Friday, February 27, 2015

RIP: Leonard Nimoy @ 83

 Leonard Nimoy, well known, talented and beloved character actor, died Friday at the age of  83.   A family member told CNN that Nimoy succumbed  due to complications brought on by
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Nimoy is probably best remembered for his depiction of the green, pointed eared alien - Spock - in the 1960 television series (and later feature movies) Star Trek. 

His is survived by cast members  William Shatner, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei and Walter Koenig                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
Takei wrote "We return you now to the stars, Leonard. You taught us to 'Live Long And Prosper,' and you indeed did, friend," .

Read the CNN article Here

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Where Has all the Anti-Matter Gone?..... Off to Mutual Annihilation - Every one.....

Yeah, I know.  A Folk singer I ain't.

But the core question is valid.  As I pointed out in a discussion last summer - If after the initial expansion, the Universe had equal amounts of matter and anti-matter - where is it all - anti- matter I mean.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Earth to Ceres: Dawn is Comming

Cratered surface of Ceres taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft

After seven years, Dawn will arrive at Ceres, albeit after a layover at a neighbor's, March 6th. 
Ceres is in a class now designated as "dwarf planet" that includes Pluto, Makemake and Haumea.  But it is the giant of the bunch, Ceres, that now holds NASA's Dawn spacecraft's attention. 

  • New images from Dawn, taken when the probe was about 52,000 miles from Ceres, show craters and what NASA calls mysterious bright spots.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Would You Travel to Space, Given the Chance?

Would You Travel to Space, Given the Chance?  The answer to that question would seem to be, at face value, an extremely simple one...duh  of course!  But it would seem that we are in the minority.  

Matt Novak writing for Gizmodo writes:
  • Monmouth University in New Jersey has the new poll with the somewhat surprising results. When asked if they'd like to go to space with a private space company, a whopping 69 percent of Americans said that they wouldn't. Even if the company were offering the trips at absolutely no cost! Only 28 percent said they'd take the free trip.
Most Americans would not take the high road even for free?  So it would seem.   One might think that this would be a fairly recent phenomena but not so.  A Gallup poll from 1966 found that only   17% said that they would want to be on the first flight to the Moon.  

But not all is dark and gloomy.  Check out the rest of  Monmouth University's findings   HERE 

Putty of Rare Earth Magnets, Makes for a Very Weird Film

This has got to be one of the weirdest videos I have see to date.  Submitted online at YouTube by Scott Lawson.

Lawson describes the film as:
  • Magnetic putty time lapse as it absorbs a rare-earth magnet. Taken over 1.5 hours at 3fps, played back at 24fps. The magnetic putty will eventually arrange itself so that the outer surface is as evenly distributed around the magnet as possible.
The grey putty like material appears almost alive as it absorbs the solid block.  

Monday, February 16, 2015

Episode 439 of BMU is now online.

Episode 439 up and at ya!

This week after music to get the ball rolling I start with the first story of the afternoon - another story in the Human Hunter series by David Scholes.  This week "Clash at the British Facility".

From the BMU blog, I review The Maze Runner which pretty much tells you all you need and I talk a bit about a new quantum paper that suggests that the Universe has always been here?!!!

And for the last story of the day is the conclusion of Mimsey were the Borogroves.


Friday, February 13, 2015

Review: The Maze Runner

The Lord of the Flies Meets Peter Pan meets the Island of Dr. Moreau.  Where the island/maze is the Roman Colosseum, oh and throw Central Park in for good measure.  Oh I hear echos of the Hunger Games?  and OMG yes "The Prisoner" but maybe to older version.  You will get the meaning of these oblique references as the movie progresses.  Honest

Directed by     Wes Ball


    Dylan O'Brien as Thomas 
    Kaya Scodelario as Teresa
    Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Newt
    Will Poulter as Gally
    Ki Hong Lee as Minho
    Aml Ameen as Alby
    Blake Cooper as Chuck
    Randall D. Cunningham as Clint
    Joe Adler as Zart

Thomas wakes from a troubled sleep to discover he is inside what appears to be an ancient freight elevator traveling up at a fair rate.  

When the car halts Thomas is lifted unceremoniously out to discover that not only does he not have a memory  (No one has any memory of the past)  but he now is in the hands of rag tag group of young males living in a small "Glade"  which is surrounded by impossibly high walls, punctuated by equally high "gates".

Each morning a gate/door opens to a "maze" then closes at night.  During the day "Runners " are dispatched into the maze hopefully to return before nightfall and the closing of the Maze gates.  Because at night horrific sounds can be heard from a beast never seen but called Grievers.

The plot, substantially, appears to be the "Gladers" finding a way out, through the Maze.  Towards the climax of the film, it is revealed that all is not as it seems and the boys are in fact subjects.   Which now mean the balance of the movie is escape.

Maze Runner you would think would be edge of the seat excitement.  But that is not entirely the case.  This movie has got to be one of the most derivative movies I have ever seen!   The pacing is woefully slow for a film that really needs to blast along at supersonic speeds.     This was movie making by construction set.  All the director's and writer's fav scenes stitched together. 

My movie guy says he would give it 6 out of 10, I thought that harsh until I watched it....  I mean it isn't a bad film, but there was a reason it went to DVD so fast, it is just mindless entertainment.  Heavy on the mindless, bit lighter on entertainment.

The Universe Never Started....

Presently accepted universe model

Ok, how many of you just went HUH?!  Really, How many of you subscribe to the cyclic or the constant expansion of the universe?  I know I am partial to the constant expansion theory that holds to the Universe starting when  an infinitely dense singularity began expanding 13.9 billion years ago.

Now in my mind, that lends itself to a very orderly universe, however there is a problem  with the steady expansion of the universe.  Einstein's mathematics of general relativity  predicts the singularity but can not explain what happens immediately  at or before—the singularity, only directly after the start of the singularity.  Physics breaks down at the moment of the event.

Now scientists  have shown in a paper published in Physics Letters B that the Big Bang singularity can be resolved by their new model in which the universe has no beginning and no end.

Of course if you have no big bang singularity you can not have any kind of cyclic theory.  No boom diddy boom - no crunchity crunch.......

So what is exactly holding things all together?  Well the new model predicts a new particle.

From the Phys Org article:
  • In physical terms, the model describes the universe as being filled with a quantum fluid. The scientists propose that this fluid might be composed of gravitons—hypothetical massless particles that mediate the force of gravity. If they exist, gravitons are thought to play a key role in a theory of quantum gravity.
For more click HERE for the complete Phys Org article

I want to thank my in-house anime expert Meebles for bring this new Universe Theory to my attention:

Loom: a short film from Luke Scott, Ridley Scott & Red Camera

Boy, the things you find when you really are not looking!  I was just following links on YouTube when I came across a startlingly different short film from, of all people, Luke Scott.  Oh yes, that Scott.  The "about" was even more intriguing because for me it was a very stylized film that even now I suspect I do not understand many of the concepts thrown up at me.  This short isn't even some 
some "proof of concept" that many small filmmakers are using as a sales pitch.  Instead it was shot on the "RED" camera system and this film was used as a demonstration of the RED's extended dynamic range (which I have to tell you is absolutely stunning) and doing so in 4k!!

Check out LOOM

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

short film Envoy

As I have oft stated in the past, I love these ultra-short films that one finds ad-nauseum on youTube.  However every once and awhile one will fall out that is truly a gem.  As it was when I cam across the short film Envoy.

Not a trailer, even though it has virtually the same length.  No, it is just what it appears to be, a short film made by some very talented people. A proof of concept from  Director DAVID WEINSTEIN and Visual Effects Supervisor ADAM COGGIN.  Check it out.

Monday, February 02, 2015

Super Saturn Discovered

One of the first discoveries after Galileo Galilee  built his telescope in 1610, was the  enormous Saturn's gigantic rings. Now, more than 400 years later, astronomers, using powerful optics, have discovered a much larger planet, some 400 light-years away from Earth, designated J1407b, with rings 200 times the size of Saturn's. 

To give an idea on just how massive this Super-Saturn is If J1407b were in our solar system, it would dominate Earth's nightly sky.

If we could replace Saturn's rings with the rings around J1407b, they would be easily visible at night and be many times larger than the full moon.      

The astronomers can not of course resolve the huge ring system.  But using a pair of very powerful optical devices with sixteen cameras total, they can observe the effect the rings have on a nearby star.

The star's designation is J1407 a yellow dwarf similar to our sun. Observing the light from J1407, astronomers watched as the star darkened and brightened over a 56 day period.  That's right!
With the enormous size of the rings, the eclipse the astronomers observed lasted 56 days!
Like its rings, J1407b is far larger than Saturn.  In truth not a planet at all but a brown dwarf, a size classification somewhere between a planet and a star, or sub-stellar.  Brown dwarfs are hot but they are not massive enough to fuse hydrogen. Brown dwarf bodies mass about 13 Jupiter masses for a low and 80 Jupiter masses for the upper limit.   

CNN article on Super Saturn   wikipedia Brown Dwarf article                                                                    

BMU #438 Juby, Kahn & CrystalWizard

Hi, welcome to episode 438 of Beam Me Up.  This week, something
slightly different.  I had several pieces of stories that by all rights should have played this month. But things being a being as they may, I am catching up on them all.

First off, we have the latest episode in Michael Juby's Squeek Squeek
series which takes up multi - generational star ships, but with a twist.

Then, from the blog we have an excellent article on quantum spin, this one will spin your brain sideways!

Next up is Jason Kahn's In Plain View episode 32.  I don't know about
you but I am treasuring each of these episodes. 

I review Elfin Lied anime series.

I am forever looking for the short films on YouTube.  This episode is no exception.  I found simply enough a short called Portal.  it is short but very entertaining.

I close with pt3 of Mimsy Were The Borogroves.

This and more.  Enjoy!

podcast audio is available Here
  Entire Beam Me Up podcast can be had at