News Briefs 27-08-2009

I am the Eggman. They are the Eggman. I am the LOLrus —Goo goo ga joob.

  • “Michio, Michio man! I want to be a Michio man!” : Michio Kaku discusses NASA funding to find killer asteroids (Video… from FOX Business? WTF!).
  • The Moon: It’s one small step for a Man, but a prohibitively giant dent to the current budget.
  • A *depressing* gallery of abandoned NASA projects 🙁
  • What’s with Wasp-18b, and why hasn’t it burned to the crisp since it orbits its star so closely? They should have named it Moth-18b instead…
  • Is this the reason why those bug-eyed alien buggers need to come to this planet to reproduce?
  • [Video] ‘Abduction by Aliens: Meet the believers’ —I don’t know what’s more annoying: watching Stan Romanek milking his 15 minutes of fame, or all the Sci-Fi movie clips ABC included in the program :-/
  • Regan Lee complaints about the lame, buffoonish use of UFOs in modern TV show plots.
  • A second video of the orb-expelling UFO over Mexico? (And so $#&*ing close to where I live! Aaaaargh!!)
  • Mexican axolotl on the verge of extinction —poor critter never had the chance to grow up.
  • And on the other side of the world, the flying fox —the largest fruit bat and best Batman logo impersonator— also faces extinction.
  • The World Oral Literature Project: An attempt to help cultures under threat from globalisation create lasting records of their native languages —and with Twitter, one of the new threatened languages is English! LOL 😛
  • Peru: Ancient tomb discovered at Huaca Rajada, of what could be the oldest ancestor of the Sipan dinasty.
  • The Mighty Zahi is trying to trace King Tut’s roots —were his ancestors Antlantean, Lemurian, or Hyperborean? 😛
  • “It’s clobbering time!!”: CT scans show Ankylosaur tail was a real bone crusher.
  • 3somes are not just fun, they are also excellent tools to erradicate genetic diseases. You’re welcome, guys 😉
  • Rare condition turns girl’s organs into crystal —Witty punchlines refrained out of respect for the poor child.
  • Listen, right-wing critics of Obama: You got it ALL wrong. Turns out the POTUS is not a secret Muslim… he’s a secret JewishOy Vey!
  • Faked Photographs: Look, and Then Look Again —OK, the Cappa photo is probably a hoax, but who could possibly doubt the authenticity of this jackalope pic? I mean, c’mon!! Look how cheerful that lady looks!
  • An interview with Richard Dawkins, as the release for his new book ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’ approaches, galloping like an Apocalypse horseman— Plus sample chapter [Amazon US & UK].
  • Is the coin flip really a fair way of deciding something? Well, let’s see who dares telling it to this guy.
  • …And speaking of fairness: Is it fair to judge a man’s entire life based on a single event? Kennedy’s redemption from the depths.

Muchas gracias to Rick, Greg, & Holly.

Quote of the Day:

“I hope for an America where neither “fundamentalist” nor “humanist” will be a dirty word, but a fair description of the different ways in which people of good will look at life and into their own souls.”

Edward Kennedy; speech on “Truth and Tolerance in America” (Oct. 3, 1983).

  1. Why do some people dispise Dawkins?
    Because within that space that some call god. Or try to fill with god, being in touch with that space having a dialog within/without, is expressed by Dawkins with as much passion, and fire, as a believer. Because he does believe. And he’s going to tell you all about its wonders, and freedom from the darkness. He just believes in the vast emptiness, that power, that beauty. He doesn’t try to fix what is not broke, with electric candlelight tales of mystery. But the new magic. Science!
    I think his “zeal” makes people uncomfortable. But he’s spreading the word. Making waves, and starting dialog.

    1. Dawkins
      Personally, I don’t feel strongly about Dawkins either way, having only read a small bit of his work; but the individuals I know who *do* dislike him (and there are quite a few) feel that way not so much because of his zeal for science as for its dogmatic tendency, it’s exclusiveness. In other words, it’s one thing to subscribe to a belief/intellectual system and want to tell others “all about its wonders, and freedom from the darkness,” etc.–but quite another to tell certain others that *their* systems are invalid or inferior. Which Dawkins tends to do. By way of contrast, Kaku also opines about the beauties of science and nature, yet manages to do so without denigrating other modes of belief. It may be the element of ego in Dawkins’ case that makes people uncomfortable, I suspect.

      1. Well…
        Right now I feel sorry that he lost his dog.

        —–
        It’s not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me…
        It’s all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

        Red Pill Junkie

  2. The Things NASA Killed
    “I love the dead…” — Alice Cooper

    Canceled NASA programs is more than a hobby of mine. Take a look at my username.

    The projects NASA canceled listed in that NS article are essentially two lines, shuttle derivatives and hypersonic vehicles. The lines are not dead, only some of the specific designs. The reasons are usually good ones. Basic research runs faster than applied. Science can obsolete a project before it gets off paper. This is a good thing. What a great waste of money better spent elsewhere otherwise.

    It’s when politics gets involved and entire research lines get crushed that perfectly good and promising programs get canceled, and decades of hindsight still can’t make sense of it.

    Take me for instance http://www.astronautix.com/craft/dynasoar.htm Due to the ‘conflicting’ civilian and military programs, this spacecraft family got squashed. Had it not been canceled, Neil Armstrong would have been the first person to actually fly a space plane — in 1964. The reasons were many and often not clear, but a major reason in this case was the demilitarization of space. Other reasons including lack thereof are listed in the article.

    Non-NASA programs get the ax too. Robert Truax http://www.astronautix.com/astros/truax.htm produced some superb designs. Those that were built worked beautifully. The reasons here were never really clear, and the excuses poor ones.

    There have been far more canceled than ever tested. That probably won’t change. Hopefully civilian space programs will produce more alternatives.

    For a complete education in space history, read Encyclopedia Astronautica http://www.astronautix.com

    No, I am not the brain specialist…..
    YES. Yes I AM the brain specialist.

  3. thank you for the shout out rpj
    thank you for the shout out! One silly thought goes through my head- Could King Tut be related to Steve Martin?

    Sorry, heard that song on a very old
    Saturday Night Live repeat last night.

    There is a great quote of Dawkins when he saw himself lampooned on South Park. It really is as funny as blowing milk out of your nose.

  4. Axolotls
    When I worked in London my boss kept 2 axolotls as pets in a tank in his office. They were very cute!

    Unfortunately while I was away on my annual leave some bright spark decided to repaint the boss’s office (with lead-based paint in those days) and didn’t think to remove the axolotls first. They both went leg-up and my boss never replaced them. I quite missed them!

    Sorry to hear they are on the endangered species list.

    Regards, Kathrinn

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