October 12th, 2007

Space Tourism

Europe's Bold Entry into Space Tourism

Private space travel has long been dominated by visionary entrepreneurs. Now that the largest aerospace company in
Europe has decided to build a tourist rocket, will the race to the stars finally take off?


Your ride to space may not come from a scrappy startup after all. In June, the Astrium division of the behemoth European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS), after Boeing the largest aerospace company in the world, released its own design for a small tourist spaceship. If it looks familiar, you've been paying attention: The design is basically a copy of the Rocketplane XP.


  • Current Mood: good good

Sex & Reproduction

When Testosterone Turns Toxic


Does an extra dose of testosterone pay long-term dividends?


A higher level of the hormone increases sex drive and attractiveness of males, leading to more offspring and increased evolutionary fitness; it also weakens the immune system, amplifies stress, and encourages recklessness, increasing the risk of departing the gene pool altogether.


  • Current Mood: curious curious

Flying Robot Insects

Are We Being Watched by Flying Robot Insects?

Now, this is pretty weird. Rumors have been floating around the Net for a while now speculating on whether or not tiny, dragonfly-like robots have been covertly monitoring recent political demonstrations and protests around Washington, D.C., and New York.


Numerous protesters at multiple events have reported seeing the helicopter-like insectoid entities, fueling suspicion that something sneaky was afoot. Yesterday the Washington Post brought the story mainstream in the interests of solving the case. What did they discover?


Basically, if the claims are true, someone has made great (and secret) strides in the field of robots capable of mimicking insectoid flight—something that's currently incredibly difficult to do. Research teams at universities across the country including Caltech, Vanderbilt and Harvard, are all trying to reproduce insect-like flight in a man-made robot—some of them even for the intended purpose of surveillance. 

  • Current Mood: curious curious

Joke of the Day

A wife arrived home after a long shopping trip, and was horrified to find her husband in bed with a young, lovely thing. Just as she was about to storm out of the house, her husband stopped her with these words: "Before you leave, I want you to hear how this all came about. Driving home, I saw this young girl, looking poor and tired, I offered her a ride. She was hungry, so I brought her home and fed her some of the roast you had forgotten about in the refrigerator. Her shoes were worn out so I gave her a pair of your shoes you didn't wear because they were out of style. She was cold so I gave her that new birthday sweater you never wore even once because the color didn't suit you. Her slacks were worn out so I gave her a pair of yours that you don't fit into anymore. Then as she was about to leave the house, she paused and asked, 'Is there anything else that your wife doesn't use anymore?' "And so, here we are!"

  • Current Mood: amused amused

Image of the Day

U.S.S. Oriskany


Five hundred pounds of plastic explosive sent this 32,000-ton aircraft carrier to the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico in May, forming the largest intentional man-made reef in history and marking the inauguration of a Navy program to turn old ships into coral reefs.

Kemo D. (a.k.a. no.7)


  • Current Mood: good good