Real Burning Lightsaber

Hey, here’s a project for our August workshop meeting!  CPL

On the eve of the release of Star Wars Episode VII Youtube user and perennial prop recreator “Sufficiently Advanced,” a.k.a. Allen Pan posted a video of his homemade saber lighting a cigarette and burning through balloons and paper with its fiery, sputtering, Kylo-Ren-like blade.

(And having way too much fun, IMO. To learn more about its inner workings, click here. ) 

The Best of Amazing Stories: The 1940 Anthology

The stories in the 1940 anthology are all eligible for the retro Hugo to be awarded at the 2016 World Con in Kansas.

Available in an Amazon Kindle edition for $2.99.

best-of-1940Featuring a kicking cover by Robert Fuqua, illustrating Eando Binder’s Adam Link Fights a War.  (Adam Link was featured in not one, but TWO Outer Limits episodes and, historically interesting, is the first robot character to appear under the title I, Robot.  (Ike’s publisher’s would borrow that title a few years later for a small collection of short stories….), The Best of Amazing Stories, The 1940 Anthology brings you four short stories, five novelettes and a novella.

The contents are: Don Wilcox – “The Voyage That Lasted 600 Years”; David Wright O’Brien – “Truth is a Plague”; Ralph Milne Farley – “The Living Mist”; A. W. Bernal – “Paul Revere and the Time Machine”; Malcolm Jameson – “Monster Out of Space”; Nelson S. Bond – “Sons of the Deluge”; Ed Earl Repp – “The Day Time Stopped Moving”; Ross Rocklynne – “The Mathematical Kid”; Richard O. Lewis – “The Strange Voyage of Dr. Penwing”; Donald Bern – “The Three Wise Men of Space”; with interior illustrations by Frank R. Paul, Julian S. Krupa and H. R. Hammond.

Read more: The Best of Amazing Stories: The 1940 Anthology

Seventh Volume of Free Stories Eligible for 1941 Retro Hugos

Short Fiction Eligible for the 1941 Retro-Hugos Vol. 7 is now available, a collection of 33 public domain short stories published in 1940 assembled by File 770 commenter von Dimpleheimer. (Earlier posts contain links to Volume One, Volume Two, Volume Three, Volume Four, Volume Five.and Volume Six.)

These books are created to help MidAmeriCon II members who will vote next year on the Retro Hugos (along with the regular Hugos).

The links lead to a Google storage drive.

Read more, including the table of contents.

BIG SUNSPOT ERUPTS

From http://spaceweather.com/

After several days of pent-up quiet, big sunspot AR2473 erupted on Dec. 28th (12:49 UT), producing a slow but powerful M1.9-class solar flare. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory recorded the blast’s extreme ultraviolet glow:

Sun

For more than an hour, UV radiation from the flare bathed the top of Earth’s atmosphere, ionizing atoms and molecules. This, in turn, disrupted the normal propagation of shortwave radio signals on the dayside of our planet. A NOAA blackout map shows the affected area. Ham radio operators, mariners and aviators in South America, Africa and the south Atlantic Ocean may have noticed fades and blackouts of transmissions below 20 MHz.

The slow explosion also produced a coronal mass ejection (CME). Images from the Solar and Heliospheric Obseratory (SOHO) show a ragged, full-halo CME heading almost directly toward Earth.

The storm cloud will likely reach our planet on Dec. 31st, possibly triggering the first geomagnetic storm of the New Year. NOAA analysts are modelling this CME now; stay tuned for refined forecasts later today when they release their storm track.

Sunspot AR2374 has an unstable ‘beta-gamma’ magnetic field that could explode again in the hours ahead. NOAA forecasters estimate a 55% chance of additional M-class flares and a 10% chance of X-flares on Dec. 28th.

Sixth Volume of Free Stories Eligible for 1941 Retro Hugos

Short Fiction Eligible for the 1941 Retro-Hugos Vol. 6, a collection of 30 public domain short stories published in 1940 assembled by File 770 comdragon reads ebook final mergedmenter von Dimpleheimer. (Earlier posts contain links to Volume One, Volume Two, Volume Three, Volume Four and Volume Five.)

These books are created to help MidAmeriCon II members who will vote next year on the Retro Hugos (along with the regular Hugos).

The links lead to a Google storage drive.

Looking up!

Robot looks upNew findings from New Horizons shape understanding of Pluto and its moons

Among the highlights of a recent meeting are insights into Pluto’s geology and composition as well as new details about the unexpected haze in Pluto’s atmosphere and its interaction with the solar wind.  Read more, see fabulous montage of images on Astronomy Magazine’s website.

Cassini closes in on Enceladus one last time
NASA’s Saturn-orbiting Cassini spacecraft makes its final close flyby of the ocean-bearing moon Enceladus on December 19.
enceladus_final
A thrilling chapter in the exploration of the solar system will soon conclude, as NASA’s Saturn-orbiting Cassini spacecraft makes its final close flyby of the ocean-bearing moon Enceladus. Cassini is scheduled to fly past Enceladus at a distance of 3,106 miles (4,999 kilometers) on Saturday, Dec. 19, at 9:49 a.m. PST (12:49 p.m. EST).

Although the spacecraft will continue to observe Enceladus during the remainder of its mission (through September 2017), it will be from much greater distances — at closest, more than four times farther away than the Dec. 19 encounter.

The upcoming flyby will focus on measuring how much heat is coming through the ice from the moon’s interior — an important consideration for understanding what is driving the plume of gas and icy particles that sprays continuously from an ocean below the surface.  Read more from the Astronomy website.

This IS the rebel light show you have been looking for

Published on Dec 19, 2015

This IS the rebel light show you have been looking for ☺ I replaced all the old technology to individually controlled pixels throughout the display at my new home (I used to live in Newark)! If you’re in the area of Tracy, CA, come see it in person! If you do and consider yourself blessed this season, feel free to bring some cash for the donation box (I am using the light show to raise money for our local homeless shelter, the McHenry House).

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