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+ - The NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts Program announces its 2012 awards.->

juanergie writes: "NASA has selected the 2012 fellows for its "Innovative Advanced Concepts" program, from the article: "These selections represent the best and most creative new ideas for future technologies that have the potential to radically improve how NASA missions explore new frontiers," said Michael Gazarik, director of NASA's Space Technology Program at the agency's headquarters in Washington. "Through the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts program, NASA is taking the long-term view of technological investment and the advancement that is essential for accomplishing our missions. We are inventing the ways in which next-generation aircraft and spacecraft will change the world and inspiring Americans to take bold steps."

The fellows are listed in:"

Link to Original Source

Experts Puzzled By Bright Spot On Venus 107 107

Hugh Pickens writes "BBC reports that astronomers are puzzled by a strange bright spot which has appeared in the clouds of Venus, first identified by US amateur astronomer Frank Melillo on 19 July and later confirmed by the European Space Agency's Venus Express spacecraft. 'I have seen bright spots before but this one is an exceptionally bright and quite intense area,' says Melillo. The bright spot has started to expand since its first appearance, being spread by winds in Venus' thick atmosphere. Scientists are unsure as to what is causing the spot. 'An eruption would have to be quite energetic to get a cloud this high,' said Dr. Sanjay Limaye of the University of Wisconsin. Furthermore, at a latitude of 50 degrees south, the spot lies outside the region of known volcanoes on Venus. Another potential source for the bright spot are charged particles from the Sun interacting with Venus' atmosphere. It's also possible that atmospheric turbulence may have caused bright material to become concentrated in one area. 'Right now, I think it's anybody's guess,' adds Limaye."

Comment: It has always been the case (Score 1) 135 135

Let us remember that the entire world was created from microscopic life forms, not by computers. The life forms learned from the environment and evolved in ways which even the most sophisticated computer would have an impossible time understanding. Let us remember that computers are, by a long shot, not the most efficient problem solvers. For instance, no computer can recognize patterns as well as a human being. The control system governing a hummingbird flight is way more advanced than that of the greatest and mightiest fighter airplane.

Computers are not problem solvers - they merely automate repetitive procedures or, at best, algorithmically apply a set of rules to a given problem -- Nature has always been more potent than computers.

I am impressed they can solve a simple problem with bacteria though. Maybe I should stop brushing my teeth and let the bacteria in my mouth say something intelligent.



+ - NASA's LRO photographs Apollo landing sites

juanergie writes: "Apollo landing sites have been photographed by NASA's Lunar Reconnisance Orbiter, from the article:

NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, has returned its first imagery of the Apollo moon landing sites. The pictures show the Apollo missions' lunar module descent stages sitting on the moon's surface, as long shadows from a low sun angle make the modules' locations evident. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera, or LROC, was able to image five of the six Apollo sites, with the remaining Apollo 12 site expected to be photographed in the coming weeks.


HTML Tags For Academic Printing? 338 338

meketrefi writes "It's been quite a while since I got interested in the idea of using html (instead of .doc. or .odf) as a standard for saving documents — including the more official ones like academic papers. The problem is using HTML to create pages with a stable size that would deal with bibliographical references, page breaks, different printers, etc. Does anyone think it is possible to develop a decent tag like 'div,' but called 'page,' specially for this? Something that would make no use of CSS? Maybe something with attributes as follows: {page size="A4" borders="2.5cm,2.5cm,2cm,2cm" page_numbering="bottomleft,startfrom0"} — You get the idea... { /page} I guess you would not be able to tell when the page would be full, so the browser would have to be in charge of breaking the content into multiple pages when needed. Bibliographical references would probably need a special tag as well, positioned inside the tag ..." Is this such a crazy idea? What would you advise?
The Courts

Madoff Sentenced To 150 Years 602 602

selven was one of several readers to send in the news that Bernie Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison. "Bernard Madoff's victims gasped and cheered when he was sentenced to 150 years in prison, but they walked away knowing little more about how he carried out the biggest robbery in Wall Street history. In one of the most dramatic courtroom conclusions to a corporate fraud case, the 71-year-old swindler was unemotional as he was berated by distraught investors during the 90-minute proceeding. Many former clients had hoped he would shed more light on his crime and explain why he victimized so many for so long. But he did not. Madoff called his crime 'an error of judgment' and his 'failure,' reiterating previous statements that he alone was responsible for the $65 billion investment fraud. His victims said they did not hear much new from Madoff in his five-minute statement. They also said they did not believe anything he said. As he handed down the maximum penalty allowed, US District Judge Denny Chin... [said], 'I simply do not get the sense that Mr. Madoff has done all that he could or told all that he knows.'"

Comment: NASA's credibility (Score 1) 222 222

As an Space Program advocate, I certainly hope they find them-- the public needs to trust NASA again; knowing that NASA can keep track of its mission assets would be the very basic start.

Whoever found the tapes (if they really were found) should not feel disappointed about not breaking the news him or herself. It is a shame they were lost in the first place, and finding them is nothing to feel proud about. I cannot imagine loosing my baby in the supermarket and then feeling like a real smart, witty person for finding her two years later.

May Euell Gibbons eat your only copy of the manual!