Sunday, June 20, 2021

CONTINUITY: Ada Augusta Lovelace's Bernoulli Numbers—The First Computer Program

This video uses Fourmilab's edition of the Countess of Lovelace's “Sketch of the Analytical Engine” from our Analytical Engine Web resources. Not discussed is the arm-waving in implied by the statement “Here follows a repetition of Operations thirteen to twenty-three.” in the Bernoulli number computation chart. How Babbage intended looping to work in the Analytical Engine was ill-defined, and the Bernoulli number computation makes glaringly evident the need for an index register or indirect addressing to access columns in the Store. This is discussed in my document “Is the Emulator Authentic?”.

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THE HAPPENING WORLD: International Space Station: Second EVA to Upgrade Solar Arrays

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CONTEXT: Near-Zero Thermal Coefficient of Expansion

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Saturday, June 19, 2021

TRACKING WITH CLOSEUPS: Adam Frank: Searching for Alien Technosignatures

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CONTEXT: A Year with Spot

Sell, Spot, sell!

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CONTINUITY: What Became of Apollos 2 and 3?

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THE HAPPENING WORLD: Active Ball Joint Mechanism

Here is the full paper, “ABENICS: Active Ball Joint Mechanism With Three-DoF Based on Spherical Gear Meshings” [PDF].

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Friday, June 18, 2021

CONTINUITY: SpaceX Starship Orbital Launch Tower Stacking Continues

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THE HAPPENING WORLD: NASA Announces “Mission Equity”

From the press release, “NASA Launches Mission Equity, Seeks Public Input to Broaden Access”:

Underserved and underrepresented communities include: Black, Latino, and Indigenous and Native American persons, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other persons of color; members of religious minorities; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) persons; persons with disabilities; persons who live in rural areas; and persons otherwise adversely affected by persistent poverty or inequality.

Through the RFI process, NASA hopes to initiate vibrant, meaningful, and ongoing dialogues that will help the agency build and improve current agency policies, practices, and programs. The deadline for public comments to this RFI is Monday, July 12, but we encourage submission of comments as soon as possible to enable early analysis and follow-up discussions.

U.S. taxpayers, who are being coerced to pay for this, should contribute their “vibrant [and] meaningful” comments as prescribed in the Federal Register. “[E]nhancing equity, including advancing environmental justice” awaits your input!

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CONTINUITY: The Unsensational Story of Nazi Flying Saucers

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CONTEXT: An Island in a Lake on an Island in a Lake on an Island

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CONTEXT: A Dialogue About UFOs with Eric Weinstein and Michael Shermer

Unscrewing the inscrutable and effing the ineffable in the Age of Stupid.

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CONTINUITY: Roman D20

Fourmilab's Decide program can compute arbitrary expressions in dice notation.

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Thursday, June 17, 2021

CONTEXT: It's Raining Frogs!

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CONTINUITY: Those Clever E. coli—A Thirty-Three Year Evolution Experiment

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THE HAPPENING WORLD: SpaceX GPS III Space Vehicle 05 Launch

Launch is scheduled for 16:09 UTC on 2021-06-17, with a 15 minute launch window. A backup opportunity is available on 2021-06-18 starting at 16:05 UTC. This will be the first U.S. “national security” launch to use a previously-flown Falcon 9 first stage. The Webcast will start around fifteen minutes before launch time.

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TRACKING WITH CLOSEUPS: Hurricane Lanterns—Why Do They Look That Way?

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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

THE HAPPENING WORLD: Chinese/Russian International Lunar Research Station

This video was presented today at the Global Space Exploration Conference 2021 in St Petersburg, Russia.

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CONTINUITY: Finally—Carbonated Vodka!

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THE HAPPENING WORLD: EVA to Install New Solar Panels on the International Space Station

Working with solar panels is tricky because you can't turn them off. As long as they're in sunlight, they're generating power. Critical operations must be done while in the Earth's shadow and completed before emerging into sunlight.

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