Shuttle Discovery Astronaut Replaced After Bike Accident

1:11:38 PM, Thursday, January 20, 2011

“A biking accident has prompted NASA to replace one of the astronauts who was scheduled to travel to the International Space Station next month.

Astronaut Steve Bowen (below, left) will replace astronaut Tim Kopra (below, right) on the STS-133 mission, which is set to launch on February 24. Kopra was injured in a bike accident over the weekend, and while he is expected to recover, he will not be ready for the Discovery launch.

"Tim is doing fine and expects a full recovery, however, he will not be able to support the launch window next month," Peggy Whitson, chief of the Astronaut Office at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, said in a statement. "If for some unanticipated reason STS-133 slips significantly, it is possible that Tim could rejoin the crew."

The Discovery launch has, in fact, been delayed several times due to weather, leaks, and cracks, but NASA said recently that it has resolved those issues and is confident that the February 24 launch date is a go. Switching out Kopra with Bowen should not delay the mission any further, NASA said.

Bowen will be training with the STS-133 crew this week, and will also train to perform two planned spacewalks, which include moving a failed ammonia pump and performing other external station configurations…”

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Giant Crayfish Found in Tennessee is a New Species

11:04:20 AM, Thursday, January 20, 2011

“A new species of giant crayfish literally crawled out from under a rock in Tennessee, proving that large new species of animals can be found in highly populated and well-explored places, researchers said on Wednesday.

The new crayfish should not have been easily overlooked, as it is huge -- twice the size of other species, the team at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Eastern Kentucky University said.

But the crustacean is also quite rare, they report in the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington.

"This isn't a crayfish that someone would have picked up and just said, 'Oh, it's another crayfish,' and put it back," said University of Illinois aquatic biologist Chris Taylor, one of the researchers.

"You would have recognized it as something really, really different and you would have saved it," Taylor added in a statement.

Taylor and Guenter Schuster of Eastern Kentucky University found their first specimen of the new species under one of the biggest rocks in the deepest part of a commonly explored Tennessee creek.

The new species, called Barbicambarus simmonsi, is about 5 inches long and has antennae covered with a sensitive fringe of tiny, hair-like bristles, called setae…”

-- "The new crayfish species, Barbicambarus simmonsi (L) is more than twice the size of a typical crayfish (R) found in the same creek - and yet generations of aquatic biologists somehow missed it."

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Burglars Snorted Ashes of Dead Father, Great Danes

10:21:26 AM, Thursday, January 20, 2011

“SILVER SPRINGS, Fla. - Marion County Sheriff's deputies on Tuesday arrested five burglary suspects stemming from an investigation which began last month.

The victim in the burglary said she returned to her home on Locust Lane in the Silver Springs Shores to discover that several items were missing. Some of the items included electronics and jewelry, but what she found most troubling, was the theft of her late father's ashes and the ashes of her two Great Danes.

During the investigation, detectives learned that the ashes were taken because the suspects mistook the cremains for either cocaine or heroin. It was soon discovered that the suspects snorted some of the ashes believing they were snorting cocaine.

According to detectives, the suspects realized they had the remains from the dogs and the victim's father, so the suspects got rid of the ashes. Detectives are presently working with the Marion County Sheriff's Office Dive Team to locate the ashes.

Arrested were Waldo Soroa, 19, who faces seven charges and has a bond of $17,000, Matrix Andaluz, 18, who faces six charges and has a bond of $11,500, and Jose David Diaz Marrero, 19, who faces four charges and has a bond of $9,000. There are two juvenile suspects facing charges which include attempted residential burglary and impairing a phone line to the home…”

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The Mystery of Why Humans Can’t Walk In a Straight Line

9:28:56 PM, Wednesday, January 19, 2011

-- You can walk, you can run, you can swim, you can drive, but you will do it in circles.

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Toledo by Carlos Galvan

9:17:51 PM, Wednesday, January 19, 2011

-- Oil and acrylic painting on canvas.

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Evolution of Feathers: The Long Curious Extravagant Evolution of Feathers

9:12:56 PM, Wednesday, January 19, 2011

“Most of us will never get to see nature's greatest marvels in person. We won't get a glimpse of a colossal squid's eye, as big as a basketball. The closest we'll get to a narwhal's unicornlike tusk is a photograph. But there is one natural wonder that just about all of us can see, simply by stepping outside: dinosaurs using their feathers to fly.

Birds are so common, even in the most paved-over places on Earth, that it's easy to take for granted both their dinosaur heritage and the ingenious plumage that keeps them aloft. To withstand the force of the oncoming air, a flight feather is shaped asymmetrically, the leading edge thin and stiff, the trailing edge long and flexible. To generate lift, a bird has merely to tilt its wings, adjusting the flow of air below and above them.

Airplane wings exploit some of the same aerodynamic tricks. But a bird wing is vastly more sophisticated than anything composed of sheet metal and rivets. From a central feather shaft extends a series of slender barbs, each sprouting smaller barbules, like branches from a bough, lined with tiny hooks. When these grasp on to the hooklets of neighboring barbules, they create a structural network that's featherlight but remarkably strong. When a bird preens its feathers to clean them, the barbs effortlessly separate, then slip back into place…”

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The Trashmaster, A Feature-Length Film Created Entirely of Grand Theft Auto IV Footage

7:24:11 PM, Wednesday, January 19, 2011

"The “trashmaster” divides his time between collecting garbage and cleaning up other forms of trash fouling up New York City’s streets: dealers, small-time criminals… When the dancers in his favorite strip club are mysteriously killed, the trashmaster finds himself hot on the trail of a particularly twisted serial killer."

-- I had this open for awhile, but only got a chance to take a look at it today and... it's pretty damn impressive! French filmmaker Mathieu Weschler created this film entirely out footage from Grand Theft Auto IV, a video game by Rockstar Games.

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Study Claims 100 Percent Renewable Energy Possible by 2030

6:36:39 PM, Wednesday, January 19, 2011

“Achieving 100 percent renewable energy would mean the building of about four million 5 MW wind turbines, 1.7 billion 3 kW roof-mounted solar photovoltaic systems, and around 90,000 300 MW solar power plants.

Mark Delucchi, one of the authors of the report, which was published in the journal Energy Policy, said the researchers had aimed to show enough renewable energy is available and could be harnessed to meet demand indefinitely by 2030.

Delucchi and colleague Mark Jacobson left all fossil fuel sources of energy out of their calculations and concentrated only on wind, solar, waves and geothermal sources. Fossil fuels currently provide over 80 percent of the world’s energy supply. They also left out biomass, currently the most widely used renewable energy source, because of concerns about pollution and land-use issues. Their calculations also left out nuclear power generation, which currently supplies around six percent of the world’s electricity.

To make their vision possible, a great deal of building would need to occur. The wind turbines needed, for example, are two to three times the capacity of most of today’s wind turbines, but 5 MW offshore turbines were built in Germany in 2006, and China built its first in 2010. The solar power plants needed would be a mix of photovoltaic panel plants and concentrated solar plants that concentrate solar energy to boil water to drive generators. At present only a few dozen such utility-scale solar plants exist. Energy would also be obtained from photovoltaic panels mounted on most homes and buildings…”

-- Build a lot more of the same old is their answer?

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The Lost Photos of The New York Blizzard

4:45:48 PM, Wednesday, January 19, 2011

-- While skiing through Prospect Park in Brooklyn, New York, Todd Bieber found a roll of undeveloped film that was shot during the New York City blizzard. He is now on a quest to figure out who shot these photos and how he can return the film to them. So if you feel you can help Todd out, shoot him an email!

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Italian Man Shot in Head Sneezes Out Bullet

4:33:32 PM, Wednesday, January 19, 2011

“Darco Sangermano, 28, was hit in the temple by the .22 calibre bullet while wandering with his girlfriend through Naples – a city in Italy notorious for its rowdy New Year celebrations, often involving firearms and powerful fireworks.

The bullet went through the right side of his head, behind his eye socket and lodged in his nasal passage but miraculously did no serious damage.

Bleeding heavily, he was taken to hospital in an ambulance shortly after midnight, but while waiting to be seen by doctors he sneezed and the bullet shot out of his right nostril.

Mr Sangermano, a craftsman from Turin, returned to his hometown after being released from hospital.

"The route of the bullet broke his temporal bone, near his temple, and this slowed down the bullet which grazed his eyeball without hitting it directly," Dr Guglielmo Ramieri told Gente magazine…”

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Crowd Helps Eight Year Old Girl Finish National Anthem

11:29:32 PM, Tuesday, January 18, 2011
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Put This On: The Story of When Lyndon B. Johnson Needed To Buy Pants

7:44:32 PM, Tuesday, January 18, 2011

“In 1964, Lyndon Johnson needed pants, so he called the Haggar clothing company and asked for some. The call was recorded (like all White House calls at the time), and has since become the stuff of legend. Johnson’s anatomically specific directions to Mr. Haggar are some of the most intimate words we’ve ever heard from the mouth of a President.

We at Put This On took the historic original audio and gave it to animator Tawd Dorenfeld, who created this majestic fantasia of bungholiana.

Enjoy this special treat from Put This On: LBJ Orders Pants. Then share it with a friend who loves pants…”

Put This On: LBJ Buys Pants from Put This On on Vimeo.

-- Yes, this is completely true and you can find the original recording right here, - whitehousetapes.org

Apparently the funeral he's talking of is actually a private memorial for Gen. Douglas MacArthur which was held with his family at the 7th Regiment Armory, before he was moved to the Capitol building to lie in State. Gifted orator for sure! Hahaha...

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Monster by Robin Hedberg

7:16:23 PM, Tuesday, January 18, 2011
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SHIT IT'S RAINING Black Umbrella

6:45:40 PM, Tuesday, January 18, 2011

-- It's a matter of common courtesy. And, yes, it is purchasable.

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Exactly 100 Years Ago In San Francisco, The First Landing of an Aircraft on a Ship

10:48:58 AM, Tuesday, January 18, 2011

“One hundred years is a very long time. Yet in the hierarchy of modern marvels, the ability to recover and launch aircraft from the deck of a moving ship stands out as one of our most signature accomplishments. Which just goes to show you: Some tricks never grow old.

Naval aviation was invented one hundred years ago today, on January 18, 1911, when a 24 year-old barnstormer pilot named Eugene B. Ely completed the world's first successful landing on a ship. It happened in San Francisco Bay, aboard the cruiser USS Pennsylvania, which had a temporary, 133-foot wooden landing strip built above her afterdeck and gun turret as part of the experiment…”

-- Ely's landing was just eight years after the Wright Brothers made their first flight at Kitty Hawk. His aircraft was a super rudimentary Curtiss Model D "Pusher" biplane equipped with a 60 hp V-8 engine that gave the aircraft a 50 mph airspeed. I linked to another blog that has a great summary of the event, but you can find more info just about anywhere, including the US Navy website.

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