|:: Monday, June 30, 2003 ::|
This one is mostly for Nicole, who is still addicted to the cow-flinging game I posted a while back.
OK, American geeks are suddenly less impressive by comparison (it took me several tries to access this site, so if it doesn't work for you at first, be patient.
The death of Katherine Hepburn marks the end of my dream, sparked by Kate Mulgrew playing Hepburn in a one-woman stage show, that someday that would be turned around and Hepburn would play a really, really old Janeway in a Voyager TV movie, that would therefore actually be good.
Space Walk Of Fame
A space museum in Titusville, FL needs help and has started a petition hoping not to get kicked out of its mall home by the mall's new management. I'm signer 119.
Today In History
The crew of Soyuz 11 died during re-entry on this date in 1971.
Ladies and gentlemen, it's Odo!
You Down With OSP?
More criticism of the Orbital Space Plane. Congress says NASA needs a way to end its reliance on the Shuttle. They say NASA needs to be able to have more people on Station. NASA comes back to them with a vehicle that does all that. Congress says they don't understand why NASA needs this vehicle. Huh? And while it would be great fun to go to Mars, designing a craft with the capability to both do that and ferry astronauts up and down to the Station would be ridiculously impractical. As much as I would love to see a Mars craft also, it would still have to be a seperate vehicle. And even if NASA had a mandate (read: funding) to start working on a Mars mission right now, the agency would still need OSP to continue the mission of the Space Station. And I'm not sure about the criticism that the OSP is no good because NASA will run behind deadline with it. Um, how exactly would switching to a more complicated vehicle help? And, yeah, there's all that development work on the X-33. The only problem with the X-33 was, it didn't work. And wasn't going to be finished any earlier than OSP, if ever.
Under A Yellow Sun
NASA will be studying an Indian man who gets his power from Earth's yellow Sun, apparently in hopes of teaching astronauts to do this.
T -2 days
The launch of the Mars Rover "Opportunity" was scrubbed this weekend and has been delayed until Wednesday. The first launch window that day is at 10:37 p.m. CDT, and another follows 42 minutes later.
|:: Friday, June 27, 2003 ::|
According to Alan Boyle's Cosmic Log, Space Adventures' short list of upcoming space tourists does not feature any celebrities, including James Cameron or Lance Bass, both of whom have expressed an interest in spaceflight. Bass' manager says the Mississippi native is still interested in flying. “We know he will, just not sure of the time. No plans at this time.”
The CAIB has issued a third preliminary recommendation for NASA: Develop on-orbit inspection and repair capabilities for the Shuttle.
O'Keefe has reportedly said he's expecting the final report to be "really ugly," but that the agency will exceed the CAIB's recommendations.
Sometimes you feel like you need a vacation.
Ed Lu has posted the latest in his Greetings, Earthlings series, this one about how cool it is to watch the Earth from space.
NASA 's prototype Helios solar-powered aircraft was destroyed in a crash yesterday. The cause is still undetermined. Just watch the agency needs right now. To some extent, this is exactly what experimental aircraft are created for, but somehow I doubt that will be universally appreciated.
NASAexplores has done two stories about Helios, one about two and a half years ago and the other on Nicole's birthday last year.
More details on the Iraqi Information Minister.
|:: Thursday, June 26, 2003 ::|
Same Day, Different Station
OK, so it may not seem as cool to some as Mindi interviewing Ed Lu on Station, but I just got to talk to Dr. Joe Kerwin, a member of the first crew of Skylab. Very, very cool. He was extremely nice and very helpful. I called him to get information about a pair of NASAexplores articles, one about SAFER, the new EVA jetpack that he helped design, the other, natch, about Skylab. We're doing a story later this summer about the 30th anniversary of Skylab (which is basically May through February), tying it in also to ISS as a successor to that project. However, I ran into an interesting situation when I asked him what his impressions, as a member of the Skylab crew, are of ISS. He had little kind to say about the current Station, arguing that it is too big, and that something smaller would have been a more effective resource, since it would require less expense, operational manpower, fuel, etc.
Foreign Science Concepts
The ESA has just added a new Science Section to its Web portal. Kind of cool.
Christian Science Monitor has an interesting article about how the loss of Columbia has affected the residents of the Texas towns where debris fell.
The Canada Six
X Prize contender Canadian Arrow will today announce six astronaut candidates for its upcoming manned suborbital spaceflight. A total of four of them will fly in the X Prize flights.
On a related note, I learned something I thought was kind of cool. Another X Prize contender, Interorbital Systems, has chosen as its astronaut for its planned flight Wally Funk, who was one of the Mercury 13 female astronaut candidates in the early '60s.
The New Best Comic Ever
This fall, coming to a comic book store near you will be all-new adventures in the world of--oh yes--Tron. The first release will come out shortly after the Tron 2.0 computer game (scheduled for an August release) and will be set in that time period, following the adventures of Alan Bradley's son. That mini-series will be followed in spring by a second series, set in the original Tron universe.
Something PC People Got Right
The NASA homepage, www.NASA.gov, was named the Site Of The Week by PC Magazine.
The thing that made Hatbag great was its ability to excel in any genre. Take, for instance, this science-fiction strip. The combination of otherworldly elements with real-world commentary is the hallmark of all of the greatest science fiction, from The Day The Earth Stood Still to Invasion Of The Body Snatchers to Rollerball.
This Week At NE
This week at NASAexplores, we have a profile of Gene Cernan, the last man to walk on the Moon, and the next part in our series on constellations. Check it out.
NASAexplores staff member Mindi Capp will be interviewing ISS Science Officer Ed Lu today from 10:30 a.m. CDT until 10:50, in NE's first on-orbit interview. The interview can be watched on NASA TV, or on the internet (the link is on the right side of the page below the fold).
|:: Wednesday, June 25, 2003 ::|
Get Rich Quick
What's keeping Alan Shepard's Moon golf ball from being on eBay? Currently, just the fact that it's a little hard to get to. But an effort is underway to change that.
I don't get this strip, but it definitely rips off Lain. If you look at the top of your browser window, it's even named Pumpkin Shirt. Not to mention that it's a computer-generated strip, meaning that it steals from both Pumpkin Shirt and Hatbag. He'll be finding out just how good lawsuits do taste!
Once again, I've received an e-mail in the Liftoff guestbook about the fact that the Wright Brothers did not make the first powered flight. There are reports that there was someone else in the U.S. who made a flight first, but did not document or reproduce it like the Wright Brothers did, and thus his accomplishment was lost. Which may or may not be true. But this is not who I get e-mails about. The one I get e-mails about, and this just puzzles me, is Albert Santos-Dumont, of Brazil, considered the Father of Aviation by other people in Brazil. What fascinates me about this is that nobody claims he flew before the Wright Brothers in 1903. His first flight is universally agreed to have occurred in 1906. So... um... huh? None of the e-mails I have received address this particular discrepency.
Could It Be True?!
MohammedSaeed al-Sahaf ...captured?
T -3 Days
The launch of the second Mars rover, Opportunity, has been scheduled for 10:56 p.m. CDT Saturday.
In a move that comes as a surprise to people who don't read the Daveblog, Columbia Accident Invenstigation Board head Adm. Harold Gehman has announced that he sees no reason that NASA will not be able to resume Shuttle flights on the early-next-year schedule the agency has been discussing (the December date has not been ruled out by the agency, but there are only two says with launch windows that month, so even if Atlantis is ready, it would be difficult to make that schedule). Those relatively quick return-to-flight preparations will likely be followed by extensive ongoing changes in the agency and Shuttle program, however. The CAIB has also said officially that it believes the foam impact is the most probable cause of the loss of Columbia.
There was some discussion during the Hatbag days as to whether Hippie actually used drugs or just talked big, but this strip certainly indicates he does.
Back In The City
The latest issue of the greatest comic book of all time, Astro City, hits stands today.
Bye-bye, Dead Princess Di
So it turns out Princess Di will be the newest addition to the X-Men universe.
And this article responds to that one.
As previously mentioned, the Discovery Channel will be showing its new documentary, 16 Days, about Columbia's final mission, tonight at 9 p.m. CDT, preceded by a new feature on the physics of re-entry at 8 p.m.
|:: Tuesday, June 24, 2003 ::|
I posted this yesterday with one of the links missing, and no one, not even Lain, who was referenced in the second part, mentioned it to me... Here's the corrected part...
Wonder If This Was How Vader Did This...
OK, so this idea in Mark Pett's Lucky Cow strip Sunday would probably suck in real life, but it's cool in concept. And this one is like a little slice of Lain and Dave life, but different.
We Lovesssss It
Ah, those wacky Russians!
Good News, Richie
All you really need in life is this site and a Barnes & Noble. And really, you don't even need to go to the store, you can use the internet for that, too.
My friends, we've come home.
Last week's poll results: If Superman is just going to fight one baddie in his next film, it's going to be Luthor (who received four votes), assuming the next film is made by the Daveblog readership, which could only be a good thing. If Luthor is in a supervillian team-up, his partner would be either Braniac, Zod, or polar bears (each of which received two votes), or some combination thereof. One person wanted to see Superman fight Batman (which is interesting, considering that this has provided some of the greatest comic book battles of all time). And, BTW, I didn't vote this time. Whoops. A grand total of zero people wanted to see Superman fight Doomsday. And, apparently, Superman wouldn't make any money if he saved the world from Solomon Grundy.
For the new poll, I borrowed slightly from Rebecca's blog. Sorry.
Two Years Ago At NE
We don't byline our stories at NASAexplores, since they are all the creation of NASA, but let me just point out that I did NOT write this lead.
Everybody To The Limit!
Homestar Runner and Strong Bad were declared "It" in a recent Entertainment Weekly. If you've missed out on the magic, read this Wired article, and then go to Homestarrunner.com immediately. Start with the Strong Bad e-mails. Great stuff.
Wernher von Braun's brother, Magnus von Braun, died last week in Phoenix, Arizona. He was one of two Peenemunde immigrants to die last week, along with von Braun team member Rudolf Hoelker.
Rosie Future For Robots
Robots as space janitors? Could be...
I've run this one before, I think, but it kind of captured the mood here at You Must Fight The Bear... I've gotten better at minimizing the effect of major failures, but had to spend a good bit of time since yesterday afternoon fixing things I broke on the Daveblog while trying to make improvements. But the results are worth it, at least to me-- better archives, new blog links, and, of course, new bears.
The Hubble Space Telescope may get a 5-year reprieve.
...So new DVDs and CDs are coming out. I'll be buying the Cowboy Bebop movie DVD, but that's probably not a universal taste of Daveblog readers. Of more general interest might be the new, controversial Liz Phair album, also released today (although not available on iTMS). It's not a new release today, but while I'm linking, I'll mention that Dave guilty-pleasure read Douglas Coupland has a new novel out recently, Hey Nostradomus! (There will be a huge announcement [kinda] related to this post soon, but I'm not ready to make it yet. I would say it'll change the way you think about Davebloggin', but it's actually more of a paradigm shift than that. Now I've way overhyped it! That's the mark of a good Web creation!)
This blog has sunk to a new low: Celebrity Rumors! Kevin Smith is apparently losing all that weight using the Atkins diet... so now you know!
|:: Monday, June 23, 2003 ::|
Why Marshall Is Cooler Than Where You Work, Reason No. 342
One day DeeDee's fiance was driving around at Marshall, when he found himself behind a truck carrying cows (for those who haven't been here, there are cowfields on the Arsenal to the north of MSFC proper). On the back of the truck, carrying cows, were three bright triangles. One of the triangles read "Hazardous." The second triangle said "Flammable." And the third triangle read "Radioactive."
12:10: Safari 1.0 released.
12:13: Panther will feature new Finder--"User centric" rather than "Computer centric." Organized more like iTunes or iPhoto (or like old Apple menu, it sounds like). Jobs: "I think we finally got there on the Finder"
12:19: New iDisk stuff, if you're one of those folks paying for DotMac, which you're not.
12:20: Expose: Creates essentially thumbnails of all windows you've got open in all applications. Very cool. Will also show you windows in just any given application. How do you do it: Assign key, assign screen corner "Or if you have a two-button mouse, you can assign the right button of your mouse" If you think we're using two-button mice (and we are), Steve, why don't you make us some? Expose'll also clear all windows and let you see the desktop.
12:26: FileVault locks your Home directory so people can't access sensitive stuff if Laptop is stolen.
12:26: "We've really improved Mail for Panther" Faster, can be organized by thread, addresses are objects for better in-app management.
12:29: Panther has built-in fax capability-- fax button shows up anywhere print button does
12:30: Pixlet (requested by Pixar)--first time studio-grade resolution available on home computer. Use half hi-def for super video playback on G4.
12:35: Preview in Panther is the fastest PDF reader in the world.
12:40: Fast-User Switching--only feature in OS X that Windows beat Apple to, but Apple is (natch) doing it much better (and, of course, prettier).
12:41: Font Book--Pro font management, if you're into that sort of thing.
12:42: iChat--"I've saved the best for last" Now iChat AV--in addition to text chatting, adds audio chatting and/or video chatting-- "It's videoconferencing for the rest of us"--access from buddy list. (This is great--now I'm going to have to buy software AND hardware. Curse you, Steve Jobs!) For those of you not watching at home--Steve just started a video chat with a friend in Paris, so that we could see the Eiffel Tower.
12:52: Steve just received an incoming iChat call from Al Gore. Al--"Seriously, this thing is very cool. This is going to be a great, great thing."
12:54: Free iChat AV preview downloadable today for Jaguar and Panther--expires Dec. 31. Mac to Mac only now--"But as others copy what we do" will incorporate others.
12:56: Panther will ship by end of year, sell for $129.
12:57: iSight--new Apple hardware--video/audio camera to accompany iChat AV (see earlier comments about cursing Steve Jobs). Mounts on top of screen for best angle. Costs $149. Available today (developers at conference get free--long ovation--not fair).
1:02: Xcode--new developer tool for OS X. "We like to be number one"
1:14: G5--It's true--"The fastest personal computer in the world"
1:16: "This thing is a floating-point monster" (Much like a rogue singularity, or a zero-dimensional supervillian)
1:18: They're built entirely by robots--"There are no humans around" (That's just asking for trouble).
1:19: "What a great day for Apple, a great day for IBM" Boy--15 years ago you never would have thought you'd hear that sentence.
1:27: First view of new G5--OK-looking, but not as revolutionary as Steve would like to believe.
1:31: Went to Dell Web site, best PC money can buy not as fast and over $1,000 more expensive than G5.
1:55: Before you rush out and buy your G5, Baker, Steve says within a year they'll have dual 3GHz G5s.
2:05: The End--Steve goes over everything Apple's announced this year--TiBooks, Safari, iPods, iTunes Music Store, Keynote, Panther, G5, iSight, etc., etc., etc. "And the year's only half over"
I'm out of NASA Web site searches, but here's a question sent to the Liftoff Web site:
"I want to ask if the high is important to become an astronaut?"
Addendum: And here are some recent search terms for Hatbag.net, ranked by popularity--"STS-114; Collins Eileen" "naked nintendo" "star wars kid terminator" "Diana Loevy" "hippie facts" "lucky cow comic" "pope joke" "space shuttle stoody balls" "CLinton hippie" "COLONEL REB PICTURES"
Addendum: Dear NASA, Why is Mercury the closest planet to the sun and not pluto."
Ever have one of those experiences where you go back and watch a movie for the first time in quite a while, and are surprised that something you thought you remembered wasn't in it? I watched Space Cowboys (some people call it Maurice, because it speaks of the pompatous of love) last night, and was surprised that it didn't have a scene that I would have sworn I remembered where the bad guy gets his come-uppance at the end. That said, it was also interesting going back and watching the movie now with a better perspective on what was right and wrong with it (several things very wrong, a couple more right than I had realized).
Wonder If This Was How Vader Did This...
OK, so this idea in Mark Pett's Lucky Cow strip Sunday would probably suck in real life, but it's cool in concept. And this one is like a little slice of Lain and Dave life, but different.
Things That Bug Me
No. 243--When people who should know better misuse the term "killer app" (most commonly to describe a great piece of software).
Here's an interesting article about the current state of the Apple-Microsoft relationship, and Apple software development in general.
Mao Speed, John Glenn
Florida Today has an article with highlights of a talk by John Glenn, including passing remarks about China's space program, and what doesn't happen to your eyes in orbit.
Once again, it's the official "Jason Smith Honorary Free Blog Section." If there's something you want to discuss on the blog that I haven't posted about, put it in feedback here and we'll see what we can do.
Tour the galaxy with a cow in this game at HubbleSite.org. More challenging versions exist for those who need them.
ISS Science Officer Ed Lu has posted the fourth in his "Greetings, Earthlings" series of letters from the Station. The most recent installment, slightly more technical than some of the earlier ones, talks about the Russian Progress supply ship, and later gives instructions on making space bruschetta.
Virgin Atlantic airline has upped its offer to buy five Concordes, otherwise soon to be mothballed.
As a Baptist, I feel that Hippie and the Black Guy should be liberated.
Happy Mac Day
Steve Jobs' WWDC Keynote address will start today at noon CDT. I have yet to find info on a Web cast, but here's a list of sites that will post updates during the keynote (one of my co-workers plans to stream it, but fat lot of good that does you).
The History Channel is airing its documentary "Comic Book Superheroes Unmasked" tonight. THe announcement I just read said 9 p.m., but I don't know of that's CDT, so check local listing for showtimes. Um, if you care.
Two Towers, Four Discs
DVDfile has info on the four-disc Two Towers special edition which will be released on Nov. 18.
|:: Saturday, June 21, 2003 ::|
I know we've done this one not that long ago, but I want to dedicate it today to Col. Reb.
After Sen. Orrin Hatch's comments about wanting to destroy people's computers, this is just too sweet.
|:: Friday, June 20, 2003 ::|
Hutts Keep Falling From Space
In the classic Star Wars children's books series that included such titles as "Mission From Mount Yoda" and "The Glove Of Darth Vader," Trioculus, who claims to be the son of Emperor Palpatine dumps evil gangster Zorba The Hutt (known anywhere by his trademark laugh--"Ahawhawhawhawhaw") into the Sarlacc pit from his spaceship over Tatooine. I'm not 100 percent sure this was done from orbit, but for the sake of this post, we're assuming it was. This article explains why the plan would not really have worked (and also why astronauts couldn't drop bowling balls from space).
The Richie Series, Part VII
Things sought on NASA Web sites
--Teaching NASA a few things
--technical designes, electronics, layauts, ingeniering
--tenth planet info
--terraforming, howto, latest, recomended courses
--The information I need to poop.
--THE POSSIBLE FUTURE
--the women of NASA (which is a perfectly acceptable search, except that it sounds like a Playboy pictorial)
--Things for Youth
--to have a look of future and trying to see the world as better as i can for new ideas
--trying to find out whether NASA is responsible for its own publications
--Want to see the ferret dance!!!!!
--wat do you do in a Roket
--webcams to show my kids. To actually be able to bring space and antartica home for my kids to see.
--What are space makers?
--What does atmosphere and surface look like up close and personal.
--what happend too the engyn
--what is the most important eating utensil? (This will be the poll next week)
--Why there are people homossexual
Col. Reb Update
One of my friends sent an e-mail with his thoughts about the Col. Reb situation, which I'm republishing here without his permission:
It's official, ladies and germs: by order of AD Boone, Colonel Reb will no longer be a part of Ole Miss football. He MAY be allowed to wander the Grove before games, although the issue of "after" is still tentatively negative as well. He simultaneously announced search to come up with a new mascot to "better represent the traditions of Ole Miss Rebel football."
Uh...it's right there in the name, jack---: "rebels."
Of course, it's now only a matter of time until we officially become the world's stupidest focus-group team, the "Ole Miss Express"...that gets used now on the Jumbotron. I thought that was my MEAL CARD, a-hole.
This, on the heels of discovering that the tag team of Khayat & Staton had paid some city folk up in...NEW YORK CITY?!...to come up with ideas for scrapping our vestiges of the past. I got one: our Provost is outdated, an unfortunate link to the evils of the past. Let's revamp HER a--.
Carolyn Staton's home number available upon request.
An interesting article about the way the internet has affected movie-making. That said, I knew Batman Forever was horrible without any help from Harry Knowles.
When I just read the teaser, I was prepared to bash this article about the difficulties of going to Mars, since it was from Popular Science, which missed the mark on the Hulk/Terminator fight yesterday. It turns out, however, that it's a James Oberg article, and pretty well written. I'm not saying I agree with 100 percent of it, but it's a pretty decent overview. I think he's right that an earlier mission to Mars would have proved catastrophic, but I think he makes some of the challenges bigger than they are.
Oh no, SOHO!
(Here's the status as of yesterday.)
The Rationalizing Officially Begins Today
There have been rumors that Apple will announce the G5 during the WWDC convention next week, but the fact that this was posted on the Apple store briefly early this morning seems to confirm it. Not a bad little machine, from the looks of it.
By the way, yesterday marked four months of Davebloggin'.
I think I've done this one before, but what better strip for a day when I link to something about Monkey Pox!!!
Good Work If You Can Get It
Man, I would so take a job that involved yelling, "MONKEY POX!!!"
|:: Thursday, June 19, 2003 ::|
I just finished Christopher Buckley's lastest novel, "No Way To Treat A First Lady," published late last year. In the back, as is the wont of some humor writers, he includes in his bio a mix of actual facts and outlandish faux accomplishments. Take, for example, this sentence: "He is also credited with bringing about lasting peace in the Middle East, and with alerting NASA to significant problems with its Space Shuttle Automatic Re-entry Guidance System [SSARGS], thereby sparing several square blocks of Raleigh, North Carolina, a very unpleasant surprise."
The Richie Series, Part VI
More things people looked for on NASA education sites:
--planets of the apes
--poop poop poop poop poop poop poop poop poop poop poop poop poop poop poop
--reliable, with no flaws. And I found no flaws
--slavery drinking gourd
--some finasial assment ,i am from india
--something with magnetic prepaltion (dum)
--Space farming ("Space ... wheat, space ... corn")
--space hygiene but it won't copy to microsoft word
--Star Trek, fact or fantasy?
--STUDY IN THIS FIELD AFTER BEING GRADUATE
--Stuff about Pluto for a school investigation also you need better pictures on pluto they are fuzzy
--successful American women - where is Sandra Day O'Connor?
Linus And Lu ... See?
I just watched ISS Science Officer Ed Lu play the Peanuts theme on a keyboard in orbit. He plays pretty well, too. Kinda cool.
Return To Flight Update
NASA is going to announce soon that it will return to flight in April. Or possibly December. Or sometime in between. According to reliable reports. Basically, the date is supposed to be announced officially within about six weeks, apparently, which is to say, shortly after the CAIB report is released. At this point, the CAIB is in the process of weaving its findings into its final report, so most of the immediate issues have basically already been identified. The CAIB has been working with NASA during the process, so the agency has a pretty good idea what those issues are going to be. It sounds like the December launch is less likely, but first quarter '04 is sounding pretty reasonable. A big consideration will likely be whether it's decided to have the mission be a crew-exchange flight. On a side note, according to the Spaceflight Now article, the agency is even starting to back away from the no-more-night-launches rule that was proposed.
Being to be...
MacNN found a Japanese site that told how to run Mac System 7.5.3, and linked to a Babelfish translation of the page, which I imagine would help greatly.
I was trying to find something computer/blog related, but was too lazy to come up with anything better than this.
Welcome To The Blog Collective! Resistance Is Futile
Joe now has his own blog, named "Idle Ramblings," interestingly enough. This is a little name I stole from Joe, and now he's stealing it back. Unlike my blog, Joe has decided to have actual content on his, so I was relieved to see he wasn't cutting into my lucrative steal-material-from-NASAwatch-and-Dave-Barry niche. Check it out.
His wife, Rebecca, also has her own blog, what would gilligan do?, but since she's too good for posting on the Dave blog, I'm not going to promote it at all.
And for those who prefer more minimalism in their blogs, there's still Yoda's Mud Hut.
This Week At NE
This week at NASAexplores, we have a story about the Summer Solstice, which it Saturday, and about astronaut Janet Kavandi (whom I didn't get to talk to, but is still cool anyway).
Get Your Own Material, Popular Science
Lest anyone doubt who the true pop culture elite are, go back a couple of days to the feedback for the Alien vs. Predator post, and note that Lain proposed this very fight! Popular Science and CNN are stealing ideas from the Dave blog! How cool is that?
Lain, who sent me this article, notes that their logic is somewhat flawed, since it assumes a direct one-on-one physical battle. All Skynet would have to do is send a Terminator back in time when they knew Banner wasn't the Hulk (or before the Gamma bomb), and it's all over.
|:: Wednesday, June 18, 2003 ::|
Colonel Reb, RIP
OK, this kind of ticks me off. Joe just sent me an article saying that Ole Miss has ditched Colonel Reb as its mascot. There has been talk (as reported earlier on this blog) of trying to find a replacement, but the University is not even doing that. Ole Miss will simply have no mascot for football season, and will continue with no mascot until a new one is found. The article states that there are no plans to change the names "Ole Miss" or "Rebels," meaning that theoritically Ole Miss could end up with a team called the Rebels with something else entirely as its mascot (hey, if it works for Alabama and Auburn, right?--and I guess theoretically they could just get a different "Rebel" as a mascot... possibly James Dean or Princess Leia). I'm ticked off, and not really sure what to do about it. I've already paid my alumni dues for this year, so I can't refuse to do that.
For some interesting reading, check out this Daily Mississippian article from just 9 days ago.
Jocasta sent me this: WHY EXPLORE SPACE? By Dr. Ernst Stuhlinger.
The Richie Series, Part V
More things to look for on NASA education sites:
--Lesson plans that might be useful
--lots of your girl pics
--Name of a shuttle in 1991
--NASA is like a dictionary, looking for a specifict ..., usually lends itself to further exploration.
--none of your business
--NOTHING I HATE THIS SITE AND PLANET EARTH CLASS!!!!!
--overall info re: how nasa organized and what they are excited about - less boring old white guy pix
--overall quiz on every thing there is to know about the universe like: cosmology, astrophysics,...
--Photos of planets to put into my six year old daughter's luch pack for school.
--Picthers of space
--pictures of alaska and people
--pictures of primary consumer
Refrigerator Full Of Hot Dogs
I wonder when the last time Refrigerator Perry was in the news prior to this, and how famous you have to be at your peak in order for this to still be national news over a decade later. And how many hot dogs I could eat in 12 minutes. Hey, it would be OK on my diet.
Apple responds to the IE cancellation, and Microsoft agrees.
I got back a signed copy of Gene Kranz' Failure Is Not An Option in the mail yesterday.
Computers, Down The Hatch
Lain sent me this article about Sen. Orrin Hatch's plan to destroy computers. I'm just an ignorant layman, but to me, this is a phenomenal lawsuit just waiting to happen. There are too many legal and quasi-legal uses of sharing technology for me to believe that nobody would get their computer destroyed wrongfully. Perhaps as a practice run, Hatch could wander parking lots with a sledge hammer beating the crap out of anybody's car that has one of those Calvin stickers. Not only would that serve as a good test of the legal ramifications, but I would pay good money for a video of it.
Space Bass II?
Space Tourism is back... or will be in the next couple of years. OK, so maybe that's not big news. More interesting, though, possibly, is that it's a more serious endeavor this time. Past space tourists Dennis Tito and Mark Shuttleworth (and would-be tourist Lance Bass) simply filled an available third seat on planned Soyuz replacement missions to ISS, allowing the Russians to make a little money off an already-planned mission. Now, U.S.-based Space Adventures, RSC Engergia, and the RSA have announced plans for a purely commercial flight to ISS. One of the Soyuz's three seats will, of course, be taken by the cosmonaut commander, but the other two will both be filled by paying customers, who would then get to spend a week aboard station. Space Adventures says it has a roster of 10 people currently preparing for spaceflight. The story notes that RSA has not yet brought the plan before NASA or other ISS partners. While the plan will likely be approved, since it helps fund Russia's beleaguered space efforts, I can't imagine NASA will be happy about the prospect of TWO tourists on ISS at the same time.
I Loved This Spacecraft As A Boy
The ESA's Automated Transfer Vehicle has successfully passed its Critical Design Review, clearing the way for the construction of the first ATV, Jules Verne, to be assembled for a September 2004 flight. The unmanned craft will take on some of the Space Station supply duties currently filled by the Russian Progress craft.
What's Up, Relatively Speaking?
Have a question for the crew of the Space Station? Spaceflight Now will be conducting a live interview with the Expedition 7 crew on Tuesday, June 24, and is giving readers a chance to submit questions (Permalink unavailable, mail link is on site homepage). This blog will be passing on the opportunity, since Mindi Capp of the NASAexplores team has an interview with ISS Science Officer Ed Lu two days later. We've had the honor of interviewing several astronauts at NE, but this will be the first time any of us have actually talked to an astronaut IN SPACE. Kind of cool.
|:: Tuesday, June 17, 2003 ::|
In accordance with Lain's suggestion in feedback that we make a Huntsville to Oxford Hatbag to steal the biggest comic strip record, I got together with some of NASA's Moon
hoax landing people, and we got it done. So here you go, Lain.
Taking Care Of NASA Business
OK, I just came across the coolest NASA contract I've seen thus far. Analex Corporation has a contract with NASA to provide Expendable Launch Vehicle Integrated Services. That's right, the ELVIS contract. I'm jealous.
So imagine a Lucky Cow comic strip (not this one in particular, imagine one that hasn't run yet). Only imagine it big. Really big. Big enough you can read it from far away...like a low-flying plane. In other words, 67,000 times bigger than in the newspaper. Students at Gentry High School in Indianola worked with cartoonist Mark Pett to attempt to set a world record, assembling what is believed to be the World's Largest Comic Strop at 135 feet wide by 47 feet high--big enough to cover 35 school buses. Documentation on the feat is being send to the Guinness Book in hopes of making it official.
Addendum: Here's the info, including pictures, about the project on Mark's Web site.
The Richie Series, Part IV
More things sought on NASA education sites (BTW, Richie--you still enjoying these, or is this too much?):
--I don't have any information.
--I JUST KNOW THAT THERE IS OTHER LIFE IN THE UNNI. AND I HAVE PROF TO PROVE IT.NISH
--i need recoures for math- english-history-science.
--i want to buy star for my frind and i wan o name it by her anem so how can i reech to this site?
--I will love to go to space
--ideas of what to assess students about volcanoes in a classeoom.
--If flamingos can survive in space living only with penguins as their sidekicks.
--If the planet Mars were colonized what effect would it have on education?
--im doing a report on three different plants
--info to help me study and revise
--information about the sun being a source of heat for 2nd graders
--Instrumentation & electronica
--is the truth out there
--Its possibol images of Italy THANK-YOU
--Jupders wehther paterns
Enjoy today's cyber-strip.
Shenzhou 5 Update
China is still on course to undertake its first manned spaceflight this year, though possibly later than rumored. Of course, if you're China, you definitely want to get it right when you do launch, but I sure wouldn't want to wait so long I lost out on being the third entity with manned space launch capability. Putting two taikonauts into orbit would help make it somewhat more impressive, though only for those who understand the historical significance.
Addendum: And lest anyone think anything definitive is known about the Chinese plans, Space.com has a note today saying that Chinese officials have announced that the flight will definitely be launched in autumn.
Alright, I finally have a new poll up. Hope you're happy, Lain... Sorry for the delay.
Results for the last poll were as follows:
What is the best comic strip ever?
4% - Arlo & Janis (1 vote)
14% - Bloom County (4 votes)
14% - Peanuts (4 votes)
54% - Calvin & Hobbes (15 votes)
11% - Cathy (3 votes)
4% - Other (1 vote)
Alien vs. Predator ... vs. POLAR BEAR!
OK, I agree... this is stupid.
If you're like me, you'll be glad to know that The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy movie is not completely dead, just bogged down in deep turnaround.
On Wed., June 25, at 9 p.m. CDT, the Discovery Channel will air "16 Days," a program about Columbia's final mission. Someone within the agency who's seen a preview says it it "masterful and touching." It will be preceeded by a 1-hour program about the physics of re-entry.
|:: Monday, June 16, 2003 ::|
Even More For Richie
Hoping to win the Richie Younce Community Service Award, this blog offers even more things people have looked for on NASA education Web sites:
--For a education about crashing on the moon
--General Information on Mountain gorillas
--get in to the nasa procedure
--getting new ladies friends
--hisstory of space exploration (I would like to think this one was Cobra Commander)
--How age of things seen are determined
--how did it work and why was it invented
--how do astronaugh
--how old is president clinton
--how old the gay moon rocks are
--How the mission took pace and if gravity michines are in space ships.
--How they know when to launch rockets because of the rays around the earth
--how to be the girls in the cages
--How to become a satellite model expert
--how to get work experiance
--How to make a bottle rocket in new ways.
--How to prepare for the lessons
--HOW TP PREDIT SNOW STORMS
Far be it from this blog to brag, but its blogmaster and a good portion of its audience did well at the MPA awards this past weekend.
I won second place in both the best spot news and best general news category, and together with Jim Abbott and David Rushing won first place for Community Service (likely part of the same mentality that led to this blog).
Joe Gurner claimed third place for best sports news story, first for best general news photograph, first for best editorial page, third for best editorials, and third for best special section or issue (co-won with Barbara Harrington, who likely doesn't read this blog, and thus probably didn't contribute anything substantial). Just going to further prove that while Joe is a very talented newspaper man, he can't write a news story to save his life. Seriously, though, congrats, Joe.
Chris Allen Baker also won several awards. But since he's too stuck up to read this blog, I won't mention them here.
Return To Flight Update
On NASA's to-do list from CAIB: names: bolt catchers, hold-down posts, flowliners and "Stoody" balls (from The NYT, reg. required).
Eating At Cafe ISS
Ed Lu has posted the third in his now-named Greetings, Earthlings series. The latest installment is about eating on the International Space Station.
I'm not the biggest fan of Marvel Comics, but I was entertained by this quote from Mark Waid, whom Marvel just fired from the Fantastic Four comic:
"A few weeks ago, Bill [Jemas] phoned and tried to convince me to jettison our high-adventure approach and everything else we've been doing in favor of making the FF a wacky suburban dramedy where Reed's a nutty professor who creates amazing but impractical inventions, Sue's the office-temp breadwinner, the cranky neighbor is their new "arch-enemy", etc. Editor Tom Brevoort and I discussed that option at length; ultimately, I apologized and explained that I didn't feel it was something I could write nor something that played to any of my strengths--a radical revamp like that was just too much of a departure from what I was originally hired to write. I simply, honestly, couldn't even wrap my head around the idea. Still can't. And when word came back, 'We'll use that concept somewhere else. Tell Mark to keep doing what he's doing,' all seemed well."
X Prize Update
The X Prize Foundation has rejected a potential contestant on the grounds that its proposed technology was too outlandish.
Hungary-based Gravity Control Technologies hopes to develop a propellantless propulsion system by harnessing ambient energy, and use it for space tourism.
Two things strike me as interesting about this. One is that the X Prize would reject a potential candidate simply because the foundation found it unlikely they would win. The second is that GCT would even try to enter the contest, since they aren't planning on having a working prototype until 2012, more than 7 years after the completition is over.
On an unrelated note, you'll notice I've moved my X Prize link in the side bar from the Cool Links section to the Me At A Glance section, reflecting the fact that I've paid X Prize membership dues (prior, BTW, to this article).
Here you go.
Confirming earlier speculation on this blog, Microsoft has announced that no further versions of Internet Explorer will be released for the Mac, a result of Microsoft's decision to integrate its browser into its OS, following its confirmation that it is, in fact, more powerful than the U.S. government. I'm sure it's a big shame, but given how far superior Apple's Safari browser is, I have a hard time getting too upset about it. I still use IE every once in a while when I run into bugs in Safari, but I'm sure my current version of IE will last me until Apple gets those worked out.
One Bad Apple...
Some of the computers stolen from the Memphis Apple Store have been recovered.
Today is the 40th anniversary of the flight of Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space.
On a related note, Wednesday will be the 20th anniversary of the flight of Sally Ride.
USA Today offers a preview of what will be included in the extended cut of The Two Towers.
In other DVD news, Sept. 2 will mark the release of a new two-disc special edition of Monty Python's Meaning of Life, which, when I last watched it, was not my favorite Python movie, but that's been a while.
The Astrobot Diaries
You can follow the progress of NASA's two new Mars rovers through the e-mail blogs of their onboard Lego astrobots.
Check out this Wired article for the behind-the-scenes story.
|:: Saturday, June 14, 2003 ::|
Almost missed a day of bloggin', but here you go.
|:: Friday, June 13, 2003 ::|
More about Ole Miss and NASA, from the San Fran Chronicle, which can now safely report that lightning probably didn't bring down Columbia. This one even has a cool picture to go with it. (Haven't read much about MSU helping with the investigation, DeeDee...)
JPL has archived video of the MER launch earlier this week. It's not quite 3 minutes long, but it's good watching. Especially if you missed the launch, you should check it out.
Speaking Of Robots
How comforting is this line from an actual NASA project: "The SodaPup robot hardware platform is a Nomad 200 mobile base with a rotatable turret."
More For Richie
A few more things people have looked for on NASA education sites (from my older, better list):
--a blue planet know for water[not earth]
--A really good photograph of Comma Berenice
--About the astranuts, how to become one.
--about how to evacuate the city befor it hits
--a good one that has a lot of information
--adaptations of animals to exteme conditions- seals, whales, penguins
--all information in specific
--astronomy info. for making an educatinal CD for a collage class
--Beatefull pictures and god information
--Books on how to build rockets(Real big ones)
--Cheese that look like stars
--complicated science facts
--Conection whit a speace Station
--do the venus have moon?
--eduacational activities and info for elementary students
--eduational resources and employmet oppertunities
--educaitonal online programs
--education chances for indian students in nasa and address of person working in mars
--education prorograms,researcches,applying for a job
--Education reasons We love it!
--Educational Program Schedule with Desc. of Prog. i.e. Th. Nov. 21 Ed. File "Rocks" Yatta, Yatta
--Evidence of humans who have actually been in space
--experiments about supernovas
--find facilities in experiencing non gravitational fields
The Mississippi and Georgia residents reading the blog might find this interesting.
Ah, to be young again.
A valuable lesson in science.
"The Fastest PC On Earth"
The G5 is coming (supposedly), but there's no reason to get excited, according to this article, even though it will rock amazingly hard. While I respect this writer's opinions, I have to disagree a little. While his points were valid a few years ago, and to some degree today, Apple does offer the once-fabled under-$1,000 Mac today. The G5 won't be for people who want that. The G5 will be for people who want the best machine on Earth. And, yeah, are willing to pay a little more to have it. Luxury items cost more, that's the way things work. The amount I paid for my G4 FP iMac would have bought a good bit of PC, but it wouldn't have compared. And it wouldn't have bought me anything like the iTunes, iMovie, iDVD, iPhoto package that came free with my computer. And that's not counting the maintenance I haven't had to pay for buying a Mac. Or the security of being able to not worry at all when new viruses are announced. Or the pleasure of sitting back and laughing every couple of weeks when a major new security flaw is discovered in Windows or Outlook.
Being a sucker for unusual currency, I'm all for more $2 bills. In fact, just today I have my wife trying to replinish our supply of dollar coins.
A woman in Texas claims to have heard a microcassette recorded by astronauts on Columbia, possibly during its last moments. If true, it would be very interesting.
Spaceref.com has a pretty thorough summary of the current CAIB status.
If I Go Crazy...
Green meteor rocks? Hmmm.... never know when those might come in handy.
|:: Thursday, June 12, 2003 ::|
Wanna Act? Made Of Metal?
Joe sent me this article about robot casting opportunities (I'm sure there's a "cast iron" joke in there somewhere, but this blog's not going looking for it).
Man On Mars
There are no words to describe how brilliant this is (Be sure to follow the Coca-Cola link, but only after you finish reading the front page).
CDs On Infinite Earths
This is exactly the sort of thing we would have discovered in an alternate universe where The Daily Mississippian was dedicated to science instead of journalism. (Link stolen from DeeDee, who stole it from someone else, who still didn't have anything to do with the original site in the first place.)
What We Really Need Is A Lott-Moore Memoirs
I wasn't originally going to post this story about Trent Lott considering writing a book, but I loved the quote:
"I'm going to tell all," said the Mississippi Republican. "Whoo-ee, there are going to be a lot of nervous people around here."
This Week At NE
The profile I did based on my interview with Return To Flight Shuttle Commander Eileen Collins is now online at NASAexplores, along with an article about constellations.
A Space Story
Six-flight veteran astronaut Story Musgrave has a new DVD out, and you can get signed copies here. BTW, is anyone is interested in orderig the Marvin or Daffy MER patches for $5 each, contact me off-blog.
"The Disastrous Crash Of The Shuttle Challenger"
This is why editors are a good thing to have.
A little more about the Orbital Space Plane, from The Huntsville Times.
Soybeans From Space!
The soybeans grown on ISS are much like Earth-grown soybeans.
Return To Flight
According to Space.com, the NET Dec. 18 date for the next launch is now relatively official, and the new working date for ISS US Core Complete status is Feb. 2005, approximately a full year after the pre-107 date. In addition to the changes I mentioned yesterday, there is also talk of limiting Shuttle missions to those that go to either ISS or Hubble. The irony there was that STS-107 was the only exception to that in quite a while, and it was done essentially a congressional mandate that NASA not stop doing Shuttle science during ISS construction.
Hot, computer-generated toplessness.
For Richie stuff about Antartica
Things people have looked for at a set of six NASA education sites:
gorillas (gorillas, in several variations, was possibly the most commonly-sought item)
volcanoes and s--- (editing mine)
Nasa University Registrar or Records for education verification of job applicant.
what should i do in order to come and see how it works?any project?
information regarding the space
follow the drinking gourd
retards in undies
studing oppurtunity to be a astrounemas
anything to do with valley fever
Missing college friend
(Actually, though, these aren't as good as some in the past... I'll try to find my better list)
|:: Wednesday, June 11, 2003 ::|
Another Return To Flight Update
Future Shuttle launches will occur only in daylight, and more rigorous inspections will be conducted before launch.
Journalist Space Camp
While I was in Indianola, I glanced through Jim's March copy of American Journalism Review, which had two articles, Lost In Space? and Taking A Walk On Space, about space program reporting, written in the wake of the Columbia accident. Not necessarily endorsing them, just thought I'd post them in case anyone was interested.
One of the articles references the master's thesis: "REPORTING ON SPACE: A Primer for Journalists Covering Space," which is a 56-page-long .pdf file.
By The Way
You should move to Huntsville!
(thanks to DeeDee, who would rather live in Starkville).
Now, we'll likely never get a chance to read Saddam Hussein's fourth novel, "Get Out Of Here, Curse You!"
The Rain In Space...
Recordings of rain and frogs were among the cargo of the Progress supply ship that docked with ISS today.
This blog will assume this strip was meant for pure entertainment value.
Interesting article on the potential futures of the Hubble Space Telescope, largely focusing on its pending retirement.
According to The Huntsville Times yesterday, Sean O'Keefe has told the NASA Advisory Council that it's time to stop the "leisure tour of design," on the Orbital Space Plane and get down to business, shaving two years off of the proposed deadline, though this article is a little unclear on that point. The article states that O'Keefe said that goal was to have OSP "ferrying station crews" by 2008 instead of 2010, but I believe '10 was the date just for crew return capability, not launch capability. Other than that, it's a pretty detailed article. I'll be curious to see how this plays. There's been a lot of criticism on NASA for not having an alternative or companion to the Shuttle ready before the 2010, so that should make those critics happy, but I'm curious whether this will open the agency up to criticism that it is "rushing" things (which would likely be unfair, since OSP involves primarily existing and tested technologies).
X Prize Update
While the main focus of this article is X Prize contenders' views on continuing on after Columbia, it also includes information on some of the competitors that I had not heard as much about.
Addendum: I'd been waiting to get my copy of Wired to read their X Prize article, but it was on my news summary page today, and I had to note that according to the article, SpaceShipOne may make its first spaceflight this summer, meaning that Scaled Composites would actually beat China to become the third entity into space. I'm sure the Chinese will take the position that the Soviet Union did when the U.S. launched Shepard and Grissom, that it doesn't count unless you can orbit the Earth, but still, it's kind of an interesting turn of events.
Return To Flight Update
According to Space.com, NASA is nearing approval of a new design for the ET bipod ramp which would eliminate the foam which is the current leading suspect for the loss of Columbia. According to the article, the new design could be implemented prior to the Dec. 18 launch planning date.
Meanwhile, another reader notes that the soundtrack to Pixar's latest movie is not yet available: "Just saw Finding Nemo this weekend and according to the end credits, the soundtrack is available in stores. I find it odd, however, that it's not available in the iTunes Music Store. Given that Jobs runs both Apple and Pixar, you'd think new Pixar soundtracks would be available right away in the ITMS."
Maybe I'm just reading the wrong things, but I would really love a good explanation for what's on iTMS and what's not, and why somethings are and then later aren't.
Giant Robot Alert
Alright, Joe, since you didn't like the last live-action, giant-robot movie news I posted here for you, whatta think of this? I know I'll go see it.
Indy Film Update
A few new details have been released about the Indiana Jones four-disc boxed set, coming November 12.
|:: Tuesday, June 10, 2003 ::|
OK, I'm dumb, but can somebody explain this to me please.
MER-A is succesfully on its way! Launch was beautiful! If you get a chance to watch a re-broadcast, you really ought to. The RocketCam was fantastic--you could see the boosters falling away and the Earth getting smaller below.
Reflections Of The King
Also new in stores today is Reflections, the newest album by my pal B.B. King (the album is also available on the iTunes Music Store, where you can listen to previews of the songs). During his press conference last week, King said that the album is completely unlike anything he's ever done before. Maybe a little less bluesy and a little more crooner-y. Several covers, including "Always On My Mind" and "What A Wonderful World." The previews I listened to on iTunes sounded pretty good.
Prior to this past weekend, You Must Fight The Bear had not gone a day without updates since it started on Feb. 19, and there had only been one day that I had not blogged personally. However, during my weekend trip to MS, there were no updates for three days in a row, largely because I did not have internet access during that time. Blogger offers a feature called Audio Blogger, in which you can call in blog entries that are posted on your blog as mp3 files, but it's a fee service. It would, however, prevent blog-free days, even if the content were not the usual quality YMFTB stuff. Anyway, DeeDee recently used AudioBlogger during an away day, and I would appreciate it if y'all would be willing to try it, and see what y'all think. Would you want me to do that on days that I couldn't blog otherwise, or would it be too much trouble? Is a 7 1/2 hour country music concert made any better by the presence of Kid Rock and Uncle Kracker?
Feedback is appreciated.
I was surprised to discover during my visit back to Mississippi that they have air-conditioning there. Who'da thunk?
One More Try
Launch of the NASA Mars Exploration Rover "Spirit" is currently scheduled for 12:58:47 p.m. CDT today, with the weather forecast calling for a 70 percent chance of favorable conditions this time (a second launch opportunity occurs today at 1:36:49 p.m. CDT). The launch will be broadcast and webcast on NASA TV (check the bottom right of the page for the link to watch NASA TV online).
There was a typo in The Huntsville Times last night that mildly amused me: "Hillary Clinton: Gotta lover her, gotta hate her"
The Right Stuff comes out on DVD today. Buy your copy now!
|:: Monday, June 09, 2003 ::|
A True Rocket Barbie
Air And Space Magazine has a very funny article by Homer Hickam about building a rocket Barbie. How far wrong can you go with any story that contains the quote, "Well, put your money where your mouth is, NASA boy!"
I just got around to noticing that the link I posted Thursday about Ole Miss contributing to the Columbia investigation went to the AFI heroes and villians list. The correct link is here.
Richie mentioned this weekend that he enjoys the posts about what people come to the Hatbag site looking for, so here's some of the most recent search strings. The number one search is "STS-114; Collins Eileen". Number two is "LASIK eye surgery NASA astronaut", which was in the post about JoCasta meeting Leland Melvin. We hope we were able to help whoever was looking for the information. Number four is "da pits" which I still don't understand. The ever-popular "naked nintendo" made the list again this month. Also in the top ten was "pope joke". Hippie lovers looked for "a picture of a hippie" and "hippie facts". But the coolest search of all, though, was "bernstein vs. the martians". I'm really curious as to what that person was looking for. I just ran the search, and nothing really stood out (though I was pleased to note Google listed my site as the top result).
India Space Update
OK, so now India does plan to send people into space. Well, at least as of last month.
Ask Not For Whom The Cowbell Tolls... It Tolls For Humanity
This blog has been steadfast in its efforts to warn the world of the danger of the coming robot holocaust, and takes no joy in what it must report today. Anyone who knows anything of the future history of robots oppresing humanity knows that the turning point is the development of artificial intelligence for machines. So, when you imagine the robot boot stepping on your face forever, know that the inscription on the steel heel will be "Mississippi State University."
The CAIB has granted a sneak peek to The Orlanda Sentinel of its upcoming "voluminous" report on the Columbia accident.
This strip doesn't really have anything to do with anything, but after the Hatbag drought this weekend, y'all should be grateful for what you can get.
The launch of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover A, which had been scheduled for yesterday and delayed until today has now been delayed again, until tomorrow. In related news, the agency announced yesterday that the two rovers would be named "Spirit and Opportunity," with Spirit being the first to launch.
And On The Other End Of The Spectrum
This article has some interesting stuff to say about one of the sites I'm curating. To find it quickly, go to the bullet about "Don't Cheap Out..."
And The Award Goes To...
NASA won two Webby Awards last week for outstanding Web sites. The NASA homepage won a Webby for the Government category, and the Earth Observatory took the prize in the Education category. Both sites also won People's Voice prizes in the public voting.
Addendum: Also winning a Webby was the space-related site Explore Mars Now.
Goddard Space Flight Center's Web offerings include this on the Science of Trek, NASA-style.
|:: Thursday, June 05, 2003 ::|
Unauthorized non-NASA CAIB update
I imagine that if David were in bloggin' range, he'd point out that the foam-firing test he mentioned earlier was postponed due to bad weather.
All this, and Apple II
Hi, boys and girls...substitute blogger Lain here, reminding you that it's the 26th birthday of the Apple II. Ah, the ol' Apple II...what a computer it Woz.
Ole Miss is contributing to the Columbia investigation.
Good Guys, Bad Guys
I had hoped that by waiting a while to post it, I could come up with something insightful or witty to say about the AFI's Top Heroes and Villians List, but I can't. That said, looking at the way they have the list formatted on their site, I wish somebody would come up with stories based on the way they have them matched up.
Who wouldn't like to see a courtroom drama with Atticus Finch and Hannibal Lecter.
"No, Mr. Bond... I am your father."
I don't know exactly what a Rick Blaine/Wicked Witch Of The West movie would entail, but how could it not be cool?
"Every time a bell rings, a demon goes to hell."
Han Solo vs. the Alien would be a good fight.
But, oh, man, who would not watch a movie in which Oskar Schindler takes on the HAL 9000... that would be the greatest movie ever!
Also good would be No. 20, in which pits Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid against man.
"Spartacus... I'll be back!"
I know I'd go see Woodward and Bernstein vs. the Martians.
"Lou Gehrig was the luckiest man alive... until The Shining's Jack Torrance came to town!"
Cut out the middleman, and just have Zorro himself fight the Joker--that would free Batman up to fight Hans Gruber ("Yippie-Kay-Ay, Batman").
"The greatest trick Skynet ever planned was making the world believe the Terminator didn't exist."
If You Build It...
A New Zealand man is building his own cruise missile.
My great-uncle helped develop the guidance system for the Pershing II missile. I always thought that when the Pershings were mothballed, they should have given them to the team members as souveniers. I can just imagine what it would have done for neighborhood detente if Uncle Ken had the bomb.
Program Your TiVo Now
According to collectSpace, the History Channel will air in August a documentary based on Flight Director Gene Kranz' autobiography, "Failure Is Not An Option."
This first of NASA's two June Mars probe launches has been officially set for NET1:06 p.m. CDT on Sunday. The launch will be webcast, which I assume means it will also be on NASA TV.
We Are Looking For Nuclear Wessels
If you're interested, here's an article about NASA's Project Prometheus nuclear systems initiative.
Getting To Know The Neighbor
NASA is seeking proposals for an unmanned lunar sample return mission, possibly, according to this article, to be carried out by the end of the decade. If the probe is succesful in finding water ice, it could help pave the way for man to return to the Moon. One could argue that a more effective way of searching would be to send people, but, hey, let's not get carried away.
The Other Mars Mission
I've been posting the news about this summer's ESA and NASA Mars Missions, but Japan actually has its own Mars probe launched 5 years ago, that should be arriving around the same time.
Foam fired at a piece of Discovery is expected to bring the CAIB closer to its final thoughts on the Columbia accident.
The auction for the mysterious Sputnik on eBay reached $99,999,999, but has apparently been removed.
I'm Going To Avoid The Obvious "D'oh" Headline Here
Coming to DVD in September is the Simpsons Treehouse of Horror. Guessing from the article, I'm assuming it's just the first one, though it would be really, really cool if it were the entire series (actually, it seems like the first one is already on DVD in the first season set ...). So I know basically nothing. Boy, this was a wasted post. And I'm just making it worse by continuing to write. I guess I could end this post here.
Apparently, Hollywood's plan is to make people forget how bad most of the junk they're releasing now is by ruining everything that was once good and pure.
Lain and I have been saying it for years, so here's your chance to jump in on the coolest catchphrase in comic book history. (Um, it's Black Guy's last line in the strip. Trust me, it works).
This Week At NASAexplores
Two new articles this week at NASAexplores, plus a cool bonus:
Re-creating History: This year is being celebrated as the centennial of the Wright Brothers' first flight. But, a group of NASA engineers are marking the occassion by honoring a different first flight and building a replica of Robert Goddard's first liquid-fueled rocket.
In The Thick Of Things:: What starts out thick and firm, but gets runny when stirred? Quite a few things, actually. Paint, ketchup, whipped cream...these are all examples of shear thinning. Scientists are interested in learning how and why this phenomenon happens with some substances,and they feel the microgravity environment is the perfect place to study it.
Also, check out the announcements for the link to my biography of payload specialist astronaut Fred Leslie, the first in our summer series on astronauts.
Here We Go Again, Another Round Of Blues
I'll be leaving later today to travel to Indianola for the annual B.B. King Homecoming concert, and won't get back until late Sunday, so after I leave today, it'll be light (if any) blogging until Monday. Enjoy a few days of vacation from the tyranny of the compelling reading on the Daveblog. Oh, BTW, if Lain is so inclined, he's welcome to blog during the interim, but I haven't discussed it with him.
|:: Wednesday, June 04, 2003 ::|
Today's Daily Hatbag is dedicated to DeeDee, who has now lived the adventure.
Sign Of The Times
Entertaining insight into signing credit card receipts.
Alan Boyle's Cosmic Log has some brief information about the Animatrix (which, BTW, came out on DVD yesterday), and about a Matrix MMORPG being planned for next year, after Revolutions comes out. Note that there are some spoilers that are either minor or major, depending on how you look at it.
Arriving: Florida; Next Stop: Space
The International Space Station's Node 2 and the first portion of the Japanese Experiment Module have arrived in Florida, and are on their way to Cape Canaveral. The installation of NASA's Node 2, originally scheduled for February, will mark the completion of the U.S. "Core Complete" form of the Space Station.
Jupiter will be near the Moon tonight, making for easy viewing of the planet.
|:: Tuesday, June 03, 2003 ::|
Can't Buy Me "Can't Buy Me Love"
Lain was kind enough to send me this story. I had been wondering how the Apple v. Apple issue had been resolved for the iTunes Music Store, and the answer is, apparently it hasn't.
It's a Star Wars kids animated .gif!
This (slow-loading) blog linked to me last week, although actually only to say that I had linked to something DeeDee had linked to that they thought was cool. In return, I'm stealing their Star Wars Kid .gif, though I don't know that it originated there. Oh, and I'm putting in a link. So that's something, at least.
It's Time To Rock
In celebration of DeeDee's return to NASAexplores from MSU, I dedicate this.
That Clears Things Up
I'm always curious about what's being written about NASA in other countries, so of course I wanted to know what this Chinese article said. According to Babelfish, the answer is:
"Head? |? Shore? |? Elephant? Shows my Italy? Sends? Good friend friendly series printing? The version you think keeps the comet? NASA? You? Li Ming? / Taibei? You want to deliver the name the comet? Beautiful? Aviation and outer space? Bureau (NASA)? In 2004? Shoots " the comet hits the Earth?" (Deep Impact) space ship, to Tanzania wave one? (Tempel 1) in the neighborhood of comet? The line searches? Searches? With? Everywhere has all ascends? Name disc? Shoots on the comet; So long as front above the NASA comet hits the Earth in February, 2004? Stands (http://deepimpact.jpl.nasa.gov) ascends? The name, mays then remains the comet, also may be direct? TAS? Astronomy? (http://tas.w3.to) ascends? TAS? Astronomy? Station host? Will? The expression, " the comet hits the Earth " is the outer space? Bureau in 1999? Decides small no matter what? One, is the person? First time sends out the space ship directly to meet? Comet? In December, 2004 lifts off. Will? In July, 2005 four Japan and America? Date? Day? In the neighborhood of comet space ship? Towards comet? Shoots one weight 370 kilograms? Small collision? Again? On space ship? Analysis collision? Institute? Ash? Understanding? Becomes the comet the ingredient; With? Collision? Above also? Sets? Shade? Is hitting? First pats the comet surface appearance. Will? Points out? Small collision? By? Fast three? 5000 kilometers high speed? Hits the Tanzania wave one? The comet, NASA estimates? Dislodges on the comet one? Size? To one soccer? Is deep? Seven to 15? Big pothole; This? Everywhere puts is hitting? Saves? Name disc? With? Puts on? Comet? Forever will keep the comet. [ 2003/06/01? Gathers? ]"
I Believe Ed Can Fly!
Space Station Science Officer Ed Lu has written his second space missive, this one about flying through the ISS.
This quiz is totally inaccurate. Although, I guess if I'm not going to be OSX, Linux is the next best thing to be. Fight the real enemy!
Meet The Astronauts
All right, last entry in this feature for a while. I had the honor today of meeting astronaut Jan Davis. Davis grew up in Huntsville (and graduated from high school in my mom's senior class), and today works as director of Flight Projects at Marshall. On her second mission, she flew with the first Russian cosmonaut to be a member of a Shuttle crew.
They're testing the bones of Columbus to see if it's really him. Apropos of nothing, just thought it was interesting.
Today In History
Ed White because the first American to walk in space on this date in 1965 during his Gemini 4 mission.
Return To Flight Update
Here's an excellent James Oberg article about what is involved in scheduling the next Shuttle flight.
Red Rover, Red Rover
Yesterdays' launch of an ESA Mars Rover from Baikonur Cosmodrome was succesful and right on time, and NASA officials are meeting today to set an official date for the second of this summer's series of Mars probe launches.
'Cause you gotta stand for something.
Halftrack To Glory
One of Lain's former students might take issue with this. Lain had a student who regularly kept up with how often Beetle Bailey was actually in the Beetle Bailey comic strip, noting that a huge percentage of the time Beetle is AWOL from his own comic strip. No doubt he's hanging out with Barney Google.
East Toward Home
Heard kind of a cool story this morning on the radio. They were interviewing Josh Kelley, this musician I'd never heard of before but who has a new album coming out today, and they asked him about the cover art for the CD (specifically, they asked if this was just a review copy, or if it was the real album art). He said that he had gone out to LA and had the big fancy photo shoot, but that when the pictures came back, he didn't feel like any of them were really him, so he had the photo crew come out to Oxford, Mississippi, where he had them shoot him at Old Taylor Grocery for the cover. He also said that the food there was really great (someday when I'm back in that neighborhood I'm going to have to go there, since I never have). I don't know if he has an Oxford connection or if he just ate there while passing through and liked it, but I thought it was kind of cool.
|:: Monday, June 02, 2003 ::|
Yo! Dave Raps!
I was amused by this sign that we passed on our way to the Moonwalker symposium shortly after crossing over into Florida.
Marvin the Martian and Duck Dodgers will be on official NASA partches supporting the two Mars rover missions launching this summer. I want these patches (Thanks to DeeDeee for finding this one).
I have a very cool sticker of the Marshall patch supporting the Italian ISS pressurized cargo modules. The three modules are named Donatello, Leonardo and Rafaello, so the MSFC patch features a ninja turtle in a spacesuit.
Also, another thing that's fun is singing "Space Modulator" to the tune of that '80s song, "Smooth Operator"... everytime I see, hear, or think the words space modulator, that tune immediately pops into my head. Which in my line of work, is a lot (oh... wait... probably shouldn't have said that... agency secrets, you know).
Just had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Fred Leslie, who was a payload specialist astronaut on STS-73 in 1995. He flew with an experiment he had on the flight using electric fields to create an artificial gravity field in order to research atmospheric dynamics around planets and stars. Great guy.
Curse you, Science!
Why aren't people climbing around on walls Spider-Man-style? It "would not benefit us scientifically."
Here ya go.
As Only NASA Can
NASA scientists from Marshall helped catch Eric Rudolph.
X Prize Update
Burt Rutan's SpaceShipOne flew around empty attached to an airplane recently. Many more tests will be necessary before the low-altitude spacecraft is ready for launch.
First In A Series
Today is the scheduled launch date for the European Space Agency's Mars Express mission (at 1245 CDT), which will send an orbiter and a lander to the Red Planet. It will be followed by a U.S. rover mission launch likely sometime in the next two weeks, and a twin to that U.S. mission next month.
Addendum: Here's an interesting story about the Mars Express' Soyuz launch vehicle's past as a nuclear missile.
|:: Sunday, June 01, 2003 ::|
Well, we're starting a new era for the Daily Hatbag.
(That's probably not as convincing when you're already in reruns).