A perfect launch of Discovery! \o/

PS. Jay Barbree's coverage of manned missions is awesome. He's such a knowledgeable,, enthusiastic space junkie.

ETA: Kate Vernon Q&A at scifi.com.
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( Dec. 24th, 2008 07:06 pm)
"Apollo 8, the first manned mission to the Moon, entered lunar orbit on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1968. That evening, the astronauts; Commander Frank Borman, Command Module Pilot Jim Lovell, and Lunar Module Pilot William Anders did a live television broadcast from lunar orbit, in which they showed pictures of the Earth and Moon seen from Apollo 8.

Lovell said, 'The vast loneliness is awe-inspiring and it makes you realize just what you have back there on Earth.' They ended the broadcast with the crew taking turns reading from the book of Genesis." [source]



Click [here] to listen to the Christmas Even Genesis reading or right click/save.

The recording will always give me chills.

Apollo 8 astronauts remember historic voyage

Merry Christmas!
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( Aug. 13th, 2008 09:13 pm)
"In commemoration of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope completing its 100,000th orbit in its 18th year of exploration and discovery, scientists at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Md., have aimed Hubble to take a snapshot of a dazzling region of celestial birth and renewal.

Hubble peered into a small portion of the nebula near the star cluster NGC 2074 (upper, left). The region is a firestorm of raw stellar creation, perhaps triggered by a nearby supernova explosion. It lies about 170,000 light-years away near the Tarantula nebula, one of the most active star-forming regions in our Local Group of galaxies." [Source]



Click on the image for a larger, more comprehensive view.
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( Aug. 1st, 2008 06:51 am)
Past: [livejournal.com profile] cailleanlarkin alerted me to Buzz Aldrin's appearance on last night's Colbert Report and here it is! Aldrin is on at around 14:30.

Present: Water on Mars! Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] worldwouldend for the heads up! (Here's more information on TEGA - the device that analyzes Martian ice and soil samples.)

I've slept so poorly for the past few nights. I'm up way too early and can't get myself back to sleep. Hopefully the pattern will end tonight because I'm exhausted.
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  • I stopped on my way home from work to pick up Stargate Continuum. I'm so excited to have it in my hands. I'm almost completely unspoiled. Though I admit the blurb on the back of the dvd has me a bit nervous. ) But, regardless, new Stargate is in my hands! With RDA, to boot!

  • I finished season 1 of Dr. Who and, for the record, I finally get it. Nine is awesome. If I'd fallen for Dr. Who in season one I would have been very, very sad to lose Nine. In fact, even loving Ten as I do, I was sad we didn't have more than 13 episodes with Eccelston.

    I think the biggest surprise to me is the connection between Nine and Rose. There's a clear attraction between them that doesn't resonate for me in quite the same way with Ten/Rose. More broadly, Nine seems much more generally sexual than Ten. Watching Ten, I assumed that The Doctor was not just solitary but nearly asexual. I saw that he truly loved Rose but it didn't feel passionate or sexual. With Nine, I felt a passionate connection.

    But Ten is still my doctor. He's so effusive and charming and his hair just can't be beat.

  • What's the story with SPN today? All I can gather is that it's something about Jensen's lawyer, fan sites, and a C&D letter. I have no details and I'll spare you my unproductive speculation. (But, oh, I do love to speculate!) I'm not even entirely sure why everything is suddenly locked down and I am one curious cat. ETA: Got it. (Links in comments.)

  • This is a very good week at work. It's crazy but good and I'm doing my best to enjoy all of it.

    PS. Google made me smile today.

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    After this year's Gil/Sara debacle I needed to take a break from CSI. I just went back and watched the final six episodes of the season and remembered all the reasons I love the show Grissom. I particularly enjoyed the episode written by the "Two And A Half Men" writing team. The writer swap was a gimmick but it worked perfectly for one episode. As for the season finale... )

    Is anyone else still watching CSI?

    Also on my current viewing schedule is the Discovery channel series, When We Left Earth:

      When We Left Earth is the story of mankind’s greatest adventure, leaving the earth and living in space. For the first time this series has digitally re-mastered the original film and audio recordings from NASA’s vault, including and all the key on-board footage filmed by the astronauts themselves. From John Glenn's Mercury mission to orbit the earth, to Neil Armstrong’s first historic steps on the moon, to the unprecedented spacewalks required to repair the Hubble telescope, these epic stories are shown in stunning clarity and told by the astronauts and engineers who were there.

    The narrative is forced into digest form simply as a function of the time allotted but the footage is spectacular as is the first hand commentary from the astronauts and flight directors. What really gets me, though, are the images of civilians watching the earliest launches. There was one shot of a woman in her 50's clutching her breast as she watched a Redstone rocket launch a Mercury astronaut into space. This is someone who was born before air travel was possible and here she is, with awe and wonder, watching a man leave Earth.

    If anyone is watching and is interested in more details about the early days of NASA, here are some book recs:
  • Failure Is Not An Option by Gene Kranz. I've always been very focused on the early days of space flight from the astronauts' POV but Failure Is Not An Option gives voice and heart to the cast behind the scenes of the NASA program.

  • The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe. This is the classic story of the earliest days of space flight.

  • A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts by Andrew Chaikin. A Man on the Moon is specific to the Apollo missions and was the basis for the HBO series, From the Earth to the Moon. It's probably the best book you'll find about the Apollo missions.

  • Moon Shot: The Inside Story of America's Race to the Moon by Alan Shepard and Deke Slayton. Moon Shot isn't quite up to par with A Man on the Moon but it's from the perspective of two of the firsts – who had their own interesting journeys in the space program – and it's a nostalgic favorite of mine.
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    1. [livejournal.com profile] halowrites posted these pictures of Ronon Jason Momoa that have me squealing and flailing about like a little squealing, flailing thing!! I'm too lazy to post the myself but follow the link and love of Jason with the rest of us!

    2. The Discovery channel is airing a 6 part, 12 hour, miniseries titled, When We Left Earth beginning on June 8th! It's all about the NASA missions and includes never before seen NASA footage. So awesome!! As a preview, over here is a webcast of a panel discussion with Buzz Aldrin, Charlie Duke, and John Ford, the Discovery Channel president. (An aside, I love how Aldrin preens when hearing his bio. He certainly earned it.)

    3. I saw Indiana Jones tonight and I spent a good part of the movie thinking of how Daniel Jackson would have been influenced by the legacy of Henry Jones. If the Stargate program didn't exist, Daniel is just the type to end up in Indy style mishaps and, similarly, Indiana Jones would have been a kick ass Stargate team member. I can totally envision a world where Jones is brought in to study the Stargate when it's found in Giza and he, like Catherine, is entranced by the puzzle for all of his life. In my mind, maybe he's even alive to see Daniel crack the code. Sadly, the timing is off for the crossover I really want: an off-world archaeological mystery stumps Daniel so he calls in his old professor, Dr. Jones, to help. *sigh*
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    ( May. 1st, 2008 07:04 am)
    A month or two ago, [livejournal.com profile] topaz119 shared this video of Carolyn Porco discussing Cassini images of Saturn, Titan, and Enceladus. She's tremendously passionate about the Cassini program and it's a great snapshot of images from the mission. ANYWAY. It turns out that Porco joined the Star Trek XI production crew as a planetary science consultant. In this interview, BSG Science Advisor Kevin Grazier interviews Porco about Cassini, her interest in Science Fiction, and her role in the new Star Trek film.

    But why I'm really posting at 6:53am is this: HEAVEN.

    Justin and Madonna on stage together is near musical performance nirvana for me. Don't mock. I'm entirely serious.



    Here are more, larger, images from their performance )

    Many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] timberho for the photos and for video of their performance. It's not the best performance I've seen from either of them (the register seems too low for Madonna and it's a bit more chaotic than it needs to be) but it's MADONNA AND JUSTIN PERFORMING ON STAGE TOGETHER. I can't get enough of the moments when they dance together.

    Video... )

    On May 1, 2006 I made this post about a job opportunity in Ann Arbor. It feels, simultaneously, like it was 2 years ago and 20 years ago. It was filtered at the time but there's quite clearly no need for that now. :)

    On the same day, I made this post asking, "Suppose I wanted to read the best of Jack/Daniel. Where would I go? (I really need to troll the icon communities for a Daniel icon because OMG HOT.)" I love looking back on moments when I fell for a fandom.

    Happy May 1!

    ETA: Thanks for filling out my poll. I'll continue to keep BSG s3 spoilers behind a cut.
    saturn: (Default)
    ( Feb. 28th, 2008 07:03 am)
    My mother, with a newly discovered interest in Space following our visit to the KSC, sent me these photos from a past Endeavour trip to the international space station. They blew me away. Click for larger images.





    Seven more photos )
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    saturn: (Default)
    ( Feb. 7th, 2008 08:11 pm)
  • Hahahaha! This made my day: BABY PLEASE JUST LIFT THE DAMN RESTRAINING ORDER!!! Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] hetrez for the link.

  • Also way up there on my happy making list was coming home to a cleared driveway. Again. I owe my neighbors way more than a Shell gas card.

  • Want more good stuff? Try Atlantis' lift off. I may be at the KSC when the shuttle lands. *crosses fingers* Honestly, aside from seeing my family, I'm more excited about visiting the Kennedy Space Center on my vacation than the rest of the cruise. Except, maybe, for the warm weather. Heat gives the KSC a run for it's money.

  • How about an EW exlusive interview with Viggo?

  • I can't offer up new SPN but the CW and Kripke are which equals the perfect end to a satisfying day.
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    It's been a long week with 12+ hour days since Monday and I was kind of bummed tonight because I had to skip out on a happy hour to finish up a project but then I came home to the BEST SURPRISE MAIL EVER! [livejournal.com profile] between_names!! Thank you so much for thinking of me!

    [livejournal.com profile] between_names sent me original Life magazines from the 60's featuring coverage of the early Nasa missions. Grissom & Young's Gemini mission...Schirra & Apollo 7...the moon landings. They're amazing!



    The four other issues )

    My head is exploding right now. I can't believe these are MINE.

    A friend who is as equally obsessed with The West Wing was stunned to hear that I never watched Sports Night so she lent me the complete series on DVD. Some early observations:

  • How did I miss the fact that Peter Krause was Casey?
  • I didn't think it was possible for anyone to make (Won't You Come Home) Will Bailey look cool but Jeremy makes Malina's Will look like a candidate for GQ Cool Dude of the Year. And, still, Jeremy = Awesome.
  • I think I would like Sports Night more if I'd seen it before watching The West Wing. It's definitely classic Sorkin but the weighty issues sometimes seem out of place on a sports tv show whereas they made perfect sense in the White House.
  • That said, I'm hooked for the duration. Not so sure if I'll ever come around to Dan/Casey slash, though.

    Tomorrow is Friday! This was a long, long week but it was also very productive and I have fun plans over the weekend including dinner with friends tomorrow night and a date on Saturday night. Actually, I'm not sure if it's a date but we went out a year ago and then I was bitchy and blew him off but we ran into each other again and I suggested drinks during the week and he suggested it would be nicer to get together over the weekend so we'll see. (I blew him off for stupid reasons and I've felt guilty about it ever since because he deserved, at least, an explanation for my lameness. He's nice and sweet and handsome and laid back and totally reminds me of John Corbett. I'm king of hoping it's a date. :) )

    • When I left for work this morning, there were three women cleaning my home. Not one. Not two. Three! I came home to the cleanest, shiniest home ever and this is worth every last penny. They even made roses out of the end of my toilet paper. I'm in clean house heaven.

    • Because I was waiting for the housekeeper to arrive, I was home when Discovery landed. If I take my stress level and extrapolate it to the stress mission control was under I'm surprised they survived at all. Seeing the shuttle touch down safely was a beautiful, beautiful thing.

    • Katherine Harris is running for senate in Florida and it's suddenly clear why I'm here. I'm here so I can help Bill Nelson BEAT HER. I already went to his campaign site and signed up to volunteer. Not only is he pro-choice, pro-environment, and a former astronaut but, oh my god, he's not Katherine Harris.

    • Dana Reeve has lung cancer. The woman deserves a break. Her 13 year old son deserves a break. This is not a break.

    • I always wonder about appropriate transitions from news of things like, oh say, cancer to topics like House. Is there any way to do that gracefully? No? Well, tonight's House rerun just gets us closer to the start of season two. New! House! Soon!
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    saturn: (Default)
    ( Jul. 26th, 2005 08:11 pm)

    • I had a conference call at 10am with clients in MN, NY, and London but, at 10:39am in the middle of the call and with two colleagues in my office, I was delightfully unprofessional and watched the launch of Discovery on my trusty corporate laptop. It took real effort not to cry. If you're as geeky as [livejournal.com profile] topaz119 and I are, here's the link to the live NASA feed.

    • I don't know what's up with Orlando Bloom and Sienna Miller but he's hot. I'm such a sucker for that look.

    • Pollingpoint.com has a Harry Potter poll up. I took full advantage of the "other" options and the open text boxes. Does anyone know if the results are public? I'd love to see how answers varied by the demographics collected.

    • I scroll through LJ at work but can't read any fic that catches my eye so I e-mail the links to my hotmail account to ensure that I remember to go back and read them. I'm in trouble if my IT department ever decides to check my e-mail and click on these links I've been saving. But today's list generated two recs:

      In Exchage by [livejournal.com profile] reddwarfer Harry/Snape ficlet. Post-HBP but no spoilers. It was tender and more than just a little heartbreaking.

      Best-Laid Plans by [livejournal.com profile] veniceatsunset Harry/Draco. The plan was to find Snape and Malfoy, kill Snape and Malfoy, find the Horcruxes, destroy the Horcruxes, defeat Voldemort, and move to the Caribbean where no one knew him and he could lay by the ocean and be happy. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on the way you look at it, even the best-laid plans go wrong. MILD SPOILERS FOR HBP. I rarely read Harry/Draco but the summary sucked me in and this was well worth it. It was a beautiful combination of heartache, tenderness, and humor.

    • [livejournal.com profile] arsenicjade is curious about interest in a Harry Potter H/C minifest. You know you want to write some HP h/c fic of the Harry/Snape variety!

    • After talking about it for months, I found a housekeeper. She comes recommended from two people and her first day is August 5th. After that, she'll come every other Friday. I don't think I can possibly understate my joy. Joy, I tell you! Beyond a range, I don't even know the final cost but it is well, well worth it. After long work weeks, I'll no longer have to spend my weekend scrubbing and washing and dusting and scouring and I feel like a hugh weight is lifted. Plus, Stanley Steamer is coming on Saturday for some summertime carpet cleaning. I love a clean home. Especially when I don't have to do it.
    From that time when the first thinking being struggled to stand upright, when he began to rationalize and think in most abstract terms, when he remembered the past so he could better see the future, he was driven by this inborn instinct to grasp for new heights, to reach outward. - Moonshot: The Inside Story of America's Race to the Moon by Alan Shepard and Deke Slayton

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    ( Jul. 20th, 2005 12:22 pm)
    Today's the 36th anniversary of the first lunar landing and [livejournal.com profile] topaz119 pointed out that Google googlemapped the moon. NASA's had technical, monetary, and PR struggles lately but, back then, they said they're were going to send a man to the moon and bring him safely back to earth and they did it. Few other events in history have so highlighted our ability to achieve.

    Unrelated...I like this meme stolen from just about everyone: Also: Ask me for "top five" lists of pretty much anything, and I will list you my top five of that thing or things. If you want to reciprocate and put this in your journal, too, I'll ask you back.
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    ( Jun. 29th, 2005 08:14 am)
    NASA Administrator, Michael Griffin, says Discovery is ready to go which would send me bouncing off the walls if it wasn't for the task force's report that 3 of 15 safety measures haven't been met. Slow and steady boys and girls.

    If NASA is ready and they do go, the launch window is 7/13- 7/31 and I'm hoping for any time after 7/16 when I'm back in the States. I'm told we can see the shuttle when it launches and that's pretty damn high on my short list of cool things about living in Florida.

    I'm very unsettled this morning. It's a weird low level anxiety that I can't attribute to anything specific. Maybe it's the ants. They're still there and they're still gross.
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