Posts Tagged 'science!'

Wednesday Morning Linkspam

Discovery Launch as Seen from a Passing Airliner

iPad Gets Approval from FAA to Replace Paper Flight Charts and Maps

Obama Administration joins critics of ICANN

Apple: If “App Store” trademark is Generic, so is Microsoft “Windows” I had a deep discussion with someone about this; I think “App Store” is a fairly generic term, but I can also make a strong argument in favor of the trademark. (For example, neither Droid nor Microsoft use “app” or “store” for their store fronts—it’s the Android Market, Microsoft Marketplace. RIM has the Blackberry App World, though.)

Charlie Sheen Quotes Presented by Superheroes They actually make more sense this way. The only thing that’s missing is Tigra from Thundercats talking about having Tiger’s Blood. XD

What I’m reading today

A Plague of ‘A’ Students
Lost iPhone prototype spurs police probe
UT Acts to Preserve Free Speech on Campus
Guys, I figured out this obesity thing.
Environmentalist wants to change the name of our planet to Eaarth
A Defense of the new Obama space policy Seriously, guys, just stop talking about this for a week or so—just until after my paper is due!
A New Brown Thing You’ll Totally Eat Merlin Mann’s take on the KFC Double Down.
Gizmodo’s Trade Secret Liability Interesting read, and analysis.
43 Folders: Another Backup Lecture

Lunch-break Links

Well, there are plenty of criminals working in Washington (Rangel, Geitner, Dodd, etc…) so why should this be any surprise? Stimulus Contracts Go to Companies Under Criminal Investigation

This is just silly: NOW President on President Obama’s All-Male Athletic Outings: “It’s Troubling.” First, the man’s entire family is female—let him have some boys’ time. And second, anyone who says “If women had been at the heads of the companies on Wall Street instead of these masters of the universe then we might not be in the predicament that we’re in today,” which is the equivalent of “If we had female leaders there would be no war!!!” shouldn’t be taken seriously. Couple that quote with the minority-counting approach of “Well, half the population is female so half the Cabinet should be female!” and you’ve got a smorgasbord of ridiculousness.

Full Augustine Commission Report We’ve had Senator-Presidents and Governor-Presidents, Peanut Farmer-Presidents and Actor-Presidents, so how about a Scientist-President?

Fake AP Style Book (on Twitter) My favorite so far is, “The first sentence of a photo caption describes what is being shown, in the present tense: ‘Holy crap, it’s Pteranodons!'”

Seen Any Weird Wills Lately? (Legal Geekery.) Wow. This almost makes me want to take a Wills and Estates Class. Almost.

Throw Out Your Old Cat Ears, It’s Time to Update Your Halloween Costume! (io9) Is it bad that I can look at Venom Mickey (picture 2) and recognize that Elevator as the Marriott Marquis at Dragon*Con? I’m pretty sure I know the Classic Leia Zombie in the middle of picture 8, too. (BTW, I’m not done with my Halloween costume yet—Dr. Girlfriend from “Venture Brothers,” if anyone is curious.)

“Big Talk and Little Money” for NASA

Behind Moon Travel Goal, Big Talk and Little Money (NYT)

“Unless the president is willing to step up and take a bold step like President Kennedy did, the manned spaceflight program is going to go in the ditch,” said Senator Bill Nelson, Democrat of Florida.

The comments are depressing… the first two I saw said “Send the robots!” Ugh. But one of the Science reporters makes a good point: “The Augustine panel said it would take $150 billion over the next decade to execute NASA’s current program which leads to a moon landing in 2020. Of course, $150 billion is not a trivial sum of money. But to put it in a perspective, the cost of Medicare alone in 2009 will be about $429 billion, compared to NASA’s 2009 budget of $17.6 billion. To put it another way, if NASA were shut down completely and everyone got a check instead, that would come out to a refund of about $57.27 per person.”

Think of all the technology and the research that’s come out of the space program. NASA was recently awarded an emmy for engineering excellence for the camera and other innovations that led to the Apollo 11 broadcast. The award, specifically, is the Philo T. Farnsworth Award, and it’s given to someone whose “contributions over a long period of time that have significantly affected the state of television technology and engineering.”

I think it’s extremely important to continue space exploration and to conduct research and experiments in space. The space program benefits society in an immeasurable way: it inspires awe and hope about the capabilities of the human race, and it exposes generations to science, a subject that is increasingly important and, sadly, increasingly ignored.

I’m not sure how I’d feel about a private-sector space program, but I don’t think it would bother me as long as that research and those experiments can continue. There can still be government oversight, or government grants to fund projects they want to pursue, but in any case, something has to be done to make sure that the space program continues. We must continue to push for technological advancement or else our society, and our race, will become stagnant.

Watch Apollo 11

Today was the 40th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch. To commemorate the mission, the JFK Presidential Library and Museum and AOL have created this site, which is a re-creation of the entire mission. It has a countdown for each stage, mission time, and time until they land on the moon (102 hours as of right now!) When the new stages begin, you get to watch a video of what happened during the stage and listen to the audio from the mission. There are video clips and picture galleries, too. You can download a countdown widget, and there are Twitter accounts for Capcom, the Shuttlecraft, and the Eagle Lunar Lander. It’s a really cool set-up, especially for people like me who didn’t get to see it in person in 1969. I’d definitely recommend you check it out.

NYT covers GOP’s energy bill with dripping disdain

House Republicans Draft Energy Bill With Heavy Focus on Nuclear Power

Badly outnumbered and months behind in the debate on energy and climate change, House Republicans plan to introduce an energy bill on Wednesday as an alternative to the Democratic plan barreling toward a House vote this month.

What a great start to this story! You can almost feel the hatred for the House Republicans and the reporter’s butthurt for having to report this story. They must have been thinking, Why could I have done the story on Bo Obama pooping in the mural room instead of this story about the icky Rethuglicans?

Of course they point out that the Democrats’ bill “has been through hundreds of hours of public hearings and committee deliberations and passed the Energy and Commerce Committee last month on a 33-to-25 vote,” because how dare the House Republicans introduce an alternative bill after the first bill passed the Energy and Commerce Committee! THE HORRORS!!!

*eyeroll* Honestly, people. I’m sure the NYT was lapping up President Obama’s assertion that Iran deserve nuclear power—for serious, guys! So why can’t Americans have the same energy opportunities as France has and as Iran apparently deserves?

Anyone know any good science-news sites or blogs? I’m so fed up with NYT it’s ridiculous.


So, Mr. Obama, if you can justify spending trillions on bank and auto industry bailouts, can’t you justify a few billion more to keep your nation’s space industry alive? “Hope” was the theme of your campaign; how much Hope has NASA given us, and still has the potential to give if only you will let it?


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