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Courtesy NASATo paraphrase Capt. Kirk, we've now gone boldly where no one has gone before. After 35 years and 11 billion miles of travel, NASA's Voyager I spacecraft has officially left our solar system. Measuring instruments on the craft no longer defect the movement of solar wind, which is the movement of particles influenced by energy released by our Sun, around Voyager I. Following not too far behind is Voyager II, which as covered about 9.5 billion miles. You can learn more about the milestone by clicking here.
UPDATE: Wait a second, NASA isn't agreeing with this analysis on Voyager I's location. You can read more about this brewing science controversy here. Does Pluto have anything to do with this?
Leave it to Japanese engineers. They've come up with a better way to make buildings smaller without the usual mess created by conventional demolition means.
Here's a long, but very inspirational, report on a 14-year-old Michigan girl who is rebuilding a Pontiac Fiero car all on her own. Her goal, to drive it on her 16th birthday.
This is very cool, especially on the day an asteroid is making a near-miss (or near-hit) passing of Earth. From what I can gather, a bolide entered Earth's atmosphere about 20-30 miles above somewhere in Russia causing debris to rain down and blow out windows in buildings. Someone recorded a spectacular video of the bolide coming in and burning up in the sky. The original posting was removed but the video has now reappeared online. The second video records some of the debris making landfall.
The Mars rover, Curiosity, has made an historic drilling into rock on the surface of Mars. The feat is a first in planetary exploration.
"This is the biggest milestone accomplishment for the Curiosity team since the sky-crane landing last August, another proud day for America," said John Grotizinger, the mission's lead scientist.“
The next step is to have the extracted gray powdered rock analyzed by Curiosity's on-board laboratory to determine the sample's chemistry and mineralogy,
Check out this amazing footage from the documentary, CHASING ICE", and watch a slab of ice the size of lower Manhattan drop off the edge of Ilulissat Glacier in Western Greenland. It's the largest calving event ever filmed. Check out the movie, too, if you haven't yet.
I confess I'm not a cat person, but this isn't why I dislike cats. Here are some chilling numbers on why you should keep your cat indoors.
Courtesy Public domain photo by David Rydevik via WikimediaNatural disasters are a fact of nature, and natural disaster movies are a fact of the film industry. Whether it be volcanoes, errant asteroids, earthquakes, or something as far-fetched as the seeds of carnivorous plants riding to Earth on meteorites (one of my childhood favorites) - the genre has been a story staple since the early days of cinema.
This year's offering is The Impossible, a gut-wrenching movie that portrays the effects of the December 26, 2004 tsunami in Thailand. The main storyline centers on a family of five who struggles to survive and reconnect after a 9.3 earthquake in the Indian Ocean triggers a deadly tsunami that killed more than a quarter-million people. In the film, the family is English, but the screenplay was based on the actual ordeal of a Spanish family (you can read about them here but be aware that it could be a spoiler for watching the film).
Personally, I thought the film was really good and gave an incredibly realistic and fascinating depiction of what it must have been like to have experienced such a devastating natural disaster. The special effects were amazing and I'm very curious to find out just how they were done. Plus it got me interested in re-examining the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
Courtesy Public domain via WikipediaThere’s concern in the scientific community as the Republic of Turkey seemingly expands its censorship of evolution. Turkey is one of the more secular Islamic countries, but recent events seem to show a growing trend in the Turkish government's crumbling stance on evolution. In 2008, the country’s Council of Information Technology and Communications (BTK) banned access to evolution websites including www.richarddawkins.com, www.aboutdarwin.com and www.darwin-online.org.uk. (Access to some other previously banned evolution sites was later allowed). The next year, the cover story of a science magazine celebrating the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth was removed just before publication but later reinstated after public outcry. In 2011, Turkey’s Council of Information Technology and Communications (BTK) released secure “Child Profile” Internet filters that, along with guarding against access to pornography, blocked sites containing words such as “Darwin” and “evolution”.
Now the Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey (TÜBITAK) has stopped publication and sale of all evolution books its archives. The TÜBITAK website has long listed books by such evolution writers as Richard Dawkins, Stephen Jay Gould, and J a m e s W a t son as “out of stock”, but now titles by these and other writers like will no longer be available.
In a scene reminiscent of the ending to the original Indiana Jones movie, five little moon rocks have turned up in a storage center for the Minnesota National Guard. Read more about this lunar mystery here.