Stephen King, stay out of space

I have no idea where the following dream came from.

I dreamed that Stephen King had purchased an island.

Seems plausible so far.

He then proceeded to outfit it with a full spaceport and planned to launch his own shuttle into space.

Wth, brain?

At the end of the dream thousands of people were on hand to watch the takeoff.

It was a beautiful, clear night.  The engines lit.  The shuttle began to rise on a column of fire while the crowd cheered.

And then the shuttle  veered toward the ground and exploded in a spectacular ball of fire.

Steven King, stay the hell out of space.

Vacation photos from space

Ok, they aren’t really vacation photos but there’s something about getting “snapshots” from the astronauts that makes them more compelling than the pictures that are part of press releases.

Technorati : astronomy, space, vacation : , ,

IIS flyover Sep 27, 2009

Got a nice shot of the ISS passing over Plano this evening and managed to get Jupiter and the moon in the picture at the same time.

It was a great show. Keep an eye on the spaceweather satellite tracker to find out when it’ll be passing by your town.


Technorati : astronomy, iss, space : , ,

Lochrann’s Jan 25, 2009

This was a fun session in the new space at Lochrann’s. They recently expanded into a whole new room with a larger stage as well as an added meeting room that could work as a session space in a pinch.

Things were quiet enough that we had the new room mostly to ourselves.

With music played by Wendy, Joseph, David and Mark, Susan, Andi, Margi, Dwayne, Billye, Brandi, Grady, Karen and I danced several sets and some ceili dances along with a bit of stepping about.





Come on out next time! Keep an eye on the Facebook page for the session as well as Lochrann’s page.

Technorati : ceili, dance, irish, music, pub, set : ceili, dance, , , pub, set

Intel, UCSB HSL laser chip

Intel and UCSB have developed a hybrid silicon laser and both emits and guides light. This could have wide-ranging effects on the telecommunications and computer industry.

This breakthrough addresses one of the last major barriers to producing low-cost, high-bandwidth silicon photonics devices for use inside and around future computers and data centers.

It’s pretty easy to imagine very high bandwidth connections between devices that would allow all sorts of computing extensions using less space on the desktop and without one central "box" that many of us have become used to.

Continue reading Intel, UCSB HSL laser chip

Using mirrors to redirect lethal lasers

The concept seems a bit obvious if you’ve been working with lasers for any length of time but the Air Force Times is reporting that a research program, which has apparently consumed $25 million already, is:

now closer to using mirrors for relaying laser beams to hit targets a capability that would spread the reach and lethality of the weapon system, according to service and Boeing officials.

Tests have shown that researchers can shoot a laser into space and use telescopes to redirect its course to a target. Researchers have performed about 30 tests at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., where they used a crane to suspend a dual-mirror system about 100 feet above the ground. They then fired a low-powered laser at the apparatus from several miles away, and used it to redirect the laser to the target, which they hit every single time, program officials said.

Well, it sounds like tests have shown they can get the job done but other than paying for the equipment to handle high power lasers, why did it cost $25 million to get where they are now?

On the other hand, they’re apparently using a 15- to 25-kilowatt laser and those don’t come cheap.

Continue reading Using mirrors to redirect lethal lasers