Take it from Snee: NASA’s newest mission for relevancy

In 2008, NASA beamed a recording of The Beatles’ “Across the Universe” into space. Four years, a severely cut budget and no response later, they’ve taken a new tack: assaulting Mars with Will.i.am. And make no mistake: a sonic bombardment of auto-tuned Black-Eyed Pea is just that, an assault, perhaps meant to drive lifeforms out of hiding so they’ll try to turn the stereo off. Or even just pound on the ceilings of their subterranean lairs with a broom handle. Any reaction that gives them away will do, really.

So, how did we arrive at this point, where America’s space agency has mohawks and Mars rovers with twitter accounts? With the end of manned space missions, NASA has embraced a new goal: cultural relevancy.

You can’t blame them. When 46 percent — nearly half — of Americans believe in strictly creationism and a sitting member of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology doesn’t know how rape works (and yet has an opinion about it), it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that nobody cares about space exploration unless we find God a la Star Trek V.

Good for you, NASA. You cracked the code to making the news cycles and, maybe one day, more money. But, where do you go from here? I’m glad you asked …  Continue reading Take it from Snee: NASA’s newest mission for relevancy

The Russians are going to mars!

This is bad news, nothing short of the launch of Sputnik. Folks, we have fallen behind in the space race. A crew of six scientists, three Russians, a Frenchman, a guy who’s Colombian and Italian and a Chinese guy are going to Mars.

OK, well actually, they are just locking themselves in a windowless capsule for a year and a half to see if they can make the time that it would take to go from Earth to Mars. The worst part is that they are all wearing RED. We might as well drop moon landing photos in Moscow to remind them who’s boss.

Pond scum … in … spaaaaaaaace

Dear Mister President Sir Obama: please do not exterminalate NASA yet. We may very well need them sooner than we think.

Reportedly, pond scum has been found on Mars. Pond scum, the building blocks of life (okay, not really), was discovered on a secret mission to the red planet. A secret mission. What does this mean?

ALIENS ARE ATTEMPTING TO TAKE OVER OUR WATER SUPPLY. Do not be surprised if we eventually hear an announcement stating “IM IN UR DAM KILLING ALL UR AMOEBAS.”

Now, obviously, since the origin of this is a tabloid, it’s advised to take this news with a heaping helping of salt. Just make sure to save some so that we can dry out the pond scum alienoids. It could be our only way to fight back.

Lava more efficient for building than water

A 168-mile-long channel near Mars’ Ascraeus Mons volcano wasn’t created by water as scientists have previously thought. New high-resolution images suggest that this trench was created by molten lava. DUM DUM DUMMMMMM!!!

What does this mean for the search for water on Mars? We’re hoping it means all the martians have been burned to death by now.

Thanks to improved imaging techniques, Mars researchers noticed volcanic vents near the Ascraeus Mons ridge. According to Jacob Bleacher of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center:

We started seeing that, instead of this [liquid] cutting into an existing surface, it was building a surface-it built a ridge up to 40 meters […] You see it all the time in volcanic settings. So that’s kind of our smoking gun.

Get it ? Smoking gun? Lava?

Yes, well … ahem. This doesn’t mean that water-formed valleys don’t exist on Mars, but it does mean that researchers will have to account for volcanism more when analyzing images of Martian topography.

To reiterate: we hope the martians have all been burned to death. Because they are crafty and green.

M&Ms dying to be called medicine

Although it's also in blue Gatorade, which is now called "G" ...You know how some people claim to be able to taste the difference between different food-colored M&Ms? Or how the green ones make you look like a sad pervert?

Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center, New York, may have found a link between the dye used to make M&Ms look blue and reducing spinal injuries. (Goodbye, lumbago!)

Known as Brilliant Blue G or BBG, which still doesn’t explain the G, the dye is oxidized ATP, which is an abbreviation in which all the letters really mean something. This oxidized stuff blocks the non-oxidized stuff that the body normally dispatches to a spinal injury scene from making it worse.

The most noticeable side effect from blocking your body’s stupid is turning it blue. Willy Wonka is reportedly kicking himself for giving his flawed gum formula away to his competitors, Mars, Inc.

The McBournie Minute: Finish the space station already

With a space shuttle landing yesterday and the Discovery Channel’s three-part documentary about NASA, When We Left Earth, space has been in the news a lot lately. Of course, space is all about cooperation and brotherly love these days. But for the first 40 years of space flight there was more of an “eff you, we’re going to beat you there” mentality. Perhaps we need to go back to that, if for no other reason than to get things done.

I remember first hearing about the International Space Station when I was in fourth grade, this was 1993 One of my teachers put on the overhead projector a snapshot of how the ISS would look when it was completed. A couple years later, I remember stumbling across it in an encyclopedia, I was probably looking for the definition of “isthmus” or something. There again was a computer-generated model of the huge structure orbiting the Earth. The caption underneath it said it would be completed around the year 2000.

It’s 2008 and the damn thing still is not finished. Continue reading The McBournie Minute: Finish the space station already

MasterChugs Theater: ‘Doom’

The final entry in MasterChugs March Movie Mort Month is upon us. It’s loud. It’s painful. It’s got really big guns and possibly bigger muscles. It totally fits the theme for this year, which as some of you might have been able to tell, is “cinematic video-game adaptation bombs,” and boy howdy, is this movie ever a real life equivalent of Vampire Rain. That’s right, I’m talking about the one, the only, Doom. Step right in to feel the pain.

Having played all of the entries in the Doom game series, I can approach this movie from multiple viewpoints; however, I’m just going to approach it from the POV of a normal film-goer, as it tends to be the least headache-inducing.

Continue reading MasterChugs Theater: ‘Doom’