Thursday, September 13, 2007

Roundup for 9-13-07 part 1

Morgan Fairchild will play herself in an upcoming episode of Men in Trees.

Jon Stewart will host the Oscars again next year.

Google is co-sponsoring a $20 million grand prize (with $10 million in other prizes) for an unmanned moon landing by a private industry group.

By analyzing the orbit of Mars, they think it has had 40 ice ages in the past 50 million years (approx. every 120,000 years), with the wobble causing the sun to either dry out the soil or cause ice sheets to form right under it, alternating in location. Wow, makes life seem pretty much impossible anywhere remotely near the surface.

Not all red giant stars act the same way. And some planets could survive the death of their suns. Could Earth? Doubtful, but it allows for some interesting speculation, and none of us will be around to know for sure.

Vampire star found = article about a star that siphons gas from another star close by.

For $1.3 million a year and the loan of their planes for research missions, Google founders will get to park their planes at Moffet Field. I think it sounds like a great deal for all involved (Moffet gets more funds to stay open and active in research, and Google gets airport access right next to their headquarters), but there is concern over just how many flights will be allowed.

New water bottle filters anything under 15 nanometers (viruses are 25), so it can purify the grossest water imaginable without chemicals and can go at least 4,000 liters before changing the filter. Military agencies bought up his entire supply within 4 hours, but I'm sure he'll be making more soon (he designed it for disaster relief).;jsessionid=3R3S1NAZ1X2NVQFIQMFCFFWAVCBQYIV0?xml=/news/2007/09/12/nwater112.xml

Solar aircraft sets records

A stinky weed with an oily seed may be your next source of auto fuel. It is apparently really easy to turn into biodiesel.

Student film version of Rama. (I still need to check out.)

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