Search results for: "orion"

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What Does Commander William Riker Google? Everything.

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rikerFew TV characters come across as more confident as Commander William T. Riker, the Star Trek: The Next Generation character that Jonathan Frakes made famous. Perhaps it’s something hiding in his signature beard. In any case, we now know some of the things that must have been floating around in his mind for all those years, thanks to a clever (and fake) Twitter account that offers insight into the things that Riker is searching for on Google. And yeah, some of it is total filth.

The plainly titled RikerGoogling has been active since February, but has seen a mere 96 tweets come through. This leads us to believe that either Riker already knows pretty much everything else, or he’s just going to Wikipedia for what he doesn’t. Unless there are RikerYahooing or RikerBinging accounts that I’m unfamiliar with.

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Steven Moffat Hints At Why The TARDIS Isn’t Crazy About Clara

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ClaraWe’re in the long dark between seasons of Doctor Who at the moment, so there’s no a whole hell of a lot of information flowing about what we’ve got to look forward to in season eight just yet. As such, we’re left to fill out Who cravings with things like this. But hold on, it turns out Who boss Steven might have let slip some intriguing tidbits in a recent issue of Doctor Who Magazine, specifically with regards to something you may or may not have noticed in the last season of Doctor Who: that the TARDIS might not be entirely fond of the Doctor’s latest companion.

It’s a story element that was easily overshadowed by the larger arc of the season, especially since it was leading up to the 50th anniversary 1-2-3 of the Name, Day, and Time of the Doctor. But the TARDIS is alive, after all, and in fact the Doctor even had a (Hugo-winning) adventure with her in human form. In a very real way, she’s his original companion, the one who’s been there from the beginning and outlasted all the others. So why should the TARDIS mind Clara any more than she did all the ones who came before?

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The U.S. Has A Space Plane That Has Been In Orbit Since 2012

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X37BI don’t know about every craft the U.S. sends into orbit, nor am I familiar with all of the missions, but I do keep a pretty close watch on space news. Thus, I’m pretty surprised to learn that the U.S. Air Force has a space plane that’s been in Earth orbit for nearly 500 days.

The X-37B plane, which looks like a much smaller version—roughly 25% of the size—of a typical space shuttle, is carrying out a classified Orbital Test Vehicle 3 mission. It’s unclear what that means, given that it’s classified, but this is the third trip to the cosmos for the unmanned vehicle, which launched in December of 2012. In March, the shuttle took the title for the longest spaceflight. It’s also the world’s smallest robotic space plane.

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DARPA Developing New Biotech Unit

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darpa soldierSome government agencies struggle with budget constraints, while others reap the benefit of prioritization. DARPA clearly falls in the latter camp, having received a budget boost from the Pentagon. A hefty chunk of that money will go toward establishing a Biological Technologies Office for bolstering national security.

DARPA has previously dabbled in biotech, but the new office makes it a priority and will expand on the existing offices of Defense Sciences and Microsystems Technology. The mission of the Biotechnical Technologies Office (BTO) is to “foster, demonstrate, and transition breakthrough fundamental research, discoveries, and applications that integrate biology, engineering, and computer science for national security,” and includes “human-machine interfaces, microbes as production platforms, and deep exploration of the impact of evolving ecologies.” This opens up a host of different directions and technologies for DARPA to pursue.

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Giant Freakin’ Bookshelf: Week Of February 24, 2014

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As much as we love science fiction on TV, on the big screen, on the comics page, and in video game form, there’s just something irreplaceable about digging into a good book. There’s no shortage of new sci-fi adventures hitting shelves on a regular basis, but GFR is your one-stop shop to keep up with what’s hitting shelves in a given week. Here’s what’s new on the Giant Freakin’ Bookshelf!

HammerAngelsHammer of Angels” by G.T. Almasi

In G. T. Almasi’s thrilling alternate reality, the United States, the USSR, and the Republic of China share a fragile balance of power with Greater Germany, which emerged from World War II in control of Europe and half of the Middle East. To avoid nuclear Armageddon, the four superpowers pursue their ambitions with elite spies known as Levels, who are modified with mechanical and chemical enhancements.

Nineteen-year-old Alix Nico, code-named Scarlet, is a kick-ass superheroine with killer Mods and an attitude to match. She’s considered one of America’s top Levels, even though her last mission nearly precipitated World War III. So now Scarlet and her new partner, Darwin, have been sent to Greater Germany to help sow the seeds of anarchy and prevent Germany’s defection to Russia and China.

But where Scarlet goes, chaos follows — and when her mission takes an unexpected turn, she and Darwin must go ever deeper into enemy territory. As Scarlet grapples with a troubling attraction to her new partner, explosive information comes to light about the German cloning program and one of its prisoners — a legendary American Level who just happens to be Scarlet’s father.

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NASA May Slam An Asteroid Down On The Moon Like A Giant Domino

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asteroidUsing up resources then getting rid of the evidence has become such prevalent behavior in the U.S. that we may as well change the definition of “The American Way.” Instead of doing it with the usual goods such as food and water, NASA is planning on capturing an asteroid, getting all it needs out of it, and then throwing it away like a common Earth rock. But how do you logically get rid of something that massive? You crash it into the moon, that’s how. But chances are, anyone reading this won’t be alive by the time that happens. Not the silver-est of linings.

The plan is to metaphorically grab a hold of a near-Earth asteroid and get it into a stable orbit around the moon. There, it can be used for exploratory and research purposes, remaining in place for multiple visitations during its years of use. “We think we have a lot of options,” said Steve Stich, deputy director of engineering at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. “We haven’t really talked about it in detail about all those kinds of things we can go do, but certainly we have enabled, by the way we have designed this mission, multiple visits to the asteroid.”