Saturday, August 13, 2005

The PAHs that "refreshes"?


Is a comet a natural "Genesis Device"?
(Click image for enlargement)

The finding of PAHs...Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (organic compounds that are rudimentary precursors for the formation of life)...on Comet Tempel I lends startling plausibility to the theory that comets might bring water AND the chemical "pre-reqs" for life when they impact celestial bodies.

As data trickles out of the Deep Impact Probe project, more controversial discoveries may be revealed. While scientists are fairly sure that the evidence doesn't point to life ON comets, the evidence is beginning to stack up behind the comets at least assisting the life process, and at most being lifes primary carrier in the cosmos.

Among the other surprises found on Tempel I are "buckyballs" and carbon nanotubes, which occur naturally in high temperature environments, but are less common in comet analysis. Carbonates have also been detected, which would normally form in the presence of liquid water. One project scientist theorizes that the "chemistry" for carbonate formation could have occured as the cloud (which eventually formed into the comet itself) coalesced...trapping the carbonate compounds in the matrix of other compounds. Some evidence has been found to support this.

On the whole, more questions than answers, but progress is often a lot of lateral moves... :)


[via the web]

Friday, August 12, 2005

"Intelligent Design" jumps the shark...


A new series of planned "museums" will depict dinosaurs alongside PEOPLE.
(Click title to view video news report)

To "teach" kids that the Bible and the science books actually "agree" in part, a man is planning a series of "museums" to help "connect" the disparate "Evolution vs. Intelligent Design" crowds.

This is just frightening, and it highlights a current theme in Ufological debate as well.

Is belief the same as truth? Is belief the same as scientific theory? Should beliefs be held up with science for debate?

Frightening. I feel the creep of indoctrination, of barely feigned theocratic principles, and yes...a little fascism. I really don't think this guy's agenda can really be labeled any other way, if allowed to continue.

And our President endorses this...why not just tell kids to watch the Flintstones? Good solid science there, apparently. :)


[via Yahoo News]

Alien control panels...available now!


A fascinating gallery of alternative keyboard designs.

(Click image for enlargement or title to visit site)

Tim Griffins has amassed a gallery of alternative keyboard designs. Most are actual available products.


This one is the
Ergologic FlexPro.

There are some whacky keyboard designers out there...um hmmm. :)



[via i-am-bored.com]

Sorry...one more for the night...


We have THESE flying around, and the public KNOWS about them.
(Click image for enlargement)

What do we have up there that we DON'T know about, for pete's sake?

This thing looks truly "strange" on edge like that.

Roger Whitcomb has a cool job!!



[via MilAirPix.com without permission]

B-2: One more time...


Stealth bomber with escort...a large "flying triangle"??

Imagine it's night and these craft are flying in formation some distance away, each crafts various lights coalescing into 3 individual "glowing lights" in the distance.

Could THIS cause a triangle sighting?


[via the web]

B-2: Part Deux


The Stealth Bomber can "BOOK"!!

Breaking the sound barrier off the coast, what would YOU think if you saw it?

Awesome vision produces an awesome sight. :)





[via the web]

Cockpit of a UFO?


The B-2 Spirit "Stealth" Bomber has...some say...been the cause of a UFO sighting or two.
(Click title to read more)

The "Stealth" Bomber is both a super-futuristic wonder-craft, but also harks back to the golden era of American aircraft design, and sci-fi stories of flying wedge-shaped craft.

What would an alien researcher divine from such a cockpit? What inferences could be drawn from such instrumentation, or such seating arrangements?

Quite a handful at any rate. I'll be happy to get...and keep...a Cessna 172 off the ground. :)


[via US Air Force Technology site]

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Can computer graphics UFO look convincing?


This image is of a "wireframe" model of a 3D mirrored ball. Could it fool someone as a UFO?
(Click title to view video clip)

It appears to have been produced in a modeling program like Maya or 3D Studio. But when the model is placed into a video clip, the model reflects the video background...environment mapping it is called.

This video should serve to remind us all that a little trickery can be very convincing indeed.

[Thanks tom via UFO-Planet.net forums]

Shuttle safely on terra firma after 4 tries at Kennedy.


The Shuttle Discovery finally hit the ground...gracefully and safely...at Edwards AFB in California.
(Click title to read full story)

After threatening weather scotched 4 landing opportunities at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the craft was diverted to Edwards, one of two alternate landing sites (the other being in New Mexico, which also had rain).

Edwards is the least favored landing site due to the costs in money, time and hardware, since the Shuttle must be "ferried" back to Florida on the back of a 747. But the decision was an easy one for this flight.

NASAs "Return to Flight" was already marred by a renewed grounding of the fleet after foam insulation fell from the main fuel tank on launch, an event which tragically ended the lives of the Columbia crew, and which was something NASA (apparently erroneously) felt had been prevented. There was to be no chances taken on this flight, however.

Despite the foam, despite the "gap-filler", besides the "thermal blanket", this mission was covered to the nth degree, and the result was a flawless performance by craft, crew and controllers.

NASA should be rightly proud of the accomplishment, and now attention must turn to revamping the space program, converting the shuttle hardware to the new configuration, and getting some good use out of Atlantis (after the grounding is lifted).

Job well done, NASA...OUTSTANDING!


[via every news source on the planet...and NASA]

Monday, August 08, 2005

Information vacuum? Quantum Physics says, "Yup"!


Anti-information could explain the "intellectual vacuum"...
(Click title to read archived abstract...no subscription needed!)

Quantum physics includes information...as when two entangled bodies transfer "state" information...but it also includes "anti-information" according to the authors of this paper in Nature.

The more "anti-information" you absorb...the LESS you know.

A fascinating read by a group of guys you can almost understand...almost. :)


[via SlashDot]

Our President.


Last week, Bush again brushed off polls showing his public approval ratings are the lowest of his presidency, saying a politician who made decisions based on polls would be "a miserable leader."
(Click title to read article)

Reminded that power is perception, Bush scoffed, "Power is being president." [emphasis mine]

Apparently Dubya's brand of power doesn't involve the will of the people or the consent of the governed.

Judging by the attached image, he is very plain about what his unique view on "being number one" means to us all.

Get the message?

Actually, I'd leap at the chance to shower him with my own brand of "number one"...and maybe even a little "number two", too. :)

[via Houston Chronicle]


"Arms" in Space: Not so Bad!


Discoverys CanadArm II propels Astronaut Steve Robinson to lofty perch for stunning portrait.
(Click image for full-resolution version)

Steve Robinson poses betwixt wonders natural and manmade, with the curve of the earth and fine cloud patterns behind him, and the reliable and amazingly nimble Canadarm II before him.
The arm was fitted with a new 50-foot extension to allow just the kind of maneuver which allowed Robinson to pluck an errant slip of "gap-filler" from the heat shield on the orbiters underside.



[via NASA]

NASA waves off Discovery.


Discovery missed both opportunities for a Kennedy Space Center landing.
(Click title for NASA website)

Due to unstable atmospheric conditions...and a keen sense of caution...Discovery missed two chances for a Florida landing, and will now attempt a landing in California, where weather remains good.

After a few small hiccups during the mission, the wave-off was par for the course, but the crew and controllers on the ground seemed pragmatic about...and satisfied with...the decision.

With so much riding on this mission, and the lives at stake, I cannot but applaud this cautious, thoughtful decision.

Godspeed Discovery.

[via NASA TV]

Sunday, August 07, 2005

ABC News anchor Peter Jennings dead at 67.


Lung cancer diagnosed 4 months ago...
(Click title to read article)

Peter Jennings was a fixture in my life since the age of 14, when I followed his profile on Anwar Sadat. He was always the dashing "foreign correspondent" of my youth.

The "triple anchor" format was tried in 1978 (the year I graduated high school), and I liked the combination of Frank Reynolds (the hard-boiled "New York" reporter from the Gemini and Apollo days), Max Robinson (a smooth "urban contemporary" Chicago-based anchor), and cool as heck Peter Jennings in London. It didn't last (ironically Frank Reynolds succombed to cancer himself), and Jennings became the solo anchor (for the second time actually).

His recent investigative piece on UFOs provided grist for many a heated debate in the Ufological community, but no one could fault him for at least giving the field some airtime, and without overt ridicule.

In the end Peter Jennings, a Canadian high-school drop-out, proved that one can achieve much with curiosity, perseverence, and a little luck. Unfortunately, his luck ran out before the rest.

Godspeed, Peter Jennings. Back to you, Max.

[via Yahoo News]

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