Busy world out there...here's the small segment of it I could give my attention to today.
Not sure what you’d call this…maybe a clearing house for the most common/popular NASA Twitter feeds?
From Hu (I'll have more on this in a bit): NASA and Congress slog toward a compromise on the 2011 budget.
Are scramjets the future of spaceflight?
Will the X-37 to be used for spying?
A Japanese solar sail mission will be launched this week. Cool!
Just because the U.S. President doesn’t want to go to the moon doesn’t mean India doesn’t. Boeing is in talks with the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) to help them with a lunar mission. Sigh. Maybe I'd like it in Bangalore. At least there's not much chance of snow and I know they're serious about going to the moon there.
Senator Shelby (R-AL) has inserted language into an Afghanistan emergency spending bill that would prevent changes or cancellations to the Constellation Program. I appreciate the notion, but I still don’t understand why that wouldn’t or shouldn’t be done on a bill dealing with NASA, not the Defense Department. One thing at a time, ya know?
NASA has converted Space Shuttle flight simulator hardware into an educational tool for students.
Well, now I know where my friend George Whitesides went: he's now CEO of Virgin Galactic. Far out.
My buddy Gwen was at Arlington National Cemetary to visit the grave of her father and found the grave of a Medal of Honor recipient who shared the same last name as her husband. While I don't believe he's directly related to Tim, here's the citation for the gentleman of the grave Gwen observed.
This year's Nebula Award winners have been announced. Congrats. Wish to heck I could write that well.
Here's a short study in cognitive biases because sometimes such things interest me.
There was a Star Wars concert in Orlando last week--good timing for the Shuttle launch.
An extended set of TED talks from D2 on cancer prevention:
I found this TED TALK by Dr. William Li (http://www.angio.org/) very insightful and helpful. It will only take about 20:00 of your time. http://www.ted.com/talks/william_li.htmlSarah from Across the Pond asked me what was going on with my job. And since I can't explain the status of my job these days without explaining the budgeting process of the U.S. federal government, I thought I'd just repeat what I wrote here:
The cancer &/or obesity you prevent may be your own - or that of someone you love.
Also, the attached tiff file is a screenshot of the list of AA foods he discusses broadly. It can also be found at: blog.ted.com/2010/02/dr_william_lis.php
Please feel free to share this info with people you know who might be interested. Don't assume I sent it to them. If they already received it, they can delete it. If they receive it several times, maybe there's a message there...
If you haven't yet discovered TED TALKS, you are missing some pretty mind-blowing and mind-expanding experiences!
PS - I discovered some research re: Low Dose Naltrexone as a cancer-preventative, as well as some interesting drug trials in the management of certain inflammatory and immune-system diseases. This opiod-blocker drug is usually Rx'd for managing addictions, of alcohol or certain other opiods, but has show efficacy in LD regimens with cancer, pre-cancerous conditions, HIV, etc. It might be something to talk with your Doc about.
It's not so much that the President hasn't come to a decision. I don't know how the budget/parliamentary process works in the UK, but here the Pres. submits a proposal for the overall federal budget, then it goes through what's called a "pass-back," where some other part of the government reviews the proposal and kicks it back to the President's people to redo it (usually with guidance on what to cut). And after that, the budget is reviewed by the House of Representatives and the Senate. Both houses must write a budget law, and those laws have to match. If they don't, they have to go into a conference committee to sort out the differences. Once that happens, the finalized budgets are voted on and sent to the President for a signature.And speaking of folks Across the Pond, I got this YouTube video link from Father Dan: a dear 80-year-old Scottish great-grandmother who just belted out "No Regrets" to the delight of Simon Cowell and the rest of the "Britain's Got Talent" audience. Just marvelous.
So far, we're still in the pass-back and Congressional review portion of the process. The Congress hasn't passed a budget on time (October 1, the beginning of the fiscal year) in a few years, so they'll most likely pass what's called a "continuing resolution (CR)," where they pass a budget for part of the year to keep basic services going and civil servants paid until a final budget can be passed. A CR is usually passed at the same spending level as the previous year, and the agencies receiving a CR are told to continue "business as usual" (no new program directions) until a new budget is passed. Sometimes a CR will last for a whole year. That would be fine by me, because that would mean the Constellation Program gets a reprieve for another year. But the Obama administration is still intent on killing Constellation and redirecting the money to other NASA activities, like environmental monitoring or encouraging U.S. private sector companies to build rockets to launch crew and cargo to the International Space Station. I'm not particularly worried about where I'll end up--NASA always needs good tech writers--but for right now the only thing I know for sure is that I'm good through the end of the fiscal year or whenever Congress finally passes the 2011 budget, which would be anywhere from September 30 to February 1. After that, well, I might be writing for something or someone very different. Stay tuned.
Woody Allen thinks Obama should be made dictator for awhile and Republicans should “get out of his way.” Yikes. And FWIW, dude: Republicans cannot stop anything Obama does. They don’t have the votes.
Doubleplusungood: Tar balls have been found off the coast of Key West.
Convinced the end is near? You can always buy a spot in a bunker somewhere.
A female lawyer in France got offended at another woman wearing a burqa and tore it off.
A review is questioning the effectiveness of missile defense.
This amused me: the President signed the Press Freedom Act and then refused to take questions from the press. Just because you have the freedom to ask questions doesn’t mean I have to answer them, pal.
A Democratic candidate for Senator in Connecticut has lied about serving in Vietnam. Dude: if you’re gonna lie about something, try not lying about something that is easily checked: you know, like Bush’s National Guard record or Obama’s place of birth (I kid).
For that seriously geeky wedding party: an AT-AT wedding cake.
But what denomination is it? A humanoid robot presided over a Japanese wedding.
I have this app, but have never used it: Shazam has been voted Gizmodo’s favorite iPhone app. My problem with it? I usually want to know the name of a song while I’m driving!
You can get the Joker added to your iPad. You know: if you really want to.
The Euro has fallen to a new low.
Mark Cuban on making money on the internet and why print is not dead.
Social networking and shopping are converging? Yes.
Hotmail is making some improvements to keep up with other web mail services. About bloody time! I’ve been using Hotmail since 1997. I’m due for an upgrade!
I just found this article title amusing: Facebook and Shutterfly are Now In a Relationship.
Kids are teaching about time travel on YouTube. They're learning about this via a service called Ignition Tutoring.
From Doc: the U.S. Air Force is doing serious work in testing "fly-back" rocket boosters. About time someone did it. Fly-back units were originally considered for the Space Shuttle, back when they wanted it to be a fully reusable system.
I'm shocked, shocked...too much TV leads to poor school performance. Jeez, they knew this when I was a kid! Have they heard that the Pope is Catholic? That bears...never mind.
The Obama policy presents a conundrum for conservatives according to Jeff Foust and an op-ed in the Orange County Register. The conundrum being that conservatives generally oppose President Obama's spending policies, often going so far as to call them socialist, but here is one situation where he is trying to reduce the government role (Constellation) and actually trying to privatize (by spending more money on commercial launches to the International Space Station)--a standard plank in the GOP platform. However, I don't see this as a problem for conservatives. If space exploration is looked at as an extension of a strong national defense (a standard part of the conservative platforms of Barry Goldwater and Ronald Regan), which it is, then it is fine as a government expenditure. Paradoxically, an increase in government spending on space--Constellation and COTS--would increase the number of U.S. commercial providers of launch services and keep NASA and U.S. space technologies on the cutting edge by continuing the nation's commitment to exploration of other worlds. Crazy as this sounds, if Obama's policy was passed as is but added Constellation, I'd have no problem with it whatsoever. So sayeth this paleocon and "space moderate."
What would make NASA "cool again?" Consider this blog by my fellow space blogger Nick Skytland.
With the recent news of five soldiers getting killed in Afghanistan, this video from Father Dan of joyous family members greeting returning veterans warms the heart.
From Berin: an event called "Can Government Save the Press?" Reminds me of a quip by Ronald Reagan regarding government thinking: "If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. If it stops moving, subsidize it."
And I think that'll about do for this evening. Stay tuned, sports fans. It's an interesting world out there. You never know what we're going to hear next.