Search results for: "challenger disaster"


Beyoncé Inexplicably Samples Challenger Disaster Audio In New Single

In today’s edition of “News Stories That Are Free From News But Still Managed to Get a Lot of People’s Panties Into Wadded Hellfire Bundles,” we have “XO,” the latest single and video from pop superstar Beyoncé, which has caused something of a delayed uproar for using an audio sample from the 1986 Challenger disaster. Was it a dumb and essentially pointless move? Definitely. Was it bad enough to somehow cause further space disasters in the future? Not likely. But still.

“Flight controllers here looking very carefully at the situation. Obviously a major malfunction.” These words from NASA’s Steve Nesbitt were used to begin a song that isn’t talking about space shuttles or flight controllers, but about a relationship that’s giving Beyoncé trouble. And not the kind of trouble that explodes a person over the ocean, but one that hurts the heart or some shit. The quality of the song and its inherent (non) value aside, it’s rather baffling that the clip was used in the first place. I’m assuming she and her producers couldn’t get the rights to any 911 calls following school shootings.

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TV Review: The Challenger Disaster Is A Surprisingly Compelling And Profound Docudrama

I remember January 28, 1986. I was seven years old. I, like so many other excited students, gathered in the cafeteria of my school just before lunch to watch the Challenger take off. I didn’t know a whole lot about space back then, except that it was far away, huge, and mysterious, and that those qualities also made it pretty cool. I had absorbed by then, though, that going into space was Important. It was one of those adventures that has and hopefully will continue to define humankind. I also knew that on board that ship was a teacher who also happened to be a woman. This brought the mission much closer to home for me, as it did for so many people. I remember watching the liftoff and clapping along with everyone else, even the folks in NASA’s control room.

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The Challenger Disaster Docudrama Will Simulcast On Science Channel And Discovery

challenger crewGravity‘s recent box office success proves that people are interested in space-set disasters, probably because it’s been quite a few years since such a tragedy struck in real life. Do you remember where you were on January 28, 1986 when the Space Shuttle Challenger met its disastrous end over the Atlantic Ocean? The Challenger Disaster, Science Channel’s first foray into scripted programming, will allow viewers to experience a dramatized version of the events when it airs on November 16th. In an effort to get the film out to an even wider audience, Discovery Channel will be simulcasting the film, which was co-produced by the BBC, at 9 p.m. Given Discovery still occasionally airs things that are about science and space, it’s a good move for everyone involved.

This year, Science Channel has averaged around 304,000 viewers, with 117,000 in key demographics, while Discovery Channel is getting around 1.3 million viewers, with 660,000 in the 18-49 set. Surely, the increase in viewers still equals to numbers much smaller than many hit dramas on other cable stations, but it’s a big one percentage-wise, and this film should definitely get more viewers than the averages. I’m going to watch it on Science Channel because I like an underdog.

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NASA Gets An Unexpected Budget Increase—Yes, You Read That Right

nasacrewWhat’s the first thing you think of when someone says NASA? Maybe the Apollo missions, maybe the ISS, maybe the Challenger disaster. Whatever it is, I bet one thing no one thinks of anymore is piles and piles of money. NASA is perennially underfunded to the extent that its spokespeople have said its meager budget puts people at risk for asteroid hits, may jeopardize future Mars missions, and generally spells nothing good for the future of America’s space program. So far, 2014 has been a decent year for the space agency, though, with the successful test flight of the Orion spacecraft and the renewal of seven planetary missions. But 2014—and beyond—just got a whole lot better. When the House of Representatives passed the “CRomnibus” bill last week, thankfully averting another government shutdown, it actually gave NASA more than it asked for, raising the agency’s budget by 2% for next year.

The Senate passed the bill over the weekend, and now all President Obama has to do is sign it. Considering that the bill allocates $550 million more for NASA than Obama requested for 2015 (and that a bunch of other hitches were ironed out over the past week), there’s no reason to think he won’t . What that means is NASA is poised to receive just over $18 billion total next year, which is its highest level of funding in a while—$364 million more than they received last year.

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Richard Feynman’s Legendary Physics Lectures Are Now Online For Free

Richard FeynmanRichard Feynman is a total badass, though maybe not in the way we traditionally use that term. We’re not talking about a grim, grizzled action hero in the Snake Plissken or Ellen Ripley mold. There’s no gun-slinging or alien fighting. No, this time we’re talking about more of a mad scientist, crazy genius kind of badass. If you’re in the mood for some light reading—and by light, I mean theoretical particle physics, fluid dynamics, quantum mechanics, and more—you can now access his legendary Feynman Lectures on Physics online for free. And what better way to celebrate Labor Day Weekend than by diving into some quantum electrodynamics?

These celebrated lectures, which have previously been collected in various volumes and editions, are now online, again for free, and available to anyone with an internet connection thanks to the folks a the California Institute of Technology, where Feynman taught and did some of his most notable work. (Check them out HERE.) All three volumes are up for your perusal. There’s Volume I: Mainly Mechanics, Radiation and Heat, Volume II: Mainly Electromagnetism and Matter, and Volume III: Quantum Mechanics. Each one is broken down into chapters and subchapters galore. Like I said, light reading.

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Warm Bodies Finds The Romance In Brain Eating This Week In Science Fiction


Warm Bodies
In theaters Friday

It’s rare that I have a change of heart about a movie I once had as little interest in as I did Warm Bodies. Along with quite a few others, I initially dismissed the zombie rom/com as the latest painful attempt to cash in on the popularity of Twilight. I mean, you’ve got attractive young stars. It’s based on a young adult novel. You’ve got a star-crossed romance hinging on a necrophilic attraction between a fetching young lass and a living-impaired suitor. Thankfully, trailers and early word suggests that Warm Bodies isn’t taking its concept nearly as seriously as Stephenie Meyer’s stubbornly immortal franchise.

Based on Isaac Marion’s debut novel, Warm Bodies kicks into gear after a random but well-preserved young zombie named R (Nicholas Hoult) chows down on the brains of a chap who happens to be the boyfriend of a girl named Julie (Teresa Palmer). In the world of Warm Bodies, eating someone’s brains allows the zombies to relive the memories of the victim, and R soon finds himself both falling for Julie and becoming more human. If it can nail the comedy and be half as much fun as Zombieland, Warm Bodies could be a solid way to spend your Friday night.

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