Wednesday, May 25, 2022

The First Japanese Person on the Moon?

With Russia being, well, Russia, the U.S. is strengthening space alliances with other countries.

Which is going to include at least one seat on an Artemis mission for an astronaut from Japan. JAXA has been doing some good work lately, including an asteroid sample mission, Earth observation work and, of course, robotics.

Will the next ISS be a collaboration with Japan instead? 

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Okay, I Just Want Everyone to Check This Out...

 ...this being the images and videos right here.

That is our friendly neighborhood giant fusion reactor, otherwise known as the sun.

We are getting so much data. So much data. The scientists monitoring Solar Orbiter say they are already looking at years of analysis.

A better understanding of the sun will help us more accurately predict space weather, which can be a danger to orbiting technology. Predicting a solar flare lets us put technology in its path into safe mode so it can be rebooted afterwards.

(It also lets skywatchers know when aurora viewing is particularly neat).

Monday, May 23, 2022

For Once, Legit Laughing at the Daily Fail...

 ...for the phrase "Sharkcano' and a discussion of mutant sharks living in an acidic underwater crater.

I want this movie.

Hunting down a more reputable source, it appears the Daily Fail may not have invented it.

But the volcano concerned is Kavachi and it provides habitat to silky sharks and hammerheads...who may or may not be mutants, but are certainly living in a harsh environment. These sharks are not dangerous to humans, but if they're mutants?

It writes itself.

Most likely the sharks will have some kind of ancestral memory of the last eruption and go hang out somewhere else for a bit. Sharks are pretty smart fish.

Friday, May 20, 2022

Why You Should Watch the Nebula Awards This Year

 Yes, you. Why?

Because the MCs are the wonderful Connie Willis and Neil Gaiman. Gaiman is an amazing public speaker and tickets to hear him speak typically start at $60 and go up.

But you can hear him MC the Nebs for free tomorrow. The public access livestream will be on Youtube here. Go live time is 5pm PACIFIC (8pm Eastern).

Thursday, May 19, 2022

"Solar" at Night

 Solar doesn't work at night is a huge criticism. But it appears something similar does.

Thermoradiation cells generate power as heat flows out of them, radiating back into the night sky. It's tiny, tiny, tiny, but the potential use case is this:

You put them with your solar panels. Solar panels heat up during the day, generating power. When the sun goes down, that heat leaks back out...and you could capture that power. It's kind of like the energy harnessed from the brakes on a race car. Essentially it would increase the efficiency of solar panels. Kinda neat!

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

I've Seen This Movie

 Headline: CRISPR Gene Editing Now Possible in Cockroaches.

Yeaaaah.

Let's not?

(Actually, it's so that they can do genetic experimentation without having to inject insect embryos, which is a real pain). But...genetically engineered cockroaches just doesn't seem entirely smart.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Convention Schedules!

 First of all, if you are attending the virtual Nebulas this weekend (so hoping for hybrid next year!), I am moderating a panel on Writing Neurodivergent Stories on Friday May 20 at 1:30 pm EDT (10:30am PDT).

Then I have my probably not 100% final Balticon schedule. Some of these panels are virtual and virtual membership is, I believe, $30 this year.


Friday 5:30pm - Virtual Panel Room 1 - Family Structures in Science Fiction and Fantasy (NOT chosen family. Those at WorldCon understand).

Friday 8:30pm Gibson (onsite) Running RPGs Without Time to Prep

Saturday 10:00am Gibson (onsite) Doctor Who and the Return of Russell T. Davies. And apparently NCUTI GATWA. Not to mention Yasmin Finney!

Saturday 11:30am James (onsite) You Can Start GMing Now: Tips for First-Time GMs

Saturday 2:30pm Virtual Panel Room 2 Class Structures in SF and Fantasy

Saturday 5:30pm Virtual Panel Room 1 We Think We Know The Story, But...

Sun 1:00pm Virtual Consuite Readings (with Karen Osborne)

Sun 5:30pm 5th Floor Lobby Signing (with J.L. Gribble).

(The con runs through Monday so that Sunday slot is not full blown slot of death ;)). I have no programming on Monday...but also will have no hotel room. Anyone willing to let me change in their room so I can cosplay that day? ;)).