Thursday, July 31, 2014

Someone GETS it!!!

Writing for Gizmodo, Jesus Diaz,  marvel for a moment of the oft under appreciated on the space walk or EVA:
  • I  (Diaz) just came across this 1995 photograph of Michael Gernhardt floating 200-miles over the Earth on a six-hour spacewalk. I zoomed in and looked in awe for a couple of minutes, pondering the chain of events, the Herculean effort that put and kept this man alive in space.
It doesn't happen often, but every now and then someone marvels at the small things that came into existence to allow nay permit humans to survive on one of the harshest environment known to man.  

I am certainly do not intend to put someone down just because they don't have space flight on their mind 24/7.  To be honest also, many today didn't see the photos of Al Shepard doing the sub orbital. Or John Glenn lifting off, or Ed White  floating virtually untethered from his Gemini capsule.  I was floored when I saw the film of White knowing that less than an inch of fabric was all that was keeping him from a grizzly end.

Take a read of Diaz's  Sploid / Gizmodo article.  It is a good read.   HERE

Interesting Video by Built by Titan - Collide

You could almost dismiss this song and glitzy over-driven nonsense but then I decided to catch the associated video on Youtube and was more than mildly surprised.  I won't spoil it for you, but will say that something a bit off center is happening. 

Check it out!

NASA's Next Rover in 2020 Will Step Up the Science

The next rover NASA will send to Mars in 2020 will carry  carefully-selected instruments to conduct  science and exploration  investigations on the Red Planet at an unprecedented level.

NASA announced that it has selected 7 instruments out of a pool of 58 for the Mars 2020 rover.  The Mars 2020 rover will be based on the design of the highly successful Curiosity, which  is still operating on Mars, after it's landing 2 years ago.

From the NASA article:
  • Scientists will use the Mars 2020 rover to identify and select a collection of rock and soil samples that will be stored for potential return to Earth by a future mission.

Here is the link to the NASA ARTICLE

NASA to Build Largest Rocket To Date!

Check out some of these very impressive stats
A  rocket that will tower at 384 feet tall, set to become the largest rocket ever built, dwarfing even the mighty Saturn V rockets of the Apollo era
This rocket, sitting on the launch pad will weigh 6.5 million pounds

NASA's recently released schedule for the new Space Launch System notes that the space agency will begin testing the engines that will be used.  SLS will use 4 sls rs-25 liquid fuel engines with two outboard SRBs.  If the RS25 designation sounds familiar, they are indeed shuttle main engines that provided massive lifting capabilities.  These engines  have undergone modifications.  At launch the SLS rocket will be providing 9.2 MILLION lbs of thrust.

The schedule calls for the SLS' first test flight 2017. 

Read more of Mail Online article HERE

Monday, July 28, 2014

BMU 416 now online Skipping Stones-Miller + In Plain Sight ep 27 - Kahn

My opening comments this week is pointing out some of the thing I like to do that used to be common on the radio and now we hardly hear of any of that.  Along those lines I spend time describing what makes Beam Me Up work.

The program proper starts with music:  Fight or Flight by Yu Kobiyashi (spell…:( )

Next Jason Kahn’s In Plain Sight episode 27 of the Dark Inspector / In Plain Sight following psyic detective Jack Garrett on New Eden.

Over at the blog  – recent discoveries of hot Jupiter like planets have thrown how planets form  into flux.  This touched a side conversation concerning the incomprehensible distance some of these planets are!

NASA wants private industry to think about doing sat comm for the NASA rovers.
The Voyager argument has once again raised the argument

The final story for the week is Skipping Stones by Devin Miller

Good stories and interesting articles. 

 Hope you enjoy.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Dry Jupiter-Like Exoplanets Discovered

How we understand planetary  formation may, quite possibly, be all wrong.  

At present, the disk accretion theory is the most popular, where dust particles begin coming together in the planetary disk.  As the clumps become larger they begin attracting more and more clumps to the point where planetesimals form.  As they become larger, they begin to pull gases out of the ring to form proto - atmospheres  made up of oxygen in the form of water vapor.  

All of this worked very well until:
  • A team of astronomers headed by Dr Nikku Madhusudhan of the Cambridge University’s Institute of Astronomy has found that the abundance of water vapor in the atmospheres of the three newly discovered hot Jupiters – HD 189733b, HD 209458b, and WASP-12b (Located between 60 and 900 light-years away from Earth)  – is between ten and a thousand times less than what standard planet formation theories predict. 
This discovery really brings our understanding of planetary formation into question. 

These planets are classified as hot Jupiters with average temperatures between 1652 and 3992 degrees Fahrenheit. These were thought to be ideal candidates for detecting water vapor in their atmospheres.

(***I would like to interject something here.  Regardless  of the water vapor or the hot Jupiters and the disclaimer in the full article that Hubble didn't actually "see" the planets, is the fact that Hubble can see ANYTHING 900 light years away! That is so far away that the average calculator goes nuts and you get cryptic answers from scientific calc. or numbers like 5865696000000 for just 1 year of light travel.  That's 6 thousand trillion 700 billion miles more or less then times that by 900 years!  Can you even begin to wrap your head around such mind numbing numbers?  That is how powerful Hubble is.....What a fabulous tool and how lucky we are to be around in the years of it's operation.   Editor***)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Sat Comm for Mars?

Wow, tell me that this in not an innovative idea!  It seems that NASA may be trying to get out of the Sat Comm business, as far as Mars is concerned. 

NASA has ask for information from commercial partners to supply satellite communications on future Mars rover missions.  The commercial partner would own and operate a satellite communications network that would provide communication to NASA.  

NASA is not just limiting the field to US commercial entities but also, universities, nonprofits, NASA centers, federally funded research and development centers, in addition to U.S. government and international organizations. 

This call for information on alternative communications network does begin to make sense when one takes into account that NASA is concerned about communications gaps in the 2020s.  

At this time, NASA has the  Curiosity and Opportunity rovers on the Martian surface.  For high speed communications with these rovers, NASA uses the high gain and high power relay radios aboard  Odyssey, which was launched in 2001, and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter(MRO), launched in 2005. These two will be augmented by  the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft which arrives Sept. 21, and the 2016 arrival of the European Space Agency’s ExoMars/Trace Gas Orbiter.  This should more than double the communication bandwidth.  But NASA has nothing scheduled after MAVEN arrives.  

From the NASA article:
  • This creates the need to identify cost-effective options to ensure continuity of reliable, high-performance telecommunications relay services for the future
Read the complete article from NASA HERE

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Voyager Argument All Over Again.......

Yep, that's right.  The Voyager argument continues to rage on.  Has it or Hasn't it?  

According to NASA's JPL which continues to monitor Voyager:
  • A paper recently published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters describes an alternate model for the interaction between the heliosphere ....... and the interstellar medium. It  proposes a test for whether Voyager 1 has, indeed, left the heliosphere.
NASA's Voyager project scientist, Ed Stone of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena explains:
  • (the) models, which he and colleagues used to conclude that Voyager 1 entered interstellar space, predict that the density of interstellar wind outside the heliosphere is 40 times greater than the density of the solar wind inside.
  • The observational data .... revealed a plasma density that was 40 times higher.  (So) they concluded that Voyager 1 had ... entered interstellar space around August 25, 2012.
However new models:
  • (argue) that solar wind inside the heliosphere can be compressed to the point that the solar wind density inside is just as high as interstellar space outside. Therefore, Voyager 1 could still be inside.
If Voyager 1 is still inside the heliosphere, it should observe a reversal in direction of the solar magnetic field sometime before the end of 2015. 

Scientists at JPL will be looking carefully at the  data  coming in  over the next 18 months to see if Voyager picks up this change.

To read the complete NASA JPL article click HERE

New Horizon now less Than a Year Away From Pluto

NASA's New Horizon space probe is one year away from it's rendezvous with Pluto.

New Horizon will will do its fly by on July 15, 2015.  This will be the first time Pluto has been visited up close or otherwise. 

Pluto orbits the sun at an average distance of 3.65 billion miles which gives it an orbital duration of 248 years!

Get more at the web site HERE @ Space dot Com

Monday, July 21, 2014

BMU # 415 Kickass House - Scholes + Wizard's Bane - Crystalwizard

                      D.  Scholes

Welcome to Beam Me Up episode 415.                                                                

After my opening comments I play a piece of John Anealio's work called Steam Punk Girl which has been used as the music bed for a animated music video of the same name.  It's a very clever video.

From there I jump right into the first story of the afternoon with Crystalwizard's book Wizard's Bane - chapter 2 - part 1

Next I look to the blog for news like a simple and cheap antibiotic may be a huge boon to infectious diseases, or a possible break through in understanding the causes of Downs Syndrome - and a possible way to prevent cancer.

The balance of the afternoon is David Scholes' second story in the Human Hunter series - Human Hunter:The Kickass House.

That's it! I hope you enjoy this episode.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Goodbye Marvel, and Iphone astronomy apps

FREE ASTRONOMY APPS(sue me I’m cheap)
If you have an iPhone, or something that uses such apps, here are a couple I just found that might be of interest to those of us out here. And yeah, you read that right. I said iPhone. Apparently I am being put into the 21st century whether I like it or not. Not meaning that I do not like it. I’d just prefer the 25th or so century is all. Like I said, I’m not sure how this happened.  But it did, and that damndable phone is, well, you’ll see here soon where the minor gripe comes in.  And as for that siri stuff, uh, just no. If my phone is going to be speaking to me, it had better transform and get out the freaking chess set. In other words, an AI system that can actually think, not some dimwitted pre-programmed imbecile. Yeah, I am one of those that backs AI all the way. Come and live here for a week, you’ll understand.
            The first one is called “Stars”. It is exactly what it says it is. It shows the 88 constellations along with the equatorial line and the path of the sun. Basically it is just a constellation chart, but still a nice little stand-alone app. (I should not know the term “stand alone app.”)
            The next one is called Cosmos Celestron Navigator. This is an interesting app to say the least.  It has a planetarium feature, (a place I need to go to again one day soon actually), and though I’ve only played with it a bit it seems really cool. I went into the search, tapped on stars and then Vega, and it even has an audio that tells you about the star.
            And now I complain. It also does something else, and now I need 400 dollars for a freaking Celestron Cosmos 90GT WiFi Telescope, which this app is made to blend seamlessly with. You see, these freaking phones are nothing but an expense for nosy lunatics like me. It is a really cool app, and if you can get it on something, you owe it to yourself to do so. There are quite a few others out there as well. Some are pay, some are free. I’ll be checking them all out over time here. Well, the free ones anyway.

            Yep, they gave me an attitude, and for anyone that pays attention to the comic world these days, I am guessing you already figured out why and where the meltdown is coming from. I’ll make this real simple.
            Thor is not a woman, period. (And neither is Starbuck, but that’s another meltdown entirely.) This isn’t a gender switch, or a Thor from another realm, etc. This is an entirely new character, as the Thor we all know and love somehow suddenly becomes unworthy, and loses Mjolnir to this I guarantee you a definitely unworthy one.
            If they want more female super powered beings, make them up like the rest, or has marvel lost all true creativity these days. So as for me and Marvel Comics, I’ll just stick with how things were. Stop changing freaking characters for PC or any other silliness. They are the characters they are. I mean seriously, you don’t have enough brains to create a character, so you simply change the one you have over to the opposite sex. Yeah Marvel, that’s really moving forward there. There are so many ways to have done this, but this way is just ignorant in my opinion.
            Luckily this silliness won’t be invading the movies. At least not for a good while. As for any of the anime coming up out there, who knows?
            Now as for the anime and movies, I’m still there of course. And I am willing to make a bet on an upcoming movie as well.
            Guardians of the Galaxy will probably be panned in every direction. I figure this because I already am in love with the characters from what I have learned and seen of them. Never read the comic though. And usually when I love a movie, as this seems to be one coming for me, it ends up being hated by everyone else.  (House 2, Starcrash; need I go on.) Anyway, here’s the link to the site about this new Thor silliness. And as for who is worthy to wield the mighty hammer of Thor. I can tell you that quite easily. Anyone willing to use it to knock some sense back into Marvel. And while they are at it, get the rights to the FF back to Marvel before the next disaster of an abomination of my favorite first family of comics is turned out by idiots.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Meet the New Faster, Smarter Asimo

Honda has massively improved its robot platform Asimo.   The first major upgrade is a new set of legs that allow Asimo to travel on uneven surfaces, run at nearly 6 mph and even walk backwards.

Another improvement is Asimo's redesigned hands.  Hands which now have 13 degrees of freedom, enabling the 'bot to hold and manipulate objects without crushing or dropping them.  So much freedom in fact that Asimo can communicate with the deaf using ASL (American sign language).

Asimo's intelligence has been greatly improved as well.  The robot can now walk around without the need for an operator.  Asimo also has great situational awareness.  This would say allow him to move out of the way to avoid a collision   in a hallway or other locals.

Here is the complete Engadget article

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

John Anealio's Steam Pun Girl Video

John writes that "Joshua Westbury made a fantastic animated video for my Steampunk Girl song. You can click HERE to watch it on YouTube".

Monday, July 14, 2014

Flatulence Could Prevent Cancer......

Ok.....I know......Juvenile.  But how many chances in life will I ever get to say, with a straight face, that smelling farts could prevent cancer? Not to many I fear.  

But this in just how The article started:
  • Scientists at the University of Exeter say that smelling farts could actually prevent cancer, along with other disease.
It's got scientists and other disease right in the opening sentence!  That makes it legit in my book!

Time magazine is even jumping in with this:
  • while the smelly gas can be “noxious in large doses,” the researchers say that an occasional whiff of flatulence could reduce the risks of cancer, stroke, heart attacks, arthritis and dementia by preserving mitochondria.
Stroke, heart attacks, arthritis and dementia is a damn good spread in ANY cure and dosage is lite!

Just think about all the people that owe you a Thanks!

HERE is article 

Blackest Material Created

Surrey Nanosystems, inventors of the material Vantablack, have suggested that it is the darkest material to date.  Made up of carbon nano-tubes, Vantablack reflects only .04 of the light striking it.

Vantablack is so dark that any folds or other contours, present on the surface, will remain completely invisible.

Complete Boing Boing article HERE

BMU 414 Now Online

I play a piece of music from anime series shortly after my opening monologue.

The first piece of short fiction comes from the pen of Muzz called Quest which is one of the most twisted pieces I have read for some time.

From the Beam Me Up blog  Airbus has a patent for a windowless cocpit for future planes.

Researchers are working on a device that could help will a variety of brain damage syndromes.

Dave Scholes is offering his newest collection of short stories called Daughter of the High Lords on Amazon.

I review the newest Robocop remake.

CrystalWizard has let me read her newest series called  Sojourn Chronicle and we will be having all 6 books!  I start this week with book 1 chapter 1 part 1.  The Chronicle is good speculative fiction not only pure sci-fi but neither is is fantasy.

That does it for this week.  Enjoy

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Coming Soon: Windowless Cockpits on Airliners

Yep you read that correctly!  Airbus has a patent now for a windowless cockpit.  The argument for something that sounds completely insane is the pilot in such an aircraft will have increased situational awareness as well as a much wider portion of the sky.  The pilot can pan and zoom as needed, and even provide dynamic 3D viewing as well as range-finding. 

Another necessity is having pilots in the front of the plane so that they can look out, but with a cockpit without windows, the pilots control center can be installed anywhere in the plane.  Without the need for the windows, the planes can be made much more efficient and structurally sound. 

Being able to install the cockpit anywhere in  the plane leads to the next logical step will be to remove a pilots cockpit all together making the jet a drone controlled remotely.

Read the complete article here

Friday, July 11, 2014

Researchers Working on a Brain Prosthesis

Remember the story I read a few years back about a man who is stabbed in the head and suffers massive brain damage?  The flip on that story was there was a prosthesis that by passed and augmented the damage to his brain and allowed him to think and function.  

Well that was good science fiction, but Philadelphia researchers are working on a project that may help restore memory to brain damaged patients.  

Up to this point devices could only activate one or two electrodes.  What the the research groups are working towards is a controller that will activate hundreds of electrodes!  Plus how the electrodes fire is controlled by the patient's brain.

There are teams not only working on memory loss but also on Parkinson's.  One team is working with a device manufacturer to develop a unit, within the next 3 years, capable of targeting 256 sites in the brain.   The ultimate goal is a permanent and implantable device. 

Read the rest of the Newsworks article HERE

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Review: Daughter of the High Lords ***UPDATED***

Those of you that have been with the program for some time should recognize the name Dave Scholes.  Dave is a prolific writer and has been very generous with a lot of his stories.

So it should not come as any surprise that Dave has collected a few of those stories, such as many of the Trathh short stories, some of even his most recent in the "Human Hunter" vein and even some really good new stories. 

Check out some of the story descriptions from Amazon:
  • “Daughter of the High Lords”, pits the High Lord race and the Brell super power empire against the Coordinator of All Realities as Garthhe an enigmatic entity from an equally enigmatic race seeks to rescue, Raechelle, daughter of the High Lords. 
  • “The Search for Humanity” the far flung human race disappears without explanation from the upper reaches of time.
  • “Reality Check” alternate reality travelers coming home must make sure they are returning to the right reality. 
 And I know it's cliche but there really is a whole lot more.  If you would like more info on the book you can check out the Paperback version HERE

Dave just sent me a new update on the EBOOK of Daughter of the High Lords:

  • Just to let you know that my new book is now also available as an e-book:  HERE
  • also I'm making it available as a free download from Amazon for the 2 days from 12.01am 12 July to 11.59pm 13 July (US Pacific Time).
  • Cheers 
  • Dave 
Thanks for the update Dave

Review: Robocop (2014)

Robocop  starring:

    Joel Kinnaman as Alex Murphy
    Gary Oldman as Dr. Dennett Norton,
    Michael Keaton as Raymond Sellars, 
    Samuel L. Jackson as Patrick "Pat" Novak, host of The Novak Element 

If you have seen the original Robocop movie starring Peter Weller then you know the basic premise of this robocop.   Of course there are minor differences in say how Murphy is injured and used in the robocop program.  Also some interesting differences on how Murphy reacts to the suit.   Even the environment is a subtle (well maybe not to subtle) changes.  

Murphy is played much more human.   Even the "body" armor is less threatening, (except maybe for one short interlude)  Even the "corporate bad guys" seem much more rounded than in previous incarnations.  The one character that stands out as two dimensional was the great character actor Samuel L. Jackson.  His Pat Novack television   commenter is almost humorous in it vile spewing right wing(if you could truly call it that) commenter is fairly obviously a compilation of  several radio and television  personalities.  

It is also obvious what a budget 10 times as much as the original and almost 3 decades of film making magic can do to even a less complex theme as Robocop.  The CGI is stunningly good in its execution and integration, to the point that you wonder at times is Kinnaman wearing an appliance or is it cgi.   I have a feeling that most of the "suit" effects are cgi.....

There are moment that the movie tries to pluck at your heart strings, honestly they fail miserably.  I don't think it is for lack of trying, because the original Robocop, for all intents, tried the same thing with the same results.  It fails because of a really simple idiom - You can't have your cake and eat it too.  Both camps worked very hard to get us to invest in Murphy as a "robot" and wrest it away with some ill conceived and awkwardly executed "human moments"  just didn't work for me.

But the action scenes.... Because Murphy is a bit retro, in that there are already humaniform  robot officers who already patrol the streets of other countries and it is the training sessions and later breaking up drug and arms dealers that is more than enough for the action junkies.  (though if we are going to be honest, these were generic as well. ) 

Overall I think the 2014 version rises to the challenge of the original 1987 version.   If you have seen that version and liked will be ecstatic with this offering, even if you hadn't seen the original, if you like running gun battles, high speed motorcycle chases and iconic one - liners, then this film is tailor-made for you. 

To be honest, I would rate Robocop a 7.  Nothing really new here and throwing 10 times the budget at this product didn't really net 10 times the movie.  The star power wasted on this film is what disturbed me.   Oldman, Jackson and Keaton are very recognizable names and more than likely drew a hefty paycheck.  To then under utilize (I guess, except Jackson) them is difficult to understand.  Keaton of course is miss-cast, Oldman would have been a better choice (though the researcher was a much more interesting, I don't know what I am talking about)

And so,  If I were reviewing for the big screen, I could not in good conscience tell you to blow the best part of a $20,  but as a $5 or less rental...yeah, break out the popcorn and turn on the surround sound.   

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

"Grand Finalie" Cassini's Last and Most Daring Mission

After a decade of romping through Saturn's collection of moons, rings and the planet itself, the Cassini mission is drawing to a close.  Cassini has all but exhausted its supply of fuel that was used by the craft's maneuvering thrusters.  

Now with a clear end in sight, controllers can be a little less conservative.  From the Discovery article:
  • Starting in 2016, Cassini will be commanded to carry out a “daring set of orbits that is, in some ways, like a whole new mission,”
  • Cassini will be given commands that will take it high above Saturn’s poles and then fly outside the planet’s narrow F-ring.  Then, its trajectory will evolve to make a dive between the innermost ring and the planet 22 times. Flying through the ring plane will increase the potential for impacts with ring dust, ice grains and even large rocks, so until now such an orbital profile has been avoided at all costs.
If, after this the craft is still able to take commands, Cassini will be given instructions to dive into Saturn's dense atmosphere.  

Read the complete Discovery article HERE


Monday, July 07, 2014

BMU 413 Now Online Anime Reviews, Science & Duncan Shields' Ringminers' Daughter

After my opening comments and playing the opening music from Durara which is a highly inventive anime series, I head straight to the Beam Me Up Blog.

first up, Kallimus talks about the new season of Space Dandy.  I follow that up with an original production from Netflix called Knights of Sidonia, which after a couple of episodes I would give the series a thumbs up.  The next anime offering is from Crunchyroll which will be offering "Rail Wars" sound very promising.

On the science side of the news - I find an article on 3d biopringing. In this case vascular network for 3d organs.

on the Goldilocks type planets, there is evidence that some may not even exsist.  From - Gum-15 a stellar nursery nebula of super massive stars may be destroyed by the very stars that

Fan of Futurerama?  How about Farnsworth's smelloscope?  Do you know that NASA has an individual that does a very similar function....

I found this very disturbing video of a dancing puppet and I do mean disturbing.  Check out the video on the Beam Me Up blog at

hey if you can't swing a quarter mil for a ride into space. How about a balloon ride that is much cheaper and goes to about 122 thousand.

And an Airforce engineer has found a very inventive way of detecting and tracking space debris.

The story this week is Ringminer's Daughter by Duncan Shields

Friday, July 04, 2014

Crunchyroll to Stream Railwars Anime Series

Hot on the heals of Netflix's anime release is Crunchyroll's stream of "Railwars" which will start July 5th 10pm pacific   (for premium members and one week later for free members).  

Crunchyroll's synopsis:
  • In a parallel world where Japan has not privatized any of its railways, Naoto Takayama is an ordinary high school student who dreams of being a train conductor for the Japanese National Railways. He is assigned as to the Tokyo Central Railway Public Security Office. He is teamed up with Aoi Sakurai, a strong willed woman who excels in marksmanship and close combat, Haruka Koumi, who has an extraordinary memory, Sho Iwaizumi, a hot-blooded man who relies on brute force. From lost children to bombings, Naoto must lead this team, despite not having any special strength! 

Netflix Goes Strong For Anime With the Launch of Knights Of Sidonia

Netflix is certainly strongly suggesting that it is committed to original programming AND original anime with the release of  Knights Of Sidonia.   As the article from Den of Geeks reports, Knights originally appeared in Japan April of this year. However just a week after the show's finale, Netflix had gained the rights, put together an English cast and had Knights Of Sidonia ready for release July 4th.

Here is a synopsis from the Den of Geeks article:
  • The story follows the struggle of human survival amongst the monstrous shapeshifting aliens “Gauna” who all but destroyed the solar system a millennia ago and are bent on eliminating humans from existence.
  •   Nagate Tanikaze, a low-born youth in a society of genetically engineered humans - now refugees that escaped the destruction of Earth one thousand years earlier, occupying the massive ship Sidonia. Nagate grew up living in the bottom layers of Sidonia away from civilization and raised by his now deceased grandfather. When Nagate’s talent as a pilot is revealed he becomes one of Sidonia’s elite defenders against the Guana.
Here is the Japanese trailer:


Researchers Successfully 3D Print Blood Vessels

Hundreds of people die annually due to the low availability of donor organs.  On the plus side, scientists have made huge strides in printing 3d organs.   The downside to these organs needs are the same as "natural" organs. 

From the article:
  • Researchers from the University of Sydney, MIT, Harvard, and Stanford have successfully bio-printed blood vessels, offering 3D-printed organs access to nutrients, oxygen, and waste-disposal routes, (according to a recently published study)

Read the complete article describing the method of bio printing that the researchers used.  HERE

Gliese 581 Goldilocks Planets May Not Be There!

In 2007, astronomers observing Gilese 581 found four planets of which 2 were in the "Goldilocks" zone.  In 2010 two more planets were added to the toll with planet 581g having the best odds of all of having life. 

However Paul Robertson, the leader of  a new research team, said,  his team found that the measurements used to detect planets could be affected by things like sunspots, leading false indications of  planets.

Robertson, using different spectrum,  have watched indications for some planets fade completely away while others brighten significantly.

Read the complete article HERE

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

New Stars, in Time, Will Distroy Their Own Nursery

Check out this short video narrated by David Sky Brodie, featuring the cosmic gas cloud Gum 15 which  lies 3,000 light-years from Earth.   The nebula is playing nurse-maid to several super-massive stars that, when they enter their "young adult" stage will begin to tear Gum 15 apart.   Plus due to the fact that super massive stars have very short lives that when they exhaust their fuel, they will go supernova and the resulting explosion will take Gum 15 with them.

This new data comes from representatives with the European Southern Observatory (ESO), which released  the    film and photo, from the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile  July 2.

Smell the Universe

Remember this Futurama episode?  The professor had developed a telescope that would, with the aid of lens and his newly invented "stench coil", aid him in his quest to discover gravity waves. 

Wonderfully kooky moment in an otherwise insane episode.

So why am I waxing nonsensical over an invention by Professor Farnsworth,  well in a odd
coincidence, NASA has on its' payroll one George Aldrich who has been employed as NASA’s staff sniffer for 40 years and NASA considers his contribution vital.

Check out the complete article HERE

Weird Animatronic Figure Dances in Front of Mirror

I haven't made up my mind yet as to whether this short film entitled "Touch is love - now close your eyes"  by Jordan Wolfson.

Here is a description from the article itself:
  • an animatronic robot that dances in front of a large mirror, while at the same time seeking eye contact with the spectator.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Take a Baloon Ride to the Edge of Space

Yearning for that once in a lifetime ride, but just can't justify the 200k that would get you a seat on Virgin Galactic sub-orbital  flight, then a ride aboard World View's gondola for a measly 75k may just be your ticket.

World View conducted a 1/10 scale, June 18th, to test of the critical systems.  The craft rose to 120,000 feet then descended to  50,000 where it deployed a parafoil which allowed for an uneventful landing. 

Chief technology officer Taber MacCallum wrote in an email to Discovery News - after reviewing the data, engineers will make the necessary changes.  “We anticipate flying both sub-scale unmanned systems and full-mass simulator test articles,”

Air Force Engineer Invents new way to Track Space Debris

AF Engineer Richard Rast has taken on a formidable task, in hopes of keeping present and future astronauts, and their equipment, safe. 

As you might remember, one of my soapbox subjects has been the amount of space debris in orbit around the Earth.  There is roughly 500,000 pieces of debris, all traveling at 17 thousand miles per hour, capable of doing significant damage to astronauts and the vital hardware that is orbiting as well. 

Rast's system could be a low cost augment to the present method which rely on expensive telescopes, radar systems and considerable manpower for analysis.  Rast's method uses small telescopes who's images are then converted to "movies".  From here he :
  • uses the human eye’s sensitivity to detect variations between frames to separate man-made objects from the star background and identify objects the size of just a few centimeters.  (from the Washington Post article HERE)
 Read the complete article HERE