Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Solar System Was Probablly Never a Steady State

 Despite what a lot of solar system pundits would like to believe, Sol's children have not always played nice nor stayed in there own back yards. Jupiter, for instance, may have once been as close to the Sun as Mars is now!

During the formation of the solar system, the gaseous giant planets that make up the outer solar system were pulled much closer to the Sun than they are now, causing absolute chaos in the asteroid belt.

As the gas giants did their dance through the solar system, the planets, from Mercury to Neptune may have been pulled into the asteroid belt. Jupiter most likely caused the most chaos in the asteroid belt by sweeping up all but one tenth of a percent behind.

All of this disruption wasn't a bad thing however. It has long been believed that Earth's water came from asteroid ice. Very likely it was the massive stirring that Jupiter caused brought the material to Earth that was the starting point for complex life.

 View the Daily Galaxy blog for the original HERE

Short Video: Love in the time of Advertisment

Hey, you have got to check out this very clever short from David Bokser & Matt Berenty. It is as good as any short I have seen from the "pros". Its story line is a bit on the weird side but then, that is what often draws me to them. The premise here is a rather odd love story about a young man who lives inside a billboard. His only job is to update the advertisements. When he falls in love with a beautiful lady living across the highway, he has to use the only method he knows to get his message across - advertising.

Love in the Time of Advertising from Love in the Time of Advertising on Vimeo.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Totally Funny Rip on the 1997 Batman & Robin Movie

Batman & Robin was released in 1997 and right off the bat (I am not sure I intended that pun or not) people noticed that most of the movie didn't make any sense at all. Since then we have all seen at least one short video of Joel Schumacher demonstrating that he had totally lost his mind. So, why another one? Well, lets just say that this is the compendium of all compendiums. CinemaSins' offering here is the mother load of all that is stupid, insane, just plain wrong weirdness that leaves you wondering if anyone was awake behind the camera. Be prepared for a buttload of bat-s..t (yeah I meant that one)crazy nonsense!
here is the original IO9 article HERE

America's Next Shuttle?

Out in Jefferson County Colorado,  people have be seeing a strangely familiar  craft.  In fact this strange apparition is reminiscent of early prototypes of NASA's retired Space Shuttles.

What is it?  Its  Sierra Nevada Corporation's Dream Chaser.  A space going craft that would launch atop an Atlas V rocket and carrying up to seven astronauts to or from space, along with cargo.

Much of what makes the Dream Chaser unique is that its mission parameters are what was envisioned by NASA for its STS.  The craft is reusable,   quick turn around, plus something the shuttles could not do which was to use a variety of airport solutions because of its robust cross range making many airports useable instead of being locked in as the shuttle was. 

Here are some short videos of tests that SNC's  Dream Chaser recently completed


Here is the link to SNC's main site HERE

Monday, January 27, 2014

FTL Here is a Very Astute Explaination Of Why FTL Is Not Possible

YouTube pundit Veritasium gives a incredibly understandable short talk on why faster than light is not possible. His argument is elegant and his final conclusion is so stunningly simple that you can't help but have a DUH moment. The short video is fun and informative.

Beam Me Up episode 396 Now online

Here we go with another installment of Beam Me Up.  This is episode 396.

The first thing I play today is a track off John Aneilo's newest album Walk the Fire, and wow, does he have a winner here.  The cut I play is "The Ferryman" and this song hits you where you live.

Next is a short piece called "The Loaner" Dave Rigby.

I spend a bit of time on Twilight zone trivia

Then from the Beam Me Up blog: Opportunity Rover celebrates it's 10th anniversary on Mars this year.  The Sun may not bake the Earth into a cinder as soon as we thought.......How was the Milky Way galaxy formed?  I close this week with episode 24 of "The Dark Inspectre Series" by Jason Kahn.

All in all, a good program this week.  I hope you enjoy it.

Thanks for listening.

Friday, January 24, 2014

NASA's Opportunity Rover - 10 Years Out & Still Making Landmard Martian Discoveries

NASA's Opportunity rover landed on Mars January 24, 2004  and has driven 24 miles from where it landed ten years and going on its ninety day original mission.  

Opportunity's controllers have the rover examining the rim of the Endeavor Crater, halfway around the planet from NASA's latest Mars rover, Curiosity.   In 2010, Opportunity detected evidence  of a clay mineral known as iron-rich smectite.   This was significant because the material was found in geological layers laid down before the formation of the Endeavor crater about 4 billion years ago.   Where the smectite was found in the geologic strata tells researchers that Mars was much warmer and wet much earlier in Mar's history. 

NASA reports that Opportunity's health hasn't changed much in the last year.  Researchers are confident that the hardy rover is capable of much more.  From the NASA article:
  • "Over the past decade, Mars rovers have made the Red Planet our workplace, our neighborhood," said John Callas, manager of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Project, which built and operates Opportunity. "The longevity and the distances driven are remarkable. But even more important are the discoveries that are made and the generation that has been inspired."
Read the complete NASA article HERE

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Sun WILL eventually Bake the Earth Lifeless

Yes, we have all heard of the scenario where the sun brightens, or even when the sun become a red giant, in either case Earth becomes a cinder of its former self.   This little gem of good news has been postulated as early as 600 million years, based on how fast the sun is brightening, about 1% every 100 million years or so.

But before you invite yourself to the world's biggest fish fry, here is something to consider.  It would seem that the model above was based on incomplete or erroneous information.  The conclusions were based on how  evaporating water and heat would be trapped in the earth's atmosphere, quickly raising the temperature and making life on the surface hellish. 

It would seem though that the model  wasn't complicated enough.  , Recent studies however have  added in cloud coverage and regional temperature differences.  Some studies now estimate that the inevitable will occur closer to 1 billion to 1.5 billion years from now.  It will still happen, but much later than previous studies had suggested. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Milky Way May Have Formed Center Out!

Scientists studying how the Milky Way formed, using one of the worlds largest telescopes the 8-m VLT in Chile, have uncovered evidence that our galaxy formed from the center  out.

That evidence comes in the form of 'metallicity' or the amount of metal contaminants found in a star.  Older first generation stars are made up of mostly hydrogen and helium, which were the most common elements available shortly after the big bang.   But as the larger short lived stars aged out, the level of contamination metals rose with younger stars now having a higher levels than first generation stars.  

With this piece of the puzzle in hand, astronomers began a systematic study of stars with a wide range of  locations in the Galactic disc.   

Our star named Sol lays mid-way out along one of the Milk Way's spiral arms.   At this distance, it takes Sol roughly 250 million years to complete an orbit around the galactic center.    The researchers called this orbit the Sol Circle and look at stars both inside and outside the "circle" to determine their metallicity.  

From the Science Daily article:
  • The team have shown that older, 'metal-poor' stars inside the Solar Circle ......The stars that lie in the outer regions of the Galactic disc -- outside the Solar Circle -- are predominantly younger...... 'metal-rich' stars.

For more, check out the Science Daily article HERE

The Flight a Short Film By Inbal Breda

In this wonderful short video, two women explore a strange and abandoned floating city. But what they find says more about their friendship than anything else. I am honestly hoping that you find it as moving as I did.
The Flight from Inbal Breda on Vimeo.

BMU #395 Now Online

Well the Beam Me Up program made it to 395 without much of a hitch...But no matter what.. Ha!

This week, the show seems to bounce along and made a pretty fair showing if I do say so myself.....

After my opening comments I start off with a piece of fine pop rock that is the closing theme to Bubblegum Crisis. Which I follow up with the conclusion to Doug Turnbull's A Wondrous Gift.

Next I find some excellent Twilight Zone trivia. From the blog, Using Water to burn solid waste. In the 60s the Navy wanted an Iron Man exo-skeleton and you will never guess who they asked! Orbital Sciences Cygnus delivery vehicle successfully delivered it's cargo to ISS. Virgin's suborbital spacecraft has had a successful second burn. NASA shows off concept artwork of the SLS heavy lifting rocket. NASA wants to get the go ahead for visiting one of the weirdest asteroids in the belt.

The final story of the afternoon is Nancy Fulda's All or nothing.


Beam Me Up #395

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Strange Asteroid, Thought to be Made Almost Entirely Out of Metal

NASA would like to get the go ahead to visit one of the stranger asteroids in the Solar System.

Asteroid Psyche is 155 miles across and the going consensus is that Psyche is the core remnants of a proto-planet that experienced a catastrophic collision that stripped away its outer layer of rock leaving the core exposed.

NASA would like to send a robotic craft, much like the Dawn Explorer which is working its way towards the proto-planet Ceres, to explore Psyche. 

NASA is hoping that the green light for this project will be granted in  2015.


NASA unveiled peeks of the proposed new heavy launch rocket called the Space Launch System or SLS. 

The news launcher will set a record as the largest payload ever built.  Still under construction, the SLS will have its inaugural flight sometime in 2017.  The first payload will weigh in at 77 tons which in and of itself is amazing as that is three times what the Shuttle could put into low Earth orbit.  Once the initial flights have proven the system sound (NASA just recently took delivery of the flight control electronics which will be tested on a frame to simulate a launch with all the flight control hardware situated on the frame as it will be on the SLS) NASA will modify the system to carry 143 tons, more that any other rocket in history.  With lift capabilities like these, the SLS could conceivably lift a spacecraft larger than the shuttle and still have enough left over to send it on a deep space mission.

NASA is confident that the new rocket would allow for direct routes to many of the destinations that now have to depend on gravity assists and coasting for much of the flight.  Direct routes would cut transit time in half. 

Check out the complete IO9 article HERE

Monday, January 13, 2014

Virgin Galactic Space Ship Two Has a Successful Second Powered Flight

Virgin Galactic Space Ship Two successfully completed its second powered test flight by going  supersonic. Once dropped from its carry plane, White Knight, SS2 climbed to over 70 thousand feet on a 20 second burn of the main rocket engine.  In doing so SS2 went supersonic to mach 1.43 or almost one and a half times the speed of sound.

Virgin plans to start carrying passenger to low Earth orbit in the latter part of 2014.    From the article
  • Virgin Galactic, which already has sold more than 650 rides on SpaceShipTwo, ..... Tickets sell for $250,000.
Listen to the pilots talking, on the video below, w just after they fire the main engine....This is definitely an E ticket ride for sure. 

Check out the complete Discovery News article HERE

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Orbital Sciences Corp.Has First Successful ISS Delivery

Orbital Sciences Corp. saw a successful capture of its Cygnus supply spacecraft by the ISS' robotic arm.   Cygnus was attached Cygnus to the space station's Harmony where its 2700 pounds of supplies, spare parts and scientific equipment will be off-loaded and then in February, the craft will be detached for a destructive reentry.

NASA now has two resupply companies with Orbital Sciences successful capture.  The first being Space Exploration Technologies  or SpaceX.  

Future missions for both of the partners will be manned launches to the ISS, possibly within the next three years. 

BMU # 394 is now online

Welcome to another weekend with Beam Me Up, this week, episode 394.

Getting right down to the nitty gritty, 394's stories are Trathh: Odinforce by David Scholes, which is the first story for the afternoon and A wondrous Gift pt3 by Doug Turnbull.

First after a few minor opening comments, I play Help! by Ayana Taketatsu.

I got to watch the live action Wolverine that seemed to have brought mixed reviews but if you ever saw the anime Wolverine you will get where a lot of this movie came from.

Then it is the first story David Scholes Trathh: Odinforce

I spend a few moments on the Beam Me Up Blog where we find that dogs have a poopin preference...and it is not where they prefer to do their duty but something much stranger!

Next NASA's NuStar observatory's latest photo, has to been seen to be is truly spectacular!

Finally, the ISS gets an reprieve. Funding now until the 2021 deadline.

And then on to the final story, part 3 of Doug Turnbull's A wondrous Gift.

That's it for another week.  Enjoy!

Friday, January 10, 2014

"Hand of God" Nebula

A new photo released by NASA, captured by NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR. 

The image was created  as  spinning material interacts with magnetic fields, it glows with X-rays.  This of course is not the first time the nebula has be photographed.  Previously  it had been detected by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory.

From the article:
  • The hand-shaped object is a pulsar wind nebula that was the result of a star that blew up in a supernova explosion 17,000 light-years away.

Click HERE for the complete NASA article

Ten Most Notable Anime Titles of 2013

From Topless Robot is a list that I would consider near and dear: Ten of the most notable anime titles for 2013.

Now, I tried to paste in all ten video shorts, but this email got really to large when it is much easier
to jump over to the Topless Robot site and look at the videos and the excellent cometary.  

Thursday, January 09, 2014

ISS Get Life Extention

Science Recorder posts an article that is certainly good news to ISS fans.  

 NASA officials announced that the White House has agreed to fund the International Space Station  until at least 2024.  Very good news in deed!

NASA has been lobbying  the government to extend the life of the ISS. Operation of the space station was slotted to end by 2021 at which time the station would be set on a controlled re-entry to burn up and what ever was left would crash into the South Pacific.  Yep crashing a 10 billion investment into the ocean.  A machine that took 13 years, more than 100 rocket and shuttle launches, and 160 spacewalks to construct.

From the article:
  • NASA officials maintain that the ISS, ... has provided a unique site for some 1,500 scientific experiments, not only continues to provide a wealth of information relevant to a wide range of scientific disciplines but is a crucial step towards sending humans into deep space.
Of course the continued support won't come cheap.  Each year of the extension will have a price tag of $3 billion, but the alternative is just abandon the multi-billion dollar investment. 

For the complete article, click HERE

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Walt Disney was asked by the millitary to build an Iron Man like suit?!

So it would seem.  From the pages of Paleofuture, the US military did in fact approach Walt Disney with a request to help develop  a powered exoskeleton with very specific capabilities.  

The Navy sent a request for proposals to Disney in hopes that he could produce a complex device to be worn by a man that would enable him to lift 1500 pounds to a height of six feet and carry that load twenty-five feet in ten seconds. Very ambitious even by today's standards. 

Disney however had very little interest in the project. 

Check out the Paleofuture article HERE for Walt's response and more.

Burning Waste With Water...

That's right, burning waste using good ole H2O.  Yep, instead of putting out fires, NASA is experimenting on using water to burn liquid waste aboard the ISS.

Now I know you are saying that the last time you heard, water put out flames, but researchers have found a "super-critical" water that promotes combustion instead of halting it.     Researchers were able to create this "super-critical" water by compressing the fluid to 217 times that of  air pressure found at sea level and then heating the water to above 703 degrees Fahrenheit.  At that point, the water is neither liquid, solid or gas, researchers describe it as more of a liquid-like gas, that reacts when mixed with organics, oxidizing or "burning" the material, all without flames.  By-products are water and carbon dioxide.

Check out the Popular Science video below:

Heard of puffed rice, right? How about a "puffed" planet....

NASA's Kepler space telescope, to date, had discovered a whole slew of planets orbiting around other stars.  The most recent of which is likely to be one of the strangest.  Located 200 light-years away, planet KOI-314c orbits it's primary, a red dwarf star, in 23 days.  KOI-314c's mass however is very close to that of Earth's but the weird thing is the planet's atmosphere which makes the planet appear 60% larger than Earth. 

Since the orbital period is only 23 days, the planet's  atmosphere is about 220 degrees Fahrenheit, above the boiling point of water, which makes life as we know it moot. 

Discovery of Earth sized exo-planets are extremely difficult especially if they are close in to their primary.  Read the Discovery article HERE for the complete explanation of the method used.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Dogs Like to Poop North to South...?

It would seem that all that sniffin' and spinnin' before your dog does his "duty" is more than just an annoying ritual, it would seem that your pet pooch poopin' preference is north to south.  Think of it as the doggy version of a compass spinning before it settles down...which just begs the question that if you were lost in the woods with poochie and no compass....couldn't you just wait for your compass canine to relieve itself a couple of time and just line up the twin peaks to determine north.....     and then well you are on your way....  my anime friend just said he is going to name his next dog Compass....oh that is just tooooooooooo good! 

Ok lets get serious here....The data comes from German and Czech researchers, who spent two years watching numerous dogs defecating and urinating.  They then compared the dogs' behavior and orientation with the geomagnetic conditions at the time.   They found that dogs preferred to poop while aligned in a north-south direction.  Curiously, females preferred to urinate in a north or south direction — males didn't show much preference.  

Wow talk about animal magnetism.....

For more ....... ummm info  check out the complete Live Science article  HERE

Sunday, January 05, 2014

BMU #393 Is Now Online!

And it is Beam Me Up for another week.  This is episode 393 and I think you may just enjoy the mix.

First off, after my opening comments, I read Kallimus' comments of things that happened in 2013....he is really funny and costic in major servings this week.

Next, as a way to vent some of the pressure Kallimus built up, I play the opening theme song to Excel Saga...quite a catchy tune, if I must say.

The first story this week is a "Flash From The Past"  Robert Shea's The Helpful Robots, and this story holds up really well in the test of time.  I think you might agree.

News from the blog this week..... it would seem that time travelers don't really like  a really interesting DIY from Hack A Day using ultra sound to elevate really is fascinating,  It would seem that Russia wants to launch a mission to land a craft on the surface of Jupiter's moon Ganymede.  NASA's LRO managed to snap a pic of China's Chang'e lander and rover!  And NASA is "concerned" about the worsening space junk....and the Mars Express Orbiter managed to get and extremely close flyby of Phobos.

And Finally I play part 2 of Doug Turnbull's a Wondrous Gift.


Friday, January 03, 2014

Time Travelers, it would seem, Don't Like Facebook.....

Scientists at Michigan Technological University recently scoured sites such as Facebook, Google and Google+ in the hopes of finding the digital tracks of possible time travelers.  No, I am not kidding!  Someone got PAID to do this! 

The study took place in the latter part of 2013.  Scientists Robert Nemiroff and Teresa Wilson searched the internet for posts made between January 2006 and September 2013 that made some reference to future events happening after September 2013.   Unfortunately  nothing they found could be considered trustworthy, or even accurate!    On Facebook, for example, posts have the option to be backdated, which would have made any discoveries virtually useless.

But unfortunately, the hunt came up blank. (NO KIDDING!)

But I am not kidding about this being a real study, you can read the complete article on Gizmodo HERE

Suspending Particles in 3D With Nothing But Sound!

Remember these words....Acoustic Levitation.

From the Hack A Day blog:
  • Using a series of standing ultrasound waves, it is possible to suspend small particles at the sound pressure nodes. The acoustic axis of the ultrasound beam is parallel to gravity, which also allows the objects to be manipulated along the fixed axis by varying the phase or frequencies of the sound. By adding a second ultrasound beam perpendicular to the first it is possible to localize the pressure node, or focal point, and levitate small objects around a 2D plane.

Here is the Youtube video that will blow your mind!

And here is the url for the Hack A Day article HERE

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Russia Wants to do a Mission to Ganymede

Russia has allocated 1.5 million dollars for the development of a technical proposal to land a probe on the surface of  Ganymede, Jupiter's largest moon.

Ganymede would be an excellent choice.  It is the largest moon in the solar system, 8% larger than Mercury but has only 45% of Mercury's  mass.

The Russian mission will be called Laplas-P1, would consist of two spacecraft launched by separate heavy lift  launch vehicles. The trip to Jupiter would take upwards of nine years. 

 In all likelihood a prototype would not be available until 2017, with a launch date of 2023 the arrival could not take place any earlier that 2030.

For more check out the IO9 article HERE

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

NASA Snaps Pic of Yuto

From 93 miles overhead, NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter's camera has captured the landing site of the Chang'e 3 lander.   Both the lander and the Yuto rover.   The remarkable thing about the photo containing the pair is the rover itself is less than 5 feet across!

If you go to the IO9 site you will see a before and after pic to make the craft easier to spot.
Check out the site HERE

Space Crud Still Getting Worse!

So the movie Gravity didn't scare the crap right out of ya?  Well then check out yet another map of just how much junk is in orbit.  Every one of these dots is a potential accident just waiting to happen. 

This nightmarish obstacle course has NASA more than a bit worried (you have got to see the humor in that statement) in a recent report NASA suggested that models suggest that space debris has reached a critical level.  

Not everyone agrees with the assessment of the problem.  Hugh Lewis of Southampton University, UK has gone on record saying that Earth's belt of space waste has yet to pose a serious threat..... I think we can be a bit more upbeat, certainly if we are contemplating removing objects.

As the IO9 article points out that these technologies have yet to be fleshed out beyond the speculation period and will be decades before we see implementation. 

The first method should be reducing and eliminating any further increases in debris.   That and of itself is a difficult proposition at best.  But if something isn't started now then it is very likely in the very near future, space exploration may become almost impossible due to not being able to leave our own orbit because of space debris.

  • You can read more about the future of our relationship with space debris over at BBC News
  • The USNRC Report, "Limiting Future Collision Risk to Spacecraft: An Assessment of NASA's
  • Meteoroid and Orbital Debris Programs" is available here

Spectacular Skydiving short....Is this how a space jump might look like?

You have to check out this short film by Simon Hammond. I have to put up the "making of" just to prove it is not fake. I won't even bother to explain it, other than to say that the photography is insanely spectacular

Sony-BTS A7R from Cutting Edge on Vimeo.