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Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘space travel

[BLOG] Some Friday links

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  • blogTO notes the heavy level of pollution in Toronto Harbour following recent rains, and suggests Toronto is set to get gigabit Internet speeds.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly talks about her recent vacation in Donegal.
  • Centauri Dreams revisits Robert L. Forward’s Starwisp probe.
  • Crooked Timber speculates that there is hope for rapid action on climate change.
  • The Dragon’s Tales reports on an inflated hot Jupiter orbiting a F-class star.
  • The Dragon’s Tales shares a vintage supercomputer pamphlet.
  • Far Outliers looks at the collapse of the Comanche empire in the 1860s.
  • Language Log looks at the controversial English test in France.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money reacts to an overly broad pulling of computer games with Confederate flags.
  • Steve Munro reacts to the state of streetcar switches.
  • Torontoist looks at a queer art exhibition at Bay and Wellesley on sex ed.
  • Towleroad shares a straight-married Scottish bishop’s tale of same-sex love.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes that remembering the Civil War does not requite keeping the Confederate flag.
  • Window on Eurasia notes how few Crimeans identify with Russia and looks at Finnish, Estonian, and Hungarian influence on Russia’s Finno-Ugric minorities.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

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  • Centauri Dreams anticipates Ceres.
  • Crooked Timber notes Big Oil is turning against Big Coal.
  • Geocurrents shares Martin Lewis’ slides on Nigeria.
  • Language Hat, reflecting on Irish and Hebrew, considers language change and shift.
  • Language Log examines the historical American broadcast r-less accent.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money wants a good history of the Occupy movement.
  • The New APPS Blog wonders what philosophical work might look like as technology and modes of scholarship evolve.
  • The Power and Money’s Noel Maurer looks at Mexico’s political parties.
  • Towleroad notes controversy in Houston over elderly LGBT housing and relations with police.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy argues against the policies that led to Orange Telecom’s withdrawal from the Israeli occupied territories.
  • Window on Eurasia looks at Russification, notes how Russia’s satellite program depends on American imports, and looks at the military incapacity of Tajikistan versus foreign threats like ISIS.

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

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  • Centauri Dreams reports on the Planetary Society’s solar sail.
  • Joe. My. God. links to Miley Cyrus’ coming out story.
  • Language Log criticizes the numbers given for Chinese language speakers.
  • The Power and the Money looks at the fragmentation of the Mexican political scene.
  • Savage Minds considers the academic boycott of Israel.
  • Towleroad notes a sad case of homophobia in Northern Ireland.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that the two Ukrainian Orthodox churches not under the control of Russia are moving towards union.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly comes out in favour of not trying to lead the life of an overachiever.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper noting the extent to which circumstellar habitable zones are influenced by the evolution of their stars.
  • The Everyday Sociology Blog considers the sociology of summer vacations. Who gets to take one?
  • Language Hat notes the complexities of Unicode.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the sweatshops of Argentina.
  • The Planetary Society Blog’s Emily Lakdawalla shares the latest pictures of Pluto while Jason Davis shares the first photos taken from the interior of the Society’s solar sail.
  • Towleroad notes Caitlyn Jenner’s outpouring of support on Twitter.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the practical collapse of federalism in Russia.

[BLOG] Some space science links

  • Centauri Dreams considers the prospects for habitable worlds at Tau Ceti considering the composition of planets and the star’s evolution over time, considers the need for consistent observation in SETI programs, looks at possibly detectably volcanic 55 Cancri e, wonders if Fermi bubbles are detectable, considers stellar drift in the context of expanding interstellar civilizations, and looks at exoplanets with circular orbits.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes that Kapteyn’s Star apparently does not support habitable-zone exoplanets, suggests that the superdense atmosphere of even a Venus analog could be eroded fairly quickly by a red dwarf, wonders if the G2 cloud at the galactic centre is a planetary embryo, wonders if water-rich asteroids have been detected impacting a white dwarf, and considers methane exoplanets.
  • The Dragon’s Tales wonders if the geysers of Enceladus feeds the E ring of Saturn, looks at thermal anomalies on Enceladus, imagines ways to detect Europa’s tides by space probe flybys, and compares the arroyos of Mars and Earth.
  • The Planetary Society Blog notes how radio astronomy can be contaminated by Earthly pollution, notes the society’s recent lightsail launch, and looks at Ceres.

[LINK] “Bill Nye’s Lightsail solar sailing spacecraft wins on Kickstarter”

The Kickstarter campaign described by the Planetary Society’s Richard Chute for a solar sail craft was a huge success. CBC reports.

A campaign to launch a small spacecraft propelled through space by ultra-thin solar sails has crowdfunded enough in just one day to build the spacecraft.

The private, non-profit Planetary Society and its CEO Bill Nye had raised $200,000 on Kickstarter by Wednesday afternoon, just a day after they launched their campaign to help fund their LightSail spacecraft.

The bread loaf-sized spacecraft is powered by solar sails, designed to capture the momentum from solar energy photons using large, mirrored surfaces. The small, continuous acceleration allows a spacecraft propelled by solar sails to reach high speeds over time without carrying or burning any fuel.

The money raised on Kickstarter will cover construction of the spacecraft used in the primary mission, which will launch in 2016. A low-altitude test flight is scheduled to launch May 20.

Altogether, the project is expected to cost $5.46 million. The Planetary Society says it has $1.2 million left to raise.

Written by Randy McDonald

May 15, 2015 at 11:31 pm

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • Anthropology.net notes the discovery of some Neanderthal skeletons showing signs of having had the flesh carved off of them.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at the messages carried by the New Horizon probe.
  • Crooked Timber makes the case for the continued relevance of Bob Marley.
  • The Dragon’s Tales looks at recurrent streams on Mars carved by perchlorate-laced water.
  • A Fistful of Euros’ Edward Hugh argues that Spain is still digging out of the long crisis.
  • Joe. My. God. notes the story of a Louisiana trans man fired from his job for not detransitioning.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes that China is not really a revisionist power.
  • Justin Petrone looks at ways in which young Estonian children are demonstrating and developing a fear of Russia.
  • The Planetary Society Blog examines the failure of the Dragon rocket.
  • Towleroad notes that the Russian-language version of Siri is quite homophobic.
  • Understanding Society looks at the criticial realist social theory of Frédéric Vandenberghe.
  • Window on Eurasia looks at trends in violence in the North Caucasus and warns of Central Asian alienation from Russia.
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