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Topics - Tulionberry the Enforcer

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91
http://naturalsociety.com/chinese-plant-compound-cancer-research/#ixzz29iGFD6ox


A little-known plant with a truly bizarre name is now making headlines as a cancer killer, with the compound of the plant vanishing tumors in mice with pancreatic cancer. Known as the ‘thunder god vine’ or lei gong teng, the Chinese plant is actually integrated into Chinese medicine and has been used for ages in remedying a number of conditions including rheumatoid arthritis.

According to the new research out of the University of Minnesota’s Masonic Cancer Center, the thunder god plant compound led to no signs of tumors after a 40 day period — even after discontinuing the treatment. Published in the journal Science Translational Medicine and funded by the National Institutes of Health, even the scientists working on the project were stunned by the anti-cancer properties of the compound. Known to contain something known as triptolide, which has been identified as a cancer fighter in previous research, it is thought to be the key component that may be responsible for the anti-tumor capabilities.

Study leader and vice chairman of research at the Cancer Center explained to Bloomberg how he was blown away by the effects of the simple plant:

“This drug is just unbelievably potent in killing tumor cells,” he said.

And just like with numerous other powerful substances like turmeric and ginger, mainstream science is still slowly confirming what many traditional practitioners have known for their entire lives. This is, of course, due to the fact that there is simply no money for major corporations in researching the healing powers of natural herbs and compounds such as the compound found in the thunder god vine. Turmeric and ginger, for example, have been found to be amazing anti-cancer substances that are virtually free compared to expensive and dangerous cancer drugs.

Nevertheless, the Big Pharma sponsored corporate scientists have managed to ignore these spices as much as possible. In fact, they have even been caught time and time again faking thousands of studies to fraudulently demonstrate the supposed value of pharmaceutical drugs pushed by major pharma juggernauts — many of which are later forced to pay millions in fines which only slightly stack up against their billions in profits.

Profits that are threatened by the many real studies that were performed by scientists examining the rejeuvenating power of cheap ingredients like turmeric, which has been found by peer-reviewed research available on PubMed to positively influence over 590 conditions.

While it is great news that this study is bringing the beneficial effects of inexpensive and near-free plant compounds to light, the bad news is that the individuals responsible for the research are actually looking to create a pharmaceutical drug from the essential component triptolide. A drug that will seek FDA approval and ultimately be patented, nutritionally ruined, and sold for exorbitant amounts of cash. Instead, just get your hands on some thunder god vine for yourself.

92
General Discussion / Ant-Man (2015)
« on: October 15, 2012, 04:09:19 PM »
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0478970/

Ant-Man now has an official release date of 11/6/2015.

I'll be honest, I don't really like Ant-Man -- but I'll probably go see it anyway because it's Marvel.  :undecided:

93
General Discussion / Elections are coming up, so.....
« on: October 11, 2012, 04:57:11 PM »
Quote
More and more law enforcers are speaking out and saying it's time to end prohibition. Check out this new TV ad from YES on WA's Marijuana Initiative 502.


Yes on I-502 TV Ad - Law Enforcement

94
LoLz / Rengar vs Kha'Zix
« on: October 08, 2012, 06:04:26 PM »
How do you trigger the quest or buff "The Hunt is On?"

The only thing I know is Rengar has to have a bonetooth necklace and Kha'Zix needs to be at least level 16. But that doesn't always trigger it.

95
General Discussion / Tim Burton is at it again.
« on: October 05, 2012, 08:45:25 PM »
Beetlejuice 2 (????)





Beetlejuice - Main title

96
General Discussion / What's the point of an anchor if it isn't heavy?
« on: October 03, 2012, 05:48:35 PM »
CBS WKBT News Anchor's On-Air Response to Viewer Calling Her Fat (Oct. 2nd, 2012)




http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2012/10/03/162239457/bully-creep-or-erudite-takedown-tv-anchors-response-to-being-called-fat


'Bully Creep' Or 'Erudite Takedown?' TV Anchor's Response To Being Called Fat


After La Crosse, Wis., TV anchor Jennifer Livingston spent four minutes Tuesday giving an on-air response to a viewer who emailed her to say she isn't a "suitable example for this community's young people" because she's overweight, an uploaded clip of her comments quickly went viral. (Ellen DeGeneres' tweet about what Livingston said gave the clip quite a push.)

Livingston said the email was bullying. She said she is "much more than a number on a scale." And she said that if children were to hear their parents talking about "the fat news lady ... guess what, your children are probably going to go to school and call someone fat."

"We need to teach our kids how to be kind, not critical, and we need to do that by example," she added.

The email she got from viewer Kenneth Krause, which her outraged husband put on his Facebook page, reads this way:

"Hi Jennifer,

"It's unusual that I see your morning show, but I did so for a very short time today. I was surprised indeed to witness that your physical condition hasn't improved for many years. Surely you don't consider yourself a suitable example for this community's young people, girls in particular. Obesity is one of the worst choices a person can make and one of the most dangerous habits to maintain. I leave you this note hoping that you'll reconsider your responsibility as a local public personality to present and promote a healthy lifestyle."

Christian Schneider, a fellow at the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute and a contributor to National Review Online, writes on The Yankee Review blog (which Milwaukee's Journal Sentinel hosts), that Livingston's "erudite takedown was cathartic" for many.

"Everyone who has been picked on for their weight or their looks could relate to the feelings she had as she delivered her editorial," says Schneider. "We've been there, and she spoke for a lot of people that are afraid to confront their critics."

But Stephanie Hanes, who writes for Modern Parenthood and the Christian Science Monitor, says the email wasn't bullying. "Obnoxious, sure," Hanes writes. "Calling it unsolicited or unnecessary 'advice' would be kind. Despite the cordial tone, it is simply unacceptable — and rather sexist, I'll add — to comment on a woman's physical appearance as if that appearance was the substance of her work. Even with all that window dressing of the obesity epidemic. ... But one rude e-mail does not a bullying act make."

In Hanes' view, there's some "bully creep" going on here. And, she says, "the 'everyone mean is a bully' phenomenon gums up the fight against the sort of 'bullying' that academic researchers have identified as incredibly damaging — the sustained, cruel interactions between a powerful child or children and a less powerful child."

Which is it? Feel free to discuss in the comments thread.

Krause, by the way, has responded to Livingston's on-air response with a statement. He says, in part, that he hopes Livingston takes advantage "of a rare and golden opportunity to influence the health and psychological well-being ... of children by transforming herself for all of her viewers to see over the next year."

97
It's called Los Cronocrimenes (Timecrimes)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0480669/


Timecrimes Trailer HD



Strongly recommend this if you're anal on just taking movies apart. It's also a decent time travel movie.

98
General Discussion / Balls of Steel, Felix Baumgartner's Test Jump
« on: September 27, 2012, 04:36:52 PM »
Felix Baumgartner's Test Jump - Red Bull Stratos


Felix Baumbartner - Altitude chamber test jump - Red Bull Stratos 2012



Supersonic Skydive From Edge of Space - Animated

99
http://the-scientist.com/2012/09/26/outbreak-watch/

Outbreak Watch

International health officials are monitoring a new respiratory virus that has killed one person and left another in critical condition.


The World Health Organization (WHO) released a worldwide health alert Sunday (September 23) after the United Kingdom’s Health Protection Agency (HPA) confirmed that a newly identified virus—genetically related to the SARS virus—has infected a second patient, who was last reported in critical condition in London.

The virus was first identified this summer in Saudi Arabia following the death of a 60-year-old pneumonia patient. It is a type of coronavirus, a group that includes cold viruses as well as the SARS virus, which caused a global outbreak of severe respiratory illness between 2002 and 2003, killing more than 700 people. So far, health experts are optimistic that the new virus will not have the same tragic spread.

“SARS was very quick off the mark, infecting hospital staff etc., and this new virus does not to me appear to be in the same ‘big bang’ group,” John Oxford, a virology expert at Queen Mary, University of London told BBC News.

The London patient had recently traveled to Saudi Arabia where it is suspected he picked up the virus; the two confirmed infections shared 99.5 percent sequence identity. Experts are investigating other suspected cases in the Middle East and preparing outbreak responses if needed, but the WHO has yet to issue any travel restrictions or advice.

“For the moment, we’re just assuming there were two individual infections, probably from some animal reservoir,” Ron Fouchier, a virologist at Erasmus MC in Rotterdam in the Netherlands and a lead researcher on one of the two recently publicized H5N1 papers, told ScienceInsider. “They occurred 3 months apart, which is too long for one to have infected the other,” added Fouchier, who sequenced the new virus’s genomes from the two confirmed cases. “So let’s keep both feet on the ground and not blow this out of proportion.”

100
General Discussion / How the Internet will (one day) transform government
« on: September 25, 2012, 06:18:00 PM »
Clay Shirky: How the Internet will (one day) transform government

101
General Discussion / WTF Octopus
« on: September 24, 2012, 12:44:55 AM »
The Mimic Octopus. The most incredicle creature ever!

102
General Discussion / Anybody else watching World Baseball Classic?
« on: September 23, 2012, 08:06:58 PM »
Or is planning to?

I have a gut feeling S.Korea may win it all.

103
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/19/marijuana-and-cancer_n_1898208.html

A pair of scientists at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco has found that a compound derived from marijuana could stop metastasis in many kinds of aggressive cancer, potentially altering the fatality of the disease forever.

"It took us about 20 years of research to figure this out, but we are very excited," said Pierre Desprez, one of the scientists behind the discovery, to The Huffington Post. "We want to get started with trials as soon as possible."

The Daily Beast first reported on the finding, which has already undergone both laboratory and animal testing, and is awaiting permission for clinical trials in humans.

Desprez, a molecular biologist, spent decades studying ID-1, the gene that causes cancer to spread. Meanwhile, fellow researcher Sean McAllister was studying the effects of Cannabidiol, or CBD, a non-toxic, non-psychoactive chemical compound found in the cannabis plant. Finally, the pair collaborated, combining CBD and cells containing high levels of ID-1 in a petri dish.

"What we found was that his Cannabidiol could essentially 'turn off' the ID-1," Desprez told HuffPost. The cells stopped spreading and returned to normal.

"We likely would not have found this on our own," he added. "That's why collaboration is so essential to scientific discovery."

Desprez and McAllister first published a paper about the finding in 2007. Since then, their team has found that CBD works both in the lab and in animals. And now, they've found even more good news.

"We started by researching breast cancer," said Desprez. "But now we've found that Cannabidiol works with many kinds of aggressive cancers--brain, prostate--any kind in which these high levels of ID-1 are present."

Desprez hopes that clinical trials will begin immediately.

"We've found no toxicity in the animals we've tested, and Cannabidiol is already used in humans for a variety of other ailments," he said. Indeed, the compound is used to relieve anxiety and nausea, and, since it is non-psychoactive, does not cause the "high" associated with THC.

While marijuana advocates will surely praise the discovery, Desprez explained that it's not so easy as just lighting up.

"We used injections in the animal testing and are also testing pills," he said. "But you could never get enough Cannabidiol for it to be effective just from smoking."

Furthermore, the team has started synthesizing the compound in the lab instead of using the plant in an effort to make it more potent.

"It's a common practice," explained Desprez. "But hopefully it will also keep us clear of any obstacles while seeking approval."

104
Spamalot / I must break you
« on: September 20, 2012, 09:42:34 PM »

105
LoLz / "Do you always fight so poorly"
« on: September 20, 2012, 07:17:10 PM »
Please keep that in.

106
http://sciencefreaks.co.uk/2012/09/19/revolutionary-ultrathin-flat-lens-smart-phones-as-thin-as-a-credit-card/




Scientists are reporting development of a revolutionary new lens — flat, distortion-free, so small that more than 1,500 would fit across the width of a human hair — capable in the future of replacing lenses in applications ranging from cell phones to cameras to fiber-optic communication systems. The advance, which could lead to smart phones as thin as a credit card, appears in ACS’ journal Nano Letters.

Federico Capasso and colleagues explain that the lenses used to focus light in eyeglasses, microscopes and other products use the same basic technology dating to the late 1200s, when spectacle lenses were introduced in Europe. Existing lenses are not thin or flat enough to remove distortions, such as spherical aberration, astigmatism and coma, which prevent the creation of a sharp image. Correction of those distortions requires complex solutions, such as multiple lenses that increase weight and take up space. To overcome these challenges, the scientists sought to develop a new superthin, flat lens.

Although the new lens is ultra-thin, it has a resolving power that actually approaches the theoretical limits set by the laws of optics. The lens surface is patterned with tiny metallic stripes which bend light differently as one moves away from the center, causing the beam to sharply focus without distorting the images. The current version of the lens works at a specific design wavelength, but the scientists say it can be redesigned for use with broad-band light.

The authors acknowledge funding from the National Science Foundation, the Robert A. Welch Foundation and the European Communities Seventh Framework Programme, as well as support from the Center for Nanoscale Systems at Harvard University.

107
General Discussion / The Warp Drive could become science fact
« on: September 18, 2012, 08:08:21 PM »
http://news.discovery.com/space/warp-drive-possible-nasa-tests-100yss-120917.html#mkcpgn=rssnws1

A warp drive to achieve faster-than-light travel -- a concept popularized in television's Star Trek -- may not be as unrealistic as once thought, scientists say.

A warp drive would manipulate space-time itself to move a starship, taking advantage of a loophole in the laws of physics that prevent anything from moving faster than light. A concept for a real-life warp drive was suggested in 1994 by Mexican physicist Miguel Alcubierre, however subsequent calculations found that such a device would require prohibitive amounts of energy.

Now physicists say that adjustments can be made to the proposed warp drive that would enable it to run on significantly less energy, potentially bringing the idea back from the realm of science fiction into science.

"There is hope," Harold "Sonny" White of NASA's Johnson Space Center said Friday (Sept. 14) at the 100 Year Starship Symposium, a meeting to discuss the challenges of interstellar spaceflight.

Warping Spacetime

An Alcubierre warp drive would involve a football-shape spacecraft attached to a large ring encircling it. This ring, potentially made of exotic matter, would cause space-time to warp around the starship, creating a region of contracted space in front of it and expanded space behind.

Meanwhile, the starship itself would stay inside a bubble of flat space-time that wasn't being warped at all.

"Everything within space is restricted by the speed of light," explained Richard Obousy, president of Icarus Interstellar, a non-profit group of scientists and engineers devoted to pursuing interstellar spaceflight. "But the really cool thing is space-time, the fabric of space, is not limited by the speed of light."

With this concept, the spacecraft would be able to achieve an effective speed of about 10 times the speed of light, all without breaking the cosmic speed limit.

The only problem is, previous studies estimated the warp drive would require a minimum amount of energy about equal to the mass-energy of the planet Jupiter.

But recently White calculated what would happen if the shape of the ring encircling the spacecraft was adjusted into more of a rounded donut, as opposed to a flat ring. He found in that case, the warp drive could be powered by a mass about the size of a spacecraft like the Voyager 1 probe NASA launched in 1977.

Furthermore, if the intensity of the space warps can be oscillated over time, the energy required is reduced even more, White found.

"The findings I presented today change it from impractical to plausible and worth further investigation," White told SPACE.com. "The additional energy reduction realized by oscillating the bubble intensity is an interesting conjecture that we will enjoy looking at in the lab."

Laboratory Tests

White and his colleagues have begun experimenting with a mini version of the warp drive in their laboratory.

They set up what they call the White-Juday Warp Field Interferometer at the Johnson Space Center, essentially creating a laser interferometer that instigates micro versions of space-time warps.

"We're trying to see if we can generate a very tiny instance of this in a tabletop experiment, to try to perturb space-time by one part in 10 million," White said.

He called the project a "humble experiment" compared to what would be needed for a real warp drive, but said it represents a promising first step.

And other scientists stressed that even outlandish-sounding ideas, such as the warp drive, need to be considered if humanity is serious about traveling to other stars.

"If we're ever going to become a true spacefaring civilization, we're going to have to think outside the box a little bit, were going to have to be a little bit audacious," Obousy said.

108
General Discussion / I want a baby dragon
« on: September 16, 2012, 11:53:04 PM »



The Armadillo Lizard

109
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgGwnbFJBNU <---- I'm looking at you utmno, fix this shit



Ken Ham Responds to Bill Nye "The Humanist Guy"


Bill Nye, Creationism is Highly Appropriate for our Children



110
General Discussion / Our dangerous galactic passage
« on: September 10, 2012, 09:50:30 PM »
http://news.discovery.com/space/our-dangerous-galactic-passage-120910.html#mkcpgn=rssnws1

We're only a little more than three months away from the imaginary 2012 End of Times (based on silly misinterpretations of the ancient Mayan calendar). The 2012 doom and gloom folks have glommed onto all kinds of nonsensical predictions where the Milky Way galaxy disrupts us: the passage of the solar system across the galactic plane, or a supposed "grand alignment" with the galactic center will trigger a mysterious and nondescript celestial 'force.'

In reality, our Milky Way really does pose numerous hazards to Earth during the sun's orbital journey around the galactic center. But no future space disaster can be circled on a calendar on Dec. 21 or any other date.

The sun has completed 20 orbits of the galactic hub since Earth formed. Each orbit is called a galactic year -- a vast stretch of time (220 million Earth years) that the Mayans could have never imagined. Whatever cosmic catastrophes might have happened along the way, it has not prevented complex life from arising and evolving on Earth over roughly the past three galactic years. There have been attempts at statistically linking mysterious mass extinctions to cosmic disasters, but we simply don't have enough data, says Colin Norman the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md.

The reality is that the potential of navigational hazards along our galactic journey lie far into the future over many millions or billions of years. Our distant descendants could come up with strategies to guard against some of these mishaps. However, the biggest threat is from extremely rare energetic events in the galaxy, says Norman.

Killer catastrophes were much more frequent in the Milky Way's formative period, billions of years before Earth was born. Stars were being made at such a voracious rate -- and then quickly exploding -- that the galaxy would have been made uninhabitable by the radiation saturation, says Norman.

This is sobering because we suspect there could be ancient Methuselah planets in the galaxy that might have formed 12 billion years ago (as opposed to Earth’s 4.5 billion year birthday). But they would have been sterilized of life by radiation from multiple supernova and hot stellar winds from giant stars

Over time there have been 1 billion supernovae in our galaxy. They accelerate cosmic rays that irradiate any nearby star systems. Even more devastating are so-called Quimby events. These are an unusual class of extraordinarily powerful supernova that defy conventional explanations for their power generation. It's hypothesized that these super-blasts only happen in very rare stars that are over 100 times the mass of our sun. There could have been 10 million of these popping off in our galaxy to date.

Gamma ray bursts (GRBs) ratchet up the killer potential. It's estimated there have been 100,000 gamma-ray bursts over our galaxy's lifetime. These are produced by the biggest bangs since the Big Bang: hypernovae. These titanic stellar detonations unleash 1,000 times the energy of a supernova. It is concentrated in a narrow Death Star-like beam. The GRB beam evaporates anything that is nearby and along its path. The radiation would catastrophically damage DNA even over interstellar distances.

When the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies collide in about another 10 galactic years there will be supersonic collisions between gas clouds that generate shockwaves. There will also be gravitational tidal torques on the stellar distribution.

Planetary systems will survive the fireworks, but the clouds of cometary embryos surrounding these systems (known as the Oort cloud for our solar system) could be disrupted. The planets could then be subjected to devastating comet showers. However, advanced civilizations would have the technological prowess to set up a planetary protection system to deflect space invaders, like the classic Atari arcade game Asteroids.

The frequency of supernova blasts will go up as a firestorm of new star birth sweeps across the merging galaxies. But advanced civilizations might set up radiation storm cellars by burrowing underground, or even hollowing out asteroids.

When the supermassive black holes in the cores of the Milky Way and Andromeda merge, they will send out a gravitational wave that will momentarily distort the shape of every object in the galaxy. But not to worry. Earth's diameter would briefly "squish" by merely one-millionth of an inch.

There will not be any residual dust and gas in space to feed the 10 million solar mass newly merged black hole. All the Milky Way's nebulosity will have all been blown away by the star formation firestorm. Therefore the elliptical galaxy formed from the Milky Way-Andromeda merger will not have a blazing active galactic nucleus powered by a well-fed black hole.

This is very good news. Otherwise the blast of radiation from an active black hole would increase the pressure of the tenuous interstellar medium by a factor of as much as one million. This would crush the heliosphere around the sun, a roughly 25 billion-mile diameter bubble of solar charged particles and plasma that protects our planet from low energy cosmic rays from interstellar space and solar wind particles.

However, Norman predicts that at least once during the sun's orbit, the solar system will make a bull’s eye passed through the core of a dense molecular cloud that contains the raw material for new star formation. The space densities will also collapse the heliosphere allowing Earth to be irradiated. "We'll be in big trouble without shielding," says Norman.

The 2012 doomsayers can reset their end-of-world calendar. In the evolving universe the future is always uncertain and fraught with unpredictable danger. But as measure in galactic years, doomsday is never right around the corner.


TOP 5 REAL COSMIC DOOMSDAY EVENTS

WIDE ANGLE: Will the World End in 2012?

111
Spamalot / This made my day
« on: September 10, 2012, 01:03:04 AM »

112
General Discussion / Early Mars maybe not so wet
« on: September 10, 2012, 12:36:29 AM »
http://news.discovery.com/space/mars-water-history-dry-clay-120909.html#mkcpgn=rssnws1

Early Mars may not have been as warm or wet as scientists suspect, a finding which could impact the likelihood that the Red Planet was capable of evolving life at the time when it was getting started on Earth.

A new study presents an alternative explanation for the prevalence of Mars' ancient clay minerals, which on Earth most often result from water chemically reacting with rock over long periods of time. The process is believed to be a starting point for life.

The clays, also known as phyllosilocates, are among the strongest pieces of evidence for a Mars that once was warmer, wetter and much more like Earth than the cold, dry, acidic desert which appears today.

Data collected by orbiting spacecraft show Mars' clay minerals may instead trace their origin to water-rich volcanic magma, similar to how clays formed on the Mururoa atoll in French Polynesia and in the Parana basin in Brazil. That process doesn't need standing bodies of liquid water.

"The infrared spectra we got in the lab (on Mururoa clays) using a reflected beam are astonishingly similar to that obtained on Mars by the orbiters," lead researcher Alain Meunier, with the University of Poitiers in France, wrote in an email to Discovery News.

The team also points out that some of the Mars meteorites recovered on Earth do not have a chemistry history that supports standing liquid water.

But even if Mars was not as warm or wet as scientists have theorized, that doesn't close the door on the possibility of life.

The clays, for example, could have still hosted the early chemical reactions for life, even if they did not themselves form from standing bodies of water.

"On Earth, we think clay minerals were pretty important in the origin of life because the structure of them and the water they hold and the elements that are within them seem to be good things to develop RNA and we get to DNA from that," planetary scientist Brian Hynek, with the University of Colorado at Boulder, told Discovery News.

"Since we find clays all over Mars from the same time period, it's been thought that these are important for the question of habitability, and they certainly are. But the clays are just one piece of the puzzle," he said.

For example, the fingerprints of water have been found in other minerals on Mars, though that water seems to have been more acidic.

"That's a challenge for life, but we certainly have a lot of examples of life living in very acidic places on Earth," Hynek said.

The first direct measurements of clay minerals on Mars are expected soon. NASA's Opportunity rover is making its way to suspected clays on the rim of a crater, while on the other side of the planet the roving chemistry lab Curiosity is beginning a two-year mission that will head to Martian clays near the foot of a mountain next year.

The research appears in this week's Nature Geoscience.

113
My friends are crazy over it, and I'm even tempted to try it.


Kogi BBQ: VendrTV

114
General Discussion / They just barely started filming "Warcraft"
« on: September 04, 2012, 06:08:36 PM »
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0803096/

Facts so far:

Writer/Screen Play: Charles Leavitt and Chris Metzen (story).

Story is based on "WarCraft: Orcs & Humans (1994)."

115
LoLz / Ah yessss
« on: September 02, 2012, 04:38:32 PM »
Just need a bath time Rumble skin; his machine is a bathtub shooting bubbles instead of the flame.


Teaser - Pool Party Ziggs Skin (Link to Skin Spotlight in the description)

116
LoLz / ^_^
« on: August 29, 2012, 04:17:11 PM »
League of Legends Story Time: Lulu ~ The Fae Sorceress

117
General Discussion / Astronaut Neil Armstrong dies at 82
« on: August 25, 2012, 05:12:04 PM »
http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/08/25/astronaut-neil-armstrong-dies-at-82/

CINCINNATI –  Neil Armstrong was a quiet, self-described "nerdy" engineer who became a global hero when as a steely-nerved U.S. pilot he made "one giant leap for mankind" with the first step on the moon.
The modest man who entranced and awed people on Earth has died. He was 82.
Armstrong died Saturday following complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures, a statement from his family said. It didn't say where he died.
Armstrong commanded the Apollo 11 spacecraft that landed on the moon July 20, 1969, capping the most daring of the 20th century's scientific expeditions. His first words after setting foot on the surface are etched in history books and in the memories of those who heard them in a live broadcast.
"That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind," Armstrong said.
In those first few moments on the moon, during the climax of a heated space race with the then-Soviet Union, Armstrong stopped in what he called "a tender moment" and left a patch to commemorate NASA astronauts and Soviet cosmonauts who had died in action.
"It was special and memorable, but it was only instantaneous because there was work to do," Armstrong told an Australian television interviewer this year.
Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin spent nearly three hours walking on the lunar surface, collecting samples, conducting experiments and taking photographs.
"The sights were simply magnificent, beyond any visual experience that I had ever been exposed to," Armstrong once said.
The moonwalk marked America's victory in the Cold War space race that began Oct. 4, 1957, with the launch of the Soviet Union's Sputnik 1, a satellite that sent shock waves around the world.
An estimated 600 million people -- a fifth of the world's population -- watched and listened to the moon landing, the largest audience for any single event in history.
Parents huddled with their children in front of the family television, mesmerized. Farmers abandoned their nightly milking duties, and motorists pulled off the highway and checked into motels just to watch on TV.
Although he had been a Navy fighter pilot, a test pilot for NASA's forerunner and an astronaut, Armstrong never allowed himself to be caught up in the celebrity and glamour of the space program.
"I am, and ever will be, a white socks, pocket protector, nerdy engineer," he said in February 2000 in one of his rare public appearances. "And I take a substantial amount of pride in the accomplishments of my profession."
A man who kept away from cameras, Armstrong went public in 2010 with his concerns about President Barack Obama's space policy that shifted attention away from a return to the moon and emphasized private companies developing spaceships. He testified before Congress, and in an email to The Associated Press he said he had "substantial reservations."
NASA chief Charles Bolden recalled Armstrong's grace and humility in a statement Saturday.
"As long as there are history books, Neil Armstrong will be included in them, remembered for taking humankind's first small step on a world beyond our own," Bolden said.
Armstrong's modesty and self-effacing manner never faded.
When he appeared in Dayton, Ohio, in 2003 to help celebrate the 100th anniversary of powered flight, he bounded onto a stage before 10,000 people. But he spoke for only a few seconds, did not mention the moon and quickly ducked out of the spotlight.
He later joined former astronaut and Sen. John Glenn to lay wreaths on the graves of airplane inventors Wilbur and Orville Wright. Glenn introduced Armstrong and noted it was 34 years to the day that Armstrong had walked on the moon.
"Thank you, John. Thirty-four years?" Armstrong quipped, as if he hadn't given it a thought.
At another joint appearance, the two embraced and Glenn commented: "To this day, he's the one person on Earth, I'm truly, truly envious of."
Armstrong's moonwalk capped a series of accomplishments that included piloting the X-15 rocket plane and making the first space docking during the Gemini 8 mission, which included a successful emergency splashdown.
In the years afterward, Armstrong retreated to the quiet of the classroom and his Ohio farm. Aldrin said in his book "Men from Earth" that Armstrong was one of the quietest, most private men he had ever met.
In the Australian interview, Armstrong acknowledged that "now and then I miss the excitement about being in the cockpit of an airplane and doing new things."
At the time of the flight's 40th anniversary, Armstrong again was low-key, telling a gathering that the space race was "the ultimate peaceful competition: USA versus U.S.S.R. It did allow both sides to take the high road, with the objectives of science and learning and exploration."
Glenn, who went through jungle training in Panama with Armstrong as part of the astronaut program, described him as "exceptionally brilliant" with technical matters but "rather retiring, doesn't like to be thrust into the limelight much."
Glenn told CNN on Saturday that Armstrong had had a number of close calls in his career, including during the moon landing, when they had less than a minute of fuel remaining on arrival.
"He was a good friend and he'll be missed," Glenn told the network.
Derek Elliott, curator of the Smithsonian Institution's U.S. Air and Space Museum from 1982 to 1992, said the moonwalk probably marked the high point of space exploration.
"The fact that we were able to see it and be a part of it means that we are in our own way witnesses to history," he said.
The 1969 landing met an audacious deadline that President John F. Kennedy had set in May 1961, shortly after Alan Shepard became the first American in space with a 15-minute suborbital flight. Soviet cosmonaut Yuri A. Gagarin had orbited the Earth and beaten the U.S. into space the previous month.
"I believe this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before the decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to Earth," Kennedy had said. "No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important to the long-range exploration of space; and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish."
The end-of-decade goal was met with more than five months to spare. "Houston: Tranquility Base here," Armstrong radioed after the spacecraft settled onto the moon. "The Eagle has landed."
"Roger, Tranquility," the Houston staffer radioed back. "We copy you on the ground. You've got a bunch of guys about to turn blue. We're breathing again. Thanks a lot."
The third astronaut on the mission, Michael Collins, circled the moon in the mother ship Columbia while Armstrong and Aldrin went to the moon's surface.
Collins told NASA on Saturday that he will miss Armstrong terribly, spokesman Bob Jacobs tweeted.
In all, 12 American astronauts walked on the moon between 1969 and the last moon mission in 1972.
For Americans, reaching the moon provided uplift and respite from the Vietnam War. The landing occurred as organizers were preparing for Woodstock, the legendary rock festival on a farm in New York.
Armstrong was born Aug. 5, 1930, on a farm in Ohio. He took his first airplane ride at age 6 and developed a fascination with aviation that prompted him to build model airplanes and conduct experiments in a homemade wind tunnel. He was licensed to fly at 16, before he got his driver's license.
Armstrong enrolled in Purdue University to study aeronautical engineering but was called to duty with the U.S. Navy in 1949 and flew 78 combat missions in Korea. After the war, Armstrong finished his degree and later earned a master's degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Southern California. He became a test pilot with what evolved into the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, flying more than 200 kinds of aircraft from gliders to jets.
Armstrong was accepted into NASA's second astronaut class in 1962 -- the first, including Glenn, was chosen in 1959 -- and commanded the Gemini 8 mission in 1966. After the first space docking, he brought the capsule back in an emergency landing in the Pacific Ocean when a wildly firing thruster kicked it out of orbit.
Armstrong was backup commander for the historic Apollo 8 mission at Christmastime in 1968. In that flight, Commander Frank Borman, and Jim Lovell and Bill Anders circled the moon 10 times, and paving the way for the lunar landing seven months later.
Aldrin said he and Armstrong were not prone to free exchanges of sentiment.
"But there was that moment on the moon, a brief moment, in which we sort of looked at each other and slapped each other on the shoulder ... and said, `We made it. Good show,' or something like that," Aldrin said.
In Wapakoneta, media and souvenir frenzy was swirling around the home of Armstrong's parents.
"You couldn't see the house for the news media," recalled John Zwez, former manager of the Neil Armstrong Air and Space Museum. "People were pulling grass out of their front yard."
Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins were given ticker tape parades in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles and later made a 22-nation world tour. A homecoming in Wapakoneta drew 50,000 people to the city of 9,000.
In 1970, Armstrong was appointed deputy associate administrator for aeronautics at NASA but left the following year to teach aerospace engineering at the University of Cincinnati.
He remained there until 1979 and during that time bought a farm, where he raised cattle and corn. He stayed out of public view, accepting few requests for interviews or speeches.
"He didn't give interviews, but he wasn't a strange person or hard to talk to," said Ron Huston, a colleague at the University of Cincinnati. "He just didn't like being a novelty."
In February 2000, when he agreed to announce the top 20 engineering achievements of the 20th century as voted by the National Academy of Engineering, Armstrong said there was one disappointment relating to his moonwalk.
"I can honestly say -- and it's a big surprise to me -- that I have never had a dream about being on the moon," he said.
Armstrong married Carol Knight in 1999. He had two adult sons from a previous marriage.
His family's statement Saturday made a simple request for anyone who wanted to remember him:
"Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink."

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http://www.space.com/17202-nasa-james-webb-space-telescope-mirrors.html

BOULDER, Colo. — One of the most challenging parts of NASA’s huge new space telescope, the building of its ultrasophisticated mirror system, is now finished, and the mirrors are ready for delivery.

Send-off ceremonies held here at Ball Aerospace on Aug. 15 saluted the completion of 18 beryllium primary mirror segments for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), which is billed as the successor to NASA's venerable Hubble Space Telescope. Ball is also responsible for JWST’s secondary and tertiary mirrors, a fine steering mirror assembly and several engineering development units.

Ball is the principal subcontractor to manufacturer Northrop Grumman for the JWST optical technology and lightweight mirror system at the heart of the telescope — an astronomical project that is now pegged to cost roughly $8.7 billion and to be lofted in the fall of 2018.

Success story

The JWST mirror system includes 18 gold-coated, ultrasmooth, 4.2-foot (1.3 meters) hexagonal mirror segments that comprise the 21.3-foot (6.5 m) primary mirror. When launched, it will be the largest mirror ever flown in space. [Photos: Building the James Webb Space Telescope]

Down on the floor where the packaged mirrors are ready for shipping to NASA, labels such as "do not stack…this side up" and "critical space flight hardware" are visible.

A folding scheme allows the primary mirror segments to fit atop Europe’s Ariane 5 launcher for their eventual unfolding in space. Aligning the mirror segments and adjusting the primary mirror’s curvature will occur over approximately two months.

It has taken about eight years to complete the fabrication of the mirrors, said Paul Lightsey, a Ball mission systems engineer for the optical system on JWST.

"We actually have a real nice success story," Lightsey told SPACE.com. "We’ve been able to show how long it took to polish the first mirror, then each successive mirror. By the time we got up to the later mirrors, we were taking half the time than it took for the first mirror."

Working together as one mirror, those 18 beryllium mirror segments are adjusted by computer-controlled actuators. They adjust each of the mirror segments to correct any errors and are key to giving JWST the power to produce high-quality, sharp images.

"One of the difficulties in making mirrors is to make the curvature exactly what you want," Lightsey said. JWST's mirrors can be pushed and pulled a little to get the curvature right, as well as moved up, down and sideways, he said.

Lifetime at L2

Allison Barto, JWST program manager at Ball Aerospace, said the beryllium mirrors couldn’t be too heavy.

"We had to take out over 90 percent of the material in the back of the mirrors to make them light enough to launch 18 of them into space," she said.

Since JWST is an infrared telescope, the mirrors and actuators must function at temperatures as low as minus 400 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 240 degrees Celsius).

Lightsey said the JWST project is set to be a five-year mission, but has a goal of 10 years beyond commissioning. Outfitted with a five-layer sunshield, JWST will operate at supercold temperatures at a spot about 930,000 miles (1.5 million kilometers) from Earth known as Lagrange Point 2, or L2.

At L2, the balance of gravitational pull means that the telescope will keep up with the Earth as it goes around the sun. The gravitational forces of the sun and the Earth can nearly hold a spacecraft at this point, so that it takes relatively little rocket thrust to keep the spacecraft in orbit around L2.

JWST’s to-do list

JWST should help scientists search for the first light after the Big Bang, determine how galaxies evolved and observe the birth of stars and protoplanetary systems, NASA officials have said. [The Big Bang to Now in 10 Easy Steps]

But JWST’s astronomical to-do list now includes eyeing alien planets, too.. The instrument will also investigate the properties of planetary systems and, perhaps, the origins of life.

"That wasn’t part of the original plan … but this instrument can look at planets orbiting other suns," said Blake Bullock in JWST business development at Northrop Grumman, the prime contractor for the huge spacecraft. The telescope has the ability to look for biomarkers, such as water in the atmosphere of a planet orbiting another sun, she said.

"It’s not going to give you the pale blue dot … but it could give you a squiggly line that says there might be carbon … there might be an ocean," Bullock said.

Geoff Yoder, NASA’s JWST program manager, told SPACE.com that the telescope is on track for an October 2018 liftoff. Still to come, however, are key integration tests of the fully assembled and instrumented observatory.

Yoder said work has been completed this month on an Apollo-era test chamber at NASA's Johnson  Space Center in Houston, modified to test the integrated JWST at cryogenic temperatures — at minus 424 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 253 Celsius) or colder.

Back to the beginning of time

Matt Mountain, director of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, noted the size of JWST.

"Hubble is the size of a school bus," Mountain said. "JWST is the size of a tennis court."

JWST’s mirrors are so flat that if you stretch them all out across the United States, "the largest bump would be no bigger than two inches. That’s how smooth these mirrors are," Mountain added.

NASA's chief scientist, Waleed Abdalati, underscored JWST’s future abilities. "The things that are blurring to Hubble will be in sharp focus. And the things that Hubble doesn’t know are out there will be observable, back to the beginning of time as we understand it."


120
http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/2012/08/working-hoverbike-recalls-luke.html



Although strictly speaking this is more like a speeder bike used by imperial stormtroopers on the forest moon Endor, we think this photo invokes the more innocent pleasures afforded by Luke Skywalker's landspeeder, which he used on the desert planet Tatooine.

But enough sci-fi indulgence. Aerofex, an aerospace company in California, has released images and video of its working prototype hover bike. According to the website Innovation News Daily, rotors on the underside of the vehicle provide lift, and the pilot controls the bike by leaning to the left and right (much as a regular bike might work).

Sadly, it seems the company does not plan to market this bike for the public: it intends to develop it as a pilot-less drone.


Video link

http://bcove.me/kcwaz41i

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