Autumn Saturation

Warp Drive Coming “Soon”

So, yesterday I read that NASA is actually starting to work on making this happen:

Via Gizmodo: (emphasis added)

“Perhaps a Star Trek experience within our lifetime is not such a remote possibility.” These are the words of Dr. Harold “Sonny” White, the Advanced Propulsion Theme Lead for the NASA Engineering Directorate. Dr. White and his colleagues don’t just believe a real life warp drive is theoretically possible; they’ve already started the work to create one.

And, while I’d like to be terrifically excited about this, the news is so WAY out there, so theoretical, so science fictiony, that I just can’t summon the enthusiasm.

First of all, what the HELL does “skunkworks” mean?! (emphasis added)

Working at NASA Eagleworks—a skunkworks operation deep at NASA’s Johnson Space Center…

Ok, so I found out what it means, and I guess it’s important that skunkworks operations happen “deep” at the space center, because, I don’t know, stuff might blow up?

Next, can anyone read the following and NOT suspect that this Dr. White guy is just stealing lines of dialogue from, Scotty or Geordi:

Dr. White’s team is trying to find proof of those loopholes. They have “initiated an interferometer test bed that will try to generate and detect a microscopic instance of a little warp bubble” using an instrument called the White-Juday Warp Field Interferometer…

By creating one of these warp bubbles, the spaceship’s engine will compress the space ahead and expand the space behind, moving it to another place without actually moving, and carrying none of the adverse effects of other travel methods. According to Dr. White, “by harnessing the physics of cosmic inflation, future spaceships crafted to satisfy the laws of these mathematical equations may actually be able to get somewhere unthinkably fast—and without adverse effects.”…

The Eagleworks team has discovered that the energy requirements are much lower than previously thought. If they optimize the warp bubble thickness and “oscillate its intensity to reduce the stiffness of space time,”

Oh, right! Cosmic inflation! Oscillating the intensity of the warp bubble thickness! Of course!

Really, Dr. White? In our lifetime?

…um, wait a minute, maybe…

Cat Heaven

Video Fridays: Monty Python’s Election Night

With the U.S. presidential campaign in the home stretch, with less than two months until election day, I was inspired to post my first Monty Python Video Fridays installment since November 2011.

Watching the following hilarious lampoon of representative democracy in action, I can’t help thinking about how The Daily Show has become a comedy institution.

Politics is such a breeding ground for buffoons and farcical irrationality, if we didn’t have Monty Python, Jon Stewart, and others to make us laugh about it, we’d either be constantly depressed or scared for our lives.

So, for now, have a good laugh and a Happy Weekend, everyone!

Tweet(s) of the Day: #iPhone5

Following up on my post yesterday about the new iPhone 5, after I got over the embarrassment of my flip-flop on the matter, I went looking to see what folks were saying about the phone on Twitter.

Predictably, reactions ran the gamut, from hardcore haters, to more utterances of “meh” than I’ve ever seen in one viewing, to people willing to sell their children into slavery if they could have the phone right.this.minute!

But, I found more than few tweets on the subject rather entertaining and decided to post them here:

https://twitter.com/samsh1elds/status/246361140144271360

Damn you, Apple!

Oh, I was SO sure of myself!

Really, I was!

I bragged to all of my friends and family, something like this:

You know all this hype about the upcoming iPhone 5? I’ve been following the rumors and I just don’t see the big deal. I still LOVE my iPhone 4, so I just don’t care about the new iPhone, and I’ll wait until the iPhone 6 or something.

But, then I saw it.

And, I watched the launch and the promotional video…

…and…

Damn you, Apple!

Eyecatchers: The World Trade Center

GreatBuildings.com
Quite naturally, different people deal with the memory of 9/11 in different ways.

Some wish to revisit the rage they felt that day, rage being just one way of managing the underlying feelings of deep loss and sadness, and so they post photos on the socialwebs of the destruction of the World Trade Center towers, accompanied by urgent pleas, shouted out to whomever might be paying attention, pleas that we “NEVER FORGET!”.

As I was scrolling through my Facebook news feed this morning, I found that I couldn’t linger on any of the photos of this nature.

But, when I came upon this image, a photo taken by a friend of a friend, I knew that this is how I’d prefer to mark 9/11, to remember the towers whole and majestic, as they once were:

Josh Hankes

I haven’t been back to New York since the towers came down, and I still can’t get my head around the idea that they aren’t there.

They were an indelible icon as I grew up in New Jersey, a 40-minute train ride away from the city, or, better yet, a ride away on the Staten Island Ferry, so that, as the boat came closer and closer to the terminal in Lower Manhattan, that unlikely forest of skyscrapers sprouting out of that tiny island grew larger and larger before my awe-filled eyes, with the twin towers dominating the foreground, standing guard over that amazing city, a city both powerful and precarious.

Anyway, I’ve browsed around and have collected here some particularly good photos of the World Trade Center, to help me keep those positive images alive.

silive.com
markwalston.wordpress.com
GreatBuildings.com
Joel Cohen
QT Luong
Wikimedia.org
Flickr user ~It’s_me!
skycrapercity.com