Monday, October 31, 2011

IMAGE OF THE DAY... Someone posted this on Facebook more than a month ago. So are you reading this, people in the Middle East and Central Asia (and perhaps folks living in Texas and some Southern states)? Anyways, Happy Halloween everyone!


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Christian Bale as Batman in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES.

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES... For those of you who are Batman fans and are looking forward to Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, you’re gonna get a special treat if you watch Tom Cruise’s latest flick at IMAX theaters this winter. Starting December 21, a 6-minute prologue for The Dark Knight Rises will be shown before M:I4 on the (ultra) big screen...which is the same marketing move that Warner Brothers made in 2007 when it showed a 7-minute IMAX preview for The Dark Knight in front of the Will Smith film, I Am Legend.

Anne Hathaway as Catwoman in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES.

There’s a catch to seeing the preview for Batman Begins 3 at the cinema, however; the prologue will only be shown in traditional 70mm IMAX auditoriums, and not on the digital IMAX screens popping up at AMC and Regal theaters everywhere. Oh well. For those of you who live in Los Angeles or L.A. County, that means commuting to Universal Citywalk or Irvine Spectrum in Orange County...since those are the more popular locations in SoCal that house the 70mm IMAX screens. Carry on.

Christian Bale and Anne Hathaway in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

IKAROS Update... Yep— Japan’s trailblazing solar sail, which launched from the country's Tanegashima Space Center in late May of last year, is still going strong millions of miles out in deep space.


Result of IKAROS 'Reverse Spin Operation' (Press Release - October 18)

On Oct. 18, 2011 (Japan Standard Time), JAXA performed a "reverse spin operation" of the IKAROS. As a result of the jet thrust to shift IKAROS's spin direction to the reverse way for about 20 minutes from 7:20 a.m. on the 18th, the membrane successfully spun in the reverse course without being entangled. The IKAROS is in good shape after reversing its spin, and its spin rate at the time of completing this operation was -0.24 rpm.

We are currently evaluating if we will continue the mission. For assessing it more in detail, the following information must be acquired.

1) Attitude related data from the data recorder that accumulated information during the reverse spin.

2) Data necessary for predicting future attitude change.

We will announce the detailed evaluation results as soon as we complete data acquisition and analysis.

Source: JAXA

On June 15, 2010 (Japan Standard Time), a small separation camera was jettisoned from IKAROS to photograph the solar sail in its entirety.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

An image of the Curiosity Mars rover taken with its own Mast Camera system.
NASA / JPL - Caltech / Malin Space Science Systems

EXACTLY ONE MONTH FROM TODAY, the launch window opens up for NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission...which has till December 18 to lift off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Florida to embark on an 8-month journey to the Red Planet. Arrival on Mars, if everything goes as planned, will take place between August 6 and August 20 of 2012. As shown below, the Curiosity Mars rover (which is the centerpiece of MSL) is now encased inside its aeroshell—which was recently attached to the cruise stage that will provide electricity and propel the spacecraft to its destination on the Martian surface (at Gale Crater) next year.

Later today, MSL will be encapsulated inside the payload fairing of the Atlas V rocket launching it to Mars...and will then be transported to its pad at CCAFS for final launch preparations on or around November 2. Things are starting to get real exciting in Florida if you’re a fan of Mars exploration, and unmanned spaceflight in particular. Carry on.

The Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft.
NASA / Glenn Benson

Thursday, October 20, 2011

ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST... So now that Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi is sleeping with the fishes—or should I say, scorpions—it needs to be asked: Will Gadhafi resist the urge to engage in a homoerotic orgy with Satan, Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden in that Place of Eternal Damnation? Just thought I'd make a partial reference to the TV show South Park.

Anyways... (Don't) rest in peace, Gadhafi.

Moammar Gadhafi (1942-2011).

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The battleship USS Iowa fires her nine 16-inch guns in a 1984 firepower demonstration.
PH1 Jeff Hilton

BOUND FOR SOCAL... Earlier last month, it was announced that the battleship USS Iowa would find a permanent home at the Port of Los Angeles. The famous warship is expected to be towed from her current location at Suisun Bay in Northern California to San Pedro in Southern California by early next year...depending on weather conditions in the Pacific in either December or January. The USS Iowa will be managed by the Pacific Battleship Center, a nonprofit organization based in Los Angeles.

This is great news for SoCal. Along with the fact Los Angeles’ California Science Center will be getting space shuttle Endeavour (which is currently being decommissioned at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida after being retired in June) as early as next August, 2012 looks to be a great year to be a space or military buff living in the City of Angels.

Of course, one wonders if there’ll eventually be Halloween tours onboard the USS Iowa (a la the Queen Mary’s annual Halloween haunt fest in Long Beach) after it arrives in LA. If you remember the tragic accident that took place onboard the Iowa in 1989, then you’ll know why I’m wondering that. Hey, it’s a legitimate (albeit tasteless) question...for the most part. Carry on.

Space shuttle Endeavour undergoes decommissioning at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
NASA / Ken Shiflett

Thursday, October 13, 2011

HALLOWEEN IS STILL MORE THAN TWO WEEKS AWAY, but just thought I’d share a funny photo that was posted on my Facebook page last night. An Imperial Dog-Walker... Hah. Now where’s the cat that’s dressed like a snowspeeder? Or the pet hamster that’s disguised as a snowtrooper?

As you can see... I really have nothing interesting to blog about right now. (I'm opening myself to insult on that one.)

A dog that's dressed as an Imperial Walker.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Dr. Ben Warren (Jason George) checks out a nurse (off-screen) that he has the hots for in GREY'S ANATOMY.
ABC / ShondaLand

IMAGES OF THE DAY... Just thought I’d post these screenshots from last Thursday’s episode of the hit ABC TV show, Grey’s Anatomy. I got to be a background extra on this episode (which is Episode 8.4—in other words, the fourth episode of this season, which is the 8th season overall for Grey’s Anatomy) when it filmed in Hollywood back in late August. Too bad Katherine Heigl is now gone from this show, but it was awesome to see other cast members like Patrick Dempsey ('McDreamy' to you ladies... Dylan Gould to Transformers fans) in person. They’re pretty cool and down-to-Earth on set.

To conclude this narcissistic journal entry, you can see me around the 31:46 (31 minutes, 46 seconds—for those of you who don’t feel like I’m dumbing down my posts) mark of this episode...if you omit the TV commercials. The main actor in these screenshots, Jason George, has a quick conversation with Dempsey in this scene. Carry on.

Dr. Ben Warren (Jason George) checks out a nurse (off-screen) that he has the hots for in GREY'S ANATOMY.
ABC / ShondaLand

Thursday, October 06, 2011

The Curiosity Mars rover is completely enclosed by its backshell and heat shield at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
NASA / JPL -Caltech

CURIOSITY Update... More than a week ago, the Curiosity Mars rover and its descent stage were enclosed in the backshell that will protect the rover during its 8-month journey through deep space after its scheduled launch from Florida late next month. Below are additional pics of Curiosity being enshrouded by its heat shield, images of Curiosity attached to its descent stage, a name fixture that was installed onto the spacecraft last July and a photo of the rover’s nuclear-powered generator—also known as a Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator—that arrived at Kennedy Space Center in late June of this year. Should it lift off on-time this November 25, Curiosity will arrive at Mars in early August of 2012.

Attached to its backshell, the Curiosity Mars rover is about to be enclosed by the spacecraft's heat shield at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
NASA / JPL - Caltech

Hidden inside its backshell, the Curiosity Mars rover is about to be enclosed by the spacecraft's heat shield at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
NASA / JPL - Caltech

The Curiosity Mars rover and its descent stage are enclosed by the backshell at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
NASA / Dimitri Gerondidakis

The Curiosity Mars rover and its descent stage prior to being enclosed by the backshell at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
NASA / Dimitri Gerondidakis

A name fixture is attached to the Curiosity Mars rover at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
NASA / Jim Grossmann

The Curiosity Mars rover's Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator is secured at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
NASA / Frankie Martin

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

REST IN PEACE, STEVE JOBS... I don't think I've ever owned an Apple product in my life (I probably shouldn't have admitted that here)...but if I did, it would be a Mac G5 (yes, I know... It's 2011, not 2004) equipped with Final Cut Pro, Final Draft and iDVD. Oh, and props to Mr. Jobs for making Pixar the awesome animation studio that it is. Despite Cars 2. That is all.

You da man, Steve. Just because.

Steve Jobs.