Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Here Comes that Daring Young Man in His Flying Life Boat?!

Ah yes, thank listener Dan for this sublime noodle canoldle! But in truth the head line is correct. Johnathan Trappe from north Carolina plans to come to Maine.somewhere in either Caribou or Presque Isle,(because of the northerly Maine location) strap a crapload of balloons to a lifeboat and float across the Atlantic to Europe

Trappe's lifeboat gondola is the famed Portland Pudgie, built in Portland by David Hubert.

If this all sounds a bit familiar, Trappe, using the same cluster of balloons, has flown over Lake Michigan, the English channel and the Alps.

Trappe say that he now will begin prepping in May and will wait for the best conditions to arrive for a successful crossing between July 1 and September 30.



Here is the complete Portland Press article link

Sunday, January 27, 2013

John Anealio's Scavenger

Do yourself a favor. Sit down, relax. Find your head phones and select Play and treat yourself to John Anealio's Scavenger.... Now, while mesmerized go and download this song.....do it now!

BMU #350 Now Online - Wornan + Kahn

My first offering this week on BMU I play The robot is broken by Calieb Onion which turns our to be a melancholy piece.  Next I start doing Star Trek Trivia and travel straight into Jason Kahn's moody Physic detective yarn on New Eden call In Plain sight, this week  episode 16.  

Next Earth Sky, this week I have about about 5 articles from Mars moons to spider brains.

The Movie Looper is the next movie I review.  

did you hear the one about Schrodinger and Heisenberg, its funny ...trust me!

Sometime I do things not thinking ahead. I found a film that  was produced by folks absolutely sure the moon landing had been faked!  We all had great fun tearing into this gem.  

Oh did you hear about the original Batmobile, driven by that iconic and campy 1960s Batman - sold at auction? You won't believe how much!

Since the live show was pretty mangled over the past few weeks  I decided to end with a brand new story by a brand new author!

This weeks last story is Epilog by Julie Wornan. Julie and her particularly unique form of fiction are amazing and entertaining.

I came out of the story with a few minutes, so I returned to the blog with an article that I guess had been making the rounds on various websites.  It seems that a British daily reported that a Harvard professor was looking for a woman to host a cloned Neanderthal!

And Deep Space Industries is convinced that they have what it takes to mine the asteroids for precious minerals for a variety of projects.  I give you the run down and some links of interest!

Finally Kallamis put together a file of insults that all of us that watched the 60s Lost in Space remember Dr. Smith who was forever zinging the robot with the most outragious insults.  It all but made the show! I said that listeners owe it to themselves to head over to the blog, if for nothing else than this!

And that covers my hour!  Enjoy.   Beam Me Up podcast

Friday, January 25, 2013

Guess Who ISN'T In the New Justice League Movie

Latino Review have told IO9 some pretty damning info from insiders over at Warner Bros.
First off here is the roster of super-heroes in the film:
  • Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and the Flash.

Quite a line-up huh?  So what is wrong with this picture?  Hint, it is someone that DC comics has pushed hard the past few  years, in fact one has to wonder why Geoff Johns would not be jumping right up and down with this omission, considering that this character has been his pet project for some time now.  

Hell I will be the first to admit that this character was never on of my favs in the comics or in his own tv cartoon series....got it yet?


Read the rest in IO9 Here


So You Want to Build a Coil/Rail Gun....

Mehdi Sadaghdar shows you how (not) to make a rail gun. Aww man, this is funny as all get out....

from youtube via Boing boing

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Traitor/Coward/Hero = Thank you.

   Well, this one went south real fast. What was supposed to be a tribute to Lost In Space, (the original), and the impact it had on a lot of us went a little bit sideways. A guy on you tube sent me a link to a list, and i went searching for more, and here we go.  
   Forget John, and Don, and the rest of them. No need to discuss why a man would send his teenage blonde daughter into the desert with a pilot here, or a few other things. 
   This is about the true, the real, the one and the only Doctor Zachery Smith, the true hero of that show. And I can prove it. 
   If it hadn't been for Smith, the show would have maybe lasted a season. Therefore, Smith is the true hero, so pppttthhhhh. LOL. 
   Yeah I know, but we all came to love that lunatic, and he is seriously the most remembered cast member from that show, except for the Robot, and maybe Will. 
   But Smith's insults were one of the things we all waited for each episode, especially when they were aimed at the Robot. And basically they always were, except for a few times. However, here is a list, partial I am sure, of some of the insults he used for the Robot.
 Animated Hunk of Machinery
Animated Weather Station
Arrogant Automation
As Protective as a Leaky Umbrella
Assassin
Astigmatic Automaton
Automated Oaf
Babbling Birdbrain
Babbling Bumpkin
Bellicose Bumpkin
Benedict Arnold
Big Mouth
Blithering Blatherskite
Blithering Booby
Blithering Bumpkin
Blundering Bag of Bolts
Booby
Book Making Booby
Broken down Has Been
Brutish Product of the Mineral World
Bubble Brain
Bubble Headed Booby
Bubble Head
Bulbous Bumpkin
Bumbling Bag of Bolts
Bumbling Birdbrain
Bumbling Booby
Bumbling Bucket of Bolts
Bumbling Cracker Barrel
Bumptious Booby
Bumptious Braggart
Bungler
Bungling Incompetent
Cackling Cacophony
Cackling Canister
Cackling Clod
Cackling Cuckoo
Cackling Coward
Cantankerous Clod
Cantankerous Cold Hearted Clod
Caterwauling Clod
Cautious Clump
Chattering Magpie
Clanking Clod
Clod
Clod Like Collection of Condensers
Clumsy Clod
Clumsy Clump
Clumsy Clout
Clunker
Complete Moron
Computerized Clod
Computerized Clump
Confused Compass
Coward
Cowardly Clump
Cumbersome Clump
Cybernetic Simpleton
Cybernetic Skeptic
Defective Detective
Dehumanized Lie Dispenser
Demented Diode
Deplorable Dummy
Deplorable Dunderhead
Despoty Dunce
Digitized Dunce
Dippity Dunce
Disreputable Dunce
Disreputable Dunderhead
Doddering Dunderhead
Doctor Dunderhead
Dunce
Dunderhead
Dundering Dolt
Elephantine Adam
Evasive Coward
Ferrous Frankenstein
Fiend in Tin clothing
Floundering Flunky
Fool
Foolish Fop
Frightful Fractious Frump
Frozen Eskimo
Fugitive from a Junk Heap
Fugitive from a Scrap Metal Yard
Fugitive from a Scrap Heap
Galumphing Gargoyle
Gargantuan Goose
Garrulous Gargoyle
Ghoul
Gigantic Gargoyle
Goose
Gregarious Gremlin
Hard Headed Harbinger of Death
Hard Headed Harbinger of Evil
Hardware Hyena
Hopeless Heap of Tainted Tin
Hulking Mass of Mechanical Ignorance
Hypertensive Hypochondriac
Idiot
Ignominious Ignoramus
Ill Informed Ignoramus
Impersonal Collection of Inanimate Hardware
Incompetent Idiot
Incompetent Walking Ingrate
Ineffective Ineptitude
Inept Goldbricker
Infamous Informer
Ingrate
Inguitive Ingratitude
Insensitive Brute
Insensitive Clump
Insensitive Idiot
Insensitive Machine
Insipient Aptitude
Iron Born Ingrate
Irresponsible Wine Bevier
Jabbering Jackanapes
Jabbering Jeremiah
Jabbering Judas
Judas
Juvenile Junk Pile
Know Nothing Numbskull
Lead Lined Lump
Lead Lined Lothario
Lily Livered Lump
Lily Livered Lead Lined Lump
Little Mother
Lugubrious Lump
Lugubrious Laggard
Ludicrous Lump
Mass of Fear
Mealy Mouthed Rogue
Mechanical Meddler
Mechanical Misery
Mechanical Misfit
Mechanical Murderer
Meddler
Medical School Dropout
Mediocre Misfit
Mental Midget
Mess of Metal
Metallic Murderer
Myna Bird
Miserable Mass of Metal
Miserable Mechanism
Misguided Mechanical Misery
Misshapen Mummy
Monster
Monstrous
Mechanized Misguided Moron
Monstrous Metallurgical Meddler
Monstrous Mountebank
Mister Wrongway Computer
Mumbling Mass of Metal
My Brave Hero
My Insensitive Friend
Nattering Ninny
Neanderthal Ninny
Negligent Ninny
Nervous Ninny
Nickel Plated Nincompoop
Nickeling Ninny
Nincompoop
Ninny
Noxious Ninny
Obsolete Piece of Scrap Metal
Obsolete Oaf
Old Booby
Overcautious Concoction
Overgrown Ninny
Oversized Oaf
Parsimonious Puppet
Pathetic Pomposity
Pedagogical Pipsqueak
Pitiable Pipsqueak
Palatalized Parrot
Pompous Pipsqueak
Pot Bellied Prankster
Powered Prankster
Preening Popinjay
Presumptuous Popinjay
Presumptuous Pipsqueak
Primitive Pile of Pistons
Proverbial Neanderthal Ninny
Puny Pipsqueak
Pusillanimous Pinhead
Pusillanimous Pipsqueak
Pusillanimous Puncher
Pusillanimous Puppet
Puselous Tyrant
Quivering Quintessence of Fear
Ramshackle Romeo
Real Great Goose
Ridiculous Robot
Ridiculous Roustabout
Ridiculous Ruin
Robust Rockhound
Roly Poly Rowdy
Rusty Rasputin
Sanctimonious Scatterbrain
Scurrilous Scatterbrain
Sententious Sloth
Sickening Cybernetic
Silent Sentinel
Silly Goose
Silly Old Ninny
Silly Sausage
Silly Sloth
Silly Looking Bucket of Bolts
Silver Plated Sellout
Simple Simon
Snickering Cinder Box
Sorry Specimen of Computerhood
Steely Eyed Sorcerer
Stupid Friend
Stubborn Clatterbrain
Tarnished Trumpet
Tattletale
Terrified Mechanical Dunderhead
Tin Monster
Tin Plated Fool
Tin Plated Fraud
Tin Plated Tattletale
Tin Plated Tintinnabulation
Tin Plated Traitor
Tin Plated Tyrant
Tintinnabulating Tin Can
Tiresome Thesaurus
Traitor
Traitorous Tintinnabulation
Traitorous Tin Plated Fugitive from a Junkyard
Traitorous Transistor Toad
Treasonous Tyrant
Uncultured Clump
Ungrateful Underling
Ungrateful Wretch
Unspeakable Insult
Unxious Underling
Weakling
Worrywart
Worthless Electronic Scrapheap
Wretch

And of course we all remember Dr. Smith's versions of "Spare me the...." or "Spare me your..." 
Here is a list of some of those as well.
Accurate Appraisals (1)
Apologies (1)
Asinine Ad-libs (1)
Asinine Advice (1)
Asinine Axioms (1)
Bullring Dramatics (1)
Caustic Comments (1)
Conundrums (1)
Dire Doubts (1)
Direful Doubts (1)
Dull Cliches you learned at you mother's knee (1)
Explanations (1)
Fancy Rigmarole (1)
Feeble Attempts at Humor (3)
Feeble Jokes (1)
Gratitude (1)
Inane Innuendoes (1)
Insulting Innuendoes (1)
Moralizations (1)
Moralizing (1)
Obtuse Opinions (1)
Opinions (1)
Platitudes (1)
Pleasantries (1)
Poisonous Barbs (4)
Poisonous Platitudes (1)
Ridiculous Remarks (1)
Scientific Lectures (1)
Technicalities (1)
Unfunny Jokes (1)
Vivid Recollections (1)
Warnings (2)
Womanly Intuition (1)
Youthful Enthusiasm (1)

    So in conclusion, his most famous line has brought him immortality after all. 
"Never Fear, Smith Is Here."  And so he shall be, forever. 
Thank you Jonathan Harris.


Who Wants to be an Asteroid Miner?






Yes sir, git yer kit together and maybe on of them Big Dawgs fir yer pac mule and git yerselves out to them asteroid fields!


So what the hell am I mumbling about this morning? Well in truth, I AM talking about asteroid mining.


Wired is reporting on a company called Deep Space Industries (wow I just got a wicked MOON flashback!) with the help of robotic crafts to mine what may turn out to be, valuable amounts of nickel, silicon, platinum group metals such as platinum and palladium, and water. The water alone can be broken down into Oxygen and Hydrogen which can be used as rocket fuel. 


Of course this is hardly a new idea, we saw plenty of space mining start-ups in 2012, DSI just happens to be the first for 2013. But it can be said that these guys have some pretty inventive ideas on how to retrieve, mine and make useful products.


DSI plans to field prospecting spacecraft (which they are calling of all things FIREFLIES) which will travel out to near Earth asteroids. What makes theses "fireflies" economically feasible is the way they will be constructed of inexpensive cubesats. The fireflies will then "prospect" nearby asteroids for the best candidates for mining. 


Once DSI determines the best candidates, they will send out "Dragonflies" to make the round trip bringing back samples. The goal here initially is to amass enough material to extract the valuable minerals which they claim can be used to manufacture products with the use of 3D printers. Eventually, according to the article:
  • DSI wants to supply products, fuel and parts for deeper space ventures, such as orbiting hotels and manned Mars missions
Read the complete Wired article Here

No Harvard Cave Baby.....Bad Translation.

I must have missed this one, but this is what the the online magazine Britian's Daily Mail ran recently:
  • “Wanted: ‘Adventurous Neanderthal man — Harvard professor seeks mother for cloned cave baby
Geneticist George Church  the Harvard scientist in the middle of this mess says that the story was completely untrue!    Church said that the real story centers around an article he was interviewed for in the German magazine Der Spiegel in which he said that:
  • such a cloning might theoretically be possible someday  
Whoever wrote the article for Britain's Daily Mail mis-translated the article and came to the conclusion that Church was actively looking for a woman to host a child from the DNA scrapings of Neanderthal bones.  

Church goes on to say that he wasn't even involved in the gene sequencing!  In fact, he goes on to say, his line of research is in how to use DNA to improve health, produce synthetic fuels, and other products, not cloning ancient humans!

Photo George M. Church


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Original Batmobile Sold For 4.6 mil!

The original Batmobile driven on the 1960s TV series sold for auction on Saturday for $4.6 million. The seller was legendary kustom car king George Barris who had transformed the 1955 Lincoln Futura for television. The buyer was Rick Champagne, owner of an Arizona logistics company. Champagne says he's going to put the car in his living room...


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Another "The Moon Landings Were a Hoax" video...scream if you must!

I know more than a couple of you are going to get pissed with me posting this, but I find it fascinating how deluded these people really are. Their logic is is complete and under it's own bears up well to scrutiny. It is only when you start putting a BS filter to it that things begin to break down. Just enough truth to make it sound plausible. Check it out. It really is frightening knowing that these people may gain a power base!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Of Heisenber n Schrodinger...

Oh my, now this is just plain funny.  Listener Don Smith sends in a science joke.

Enjoy


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Review: Looper

Directed by Rian Johnson

Starring
Bruce Willis - Old Joe
Xu Qing - Old Joe's Wife
Joseph Gordon-Levitt - Joe Simmons
Emily Blunt - Sara Rollins
Paul Dano - Seth Richards
Frank Brennan - Old Seth
Noah Segan - Kid Blue
Piper Perabo - Suzie
Jeff Daniels - Abe

Looper is set in the near future.  It starts with a voice over saying that time travel hadn't been invented yet but would be in 30 years.  It would immediately be made illegal so the only ones to use it is organized crime.  

Loopers are hired by a shadowy crime syndicate.  Their job is to kill agents sent back in time by their employers in the future.  

Simmons' world starts to break down when the agent sent back from the future is himself from the future. The older version of Joe avoids being shot and sets off to kill the younger version of the syndicate boss in the future.  

Time travel movies with similar plots are very uncommon mainly because of the juggling you have to do with time lines and characters.  Most that try fail miserably.  But Looper seems to keep all the "balls" in the air and do it reasonably.  Levitt fumbles around at time, but Willis is bankable.  His character is singularly driven in Looper and Willis comes through as believable though it is difficult to re-council him as the older version of Joe Simmons.  There are scenes intercut that show old Joe being ruthless, plus we see young Joe doing the same.  So there is plenty of character drift for sure.  Also the tech is a bit hard to envision from present day.  Plus the take over of Society in the short period described is pure fantasy in my mind.  But that is nit picking.  The bleakness and hopelessness is certainly well portrayed.  

So as a movie and a science fiction movie I think, it is worth checking out.  The rental DVD / blue ray then is certainly worth checking out.  However the rental has no extras so if you are like me, this is something that I feel is important so I feel like something is missing...But the movie itself is worth checking out.  Willis and Levitt are competent.  

Saturday, January 19, 2013

BMU #349 now online

This week on BMU episode 349 I open with Initial D Stage 2's opening music "Blazin Beat" by Move.

Next I play a short story by a new author to Beam Me Up, Doug Turnbull.  Doug reads his story "Tribute".

An article from Earth Sky is next, with a fascinating with story on the "Iron Man" meteor. Earth Sky is just full of this kind of fascinating material.

Then off to the BMU blog.  I start with with an online add that goes terribly wrong with a simple typo.

SyFy again plants head well into their posteriors with the news that Alphas is not returning....room for more wrasslin.

Ever hear of the blob fish?  No?  Then you have got to check out some of the material on really strange animals that will have you askin yourself what is up with evolution anyway?!!!

ESA has a experiment planned for 2022 that will take a pair of crafts out to a near Earth object to see if in deed you can nudge one and change it's course.  I have more details and information on the experiment.

Remember Big Dog from Boston Dynamics?  Well they have build an even larger device the size of a cow or there abouts...how long huh? How long before someone tries to ride it...yeah?

Bigelow has received an ok to atatch a module to the ISS.  Bigelow you remember has already flown two earlier modules with great success.  They may just have something with their unusual structures.

On the Blog, we have been having a great discussion as to what does the universe look like a near the speed of light.  The podcast lets you in on some of the ideas flying around.

IBM's Watson was loaded with the urban language dictionary recently and began soon after to ummm "use" the information it gathered and salted some of its responses in like form which turned out to be a bit nervewracking! lol

Plus a few other articles.

I finish this week with part 1 of Last Resort by Stephen Bartholomew from Analog 1963

That's about it!  Enjoy!

****UPDATE!  I fixed the "listen to" Part of the Podcast ****

Huh? WTF? American Favorite Snack Food - what!

I was reading down through some of the new posts on Boing Boing when I came to this "photo" from Zeni Jardin which in essence is a capture from LiveSTRONG.com.  The article depicts the popularity of Kraft's Velveeta processed American Cheese.  However the complete article is changed with one very unfortunate error.  See if you can find it.
















if you're having trouble reading the post here on BMU you can see it here

Friday, January 18, 2013

SyFy Kills More Original SF - More Wraslin To Follow

Michael Hinman over at Airlock Alpha is reporting that after two seasons, "SyFy, according to a network source,  has decided not to renew 'Alphas' for a third season," 

The statement goes on to load on the BS about how proud SyFy was to carry the program and thanked the fans for their support.  (why does that statement make me feel like I just performed a particularly vile and disgusting sexual act?) 

Oh and hey fans of the show, don't be looking for any clean up of plot lose ends, SyFy is really cutting Alphas off at the knees.  

I really don't know how to comment on this.  Am I surprised?  No, not really, the network has a really well developed track record when it comes to science fiction, yep, they like wrasslin.   But I would not put it past them to showcase the newest southern phenom. mudcat hand noodlin.  Mark my word...    

WTF Evolution?!


Here is absolute proof that evolution has gone mental....This thing is called aptly enough a Blob fish.  There is something about evolution and funny / horrific noses.

Want more proof?  Check out this IO9 article

Thursday, January 17, 2013

ESA to Attempt Deflection of NEO

ESA's AIM
No question about it, we have been fixated as of late on the off chance that some rogue asteroid might be on a collision course with the Earth and humanity is doomed.

I am not going to say that it can't happen just that it is damn unlikely.  

So what does that have to do with the price of beans in China you ask?  In this article in ESA online, discusses a mission to take place in 2022 that would entail impacting a near Earth asteroid with a 600 or so pound space-craft, moving at 14,000 mph, then seeing if there was any measurable change in trajectory.  

The asteroid in question is a 2600 ft. binary asteroid called 65803 Didymos and all though it is not a huge asteroid, by comparison the Tunguska object was only most likely 1/10 as large.   Didymos' binary is a apx. 500 foot object orbiting about 1/2 mile out and that will be the target of the ESA's experiment.  

The mission will be called A.I.D.A. for asteroid impact & deflection assessment, and will consist of two craft - DART for double asteroid redirection test and AIM - asteroid impact monitor.  The impactor will be the DART and AIM will record the data. 

If this all sounds a bit familiar, recall the NASA   Deep Impact mission which launched an impactor into the path of the asteroid Temple 1.    Here is one of the films recorded.

Here is the Dvice article




Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Meet the Marine's LS3

Remember that walking monstrosity from Boston Dynamics called Big Dog.  The unit with an engine that sounded like an angry wasp's nest and along with a weird gait made for more than just a little humor.  Well not to be caught sleeping, BD has developed a unit for the Marines with the designation LS3.  It is much larger than the earlier prototype, quieter, capable of carrying 400 lbs., can move autonomously but also takes voice commands.  However it looks for all the world like a headless cow, a headless robo-cow.
 
Testing will continue on through 2014.....wanna bet how long it will be before we see films of this thing with either horns or a cow tail...  Not long I suspect.  Or hey, does this mean the end of cow tipping?

Bigelow Inflatable Oked for ISS

Those of you that have been around for awhile know that I have been talking about Bigelow Aerospace and their experimentation with inflatable space modules.  Bigelow has launched a couple of their modules that have proved extremely successful.  

Now Bigelow Aerospace has petitioned NASA to build and attach a module to the ISS.   The unit(s) are called Bigelow Expandable Activity Modules and their initial use would be a technology demonstration unit.   What makes Bigelow's modules so unique is they are inflatable.  The units are held rigid by internal air pressure.  Bigelow's two previous test units proved uniquely durable, performing as expected in earlier test.  The success of these test are what NASA based its decision on. 

It is not clear yet if the unit would be for on board astronauts to add to their living space or for use by Bigelow as space of tourists.   Bigelow has stated in the past that they are planing  to build a low Earth orbit "hotel" to which they would shuttle tourists to and from.

Traveling at Near Light Speed. What Would it Look Like?

How many times have we seen the light speed effect in the movies or on TV?  You know, the cool streaming stars of Star Trek and Star Wars.  But honestly, what would it look like if you were say, looking out a front view port.  

Well what I think is that the closer you get to C the narrower your point of view.  By this I mean is an effect like going from a wide angle lens to a telephoto at full extension.  One gives you a very wide view field and the other very narrow.  At a significant percentage of C your complete view of the universe would be a narrow point of light straight ahead.  But then that's what I have been able to garner from reading.  I came across the very same question in a recent Dvice article. 

Physics students at the University of Leicester decided to take on the task and do the math and this is what they came up with as you approach light speed and look out a view port:

Humm, not so far off!  But exactly what are we looking at.   Well in a nutshell the Doppler Effect.  Matter of fact this shows that light DOES have properties that are wave like.  But I digress  as you travel, light waves ahead of you are compressed, this would "narrow" the field of view  (and moves the frequency into the blue spectrum and then think about light behind you....and how we know the universe is expanding...hummm) of course as you get within a few thousands of a percentage the doppler would compress the light well past what the human eye can detect so there is a point where everything is completely dark. 


    

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Watson Said What?!!!!

What do you get when you mix an urban language dictionary with a supercomputer?  Yep, a foul "mouthed" computer.  At least that is what happened to Watson, IBM's supercomputer.  

It seems that Eric Brown, Watson's "dad" at IBM  wanted to make Watson's conversations to be more "human" in their context.  To accomplish this Brown's team loaded the English language Urban Dictionary into Watson.  

The computer had no problem absorbing the dictionary, but the trouble started when Watson began to pepper its replies with rather profane remarks.  One researcher's inquiry was met with one word from Watson "bullshit".   It seems Watson has no way to differentiate between polite and profane so the only thing the team could do was remove all the dictionary data and install a filter to prevent a 
recurrence.   Brown also revealed that this is not the first time this problem has crept up.  Watson picked up a similar bad habit after reading through Wikipedia. 

Now that is just plain funny!

Texas Gets a BiblioTech

No it is not some high tech baby bib but a very special library - a bookless library.   

By the fall of 2013,  San Antonio's Bexar County library will be the country's first book-less public library.  Well, paper books that is - the library or biblioTech will contain only e-books.  

The 4,989 square-foot space will be given over to rows of computer terminals, with which the library will augment with 100 e-readers for onsite and outside rentals.  The plan then is to provide 50 e-readers for children, 50 computer stations, 25 laptops and 25 tablets on site.

 Bexar County is still waffling on who will provide the e-readers and associated equipment.  

read complete article here 

Monday, January 14, 2013

RIP: Dyer Brainerd Holmes

Dyer Brainerd Holmes, director of NASA's manned spaceflight and crucial  advocate for later Apollo program has died at 91 of complications from pneumonia, said a family member.  

Mr. Holmes only spend a couple of years with NASA.  During that time however,  Holmes oversaw the the formation of the original “Mercury Seven”, which included John Glenn who became the first U.S. astronaut to orbit the Earth,  plus seeing the formation of the follow on projects Gemini and Apollo. 

Holmes abruptly resigned his position in 1963, reportedly because of meddling by NASA administrator James E. Webb.

Read the complete Washington Post article HERE





Sunday, January 13, 2013

Meet Larry....Larry, It Seems, Has A Unique Talent

Meet Larry, a robotic head developed by the U.K.'s Health and Safety Laboratory.  Larry was invented to study the norovirus which has sickened more than a million people in the UK alone.

This particular  strain appears to be new which means that people's immune systems do not recognize the infection which equates to a surge of new infections.  

Norovirus causes a great deal of stomach distress.  Symptoms vary however stomach pain and vomiting seem to be the most common, hence the primary reason for the development of Larry the robot head.  

Norovirus, it should be noted, is incredibly robust.   It infects extremely fast and spreads equally as fast.  Plus it can live on an infected surface for an extremely long time. 

So where does robot head Larry fit in?  Well Larry can simulate a human vomiting!  "Why" you might ask?    Well it seems that Norovirus can be spread very easily through micro-particles of vomit, hence Larry the  anatomically correct "humanoid simulated vomiting system" which allows scientist to get a better idea of how far the aerosolized norovirus particles travel.

Check out the Verge artical here 
Plus the youtube video of Larry in action!

What tastes like raspberries & Smells of Rum?

Well according the the Guardian, the galactic center say astronomers!   It seems that in a search for complex molecules in the universe uncovered large "fruity" molecules.  

While exploring a large dust cloud in the Milky Way discovered ethyl formate, which gives raspberries their flavor and also makes up the smell of rum, the conclusion being that the center of the galaxy tastes mildly of fruit and alcohol.

Astronomers have be searching the vast dust cloud surrounding Sagittarius B2, which resides at the center of our galaxy, for amino acids.   Up to this point they have not had any luck finding the building block of life but discovering ethyl formate was interesting.  

Scientists caution that it takes many other molecules to make space raspberries or rum for that matter.

Another  chemical discovered in large amounts was the lethal chemical propyl cyanide  which leads one to suggest that tasting the center of the galaxy may "kill" you.  

read the complete article here

Thanks to listener Courtney for the link. 

BMU Episode 348 Now Online!

This week on episode 348 of Beam Me Up:  after an opening track I review Dark Knight Rises.  

After the review, I read read the 2012 Darwin award nominations.  If you are not familiar with the award, these are given to people who voluntarily remove themselves from the gene pool and do so in a particularly stupid fashion.  

I find an article suggesting that there are many sol class stars and a great majority contain Earth class planets.

From there I get in a few Earth Sky articles.  This week there is some really great articles on comets!  
One of the very first extra-solar planets that was ever photographed has been confirm!  It has again been photographed in the sun's huge debris ring.  

Information on the new "pelican" LTA vehicle that look very much like a ufo and the Pentagon says that it well could be an "intelligence" platform...hummm

I close this week's program with as story by K.S. Dearsley

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Darwin Awards/ or I need off this planet now.

Mom just sent me the Darwin Award winners. Here is the complete list I just got. I just copied and pasted from moms email. 
  So here you go folks. And wait till you read number 1. I give up. Genes dream will never be seen. We are doomed, no doubt about it.

2012 Darwin Awards – The WINNER is definitely a keeper!!!
Nominee No. 1: [San Jose Mercury News]:
An unidentified man, using a shotgun like a club to break a former girl friend's windshield, accidentally shot himself to death when the gun discharged, blowing a hole in his gut.
Nominee No. 2: [Kalamazoo Gazette]:
James Burns, 34, (a mechanic) of Alamo, MI, was killed in March as he was trying to repair what police describe as a "farm-type truck." Burns got a friend to drive the truck on a highway while Burns hung underneath so that he could ascertain the source of a troubling noise. Burns' clothes caught on something, however, and the other man found Burns "wrapped in the drive shaft."
Nominee No. 3: [Hickory Daily Record]:
Ken Charles Barger, 47, accidentally shot himself to death in December in Newton, NC. Awakening to the sound of a ringing telephone beside his bed, he reached for the phone but grabbed instead a Smith & Wesson 38 Special, which discharged when he drew it to his ear.
Nominee No. 4: [UPI, Toronto ]:
Police said a lawyer demonstrating the safety of windows in a downtown Toronto skyscraper crashed through a pane with his shoulder and plunged 24 floors to his death.? A police spokesman said Garry Hoy, 39, fell into the courtyard of the Toronto Dominion Bank Tower early Friday evening as he was explaining the strength of the buildings windows to visiting law students. Hoy previously has conducted demonstrations of window strength according to police reports. Peter Lawson, managing partner of the firm Holden Day Wilson, told the Toronto Sun newspaper that Hoy was "one of the best and brightest" members of the 200-man association. A person has to wonder what the dimmer members of this law firm are like.
Nominee No. 5: [The News of the Weird]:
Michael Anderson Godwin made News of the Weird posthumously. He had spent several years awaiting South Carolina's electric chair on a murder conviction before having his sentence reduced to life in prison. While sitting on a metal toilet in his cell attempting to fix his small TV set, he bit into a wire and was electrocuted.
Nominee No. 6:
 [The Indianapolis Star]:
A cigarette lighter may have triggered a fatal explosion in Dunkirk, IN. A Jay County man, using a cigarette lighter to check the barrel of a muzzleloader, was killed Monday night when the weapon discharged in his face, sheriff's investigators said. Gregory David Pryor, 19, died in his parents' rural Dunkirk home at about 11:30 PM. Investigators said Pryor was cleaning a 54-caliber muzzle-loader that had not been firing properly. He was using the lighter to look into the barrel when the gunpowder ignited.
Nominee No. 7: [Reuters, Mississauga, Ontario ]:
A man cleaning a bird feeder on the balcony of his condominium apartment in this Toronto suburb slipped and fell 23 stories to his death. "Stefan Macko, 55, was standing on a wheelchair when the accident occurred," said Inspector Darcy Honer of the Peel Regional Police. "It appears that the chair moved, and he went over the balcony," Honer said.
Finally, THE WINNER!!!: [Arkansas Democrat Gazette]:
Two local men were injured when their pickup truck left the road and struck a tree near Cotton Patch on State Highway 38 early Monday. Woodruff County deputy Dovey Snyder reported the accident shortly after midnight Monday. Thurston Poole, 33, of Des Arc, and Billy Ray Wallis, 38, of Little Rock , were returning to Des Arc after a frog-catching trip. On an overcast Sunday night, Poole 's pickup truck headlights malfunctioned.
The two men concluded that the headlight fuse on the older-model truck had burned out. As a replacement fuse was not available, Wallis noticed that the .22 caliber bullets from his pistol fit perfectly into the fuse box next to the steering-wheel column. Upon inserting the bullet the headlights again began to operate properly, and the two men proceeded on eastbound toward the White River Bridge .
After traveling approximately 20 miles, and just before crossing the river, the bullet apparently overheated, discharged and struck Poole in the testicles. The vehicle swerved sharply right, exited the pavement, and struck a tree. Poole suffered only minor cuts and abrasions from the accident but will require extensive surgery to repair the damage to his testicles, which will never operate as intended.
Wallis sustained a broken clavicle and was treated and released. "Thank God we weren't on that bridge when Thurston shot his balls off or we might be dead," stated Wallis
"I've been a trooper for 10 years in this part of the world, but this is a first for me. I can't believe that those two would admit how this accident happened," said Snyder.
Upon being notified of the wreck, Lavinia (Poole's wife) asked how many frogs the boys had caught and did anyone get them from the truck? Though Poole and Wallis did not die as a result of their misadventure as normally required by Darwin Award Official Rules, it can be argued that Poole did in fact effectively remove himself from the gene pool.
 

50% of Sol Class Stars May Contain Earth Class Planets

Data from NASA’s Kepler space telescope has been used to compile a new estimates of Earth type planets.

The present data suggests that as many as 50% of Sol class stars contain earth sized planets which inhabit the favorable "Goldilocks" orbit where liquid water is still liquid.   

As good as this sounds though, researches say that planets 2 or 3 times the mass of earth, roughly the size of  Neptune or Uranus  would be equally as common as Earth sized planets and with the size and atmosphere, not very likely to produce life as we know it.   

Also a large portion of Earth sized worlds are likely to be well outside of the life zone.  ether   to close in to their primary or much to far outside the habitable zone. 

Still, the chances are good for Sol type stars having Earth class planets

Read complete wired article  here  Wired Science 

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Extra-Solar Planet

Astronomers have confirmed that the extra-solar planet called Fomalhaut b is indeed exist!

When it was first observed, Fomalhaut b, located 25 light-years away in the constellation Piscis Austrinus, caused a great deal of controversy. The first pictures taken of the planet could not be reproduced because of a broken module on the Hubble. Second, the orbit was so oblique that there were questions as to it being a proper planet, leading astronomers to label it a "rogue" planet.

On of the things that makes Fomalhaut b worthy of interest it was one of the first directly imaged extrasolar planets ever seen.

After it's discovery in 2004 it was not seen again until 2010, with a new instrument, by 2012 several other telescopes had managed to photograph Fomalhaut b and finally in 2013 the original team again photographed the planet in the star's huge debris ring.

The reason that the planet was so difficult to find was it;s hugely oblique orbit, anywhere from 40 A.U. to a staggering 350 A.U.s. acting much more like a comet from our own solar system’s outer Kuiper belt. Check out the picture above and the demonstration below.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

The Faking Hoaxer: NEO

I have been catching this person's act for years now and I swear the output is always more exciting and clever.  Sometimes crystal clear and other times terrifying realistic.

In NEO we get more than we bargained for.  An encounter with a NEO leads to some very strange results.

Check out this YouTube video

Pentagon's Possible Stealth UFO Cargo Craft?

Am I wrong or is this the Skunkwrks version of the zombie project?  It seems I have seen this or something damn similar thought up, brought up, shut down, thrown out - before.  from people carriers to who knows what.....but anyway, here it is again, for the first time.

What we have here is craft developed by Aeroscraft for the "Pentagon".  The Pelican is a 230-foot-long prototype airship designed to lift up to 10 tons of cargo, using a fraction of the fuel used by an airplane.  Oh and it just "happens" to look like a UFO.....  The Pentagon also feels the craft would be very good for use in surveillance and reconnaissance. (reeeeeeeeeeally....ha.....no kidding)

Pelican is for the most part proof of concept and the find craft would be 450-feet long and have the ability to carry up to 66 tons of cargo, possibly of far greater distances.  

Check out the layout on Areoscraft HERE
 

Super Buuuuuuuuugs Innnnnnnnnn Spaaaaaaaaaace!

Ok, all kidding aside, modern astronauts have a very real and very dangerous problem that up to this point has been ignored.  

On September 18, 2006, ground breaking research was performed aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis. 
Previously dormant bacteria were allowed  to grow, change and multiply, in special nutrient baths,
allowing them to grow, change and multiply.   

As the experiment progressed, it soon demonstrated that bacteria, in the gravity-free environment of space turn into superbugs by gathering together, gaining strength and becoming much more effective at causing disease.  This in compounded by the tenancy of humans to develop weaker immune systems  on orbit than they would have planet-side.   

Taking bacteria on missions is certainly nothing new.  Both Russia and the U.S. have done so for decades.  From the Wired UK article:
  • From ballooning experiments in 1935, to the Sputnik satellites and Gemini spacecraft of the 50s and 60s, and on to the Mir, Apollo and Skylab programs of the 80s and 90s, both Russia and the US have flown bacteria into space. Aboard these craft, bacteria were found to grow more quickly, become more resistant to antibiotics, and swap genes between one another more readily. 
However these new experiments are the first to provide information on how virulent these infectious agents can become.  This problem must be addressed if we ever hope to have extended missions says NASA administrators.  

For more information check out the Wired article 

 

Sunday, January 06, 2013

What's Colder Than Absolute Zero?

There just has to be a joke in there somewhere right? Like your x-wife's heart. However this is not grist for the comics, but in truth scientists have created a quantum gas capable of reaching temperatures below absolute zero.

 This seeming impossible feat was made possible by suspending potassium atoms in a lattice made up of a combination of lasers and magnetic fields.

Up to this point it was considered to be the theoretical lowest limit of temperature. As a substance approaches this limit its' average amount of energy also drops until, theoretically, molecular activity "freezes" and no energy is available in the system.

Now things get weird. Because it seems it is now theoretically possible to move into sub absolute zero, matter begins to demonstrate odd characteristics.

Being able to produce fairly stable substances at a fairly large fraction of a degree below absolute zero could lead to creations of new forms of matter.

The strange thing about these new "temperatures" is that they are in truth not colder than absolute cold. Far from it. These new gasses inhabit an area called "negative temperatures" and could in reality be hotter than anything possible today.

 This apparent contradiction was described in a recent Huff Post Science article.

  • To comprehend the negative temperatures scientists have now devised, one might think of temperature as existing on a scale that is actually a loop, not linear. Positive temperatures make up one part of the loop, while negative temperatures make up the other part. When temperatures go either below zero or above infinity on the positive region of this scale, they end up in negative territory.
Does your brain hurt yet?

BMU # 347 Online!

In the first episode in 2013 - 347 - I open with the theme music from the award winning anime feature film "The Girl Who Lept Through Time" After which I review the film.

 From there I have several peices from Earth Sky which are facinating from asteroid impacts to Milky Way as a barred galaxy!

Next it is two new questions in the Star Trek Trivia segment.  This week I again test your knowledge of Captain Kirk.

 From there I head over to be Beam Me Up Blog Nasa is thinking of giving the moon its' own moon for astronauts a place to work and practice on. Hey, how do you know the Earth is Round huh? Check out this explaination of a few ideas. Astronomers have found a "baby" planet. Russia is still working on a Moon capable craft. The ISS is getting LEDs not just for power saving but for crew health!

 Then it is time for David Scholes' story Equalization.

Episode 347