caffienekitty: Dean sitting slumped in a chair. "Will kill for coffee" (jakku)
An Unaltered Version Of The Original Star Wars Trilogy May Be Released This Year

OH HOLY CRAP YES PLEASE!

To my knowledge they’ve never had a DVD release of the unaltered originals. I have the VHS set of the remastered but not CGI-added movies released in 1997-ish, a set which has been one major reason I have been trying to get a working VCR for the past year.

Bluray? DVD? BRING IT!! \o/
caffienekitty: (yay)
I don't remember if I posted about it when it happened, but the European Space Agency landed a probe (Philae) on a comet back last November, which was amazing considering it was like throwing a pea from Paris and landing it in the eye of the Statue of Liberty or something. However, due to some difficulties on landing it bounced into a shady spot where it could not receive solar power to recharge and had to go into hibernation, losing contact with the ESA. While it was on though, it got all the main science things they were hoping to get done done so it was a roaring success at the time but still, it landed and within a few days lost power and went to sleep.

The satellite it came from (Rosetta) which is still orbiting the 67P comet and (sending back pictures as the comet starts to change as it approaches the Sun) has been looking for the landing spot for months without much luck (try spotting a washing machine tucked into a shady nook somewhere in an area the size of Los Angeles when you're flying several kilometers above it and can't hover) and there's been a kind of heartwarming/wrenching #WakeUpPhilae twitter campaign going on, and school classes making models and kids having Comet Lander themed birthday cakes and so on. The ESA has cute anthropomorphized cartoon versions of the satellite and lander, each with their own Twitter feed and a narrative storyline about them which has definitely helped boost and maintain interest in the mission. XKDC's live comic coverage of the landing didn't hurt either.

To be honest, I figured it had already been a successful mission and that the little probe would likely never be heard from again. Space is big, comets are tiny, space probes are tinier and the universe is under no obligation to enable all real world events to have a satisfactory narrative arc. And that that was fine, even though it would be nice if it woke up and could do some bonus science and make a whole lot of people on Twitter happy.

Today it woke up.

And I am surprisingly emotional about it! It's like a happy ending! \o/

Philae has already sent back more data and will send back more when the satellite is in correct position to relay data to the ESA. Here's a news article outlining what's going on.

There are a lot of really excited scientists in Europe right now, and a lot of happy people on Twitter. And me. YAY! \o/
caffienekitty: (yay)
I don't remember if I posted about it when it happened, but the European Space Agency landed a probe (Philae) on a comet back last November, which was amazing considering it was like throwing a pea from Paris and landing it in the eye of the Statue of Liberty or something. However, due to some difficulties on landing it bounced into a shady spot where it could not receive solar power to recharge and had to go into hibernation, losing contact with the ESA. While it was on though, it got all the main science things they were hoping to get done done so it was a roaring success at the time but still, it landed and within a few days lost power and went to sleep.

The satellite it came from (Rosetta) which is still orbiting the 67P comet and (sending back pictures as the comet starts to change as it approaches the Sun) has been looking for the landing spot for months without much luck (try spotting a washing machine tucked into a shady nook somewhere in an area the size of Los Angeles when you're flying several kilometers above it and can't hover) and there's been a kind of heartwarming/wrenching #WakeUpPhilae twitter campaign going on, and school classes making models and kids having Comet Lander themed birthday cakes and so on. The ESA has cute anthropomorphized cartoon versions of the satellite and lander, each with their own Twitter feed and a narrative storyline about them which has definitely helped boost and maintain interest in the mission. XKDC's live comic coverage of the landing didn't hurt either.

To be honest, I figured it had already been a successful mission and that the little probe would likely never be heard from again. Space is big, comets are tiny, space probes are tinier and the universe is under no obligation to enable all real world events to have a satisfactory narrative arc. And that that was fine, even though it would be nice if it woke up and could do some bonus science and make a whole lot of people on Twitter happy.

Today it woke up.

And I am surprisingly emotional about it! It's like a happy ending! \o/

Philae has already sent back more data and will send back more when the satellite is in correct position to relay data to the ESA. Here's a news article outlining what's going on.

There are a lot of really excited scientists in Europe right now, and a lot of happy people on Twitter. And me. YAY! \o/
caffienekitty: (canwehelpyou)
In the wake of the Nepal Earthquake disaster, the [livejournal.com profile] fandomaid Comm has set up a "Buy It Now"-style page to help promote donations to disaster relief charity agencies. According to the campaign alert there may yet be a full fandom auction for Nepal in future, but meanwhile there's the quick deals page.

For those new to fandom charity drives, the concept is simple: people offer to make fanworks (or send little gifts, or beta or whatever) in exchange for (in the Buy-it-Now style of auction) a set minimum amount to be donated by the first person to claim the offer. Further details of the process are on the page linked above. To help out you can claim and donate, or offer your talents, or signal boost the fundraiser to other fandom spaces, on LJ and elsewhere.
caffienekitty: (canwehelpyou)
In the wake of the Nepal Earthquake disaster, the [profile] fandomaid Comm has set up a "Buy It Now"-style page to help promote donations to disaster relief charity agencies. According to the campaign alert there may yet be a full fandom auction for Nepal in future, but meanwhile there's the quick deals page.

For those new to fandom charity drives, the concept is simple: people offer to make fanworks (or send little gifts, or beta or whatever) in exchange for (in the Buy-it-Now style of auction) a set minimum amount to be donated by the first person to claim the offer. Further details of the process are on the page linked above. To help out you can claim and donate, or offer your talents, or signal boost the fundraiser to other fandom spaces, on LJ and elsewhere.
caffienekitty: Dean sitting slumped in a chair. "Will kill for coffee" (introspection)
Terry Pratchett (author of the Discworld series, among other things) has died.

“No one is finally dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away — until the clock he wound up winds down, until the wine she made has finished its ferment, until the crop they planted is harvested. The span of someone’s life, they say, is only the core of their actual existence.”

- Reaper Man, Terry Pratchett


caffienekitty: (reading/research)
And now for something completely different...

A 40th Anniversary/Lifetime Achievement commemoration Worldwide Readathon of Susan Cooper's classic fantasy novel series "The Dark is Rising Sequence" is set to begin on December 7th, 2013 with the first book "Over Sea, Under Stone".

For those unfamiliar, the series is a children's book series from the '70's set in the UK and it stands both the test of time as the world has moved into a new millennium, and the test of age as many people (including me) still re-read at least some of it annually far into adulthood. For parents or family/teachers looking for info for younger folks, the reading level and themes are comparable to Harry Potter, however with less overt violence/action and with strong ties to Arthurian legend.

If you've read it before, why not read it again? Or if you've never read it now's a great time. (But never ever ever watch the movie because it is 100% wrong, oh god. D-:)

Details and links to sign up locations and dedicated readathon blog are at the Dark is Rising LJ Comm

Any signal-boosting or word-spreading that people might care to do for this would also be awesome.
caffienekitty: (flashlightfu - examination)
Returning TV Show (just the ones I watch on any regular basis and am up to date on) dates:

Elementary - January 3rd, 10PM(?), CBS (Yeah, I'm still watching it, mainly to see what they're up to now)
Murdoch Mysteries - January 7th 9PM, CBC(Canada) (Season 6/CBC Series 1 Premiere!)
Supernatural - January 9th ETA: (Or 16th? I have it down as 9th, but now I can't find where I got that from. :-( ), 9PM, CW (Obviously.)
Criminal Minds - January 16th, 10PM(?), CBS (What can I say, Garcia and Morgan have a beautiful friendship, and Reid can be an angst muppet)

For other shows, I have no idea, consult your local listings. I googled these individually because I fail at finding a mass listing. For those not in the broadcast area, please consult your usual sources.


Returning RADIO PLAY Dates:

CABIN PRESSURE SERIES 4 Premiere! \o/ - January 9th, 6:30 PM UTC, BBC radio 4
(BBC 4 is available internationally online at BBC iPlayer. Convert to your time zone here or I have heard that iPlayer keeps episodes up for a while after first airing them, so if you are following Cabin Pressure and have internet access, you should be able to hear it legitimately, directly from the source. Wouldn't it be nice if all shows worked that way?)
caffienekitty: (ooo!)
NASA has had a long tradition of sending music into space to wake up the astronauts on the space station or in orbiting issions, and usually they hold a contest to select what they transmit.

Well, the new Space Station commander, Chris Hadfield (he's Canadian *grin*) managed to wangle permission to take his guitar to the space station, and has written and performed and recorded an original (Christmassy) song aboard the space station.

It might be the first song recorded on the space station, or even the first song recorded in space, so yeah. And it's not bad, considering he's just an astronaut, not a professional musician. ;-D

YouTube embed and Soundcloud widget under cut )

He tweets too, @Cmdr_Hadfield, for those who do the Twitter thing.
caffienekitty: (dr horrible - wonderflonium)
Dr. Horrible's Sing-along Blog, the internet-distributed mad scientist musical will be airing on the CW network tonight at 9pm (8 central?).

If you haven't managed to see it any other way and are curious what all the noise was about a few years ago (!), now's your chance to catch Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion, Simon Helberg and Felicia Day singing on TV. If you have seen it and there are any remaining people you know that would like it that you haven't managed to get to watch it yet, now's your chance to introduce them to it. (Also I have heard a rumour that some of the cast may be live-tweeting during the airings in several time zones, so if you are a Tweeter, watch for that.)

Check your local listings. Bring frozen yogurt. Or bring regular yogurt and shoot it with your freeze ray.
caffienekitty: (dr horrible - wonderflonium)
Dr. Horrible's Sing-along Blog, the internet-distributed mad scientist musical will be airing on the CW network tonight at 9pm (8 central?).

If you haven't managed to see it any other way and are curious what all the noise was about a few years ago (!), now's your chance to catch Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion, Simon Helberg and Felicia Day singing on TV. If you have seen it and there are any remaining people you know that would like it that you haven't managed to get to watch it yet, now's your chance to introduce them to it. (Also I have heard a rumour that some of the cast may be live-tweeting during the airings in several time zones, so if you are a Tweeter, watch for that.)

Check your local listings. Bring frozen yogurt. Or bring regular yogurt and shoot it with your freeze ray.
caffienekitty: (ooo!)
So, in about 9 hours. NASA's landing a new rover, Curiosity, on Mars, and everyone is invited to watch.






Aside from the awesome "How to get a Rover to automatically land itself on Mars in several steps that could go wrong several different ways and we won't even know for fourteen minutes when the signal gets here whether it worked or not, with bonus music from Inception" video, for this landing there is a live public-accessible video feed of the landing planned, broadcasting the landing as it happens (or rather 14 minutes after it happened, but still at the same time as NASA gets it), with a Q and A webchat and suchlike apparently which to me is SO AWESOME. Even though I suspect their servers will be overloaded, and I can't watch it anyway because my system isn't up to letting me access it, I thought I should pass the word along.

I'm hoping the landing is a success of course, but the planned live feed of something landing on Mars reminds me of Doctor Who, that bit in Christmas Invasion where they broadcast the feed from the Guinevere probe live.

Announcer: Let's see what images the probe is sending back from Mars. Kind of blurry...
Sycorax: GRR! ARGH!
Humanity: *freaks out*

Anyway. Fairly sure that won't be happening today.

The links to the live video stream which will start in a few hours (and some other things, like the Twitter feed and a simulation of the landing you can play around with) are available at the NASA Mars Science Lab: Participate page.


ETA:
Curiosity landed safely and started sending back pictures almost right away, and a room full of techs and geeks and engineers went completely bananas. They were jumping up and down, there was a lot of crying, and the hugging was epic. WOO! \o/

Honorable Mention - Hairstyle: Twenty-something tech with the multicolored mohawk and the yellow stars painted onto the sides, you rock.
caffienekitty: (ooo!)
So, in about 9 hours. NASA's landing a new rover, Curiosity, on Mars, and everyone is invited to watch.






Aside from the awesome "How to get a Rover to automatically land itself on Mars in several steps that could go wrong several different ways and we won't even know for fourteen minutes when the signal gets here whether it worked or not, with bonus music from Inception" video, for this landing there is a live public-accessible video feed of the landing planned, broadcasting the landing as it happens (or rather 14 minutes after it happened, but still at the same time as NASA gets it), with a Q and A webchat and suchlike apparently which to me is SO AWESOME. Even though I suspect their servers will be overloaded, and I can't watch it anyway because my system isn't up to letting me access it, I thought I should pass the word along.

I'm hoping the landing is a success of course, but the planned live feed of something landing on Mars reminds me of Doctor Who, that bit in Christmas Invasion where they broadcast the feed from the Guinevere probe live.

Announcer: Let's see what images the probe is sending back from Mars. Kind of blurry...
Sycorax: GRR! ARGH!
Humanity: *freaks out*

Anyway. Fairly sure that won't be happening today.

The links to the live video stream which will start in a few hours (and some other things, like the Twitter feed and a simulation of the landing you can play around with) are available at the NASA Mars Science Lab: Participate page.


ETA:
Curiosity landed safely and started sending back pictures almost right away, and a room full of techs and geeks and engineers went completely bananas. They were jumping up and down, there was a lot of crying, and the hugging was epic. WOO! \o/

Honorable Mention - Hairstyle: Twenty-something tech with the multicolored mohawk and the yellow stars painted onto the sides, you rock.
caffienekitty: (ooo!)
So I hear quantum physics and the Large Hadron Collider at CERN had a busy day yesterday? Also, Stephen Hawking lost a bet.

And here's a video about the thing the fuss is all about, as explained by the wonderfully named Ian Sample (who I once erroneously assumed was a filler put in by the BBC props department) using ping pong balls and sugar.
caffienekitty: (ooo!)
So I hear quantum physics and the Large Hadron Collider at CERN had a busy day yesterday? Also, Stephen Hawking lost a bet.

And here's a video about the thing the fuss is all about, as explained by the wonderfully named Ian Sample (who I once erroneously assumed was a filler put in by the BBC props department) using ping pong balls and sugar.

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