Monday, March 31, 2014

Short Film Prospect

Hey this is a great short film.   I would watch a full length of this one.

Prospect is the coming-of-age story of a teenage girl on a toxic alien planet. She and her father hunt for precious materials, aiming to strike it rich. When the father is attacked by a roving bandit, the daughter must take control. Prospect premiered at the 2014 SXSW Film Festival.

Watch a Liquid Both Freeze and Boil At the Same Time

Now here is something very interesting to watch.

From the Youtube video:

  • Evacuating a sample of unknown fluid (to vaporize for mass spectrometry). Pressure drop causes a decrease in temperature. The fluid simultaneously both boils and freezes? Would like some insight here...

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Relativity isn't Relative?

Hey check out this great little youTube video on relativity.  It really does speak.....

Friday, March 28, 2014

Space Stinks

Space is a BBQ
            Smells like it anyway. Or at least it does according to the astronauts it’s a lot like hot metal, diesel fumes and a barbecue.  Though actually breathing space is impossible, the astronauts aboard the ISS stated that after a spacewalk the suit smells like burned or fried steak.
            Three years ago, NASA got a fragrance maker to re-create the odor for use with their students during training missions. They also did the moon recently and the astronauts compared it to burnt gunpowder.
            Basically, most of the smells in space come from a common origin. Dying stars. Check out the article, it’s short and pretty cool reading.

Interesting Star Trek Trivia
            This is something I stumbled across that most of us know at least some of these, and some probably know them all. It’s a list of ten things you probably didn't know about STTOS.
            #7 on their list was about having the uniforms made in a sweat shop. Interesting concept. Use a sweat shop to promote a somewhat socialist utopian society.  According to producer Robert Justman and Herb Solow, they didn't have the budget to use the union costume makers. So they had them made overnight by a sweatshop, and then snuck them in through a back window.
            Well, what the smeg am I supposed to that. This one I didn't know for some reason. I could always try the old “good of the many” routine here, but I think I have a better idea. I’m just not going to say a freaking thing. What can I say? They helped give us the greatest sci-fi show of all time. That’s right, I still refuse to spell it the way that something or other channel does now.
            #3 on their list is just silly. I had heard about this before and wondered then who was smoking what out there at that time. Spock was originally conceived as not eating or drinking anything, ever. There was going to be a plate in the middle of his stomach, and he then fed off any energy that happened to be in the area. Now could this concept work, maybe today. Is it a good idea, not really. This is a sci-fi universe, and I can just see every possibility for that thing. Certain types of energy may poison him for instance. Not to mention, what type of life form would he have been then, and what would the physiology had been. And what if it was possible to be altered to feed off of bio energy. He goes nuts and runs amok, gets his mind taken over and used to destroy crew mates, etc etc etc. But here I think would have been the true problem. Getting people to actually believe that concept.
            Makes me wonder about another show though called Quark. The logical one there was named Ficus (in the plant kingdom), and needed a bee present to reproduce. I just wonder if someone involved there didn't hear about that and altered it to the hilarity that was Quark.
            Here’s the link to the page, and oh yeah, just in case you didn't notice, Leonard Nimoy turned 83 on March 26th.

            The silliness of our news people, (I refuse to call these people journalists in any way), is beyond anything imaginable anymore. A CNN anchor actually asked the question of if a black hole could be responsible for that missing airliner. The answer he got I thought was also hilarious, as it shows the complete lack of intelligence where space science in its simplest concepts are concerned, and they should just shut up frankly. I am talking about the answer of “Even a small black hole would swallow our entire universe.” Not to mention one other simple little fact. There is no way possible that such a gravitational field would be missed. Here’s a link to the article and video. There’s other silliness on there as well. Something about “Lost,” and something about twilight zone, but to be honest, I couldn’t listen any longer. My ears were already starting to bleed. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Asteroids have rings, too?!

Wow, I think my head just exploded!  

Out between the orbits of Jupiter and Neptune - orbits 10199 Chariklo, an asteroid-like object that's a little more than 90 miles in diameter.  It may be small, but Charriklo shares a feature similar to it's gas giant neighbors....rings.  

Astronomers think Chariklo has two flat, dense, thin rings, about 4.3 miles  and 2 miles in width, with a 5.5-mile gap between them.

Read the complete Pop Sci article HERE

3D Printed Plastic Skull Replacement?!

Yep, here is a first for you.  A 3d printed skull mean as a replacement for a skull that thickened so much that the patient suffered headaches and effecting her eyesight.  
The replacement of the skull was performed at the University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands.  Surgeons gave the woman a replacement that closely matched the original shape of her skull.

There are other replacements done with 3d, but this is the first with such an extensive replacement.

Read the complete article HERE

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Tallest Wind Turbine Ever Will Float Above Alaska

How tall you ask?  How about one thousand feet?!

At that height the wind blows uninterrupted. But a tower that height that free stands is much too large. So what do you do?—you float the generator in a giant helium balloon. The world's first floating commercial wind turbine will soon be hovering over Fairbanks, Alaska.

Altaeros Energies is  developing the Airborne Wind Turbine. It consists of a series of helium-filled bladders that surround a central turbine. The turbine's shape ensures that it consistently faces the wind and the entire assembly is anchored to the ground via an electrically-conductive tether. Since the AWT doesn't rely on propellers or mechanical processes to stay aloft, it can remain in the air for much longer and at a greatly reduced cost.

From the Article:

  • Altaeros has successfully tested a 35-foot scale prototype in Limestone, Maine, in which the aereostat autonomously climbed to 350 feet. Using its Southwest Skystream turbine, it produced twice as much power at altitude as it did at ground level, and then landed.

When  the platform is scaled up to reach altitudes of over 1000 feet the wind speeds are five times faster than on the ground and can generate over 20 times the power.  If it works, Altaeros believes it can cut the cost of energy production by 65 percent.

Check out the Gizmodo article here

Jumping From Low Earth Orbit?

Felix Baumgartner's jump from about 127,000 feet was  amazing but,  it wasn't from orbit—not even low Earth orbit.

Would this re-entry suit designed by Bulgarian artist dfacto  work. It is an amazing idea, but who knows?  It is cool though right?

Check out the Gizmodo article HERE

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

NASA Discovers First Earth-sized Planet in Habital Zone


In a startling discovery, astronomer Thomas Barclay from Nasa’s Ames Research Center in Palo Alto, California 
  • has discovered a habitable planet almost the same size as Earth orbiting an unidentified star in its so-called Goldilocks zone - a region around the star that emits just enough energy, light and temperature for liquid surface water to appear. 
The planet's data was captured by the Kepler space telescope.  The planet was observed indirectly while orbiting an unnamed M1 dwarf star better known as red dwarfs.   

These are much smaller and dimmer than Earth’s sun, and aren’t bright enough to be seen with the naked eye. Also  these stars make up around 70 per cent of all the stars in the galaxy.Barclay made the discovery using data collected by the Kepler space telescope. The planet sits on the outer edge of its star's habitable zone.

Check out the complete facinating article Here

Next Space X Dragon Mission

SpaceX's next cargo mission launch to the International Space Station from Cape Canaveral in Florida, will be at 10:50 p.m. EDT, Sunday, March 30.  This according to the NASA site HERE

This will be SpaceXs third mission of the Dragon module to the ISS.

NASA TV  launch coverage begins at 9:45 p.m.

From the article:
  • A March 30 launch would result in SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft arriving at the station on Wednesday, April 2 at approximately 7 a.m. NASA TV coverage of rendezvous and berthing will begin at 5:45 a.m. for a 7 a.m. capture. Coverage of Dragon's installation will begin at 9:30 a.m.
The complete NASA article HERE

Monday, March 24, 2014

Quantum Communications @ FTL Speeds?!!

For the first time, physicists at the Institute for Quantum Computing  at the University of Waterloo have demonstrated what could be described as possible faster than light communication with  three entangled photons at three different locations and several hundreds of feet apart.

This shows quantum nonlocality for more than two entangled photons.  Whaaaaaaaa?  Well possible FTL comm  with more that just two nodes!!!  

You know this stuff is what Einstein called  "spooky action at a distance,". 

For those of you on a slippery slide as to what Nonlocality is really all about....check this out from the Science Daily blog article HERE
  • Nonlocality describes the ability of particles to instantaneously know about each other's state, even when separated by large distances. In the quantum world, this means it might be possible to transfer information instantaneously -- faster than the speed of light. This contravenes what Einstein called the "principle of local action," the rule that distant objects cannot have direct influence on one another, and that an object is directly influenced only by its immediate surroundings.
Oh you have GOT to check out this article people!  It is brilliant!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Daily Life of an Astronaut

Hey I know a lot of this material is kind of redundant, however it is just enough fun to make it diverting. I thought it was fun.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

McFly's Hover Board Even a Bit Closer?!!!

Hey, this isn't a hoax but an honest try at a real hover board and it is MAJOR COOL.  Check out the Video

Sorry for the spotty posts people

yep, back in the hospital again, and now doing rehab.  will be posting as possible but it is like the past few weeks, between the pain, pills and well you get the idea, things get a bit spotty, but Beam Me Up and the blog/podcast are still a very real and operational concern.  Just a bit slower as I heal.  Have faith, we ALL love the program.  Thanks.


Saturday, March 15, 2014

Teen Makes a 9 year old's Prothetic Hand.....

This story has cute and heart warming all rolled into one.

16 year old Mason Wilde has always been a bit of a prodigy.  He was known at an early stage to take things apart and put them back together.  At 16 he built a computer from scratch.  It is his recent project though, has everyone talking.

Last year he changed the life of a family of a 9 year old boy who was born without most of his right hand.

From the article:
  • Using a 3-D printer at the Johnson County Library, Wilde made a prosthetic hand that opens and closes and can even hold a pencil.  
  • balance a book on it, even tie his own shoes

You can read the complete article here

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Twins In Spaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaace!

Hey did you know that a set of twins has already visited space?  No?  Tis true.   Apart from its' "I didn't know that!" aspect, NASA is actually looking to document body / mind changes brought on by long duration space flight missions.  

  • NASA's Human Research Program  will fund 10 short-term, first-of-its-kind investigations into the molecular, physiological and psychological effects of spaceflight in a continuous effort to reduce the health impacts of human space exploration. 
NASA's will fly veteran astronaut Scott Kelly aboard the International Space Station for one year, beginning March 2015.   His identical twin brother, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, remains on Earth.

NASA will compare blood samples from Scott and Mark that will  during and after the one-year mission. Physiological and psychological testing also will be conducted on the brothers before, during and after the mission.

For complete NASA article click HERE

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Win Big Bucks From NASA for Asteroid Hunting

NASA’s Asteroid Data Hunter contest series kicks of March 17th by offering $35,000 in awards  to "citizen scientists"  who come up with improved programs that can be used to identify asteroids. 

Interested people are urged to visit this site  for more information -

From the article :
  • The Asteroid Data Hunter contest series challenges participants to develop significantly improved algorithms to identify asteroids in images captured by ground-based telescopes. The winning solution must increase the detection sensitivity, minimize the number of false positives, ignore imperfections in the data, and run effectively on all computer systems.
 According to the NASA.Gov article competitions like this are more and more needful.  -
  • Current asteroid detection initiatives are only tracking one percent of the estimated objects that orbit the Sun.
For more info, check the complete article on-site HERE 

Monday, March 10, 2014

BMU 401 is now online

Beam Me Up episode 401 is now online!  

First off, I should apologize.  There is a bit of static at the beginning as I recorded this episode off air....

So...after my opening remarks and a short musical interlude, I head over to the Beam Me Up blog for a few articles about a new British SF due out soon, called the Machine.  Fossils of possibly the largest land going carnivore. NASA has plans for a future visit to Jupiter's moon Europa.  I talk about a short that I have on the blog of some of the behind the scenes on the set of the award winning "Gravity".

Finally a flash from the past with a librivox reading of James Blish's short story "One Shot"

It's a quick hour, thanks for listening.

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Trailer for the "Machine"

Here is one of the first trailers for the British SF thriller  "Machine"

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Largest Terristerial Carnivorous Dinosaur Discovered in Portugal

The fossilized remains of   what could be the the largest predatory dinosaur ever, were discovered in Portugal, making it easily one of Europe's, if not the world's largest  terrestrial carnivores from the Jurassic period. 

T. Gurneyi, as the creature has been dubbed, had curved knife like teeth up to four inches in length, reach lengths of thirty three feet and weigh in at  4 to 5 tons. 

From the Science Daily article:
  • which indicates it may have been at the top of the food chain in the Iberian Peninsula roughly 150 million years ago.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

NASA to Europa

Things are looking very good for a NASA mission to Jupiter's very enigmatic icy moon Europa.

IO9 reports that NASA announced:
  • $15 million will be allocated for "pre-formulation" work on a mission to Europa, with plans to make detailed observations from orbit and possibly sample its interior oceans with a robotic probe. 
  • (Europa has a) massive subsurface ocean contains almost twice as much water as found on Earth. The water is kept in liquid state owing to the gravitational forces exerted by Jupiter and the moon's turbulent global ocean currents.
IO9 article HERE


Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Film Short - Gravity: Behind the Frame

I haven't seen the film yet, but with so many shorts like this one, I know it will be awe inspiring. So if you have or haven't seen the movie Gravity, know that it won seven Academy award and as you can tell even from this short that the film is a feast for the senses.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Hot Jupiter with water, and Flash returns

            “Tau Bootis b,” first discovered in 1996 and around 51 light years from us. It is considered a hot Jupiter due to the fact of it being a gas giant, and it’s close orbit to its star. It is now been discovered to have water vapor in its atmosphere.
            We have been able to do this before and detect water to a point, but the planet had to pass between us and it’s star in order for us to be able to.
            From our viewpoint however, Tau Bootis b doesn’t pass where it needs to. What they did to analyze the atmosphere instead, was to look at the faint glow given off. By analyzing the light, you can see the different wavelengths that reveal different chemical identities. They had used a similar technique before to find carbon monoxide around Tau Bootis b.
The article is well worth the read folks.

            No I don’t mean the new animated movie Flashpoint Paradox, (but if you haven’t seen that, see it).
            Apparently the CW has decided to add the Flash to its lineup of superheroes after the Arrow.
            First off, I am a longtime fan of the Flash. And secondly, I haven’t seen yet where this has ever been done to anyone’s satisfaction in live action. The last time this was tried, well, let’s just say it didn’t do very well. So hopefully this time it will be better.
            Now I am behind on Arrow and trying to catch up, so I won’t say anything about the actor yet as I haven’t seen him portraying Barry Allen. The look he has in the uniform picture however, (head shot only) makes you think maybe he could do it. But again, we’ll have to wait and see.
            But here is what irritates me the most about all this. Supposedly, and I’ll believe it when I see it, there is a Justice League movie in the works with script writing etc. And we all know that if either of these characters would show up in that movie, they wouldn’t be portrayed by the ones doing the series. They need to get their s..t together and keep things flowing in one direction, and with the same people playing parts in the movie that they do on the small screen. Maybe not Arrow, but definitely the Flash is easy enough to do right where the same guy can do both. Anyway, here is a link to the article, and you can check out what it says and see the first profile pic released so far.