complete lowdown. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

BMU #383 now online

Episode 383 of Beam Me Up.   This is of course the Saturday just before All Hallow's Eve, so I break out my favorite Halloween story Colin P. Davies' Happy Halloween which has the great narration talents of Crystal Wizard.  CW does all the music mixing as well as narration.  I am sure you will enjoy this time tested tale.

But first after my opening comments I start with part 2 of Van Hall's story What Makes a Thirsty God on Fallon's Planet.

After the opening tale I find a few moments to talk about Star Trek as I do some Star Trek Trivia.  This week one of my favorites "The City on the Edge of Forever" with guest Joan Collins.  Oh the ending line of that story...If you can not recall the episode, see if you can find the is top notch Star Trek.

Then before the end of the show story, I spend a few moments in the blog.  Courtney popped in for a few moments just to talk and we get on to some comets that have flown into the sun recently.  Really exciting to know that others are finding this stuff interesting.  Then from the blog, one of the most ancient galaxies yet to date! It is so old it sounds impossible!  And one of the most compact planetary systems ever!

Then of course Happy Halloween!



Episode 383 Download HERE

Friday, October 25, 2013

Astronomers Discover Ultra-compact Solar System

Two different teams of astronomers have confirmed the existence of an ultra compact planetary system designated KIC 11442793 with the discovery of a seventh planet using data from the Kepler scope using the "transitional" method of planet discovery.  

The incredible fact about this system is that all seven planets are in a tight orbit that is closer than the Earth's distance to our Sun.

From the IO9 article:
  • The newly discovered planet, which is 2.8 times the size of Earth, is the fifth out with an orbit of 125 days. 
Check out the Cornell University article here

Read the IO9 article HERE

Exoplanets Soar Past One Thousand!

Carole sends me an article from the National Geographic Daily News site that reports that the count of extra-solar planets has soared past one thousand!  

From the NG article:
  • After just two decades of hunting, this symbolic milestone was surpassed with this week's announcement of the discovery of 11 new worlds by the British Wide Angle Search for Planets  detection program.
This of course does not take into account planets that have as yet not been confirmed, which may count in the thousands and of course the billions that must exist in the Milky Way already.  

Detection of extra-solar planets has soared due to indirect detection methods.   Methods now count on how a distant star may flicker as a planet passes in front of it, or the more common wobble a star may have as planets influence their orbit. 

Check out the article here for more info

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Planck Deep Space Telescope Retired

Launched in 2009 and instrumental in determining the true age of the universe, which was 80 million years older that scientists had estimated,  the Planck telescope is being retired.  

Planck  spent all of it's working life in deep space behind a super cooled detector, which, along with it's sister scope the Herschel Space Observatory, its primary function was to study some of the most ancient photons thought to have been created at the time of the big bang.  

Herschel went offline in April of this year, but Planck continued on until its supply of liquid helium coolant expired, at which time the scientists operating Planck agreed that the scope had reached the end of its operational life.  

Planck will now be moved into a parking orbit around the sun.    The the final deactivation command was sent to Planck on 23 October 2013.

To read more:  Gizmodo  and The Wikipedia

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Ancient Galaxy is the Farthest Object Ever Discovered

Astronomers using data from Hubble and the Keck 1 telescope located at the Keck Observatory in Hawaii have discovered the oldest galaxy ever, discovered to this point.

The galaxy, which astronomers are calling z8_GND_5296 was formed around  the first 700 million years after the big band.   This would make it the oldest and most distant galaxy discovered so far.

The galaxy is so distant, it is like looking back in time some 13+ billion years ago! 

z8_GND_5296  is also making a name for itself for another reason as well.  It has been estimated that this incredibly distant  galaxy is producing stars about 150 times more quickly than the Milky Way. 
For example,  the Milky Way may produce about one or two sunlike stars each year, z8_GND_5296 birthed about 300 per year approximately, however that was  13 billion years ago. 

For more information check out for this article   HERE

Monday, October 21, 2013

Fantastic Photos From ESA's Mars Express

I just got a heads up about some really spectacular photos from the ESA's Mars Express.   These shots are in truth a mosaic of shots that bring out the Hebes Chasma canyon system that in part is related to the Tharsis system which contains the largest volcano in the solar system Olympus Mons.

Here is the Hebes Chasma photo, but you should do yourself a favor and check out the ESA site

And here is the link to the ESA site that has more pics  and a lot more info.  Check it out HERE

castAR Will Blow Your Mind!

Hey catch this video from the Kickstarter program for this new VR rig that is also an AR system.  It is called castAR, don't forget that name because I am willing to bet that this just could be a big changer in how game, computers, movies you name it....this looks like the real deal.

Check out the video.

BMU #382 is now online

Welcome to Beam me up episode 382.

Fairly cut and dry episode this week due in part to a scarcity of news in general, but I make it up in stories.

After a brief intro I play part one of Van Hall's "What makes a thirsty god on Fallon's Planet.

This week I again have enough time to read about or impart some Star Trek trivia, this week "The Arena"

Next I take a trip over to the Beam Me Up Blog first on the agenda is a new ancestor to and inbred with many of early men. Plus Superman has celebrated 75 years of animation.

Then it is the last story for the day.  Doug Hilton's Traitor Sol

here is the download link   BMU # 382

Friday, October 18, 2013

Denisovans are what? And They Lived Where?!!

Damn things are getting weird.  To what end? you might be inclined to ask.  Well, let's remember this
quirky  Denisova hominin.   Now the "hominin" part of the title might just have given these Denisova away as to their genus.  Yep, these early "hominids' may be, very likely, early relatives of modern man.

Fossils were first uncovered in the Denisova cave  located in the Altai mountains.  Dating puts the bones at 40+ thousand years ago.  This cave system is unique as it was inhabited at various times by both Neanderthals and modern humans alike.  

Though they may be thought of as ancestors,  Analysis of the mitochondrial DNA from Denisovans  showed it to be genetically distinct from that of Neanderthals and modern humans.  Denisovans may show a more common origin with Neanderthals.   But there is evidence that they also lived among and interbred with ancestors of modern humans.

Ranging from Siberia to SE Asia Denisovans bred with local modern human groups like Melanesians and Australian Aborigines with up to 6% derived from inbreeding with Denisovans.   Local Neanderthal populations were discovered to have upwards of 17%.

Now that there are plenty of outlets to find more info, Discover / The Loom has done a credible job.  As does the Wiki

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Superman Animation Celebrtates 75th Anaversity !!

The short included here comes from the very creative imaginations of Zack Snyder and Bruce Timm.

The idea of the short is to celebrate Superman through out the years.  From his first appearance on the cover of Action Comics #1 to this year's Man of Steel, from Henry Carvill.

NASA Does Instagram

You familiar with Instgram?  I have to fess up and say that all I know is that it deals with pics.  NASA it seems is a bit more sophisticated than I and has thus far started to offer spectacular images at their site. 

If you have not taken  a trip over you really need to check out the site at

I took a quick look-see  and  saw some very beautiful photos that you can download and plan to use in whatever strikes your fancy.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Human History is but a Thin Slice of Time

Our narrow slice of time is just that!  A mere fraction of thin line at the very end of modern man's time.

Here to put it into perspective is Vsause who's video everything into perspective is so very short of time.

Pay attention, you will be surprised at just how little influence we have in the overall scene of things.....

BMU # 381 Now Online

After a short intro I pay my respects to Scott Carpenter who succumbed to complications from an
earlier stroke.

My first story of the afternoon was David Scholes'  Trathh Battleground Earth Which has everything that a Dave Scholes - Trathh fan could ask.

Just Can't leave that Star Trek Trivia book alone.  This week some fun facts about the star trek episode Shore Leave.

Fusion done in the lab is nothing new, but what has now taken place is another thing all together.
Finally the conclusion to Dean Giles' D.A.V.E.


DOWNLOAD episode 381

Friday, October 11, 2013

RIP: Scott Carpenter and Godspeed....


Outlived only by John Glenn, Mercury astronaut Scott Carpenter  passed from us to the aether at the age of 88.   

Carpenter succumbed  due to medical complications arising from a recent stroke suffered last month. 

Carpenter was the second American astronaut to enter orbit - on May 24, 1962, when he piloted his Aurora 7 capsule to three orbits. During that flight, he became the first American to eat solid food in space.

As is always true, there is much in a man's life to be proud of, perhaps one of the most enthralling was his send off to John Glenn's flight, when he uttered in part .....God Speed, John Glenn.  

God Speed to you  Mr. Carpenter   God Speed

For more please read the NBC New article

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Nuclear Fusion Breakes Even For the First Time!

Nuclear Fusion is without too much argument the driving force behind the Universe.   For those of you that  think they don't really have a handle on the fusion process, let me explain at the root of fusion, is a fairly simple possess.

Nuclear fusion is a nuclear reaction in which two or more atomic nuclei collide at a very high speed and join to form a new type of atomic nucleus. During this process,some of the mass of the fusing nuclei is converted to  energy  (most often photons)

Unfortunately, experiments in the lab, though capable of creating fusion, have not come to the magical energy break even point. 

Now, Researchers at the National Ignition Facility in Livermore, California, have indeed attained the holy grail of particle physics.  Indeed, the BBC is reporting:
  • The BBC is reporting, though, that during an experiment conducted in the facility during September the "amount of energy released through the fusion reaction exceeded the amount of energy being absorbed by the fuel".
Here is a link to the Gizmodo article   and a wicked good Wikipedia article

Monday, October 07, 2013

Episode 380 of Beam Me Up is Now Online

So, sorry for the delay. But I wanted to make sure that I gave everyone enough time to make sure that everything is right.  Then you know an opinion on anthing.  Shutting down the government left me cold.  Look at all the major scientific work that just had to be put on hold....some of it irreplaceable.

The first story for this week is episode 8 of Erin Bassett's Clockwork, expect your fair share of weirdness in this episode.

Next I spend a moment reviewing the newest Star Trek movie Into the Darkness.  Very interesting movie and some very interesting topics to talk about.

And to finish the afternoon off, part 4 of Dean Giles, and yes the warning is in place for this episode as well.

Thanks for listening!



Yeah, I think I will include the link from now on.  If you click download, it will just play, however if you right mouse button click and select save the link as  menu option, it will simply download the file.   Good luck, any questions, email me at

Friday, October 04, 2013

Review: Star Trek - Into Darkness

Directed by J.J. Abrams


Chris Pine as Captain James T. Kirk   
Zachary Quinto as Commander Spock
Zoe Saldana as Lieutenant Nyota Uhura
Karl Urban as Lieutenant Commander Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy
Simon Pegg as Lieutenant Commander Montgomery "Scotty" Scott
John Cho as Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu
Anton Yelchin as Ensign Pavel Chekov
Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan
Bruce Greenwood as Admiral Christopher Pike
Peter Weller as Fleet Admiral Alexander Marcus    
Alice Eve as Lieutenant Dr. Carol Marcus
Leonard Nimoy as Spock Prime

and cameo by  Christopher Doohan (son of James Doohan) as Transport officer   

So it comes to pass that someone had the bright idea to make a Star Trek movie for Star Trek fans. Ok, I know, they almost all were in some fashion or another and to be honest this outing takes from a lot of the previous films but throughout it all is the feeling that you have been here before in some alter ego, and it is all strangely familiar as well as bright and shiny new (even with Abrams incessant lens flares). 

There is often the feeling that any moment now, the plot will drop into a classic StarTrek series with all the associated nods and winks.  But that is what makes it so entertaining.  Can I say right now though that I never for one instance bought into Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan ?  Nope, nope nope no nope never.   If you are going to do Kahn, look at how Ricardo did him, BOTH TIMES!!!   The man oozed barely controlled rage and exuded extreme confidence.  Did Cumberbatch come within a row of a** holes? Be honest....Kahn is not played sophisticated but with distane ......  ok, only bitch, really!  This is truly a film for fans, the nods and winks, the double backs, the switches and the one really big switch that I thought was really balls out. (nope, no spoiler)  

So if you have seen all of TOST and even though you hated some, seen all the  movies, if you have not seen this one yet....find a blu-ray and enjoy  ADD this one to your Star Trek collection of movies or hope that someone takes the hint and adds it to your Christmas list.  

Now I saw the movie at a small group viewing so I can not speak to the extras but the movie is a 9.5 and only to bitch about the incessant flares.  It is worth it, rent it, buy it....whatever, it is that good a Star Trek venue....

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

World's Bigest Telescope Now Online

With the arrival of the 54th—and for those of you that have been counting, the final—12-meter wide

radio telescope, means that the single largest telescope,  can finally begin exploring the cosmos with a full complement of  dishes.

For those of you in caves for the past decade, the telescope in question is the Atacama Large Millimeter Array  or ALMA, an absolutely huge radio telescope array, will provide an unprecedented view of interstellar space.   How unprecedented you might ask?  Well with all the dishes now online, ALMA could spot something the size of a golf-balls at about eight miles.  ALMA will give astronomers looks inside stellar nurseries where giant clouds of dust and gas  create  new stars as well as provide insight on star birth during the early universe and detailed imaging of local star and planet formation.

The Atacama Large Millimeter Array is as you might guess located in the Atacama desert of northern Chile  on the Chajnantor plateau at about 16500 foot altitude.  ALMA will consist  of 66 12-meter and 7-meter diameter radio telescopes (54 will be 12-meter dishes with the remaining to be made up of smaller dishes).   The telescope was designed to look at the millimeter and sub-millimeter wavelengths.  ALMA can change it's "band" of viewing by clever movement of the antenna arrays.  The antennas can be moved across the desert with distances from 500 feet to 10 miles, giving ALMA a  variable "zoom" lens, if you would. 

Alls Fine At The ISS - But Curiosity Had To Be Put To Sleep

Hey this is an opinion peice.  You don't agree, fine, your rights in action, but if you want an argument instead of a discussion, go somewhere else ok?

I can tell you one thing right off the bat, I have revisited my possible choices in the next election and did some drastic changes because this is RIDICULOUS!

Ok, the ISS crew is in no danger but what pisses me off is Curiosity being put to sleep....and you know it ain't just a wakey wakey to get it going's cold up there for one thing.... and according to DVICE Hubble and the other spacecraft now flying are being kept operational by NASA... and the folks over at the National Science Foundation can keep on doing the research because they are not federal employees, so that is good.  

As Colin Druce-McFadden said in the DEVICE article:
  • Where it can and where it needs to be, the government is still running. We've got a hunch this whole shutdown thing isn't going to last that long. Think of it as a national tornado advisory: pop in a couple of old movies, stay safe and it'll be over before you know it.
I know, but it still is grown men and women acting like children.  Aggravates the crap out of me.