Tag Archives: space

Random Issues and Other Nonsense

Courtesy: NASA

Courtesy: NASA

Computer wonks professionals are always focused on security above all else. Of course, the most secure computer is the one that is not only disconnected from the internet, but also, unplugged, disassembled and the individual pieces mashed with a sledgehammer.

Therefore, it was no surprise that I received a computer peripheral for my “Home Cloud” that had seals on the cardboard box stating that opening the cardboard box would void the warranty.

My family used to have a tradition of passing an item – a cheap ceramic jar labeled as a “Penny Jar” so that each birthday, holiday, or whatever, it would show up. Sadly it eventually broke. However, with re-gifting now a common practice, there have to be items that keep getting passed along and never actually used; Christmas fruitcake doesn’t count.

Samantha Cristoforetti, an astronaut on the International Space Station is from Italy (and a ham radio operator who talks to kids in school by radio). The Italians have some of their priorities set right, and they designed an espresso machine specifically to work on the space station—the other astronauts drink instant coffee. It finally arrived after a launch mishap (explosion) of a supply rocket in January. If I were an executive with Starbucks, I would be soooooooooooo embarrassed that the Italians beat us to this milestone.

Finally, I have to wonder why certain otherwise normal people feel compelled to write blogs.

Am I Back?

I’ve been having trouble writing lately because all I seem to read about is scandal, celebrity, celebrity-scandal, murder, rape, pillage and politics. Ugh!

We Geeks like to find the silver lining in any and every cloud, and it’s been pretty hard lately.

But, then I saw it.

Orbital Sciences successfully launched their Antares rocket carrying supplies for the International Space Station (ISS) from Wallops Island, VA. With the space shuttles retired, NASA had been relying on the Russians for transport and supply of the ISS. Now they’ve got two additional partners, Orbital Sciences and SpaceX.

Wow! It’s kind of like “Two Men and a Truck” at seventeen miles a second. Nothing glitzy. Nothing fancy. Just reliable delivery service like UPS or FedEx with a couple of million horsepower.

Now I have to write about the CubeSats and student experiments that the Antares carried. Then I need to write about a Geek philosopher I’ve recently read.

Stay tuned.

The Dark Side

smith 1

Once again Smithsonian Magazine comes through with a thought provoking article, “Welcome to the Dark Side” by Ron Rosenbaum in the June 2013 issue. The article is about Lisa Randall, a Cosmologist – which is more or less like the mixture of a physicist and mathematician on super-steroids. Dr. Randall is a tenured professor at Harvard, and is working with things that Star Trek writers could never imagine.

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Dr.. Lisa Randall

The most interesting part of her theory is that of all the universe, we can only observe 4%. The other 96% we can’t see, measure or mathematically extrapolate. This 96% is so-called “dark matter.”

Here’s a totally unscientific question — “Could the afterlife; heaven and possibly hell be occupying the majority of the universe? Could they be in the part we cannot see?

Just a thought.