Friday, July 29, 2005

M-M-M- Mai...Treya!!

Is this the Messiah/5th Buddha/Imam Mahdi/Christ returned to earth?
(Click title to visit site...if you must *S*)

Maitreya may be the second coming and all that, but this phrease from the website raised the hackles a bit...

"Under Maitreya's inspiration, humanity itself will make the required changes and create a saner and more just world for all."

Forgive me, but anytime someone claims to be working for the good of mankind, and begins a statement with the words "Under (Maitreya)'s inspiration", my "Scooby Sense(tm)" flares up BIG TIME! "With" or "By" or "Through", maybe...but not "Under".

I think-a we need-a to place-a Maitreya in the "upright and locked" position-a. :)

[via Coast to Coast AM web site]

Polar Bear Club campgrounds - Martian style!!

Mars Orbital camera finds water-ice lake in crater floor
(Click title to read article; image for enlargement)

The High Resolution Stereo Camera onboard the Mars Express snapped the lake, which is unquestionably water ice rather than frozen carbon dioxide.

The question is what happens when this lake is in direct sunlight?

[via ESA website]

Welcome our newest neighbor...

Astronomers have discovered a solar system object larger than Pluto...or at least much brighter than Pluto.
(Click title to read article)

Two teams are claiming the discovery...the Institute of Astrophysics in Andalusia, which has been planet hunting since 2002, and the US team that discovered possible planet Sedna also detected this new object via Keck and Gemini 'scopes.

Welcome "2003 EL61" or "K40506A"!! Hopefully they'll come up with a better name...

[via BBC News]

Extremely rare photo...

Uneventful day of cloud-chasing?
(Click image to enlarge)

"Besides Venus, the swamp gas and that sun dog, it was a pretty boring flight..." :)


"Hey! Did you see that?!"..."Nope!". :)

(Image via NOAA...and my twisted imagination...and Photoshop)

Last wave of the day...promise!

Video gamers are pussies!

60 foot waves...
regular size guys...
huevos GRANDE!

(Photo via one more plug for the NOAA Photo library)

Parting the sea the hard way...

NOAA ship Discoverer encounters a little "resistance"...

NOAA...pronounced "NO WAY!!"?? ;)

[Photo via NOAA photo library]

A picture recalls a song...

"...Does anyone know where the love of God goes, when the waves turn the minutes to hours?..."

(The Wreck
of the Edmund Fitzgerald
- Gordon Lightfoot)

Art imitates life imitates art imitates life... Thanks Gordon!! :)

[Photo via the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) photo library.]

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Up, up and away!!

Discovery sheds the cobwebs...and a few other return to space.

Shuttle Discovery had no sooner "cleared the tower" than speculation began about some obvious falling debris.

Both at the beginning of the launch and later at altitude, debris could be seen dropping away from the orbiter, its main fuel tank or both.

On the heels of the Columbia tragedy, this launch was recorded by an unprecedented number of cameras and sensors, from an unbelievable number of angles, including that of two separate "chase planes".

NASA will inspect all the film frame by frame, and assess any possible damage. Luckily, the shuttle remote manipulating arm has been lengthened by 50 feet, and provision is made for cameras to be mounted thereon, so that heat shield, wing and fuselage can be visually inspected without the need for a spacewalk.

The launch went off without a hitch, but the low-fuel sensor bug was never diagnosed. Engineers don't like mysteries. Let's hope the astronauts find no problems, and a safe route home.

(Photo via NASA)

"Bigfoot" DNA to be tested...[UPDATED!]

A reported Sasquatch left behind prints...and hair!
(Click title to read article)

A couple of Bigfoot sightings in Teslin, Yukon have yielded footprints and hair samples, the latter being sent for DNA analysis.

Coming behind Lloyd Pye's Star Child Skull scientific analyses, and more recently the "Hair of the Alien" case from Australia and the DNA testing done there, this case may be just another nudge for other adopt a more "clinical" or "scientific" approach.

Note that in each of these cases, legitimacy and newsworthiness began when real science entered the picture. Regardless of outcome, the courage to seek such analyses reveals an intellectual honesty that is refreshing...and much needed in Ufology.

Being wrong is not a negative in any science. Being convinced you're right without any science, is.

Hooray for Bigfoot, or the bison, or whatever it turns out to be. And hooray for science!

UPDATE - The DNA tests are in, and the results are stunning! The tests indicated that the hair was definitely from a large hairy mammal...commonly referred to as a...bison. That's a buffalo for the numismatists out there. Science marches on!!

(Via Yahoo News)

UFO? No...just the Millenium Falcon...Whaaa?

RC aircraft enthusiasts shoot for the "Star Wars" with movie inspired projects.
(Click title to visit site)

Pretty cool seeing the Falcon flying the friendly skies, eh? :)

NASA defends possible shuttle safety rule waiver

Is NASA "rolling the dice" so soon after Columbia?
(Click title to read article)

NASA is considering waiving one of the flight rules required for a shuttle launch. The rule governs low-fuel sensors for the main engine. One of these sensors failed during a pre-flight test, resulting in the current countdown delay.

NASA flight rules currently require all four sensors to be working before liftoff, but Stilson said that rule was implemented before shuttle modifications were made to improve the sensors' power systems.

An interesting comment from Discovery vehicle Manager Stephanie Stilson...

"In reality, we probably should have looked at (changing the flight rule) when we made the modification."

It appears that Ms. Stilson is saying that because the sensors are more reliable and safe, they don't need all of them working for launch. I find this a rather ominous attitude from a member of the organization whose ideas on "reliability and safety" were responsible for the deaths of 7 astronauts.

After Challenger...and Columbia...I naively thought NASA would accept and hold to the recommendations of the review board. It does not appear to be so.

Presently, if two of these low-fuel sensors fail, the shuttle's main engine will begin an emergency shutdown. What this means is that if the previously flawed sensor were to report an erroneous low-fuel condition, only ONE additional sensor would need to fail similarly for the engine to shutdown...a catastrophe during shuttle launch. Yet Ms. Stilson feels that with improved power, the rule that ALL sensors should be working is...what...too strict? I mean, there are only lives at stake.

If you only have four, and one is definitely flaky, the odds that the others will all perform flawlessly represent a gamble that NASA is apparently willing to take.

I'm glad the shuttle program is in its "last throes". We seem neither to be able to build them perfectly, nor to understand that we can't build them perfectly.

Godspeed Discovery. Hurry home.

(via Yahoo News)

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Ufological metaphor?

A Flash animation is worth a thousand words...
(Click title to view animation)

(via Coast2CoastAM)

Styrofoam Hummer

Andrew Junge - Modern Alchemist...
(Click title to visit artist's site)

Per the artist...

"I wish to examine and re-contextualize found objects and materials, to invest them with new life, and to sanctify - or at least acknowledge their presence in the world. Or perhaps, more accurately, to acknowledge my presence as these materials’ temporary curator, archivist and re-purposer. My aim is to turn the lowest form of human productivity, trash, into the highest, art - a kind of modern alchemy."

Yup. 'kay Andrew.

He carved a Hummer out of styrofoam!!

(via BoingBoing)

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