31 January 2010
If you liked Jack O´Neill´s zat gun in Stargate SG1, you can buy it on eBay when they go up for auction along with a lot of other props from Stagate SG1 and Stagate Atlantis. Since I am more of a fan of Atlantis, I might go for Ronan´s Wraith gun or even a ZPM ( too bad it really doesn´t work!) Anyway, I am sure there are plenty of fans who will want to buy these props and what a smart way to make money because as I have understood, the Stargate Franchise has always been very budget oriented and has tried to make the most out of each set for the least amount of money. I like that because it forces more creativity when you have limited money to work with.
Too bad the zat doesn´t work either, it would make a great deterrent to pick pockets and thieves.
Here is a link to the list of items for SALE.
29 January 2010
28 January 2010
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25 January 2010
So message-sending aliens will probably have some form of society. It need not be anything like human societies, however. "There are meta-intelligences in the societies of bees and termites. I can imagine something like a termite or ant colony that gets really intelligent," says Schulze-Makuch. This does not tell us, however, whether they will be furry, scaly or slimy. Even on Earth, clever brains come in a wide variety of packages: dolphins and primates, parrots and crows, sea otters, honey badgers, octopuses and squid.
24 January 2010
"In life, unlike chess, the game continues after checkmate."—from the episode "The Uncanny Valley
"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."—from the episode "Secrets and Lies"
"Fairy tales do not tell children that dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children that dragons can be killed."—from the episode "Seven Seconds"
"Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win."—from the episode "Masterpiece"
23 January 2010
He said: "I want to push the limits of what is possible."
Baumgartner will be dressed in a protective suit and flown to 120,000 feet in a pressurised capsule before making his jump.
He believes he will be able to break the speed of sound — 768mph — within 35 seconds.
21 January 2010
Anyway, if you like a good thriller this movie is for you and I recommend subtitled! Here is a clip in German, but you will get the idea.
20 January 2010
Because it is such a unique event, people from all over are showing interest in making the trek to see Spock during the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo, he added.
About 12,000 people are expected to come through the expo, but Foong thinks that could be shattered.
He also said that while there's usually only one guest Star Trek actor at the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo, this year will have another guest. Brent Spiner, the actor who played Data on Star Trek: The Next Generation, is also scheduled to visit, said Foong.
Now that CBS recognizes the town of Vulcan as a licensed Star Trek destination, there are no longer concerns of copyright infringements.
"We are now the official Star Trek capital of Canada," Dickens told the Advocate.
19 January 2010
Images from outerspace were taken of Haiti in the days following the earthquake and compared with images taken one year earlier. Landslides in the mountainous regions are noted upon close inspection but since the pictures come from outerspace, buildings are not seen in the images.
From the article:
(PhysOrg.com) -- The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument on NASA's Terra spacecraft captured this simulated natural color image of the Port-au-Prince, Haiti, area, Jan. 14, 2010, two days after a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck the region and caused massive damage and loss of life.
The broad spectral coverage and high spectral resolution of ASTER provide scientists in numerous disciplines with critical information for surface mapping and monitoring of dynamic conditions and temporal change. Example applications include monitoring glacial advances and retreats; monitoring potentially active volcanoes; identifying crop stress; determining cloud morphology and physical properties; wetlands evaluation; thermal pollution monitoring; coral reef degradation; surface temperature mapping of soils and geology; and measuring surface heat balance.
Here is a Link to the article.
It also makes me think of an article in USA Today and the concern that the US has large budget deficits so unmanned technology such as ASTER may be the future of space exploration for the US. From the article:
But that was before huge federal deficits arrived, public support failed to show, and unmanned explorers scored successes — namely the Hubble telescope and Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity, which are still sending back signals years after they were expected to expire.
So as we look to the next decade, what sort of human space exploration will we see?
"We are on a path that will not lead to a useful, safe human exploration program," former Lockheed Martin chief Norman Augustine said when he testified to Congress in September about the blue-ribbon space exploration panel he chaired. "The primary reason is the mismatch between the tasks to be performed and the funds that are available to support those tasks."
You can also read more HERE.
18 January 2010
The Victorians celebrated the start of the twentieth century on 1 January 1901. On 31 December 1900, The Daily Telegraph published an article on ‘The Departing Century’ by Sir Edwin Arnold. Christmas 1900 was referred to ‘as the last of the century’. Fast forward to 1999. I tabled a question to ask the Goverment why the new Millennium was officially being celebrated a year early. In response, Lord McIntosh of Haringey conceded that the Government accepted that the new Millennium started on 1 January 2001. However, he said, ‘many people wish to celebrate during the year 2000′. Consequently, it was decided in 1994 that the Millennium Commission would fund projects throughout 2000 ‘and into the new Millennium’. This all appears to be a case of having one’s cake and eating it. As The Daily Telegraph observed, the Home Office had allocated an additional bank holiday for 31 December 1999 ‘in recognition of the celebratory nature of the Millennium’.
Find the fictional Stardate that corresponds to "today's" date
Since the Stardate systems used in various Star Trek episodes are meant to measure time in the Twenty-third and Twenty-fourth Centuries, the same Stardate system cannot be used to express contemporary dates (i.e., in the Twentieth and Twenty-first Centuries).
However, for those who would like to create Stardates to represent contemporary dates, there are three methods that can be used:
Represent the current date in YYMM.DD format, where "YY" is the current year minus 1900, MM is the current month (01-12), and DD is the current day of the month (01-31). For example, September 08, 1966, would be written as "Stardate 6609.08" in the YYMM.DD format. Another digit must be added for years after 1999, such that September 11, 2001, would be written as "Stardate 10109.11" in the YYMM.DD format. This system can be used to express any year after 1900 in Stardate format. This system also roughly corresponds to the Stardates used in the first six Star Trek motion pictures, such that if a new movie were made today in The Original Series continuity, then its Stardate would be close to the YYMM.DD format.
Using the new Stardate format in Star Trek XI, dates may be expressed in YYYY.xx format, where YYYY is the actual four-digit year, and .xx represents the fraction of the year to two decimal places (i.e., hundredths of a year). For example, January 1, 1999, would correspond to Stardate 1999.00, while July 2, 1999, would correspond to Stardate 1999.50 (half-way through the year 1999).For any given date, simply calculate the number of days it has been since January 1, then express that as a percentage of the year (the number of days since January 1 divided by 365 should give the number to follow the decimal in the Stardate).
Use the Stardate of the current Star Trek episode or movie to represent today's Stardate.
Today is Stardate 63515.1, using The Next Generation Stardate system (i.e., that would be the Stardate of this week's episode if The Next Generation and its spinoffs were still in production).To express other contemporary dates in The Next Generation Stardate format, use the calculator below.
Here is a link to the SITE and enjoy!
16 January 2010
15 January 2010
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11 January 2010
I love the Hubble Telescope because it provides such interesting information and images that make me want to dream about what kind of life lives out at the edges of the Universe. I thought it very clever that the movie "Contact" based on the book by the same name and written by Carl Sagan, used a variety of images produced by the Hubble Telescope in the opening sequences of the movie.
Hubble is still hard at work providing insight into the far reaches of the Universe.
Astronaut repairmen had hardly finished tightening the last stubborn bolts on the Hubble Space Telescope last summer when astronomers set the controls on the refurbished telescope to the dim and distant past.The result was a new long-distance observing record. Astronomers announced in a series of papers over the fall and in a news conference last week that Hubble had recorded images of the earliest and most distant galaxies ever seen, blurry specks of light that burned brightly only 600 million to 800 million years after the Big Bang.The specks are clouds only one-twentieth the size of the Milky Way galaxy and only 1 percent of its mass, and seem to show the lingering effects of the first generation of stars to form in the universe in that they get bluer the farther back you go in time.
You can read more about it HERE.
10 January 2010
If you choose to look at science fiction literature from a pragmatic point of view, it is fiction, a story that is made up to read and enjoy and then get on with your life. You can ascribe any meaning you like to the work of fiction, end of story.
Here are some of my favorite quotes by Isaac Asimov:
I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them.
If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them.
Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome.
Never let your sense of morals get in the way of doing what's right.
Part of the inhumanity of the computer is that, once it is competently programmed and working smoothly, it is completely honest.
Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.
Science can be introduced to children well or poorly. If poorly, children can be turned away from science; they can develop a lifelong antipathy; they will be in a far worse condition than if they had never been introduced to science at all.
Here is a link to the article warning people about science fiction.
08 January 2010
I blogged a while back about nanotechnology being used to combat cancer , but I found this disturbing trend of using nano technology to enhance food, for example its flavor, appearance, and nutritional content. They are calling it Nanofoods. I find this disturbing and here is a bit from an article:
You can read the complete article here, and another interesting piece here on the same subject.
From the second article:
Food companies have been urged to come clean about secret research into potentially harmful nanotechnology.An influential group of peers said companies should be compelled to tell regulators about their work on tiny particles that can improve the flavour and texture of food, or increase its shelf life.They also called for a public register of food products and packaging containing nanomaterials, and more Government-funded research into possible health hazards.
I never imagined that nanotechnology would be used in such an insidious way, I have not heard of it in the main stream media, I have not read any reports on test subjects who have eaten the food over the course of many years and the effects the nanites had on their organs, brain, blood chemistry, etc. Many questions and studies need to be made about nanofood, for example, can the particles cross natural body barriers and enter cells or organs? What are the particles made of and what kind of half-life are we talking about and what is the purpose of developing this kind of food? I would like to know what kind of food will have this technology so I can avoid it altogether until true studies are presented to the public.
07 January 2010
Apophis is making its way towards Earth and may arrive by the year 2029, no, not Apophis from Stargate SG1, but a 270 meter asteroid that has a slight chance of impacting Earth. The Russian Space Agency is considering sending a spacecraft in an attenpt to knock the asteroid off of its course. This entire story reminded me of two movies, Armageddon (1998) and Deep Impact (1998) both about an asteroid that will hit Earth and destroy life. Armageddon put me to sleep and the acting was horrible in my opinion. I liked Deep Impact better from the psychological point of view, such as the government lying to the people for as long as possible so as not to "alarm" anyone, how martial law was implemented in the US, people began to commit suicide, rob, panic and try to get picked for this gigantic cave everyone would live in for a couple of years.
Anyway, I find it is interesting the name of the asteroid and Russia may send a spacecraft. From the article:
Russia is considering sending a spacecraft to a large asteroid to knock it off its path and prevent a possible collision with Earth, the head of the country's space agency said Wednesday.Anatoly Perminov said the space agency will hold a meeting soon to assess a mission to Apophis, telling Golos Rossii radio that it would invite NASA, the European Space Agency, the Chinese space agency and others to join the project once it is finalized.
06 January 2010
I am going to continue showing my true geek nature by sharing 100 quotes that every geek should know a cool article I found at the blog wired.com. Now that is geeky if you need to know 100 quotes, I can barely keep track of 10, lol, even if it has to do with Star Trek! Anyway, here are ten of the "must know quotes":
1. "Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony." —Dennis the Peasant, Monty Python and the Holy Grail
2. "Three rings for the Elven kings under the sky, seven for the Dwarf lords in their halls of stone, nine for the mortal men doomed to die, one for the Dark Lord on his dark throne, in the land of Mordor where the shadows lie. One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them, one ring the bring them all, and in the darkness bind them. In the land of Mordor where the shadows lie." —The Lord of the Rings
3. "I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that." —HAL, 2001: A Space Odyssey
4. "Spock. This child is about to wipe out every living thing on Earth. Now, what do you suggest we do ... .spank it?" —Dr. McCoy, Star Trek: The Motion Picture
5. "With great power there must also come—great responsibility." —Amazing Fantasy #15 (August 1962)
6. "If you can't take a little bloody nose, maybe you oughtta go back home and crawl under your bed. It's not safe out here. It's wondrous, with treasures to satiate desires both subtle and gross; but it's not for the timid." —Q, Star Trek: The Next Generation, "Q Who?"
7. "Five-card stud, nothing wild. And the sky's the limit" —Captain Jean-Luc Picard, uttering the last line of the series, Star Trek: The Next Generation "All Good Things ..."
8. "If you think that by threatening me you can get me to do what you want ... well, that's where you're right. But—and I am only saying that because I care—there's a lot of decaffeinated brands on the market that are just as tasty as the real thing." —Chris Knight, Real Genius
9. "We're all very different people. We're not Watusi. We're not Spartans. We're Americans, with a capital 'A', huh? You know what that means? Do ya? That means that our forefathers were kicked out of every decent country in the world. We are the wretched refuse. We're the underdog." —John Winger, Stripes
10. "If I'm not back in five minutes, just wait longer." —Ace Ventura, Ace Ventura, Pet Detective
05 January 2010
If I were a surfer, these wet suits would rock but I don´t know if there is a surf board to go along with them, but it could be a shuttle pod design or maybe the Enterprise itself. I doubt, however, that these suits are surfer cool, I wonder what the guys would say if another surfer dude showed up decked out in Star Trek stuff, maybe a chick surfer could pull it off, I don´t know, the few surfers I have known are into cool, not nerd. Now a better idea is a perfume called Pon Farr ( really that is a clever name!) to drive guys crazy. The only thing wrong there is most gals are not into Star Trek so the guy would have to buy it as a gift (I wouldn´t mind, of course!) Anyway, you could wear Star Trek all day long, get dolls, model ships, the works if you are a collector.
04 January 2010
I posted about Avatar the movie earlier, but it has been in the news and even on Bloomberg that the movie has made 1 billion dollars worldwide. I have not seen the movie and probably will not in the theater because some military science fiction movies are not my cup of tea. I do like some types of military science fiction, but with so much war in the world right now, I am not in the mood to see humans attempting to conquer another group of beings. However, getting back to the dollar amount made by the movie, I chalk that up to great marketing. There were fifteen minute spots interviewing the actors, the commercials, the interactive You Tube videos, and articles in blogs, gave the movie a huge boost. James Cameron makes sure that he can market his films well, I am sure, before making them, after all, before this movie, Titanic was the biggest money maker( but I don´t know if they adjust the dollar amounts for inflation/deflation etc.)
Speaking of billions of dollars, a friend of mine sent me this disturbing report that the government wants to change the rules on certain aspects of banking which seem like science fiction to me. Here is an excerpt from the lengthy article:
Yet new regulations proposed by the administration, and specifically by the ever-incompetent Securities and Exchange Commission, seek to pull one of these three core pillars from the foundation of the entire money market industry, by changing the primary assumptions of the key Money Market Rule 2a-7. A key proposal in the overhaul of money market regulation suggests that money market fund managers will have the option to "suspend redemptions to allow for the orderly liquidation of fund assets." You read that right: this does not refer to the charter of procyclical, leveraged, risk-ridden, transsexual (allegedly) portfolio manager-infested hedge funds like SAC, Citadel, Glenview or even Bridgewater (which in light of ADIA's latest batch of problems, may well be wishing this was in fact the case), but the heart of heretofore assumed safest and most liquid of investment options: Money Market funds, which account for nearly 40% of all investment company assets. The next time there is a market crash, and you try to withdraw what you thought was "absolutely" safe money, a back office person will get back to you saying, "Sorry - your money is now frozen. Bank runs have become illegal." This is precisely the regulation now proposed by the administration. In essence, the entire US capital market is now a hedge fund.
HERE is the report.
So while it is nice a science fiction film is making billions of dollars, please take care of your own money, that you have available to you all of your money at all times.
03 January 2010
I found a great article in Space.com about some interesting events to watch out for this year.
From the article:
Jan. 15 – Solar Eclipse
An annular (ring) eclipse of the sun will take place over parts of Africa, India and China. Because the moon is near apogee (its farthest point from Earth in its orbit) and the Earth has just passed perihelion. So the moon appears much smaller than average, and the sun somewhat larger than average. The moon's circle is only about 92 percent as wide as the sun; so 4 percent of the sun's width shows on each side of the moon. Thus, the annular phase lasts a maximum of 11 minutes and 8 seconds. This is a very long duration indeed: nearly half as long as some people got to watch last July's total eclipse. According to eclipse expert Fred Espenak of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, this is the longest annular eclipse of the 3rd Millennium – its duration will not be exceeded until the year 3043!
There is much more to see this year so get your telescopes ready!