Friday, January 30, 2015

Review: Elfin Lied

Elfin Lied is based on a Japanese manga series  originally serialized Weekly from June 2002 to August 2005, with the 107 chapters collected into twelve tankĊbon volumes. 

Elfen Lied focuses on the "Diclonius" who's appearance is similar to humans, but with several key differencese, namely horn-like protrusions on the forehead and telekinetic  arms called "Vectors". One such Diclonius, Lucy, is the main character of the series: Initially held in a facility built for experimentation, located off the coast of Kamakura, she manages to escape and wreak havoc, but is injured in the process, an event which causes her to develop a secondary, childlike personality known as Nyu.

Lucy is found by two locals, Kohta, who studies at the local university, and his cousin Yuka. They take her in, and become involved with the numerous, often brutal, attempts to recapture her by a Special Assault Team and a number of other Diclonius, who shift frequently from oblivious to murderous.

It is obvious even with this short description, that Elfin Lied has a great deal going for it.  An engaging tale with characters that are both interesting and easy to identify with.  

However the very things that make this series work also work against it.  Taking 107 chapters and making 13 episodes should set off the warning bells quickly.  The main character goes from a quiet introvert to one that exudes confidence and does so in a very short order.   Nyu is a wonderful foil but it is never quite believable that Nyu is the blood drenched "Diclonius" Lucy.   Episode 13 comes quickly, so much so that one is very confused because it does not seem to have a contiguous timeline.

Don't get me wrong, Elfin Lied was far and away one of the better series I have watched to date.  I really think that generally this series will be found entertaining.  However the flaws will be evident early on.  So out of a possible 10 I would list it a 7.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

NASA's New Horizon Begins Pluto Encounter

NASA's New Horizon began one of many approach configuration, as it closes with a flyby of  Pluto. 
These will culminate July 14 with the first close-up flyby of the dwarf planet, 4.67 billion miles  from Earth.

Since New Horizons launch in January 2006 - It has voyaged more than 3 billion miles.  It was awakened last month for its close pass to Pluto and inside the orbits of its five known moons.

The heavy duty science will begin this spring.  This will be the time when the cameras and spectrometers aboard New Horizons will be able to provide image resolutions higher than the most powerful telescopes on Earth. Eventually, the spacecraft will obtain images that scientists hope will be good enough to map Pluto and its moons more accurately than achieved by previous planetary reconnaissance missions.

Light Pollution is Worse Than You Think

Many observatories are now threatened by a very real pollution problem.   A problem that could make many of today's best visible light observatories useless in a matter of a few decades!  This pollution is an easily avoided problem of too much night time light pollution.

Check out the video on this worsening problem and steps that are being taken to preserve the night time sky......

Short film: Portal No Escape

I love these short films on youtube that put to use the portal effect.  Here, a woman seems to be in what appears to be in a prison of sorts.....check it out.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Life On Mars?

Wow, well if you are like me, you know what this photo HAS to be, but wish it was what it seems to be:

Saturday, January 24, 2015

BMU Episode 437 is now Online

Welcome to Beam Me Up - episode 437.

Pretty well grounded episode this week.

After the opening monologue, I open with a great anime musical piece, Nobody knows.

Before the first story of the afternoon, I switch gears and read a short article from Kallamis that if you like the Darwins or the more recent "Here is your sign" then you can understand his dismay and frustration even while laughing.

The first story for the afternoon is a funny little tale called "My New Roommate" from a new writer for BMU Russ Bickerstaff.

From the blog, NASA's Dawn is closing in on it's second half of its asteroid mission by visiting the most massive body in the asteroid belt.

EU's Beagle 2 lander which has been missing for better than 10 years may have been found.

I found an awesome youtube video on quantum mechanics.  I have the link but it was a bit long for this weekend's program.

Finally, I play part two of Mimsy Were the Borogoves read by CrystalWizard.

And that's it.  I hope you enjoy the program.

Listen to episode 437 HERE

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Moon. Star or planet????

    I didn't come up with this, I promise you. I was switching stations while building here, and caught the end of this on a news program. You are not going to believe this folks. I had to go find this today just to see if it was really true what I heard. Unfortunately, it was true. And even better, it gets worse than what was originally shown. They went out and asked people what the moon was. Folks, I'm sorry. But there is no way for me to describe my feelings on this, without being rightfully censored. Okay, so I am now censoring myself. Just watch this bleed'in idiocy, you'll understand. 
    Yeah folks, after you see this, you'll be on my side. Give us a ship, and let us leave. I guarantee, none of want to live on this planet any longer. 
Not sure about video embedding, so here's a link all.

    Enjoy folks, or yell. Still building here, but haven't forgot beam me up. Later folks.
    Seriously, people are just stupid.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

NASA's Dawn Spacecraft Makes Final Approach to Ceres

NASA's space probe Dawn was launched in 2007, its mission, to study the two most-massive objects of the asteroid belt: the proto-planet Vesta and the dwarf planet Ceres.  Dawn probe is scheduled to arrive at rdgf March 6.

Dawn is the first spacecraft to visit Vesta, entering orbit on July 16, 2011. Dawn then successfully completed its 14-month survey of Vesta  in late 2012. Should its entire mission succeed, it will also be the first spacecraft to visit Ceres and to orbit two separate extraterrestrial bodies.

Previous multi-destination missions were hampered by the use of conventional drives, such as the Voyager program. Since conventional engines have a weight penalty, they were restricted to flybys.

The Dawn mission is the first NASA exploratory mission to use ion propulsion to enter and leave orbit, as well as course corrections.

Top photo the asteroid Vesta taken by Dawn
Middle is an artist's representation of Dawn
Bottom is Ceres                                  

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Missing Beagle May Have Been Found

On December 19, 2003, the Mars Express orbiter released a tiny spaceship called the Beagle 2. The small lander streaked through the thin Martian atmosphere at well over 12 thousand miles per hour and was never heard from again. 

From the Global News article:
  • After more than 11 years, European Space Agency officials reported that the Beagle 2 had been finally found – thanks to extensive detective work based on new photos taken by the high-resolution camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
  • The photos show the craft landed safely on Mars and partially deployed — but was unable to fully deploy and start communicating.
The 143-pound Beagle 2 was designed to descend through the Martian atmosphere, deploy parachutes, and “bounce” to a safe landing on inflatable bags.

More from the Global News article:
  • Experts who helped identify the lander at the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Lab said the photographs are “consistent” with only a partial deployment of the Beagle 2 upon landing. They said a failure to fully deploy would explain why no data or signals from the craft were ever received, since a complete deployment of all of its solar panels would have been needed for successful transmissions.
Complete article @ Global News  HERE

Quantum Entanglement - an easy and quick explanation

Einstein called Quantum Mechanics "spooky action at a distance".  Pretty evident that he did not care for the process one bit.  Well no matter what your opinion is on the subject, here is a simplified demonstration of Quantum Entanglement.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Beam Me Up Episode 436 is Now Online

This week in Beam Me Up episode 436 is the beginning of MIMSY WERE THE BOROGOVES by Lewis Padgett and read by (we were so lucky to have her) CrystalWizard.

But before part one of Mimsy were the Borogoves, I take a trip to the podcast.

An alarm aboard the ISS forces evacuation....

An asteroid is due to make a close pass....

Kepler Space Telescope had found a record breaking earthlike planets

I post a film of a static test of the RS-25 rocket engine that will be the main engine for the sls heavy lift system.

Eight people who need an idiot sign.  I mean REALLY need a sign...

2015 is the year that Back to the Future and Marty's Hoverboard.  Here  are 6 reasons why you would hate one!

And finally CrystalWizard reads Mimsy were the Borogoves.

Listen to BMU HERE

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Alarm on ISS Forces Crew to Abandon NASA Side of Station

Early Wednesday (1-14-15) an alarm aboard the International Space Station sounded, forcing the
complete crew into the Russian side of the station.  

From the C/Net article:
  • Flight controllers in Mission Control at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston saw an increase in pressure in the station's water loop for thermal control system B then later saw a cabin pressure increase that could be indicative of an ammonia leak in the worst case scenario...
Complete C/Net ISS article HERE

Asteroid to do a Flyby on January 26 2015

Don't get your knickers in a knot however.  Asteroid 2004 BL86   will indeed make the closest approach of an asteroid of this size until asteroid 1999 AN10 makes its approach in 2027. Asteroid 2004 Bl86 poses no threat to Earth for the foreseeable future.  
Asteroid 2004 BL86  is approximately a third of a mile wide. Compare that to the asteroid Vesta, which is about the size of the state of Arizona. 

Read the complete C/Net article HERE

NASA's Kepler Telescope Has Discovered 1000 Earthlike Planets

As of January of 2015 NASA's Kepler Space Telescope has discovered the telltale signals of  stars with planets.  4000 in fact, have been deemed by Kepler worthy of further investigation.  As of the new year, 1000 of those 4000 have been verified as very Earth like.

HERE is the complete url for the article from he NASA

Monday, January 12, 2015

NASA Successfully Static Tests It's New RS-25 Engine

January 9, 2015 NASA successfully completed a static test when it started and ran it's new RS-25

Do You Need A Sign? Here are Eight People That Certainly Do!

 I know.....doesn't really meet the BMU criteria, however like the Darwins, sometimes you just need a good laugh to brighten your day.
With that in mind, here are eight individuals that need a sign around their necks proclaiming them idiotic, deserving extra care when interacting with them!

I know that I have posted some of these on other occasions, but this is still a great and entertaining list in it's own rite. 

I want to thank Carole for sending in the list via email.

Number One Idiot
I am a medical student currently doing  a rotation in toxicology at the poison control center.
Today, this woman  called in very upset because she caught her little daughter eating ants.
I quickly reassured her that the ants are not harmful and there would be  no need to bring her daughter into the hospital.
She calmed down and at  the end of the conversation happened to mention that she gave her daughter  some ant poison to eat in order to kill the ants.
I told her that she better bring  her daughter into the emergency room right away.

Here's your sign, lady. Wear it with pride.

Friday, January 09, 2015

6 Reasons Why You'd Actually Hate Hoverboards

If hoverboards really existed, would you buy one, would you actually even care? Here's 6 reasons why you almost certainly wouldn't:

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Episode 435 of BMU now Online

After my opening for this week's episode (435) I spend a moment memorializing Jason Kahn who passed away 12/16/14 after a long illness.

Next - the first story of the afternoon is Venus or Bust pt2 by Alec Jones

From the Blog

A fake tweet from NASA and a planetary alignment might make you feel lighter?

2015 is an auspicious year for Back to the Future, how much did they get right and how much was plain misses.

Some people have way too much time on their hands and way too many legos!

SpaceX is another step closer to crew transport.

Finally this episode ends with part two of Margaret Karmazin's Sound Effects.


The program can be listened to or downloaded from Here  
or  the podcast

Friday, January 02, 2015

Lighter in your Loafers 1/4/2015?

Tell me you haven't heard about this! Truth is I just did!

The meat of the matter is based on a supposedly NASA generated tweet that stated, During an up-coming planetary alignment of Earth Jupiter and Pluto will combine to counter Earth gravity leaving you weightless for a moment. 

What did Back to the Future II Get Right and What Did It Get Wrong

Welcome to 2015.  Back to the Future fans (part 2 to be exact) will recall that this was the year that Marty McFly travels to in the film.

It is some what interesting to compair the movie year from reality to see just how far or how close we come to what McFly experienced.

Well, flying cars are around but nowhere near the level shown in the movie.  Hoverboards, big zip on that piece of tech. No self lacing shoes.   

In the Got it right side of the ledger, cameras every-where, Flat Panel large screen TVs,

It may be fun to compare the movie to the present.  I got the ball rolling, if you come up with more, leave a note in the comment section of this article and we will bounce it around.

RIP: Jason Kahn

It is with great sadness that I report that one of BMU's most favored authors, Jason Kahn, has succumbed after a valiant 18 month battle with brain cancer, at the age of 45. 

Jason as you know has been with Beam Me Up for several years now with his ongoing story arc 'In Plain Sight'.   One of his last projects was to make sure that his series IPS, which was part of the Dark Inspectre series, was finished and up to date.  So that fans of Beam Me Up could enjoy the series well into 2015.

His passing will leave a large void in the heart of Beam Me Up and myself.  He will be greatly missed.

The Pillar of Autumn is perhaps one of Halo's most iconic ships - and just as impressive when it's made out of Legos.

Constructed out of $7000 of Legos by Lee Jones,  At 7 feet, the model is truly gigantic!