December 16, 2015 |
Room 268 at Conestoga High School was bursting with passion for a hodgepodge of ideas. Hip-hop as a lens for life. The case for more funding for NASA. The argument for paying student athletes. The future of evolution. The student debt crisis. The enduring power of Star Wars . One by one, 11 students presented ideas to their classmates in the style of TED Talks, the engaging lectures about a variety of topics, many given by experts. TED Talks started more than 30 years ago through TED - for technology, entertainment and design - a nonprofit with the tagline, "Ideas worth spreading.
October 3, 2015 |
'In space, no one can hear you scream" went the tagline for Ridley Scott's triumphantly creepy 1979 monster movie, Alien . In the British director's latest venture beyond Earth's orbit, The Martian , no one can hear Mark Watney (Matt Damon) scream, either. Or crack jokes, or take inventory, or talk to a computer, considering his chances for survival. Watney, a botanist, was abandoned on the Red Planet when his NASA crewmates beat a hasty retreat in the mighty whorl of a storm.
October 2, 2015 |
TWO YEARS AGO, Chiwetel Ejiofor was the toast of the Toronto International Film Festival for his heartbreaking, welt-inducing role in "12 Years a Slave. " Last month he was back for "The Martian," in which his relationship with the white man is very different. This time he's trying to save one - Matt Damon, lost in space. "I suppose if there is a connection," Ejiofor said, "it's that the films both do speak to human respect. In the deeper themes of 'The Martian,' there's this sense of community.
October 2, 2015 |
THERE IS apparently something about Matt Damon that mankind finds indispensable. The U.S. Army drops what it's doing (liberating Europe from totalitarian slavery) during Word War II to yank Damon from the front lines in "Saving Private Ryan. " Now, in Ridley Scott's "The Martian," the entire world rallies to bring a stranded Damon back from Mars, where his presumed-dead character, Mark Watney, is left behind when other science-mission astronauts (Jessica Chastain, Michael Pena, Kate Mara)
January 16, 2015 |
Despite last winter's coming-out party for the polar vortex and the record snows around here, worldwide 2014 was the warmest in 135 years of record-keeping, U.S. climatologists said Friday. Averaged for the entire year, temperatures were 1.24 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th Century average (which was about 57), according to the National Climatic Data Center, nudging out 2005 and 2010 by a mere 0.07 degrees. At a joint morning briefing, NASA said 2014 was the warmest on its database, although its method of calculation is slightly different.
January 11, 2015 |
BALLY, Pa. - The path to Mars goes through this small Berks County town that has long been a hub for textile manufacturing in the region stretching from Allentown to Reading. So said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden during a visit Friday to Bally Ribbon Mills, a family-owned business founded in 1923 to weave hat bands out of silk. Bally Ribbon, with the fourth generation in the business, still has shuttle-loom frames from that era. Those looms now make ribbons for military medals.
April 9, 2014 |
In outer space, an astronaut must worry about any number of things: radiation, flying debris, and extreme cold, to name a few. And now, apparently, looking good. That is the twist in three new versions of NASA's spacesuit of the future, crafted with the help of fashion-design students at Philadelphia University. Out: baggy, white suits of the Neil Armstrong era. In: sleek, metallic grays accented with LED lights and glowing "electroluminescent" wire. Can the cover of Vogue be far behind?
July 18, 2013 |
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - In one of the most harrowing spacewalks in decades, an astronaut had to rush back into the International Space Station on Tuesday after a mysterious water leak inside his helmet robbed him of the ability to speak or hear and could have caused him to choke or even drown. Italian Luca Parmitano was reported to be fine after the dangerous episode, which might have been caused by a leak in the cooling system of his suit. His spacewalking partner, American Christopher Cassidy, had to help him inside after NASA quickly aborted the spacewalk.
May 23, 2013
Frederick Doyle, 93, a photographic mapping specialist whose work included space photography for NASA, photo reconnaissance from spy satellites, and high-resolution photos of Earth's surface from outer space, died April 17 at his home in McLean, Va. He had congestive heart failure, said his daughter Margaret Grant. In 1969, Mr. Doyle became chairman of NASA's Apollo Orbital Science Photographic Team, and he planned the camera systems for Apollo lunar missions 13 through 17. He later directed photography projects on Mariner and Viking missions to Mars, Venus, and Mercury.
April 15, 2013
DERRICK PITTS, chief astronomer at the Franklin Institute, is a star in his own right, with regular TV and radio gigs and the occasional guest spot with Stephen Colbert or Craig Ferguson. He has also trained for suborbital space flight and is one of NASA's "solar-system ambassadors. " But what he really loves is turning people on to the stars in the night sky. He'll do that in a big way April 26 - the official Astronomy Night for the upcoming Philadelphia Science Fesitval. On Astronomy Night, Pitts and other astronomers will invite Earthlings in Philly to gaze through telescopes around town into the great beyond.