Archive for the ‘NASA’ Category

Is it a Southern thing?

You can order one meat and three side dishes for a small amount of money at many restaurants. Drink can be extra or included. The portions are generous. Many take home a box for one or two additional meals.

Seniors can get a meat and two sides for even less. These neighborhood places are most successful when the patrons get to know each other. One I like is Dalton’s in Nashville. There are huge tv screens but people are mostly eating and visiting with the cook. Good cooking is a conversation starter.

Today is a day late and a dollar short. Fridays are becoming the space between Thursday and Saturday. Was it always that way? The Sunshine Award received today caused a lot of thinking about what posts do we most enjoy. The post about Bessie Coleman (see photo) caught my eye.  Years ago I did a series of paintings about women who affected desegregation of transportation. Even though I had lived in Chicago  many years, I did not know of her fetes until researching for these works.

"Bessie Coleman"

Queen Bess

Bessie Colemans pilot licence

Image via Wikipedia

There are 10 women selected for this series through space flight by astronaut, Mae Jemison.

Coleman-Bessie 01Bess

Who knew?

There was an award called Sunshine and that I would be nominated for it?

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"New Planet Discovered"

"Life on Planet?"

Today it was announced that NASA discovered a new planet. It is twice the size of earth and is thought to be able to sustain life. While that is very exciting, the planet is 600 years away. This should not be a problem

considering the rapid changes in space exploration.   A child born this Christmas might have an opportunity to skip from Mars to this new planet and back.

What would the headline be?

Daughter born Christmas Day, 2011 returns to earth;

reports life on planet.

Science fiction has prepared us to dream the possibilities. Thanks, Ray Bradbury!

Who knew?

New Zealand awards for science writing.

There is a lot to absorb in this post but worth reading.


The post where this appears is on the Open Parachute wordpress blog. Links to the two winning authors  are on that site.



Open Parachute

This weekend the Royal Society announced the winners of the New Zealand Manhire Prize for Creative Science Writing.

There are two categories, fiction and non-fiction, and this year entrants were asked to write about chemistry and our world. This is to commemorate the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry to Marie Curie in 1911 and to celebrate a hundred years of the contribution of chemistry to the well-being of humanity.

Radium – A Love Story

Both winning writers are chemists and have PhDs. Dr Bridget Stocker, who works at the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research in Wellington, wrote the winning fiction piece, Radium – A Love Story. (pdf link) It’s about Marie Curie and told from her point of view.

Stocker says:

“I felt compelled to write this story given that I’d taken part in the Marie Curie lecture series by the Royal Society of New…

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Weather report
Sun streaming in my house
“It will be a good day”
Temperature in the 70s
Sounds good to me.

In the car
Dark cloud hovering
just ahead.

where are you?
What do you see?
It looks like rain
to me.

The BIG number
NASA reports only 26 pieces of space junk are expected to hit earth tomorrow afternoon. If it misses North America, as now reported, should we be concerned? The impact still will be a worry to people living in other places.

Who knew?
The latest printers will give the news on your computer. You can print out daily suduko puzzles and horoscopes. There are coloring and scrapbook pages to print. Young children may be able to push the button and entertain themselves while eating breakfast. It will be interesting to see what is next? Perhaps pancakes and syrup while the parents sleep-in. (more…)

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Looking up at the innocent night sky, I wonder where is the 600+ pound chunk of unwanted space junk? The Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) has served the purpose it was designed for. It flew first class on the shoulders of the space shuttle Discovery in 1991. No passport was needed. No government identification with a photo was requested. There was no charge for excess baggage. It travelled miles and sky-years that no person on earth has travelled.

In 2005, NASA declared it defunct. It could have stayed above circling around in the sea of junk left by space travel, following its own purposes, until it tired. Then it might have slipped under its own weight down into the atmosphere, to its end.

That bright and reflective, complicated piece of machinery had its own vision. It did as it was told but flying at a high speed, imagination took hold. No longer working long hours, spinning through galaxies nor sending information back to earth, the big idea came †o it. “I will just tumble along and see what interests me up here.”

NASA decided it was better for it to make the decisions about its own satellite. It would bring it down slowly and not listen to the desires of a defunct satellite. After all, it was programmed to have a definite life-cycle by NASA and it could be changed by NASA.

And so the UARS is tumbling at speeds over 500 miles per hour to connect with earth. The number of pieces and their weight on entry have been determined using all of the available technology and brains available. The largest of piece will weigh 330 lbs. “Chances are that no person will be hit. There will
be a warning.” The exact day and time cannot be determined until its path is seen. But it is coming.
And it will be exciting for the satellite is deciding where and how its journey will end.

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Who knew?
Trees could be grown, like tomatoes, upside down.
"Growing Trees Upside Down"

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