Aug 032014

Ceti RevisitedI bought Risto Isomäki’s Ceti Revisited in Finncon last year, and was quite a bit mystified by the blurb: had the alarmist environmentalist truly been able to write a book about the dangers of communicating with extraterrestrial intelligences.

The initial steps were good indeed. Theory and history of the topic were more or less adequate, but before long the author jumped back onto his favorite hobby horses. He has used both methane clatrates and coastal nuclear power stations a lot in the past, and it turns out that this book is no exception. A sizable chunk of a book on communicating with distant stellar neighbours devolves into the well-trodden paths. Paths that have no new content since he last wallowed in them or any meaningful connection to the book itself.

Great premise utterly spoiled by the authors perennial mannerisms.

Dec 282013

In addition to Ursa’s fare, Helsingin Sanomat publishes two astronomy-centered blogs: Kuubongari contains pictures of the moon (and stories how the pictures were taken) whereas Kohti Tähtiä is more scattershot in its topic choices.

Sadly, hesari puts the blogs behind its paywall (trivially circumvented, but annoying nonetheless), but at least the lunar pictures can be seen for free.

Jan 042013

Golden Spike logoGolden Spike aims to return mankind to the Moon on a non-governmental basis.

Sounds interesting, and considering the hardships NASA has been enduring for the last quarter century or so, probably the way any united states citizens are going to touch lunar soil any time soon.

The aims are lofty indeed, and the company roster packed with experience, money and brains.

I’ll keep my eyes on this. Most likely not for the chance to dance on Mare Serenitatis, but for the chance to see somebody do it. And pave the way even further from Terra’s gravity well.

Apr 022011

Digital ChocolatierI was pretty sure MIT’s Cornucopia project is nothing but a well-executed prank (after all, the university is famous for them).

Even though the digital chocolatier looks nothing but a cool model whipped up just for yesterday, the long publication history of the project proves that it is a genuine kickstart of automated gastronomy.