Saturday, December 31, 2005

Don Markstein's Toonopedia: Peabody's Improbable History

Baby Boomers may recall, Mr. Peabody and the Wayback Machine.
Don Markstein's Toonopedia: Peabody's Improbable History
You can also go Wayback on the internet, see The Internet Archive Wayback

If you use Firefox, you can get an extension that automatically Waybacks any page you happen to be on at the click of a button.

However, the ultimate irony is that I was unable to use Internet Wayback to get a history of Mr. Peabody's page as it blocked the Wayback function!

Friday, December 30, 2005

FAA outlines guidelines for space tours - The New Space Race -

FAA outlines guidelines for space tours - The New Space Race -
There are 123 pages in the draft. Rumor has it that the TSA is trying to include it's "No Fly List" and watch list in the regulations. This will delay anyone named David Nelson who wants to go into space.

If you aren't on the list, you can keep an eye on the first commercial concern actually developing the concept based on Burt Rutan's designs. Check out Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic at

Be careful, though. Remember what happened to PanAm. I suspect since the company is long bankrupt, you will never be able to use these tickets to get to the moon. The following is from

Pan Am sold tickets for future flights to the moon, and these later became valuable collectors' items; a fictional Pan Am Space Clipper or commercial space shuttle (the Orion III) had a prominent role in Stanley Kubrick's film 2001: A Space Odyssey, and was also featured in the poster.

News Flash! Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC)

Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC)

Ignore the links in my previous missive about distributed computing. Now, all is centralized at the site above. My old SETI@Home screensaver and data are no more!

Distributed Computing your computer time!@

To allow your computer downtime to be used for climate prediction, global warming, see: ClimatePrediction.Net gateway

There are a number of other distributed computing projects you may participate in. There is also the SETI project, a project to find Mersemne prime numbers:

To help find SETI, try the University of California's SETI@Home project at:

Another is to help in medical research, read the article at:
This article has links to sites to help research in HIV, Alzheimer's and Cancer.

I am a longtime SETI search participant. I have yet to get a "WOW", or at least to my knowledge. However, SETI@Home gives you a great screensaver showing the star from which the signal your computer is analyzing comes from and a variety of signal parameters. Any other legitimate distributed computing projects out there?

Scientific American: Ice Core Extends Climate Record Back 650,000 Years

Scientific American: Ice Core Extends Climate Record Back 650,000 Years

We may yet be doomed! See the year in Science at:
Scientific American

and Wikipedia

What is your entry as to the most momentous news in 2005 in the area of "Life, the Universe and Everything"?

Monday, December 26, 2005

Quantum superfluidity Could Be Akin To Exotic Matter Found In Quark Star

Imagine a Quark Star 5 times the mass of the sun and the size of Manhattan? This new research points to these quarks to be composed of "Strange Matter". Superfluidity means a fluid where all viscousity has disappeared. Truly beyond me, but certainly fascinating. I suspect this may be a big deal.Quantum Superfluid Could Be Akin To Exotic Matter Found In Quark Star

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Spain leads the world in WindPower!

Yes, we know, the world cannot be saved by windpower alone, but it is part of the mix. This article talks about success in Europe. Hopefully, windpower along the Columbia River in the NW will at least come close soon.

Spain Microsite

Friday, December 23, 2005

Institute of Space and Astronautical Science | JAXA

Keep up with news of the Japanese Space Agency's HAYABUSA probe, now returning to earth with a small sample of an asteroid. This followed a harrowing, yet sucessful, landing on a near earth asteroid. This site will also connect you with other space projects from the Land of the Rising Sun. This includes a story and pictures of what the agency calls the "Most Beautiful Launch Site in the World". Only the Japanese could do this!Institute of Space and Astronautical Science | JAXA

Despite Lower CO2 Emissions, Diesel Cars May Promote More Global Warming Than Gasoline Cars

You can't win. Here is another argument against public policy trying to effect global warming. Doomed if you do and Doomed if you don't!
Despite Lower CO2 Emissions, Diesel Cars May Promote More Global Warming Than Gasoline Cars

Universe Today - Lakebed on Mars Wasn't So Watery In the Past

Well, this is not such good news for us Picean Martian fans. Some of the evidence of standing water, such as a lake, may have been caused by hot steam from ancient volcanoes that did not result in a watery surface. Also, the European Space Agency found explanations for the presence of certain carbonates that were previously thought to be the result of action by large quanaties for free water.

For the big picture, see: "The Case of the Missing Mars Water" at

Finally, see the Spirit and Opportunity
One Martian Year Anniversary (one earth year, 14 dog year) at

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Global Consciousness Project -- consciousness, group consciousness, mind

Is this nonsense...trying to connect possible PSI events to Quantum Physics? Remote viewing? At least it is interesting!

Global Consciousness Project -- consciousness, group consciousness, mind

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Partial Ingredients for DNA and Protein Found Around Star

Whitney Clavin (818) 354-4673

Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

News Release: 2005-175 Dec. 20, 2005

Partial Ingredients for DNA and Protein Found Around Star

NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has discovered some of life’s most basic ingredients in the dust swirling around a young star. The ingredients – gaseous precursors to DNA and protein – were detected in the star’s terrestrial planet zone, a region where rocky planets such as Earth are thought to be born.

The findings represent the first time that these gases, called acetylene and hydrogen cyanide, have been found in a terrestrial planet zone outside of our own.

"This infant system might look a lot like ours did billions of years ago, before life arose on Earth," said Fred Lahuis of Leiden Observatory in the Netherlands and the Dutch space research institute called SRON. Lahuis is lead author of a paper to be published in the Jan. 10 issue of the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Lahuis and his colleagues spotted the organic, or carbon-containing, gases around a star called IRS 46. The star is in the Ophiuchus (pronounced OFF-ee-YOO-kuss), or "snake carrier," constellation about 375 light-years from Earth. This constellation harbors a huge cloud of gas and dust in the process of a major stellar baby boom. Like most of the young stars here and elsewhere, IRS 46 is circled by a flat disk of spinning gas and dust that might ultimately clump together to form planets.

When the astronomers probed this star's disk with Spitzer's powerful infrared spectrometer instrument, they were surprised to find the molecular "barcodes" of large amounts of acetylene and hydrogen cyanide gases, as well as carbon dioxide gas. The team observed 100 similar young stars, but only one, IRS 46, showed unambiguous signs of the organic mix.

"The star's disk was oriented in just the right way to allow us to peer into it," said Lahuis.

The Spitzer data also revealed that the organic gases are hot. So hot, in fact, that they are most likely located near the star, about the same distance away as Earth is from our sun.

"The gases are very warm, close to or somewhat above the boiling point of water on Earth," said Dr. Adwin Boogert of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena. "These high temperatures helped to pinpoint the location of the gases in the disk."

Organic gases such as those found around IRS 46 are found in our own solar system, in the atmospheres of the giant planets and Saturn's moon Titan, and on the icy surfaces of comets. They have also been seen around massive stars by the European Space Agency's Infrared Space Observatory, though these stars are thought to be less likely than sun-like stars to form life-bearing planets.

Here on Earth, the molecules are believed to have arrived billions of years ago, possibly via comets or comet dust that rained down from the sky. Acetylene and hydrogen cyanide link up together in the presence of water to form some of the chemical units of life's most essential compounds, DNA and protein. These chemical units are several of the 20 amino acids that make up protein and one of the four chemical bases that make up DNA.

"If you add hydrogen cyanide, acetylene and water together in a test tube and give them an appropriate surface on which to be concentrated and react, you'll get a slew of organic compounds including amino acids and a DNA purine base called adenine," said Dr. Geoffrey Blake of Caltech, a co-author of the paper. "And now, we can detect these same molecules in the planet zone of a star hundreds of light-years away."

Follow-up observations with the W.M. Keck Telescope atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii confirmed the Spitzer findings and suggested the presence of a wind emerging from the inner region of IRS 46’s disk. This wind will blow away debris in the disk, clearing the way for the possible formation of Earth-like planets.

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the Spitzer Space Telescope mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Science operations are conducted at the Spitzer Science Center at Caltech. JPL is a division of Caltech. Spitzer's infrared spectrograph was built by Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y. Its development was led by Dr. Jim Houck of Cornell.

For graphics and more information about Spitzer, visit . For more information about NASA and agency programs on the Web, visit .


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The Impact of Emerging Technologies: The Internet Is Broken -- Part 2

Followup to earlier article.
The Impact of Emerging Technologies: The Internet Is Broken -- Part 2

The Impact of Emerging Technologies: The Internet Is Broken?

According to MIT's Technology Review, it is. Clearly, attacks occur constantly and security holes are patched as quickly as possible, but it would appear that we are indeed sinking. Read the following article for ideas on how it might be fixed.

The Impact of Emerging Technologies: The Internet Is Broken

Slashdot | Ham Hears Mars Orbiter 45 Million Miles From Earth!

My father, the late K7AIM ("Angry Irish Maniac") would have been thrilled to hear of this feat...the farthest he got was into the old Soviet Union...but it was a two-way discussion.
Slashdot | Ham Hears Mars Orbiter 45 Million Miles From Earth

Monday, December 19, 2005

Quake-alarm cell phone to be tested : National : DAILY YOMIURI ONLINE (The Daily Yomiuri)

Hmmm, would be good in the NW waiting for a subduction zone mega-quake/tsunami!

"Quake-alarm cell phone to be tested

The Yomiuri Shimbun

The Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry plans to develop a new emergency-broadcast system capable of automatically turning on cell phones so it can send a warning alarm and information to them in case of a major earthquake or other natural disaster.

The ministry is planning to start testing the system, which uses a digital terrestrial television broadcasting signal, before March 31, and it hopes to be able to put it into practice within a few years, a ministry official said.

The system would allow cell phone users to receive useful data, including information about disasters, and evacuation instructions and routes. The ministry believes text messages would help people evacuate a disaster area safely and, in doing so, prevent a disaster situation from worsening.

The ministry plans to test the system in Sapporo in April 2006, piggybacking a new broadcasting system, called One Seg, that is being set up to enable television programs to be played on cell phones.

The new system will enable the ministry to send an emergency-broadcast signal to specially designed cell phones capable of being switched on remotely.
(Dec. 19, 2005)"

CaffeineWeb: NASA Study

Don't Rocket Scientists have anything better to do? In any event, this is quite fascinating.
CaffeineWeb: NASA Study
I believe that this was done before. See:

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Wired News: The Hydrogen Gold Rush Is On

Move over, Ben Franklin. Todd Livingstone has a plan to solve the energy crisis by capturing huge amounts of energy from lightning. According to Wired Magazine, the guy is not a total nut, but points out that the laser needed to capture power from lighting does not yet exist!
Wired News: The Hydrogen Gold Rush Is On

Virgin Galactic

Virgin Atlantic's new space division, set to use the successor to Burt Rutan's SpaceShipOne (Virgin SpaceShip), is getting into gear. The first spaceport may be in New Mexico. Anyone have a few hundred thousand for an early sub-orbital flight?
Virgin Galactic

Institute of Noetic Sciences: Home Page

Exploring the frontiers of consciousness to advance individual, social, and global transformation.

Institute of Noetic Sciences: Home Page

Read this in conjuction with Edward Wilson - Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge. Edwin Wilson is a biologist and Pulitzer Prize winning author. See his site at:

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Sunday, December 11, 2005

The Importance of the Encounter with Buddhism for Modern Science

A Neuroscientist's Approach


Buddhism and the Interdisciplinary Study of the Mind

The Dalai Lama is one smart dude. Buddhism and Western Psychology and Cognitive Science meet at many levels. Read the book, "The Art of Happiness"
Buddhism and the Interdisciplinary Study of the Mind

Thursday, December 08, 2005


Ruskies to Mars! First they waste their money trying to build a space shuttle (Braun), now they want their on CEV. Hopefully, this time, it will work and we will meet them on Mars.

Center for Ecoliteracy | Welcome

We may as well be well-read as we meet our ecological doom!!

Center for Ecoliteracy | Welcome

Radar Soundings of the Ionosphere of Mars -- Gurnett et al., 10.1126/science.1121868 -- Science

Ionosphere on Mars??
Radar Soundings of the Ionosphere of Mars -- Gurnett et al., 10.1126/science.1121868 -- Science

NASA seeks help from private rocketeers - The New Space Race -

A boost to the private space industry. To follow small rocket launch firms, see:
Subscribe to their eZine. "Welcome to Rockets Away! Media, the world's first media company specifically devoted to promoting and supporting the emerging commercial space industry."

NASA seeks help from private rocketeers - The New Space Race -