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News Briefs 20-05-2004

From travelling across the Universe, to just around the United States – it’s a power-day for space news today. Let’s start big and work our way down…

  • Planning a trip across the Universe? Latest figures give a topology scale of 75 billion light-years. Better pack some refreshments for the trip.
  • Not to mention, you should get going soon – researchers have found the Universe is still expanding rapidly.
  • Heck, the slow-poke Cassini probe has spent the last seven years just getting to Saturn, but is now just one month away from orbital insertion (sounds painful).
  • But do we have the ‘right stuff‘ for a trip to Mars?
  • Especially if part of the ‘right stuff’ is to recycle drinking water from your own poo.
  • Could be why China’s first astronaut has decided a quick trip around the United States will do him fine.
  • Speaking of that dude – remember how the Great Wall was visible from space, but the Chinese astronaut found that it wasn’t, but then the ESA said it was. Well it wasn’t.
  • NASA said to be still facing enormous challenges before getting shuttle missions going again.
  • Asteroid about to crash into your planet and destroy life as we know it? No problem…release the asteroid-eaters.
  • Chocolate good for the longevity of your arteries. Okay, that’s a good enough excuse for me – I’m off to the shops to load up.
  • Artificial gene created to help make random mutants (in mice, not quite the X-men yet).
  • Be a god and make your own Universe. Home lab experiments have changed since I was a kid.
  • Smart houses of the future to offer a helping hand. I think the ‘persuasive mirror‘ would last about a day.
  • Sunglasses for video blog, and to detect when someone makes eye contact with you. Believe me, plenty of people will be looking at you.
  • Adventurer to hunt the Yeti in the deepest gorge on Earth.
  • Old Melbourne Gaol is quite a spooky place. Just ask the boss.
  • Scientist finds world’s most beautiful woman. Or should that headline read “Supermodel gets another geeky stalker”?
  • UK ID card plan may struggle, as one million say they’d rather go to jail than register for a card. But hey, these new fancy biometric measures will ease a lot of those concerns. Just put the chip under our skin and get it over with, save us the time and energy.
  • Faulty gene doubles breast cancer risk.
  • Weirdniks descend upon Oregon for yearly UFO parade. They should know better – the UFO community is a “Galactic Crime syndicate preying on the unsuspecting minds, fears, hopes and wallets of millions of people worldwide”.
  • The cicadas are here! Board your windows, harvest your crops, get into your bunker.
  • The Top 10 conspiracy theories of 2003-2004. They may have to go monthly with that soon, the way things have been going.
  • Claim made for new kind of life – nannobacteria which may cause a range of human illnesses.
  • Disaster may have killed ancient group.
  • Virtual reality church blocks visits from Satan. I say get a few Quake players in there, they’ll soon get rid of Shub-Niggurath (and make church a whole lot more entertaining besides).

Quote of the Day:

I already see the world that will come after we plant our flag in the dust of the moon: I fear it will be a strange dreamless world. I worry that the entire sky may soon become filled in every direction with spy satellites, flying bombs, orbital barracks and the cosmic latrines of the new secret armies.

Jacques Vallee (1969)

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