Sunday, June 06, 2010

Potpourri CXLI

Science, Technology, and Space

And you thought your job sucked? Check out this accident report from the National Transportation Safety Board:

The politics of open government:
Russia is starting a 520-day Mars simulation mission:

Oil Stories…worst case, the leak might last through Christmas:  

A 21-year-old in NY has a proposed solution for the leak:

A little history on the spill…the present mess is not the worst the Gulf of Mexico has seen:, nor is it the largest spill in world history. That distinct dishonor belongs to Saddam Hussein and his troops, who dumped over 400 million gallons of oil into the Persian Gulf: There is some hope for recovery (, though military friends of mine tell me you shouldn’t go swimming in the Persian Gulf anyway. Space-based solar power doesn’t do any of this, folks…but it’s hard to prove until we try to build a satellite.

From Lin, a couple of reports on the Navy's Littoral Combat Ship: and Too bad they're likely to cancel it.

NASA is seeking research proposals for "green" aircraft:

From Hu: Coke bottles and Mentos. What could be better? 

As Jimmy Durante used to say, "Everybody wants to get in on the act." Dolphins are now using iPads:

Also from ISDC: a great debate turns out to be a bit of a dud:

Satellite highlights of the 2009 hurricane season:

From Kate Down Under:
Masten Space Systems has done something very cool: started, stopped, and restarted a rocket engine in flight. Not easy.
A golf ball hitting a steel plate at 150 miles per hour. That reminds me, I need to get to the driving range when I'm done blogging here.

The X Prize Foundation is hiring...

Speaking of hiring, Doc pointed out this site for people looking for a job in the gaming business:

From Hu:
Citizens Against Government Waste cheer the demise of the Constellation Program: Can I come stay at your house if I lose my job?

Here's something new: "Random Hacks of Kindness," putting this interweb stuff to constructive purposes.

Another argument for killing Constellation: pollution.

From @DindraneErin: quantum teleportation. Neato!

The National Academies have a cool podcast series called The Sounds of Science. One of their recent 'casts was about STEM education, alwasy a favorite topic of Your Humble Narrator. Enjoy!

D2 finally got back to me on what she meant by "stealth STEM."

You take a regular guy/gal. They play a game. They solve an EPIC world problem - or just propose solutions. They get hooked on the topic. They want to know more / do more. And they pursue it.

Like an English major who dreamed of Space.

Teacherrrrs innnn SPAAAAACE!

A kid-made science kit:

Not sure I hold with all of this, but Lin forwarded the following editorial on how to improve schools: Lin also provided the following thoughts as well: (Expecting Sabine not to like these...)

This is sort of a space thing, but it can also fit under the "citizen science" rubric, so I'll do a little relocating. wants people to do detailed counts of craters on the lunar surface.

U.S. Politics
Conservative women are running for Congress in record numbers:

A TSA critic passes through the airport:

Foreign Affairs
Someone suggested this as a “solution” for Israel’s problems with their neighbors: Western military minds don’t think this way anymore.

The U.S. will join South Korea in a military exercise off the North Korean coast: ... and North Korea threatens military action:

This is from awhile ago, but it's just a reminder that it's a dangerous world out there (like we needed any more reminders?):


From Lin:
From our British cousins across the pond, a little lesson on how airplanes work (warning: contains dry humor):

From Anika:
This is all sorts of wrong, but I laughed anyway: an alien taxidermy throw rug. You realize, of course, that there's an alien out there somewhere with a human throw rug, right?

Now on a t-shirt: "I'm an English major, you do the math."

Some words of wisdom regarding your old friend, the #2 pencil:  

Whatever happened to achievements?

Three Saudi youths are in trouble with the Saudi Arabian religious police after appearing on an MTV reality show:

My buddy Tammie is trying win a $600 writing class. If you have time to vote could you please go to and click #59 "Four demons down ... but how many remained?" Just tryin' to help.

One of D2's friends has a new food and wine blog worth checking out. This site does serious "long form" essays and reviews on food and wine.

D2 also shared this: Star Wars cookie cutters. Because, really, every home should have some.

Not sure what the point of is, but they have a great video of three teenage kids belting out O Sole Mio. Do they even give American kids vocal lessons anymore?

What, you didn't know? The movie Airplane was a serious sendup of the '50s movie "Zero Hour."

Hmmmm...what Disney Princesses supposedly teach girls about life:
From Anthony in Hong Kong: all the comforts of home in a Beijing wet bar.

From Martin: another Star Trek fan film:

You want information? I don't think so:

The rich are different from you and me, they have more money. …they have more money.,0,6820906.photogallery

D2 and I are big fans of TED Talks. Here's a talk that takes a punchy look at things and demystify how to create a create TED talk. D2 also directed me to the site that can make it happen:  

From the MSN Relationships department, an attempt to "demystify dude theory." Well, maybe.

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