Category Archives: space

The Moon and the Tides

squirrel in the moon

Rant begins here > So I’m reading that Bill O’Reilly doesn’t understand why the tides roll in and out. Ask any sixth-grader. It’s the moon’s gravitational pull, or is “science” still a dirty word?

Science, why that’s for the birds. Birds that are falling out of the sky that is. Wait, isn’t that a sign of some foreboding apocalypse? Yikes. The gods, they must be angry. Wait, Angry Birds. Isn’t that a game on the Intertubes? Ahh, it’s all coming around again. Just like the Mayan Calendar. Wait, is this all leading up to 2012? Wait, that was a movie and movies are made by liberals and that means they believe in science. My mind is exploding!!!!111!!~

Face in Space

squirrel astronaut

Sometimes NASA is just cool.

A couple of years ago they sent a Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter into orbit around the moon. Included on the craft was a microchip that had the names of anyone who submitted their moniker to the NASA website. I made sure that little chip had my name upon it. Matter of fact, as a tribute to a friend who loved space but was taken too soon by the damned demon that is cancer, we actually filled out the form in his name and gave the certificate to his widow. Stew is still circling the moon as we speak.

I mean heck, we obviously aren’t getting flying cars or living like the Jetsons and jetting off to space anytime soon. I thought that was my one shot at being an astronaut.

Until NOW!

NASA is at it again. This time you can send your pic out into the zero gravity zone on an upcoming launch of the Space Shuttle.

I submitted the pic at the top of this post. See, I was already prepared for my astro moment.

The Face in Space page says:

NASA wants to put a picture of you on one of the two remaining space shuttle missions and launch it into orbit.

(snip)

Return to this site after launch to print your Flight Certificate – a commemorative certificate signed by the Mission Commander.

How cool is that!?!?!

And just know that if my picture sees a UFO while it’s out there, I told it to wave at the little green men and then come back and report to Fox Mulder.

William Shatner’s and Stewie’s Rendition of Elton’s Rocket Man

Oh, William Shatner, how I heart you and your vocal stylings.

I found Shatner’s rendition of the Elton John tune “Rocket Man” and I can’t get enough of this. It was part of the televised 1978 Science Fiction Film Awards.

As if his singular version isn’t trippy enough, through the “magic of television” they bring in a couple of other versions of Shatner for a trio finale.

I wonder if Travelocity could use any of this footage in their commercials? Nahh.

As a bonus, you get Karen Black introducing Bernie Taupin at the front end of the clip.

Of course, Family Guy lets Stewie do his dream version of Shatner, but I’ll stick with the truly original Captain Kirk puffing, sweating and offering dramatic pauses as he wends his way through Elton’s tune.

Of course, I’ve previously documented here at the Queen’s abode some appreciation of Captain Kirk’s appeal to alien babes and the Star Trek theme song.

Geek Christmas Ornaments

I’m trying to get in the Christmas spirit, but haven’t had much luck lately.

Oddly enough, these geeky little Christmas ornaments may have helped perk up the spirits a bit, considering I have actually had two of them dangle from my own tree.

Yep, Newscoma has the Captain Kirk and Dr. Spock ornaments.

It seems, there are ornaments for all sorts of gamers out there too.

Everything from the old-school NES

to the Wii can dangle from your Douglas Fir.

And who needs fruit cake (even an inflatable fruit cake) when there are sushi ornaments available.

Toxel the full list of 14 unusual Christmas ornaments

Scar Wars – a Scarface, Star Wars Mash-up

I ran across this mash-up of Han Solo from Star Wars and Tony Montana from Scarface over at the Entertainment Weekly site.

It’s funny stuff, although there is some adult language involved. Hey, it’s Tony freakin’ Montana people. Of course, there are some F-bombs involved.

]

EW also has a Star Trek/A-Team mash-up, if you’re so inclined.

Jack-o-lanterns For Geeks

Get your geek on with these amazing jack-o-lanterns.

From Star Trek to Star Wars and everything in between.

There are comic book heroes, an original computer nerd, video game stars, apps and robots.

Something for anyone who is willing “to boldly go where no man has gone before.”

Go over to JustUsLeeg and check out all the rest of the geek jack-o-lanterns.

And once you’ve soaked up the geeky glory, go get yourself a pumpin and get to carving.

The Squirrel Has Landed

I was four and a half when man took his first step on the moon 40 years ago today.

I really don’t recall anything about that day. If my mom plunked me down on the linoleum in front of our black-and-white television set to witness the event, I don’t remember it.

Since that day, I’ve seen the video of the first step replayed over and over. I’ve read and heard the phrase “One small step …” repeatedly.

It never gets old.

I do treasure the human spirit, creativity and bravery that it took to put man on the moon in a time when the best technology available was more limited than the computing power I carry in my pocket every day.

May our nation always have a will to dream and achieve equal to and beyond what it took to place three humans (Mission Commander Neil Alden Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins, and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin Eugene ‘Buzz’ Aldrin, Jr.) on the moon in 1969.

Maybe July 20 should be a national holiday. If Columbus Day exists, shouldn’t there be a Moon Landing Day?

Here are the links to NASA’s page full of Apollo 11 40th anniversary stuff including partially restored NASA footage of the monumental moon walk moment in HD.

It Came From Outer Space – Boy Hit By Meteorite

Over and over Chicken Little get a bad rap for saying “The sky is falling.”

A German kid found out that it’s the truth.

The 14-year-old boy was struck in the hand by a tiny meteorite.

Ouch.

Back in May, NPR had an interesting story about an auction for a meteorite and the person interviewed talked about meteorites that hit something other than the ground being worth much more when the gavel dropped. The auction they spoke of has already taken place, but the info shared is interesting.

Bat Rides Shuttle Into Space

Talk about a ride.

An injured bat clung to the space shuttle Discovery’s external fuel tank during its launch Sunday.

He was spotted hanging on to the tank prior to liftoff and an analysis was done to determine if he could damage the heat shields if he banged into them during the launch. The NASA folks determined it would be safe to take off with the critter still on board and did so.

The astro-bat was still visible on the shuttle when it passed the tower on the way up.

The tiny critter likely didn’t last too long after that though.

Here’s more info on the bat’s shuttle ride into space.

Pieces of Canadian Meteorite Found

I’ve been fascinated by the footage of the meteorite that fell over Canada last week.

I’m not normally into astronomy, but for some reason the shot from the cop’s dashboard camera of the sky lighting up and the streak that followed has really captured my attention.

A planetary scientist and a graduate student have found some fragments of the meteorite.

An American is offering a $10,000 reward for pieces of the meteorite weighing one killogram or more.

I’m guessing they’ll maintain them for research and forego the cash.