NASA Proposes Laser Use to Move Space Junk
|3:42:55 PM, Sunday, March 20, 2011|
"A team of scientists led by NASA space scientist James Mason have proposed the idea of using a mid-powered laser and telescope to nudge pieces of space junk out of the way and slow it down to avoid collisions.
Currently, the low Earth orbit (LEO) is filled with over 9,700 pieces of debris and 1,500 old rocket bodies that are tracked by the U.S. military. When these pieces collide in space, more debris pieces are created. While many of these pieces are small, when you realize that they are traveling at a speed equivalent to 17,000 miles per hour, they pose a serious threat to space travel and the launching of new satellites.
In 1978, a NASA scientist predicted what is now known as the "Kessler syndrome." The idea behind this syndrome being that with the increase in space debris, the increase in collisions, and the generation of more debris could eventually render space exploration and the use of satellites impossible.
Through the years, many proposals have been discussed to remove this space junk, such as rendezvousing with large objects and bringing them back to earth. However, this proposal is complex and comes with a high price tag.
Another study in 1996 suggested using powerful beams to destroy surface material on debris and propel it towards Earth. The concern with this idea is that other countries involved in space exploration could see this as a possible threat to their functional satellites.
Mason and his team at NASA Ames Center and Stanford University have discovered a possible method utilizing much less expensive lasers and providing only enough power to nudge the debris and not cause any damage.
By utilizing a laser beam of five to ten kilowatts, scientists believe that constantly focusing this beam on a piece of debris would exert enough push to change its orbit. The concerns by other countries of this being a threat would be eliminated as this beam would not be capable of creating a force strong enough to alter large functional satellites..."
Berlusconi and Gaddafi by Matteo Bertelli
|3:14:12 PM, Sunday, March 20, 2011|
-- Deviant Art has some real gems to be found... haha
Obama’s Libya Goals AWOL
|2:22:19 AM, Sunday, March 20, 2011|
"President Obama’s speech on the impending war in Libya Friday afternoon was eloquent, passionate and stirring. So much so that it was almost easy to overlook the one thing the speech lacked: an endgame.
A statement of purpose? Sure: “protecting innocent civilians within Libya, and holding the Gadhafi regime accountable.” An articulation of the costs of inaction? Check: “Many thousands could die. A humanitarian crisis would ensue.” A demarcation of lines the U.S. won’t cross? Indeed: “The United States is not going to deploy ground troops into Libya.”
But you can read the speech over and over and still not know when the no-fly zone authorized by the United Nations can be lifted. Obama insisted that he has a “well-defined goal” — “the protection of civilians in Libya.”
At what point is that goal met? When Gadhafi’s forces pull back from Misrata and cease attacks on Benghazi, the rebel capital of Libya? When he enforces his declaratory ceasefire? Or when Gadhafi actually leaves power?
That latter goal is the declaratory policy of the United States. But it’s nowhere to be found in Obama’s conditions laying the groundwork for U.S. participation in a military campaign against Gadhafi. Yet just hours before Obama spoke, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said that beyond seeking an end to the violence in Libya, “a final result of any negotiations would have to be the decision by Colonel Gadhafi to leave.” ..."
Japan Tsunami Videos: Collection of Footage (13 Videos)
|11:03:59 PM, Saturday, March 19, 2011|
-- Some you've probably seen already, but others you may have not. Below is a random clip I selected.
-- "As the days pass in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan, more videos keep making their way onto the Internet filmed by those experiencing the tragedies first-hand — be it in a helicopter, on top of a building, or even on the ground. These videos show not only the sheer disaster instantly gripping Japan, but they also serve as examples of how advancements in technology have created a ubiquitous camera eye allowing for so many people to capture and share their experiences with the rest of the world.
Although these grim scenes have an unreal, movie-like feel to them insofar as what we see happening, to know that what you’re seeing is reality certainly evokes a myriad of emotions. I can only imagine what it must have been like to live through this shockingly surreal experience. Preempted by my interest in finding all the unique footage I could, below are some of the most devastatingly heart-aching videos captured of the tsunami. Approach with caution as some of the footage may be difficult to watch. Lastly, if you’re interested in donating, be informed and make sure you don’t get scammed."
Human Planet - Web Exclusive Series Trailer - BBC One
|10:53:11 PM, Saturday, March 19, 2011|
-- "Human Planet is an awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping, heart-stopping landmark series that marvels at mankind's incredible relationship with nature in the world today.
Uniquely in the animal kingdom, humans have managed to adapt and thrive in every environment on Earth. Each episode takes you to the extremes of our planet: the arctic, mountains, oceans, jungles, grasslands, deserts, rivers and even the urban jungle. Here you will meet people who survive by building complex, exciting and often mutually beneficial relationships with their animal neighbours and the hostile elements of the natural world.
Human Planet crews have filmed in around 80 locations, bringing you many stories that have never been told on television before. The team has trekked with HD cameras and state of the art gear to film from the air, from the ground and underwater. The result: a "cinematic experience" created by world-class natural history and documentary camera crews and programme makers."
Is Pepsi Alright?
|6:07:01 PM, Saturday, March 19, 2011|
Libyan Jet Shot Down Over Benghazi
|3:49:43 PM, Saturday, March 19, 2011|
-- It is not known who is responsible for the attack yet, or if the pilot survived, but the jet appears to be a MiG-23. Here is another close-up clip of the same incident There is a high possibly right now that it was a rebel jet flown by a defected pilot, shot down by friendly fire.
Knut, Beloved Polar Bear in Germany, Found Dead: Berlin Zoo Official
|3:13:49 PM, Saturday, March 19, 2011|
"A publicity-addicted polar bear that became famous after his mother rejected him at birth died Saturday, a Berlin Zoo official said.
Knut, who was four years old, was alone when he passed away in his compound, bear keeper Heiner Kloes said.
The cause of death was unknown.
A necropsy is scheduled for Monday to figure out what killed the bear that was hand-raised by a team of zoo keepers since birth.
Knut was unable to care for himself after his mother rejected him following his 2006 birth, leaving humans to raise him.
He became a cause celebre when animal activists claimed it would be better for Knut to die than to be weaned by man..."
-- Aww... Remember this little guy? Super sad. =(
How a U.S. Spy Drone Could Help Solve Japan's Nuclear Crisis
|2:00:41 PM, Saturday, March 19, 2011|
"There are reports that the U.S. military used a Global Hawk spy drone to peep inside the damaged nuclear reactors at Fukushima Daiichi in Japan. It's a tech that could help Japan solve its nuke woes.
The aged boiling water reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi are the subject of intense scrutiny within Japan and around the rest of the world: The plant was damaged in the earthquake and subsequent tsunami, and since then numerous safety systems designed to shut down the nuclear reactors have failed, resulting in hydrogen explosions that have damaged the reactor vessels and their surrounding buildings. It's hard to determine what's going on inside the tangled mess of collapsed structures, and efforts to contain the reactors are hampered by radiation leaks. Hence the U.S. offer to assist with a Global Hawk surveillance drone. But what can it do?..."
Iran Sends Rocket, Capsule Into Space: IRNA
|1:49:26 PM, Saturday, March 19, 2011|
"Iran on Thursday signalled a broadening of its space ambitions by announcing the launch of a new rocket and a test capsule designed to house a monkey, amid Western concerns over its scientific advances.
The Iranian Space Agency launched the Kavoshgar-4 rocket carrying the capsule without fanfare on March 15, the official IRNA news agency said, citing the president's office.
Iran had announced it would conduct the launch before the end of Iranian year on March 21.
The space capsule, unveiled by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in early February, is designed to carry a live monkey but there were no living creatures on board, IRNA added.
The launch of a large animal in space has been touted by Iranian officials as the first step towards sending a man into space, which Tehran says is scheduled for 2020.
The Islamic republic, which has outlined an ambitious space programme in the face of Western concerns, put a satellite into orbit in 2009 with the Safir-2 rocket and sent live small animals -- a rat, turtles and worms -- into space with its Kavoshgar-3 rocket in 2010.
Western powers fear that Iran's space agenda might be linked to developing a ballistic missile capability that could deliver nuclear warheads. Tehran has denied that its contentious atomic and scientific programmes mask military ambitions.
IRNA said the space agency managed to "test the system performance... the launch platform, engine, electronic and telemetry systems and the system of separation" between the rocket and its load.
Ahmadinejad announced during celebrations marking the 32nd anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution in February that the capsule would be tested before carrying a monkey into space..."
Astronomy Picture of the Day: NGC 6914 Nebulae
|11:55:56 PM, Friday, March 18, 2011|
-- "A dramatic study in contrasts, this colorful skyscape features stars, dust, and glowing gas in NGC 6914. The complex of nebulae lies some 6,000 light-years away, toward the high-flying northern constellation Cygnus and the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy. With foreground dust clouds in silhouette, both reddish hydrogen emission nebulae and dusty blue reflection nebulae fill the 1/2 degree wide field. The view spans nearly 50 light-years at the estimated distance of NGC 6914. Ultraviolet radiation from the massive, hot, young stars of the extensive Cygnus OB2 association ionize the region's atomic hydrogen gas, producing the characteristic red glow as protons and electrons recombine. Embedded Cygnus OB2 stars also provide the blue starlight strongly reflected by the dusty clouds. Constructed as a two-panel mosaic, the image was processed to bring out both bright and dim colors and detailed structures."
Mark Vanderloo for El Pais
|11:41:41 PM, Friday, March 18, 2011|
Charlie Sheen Beats Sarah Palin in Presidential Poll
|11:31:48 PM, Friday, March 18, 2011|
"Tickets to Charlie Sheen's live shows are selling like crazy. He broke the speed record for acquiring Twitter followers. He's become a folk hero with fans. So why not Charlie Sheen for president!?
According to a new poll, independent voters say they favor Sheen over Sarah Palin by a 41/36 margin.
And it's not just independents who are supporting the tiger-blooded warlock. Democrats would support him by a 44-24 margin for president over Palin and Republicans would support him 37-28 over Obama.
The conclusion from Public Policy Polling.com: People may not have any respect for Sheen but they still think he'd be a better alternative than their opposing party's leading figure.
Notes our On Politics blog: This poll is particularly important independents because they're a crucial bloc needed for winning the White House.
And is everyone on board with a president who would have two goddesses as First Ladies?"
-- I would vote for Charlie Sheen before Palin too...
Jessie J - Price Tag ft. B.o.B.
|1:10:24 PM, Friday, March 18, 2011|
Inside Gadhafi’s Secret Underground Arsenal
|4:27:47 PM, Thursday, March 17, 2011|
"BENGHAZI, Libya — It took a while to get into the underground bunker. There were too many men in the way, hauling too many crates of machine guns, ammunition, and 30-year-old rockets. But eventually, there was a lull. I ducked past the steel-reinforced door to the bunker’s entrance and moved down the debris-laden concrete ramp — trying very, very hard not to disturb the dozens of weapons-bearers bringing their arms to the surface.
Below, the ramp opened into a large room supported by cement columns. The air was dense and the only light came from small air ducts near the ceiling. The cases sat piled wall-to-wall, just one of many arms caches hidden away by Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi. But now the weapons are in the hands of his enemies here, a rebellious city of nearly 1 million people who, relatively unarmed, recently drove out Gadhafi’s special forces and mercenaries. Today, the rebels are preparing for further battle — and maybe even an attack on Gadhafi’s stronghold in Tripoli. But this time, they’ve got the weapons that the eccentric tyrant used to oppress his people for 41 years.
“We’ve found everything from bullets to rockets,” the man in the headlamp and blue spelunking jumpsuit said as he climbed out of a nearby hole that led into a small, concrete room. He led me to a manhole that descended around 50 feet to a tunnel not unlike a large sewer system. “There is a huge network of tunnels underneath us. A few friends went in two hours ago and they haven’t come out yet.” Gadhafi’s men torched the compound before they escaped in Land Rovers and through the secret tunnels.
The bunker and the tunnels form part of the Katiba, a vast, white-and green military and administrative complex from which Gadhafi could run the country. But only his inner circle and paid mercenaries were allowed inside. Until now..."
-- Closing some browser tabs I've saved open, so some of this is a bit old, but not very. Still very relevant.
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