Transparent aluminum ??!!

July 29, 2009

It seems that some materials scientists have in fact created transparent aluminum.OK … it IS transparent to wavelengths in the ultraviolet, but it is a step in the science fiction direction.

That’s the ticket, laddy!


High Speed Rail: Hopefully for real

July 27, 2009

After a decade plus of false starts and maybes, it looks like there is another attempt to get high speed rail off the ground and moving.

With the anticipated loss of petroleum in the coming century, the one thing that we will see is a major change in transportation;  a move that will disproportinately affect larger geographic nations (US, Canada, Russia, China, India, Brazil), because it will hit hardest in air travel and automobiles.  While we have slowly made progress on electric automobiles, air travel does not appear to have any realistic or cheap alternatives.  Certainly, it is a possibility that in the 2100s, air travel will be something that is read about, or reserved for government/military/emergency use only.

Especially in larger countries, high speed rail has been discussed as the only reliable way to begin replacing air travel, based on current proven technology.  Of course, with air travel still relatively cheap, there is no incentive to move on this.  Hopefully, this is a step in the right direction regarding sane planning for the future.  True, this plan only covers a few midwestern states, but will hopefully branch out from there.

Greetings programs!

July 25, 2009

Disney released one of the most awaited film trailers this last week at Comicon.

Coming in 2010 in Disney 3-D …

Jeff Bridges is back as Kevin Flynn!

Mark Buehrle: PERFECT!

July 23, 2009

Not only the 16th modern perfect game in history, but considering that his other no-hit game involved facing exactly 27 batters (he picked off Sammy Sosa, whom he had walked), Mark is the first player in Major League history with two no-hit games facing the minimum 27 batters.  This was all thanks to one of the greatest situation catches in the outfied you are ever likely to see as DeWayne Wise preserved the perfect game, no-hitter, and the shut out all at once with a home run robbing catch to lead off the ninth inning (out #25) that needs to be seen to be believed.

By far and away:  the greatest pitching performance I have seen from my Sox in my lifetime.

To quote the Hawk:    MERCY!! … yes … Yes … YEs … YESSSSS!!!

Apollo 11 and family: photo gallery

July 17, 2009

Just in time for Apollo 11’a anniversary, NASA has released the photos that should for once and for all end the lunar hoaxers claims of a faked moon landing.

In June, NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) went into orbit.  Its cameras are the best ever installed on a lunar orbiter … so good in fact that they can take pictures of the lunar excursion modules (LEMs) that landed on the moon.  As of the time NASA released the photos, there were pictures of Eagle (Apollo 11), Antares (Apollo 14), Falcon (Apollo 15), Orion (Apollo 16), and Challenger (Apollo 17) had been imaged (Apollo 12’s Intrepid has not been imaged yet, and of course Apollo 13’s Aquarius never made it to the moon).

Some of the photos are fantastic … in some cases, scientific equipment is visible, as is a disturbed path from the LEM to scientific equipment (footprints and/or tire tracks … in the absence of wind, those tracks will be around a very long time).

Another victory for science, fact, and education!

This will reopen the lunar conspiracy theories

July 16, 2009

Yesterday was the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch, and in three days (July 20) will be the anniversary of man’s first steps on the moon.  Singularly, our species ultimate achievement (the wheel, fire, and the curveball, excepted).

Not in time for the anniversary, but some time in the next month or so, some folks associated with the film industry will be cleaning up the grainy footage that captivated well over a billion people 40 years ago.  As one story descibed it: the footage will now be better than what people actually saw on their TVs in 1969.

There was one problem:  believe it or not, NASA actually seems to have lost all of the original footage from the moon landing.  Fortunately, there were duplicates kept all over the world they were able to find for the project.

Some of the restoration is done:

There are other snippets available on youtube.  Undoubtedly, the hacks trying to make a buck by selling people books and videos of the “faked moon landing” will have a field day with the lack of original NASA footage and the fact that “Hollywood is just cleaning up their best work”.

Still, it is ridiculous that this great event does not get its due in history.

The Cubs are (maybe) Bankrupt

July 13, 2009

The Chicago Cubs are exploring filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in order to hasten their $900 million sale, which according to a few people is not only a vast overpayment for the club and its associated holdings, but may lead the new owners to require financial restructuring of the team (read:  not signing any high priced free agents for a while, having a strictly limited ability to resign talent wanting more money).

The definition of “a while” according to the Chicago Tribune was about 30 years, so at this rate, the Chicago Cubs will likely be competitive again sometime around 2040.

I know, I know …. its not all likely to happen, but a South Sider can hope.

Hey Chicago, what do you say?

The Cubs are going broke today (sing it)

Broke Cubs Brooooke. Broke Cubs Brooooke.