Satellites and space debris (plus Achievement Unlocked)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Satellites Before I get into music and entertainment links, I will start with a depressing space-related science article chain.

Satellites

  1. Uh-oh (Feb. 11): “Debris Spews Into Space After Satellites Collide.” Did this collision between a U.S. communications satellite and a defunct Russian satellite just create a new atmospheric minefield for future space launches?
  2. Very cool (Feb. 23): “Satellite Will Track Carbon Dioxide.” NASA will be able to learn more about global atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations once a new satellite is launched.
  3. We should have seen this coming (Feb. 24): “Orbital’s Launch of Taurus Rocket is Unsuccessful.” Whoops. NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory satellite launch mysteriously failed. This failure happened less than two weeks after the atmosphere became newly littered with debris. Hmm, unrelated? Coincidence? So many years of research and funding lost. Ugh.

Back to Earth

To help bridge the gap from space catastrophes to time-wasting online entertainment, here’s a one-minute movie mashup: Back to the Future Alternate Ending.

Achievement Unlocked Music and entertainment

Here is an amusing game featuring an elephant that takes less than 10 minutes to beat: Achievement Unlocked! It satirizes the emphasis on “achievements” in modern video games (Xbox 360 especially).

The new Yeah Yeah Yeahs album It’s Blitz! is now available online, though it will be officially released in April. Here’s a video of the first single: “Zero.”

I’m thinking about going to one or two days of the three-day 2009 Sasquatch! Music Festival at the Gorge in Washington. It’s happening over Memorial Day weekend in May. The lineup includes Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Decemberists, Doves, M. Ward, Jane’s Addiction, Nine Inch Nails and loads more. I’m going to the Saturday shows for sure, still thinking about Sunday.

This was interesting: “The Nine Weirdest PSAs Ever Made.”

Also, a double amputee has received a realistic-looking mermaid tail so she can swim. Read more: “Effects shop fulfills amputee’s mermaid dream.”

Here’s a Hoosiers-like high school basketball story that’s happening right now: “Daring to dream: Tiny Elliott County takes on the big boys in Kentucky’s one-division basketball tourney.”

In Darth Vader cake news: Come to the Dark Side: We Have Cake. But is he the child’s father?!

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