Wednesday, November 30, 2016

New website lets you design your own ultra-expensive rocket

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The private spaceflight company United Launch Alliance (ULA) usually plays the stodgy uncle to Elon Musk's young, swaggering SpaceX. Where SpaceX touts its Silicon Valley-style disruption of the commercial rocket market, ULA prides itself on its reliability.

"Someday I expect the rest of the industry will become as reliable as we are," ULA CEO Tory Bruno, said in a press conference Wednesday, throwing a little implied shade at the competition.

But now, ULA wants to be the cool kid on the rocket-building block. To do so, ULA has launched a new website to let you virtually build and order your own rocket — assuming you have about $100 million sitting around. Read more...

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Watch Chernobyl's Huge Radiation Shield Slide in and Enclose the Damaged Nuclear Reactor

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We already saw how the new $1.6 billion sarcophagus—the 843-foot wide, 354-foot tall steel shield that entombs the radioactive material leaking from the damaged nuclear reactor left over from the Chernobyl disaster—was going to be put in place to replace the old concrete structure that enclosed the damaged reactor…

Read more...

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It's the beginning of the end for NASA's Cassini spacecraft

Screen+Shot+2016-11-30+at+3.jpgCassini is officially, irrevocably in its final year of existence. The NASA spacecraft has been capturing lovely images and collecting samples of Saturn and its orbiting objects since 2004, but today Cassini enters the final phase of its mission. Bet...
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Ford Mustang: A Brief History of Zero-to-60-mph Acceleration

-No segment has relied more on the zero-to-60-mph measurement as its call to arms than American muscle cars. While a vehicle’s zero-to-60-mph time is just one of many objective measures that can be used to indicate a vehicle's performance, manufacturers tout it aggressively because it provides a standardized performance baseline that virtually everyone can relate to. That goes not only for Ford and its Mustang, but also for staff here at Car and Driver. ---Thanks to our extensive history of gathering our own performance data, we have decades of revealing numbers captured by our editorial staff that not only offer a unique look into a vehicle’s evolution but also serve as a performance barometer of sorts for any given era. Jump in, and flip through more than five decades of Mustang zero-to-60-mph numbers pulled from some of the hottest (and not so hottest) performance ponies ever strapped with C/D test equipment.-1964.5 Ford Mustang Convertible-1967 Ford Mustng GT automatic-1968 Ford Mustang Coupe-1969 Ford Mustang Mach I-1971 Ford Mustang Boss 351-1974 Ford Mustang II Mach I-1976 Ford Mustang II Cobra II-1980 Ford Mustang Cobra-1982 Ford Mustnag GT-1996 Ford Mustang GT-1999 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra-2003 Ford Mustng Mach 1-2005 Ford Mustang GT-2010 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500-2011 Ford Mustang GT-2013 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca-2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500-2015 Ford Mustang GT-2015 Ford Mustang 2.3L-2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 / GT350R,--
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Key Glacier In West Antarctica Breaking Apart From Inside Out — “We May See Significant Collapse Of West Antarctica In Our Lifetimes”

West Antarctica ice berg calving

One of the key glaciers in West Antarctica, as far as the stability of the ice sheet there, Pine Island Glacier, was the site of an enormous 225-square mile iceberg calving in 2015. New research from Ohio State University has determined that this event was even more notable than first thought, as it was the result of a deep, subsurface crack that had formed approximately 20 miles inland — nowhere directly near the calving event

Key Glacier In West Antarctica Breaking Apart From Inside Out — “We May See Significant Collapse Of West Antarctica In Our Lifetimes” was originally published on CleanTechnica.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Religion and gambling have the same effect on your brain

150200369.jpgFinding Jesus can feel a lot like falling in love, winning an award or getting high because all of these events activate the same reward circuits in the brain, according to a new study from the University of Utah. Researchers studied fMRI scans of 19...
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Projecting leaked NSA docs on the side of AT&T's windowless NYC spy-center

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Earlier this month, Henrik Moltke helped report the extent to which the massive, windowless, bombproof AT&T tower at 33 Thomas Street was implicated in illegal NSA surveillance of US and international communications, revealing that the tower was almost certainly the site referred to as TITANPOINTE in Snowden docs. (more…)

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Our most detailed view of Earth across space and time

In 2013, we released Google Earth Timelapse, our most comprehensive picture of the Earth's changing surface. This interactive experience enabled people to explore these changes like never before—to watch the sprouting of Dubai’s artificial Palm Islands, the retreat of Alaska’s Columbia Glacier, and the impressive urban expansion of Las Vegas, Nevada. Today, we're making our largest update to Timelapse yet, with four additional years of imagery, petabytes of new data, and a sharper view of the Earth from 1984 to 2016. We’ve even teamed up again with our friends at TIME to give you an updated take on compelling locations. 

Miruuixiang

Meandering river in Nyingchi, Tibet, China [view in Timelapse] (Image credit: Landsat / Copernicus*)

Leveraging the same techniques we used to improve Google Maps and Google Earth back in June, the new Timelapse reveals a sharper view of our planet, with truer colors and fewer distracting artifacts. A great example of this is San Francisco and Oakland in California:

Bay Bridge
San Francisco - Oakland Bay Bridge reconstruction [view in Timelapse] (Image credit: Landsat / Copernicus*)

There’s much more to see, including glacial movement in Antarctica, urban growth, forest gain and loss, and infrastructure development:

Shirase Glacier Antarctica
Shirase Glacier, Antarctica [view in Timelapse] (Image credit: Landsat / Copernicus)
Hourihan Glacier
Hourihan Glacier, Antarctica [view in Timelapse] (Image credit: Landsat / Copernicus*)
Dalian Liaoning
Dalian Liaoning, China [view in Timelapse] (Image credit: Landsat / Copernicus*)
Nuflo
Nuflo de Chavez, Bolivia [view in Timelapse] (Image credit: Landsat / Copernicus*)
O'Hare Chicago
O'Hare Airport, Chicago, Illinois [view in Timelapse] (Image credit: Landsat / Copernicus*)

Using Google Earth Engine, we sifted through about three quadrillion pixels—that's 3 followed by 15 zeroes—from more than 5,000,000 satellite images. For this latest update, we had access to more images from the past, thanks to the Landsat Global Archive Consolidation Program, and fresh images from two new satellites, Landsat 8 and Sentinel-2.

We took the best of all those pixels to create 33 images of the entire planet, one for each year. We then encoded these new 3.95 terapixel global images into just over 25,000,000 overlapping multi-resolution video tiles, made interactively explorable by Carnegie Mellon CREATE Lab's Time Machine library, a technology for creating and viewing zoomable and pannable timelapses over space and time.

Ft. McMurray

Alberta Tar Sands, Canada [View in Timelapse] (Image credit: Landsat / Copernicus*)

To view the new Timelapse, head over to the Earth Engine website. You can also view the new annual mosaics in Google Earth's historical imagery feature on desktop, or spend a mesmerizing 40 minutes watching this YouTube playlist. Happy exploring!

*Landsat imagery courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and U.S. Geological Survey. Images also contain modified Copernicus Sentinel data 2015- 2016.

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The Internet Archive to safeguard its collection in Canada because of Trump

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While many have threatened to move to Canada in the wake of the election, the Internet Archive is actually doing it.

The nonprofit, which runs the Wayback Machine and other online archives, announced Tuesday that it would be soliciting donations in order to create a copy of its collections in Canada.

In a somber update posted on its website, founder Brewster Kahle cited the need for "keeping our cultural materials safe, private and perpetually accessible" and "preparing for a Web that may face greater restrictions" amid mounting government surveillance.  Read more...

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Mars is looking good in first photos sent home by new orbiter

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A new satellite orbiting Mars just sent home some amazing new images of the red planet's crags and cliffs. 

The Trace Gas Orbiter — part of the joint ExoMars mission run by the European Space Agency (ESA) and Russia — beamed back the images gathered on Nov. 22, during the spacecraft's first close flyby of the world.

Some of the new photos — spliced together in video form — show the details of the Martian surface when the spacecraft was only 235 kilometers (about 146 miles) from the planet's surface. Others were taken when the spacecraft was flying thousands of kilometers from Mars. Read more...

More about Space Videos, Europe, Space Photos, Mars, and Nasa
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