Hiya folks. As a new writer, and old-time commenter, on AMERICAblog, one thing John’s asked me to do from time to time is to help out with the Open Thread content.
In the past, AMERICAblog had open threads – a post in which anyone could weigh in the comments on any issue they wanted. But after a certain point, they kind of died away. Well, by popular demand, they’re back.
John has said he rather liked my ‘Random Roundup’ comments from the last few weeks, in which I take a quick look at various interesting stories that you might have missed. So here’s just a sampling of stuff I found interesting around the Intertoobz in the past day or so.
By the by, I have only a few rules for myself: No cat videos (I leave those for John :). No side-boob or nip-slip rubbish either. Try not to be too-too serious. And hopefully nothing everybody’s already seen before. (I have to say ‘everybody’ because some of you are sure to have seen at least some of what I’ll be posting in these.)
So, with no further ado:
- Once again, NASA and JPL prove they now really know how to build (and use) their Mars rovers. In this post, Curiosity used its mast camera to record 41 photos showing Phobos and Deimos eclipsing each other. It’d be a hell of a lot cooler though if it was humans doing the recording… Just sayin’. I grew up in the ’60s; back then we all assumed you youngsters would’ve already built permanent colonies on the moon and Mars. Get to it already!
- On the other hand, maybe we just need a few more people like Elon Musk. “The key thing for me is to develop the technology to transport large numbers of people and cargo to Mars,” he said. “That’s the ultimate awesome thing.” According to the linked story, Musk sees the need for a colony of 80,000 people on Mars. I swear, if I was just graduating college today instead of an old fossil who used to have Apollo 8 photos on her bedroom wall, SpaceX would be the only place I’d want to work.
- Neanderthals didn’t just have “a culture,” which most folks already knew about. For instance, we’ve known for a while that they made tools, buried their dead with rituals, and so on. Apparently, just like Homo Sapiens, Neanderthals in Europe had different cultures, based on geographic locations. Those living in northern Europe made their tools differently than those in, say, southeastern France. And they passed their techniques down from generation to generation.
- This was just too precious to pass up. Patton Oswalt masterfully trolls conservatives via Twitter. As usual, he’s brilliant. I am in awe of him.
- Ewww. No additional commentary needed.
- Our government tells us something most of us already knew. I guess in 50 years or so, our grandkids will be told, “Yes, we were intercepting every single bit and byte being transmitted on the entire planet and storing it in a giant secret data warehouse in Utah. Probably the stupidest place ever to have acres of computers and hard drives needing to be kept cool, short of building it in Death Valley.” Their response will be the same as mine, “Well, duh!”
- Sony’s very first product after WWII was an electric rice cooker. The prototype was an utter failure, consistently undercooking or burning the rice and they failed to sell a single one. So they decided instead to try to make tape recorders. (Culled from Discover Magazine’s post on 20 Things You Didn’t Know About Failure.)
Until next time…