This is gymnast Damien Walters and he will rock your damned world. No wires, no CGI, just an athlete who's blending parkour with traditional gymnastics and a cocky "hell, yeah, I can do that" attitude. This guy needs a movie where it's just non-stop chase.
I had to shrink this video down to column-width. Please take four minutes and watch it in full-screen mode.
The Global Hawk, an unmanned aerial vehicle that's seen action in Iraq and Afghanistan, is now being used to study the environment.
Earlier this year I wrote a story on the Global Hawk's new mission for Unmanned Systems, the magazine of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. I traveled to Edwards Air Force Base for the unveiling of the aircraft and interviewed the program scientists and engineers. It's a fascinating science-based project using a drone that can stay aloft for 30 hours, allowing it to travel from the equator to the polar regions and back in one flight.
It's a members-only magazine so the online content is restricted to subscribers, but NASA liked the article so much they asked to make it available at their website. You can download a 4.6 MB PDF of my story here (the photos are mine as well).
It doesn’t hurt anybody. It’s something I love to do, and it doesn’t
hurt anybody. And the world probably doesn’t need any more songs, but I
need more songs. It’s satisfying and lovely to do. I feel better, and
as a band—I think I can speak for everyone—we feel better making
something that wasn’t there ten minutes ago. Whatever spirit there is
in the universe, I think that puts you closer to it. The act of
creation, you know, it’s a very powerful thing, and very gratifying. I
wish it on everyone. I wish everyone could enjoy making something that
wasn’t there before.
Methinks they doth protest too much, but James Randi's website asked five brainiacs to review the scientific accuracy of Fox's new TV show Fringe, the X-Files clone that was just picked up for a full season.
On the one hand, c'mon -- it's a sci-fi show whose stated intention of exploring "fringe science" clearly gives it a pass on the real world. On the other hand, this is pretty funny:
Maybe Fringe would be good if, before watching every episode,
you had a lot of alcohol. I'm not sure. I'd guess that's what J.J.
Abrams was doing when he created the concept. It's crap masquerading as
I'm hoping this show can find its footing soon. Only one episode to date -- "The Arrival" -- has been worth re-watching. I think Fringe's problems have nothing to do with pseudo-science at all, and everything to do with one-note characters who offer little emotional investment.
What Sarah Failin' failed to realize is that fruit fly research could lead to breakthroughs for treating things like autism. This stunning mockery of sensible thought comes from the mother of a child with Down's syndrome, from a vice presidential candidate who claims she'll be a tireless advocate for special needs children across America.
If these right-wing fundamentalist end-times Luddite whack-jobs want to live in the Stone Age, I say we let them do it. But they have to leave the rest of us the hell alone.
Give them Alaska. Seriously. Let's allow the whole damned state of Alaska to secede. Call it Sarah Arabia and build an armed, electrified and razor-topped wall around the damn thing.
Why, Todd Palin will be so huntin' dawg happy he'll piss his seal-skin britches. As a member of the anti-American secessionist Alaskan Independence Party, that dog-sleddin' bastard's been praying for this for years. And Sarah can have her own little nation where she can rule her subjects with Biblical impunity and wage spiritual warfare to her heart's content. Aw, you betcha!
But we must impose the following condition: It will be illegal for any nation to export any scientific advances to Sarah Arabia. That includes any treatments for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, autism, cancer, PMS, anything. They don't even get Blu-Ray.
And no air-drops from Neiman Marcus. So hang onto that wardrobe, Sarah baby.
Palin's nomination as McCain's VP candidate and her popularity among the hardcore fundamentalist fringe highlights how desperate things have become for the splintered GOP. She is not only anti-intellectualism, she's about as anti-American a candidate as we've ever seen.
With less than a week until the election, one thing is clear. The fundamentalist Christianist fringe element must be excised from the Republican party for it to survive. Then and only then can traditional moderate sane conservatives reclaim their place in the American political landscape. Until that happens, the GOP is doomed to spend years in the wilderness. We the people simply cannot let them assume any kind of power if these are the idiots they want in charge of the country.
This is what the Republican Party has done to us this year: It has placed within reach of the Oval Office a woman who is a religious fanatic and a proud, boastful ignoramus. Those who despise science and learning are not anti-elitist. They are morally and intellectually slothful people who are secretly envious of the educated and the cultured. And those who prate of spiritual warfare and demons are not just "people of faith" but theocratic bullies. On Nov. 4, anyone who cares for the Constitution has a clear duty to repudiate this wickedness and stupidity.