Pentagon’s Mach 6 Warplane May Return From Limbo

4:28:52 PM, Thursday, January 13, 2011

“Forget robotic spy planes, drone fighter-bombers and self-landing orbital laboratories. In the world of secretive Pentagon aerospace projects, none are more sensational than the high-flying, Mach 6 Blackswift.

The hypersonic, unmanned Blackswift could become almost anything: a satellite launcher, an SR-71-style spy plane or even a super-evasive — nay, untouchable — bomber. That is, if it could just keep its funding. After many years rumored work, Blackswift stepped into the light in 2007 when the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency launched a formal development program, aiming to build two prototypes for a total cost of around $1 billion. Two years later, Blackswift was dead, a victim of budget cuts and skeptical lawmakers.

Now Blackswift is (sorta) back, according to some stellar reporting at the Ares blog. “The U.S. Air Force is drawing up a new hypersonic development road map which, to the delight of many and the fear of some, revives the concept of a reusable flight research vehicle similar to the abandoned Blackswift,” Guy Norris revealed. He called the re-born hypersonic plane, “son of Blackswift.”

The revival raises some big questions: is Blackswift 2.0 at all related the Pentagon’s new bomber initiative, or the military’s secret battle plan for countering China? Can the new Blackswift overcome vexing technical challenges? And even if it can, do we have the billions of dollars it might take to build the Mach-6 plane in meaningful numbers?”

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Black Box: Inside an Older Flight Data Recorder

2:50:38 PM, Thursday, January 13, 2011

-- Engineer Guy!

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You Are All Stardust

10:41:22 AM, Thursday, January 13, 2011
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Macklemore – The Town

10:24:38 PM, Wednesday, January 12, 2011

-- Seattle-based hip-hop artist's clip about his hometown Seattle. I have not even been there, but this song just seems to really capture the essence of the city. Make sure to watch it in HD, so good!

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Improv Everywhere, No Pants Subway Ride 2011

10:10:55 PM, Wednesday, January 12, 2011

-- Dubiously SFW.

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Colbert on Lithuania

6:58:16 PM, Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive
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Society by Anton Semenov

11:07:44 PM, Tuesday, January 11, 2011
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Electric Light Bulb Guitar Blues

7:13:13 PM, Tuesday, January 11, 2011
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First “Solid” Exoplanet Found

7:03:40 PM, Tuesday, January 11, 2011

“Astronomers have just announced the discovery of the first planet orbiting another star that is unequivocally not a gas giant: it must be a very dense, rocky-metallic object not much bigger than the Earth!

The planet, discovered by the orbiting Kepler telescope, is called Kepler-10b. The star (Kepler 10) is roughly the same mass and temperature as the Sun, and is located over 500 light years away.

The planet was detected because it passes directly between us and the star as it orbits. When it does that, it makes a mini-eclipse, blocking a bit of light from the star. By knowing how big the star is and how much light is blocked, the size of the planet can be measured (the bigger the planet, the more light is blocked). In this case, Kepler-10b is only about 1.4 times the diameter of the Earth, making it the smallest exoplanet ever found!

However, there’s more. The planet’s gravity tugs on the star as it orbits, so as the planet makes a big circle around the star, the star makes a little circle in response (I like to use the analogy of a father dancing with his small daughter; as he swings her around she makes a big circle around him and he makes a little circle, because he’s much more massive than she is). As the star moves slightly toward and away from us we can measure the change in velocity using the Doppler shift, and that in turn tells us the mass of the planet. It turns out Kepler-10b is a lot more massive than the Earth, tipping the scales at 4.6 times the Earth’s mass…”

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NYC: Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Turned Into Lumber for Habitat for Humanity

6:55:34 PM, Tuesday, January 11, 2011
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Chunli Style by Stanley Lau

6:46:30 PM, Tuesday, January 11, 2011
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The Big Picture: Kazakhstan's Radioactive Legacy

5:04:43 PM, Monday, January 10, 2011

"Sixty years ago, the Soviet Union detonated its first nuclear weapon, nicknamed "First Lightning", at a test facility on the steppe of northeast Kazakhstan (formerly the Kazakh SSR). The test site, named the Semipalatinsk Polygon, would go on to host 456 atomic explosions over its 40-year existence. Residents in the surrounding area became unwitting guinea pigs, exposed to the aftereffects of the bombs both intentionally and unintentionally. The radiation has silently devastated three generations of people in Kazakhstan - the total number affected is thought to be more than one million - creating health problems ranging from thyroid diseases, cancer, birth defects, deformities, premature aging, and cardiovascular diseases. Life expectancy in the area is seven years less than the national average of Kazakhstan. Photographer Ed Ou has graciously shared with us these photos from the area, with thanks to the excellent Reportage by Getty Images."

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Mike Brodie's aka 'The Polaroid Kidd' Non-Mainstream America - Photo Gallery

12:39:51 AM, Monday, January 10, 2011

"Mike Brodie aka "The Polaroid Kidd" is a somewhat accidental documentary photographer. By photographing his friends, their homes, and lifestyles, Brodie has captured a marginalized segment of the American population that's not so prevalent in main stream society. His haunting photos of hobos, punks, and squatters criss-crossing the country in boxcars are reminiscent of Horace Bristol's Grapes of Wrath era pics that captured migrant workers on their way to California...except now with facial tattoos. They're truly amazing. Brodie recently displayed work at LA's M+B Gallery. – Andrew M. Scott."

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Underwater Sculpture Garden Helps Save Reef

10:45:28 PM, Sunday, January 09, 2011

"Providing shelter and food for a multitude of plants and animals, coral reefs are some of the most vibrant and diverse ecosystems on the planet. Today, due to factors ranging from sunscreen-pollutedwaters to warming ocean currents, reefs are dying off at an alarming rate, leaving barren underwater deserts. Luckily, artist Jason deCaires Taylor has a clever and beautiful solution. Looking much like the Chinese terracotta army, Taylor has installed 400 life-size human figures on the Cancun sea floor. Made of marine-grade concrete, each figure acts as a growing medium for new reef. Titled “Silent Evolution,” the piece will continue to grow over centuries and will never be truly complete.

For more on this green and growing art piece and for information about visiting it by scuba, see underwatersculpture.com."

-- For more photos and video follow the link below, or the image link.

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Someone Else Will Put It Back

5:44:55 PM, Sunday, January 09, 2011

-- I hate when people do this!!! New blog that's been getting it's 15 minutes of fame, or whatnot, about changing your mind at the supermarket.

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