Sunday, January 31, 2010
NASA / Jack Pfaller
GOODBYE, CONSTELLATION... I would go off on a rant about how Obama validated my reason (and much more) for not voting for him in 2008, but I’ll leave it somewhat short. On the 7th anniversary of the space shuttle Columbia accident (which is tomorrow), Obama will not only delay NASA’s moon program by 5 years but outright cancel it. Good job, Obama. I hope you’re a one-term president. *Resists the urge to make political jabs regarding winning an undeserved Noble Peace Price and struggling in passing that health care reform bill*
But hey, there are some people online (Google 'NASA 2011 budget') that think this is the right way to conduct America’s space program (by encouraging free enterprise by having private companies develop launch vehicles to send NASA astronauts into space), but we’ll see. Obama is proposing a space budget of $100 billion over the next five years...to have NASA loiter in low earth orbit for the next 10-15 years. In the meantime, savor the last 5 space shuttle flights that are scheduled to lift off this year (starting this Sunday with Endeavour’s STS-130 mission, hopefully)...and hope that construction on Russian Soyuz vehicles that will launch our astronauts to the International Space Station (starting next year) is going smoothly. That is all.
Monday, January 25, 2010
Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
THE LAKERS VISIT THE WHITE HOUSE... Maybe today’s meeting with President Obama will motivate the Lakers to play a lot better than they have recently [so that the team can re-visit the Most Powerful (and Rhetoric-Spewing) Man in the World if they repeat as NBA champs this June]. Or maybe not...assuming a couple of the players voted for John McCain back in 2008 (like I did, haha)...
Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
Sunday, January 24, 2010
GO COLTS! It’s too bad we won’t be seeing a match-up between Peyton Manning and the Minnesota Vikings' Brett Favre in Miami on February 7, but it’s all good. Indianapolis all the way, baby! Though it’s also cool to see former USC Trojan Reggie Bush getting a chance to win a Super Bowl ring (with the New Orleans Saints, in case you wanted me to be more specific). But I’ll be rooting for Manning to win his second championship ring before Bush gets his first. Later.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
DEAL OR NO DEAL... I was watching a rerun on the GSN (Game Show Network) cable channel today, and I don’t care if you’re "The Hero of Harlem", Wesley Autry, you screwed up big time. Yes, I know that that's an understatement. You got greedy there buddy. You should’ve told your family members to **** off (not in those exact words obviously. Then again...) and take that $300,000. Or was it $305,000? Whatever (Would've. Could've. Should've). It’s helluva lot better than $25. Chump.
Did you use some of that $25 to buy duct tape and wrap a piece around your sister’s (and maybe your mom’s) mouth so she (they) won’t give you anymore crappy advice, Wesley? I sure hope so. Those models could've used some duct tape on their mouths too...what with them jinxin' you with those lame little speeches right before they opened their briefcases and all. Oh well.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Courtesy of Kim's MySpace page
PHOTO / VIDEO OF THE DAY... In case you don’t watch much television, here is the latest ad by Carl’s Jr...featuring Kim Kardashian as she makes a salad look a lot more delicious than what it really is. This vid is definitely as sexy as last year’s commercial featuring Audrina Patridge. Though Ms. Kardashian does a better voiceover job than Ms. Patridge... Anyways. Enjoy.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
DAY 8 IS HERE... Just thought I’d remind y’all that the premiere to the eighth season of the hit TV show begins today at 9 PM on FOX. Much like the past four seasons of 24, there will be two episodes airing tonight and two more episodes airing tomorrow (starting at 8 PM) for the premiere. I’d say more, but I’m currently watching the special features on The Hurt Locker DVD (which I bought last Thursday) while I’m typing this. That's an awesome movie... I hope it wins the Oscar for Best Picture this March. Later.
Sunday, January 10, 2010
THE A-TEAM... I haven’t posted anything here for almost a week now, so just thought I'd show the teaser trailer for The A-Team...which comes out in theaters on June 11, and is based on the 1980’s TV show, in case you didn’t know. Hopefully, unlike in the TV show someone will actually get shot in this movie. That is all.
Posted by Richard at 10:17 PM
Monday, January 04, 2010
NASA's Kepler Space Telescope Discovers Five Exoplanets (Press Release)
PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA's Kepler space telescope, designed to find Earth-size planets in the habitable zone of sun-like stars, has discovered its first five new exoplanets, or planets beyond our solar system.
Kepler's high sensitivity to both small and large planets enabled the discovery of the exoplanets, named Kepler 4b, 5b, 6b, 7b and 8b. The discoveries were announced Monday, Jan. 4, by members of the Kepler science team during a news briefing at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Washington.
"These observations contribute to our understanding of how planetary systems form and evolve from the gas and dust disks that give rise to both the stars and their planets," said William Borucki of NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. Borucki is the mission's science principal investigator. "The discoveries also show that our science instrument is working well. Indications are that Kepler will meet all its science goals."
Known as "hot Jupiters" because of their high masses and extreme temperatures, the new exoplanets range in size from similar to Neptune to larger than Jupiter. They have orbits ranging from 3.3 to 4.9 days. Estimated temperatures of the planets range from 2,200 to 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit, hotter than molten lava and much too hot for life as we know it. All five of the exoplanets orbit stars hotter and larger than Earth's sun.
"It's gratifying to see the first Kepler discoveries rolling off the assembly line," said Jon Morse, director of the Astrophysics Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "We expected Jupiter-size planets in short orbits to be the first planets Kepler could detect. It's only a matter of time before more Kepler observations lead to smaller planets with longer-period orbits, coming closer and closer to the discovery of the first Earth analog."
Launched on March 6, 2009, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, the Kepler mission continuously and simultaneously observes more than 150,000 stars. Kepler's science instrument, or photometer, already has measured hundreds of possible planet signatures that are being analyzed.
While many of these signatures are likely to be something other than a planet, such as small stars orbiting larger stars, ground-based observatories have confirmed the existence of the five exoplanets. The discoveries are based on approximately six weeks' worth of data collected since science operations began on May 12, 2009.
Kepler looks for the signatures of planets by measuring dips in the brightness of stars. When planets cross in front of, or transit, their stars as seen from Earth, they periodically block the starlight. The size of the planet can be derived from the size of the dip. The temperature can be estimated from the characteristics of the star it orbits and the planet's orbital period.
Kepler will continue science operations until at least November 2012. It will search for planets as small as Earth, including those that orbit stars in a warm, habitable zone where liquid water could exist on the surface of the planet. Since transits of planets in the habitable zone of solar-like stars occur about once a year and require three transits for verification, it is expected to take at least three years to locate and verify an Earth-size planet.
According to Borucki, Kepler's continuous and long-duration search should greatly improve scientists' ability to determine the distributions of planet size and orbital period in the future. "Today's discoveries are a significant contribution to that goal," Borucki said. "The Kepler observations will tell us whether there are many stars with planets that could harbor life, or whether we might be alone in our galaxy."
Kepler is NASA's 10th Discovery mission. NASA Ames is responsible for the ground system development, mission operations and science data analysis. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., managed the Kepler mission development. Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. of Boulder, Colo., was responsible for developing the Kepler flight system. Ball and the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado in Boulder are supporting mission operations. The California Institute of Technology in Pasadena manages JPL for NASA.
Ground observations necessary to confirm the discoveries were conducted with ground-based telescopes: the Keck I in Hawaii; Hobby-Ebberly and Harlan J. Smith 2.7m in Texas; Hale and Shane in California; WIYN, MMT and Tillinghast in Arizona; and Nordic Optical in the Canary Islands, Spain. For more information about the Kepler mission, visit http://www.nasa.gov/kepler.
NASA / JPL - Caltech / T. Pyle (SSC)
Friday, January 01, 2010
HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!!! First of all, just thought I’d mention that 2010 marks 10 years since I created this Blog and my official website. I don’t know the exact day or month I set up Parman’s Page (it might've been this month), but I do know that it will be a decade since I started this journal on October 24 (as you can tell if you check my Archives section to the right). Nice... So how will I be celebrating this milestone about 10 months from now, you ask? Probably by writing a journal entry about Transformers 3 (since it should be starting production this year if Michael Bay is still aiming for a July 2011 theatrical release. Yes, I am looking forward to another 'Bayformers' flick) or the space program.
Speaking of the space program... This year will be a very historic year for NASA as it prepares to fly the last 5 shuttle flights to the International Space Station (ISS). The final mission of the shuttle program is targeted for launch on September 16, with the orbiter Discovery on STS-133. Of course, all this could change if President Obama raises NASA’s budget for 2011...thus allowing one more flight to be conducted after STS-133 to the ISS (assuming STS-133 launches on time). On non-space-related notes, Iron Man 2 comes out in theaters on May 7, The Hurt Locker will presumably have a gripload of Oscar nominations—including that for Best Picture—when the Academy Awards are broadcast on TV this March 7, and Kobe and the L.A. Lakers will hopefully repeat and start another decade as NBA champions this June. Hopefully. That is all.
-BCS National Championship Game in Pasadena, California: Texas vs. Alabama (Jan 7)
-Season 9 premiere of American Idol (Jan 12)
-Annular solar eclipse over the Indian Ocean (Jan 15)
-The Book of Eli (Jan 15)
-67th Annual Golden Globe Awards (Jan 17)
-Season 8 premiere of 24 (Jan 17, 18)
-Popular TV show Supernatural returns from hiatus on Season 5 (Jan 21)
-52nd Annual Grammy Awards (Jan 31)
-Season 6 (final season) premiere of Lost (Feb 2)
-Super Bowl XLIV in Florida (Feb 7)
-Mission STS-130... Space shuttle Endeavour (Feb 7)
-The Wolfman (Feb 12)
-Opening Ceremony – XXI Olympic Winter Games of Vancouver (Feb 12)
-52nd annual Daytona 500 in Florida (Feb 14)
-2010 NBA All-Star Game in Arlington, Texas (Feb 14)
-Shutter Island (Feb 19)
-NASA's New Horizons spacecraft covers half of the actual travel distance of its trip to Pluto (Feb 25)
-Closing Ceremony – Olympic Winter Games (Feb 28)
-Maiden flight of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 commercial launch vehicle (TBA)
-Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland (Mar 5)
-82nd Academy Awards (Mar 7)
-Green Zone (Mar 12)
-2010 NCAA March Madness basketball tournament begins with Opening Round Game (Mar 16)
-Mission STS-131... Space shuttle Discovery (Mar 18)
-Clash of the Titans (Mar 26)
-Conclusion of the March Madness tournament prior to the 2010 Final Four games in Indiana (Mar 28)
-2010 NCAA Final Four basketball tournament in Indianapolis, Indiana (Apr 3)
-NCAA Final Four Championship Game in Indianapolis, Indiana (Apr 5)
-Kick-Ass (Apr 16)
-NASA's New Horizons probe is at the midpoint between the Sun and the spacecraft's rendezvous point with Pluto (Apr 20)
-Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps (Apr 23)
-NFL Draft (Apr 22-24)
-A Nightmare On Elm Street (Apr 30)
-Iron Man 2 (May 7)
-Mission STS-132... Space shuttle Atlantis (May 14)
-Shrek Forever After (May 21)
-Start of the 2010 French Open tennis tournament (May 23)
-94th Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (May 30)
-Launch of Japan’s IKAROS solar sail and Akatsuki spacecraft to the planet Venus (TBA)
-Conclusion of the 2010 French Open (Jun 6)
-The A-Team (Jun 11)
-Start of the 2010 FIFA World Cup soccer tournament in South Africa (Jun 11)
-Toy Story 3 (Jun 18)
-Partial lunar eclipse (Jun 26)
-The Last Airbender (Jul 2)
-Start of the 2010 Tour de France (Jul 3)
-Conclusion of the 2010 FIFA World Cup soccer tournament (Jul 11)
-Total solar eclipse over the South Pacific Ocean (Jul 11)
-2010 Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Anaheim, California (Jul 13)
-Salt (Jul 23)
-Conclusion of the Tour de France (Jul 25)
-Mission STS-134... Space shuttle Endeavour (Jul 29)
-Start of the inaugural 2010 Summer Youth Olympic Games in Singapore (Aug 14)
-The Expendables (Aug 20)
-Conclusion of the 2010 Summer Youth Olympic Games (Aug 26)
-Mission STS-133 (Currently the final flight of the shuttle program)... Space shuttle Discovery (Sep 16)
-Launch of NASA’s Glory spacecraft into Earth orbit (Oct 1)
-NASA's New Horizons probe reaches the midpoint of its flight time to Pluto, which New Horizons will reach on July 14, 2015 (Oct 17)
-Start of the 2010 World Rowing Championships in New Zealand (Oct 29)
-Conclusion of the World Rowing Championships (Nov 7)
-Launch of Europe’s second Automated Transfer Vehicle, Johannes Kepler, to the International Space Station (Nov 18)
-Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (Nov 19)
-Red Dawn (Nov 24)
-The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Dec 10)
-Tron: Legacy (Dec 17)
-Total lunar eclipse (Dec 21)
-The Green Hornet (Dec 22)
-Japan’s Akatsuki spacecraft arrives at Venus (TBA)