Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Potpourri CVIII

Note to other users: For some reason the "Paste" option is disabled in IE 8. Copy/paste works just fine in Firefox!

Busy research day…too much stuff to explain everything in detail, so I'm just posting headlines and links.

Monarch Butterflies in Spaaaaaaaace!

Leonard David on Public Space Travel

Variations in Brightness for Sun-like Stars

Cassini Providing Data on the Heliosphere

Jeffrey Bell on “Rocket Plane Roulette”

NASA Moon Design Competition

Climate Protestors Climb the Roman Colosseum

NASA Managers Looking at Adding Another Shuttle Flight

Moment of Random: Captain Berlin vs. Hitler

Need Coffee eview of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods

RFI for Using Constellation or Robotic Hardware for Future Missions

Anti-Terrorism Hero or Wishful-Thinking Nut?

Creating Starfleet Academy?


Bar Camp? Not Quite What You’re Thinking…

Government in the Digital Age

Leading in an Era of Disruptive Innovation (THINK, for God’s sake and your own. THINK before you unleash your infernal gadgets on the world!!!)

Boeing Looking for a Non-Union Source of 787 Parts Due to Strike (I’m shocked, shocked…)

Flight Delays Up in October (Okay, fine, but how many of those were due to airline problems vs. the government’s antiquated Air Traffic Control system?)

Go Boldly on The Space Show

(From Dar the Science Cheerleader) Hydrogen-Powered Cars for Kids...and This is a Toy!

Science Jewelry for the Brain

I Can Has Singularity?

Global Warming and Mt. Kilimanjaro

Did You Know that CO2 Was a Threat to Public Health? According to the EPA, It Is

Shubber Ali on Giving Up Space Blogging (Can’t Say That I Blame Him)

Jeff Foust on NASA’s FY2010 Budget

Chris Carberry Resigns from Mars Society Executive Director Post

Soyuz to Start Launching from French Guiana

For Orlando people who get warm and romantic thoughts about cold & ice,0,1748946.photogallery

Walt Disney World is Reducing Discounts in 2010. Wait a minute, Disney does discounts??

The Copenhagen summit on global climate change is not going well...the U.N. is not happy that it's not getting its way and that a draft agreement was leaked to the press

From my NASA PAO feed:


WASHINGTON -- NASA is supporting the White House's Open Government
Directive with a number of Internet-based programs designed to make
the agency more accessible and create a dialog with the American
people about their space program.

NASA is one of six departments and agencies working to spur innovation
by making it easier for high-tech companies to identify
collaborative, entrepreneurial opportunities. Government agencies are
home to treasure troves of data and information, too much of which is
underutilized by the private sector because it is either not easily
found or exists in cumbersome formats. NASA and the National
Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration in the
Department of Health and Human Services, the Agricultural Research
Service in the Department of Agriculture, the National Institute of
Standards and Technology in the Department of Commerce and the
Department of Energy are working together to increase access to
information on publicly-funded technologies that are available for
license, opportunities for federal funding and partnerships, and
potential private-sector partners.

NASA's Innovative Partnerships Programs Office is working to establish
an RSS feed to publicize technologies available for public licensing.
By making information from multiple agencies available in RSS and XML
feeds on, the government empowers innovators to find the
information they need and receive real-time updates, which can fuel
entrepreneurial momentum, create new jobs, and strengthen economic
growth. NASA's RSS feed will make these opportunities more visible to
the commercial and research communities. NASA plans on having the
feed operational by Dec. 31.

NASA also has undertaken an extensive effort to use the Internet and
social media tools to engage the public on agency activities. NASA's
home page on the Internet,, offers information on all of
the agency's missions, research and discoveries.

In January 2009, capitalized on the agency's growing social
media efforts by rolling out a new "Connect and Collaborate with
NASA" page, at This provides the public with
quick connections to the agency's pages on Twitter, Facebook,
UStream, YouTube, Flickr and MySpace, as well as NASA podcasts and
vodcasts on iTunes. The page also provides links to agency chats,
Tweetup events, RSS feeds and the agency's official blog.

The agency's social media presence was further expanded in November
with the addition of NASA's Twitter feed to the homepage. The website
offers links to NASA-related desktop "widgets" and opportunities for
the public to collaborate directly with the agency through art
contests, engineering challenges and imagery and data analysis.

Another new communication tool is Spacebook, a NASA internal expert
networking utility. Spacebook has been used to improve collaboration
across NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. The Spacebook site allows
new and established NASA staff to get to know the agency's diverse
community of scientists, engineers, project managers and support

"Space doesn't explore itself. Science doesn't discover itself. People
do that, and to do that they have to talk," said Emma Antunes, the
project manager who also manages Goddard's Web site. "They have to
trade questions and ideas. They have to connect. And, the more
diverse the group, the more likely connections and conversations will
lead to new ideas and innovation. Spacebook will enhance NASA's
capacity to do just that."

A fun video from the Coalition for Space Exploration:

TV show recommendation by Hu: Outer Space Astronauts...

Web Contest:
Enter this contest for pre-collegiate students by building a Web site that communicates your vision of the future.

Furniture made from reclaimed wine barrels:

And, of course, I'd be remiss as a space geek if I didn't point out the rollout of SpaceShipTwo on Virgin Galactic's site.

And I think that'll do for tonight...

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