Thursday, November 26, 2009

Potpourri CXIV

Got a lot of stuff that has backed up in my inbox, but I'll do my best to clear it out before I head off to do Food & Football Day with friends.

New from Hu:
  • A report that says Mars life might've been brought to Earth. where did the Mars life go? Death by global cooling?
  • NASA looking at an asteroid mission as a prep for going to Mars.
From Doc: Jim Henson's company is still putting out new Muppet material. Here's Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" as rendered by the madness that is the Electric Mayhem. As Dr. OZMG would put it, "So cool it hurts."

From Lin:
  • It's possible...just possible, mind you...that there might be a lot of waste included in the proposed government health care bill.

Found this on YouTube: a video on the Ares I-X mission by one of the folks down at KSC. Some great sites you normally don't see.

Another item from "autotune" mashup of Richard Feynman, Carl Sagan, Bill Nye the Science Guy, and Neil de Grasse Tyson.

From Father Dan, an online app from Disney that allows you to enjoy personalized holiday greetings. Gotta confess, I could only handle the cute for about a minute before closing. Your mileage may vary.

Speaking of Dr. OZMG, she introduced me to a couple of very large words/terms from her world of Psych-Doc-ness, which seemed interesting enough to share:

And in case I can ever coax her into the space biz, she might give this book a look: Choosing the Right Stuff: The Psychological Selection of Astronauts and Cosmonauts.

Apparently the global warming/cooling/climate change debate isn't as "settled" as some would like to assume. A series of emails from the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) show that there was quite a bit of argument behind the scenes, as well as accusations that any data or arguments that might prove the human-made climate change thesis wrong were suppressed. Meanwhile, documents coming out of Britain's University of East Anglia show that data might have been massaged to downplay or gloss over the fact that average global temperatures have been dropping the past several years. I have no problem with investigating how climate works and what impact humans have upon it, but I think it's a dubious practice, at best, to start with a conclusion in mind and start dictating very costly policies when the data are either still inconclusive--or worse, being fabricated.

And speaking of the climate debate, there's a video out there that is particularly gruesome. To the sound of jets flying overhead, we see polar bears falling from the sky and landing on a cityscape in rather horrific and bloody ways. The message being: every short-haul air flight you make generates 400 pounds of carbon dioxide, the equivalent weight of a polar bear. See my comments above. This is just nasty.

Eighty-one members of the House of Representatives have signed a bipartisan letter of support of the space program.

A good Science @ NASA article on the SOFIA airborne telescope.

From my AIAA news feed:

  • A cosmonaut complains that Russia's space program is falling behind and is unsustainable.
  • An Indian university is offering its first space law class. Good!

NASA announced two winners in its Centennial Challenge competition to develop new astronaut "space gloves."

Huntsville got an unwelcome rating recently: the second-most dangerous military town. I find this hard to believe, given how many seaport towns there are with MUCH rougher reps than ours.

Guess that'll do it for now. The inbox is mostly cleansed. Happy Thanksgiving, all. I've plenty to be thankful for this year, so I consider myself supremely blessed. If you can't think of anything to be thankful for, consider the fact that you're here and able to think in the first place and start from there.

No comments: