-- There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.
This was really close. Less than a rounding error from an astronomical perspective. It strikes me that the current state of our technology and resources will allow us to spot these things coming at us before we have developed the wherewithal to do anything about it. I'll put aside the grim notion of helplessly watching the end approach to suggest pouring some of the stimulus money into avoiding armageddon. Guns in the sky anyone? Space tractors?
An asteroid about the size of one that blasted Siberia a century ago just buzzed by Earth.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory reported that the asteroid zoomed past Monday morning.
The asteroid named 2009 DD45 was about 78,000 kilometres from Earth.
That is just twice the height of some telecommunications satellites and about a fifth of the distance to the Moon.
The space ball measured between 21 metres and 47 metres in diameter.
The Planetary Society said that made it the same size as an asteroid
that exploded over Siberia in 1908 and levelled more than 2,000 square
kilometres of forest.
Most people probably didn’t notice the cosmic close call.
The asteroid was only spotted two days ago and at its closest point passed over the Pacific Ocean near Tahiti.
So i bumped into this interview with Dirk Benedict in National Review Online, skimming through it, a lot about his individuality and how he doesn't need hollywood. Stuff like this:
Benedict wants little to do with Hollywood anymore. Since leaving television, he has written two books and raised two sons as a single father.
Not being able to shy away from such politically incorrect opinions
also might have had something to do with his decision to abandon
Hollywood for Montana. And Benedict protests that he never had the
pathological hunger for fame that characterizes Hollywood’s biggest
“George Roy Hill [the legendary director of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid] said to me once, ‘You’ll never be a star,’ ”
Benedict recalls. “He started inviting me to his house — which was
really Paul Newman’s house, he was renting — and he said to me, ‘You’ll
never be a star, and the reason is that you don’t have to have it.’ ”
Seems like quite a maverick eh? Then I get to this:
During his recent appearance on Celebrity Big Brother, a wildly popular reality-TV show in the U.K....
Celebrity Big Brother! In the UK? If that doesn't scream "somebody please notice me again" I don't know what does. Sorry dude, all that Montana frontier conservative to-hell-with-what-they-think facade
just flushed down the toilet. I think someone is just cranky that he didn't get a job on new & improved BSG.
There is a lot to admire about Singapore's long standing determination to develop its knowledge economy and propel its scientific institutions to global leadership. When a decision is made to invest, they go for it, with world class expertise and funding. Chris Hogue pointed me at this announcement of a 10 year, $150 M committment to cutting edge biology. I've said it before, Singapore is a great place to be in the science business.
National University of Singapore (NUS) - A global university centred in Asia.
A new Mechanobiology Research Centre of Excellence (RCE), which will work on new ways of studying diseases through the mechanisms of cell and tissue mechanics, will be set up at NUS. It will receive a funding of $150 million over 10 years from the National Research Foundation and the Ministry of Education. The Mechanobiology RCE will be NUS’ third Research Centre of Excellence following two other RCEs - the Centre for Quantum Technologies and Cancer Science Institute of Singapore.
Led by Director-designate Prof Michael Sheetz from the Department of Biological Sciences at Columbia University and co-Director-designate Prof Paul Matsudaira, Head of the NUS Department of Biological Sciences, the centre will have three integrated inter-disciplinary teams working on cellular, molecular and tissue mechanics. The researchers will endeavour to develop powerful quantitative physical and biochemical models to define dynamic cellular functions, experimental reagents and tools for studying diseases of cells and tissues.