Thousands of Monuments to War, but Few to Peace

By: Saturday September 10, 2011 9:04 am

On the eve of the tenth anniversary of 9/11, my thoughts turn to peace. It’s hard to keep them there, though, because of the chorus of voices that scream for violence and war.

I grieve for those who died ten years ago in New York, DC, and Pennsylvania, as well as all who have died — and continue to die — in the wars spawned out of that attack. I long for the day when military fly-overs at football games become a thing of the past, and our cities have more statues to teachers than generals.

But the cheers for executions, and the willingness to spend billions of dollars on weapons to dole out death but mere pennies on social services that preserve life in one way or another for the most needy among us tell me that the day I long for is quite a ways off.

 

Late Night FDL: Dawn Probe Sends Picture of Snowman Craters on Vesta

By: Saturday August 20, 2011 8:00 pm

In June the Dawn probe from NASA decelerated into orbit around the mini-planet. Since then we have been getting more and more images. The picture above is one such. It is three large craters that overlap just enough make them look like a snowman.

Late Night FDL – Don’t Just Sit There, Go Watch the Perseid Meteor Shower!

By: Friday August 12, 2011 8:00 pm

Tonight is the peak night of the Perseid Meteor shower! It is one of my favorite things of the whole summer, the night when you either stay up really late or get up really early, go to some darkened field and watch little flecks of fire streak across the sky.

Now, not everyone can get out of their Mega-City to watch this yearly occurrence; but not to worry, the guys at NASA will hook you up! That is what we have at the top of this post a live composite of the meteors that have streaked across the sky.

Late Night FDL: The Little Machine That Could, NASA’s Opportunity Probe

By: Wednesday August 10, 2011 8:00 pm

Say what you like about the things the the US is no longer great at, we still are the Big Dogs when it comes to building and running long term space missions. Today the Opportunity Mars Rover finished a two year trip to the Endeavour Crater. There it will look for signs that water persisted on the surface of Mars for long periods of time. Not bad for a probe with a 3 month estimated mission life, eh?

Late Night: Northern Lights Possible Tonight after Huge Solar Flare

By: Thursday February 17, 2011 8:00 pm

We had a massive solar flare this week, starting on Tuesday — the biggest since December 2006 — and the chart you see here indicates the possibility that some auroral activity may be visible tonight as far south as Indianapolis, Indiana. You might not get a spectacular light show, maybe just a shimmer you can’t define, but it will be more than I can see under this cloud cover.

A Little Speechwriting Help for the State of the Union

By: Saturday January 22, 2011 9:00 am

Next week is the State of the Union address, and I thought I’d offer a little last minute, unsolicited advice to the president and the White House speechwriters. Some may think it presumptuous, but as one of “we, the people,” I think it’s allowable. It’s not like they have to take the advice, after all . . . but it sure would be nice to see and hear something like this.

Statement from Gabby Giffords’ Husband, Mark Kelly

By: Monday January 10, 2011 12:55 am

On behalf of Gabby and our entire family, I want to extend our heartfelt gratitude to the people of Arizona and this great nation for their unbelievable outpouring of support. Gabby was doing what she loved most — hearing from her constituents — when this tragedy occurred. Serving Southern Arizonans is her passion, and nothing makes her more proud than representing them in Congress.

Congress Wraps Up a Day Early; Pro Forma Session Will Forestall Recess Appointments

By: Thursday September 30, 2010 9:52 am

Janet Yellen and Sarah Bloom Raskin finally got confirmed by the Senate as members of the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors. Peter Diamond, another nominee, will have to wait until the lame duck session. The confirmations were part of a large deal, where some nominees got to move through the Senate in exchange for Democrats holding pro forma sessions so President Obama could not make any recess appointments.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Anousheh Ansari and Homer Hickam, My Dream of Stars

By: Saturday July 24, 2010 2:00 pm

It’s a great pleasure to host this Book Salon for My Dream of Stars: From Daughter of Iran to Space Pioneer, by Anousheh Ansari with Homer Hickam. It’s an engaging read, from a unique perspective, and an enlightening story of real determination.

I wasn’t familiar with Anousheh Ansari’s story before reading this book, but I did know the name “Ansari,” from the Ansari X Prize. That was a contest that offered ten million dollars to the first private enterprise to launch a reusable manned spacecraft into space. The prize money was collected in 2004, in an event that captured the attention of space enthusiasts throughout the globe. Most of the prize money was put up by Anousheh Ansari and her brother-in-law Amir Ansari, who are true space enthusiasts themselves.

Jonah Goldberg Sees Nazism Behind NASA Administrator’s Outreach to Muslims

By: Wednesday July 7, 2010 10:30 am

In case you hadn’t heard, wingnuts are freaking out that Charles Bolden, the head of NASA (and a former astronaut and Marine Corps General), said a few nice things about Muslims. And naturally, the Pantload discovers swastikas at the root of the problem.

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