Saturday, August 2, 2008

Crap, crap, a thousand times, crap.

Rumor has it that the President has been briefed by the Phoenix scientists on something really, really big:

I knew all this "exploring" was going to get us in trouble.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Buzz on Colbert.

New vid-ja updates.

Finally got my lazy self around to updating the Filmography links.
Please direct your attention to the sidebar to see Garrett's second smash appearance on "The Colbert Report."
Awesome stuff.

And the award for baddest-ass moon in the solar system goes to...

Titan, duh.

Seriously, what's next? It rolls up a pack of cigarettes* in its shirt sleeve and starts listening to Radiohead?
I mean, every frapping day, Titan gets a little bit more awesome.

*That's a joke, kids. There is absolutely nothing cool about smoking cigarettes. It's just a cultural reference.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Another spectacular photo on SpaceWeather


This morning in Iran, Mohamad Soltanolkottabi photographed the Moon tantilizingly close to the rising sun. "I went to Naghsh-e Jahan Square and took this picture in front of the Sheykh Lutfullah Mosque," he says.

In other liquidy news...

Artist's rendering:
Titan Lakes.

Sounds like some cheesy, cul-de-sacky subdivision, no?

And way up there, He'll hear our prayer and show us wheeerre...

Dibs on the first beach house.

Eclipse goes high-tech.

By now most of you probably know that a dragon is going to eat the Sun tomorrow, and even though the the United States wasn't invited to the party, we can still enjoy it thanks to the fact that we live in the fuuuuuuutuuuure.

If you are lucky enough to live in the viewing area...

Why bother with this contraption?
With modern technology, you can view tomorrow's solar eclipse without even having to leave your easy chair. (If you have a laptop, that is.)

And whatever you do, DO NOT look directly at the Sun. That's just stupid.
Doing just that rendered this eyeball's unfortunate owner blind.

I mean, I like seeing eclipses as much as the next guy, but I like seeing period even better.

July 31

On this day in 1969, Mariner 6

[Above: Not a ceiling fan.]

made a flyby of Mars and sent back photos like this one, to the delight of the astronomical world.

I know, right?

28 years later, the Mars Pathfinder mission gave us this image:

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Happy 50th birthday, NASA!

An Act

To provide for research into problems of flight within and outside the earth's atmosphere, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,



Sec. 101. This act may be cited as the "National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958".


Sec. 102. (a) The Congress hereby declares that it is the policy of the United States that activities in space should be devoted to peaceful purposes for the benefit of all mankind.

(b) The Congress declares that the general welfare and security of the United States require that adequate provision be made for aeronautical and space activities. The Congress further declares that such activities shall be the responsibility of, and shall be directed by, a civilian agency exercising control over aeronautical and space activities sponsored by the United States, except that activities peculiar to or primarily associated with the development of weapons systems, military operations, or the defense of the United States (including the research and development necessary to make effective provision for the defense of the United States) shall be the responsibility of, and shall be directed by, the Department of Defense; and that determination as to which such agency has responsibility for and direction of any such activity shall be made by the President in conformity with section 201 (e).

(c) The aeronautical and space activities of the United States shall be conducted so as to contribute materially to one or more of the following objectives:

(1) The expansion of human knowledge of phenomena in the atmosphere and space;

(2) The improvement of the usefulness, performance, speed, safety, and efficiency of aeronautical and space


(3) The development and operation of vehicles capable of carrying instruments, equipment, supplies and living organisms through space;

(4) The establishment of long-range studies of the potential benefits to be gained from, the opportunities for, and the problems involved in the utilization of aeronautical and space activities for peaceful and scientific purposes.

(5) The preservation of the role of the United States as a leader in aeronautical and space science and technology and in the application thereof to the conduct of peaceful activities within and outside the atmosphere.

(6) The making available to agencies directly concerned with national defenses of discoveries that have military value or significance, and the furnishing by such agencies, to the civilian agency established to direct and control nonmilitary aeronautical and space activities, of information as to discoveries which have value or significance to that agency;

(7) Cooperation by the United States with other nations and groups of nations in work done pursuant to this Act and in the peaceful application of the results, thereof; and

(8) The most effective utilization of the scientific and engineering resources of the United States, with close cooperation among all interested agencies of the United States in order to avoid unnecessary duplication of effort, facilities, and equipment.

(d) It is the purpose of this Act to carry out and effectuate the policies declared in subsections (a), (b), and (c).