The Mars Phoenix Lander has started to shut itself down as the Martian winter approaches. With the days becoming shorter, it's getting less and less power from its solar panels that powers its electronics and its five heaters. To conserve power, it has shut down operation of its first survival heater, which had been keeping some of the lander's electronics within a reasonable temperature range.
All except one of the survival heaters will be switched off one by one as the available power decreases, with more and more instruments being exposed to temperature extremes. NASA will be stretching it out as much as possible to keep the lander operational. However, we are already seeing operations deteriorate as a power fault has forced the lander to switch to using backup systems.
The 76th edition of the Carnival of Space is up at As(si)tronomi. It talks about India's new mission to the Moon, exploring the heliosphere with IBEX, the survival of the XMM-Newton X-ray observatory, rocks in the sky, and the little Mars rover that continues on exploring.
There were many oddities about the supposed assault of a McCain supporter, where she claimed to be attacked by a black Obama supporter (sexual molestation included). And to no one's surprise except for ultra-impulsive ultra-conservatives, it turned out to be a transparent hoax. The proper way to treat this case is to consider it an isolated but dumb attempt to tarnish a presidential candidate's campaign.
Or at least it would be, if it wasn't followed closely by news of two white supremacists planning to kill Barack Obama and a lot of other black people. And from all appearances, their intent was sincere. They even went as far as arming themselves. Fortunately, they were too stupid to actually accomplish anything. They couldn't even break into a house properly during an attempt at robbery, which would have supposedly been part of their plan to support themselves in their killing spree. And their plan consisted of little more than killing everyone they come across.
This is the second incredibly stupid thing to come out from Obama opposers in as many weeks. No doubt there are plenty of bright people who are against Obama, but the magnitude of the stupidity suggests that the stupid ones are really stupid. I wonder if there is a causal connection? Now I'm confusing correlation with causation, not to mention the overgeneralization ...
The Infidel Guy Show is a great online radio show hosted by Reginald Finley, the Infidel Guy. He regularly conducts live interviews with atheists, agnostics, theists, and all sorts of other people. It's a down to earth look at a wide variety of topics that may be of interest to atheists, among them religion (of course), science, politics, and culture. You could also jump into the show by calling in via phone or Skype.
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If you're a skeptic, especially one who wants the potential television show The Skeptologists to be picked up by a television network, then you'll be interested in the Skepticblog. It's a new blog featuring articles by the cast and producers of the Skeptologists.
Random musings in a variety of subjects, from science to religion.