NEWS NEWSLETTER: SEPTEMBER 2010Digital Papyrus newsletter
"Science Fiction Brewed Fresh Daily"
Date: September 2010
Issue No. 77
"after he passed out we removed everything electronic from his room, stuck in some old books and an ancient typewriter from goodwill. for 20 min. we had him convinced he’d drunk himself backward in time."
New York Times Bestselling author Gail Carriger began writing in order to cope with being raised in obscurity by an expatriate Brit and an incurable curmudgeon. She escaped small town life and inadvertently acquired several degrees in Higher Learning. Ms. Carriger then traveled the historic cities of Europe, subsisting entirely on biscuits secreted in her handbag. She now resides in the Colonies, surrounded by fantastic shoes, where she insists on tea imported directly from London. She is fond of teeny tiny hats and tropical fruit. The Parasol Protectorate books are: Soulless (Oct. 2009), Changeless (March 2010), Blameless (Sept. 2010), Heartless (July 2011), and Timeless (2012). Soulless won the ALA's Alex Award.
Just in case you missed the announcement: Our own araiused has published her most recent book, Resonance!
Responding to President Obama's call for a manned asteroid mission by 2025, brainstorming scientists and engineers say NASA could start exploring nearby space rocks with robotic probes in four years, followed by a bare-bones human expedition by the end of the decade.
The target dates require a quick agreement on a space exploration strategy between Congress and the White House, notwithstanding ever-present budget and technical challenges. FULL STORY
Space Shuttle Discovery Moves Closer to Final Launch
Robert Z. Pearlman
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Space shuttle Discovery rolled out from its hangar for the last time early Thursday at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, beginning the first leg of its final mission into space.
The winged orbiter, the oldest of NASA's space shuttle fleet, emerged from its maintenance hangar at 6:30 a.m. EDT (1030 GMT) on its way to the nearby Vehicle Assembly Building. A water main break at the Florida spaceport on Wednesday forced NASA to delay the shuttle move by one day.
Once inside the cavernous 52-story building, Discovery will be attached to the twin solid rocket boosters and external fuel tank that will help launch it to the International Space Station on Nov. 1. FULL STORY
2 Asteroids Zoom Between Earth and the Moon's Orbit
Two asteroids passed close by the Earth Wednesday and may have been visible in telescopes as they zipped between our planet and the orbit of the moon.
The asteroids, which were not be visible to the naked eye, were discovered Sunday by astronomers with the Catalina Sky Survey near Tucson, Ariz. They are traveling along different orbits that, by coincidence, passed near Earth about 11 hours apart. FULL STORY
How Microbes Could Help Colonize Mars
Tiny rock-eating microbes could mine precious extraterrestrial resources from Mars and pave the way for the first human colonists. Just don't expect them to transform the Red Planet's surface into a new Earth on a short deadline, researchers say.
One of the most promising planetary colonizers comes in the form of cyanobacteria. The ancient bacteria helped create a habitable Earth with oxygen at least 2.5 billion years ago, and have since colonized practically every possible environment while relying upon photosynthesis to convert sunlight into energy. FULL STORY
I found this video very entertaining. The song's not half bad, either. For even more fun, Leo Laporte interviewed the people involved in making this video (TWiT Live Specials 16: The Making Of OK GO's "This Too Shall Pass" Video). Interesting fact: they only got it to work all the way to the end 3 times out of the xx times they started it. The interview also mentions there's a map of the Rube Goldberg machine's setup on OK Go's website.
Hook in the Book
Miss Alexia Tarabotti was not enjoying her evening. Private balls were never more than middling amusements for spinsters, and Miss Tarabotti was not the kind of spinster who could garner even that much pleasure from the event. To put the pudding in the puff: she had retreated to the library, her favorite sanctuary in any house, only to happen upon an unexpected vampire.
She glared at the vampire.
For his part, the vampire seemed to feel that their encounter had improved his ball experience immeasurably. For there she sat, without escort, in a low-necked ball gown.
In this particular case, what he did not know could hurt him. For Miss Alexia had been born without a soul, which, as any decent vampire of good blooding knew, made her a lady to avoid most assiduously.
Soulless Gail Carriger
"Recently I read a piece about what it will mean when we switch over to app-based operating systems, and I was all, what? So the new hotness is a screen on which icons are used to access the programs they represent? Just like the Macintosh in 1984? Somebody get me a chair, the future is blowing my goddamned mind."