Categories
inspirational physics

NASA: How We’re Going to the Moon (Again)

Before the holidays, NASA put out an announcement for plans to go back to the moon. The plan is pretty extensive:

With the Artemis program, NASA will land the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024, using innovative technologies to explore more of the lunar surface than ever before. We will collaborate with our commercial and international partners and establish sustainable exploration by 2028. Then, we will use what we learn on and around the Moon to take the next giant leap — sending astronauts to Mars.

Instead of the way previous missions were completed, with one rocket taking up a single lander, NASA plans to setup infrastructure in the form of a small space station orbiting the Moon which can dock with incoming ships and guide them a gentle landing just about anywhere on the surface. This will make travelling to the moon much cheaper and sets the stage for how it will be done if (when?) mankind starts going to Mars. More details about the Artemis Mission on NASA’s website.

Categories
inspirational Music

White Wine in the Sun

I love this song by Tim Mitchin. I listen to it every Christmas.

Categories
inspirational Science

Atlantis’ Final Launch

It’s the end of an era as the the Space Shuttle Atlantis lifted off for its last flight this morning. Watching Atlantis lift off gave me a great shot of nostalgia from the early days of the shuttle program when I was a kid. Here are some screen shots I took from NASA’s broadcast this morning.

Space Shuttle Atlantis Screen Shot
Space Shuttle Atlantis Screen Shot
Space Shuttle Atlantis Screen Shot
Space Shuttle Atlantis Screen Shot
Space Shuttle Atlantis Screen Shot
Space Shuttle Atlantis Screen ShotSpace Shuttle Atlantis Screen ShotSpace Shuttle Atlantis Screen Shot
Space Shuttle Atlantis Screen Shot
Space Shuttle Atlantis Screen Shot
Space Shuttle Atlantis Screen Shot
Space Shuttle Atlantis Screen Shot

Categories
inspirational

Roger Ebert on TED

I’ve been a reader of Roger Ebert’s blog since he started writing it. Most of his posts are about as profound as it gets. Reading his stories ranging in diversity from his own history and childhood to the loneliness of isolation he feels from those that leave comments on his blog, one is left with little doubt why the famous critic was drawn to journalism — he’s an amazing writer.

When he lost his lower jaw to cancer in 2006, he lost the ability to eat and speak. However, he certainly didn’t lose his voice. In this moving talk from TED2011, Ebert and his wife, Chaz, with friends Dean Ornish and John Hunter, come together to tell his remarkable story.

Hit play or watch Roger Ebert’s talk on TED.com.

Somewhat (but not really) related: Roger Ebert has been entering the New Yorker’s cartoon caption contest almost weekly since it began and this week, he is a finalist for the first time. (New Yorker link).

Categories
inspirational

Make a Better Friend

Do something nice for someone you don’t know very well. If you’re not sure what that is, try introducing them to someone else. I’m amazed at the unseen rewards that happen when you introduce someone. You get (at least some) credit for all the good that comes of that new relationship.

Categories
history inspirational Politics

Tom Brokaw Explains Canada To Americans

I love this:

Tom Brokaw Explains Canada to Americans – YouTube

P.S. Parliament has been prorogued during the Olympics so Harper’s little flag waving speech was actually given at the British Columbia legislature.

Categories
history inspirational

Kurt Vonnegut’s Letter Home

As a private with the 106th Infantry Division, Kurt Vonnegut, along with five other battalion scouts, wandered behind enemy lines for several days during the Rhineland Campaign and became cut off from their battalion. They were captured by Wehrmacht troops on December 14, 1944 and imprisoned in Dresden, Germany.

While a prisoner, he witnessed the controversial fire bombing of Dresden in February 1945 which destroyed most of the city. The Germans held Vonnegut in an an ad hoc detention facility that had originally been an underground slaughterhouse meat locker. This experience was the inspiration for his famous novel, Slaughterhouse-Five.

A month later he wrote his family from a repatriation camp informing them of his capture and survival:

Kurt Vonnegut Letter home

See the rest of the letter at Letters of Note – Slaughterhouse Five.

Categories
inspirational

Golden Gate Endeavour

Chris Martin and Mick Dawson set off in a 23ft long and 6ft wide boat from Choshi, Japan on Friday 8th May 2009 and arrived in the San Francisco Bay under the Golden Gate Bridge last Friday 13th November 2009 becoming the first crew to row unsupported across the North Pacific Ocean.

Goldent Gate Endeavour

Chris and Mick photograph their historic entrance into the San Francisco Bay.

Within seconds I looked up and saw the underside of the bridge. A shotgun sounded off to our left indicating that we had made it. We had rowed across the North Pacific Ocean. After over half a year of giving everything we had to the ocean and this breathtaking, life changing an historic moment was our most welcome reward. I looked round at Mick who held out his hand which I gladly shook. The rest of the trip into land was a bit surreal.

Check out the video that Mick produced in preparation for his attempt:

[Golden Gate Endeavour | YouTube]

They kept a blog of their daily progress at http://www.goldengateendeavour.com/.

Categories
inspirational

40 Inspirational Speeches

Need some inspiration? Here you go:

Hit play or watch 40 Inspirational Speeches in 2 Minutes at YouTube.

(via)

Categories
inspirational

Lost Generation

Not exactly “backmasking” or even reverse speech, but I loved the feeling this creative prose evoked when it started to go backwards.


[Lost Generation – YouTube]