Web tool- How Many People are in Space?

Here is an interesting website: http://www.howmanypeopleareinspacerightnow.com/

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Tracking and Mapping Space Junk

More than 500,000 pieces of debris, or “space junk,” are tracked as they orbit the Earth. They all travel at speeds up to 17,500 mph, fast enough for a relatively small piece of orbital debris to damage a satellite or a spacecraft.

In the 50-plus years that humans have been zipping through space more than 6,000 satellites have been launched. While some have made their way back down to Earth, more than 3,600 remain in orbit.

 

  • It’s estimated that between 100 and 150 tons of space junk re-enters our atmosphere each year — with the vast majority of it burning up before it hits the ground.
  • Scientists are looking to develop methods of removing some of the space junk that’s currently in orbit.
  • Some worry that if we don’t act fast enough, the Kessler syndrome will be observed. This would occur if space debris continues to pile up, eventually reaching the point where it would be impossible to launch new objects without creating a collision.

SourceInteractive map shows how much space junk is flying around Earth

Stuff in Space

Stuff in Space.- Key-Legent

Stuff in Space
Stuff in Space is a realtime 3D map of objects in Earth orbit, visualized using WebGL. (Shown above)

The website updates daily with orbit data from Space-Track.org and uses the excellent satellite.js Javascript library to calculate satellite positions.

Stuff in Space on GitHub, by James Yoder.: https://github.com/jeyoder/ThingsInSpace

The US. department of Defense maintains an accurate log of all the objects in the Earth’s orbit that are larger than a softball — and if you’d like to get an idea of what all that might look like, you can — via an interactive map called Orbital Objects.  http://www.alexras.info/code/orbital_objects/

The rising population of space debris increases the potential danger to all space vehicles, but especially to the International Space Station, space shuttles and other spacecraft with humans aboard.

NASA takes the threat of collisions with space debris seriously and has a long-standing set of guidelines on how to deal with each potential collision threat. These guidelines, part of a larger body of decision-making aids known as flight rules, specify when the expected proximity of a piece of debris increases the probability of a collision enough that evasive action or other precautions to ensure the safety of the crew are needed.

Space debris encompasses both natural (meteoroid) and artificial (man-made) particles. Meteoroids are in orbit about the sun, while most artificial debris is in orbit about the Earth. Hence, the latter is more commonly referred to as orbital debris.

Orbital debris is any man-made object in orbit about the Earth which no longer serves a useful function. Such debris includes nonfunctional spacecraft, abandoned launch vehicle stages, mission-related debris and fragmentation debris.

There are more than 20,000 pieces of debris larger than a softball orbiting the Earth. They travel at speeds up to 17,500 mph, fast enough for a relatively small piece of orbital debris to damage a satellite or a spacecraft. There are 500,000 pieces of debris the size of a marble or larger. There are many millions of pieces of debris that are so small they can’t be tracked.

Continue reading Tracking and Mapping Space Junk

What to do if your antivirus subscription has expired in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1

Many Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 users are faced with a decision when the security software that came installed on their computer expires. What choices do users have?

Problem- Free security software is included with Windows 8 and 8.1 but is usually free just for a trial period, and when it expires some users have experienced frustration.  Users can either pay for continued use of the security software or use something else.

Solution # 1-  Users may decide to pay for the software installed when computer was purchased.  This is the security software that was offered for free during the introductory trial period and signing up and paying a subscription fee will allow the user to continue using  this product. This may or may not be the best choice, and it is definitely more expensive than the next solution.

Since it isn’t good to have more than one security program installed at once, if they do use something else they must first remove the existing security software.

Solution # 2-  Windows 8 and 8.1 already have free anti-virus, security software installed and available for free in Windows Defender.   Windows Defender is included with Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 and helps protect your PC against malware (malicious software). Many new computers come with free subscriptions to antivirus software and other security programs from companies other than Microsoft. When the trial period expires and users do not want to pay to continue using it, they can remove/uninstall it and turn on Windows Defender.

How to make Windows Defender your choice security method?  Follow these directions to remove the existing, expired security software and turn on Windows Defender, which provides security for free.

  1. Fully uninstall the non-Microsoft security software that came with your computer.
  2. Make sure Windows Defender is turned on.

To uninstall the security software that came with your computer, check the software’s Help file.

Make sure Windows Defender is turned on in Windows 8

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen and tap Search (or if you’re using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and then click Search).
  2. In the Search box, type Windows Defender.
  3. Tap or click the Windows Defender icon.
  4. Go to Settings, and make sure that Turn on real-time protection (recommended) is selected.
  5. Tap or click Save Changes.

Information above from this link: http://blogs.microsoft.com/cybertrust/2014/09/16/what-to-do-if-your-antivirus-subscription-has-expired/

Solution # 3- When the free trial period for the security software that came with Windows 8 expires, remove it and use another 3rd-party program, either the free or paid version.If uses do not want to use Windows Defender and do not want to pay to continue the software they were using during the trial period, they may find information on many other options online:

Sweden is Now Recycling 99 Percent of its Trash. Here’s how

Sweden does such a good job with recycling, they need to import trash from neighboring countries in order to fuel their existing  Waste-to-Energy Program
Sweden does such a good job with recycling, they need to import trash from neighboring countries in order to fuel their existing Waste-to-Energy Program

 Sweden is Now Recycling 99 Percent of its Trash. Here’s howhttp://themindunleashed.org/2014/09/sweden-now-recycling-99-percent- trash-heres.html

America should take note of this process considering we only recycle approximately 34 percent of the garbage we throw away:  http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/nonhaz/municipal/pubs/2012_msw_fs.pdf

How does Sweden do it?

  •  They have an aggressive recycling policy, which goes in an order of importance: prevention, reuse, recycling, recycling alternatives, and as a last resort, disposal in landfill.
  •  Amazingly, just 1% of Sweden’s trash ends up in landfillsMuch of the left over waste is taken care of by using “recycling alternatives”, such as the Waste-to-Energy program, which is explained in the video, “Importing garbage for energy is good business for Sweden”  http://vimeo.com/103801887
  • Waste is sorted, then remaining waste is incinerated and converted into electricity
  • 3 tons of garbage contains as much energy as 1 ton of oil
  • Sweden is so good at recycling its trash in fact, that it now has plans to import 800,000 tons of garbage from other countries in Europe in order to create heat for its citizens through its Waste-to-Energy program.

“Selfie” in1920

"Selfie in 1920
“Selfie in 1920”   Click on photo for full size

This 1920 version of the “selfie” was on an excellent Twitter page, History in Pictures

Users can browse through a variety of fascinating photographs, with new ones added daily.

Volcano Stadium

Volcano Stadium in Guadalajara
Click on the image above for a slideshow of the Volcano Stadium

A stadium with grass sloping up the sides, which is used as a park when the stadium is not hosting an event.  Cars are parked under the stadium and it is all environmentally friendly.  Where?  Guadalajara, Mexico!

 

The city of Guadalajara has unveiled a volcano-like soccer stadium that is veritably exploding with green features. Created for the popular Chivas team by French architects Jean-Marie Massaud and Daniel Pouzet, the stadium features a volcano-evoking exterior that captures rainwater and processes it through wetlands for use in watering the pitch. All lighting is energy efficient, and the parking garage features natural ventilation.

The stadium, which hosted its first match last year, consists of a white membrane — intended to look like a cloud hovering atop the volcano — and grassy sloped sides. It seats 45,000 and tucks away 8,500 parking spaces under the hillside, which will be open as public parkland when there’s no match on. Link

Google Converter Tool

Click on graphic above for acutal tool.  You can also use link included below this image.
Click on graphic above for acutal tool. You can also use link included below this image.

Use this tool to make easy conversions. Link:  Conversion Tool  You can change the cateogories, then select variables for the units of measurement for each category.

Click “More Info” (Green arrow in above image) for this link: Calculator and unit converter

China Successfully Launches Rover Mission!

China has launched a lunar rover, only the third country to do so after the United States and the Soviet Union.  The rover, named Jade Rabbit (called Yutu in Chinese) is solar-powered, has 6 wheels and four cameras.  It also has mechanical arms that can dig soil samples up to 30 meters deep.  It can travel up to 200 meters per hour and weighs 120 kg.

Yatu’s mission is to explore the moon’s surface and look for natural resources.  The rover was able to send photos of itself back to Earth.  A rover “selfie.”  Link

China's lunar rover, Yatu
China’s lunar rover, Yatu

 

200,000 would like to live on Mars!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4tgkyUBkbY

If you have ambitions of being one of the first people on Mars, listen up: A Dutch company says it is moving along with its plan to send four lucky Earthlings to colonize the Red Planet. The catch: They won’t ever come back.

The Mars One foundation announced Tuesday that it has secured lead suppliers for an unmanned mission launching in 2018, which involves a robotic lander and a communications satellite. Lockheed Martin has been contracted to study building the lander, and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. will develop a concept study for the satellite, Mars One said.
This first mission will demonstrate technology that would be involved in a permanent human settlement on Mars. If all goes well — and that’s still very much an “if” — the first pioneers could land on Mars in 2025.
Enthusiasm has been growing since the project’s first big announcement in April.

  • More than 200,000 people have signed up to be prospective astronauts, Mars One CEO Bas Lansdorp said in Washington on Tuesday.

Apparently, they’re OK with living out the rest of their lives on Mars.

  • The technology for a return flight doesn’t exist
  • There’s no Kennedy Space Center launch pad over there
  • Having a one-way trip greatly reduces costs, the company has said.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/10/tech/innovation/mars-one-plan/index.html?iid=article_sidebar

Outside In

Get ready for an amazing IMAX film!

Stephen Van Vuuren is a self-described musician, photographer, ubergeek and filmmaker whose diverse background includes growing up in Johannesburg, South Africa and Knoxville, Tennessee. Like most filmmaker’s, Van Vuuren has a current film project, but the movie he wants to make is a bit unique. He wants to personally take hundreds of thousands of still photographs from NASA‘s Cassini-Huygens Mission and turn them into an animated IMAX film. The film called Outside In has been profiled previously, but a recent posting about Van Vuuren and his movie on io9.com has giving his project new life since his video with scenes from the movie have gone viral. More on Geek.com

World Wide Web turns 20!

In the last 20 years, our lives have changed drastically with the explosive growth of technology and the use of the internet. Amazingly, the internet has only been in use for the past 20 years. What will things be line in another 20 years? Or, even in the next 5 years?

Here's what the original website looked like, click on image to go to the first internet website
Click on image to go to the first internet website

“Physicist Tim Berners-Lee invented the Web in 1989 at CERN, the European nuclear research and particle physics laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland. CERN didn’t try to keep the technology to itself. The Web became publicly accessible on Aug. 6, 1991, and “[o]n 30 April 1993 CERN published a statement that made World Wide Web (‘W3’, or simply ‘the web’) technology available on a royalty-free basis,” the organization wrote today. “By making the software required to run a web server freely available, along with a basic browser and a library of code, the web was allowed to flourish.”
Snapshots of the original website were preserved, but not the site itself at its original URL, until now. “Although the NeXT machine—the original web server—is still at CERN, sadly the world’s first website is no longer online at its original address,” CERN wrote. CERN is now fixing that oversight, with the first site back online at http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html. Previously, that URL simply redirected to http://info.cern.ch. “
Article: http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2013/04/first-website-ever-goes-back-online-on-the-open-webs-20th-birthday/

Link for first website: http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html

App a hit with Icelanders

The risk of Icelanders accidentally sleeping with a relative is apparently high enough to justify a smartphone app to help prevent it.

  • Iceland isn’t a big country. Most Icelanders are descended from the Norse and Celtic settlers that first began arriving on the island some time in the 700s and 800s, with few additions to the gene pool.
  • Roughly two-thirds of its 320,000 population live in and around the capital, Reykjavík, so the chances that you’re at least not-too-distantly-related to most of the strangers you walk past in the street are high. Or, indeed, someone you might meet in a bar and go home with.
  • Part of the problem, beyond the small population, is that Icelandic naming conventions don’t reflect someone’s descendants.
  • Android app seeks to save any incredibly awkward revelations in the future. It uses an online genealogical database that contains records of more than 720,000 Icelanders going back 1,200 years.
  • When two people who both have the app meet — they both get their smartphones out and “bömp”(bump) them together. If they share a grandparent, the app will bring up an alert that it is most definitely not cool to go any further than a handshake with that person. The feature is called “Sifjaspellsspillir”, or “Incest Spoiler”. Link: http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-04/18/iceland-incest-app

Link (Video included): http://www.newsy.com/videos/new-app-helps-icelanders-avoid-accidental-incest/

http://www.newsy.com/videos/new-app-helps-icelanders-avoid-accidental-incest/#ooid=F1amMyYjqlZj535gVMdHdw_saQxLCcKd

Future? Sight

Sight is a short futuristic film, which may not be that far-fetched.

In fact, Google Glass has many similarities to what is shown in Sight.

Google Glass   What It Does

Airbags for Smartphones and Other Devices!

Broken_tablet 280

Jeff Bezos and Amazon.com get a patent for “airbag-like technology” that would protect smartphones and other devices, if dropped.

The technology “….would use a phone’s motion sensors to detect when it’s in a freefall and deploy what is described in the patent applications as an airbag.”

Article:  HERE

China Airport Boom!

Construction is underway at the new Hefei Xinqiao airport and its four runways, in Hefei, east China’s Anhui province on March 14, 2012

 

China Airport Boom: Will There Be a Bust?

Daxing airport (On the outskirts of Beijing) will cover more than 90 square kilometers and boast nine runaways by 2030, with an annual capacity of 80 million passengers. At that size, it would surpass both Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta airport and London Heathrow airport to become the busiest aviation hub in the world. Daxing’s price tag? $12.66 billion.
Read more: http://world.time.com/2012/11/02/china-airport-boom-will-there-be-a-bust/#ixzz2B6tZpHtJ

Google “Street View” Expands

Google Street View Product Manager Ryan Falor controls the Trekker with his Android device.

In its ongoing effort to create the perfect map of the world at ground level, Google took a trek into the Grand Canyon this week. Although this is part of its Google Maps Street View project, there are of course no streets in the national park.

 

 

Read more:  http://www.technewsworld.com/story/76473.html

Giant wind-blown ball rolls around and detonates landmines

Another fascinating example of human ingenuity!   A childhood toy inspires a wind-powered minesweeper that could help clear the millions of active landmines buried around the globe.  CNET article HERE

Video (Yahoo!) showing the Mine Kafton in action:  HERE 

Another cool video: http://vimeo.com/51149501

Check it out at:  www.massoudhassani.com

Olympic Tower Bridge!

 

The Moon became the 6th Olympic ring, at least for a moment. This photo was taken on August 3, 2012 and topped the trending charts for a day.

A photographer used a smart phone app to predict the trajectory of the moon and timed this photograph perfectly.  The Olympic Rings have been hung off London’s Tower Bridge to celebrate London Olympiad 2012. http://tinyurl.com/c6bawkm

 

The gigantic rings cost about $100,000 to install, and not without controversy.  http://tinyurl.com/9slgvx8

The Tower Bridge is a drawbridge and opens about 1,000 times a year to allow river traffic to pass.
                                             The rings weigh 3 tons and lift up when the bridge opens to let sailboats and other river traffic through.

 

 

NASA Curiosity

The Rover Curiosity carries the most advanced scientific gear ever used on Mars.

Curiosity to land on Mars.  Article: click here

Although at first glance the mission seems a lot like the others, it is bigger and more complex than ever.  Are Americans even aware that this spacecraft is hurtling toward Mars and about to land and explore our neighboring planet?   Or does the public need new territory as opposed to advancing science and studying a place we have already visited?  Do Americans feel threatened by the new competition from Europe and China?  Is it a blow to national pride that we rely solely on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft to shuttle humans and much of the supplies to the International Space Station and back?   I remember the Viking missions of the 1970s, then the Pathfinder in 1996 and the Odyssey in 2001. (although I did have to look up the years of those missions)  The Soviet Union was actually the first to send a ship to the planet, which crashed in 1960 and Japan and the European Union have also done some exploring, and now the Chinese are also giving it a go.

Spacecraft to Mars:  http://starryskies.com/solar_system/mars/spacecraft.html

Curiosity is bigger and better, but is it exciting for the average American?  One big problem facing NASA is where else do we go and explore?  The immense distances just in our own solar system are mind boggling and tough to even comprehend.  We have many amazing minds working on these missions and we continue to learn and improve technology.

Hubble Space Telescope- In my opinion,the Hubble Space Telescope is one of the best things we have done is space and Ultra Deep Field is some good proof of how important it has been to broaden our horizons.  The image was the deepest image ever taken by humans, was taken in a dark portion of the sky, and looked back some 13 billion years.

About Ultra Deep Field-  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubble_Ultra-Deep_Field

The image was taken from an area equal to roughly one thirteen-millionth of the total area of the sky.  Still, over 10,000 galaxies were identified.  This could well be one of the biggest human achievements in history.

The Image- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Hubble_ultra_deep_field_high_rez_edit1.jpg

Back to Curiosity- “… the space agency is tempting fate with a novel approach that involves a big parachute, a specially designed winch, and some very high hopes.”   http://news.cnet.com/8301-11386_3-57485016-76/how-nasa-tests-an-against-all-odds-mars-rover-landing/

Some facts on Curiosity:

  •  Mars Science Laboratory rover cost $2.5 billion
  •  Curiosity is a two-year mission.
  • For the first 90 days of the mission, controllers will work together as if each day were 24 hours and 40 minutes long — the approximate length of a Martian day.
  • Curiosity rover is big as a car, and contains a nuclear reactor for power. Its landing mechanism, the “sky crane,” represents a new way of delivering a payload onto the Martian surface. For the first time, this rover possesses a laser with which to vaporize rock and conduct experiments.  Link:  Click Here

Excellent website from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory: http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/

NASA continues to dazzle, amaze and spark our Curiosity!

NASA/ISS Photographs of Earth – Where in the World Quiz

Where is this?
Example picture from quiz

Where in the World Quiz. (Very interesting and fun)  http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/quiz/quiz.pl?

Advance to next picture by clicking “Click to Refresh” near top of page.  This took me awhile to figure out.

The Gateway to Astronaut Photographs: This is a great link for any one who has a passion for geography, space, etc… http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/

This is a video of the International Space Station flyover of Aurora Australis (Southern Lights)  http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/Videos/CrewEarthObservationsVideos/#issborealis_iss_20120423

Earth Observatory: http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/Coll/EarthObservatory/PostedSort.htm

Photos by map search:  http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/sseop/clickmap/

Cities of the World:  http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/cities/

Pictured above: Puget Sound, WA, USA. Seattle is near center.

United States Government by Administration

Nice information on United States Government by Administration

http://developer.wolframalpha.com/widgets/gallery/view.jsp?id=ab77f065607841db59736aa77a08453b

Wolfram/Alpha Widgets:  (These things are awesome)

http://developer.wolframalpha.com/widgets/index.html

GPS, London Cabbies, and Brain Swelling

Are GPS navigational devices damaging our sense of direction?

http://www.theweek.com/article/index/102501/The_last_word_This_is_your_brain_on_GPS

London cabbies must take a test called “The Knowledge” which requires them to memorize 25,000 streets and thousands of landmarks.  Here is a link to the Knowledge; http://www.the-knowledge.org.uk/main/

Apparently, the back part of the hippocampus in the brains of cabbies is enlarged compared with brains of the average person.    However, the front part of the hippocampus shrinks.

Very cool website

http://www.pandora.com/

Set up a simple account, pick an atist and off you go.  You can make your own channels and the site fine-tunes what you like and don’t like, you give a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down to to particular songs.  The site figures out what you like and don’t like.  This site rocks!

Drinking Urine in Space

A big accomplishment aboard the International Space Station, astronauts are drinking recycled urnine.

Strange picture I got from Fark.com and Guy Wins Lottery but Dies the Following Day

This Fark site looks cool.   This picture is interesting too.  Some guy bought the domain, and for the first two years of Fark.com’s existence (1997-1999), if users went to Fark.com, they were treated to this interesting photo of a squirrel:

Squirrel
Squirrel

I found this story on the website, but it has since been taken down: Guy Wins Lottery but Dies the Following Day

Then this one from April, 2014: Calif. Man Wins $650K Lottery Night After Wife Dies of Heart Attack

Digital Books

Newspapers are probably on the way out, at least as home delivered, paper, etc..  It looks like they are finally,and maybe reluctantly,  moving to the web; http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-10124810-93.html

Now books may be heading down the same road;  http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/24/technology/24kindle.html?em