Tagged: space

SpaceBrew Review: Ancient Shores

Ancient Shores
by Jack McDevitt

as posted on Goodreads

This book was like a “wave” at a football game. You know the one where people stand up in turn waving their arms around and it gives the effect that the stadium is an ocean? Yeah. That. Let me explain the analogy.

Well you probably got that it was up and down with the suspense, drama and general kickassery of the story. It was indeed. The gait would pick up and get me real interested, then it would slow back down and even bog down with unnecessary character introductions and irrelevant loose ends. But it also reminded me of a stadium wave because of how imperfect the wave part of the wave actually was.

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Saturday Night Star Party

Here we are, Two-Step and a couple of friends and I moseyed out to Alpine, Texas to see the stars. They say Alpine is the best place in the continental United States to see the stars. And boy, they’re right. Zero light pollution. No street lights, no bright signage, just perfect darkness and a hundred billion stars in the sky.

Our first night we stayed in Brownswood at a budget inn type place, just to knock a few hours off the nine-hour trek to Alpine. That was a good experience in itself though, as we all sat outside around a wire-mesh table and had some drinks while we talked to some other travelers who had just arrived on their motorcycle. It seems that everyone you meet at a hotel is always so friendly. It almost restores your faith in humanity a little bit. Everyone we’ve met so far has been great.

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Time Machine Status: Repaired

Some time ago, I requested your help with finding the cause of my failing Fonga Plug on my time machine. I’m sure you remember the column. It ended up not being the Reticulating Cockball Assembly, after all, and instead the Hyperflux Induction Modulator. And since you cannot buy one of those at Auto Zone, I had to craft one myself.

So I started with the basics. Of course you have to have the Hatford Loop. Without a Hatford Loop, your temporal course will never stabilize. You can literally get lost in the ether between seconds, trying to find your way back to 2254. I have heard horror stories about guys tearing off into the mezazoic period with a camera and a dream of photographing a dinosaur and turning up fossilized in the future. Don’t even ask.

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The Heisenberg Handbag

Are any of you married? I don’t know if that really matters. I think the more relevant question is, “Do you know a woman?” This question is really only aimed at the men though. So, men, do you know a woman? And secondly, does she have a purse? Because OH MY GOD. My wife does. And I’m not talking about the two-hundred-dollar job she bought from some online French retailer. It cost sixty bucks to ship the damn thing. And when it got here it looked like a nylon bag to me. I mean, props for the orange rubber handle, but dude – seriously? It looked like a ten-dollar cheap-ass Target job.

Well, I guess I sort of am talking about it. See, I’m actually going to talk about all of her purses. She has several thousand, I’m sure. It’s ridiculous. I actually had to build an add-on to our closet just to house all her fine luxury purses. And we’re not talking Target job shit here. She only buys the finest handbags made from the finest material. Like Indonesian Batwing Silk, South African Lion Mane Weave, Alaskan Malimute Pelt and Egyptian Dung Beetle Chiton. And she always tells me how great of a deal she got on them. “Oh but honey, this Hungarian Elephant Scrotum Silk one was on sale for half off!” Oh, that’s great, babe. So how much was it? “Three hundred and sixty dollars. Can you believe that deal?” she says, wrinkling her nose. No. I can’t believe it. How could anyone pass that up? Why didn’t you get four of them, sugar?

:what:

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Bacon Talk: Space Travel

Hey Space! Look at this huge silver tray full of bacon and that gigantic pot of hot coffee- what a beautiful sight! It’s nice to see you too Space, but for as awesome as you are, you really can’t compete with bacon. Who can? So anyway, how are you doing, Space? What would you like to discuss this morning, Space? I’m a little spaced-out, so I’ll give you some space to talk about whatever you want. Anything in particular come to mind?

Good morning, Haycomet. I’m great, thank you. Well, I’ve been thinking about that, and I think I’d like to ask you a few questions about something very dear to me, and that I someday hope to make near to me. Space Travel! Yes, I went there. I capitalized both words. Because Space Travel – from what I hear – is awesome. Well, not really. The traveling through space part of Space Travel is probably very boring and very slow.
So do you ever spend any time thinking about Space Travel? Where would you go if you could just hop in your HayShip and take off? (See, I’d call mine my SpaceShip…)

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Bacon Talk: Nicknames

Hi Space!  How’s it it going?  And hello out there in blogland!  This is yours truly, Haycomet, and I hope all of you have a big plate of meat candy and a cup o’ Joe in hand, because today we are talking about nicknames.

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I have the beat wife ever.

The title of this column was based upon a Facebook message my wife left me yesterday, for our anniversary. You know how hard it is to type messages on a cellphone when there is no real keyboard? Yeah. Well perhaps tomorrow when Haycomet and I get together for our Bacon Talk, we’ll have something to say about cellphones. Anyway, yesterday, as a lot of you may or may not know, was my red-haired wife’s and my first anniversary. Yes, friends, what that means is that we have been married for most of a year. Or close to a year. Something having to do with a year. And, as the title suggests, she is the beat wife ever.

You see, she says some things like that sometimes, when there are not even any keyboards around. She misspeaks and they become terms of endearment, naturally, for me. Like how she says, “Chipolte” instead of Chipotle. Or she’ll call me her “Knight and shining armor”. You know, cute things that red-haired wives do that make us smile. But yesterday, for our anniversary, she did what was perhaps to go down in history as one of the awesomest things anyone has ever done for me. She got me a lunchbox.

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Space’s Shuttle Repair and Bacon Shop

I had to open two car doors yesterday. It’s unusual to have to open even just one in a given day. But two? Yes, friends, I’m as serious as a bowl full of mustard-covered lion feces. The crazy thing about opening car doors is that they all open differently. So you have to find the right way to do it. And yesterday, I actually had to get inside the pickup to be able to figure out how to open the back door. Well how about I just tell you what the hell I’m talking about?

My red-haired wife, Two-Step, Protector of the Grapefruits, somehow managed to break the back door of the pickup a few days ago. She said she broke a nail on the handle, because it just snapped back and wouldn’t open. I tried explaining to her, “Honey, the door handles aren’t held on by nails. It’s usually a torx screw or some very small bolts. But never nails.” I know. Isn’t it adorable when women talk about cars and shit? I patted her on the bottom and went outside to figure out what the problem was. I grabbed my toolbox, my iPod (yes I still have the damn iPhone), and one of those big ass 24-ounce cans of Schlitz and climbed into the truck.

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Multi-Use Material

So I was lying there last night, thinking about some awesome things we have, and I came up with what I think might be the most brilliant idea any man has ever had. This column, though, unfortunately needs to be divided into two sections. One is partly a rant, and the other is the brilliant idea. Which one would you like to read first?

Okay, so here’s the genius: you know that memory foam shit that they always tout was developed for NASA? Yeah, they make mattresses out of it. Well I have come up with an alternative use for it, that I think you’ll agree is probably the smartest thing you’ve ever heard in your entire life in the world. You ready for this shit? Okay. Here’s my idea.

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Help Me Fix My Time Machine

I was working in the hangar this morning, trying to get my temporal matrix delineator running again. Something is wrong with the flux bank. It’s getting ridiculously complex though, and I’ve downloaded every manual I can find for it. Something has burned through one of the wires on the fonga assembly, and now the stupid thing smokes whenever I engage the cryostat.

So long story short, I replaced the two bad nodes on the flux bank and rewired the cryofuse with an Atometer 4000 Barker Plug. You know, one of those platinum-plated bad boys? Yeah. No shit. It set me back about two grand. This shit ain’t cheap like it used to be. Anyway, after I got those replaced, my camber light started blinking. NOW WHAT?!? Ha! Good lord, if it’s not one thing it’s another, right? So I removed the camber coil box, and guess what I found. Seriously. Look at this picture:

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A Very Young Space

I thought I would post some old school pictures of me when I was growing up, just to reminisce, if you will. But mostly because almost all of these photos are laughable in some way. And in a lot of them I’m in some sort of costume, though none of these were Halloween costumes or photos.

But in digging through old photos, I found these and thought some of you would get a kick out of seeing what I looked like when I was young and innocent. After a week or two, I will move this post over to the photo journals archive, so it won’t be listed in my archives or anything, but you can always get to it through the “links” link. Anyway, hope you enjoy.

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Happy Space Day

It’s a new month, dear readers. And this might just be the month we’ve been waiting for. Let me tell you a few reasons why today doesn’t suck, to start with. Number one, it’s May. Spring is definitely here. It’s been gorgeous outside. Anyone who doesn’t believe that hasn’t seen me driving around all week. I’ve had the top down and the doors off all week! Oh, well, or maybe you just don’t live in Texas. It’s been gorgeous here.

I took the first three days of this week, and Friday of last week off. So I had a six-day weekend in which I could do a lot of driving around with the top down and the doors off. I don’t get great gas mileage in the Jeep, but hey, gas is pretty cheap these days, right guys? :shobon: Right? So that there is proof that today doesn’t suck. Today is Kinetic Kim’s birthday. She would have been thirty-two today. Happy birthday, Kim. That, of course, means I’ll pour myself a couple of fingers of scotch tonight in her memory.

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Qualms With Star Movies

I have a bunch of qualms with Star Trek. For some people, all those interstellar movies are the hot shit. But I’ve found that Star Wars and Star Trek cannot peacefully coexist on the same shelf. For most people, it’s either one or the other. First of all, there’s the fact that all the shit in Star Trek is brand new looking. Like it’s never been used. Never been flown through a stellar dust cloud, or blown through an asteroid belt. Star Wars opposes. All the shit in Star Wars looks like it’s been around the universe a few times. Taken a beating. Looks a little more realistic.

Secondly, it pisses me off that Star Trek uses an up reference in deep space. why the hell are all the spacecraft planed on the same scale? Why is it that when two ships come in for close range combat, they are both upright? As if there is some universal up in null gravity. Obviously there is no up or down in null gravity. This tells me that some of the shots of the ships taken from distances should show the ship at awkward angles, not relative to the up and down you know sitting in front of your television screen. And furthermore, when there are two ships on the same screen, they won’t be exactly nose to nose, and there won’t be a common up. It just won’t happen, people.

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Selective Astrobiology

Scientists recently began to believe there may be life on Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons. They’ve been digging in Barrow Alaska through the ice, and they’ve found life there, despite its -4º temperature. Lake Vostok, which is in the heart of Antarctica, may be their test ground for building a probe that would drill through the ten-mile ice layer on Europa. Lake Vostok is covered by a two-mile thick plate (sheet? layer?) – yeah layer of ice. If they can build a probe that will drill through the ice and sample the water beneath, we may have a shot at discovering whether or not there’s life in the waters of Europa. An alien lake.

You know what fascinates me though? I love Astrophysics and Cosmology and the study of other planets and their surfaces. But not for biology. Who the heck cares if there’s microbes living at the bottom of a Jovian lake? What good is it going to do us? For one thing, we have no way to kill all the microbes that live on our probes, so we may be populating the waters with our own trash. Unless we can keep our shit at absolute zero for a couple of years, then have a way to ensure that killed everything permanently, then furthermore have a way to knock all the dead things off once our probe is en route to Europa… It’s all useless.

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Space Saving 101

I’ve been thinking lately about the concept of governmentally invoked population control methodology. You know, like AIDS and stuff. You know that shit didn’t just happen. It had to be introduced. DNA structures don’t suddenly alter themselves to a detrimental deficit. Not even in African Green Monkeys. If that were the case, then I would expect all you idiots who believe we evolved from lower forms to seriously revise your theoretical foundations.

So anyway, I was thinking about these methods they use among other things, like conspiracy theories and the way people just disappear when they know too much. Shit like that. And I came up with an idea. Why don’t we shrink our problems away?

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Is there anybody out there?

This is another very popular argument on the claim to other life forms in the universe: “The universe is so huge, and we can hardly even go past the moon, so why would there be all that extra space if we couldn’t even use it! Therefore, there has to be other life out there somewhere.” My response? Whatever. For us to think this entire universe is completely useless if we can’t use it is just plain arrogant. We think we own the place. Well, that no more settles an argument than saying, “This garage is too big for just one car, so there must be other cars in it.” The only difference is that the garage actually is yours.

Supposing the entirety of the universe was created especially for us humans, what do you think we will do with it? There is but one planet with sufficient oxygen and perfect atmosphere and proportional water supply as to sustain life. The odds of there being another planet that matches these tight attributes is ridiculously incalculable.

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Where is God in Physics?

It seems as though the efforts of physics and most other sciences is to completely eliminate the need for, and the existence of God. Scientists believe they can bring proof of his non-existence through their studies. I think this obviously has to do with some pre-existing belief of theirs, in that they don’t want to believe he exists.

If, however, there were a scientist that did believe in God before he set out to prove his theories, wouldn’t it stand to reason that he could hypothetically prove that God does exist? It’s all about what you want to believe you want to prove, as far as I am concerned. But I guarantee, no matter how in-depth the study is, or how much research you do, or even how many supporting items you have in your case against his existence, you will not be able to prove he doesn’t exist.

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This just in: People are morons.

Did anyone watch the “watch with the world premiere event” last night on Discovery Channel – Inside the Space Station? I did. It was pretty cool, but I kept getting severely irritated with the people. Not the people in the show, but the people watching it.

Example:

Every time it went to a commercial, it would show some dude from some small town asking a question to the cosmonauts. When the program came back on, the cosmonauts would answer it. What pissed me off was the subject of these moronic questions they asked! One woman asked, “What do you miss the most about being on Earth?” Give me a damn break! So of course, all three dudes answer the same exact way: “I miss my friends and family.”

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