Weekend Almanac #3

Some of the stuff that caught my attention this week.

  • The big news for nerds this week has to be the Rosetta space mission and the landing of the Philae probe on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, a first for humans in space.  There are too many links for this and the news is changing rapidly as I write this so I encourage you to Google it yourself.  The short story is that the lander landed, bounced, and got stuck (possibly sideways) and they don’t know where it is.  Despite that it still did over 80% of the science they wanted it to do.  Not a perfect result, but not bad for a first attempt at something very difficult.  One cool part is that the Rosetta “mother ship” is orbiting the comet but because the masses involved are so small the orbital speed is just a few centimeters per second.  The force of gravity between them is so low that when the lander was “dropped” from 60k feet away from the comet it took 7 hours to fall to the surface.
  • Anything with “Pullman” in the title is going to catch my eye, which is how I stumbled across this story of a railroad baron’s attempt at building Utopia.  Hint: Didn’t go well.
  • Veteran’s Day was this week and I kept my reflections mostly to myself other than to realize that it is the only holiday that I don’t have a prescribed ritual for.  Others, however, made their semi-controversial opinions on the holiday quite public, like this 91-year-old veteran and columnist who doesn’t like the tone the celebrations are taking.  I may have to find time to read more of his work.
  • I found a great drone video of our local ski area taken while they were making snow.
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