Tag Archives: NASA

Five Thoughts on a Friday – The “Lucky Friday” Edition

Happy Friday everyone. Yep, it’s that time again. Time to run through the weird, the strange, the dumb, and the stupid. Heck, we’ll even throw in silly at no extra charge! And yes, as this week’s post title alludes to, today is Friday the 13th. (You know, that may be the first time I’ve used “alludes to” in a post!)

  1. Given today’s date… this is hilarious. It’s Friday the thirteenth. And you’re about to board your flight to Helsinki Finland when you notice a couple of things. Namely, your flight number is 666, and the airport code you are flying to is HEL. Yep. Somebody queue up the AC/DC song….
  2. Wow… It really is true, you know? We humans try to add extra sugar to everything! As in the recent molasses spill near Honolulu, Hawaii. Now… yes, I understand it’s not cool that this spill happened and killed the fish. But it still made for a lighthearted joke. I could have cone with the other angle from the story… where authorities are saying that the molasses in the water that’s killing the fish poses no threat to humans… except for all the sharks, barracuda, and eels the dead fish are expected to draw in. Yeah, a shark poses no risk to humans. As long as you’re still on land (Unless you have a Sharknado). And uh.. stay away from anything labelled “sweetened fish” for a while, I’d say.
  3. Speaking of things in the water that can harm you…. How about this one? A a rare brain-eating amoeba has been found in a municipal Louisiana water supply. But don’t worry, “the water is safe to drink, state officials said, although they cautioned against getting water in the nose”. Oh, that’s reassuring. And that’s why… I don’t always drink in Louisiana, but when I do, I prefer alcohol!
  4. Next up, it’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s….. actually…. it’s a frog. So this is what Kermit has been up to these days. A frog recently photo bombed a NASA spaceship launch. Let’s be honest, Kermit was just looking to join up with the Pigs in Space.
  5. And closing out on the NASA theme…. Geek alert time! NASA has reported that Voyager I has officially left our solar system. Not only that, but its also sending back sounds!
    Frankly, I think this is really cool. But after listening to the sounds, I do kind of have to wonder….. Haven’t we seen this movie already?

Okay folks, that’s five and I’m off to see what the weekend brings. So, this one is for all of the weekend warriors out there. Even if you’re just waging war with the weeds in your lawn.

Five Thoughts on a Friday – The “Beer and Brownie” Edition

Howdy folks, and another happy Friday to you. If you’re wondering about the title for this week’s post…. Well, blame my friend Kirsten from http://comfortablydomestic.com/. It all started on Twitter last night. anyhow, some interesting stuff on tap this week, and I don’t mean beer. (Not that the beer I have on tap is uninteresting. I happen to think it’s quite good!) So, Let’s get self-indulgent and get started, shall we?

  1. It is my great pleasure to use the first item up this week to welcome our good friend and contributor PB to the team. (If you were paying attention to the “About the Beerbarrel” page earlier this week, you noticed his bio went up)  While this in no way promises to up the posting activity on the blog, we’re still glad to have you aboard PB.
  2. Now, about that whole beer and brownies thing. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having a beer and a brownie. In fact, I encourage it. But that isn’t what this is about. This is about me brewing up an Oatmeal Stout to go IN a brownie. Truth be told, I think I got the easier end of the job. I already have the recipe for the beer. I don’t have to figure out how to properly make a brownie mix for it to go into. I’ll leave that to the professional. It all started based on this conversation:

    And with that, I’m on the hook to make the beer. Should be fun.

  3. Okay, how in the heck do I follow-up now? I’ve got an introduction sitting at number one, and a public plan for a collaboration for a beer infused brownie after that. How do you get from there to somewhere else? Well, sometimes you don’t end up where you thought you were going to go. Especially when the plane you’re on LANDS AT THE WRONG AIRPORT! (How’s THAT for a segue?) Honestly, it’s 2012. With all of the electronic guidance equipment in aircraft these days, how do you land at the incorrect airport? And did no one at the airport control tower bother to ask the pilots why they were landing at an airport they weren’t scheduled to land at? Sheesh. And to think, I need to get on a plane soon!
  4. One of the cooler things in the news recently has been the Mars rover (named Curiosity by NASA) that has successfully landed on Mars and started operating (Even with the slew of bad “Hope Curiosity doesn’t find any cats on Mars!” jokes). Almost predictably though, the world has acted to keep the positive news in perspective as a prototype Moon lander exploded during testing yesterday. A bit ironic isn’t it? Right after they put a vehicle on Mars, a lander for the moon, a much closer target, fails.
  5. Lastly, not another boom, but rather a splash (Or maybe smack is a better word). This has got to suck on multiple levels. There isn’t any other way to put it. You train your entire life. You work incredibly hard to qualify for the Olympic Games as one of the best in the word at your chosen sport. And in the moment of a lifetime…. Your dive that you’ve spent a lifetime preparing for goes horribly wrong. You not only get scored zeroes, you get booed out of the pool, and your dive gone wrong instantly shows up on the internet. Yes, you just did the “Nestea Plunge” in the Olympics.

Okay folks, that’s five and Beer’s brain is saying it’s time to go! So when the brain says “Let’s Go!”… we go!

Have a great weekend folks!

Five Thoughts on a Friday – The “Pointless and Proud” Edition

Howdy folks, and welcome to yet another edition of Five Thoughts. I’m Beermaker, your host for today’s little sojurn into whatever it is I end up writing about in the space below. (How was that? Too formal? Stuffy? I was trying for “proper and dignified” but I think it came across as stuffy)
Anywho (and yes, I meant to spell “anywho”)….. Anywho, I’ll admit to not really looking into a lot of national news this past week. I’ve been focusing my attention on some local news close to home, but other than to say it involves a lot of people who are very bad at math and accepting reality, I’m not going to say any more about it. So, let’s see what crazy stuff we can find to cover today, shall we?

  1. I know I’ve covered this before, both here and on Twitter but I’m going to go over it again. My license plate/vehicle registration renewal arrived in the mail this week. Included in the packet is the little sticker (called a “tab”) that you need to place on your license plate. The packet even includes instructions. It’s starts with directing you to the license plate at the rear of the vehicle (even though in this state we don’t even HAVE front license plates) – see, they’re working with you! Next up is this line… “For all license plates EXCEPT motorcycles affix the sticker in the upper right hand corner”. Okay, let’s cover this again. Do you have a motorcycle? No? Ok, then it goes in the upper right hand corner. Simple. If you put it in any other corner, you are doing it wrong. It does not say use the stickers to play tic-tac-toe. It does not say use them to play connect four. It does not say use them to make your license plate look like a bingo card. If you can not follow “put the sticker in the upper right hand corner”, let’s be honest here… If you can’t do that, you probably don’t have the proper mental makeup to actually be operating a motor vehicle, do you?
  2. I get a kick out of this one…. Apparently there’s a man who’s been forging artwork for years, and donating it to museums. And he hasn’t been chaged with a crime, due to the fact that he’s always donated the paintings. Although it seems he’s avoiding charges by the slimmest of margins based on the wording that was used. Still, the museums are onto him, and I love what they’re doing in Cincinnati. They’ve collected a bunch of the forgeries, and putting them into a display called “Faux Real” to educate people about art forgery. The best part? The display will open on April Fools Day. To quote the guys from the old Guinness commercials… Brilliant!
  3. Officially, the Major league Baseball season has started. Seattleand Oaklandare currently playing a series in Japan. For the rest of us, It starts next week. Now, how can you NOT root for a guy trying to make the roster in Colorado? Okay, I admit, if you’re trying to earn that same roster spot you might not want to root for him. 49 year old Jamie Moyer is looking at catching on with the Colorado Rockies. I love it. It’s fun, it’s silly, it’s pretty much all the good stuff that sports can be. And it also makes me think of a scene from Major League. I can’t help it.  (Ironically, that movie came out five years AFTER Moyer was drafted)
  4. I seem to be finding a posting a lot of articles about stuff on the bottom of the ocean lately. Or at least it feels that way. This week, it’s news that Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos and a search team have located the rocket boosters used to launch the Apollo 11 space mission. I think that’s totally cool in a science/geek/history kind of way, but it does raise a couple of questions. I mean, when they found the Titanic, it was pretty obvious which ship it was and all, but with this… there was more than one Apollo mission. I’m pretty sure they all used the same types of rockets. How did they determine these were the engines from Apollo 11 and not one of the other Apollo missions? Did they get a picture? Regardless, still cool. And I hope they do mange to raise them.
  5. I drink a lot of coffee. And by a lot, I mean way, way more than I probably should. That being said, I’ve never been a big Starbucks guy. For one, I’m not big on spending $7 on a cup of coffee. I also don’t want to learn another language to order it. When I want a large coffee, it means I want the biggest size you have. When I do buy coffee at a coffee shop though (Geez, that sounded a little too much like the Dos Equis guy there for a second. “I don’t always drink coffee..”). Anyways, when I do buy coffee at a coffee shop, it’s just coffee. No Lattes, espressos, cappuccinos, iced whatevers (That’s my co blogger). So, this doesn’t bother me at all. This story might “bug” my co-blogger though since this pertains to one of his favorites. Do you want cream, sugar, or crushed bugs with that?

Okay, that’s five and I’m ready to jump into the weekend. Aren’t we all? So to close out, I’m going to go with a band that was suggested to me earlier in the week. However, since I can never do anything without trying to throw a bit of a curveball into it, I’m going to make a small change. You may know this band better for “Dancing if they want to” but for right now, it’s “Pop goes the world”. That’d be a sight to see, huh?

Have a great weekend folks! See you in two weeks! (That’s right, Kingkielbasa is now on the clock for next week)

Five Thoughts on a Friday – The “Dead Fridge” Edition

Howdy folks,  and welcome back to another one of Beermaker’s crazy, silly, occasionally amusing, and always self-indulgent posts in the “Five Thoughts” series. What are we going to talk about on this gray, wet, and rainy Friday? Well… let’s find out!

  1. For starters… It’s the first day of fall. And.. The sky is falling!
    ” Satellite still on course for Friday re-entry; destination still unknown”
    Now, when I said it was raining I meant actual rain. You know, water. Not giant hunks of flaming satellite remnants! Then again, the satellite is only 6 1/2 tons and the size of a school bus so the odds of someone somewhere on earth are only pegged at 3200-1 by NASA. Those don’t seem like great odds, do they?
    And the destination unknown? That’s bothersome. Not only because of the uncertainty, but because it got this song stuck in my head!
  2. And in the “This is no shock” department.. Some people have no sense of humor. Apparently, a mom group has a problem with the new Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavor, Schweddy Balls
    Wait – women who DON’T like ice cream??????  Ok, cheap shot, I know. But how can you not get a laugh from this?
  3. I have to mention this next article, strictly based on the sheer amazement I felt in realizing the amount of work people are putting into redesigning… A Ketchup Packet!!
    Seriously… This was a problem? After over 40 years? The old ones stopped working or something?
  4. As has been fairly well documented by now, I was out traveling around last week. And I returned home to a dead refrigerator. Actually, it’s wasn’t completely dead. The power was still on and it was recirculating warm air instead of cold. Let’s just say I have a pretty good idea what a dead body would smell like now. And apologies to the trash guys who picked up that garbage can. They probably thought they had found Jimmy Hoffa. Nope, just spoiled beef and turkey.
  5. Fortunately, being a homebrewer generally leaves you with two things that make returning home from vacation to such a situation as I did far more bearable. Those being:
    -A Second, (and in this case – a Third) spare refrigerator.
    Amazing how something like a few cold brews can help out.

    (So much for another Alcohol Free edition, huh?)

Okay folks, that’s five and I’m out of here. I’m out of here to start in on my weekend. And as for the dearly departed fridge? You what the worst part was?
Not the lost food. Not the money the new one cost us. No, the worst part of coming home to a dead fridge? That Smell.

Have a great weekend folks!

Five Thoughts on a Friday – The “Eastbound and Down” Edition

Howdy folks! Yeah, I know.. you can already hear those first few notes…  Don’t worry though. I promise, I’m not going to be doing anything involving a black Trans-Am (For the record it’s a 370Z Roadster), an eighteen wheeler (okay..well… maybe), and we are definitely NOT going to either Texarkana or Atlanta. Yes, you are correct though. All this talk means it’s time for another one of Beer’s Boondoggles! So, before Buford T. Justice finds me, let’s get started!

  1. All this talk about fast cars and everything.. How do you even get ready for that. Well, by having your commute make this list. America’s Five Fastest Roads. And frankly, if they think that 81MPH is the avg speed of the top 5% with a top speed of 83MPH is an accurate reading I have some advice for them. Come back when there isn’t snow on the ground. That’s a SLOW day, folks. And yes, there IS traffic. It’s not an empty road.
  2. I have to use this one. I mean, how can you not be drawn to a headline like “Drunk Moose in a Tree“. Never saw Bullwinkle do that! Did anyone see Boris and Natasha circling the neighborhood?
  3. It’s a robbery, dammit! Well, that’s what he should have said. Invoking the great skit from Eddie Murphy on SNL. “I’m Gumby Dammit!” Sure beats dressing up as Gumby and then trying to rob a 7-11 store.
    Sadly, I can’t embed the video (linked it above) because I could only find it on Hulu. Still, go watch. It’s worth it.
  4. I have no real opinion either way on life beyond earth, but I do know this. If there is life out there, and they come here – they won’t be impressed. Why do I say this? Because NASA has recently released photos showing that we’re such slobs we even litter on the moon! Let’s face it. We’re going to be that intergalactic slob cousin that never gets invited to any family functions. Ah well, Springer re-runs are on anyways..
  5. One more travel note.. well, maybe an oddity. Billie Joe Armstrong, lead signer of Green Day (a band I like very much, btw) was recently removed from a Southwest Airline flight because… His pants sagged too low. Now, I’m no fan of the “Let’s show off our boxers look”, but it does seem a bit trivial to kick someone off a plane for that. Frankly, I’d rather tolerate that look that the “I should have stopped wearing spandex 150 pounds ago” look any day. Still, I have to wonder… Why is the lead singer of a rock band flying Southwest Airlines? C’mon man, party like a rock star! Fly first class. I’ve seen “The Wedding Singer“.

Ok folks. That’s five and I’m out of here! Eastbound and Down!

Have a great Weekend!

Five Thoughts on a Friday – The “Back with Beer” edition

Howdy folks! Did you miss me? Probably not considering my co-blogger not only filled in for me last week, but I log on today to find that he actually posted something else? 2 posts from him in less than a week? I almost fell off my chair! Still, let’s see what we’ve got here for our vacation shortened week this week.

  1. Meant to put up a trip about the recent vacation, but kept getting sidetracked. And once it wasn’t up by Wednesday evening (we got back Tuesday night) well, it wasn’t gonna get finished. Yet another post for the scrap heap. I’m not big on comparing notes with others, is it normal to have more unfinished posts than posts?
  2. Sticking on the road trip theme…  For the Independence Day holiday (aka 4th of July) Beer did the All-American thing, the road trip “up north”. That’s right, we hooked a trailer on the back of the truck, burned up a bunch of gasoline and headed to the lake. Nothing says “Americana” like burning a bunch of gasoline and blowing up fireworks. Except maybe playing with the chainsaw. Or the dock breaking. And beer. Definitely beer. Homemade, even!
  3. (And this one goes here because after drinking beer.. well…) I don’t know how they’ll pick the lucky “volunteer” for this, but I’m guessing it’s either gonna be lowest rank or shortest straw that “wins” the honor of testing it out….
    NASA’s Stillsuit: Atlantis Crew to Test Pee-Recycling Bag
    “One of the four astronauts aboard space shuttle Atlantis will test the recycler — with an experimental fluid, not their own urine — toward the end of their 12-day mission”.  Blech.
  4. Arriving in the mail right after our latest vacation? Details on our NEXT vacation. Hey, it’s a tough life, but someone has to live it. Right? As for the details? When we get back. I follow my own advice, and don’t publicize the dates and times of my trips all that much. It’s a good one though folks, trust me. (And yes, this one was purely self serving. You get to do that when you write it.)
  5. As I alluded to in a tweet earlier this week, I stumbled across my old copy of Knights of the Old Republic again this week. And yes, I installed it and played a little bit. Still a very fun game, even if it looks a touch dated now. And it is not helping at all knowing that Star Wars: The Old Republic, the shiny new Star Wars MMO is looming on the horizon. Might even be enough to pull me out of Warcraft. Yes, I’m still playing. Not as much, but still there (Not playing much of anything right now, it’s summer and things are busy. It’ll pick up soon though). Still, it also has me thinking about retro gaming. Might be a fun little feature.

Ok, that’s five all over the place thoughts. Sorry for being so  scatter brained, but after being off on vacation, a quick 3 workdays was all that stood between me and the weekend. And the brain took full advantage of that. So, we’ll work on something a bit more focused for next week, but until then, have a great weekend folks!

And for all you Star Wars fans out there… here’s a trailer for the new MMO:

Have a great weekend folks!

Five Thoughts on a Friday – The rambling Beermaker edition

Hiya folks. After a long, long week we arrive at… another Friday! And that means it’s time to crank out another edition of Five Thoughts. That’s always a good way to pass some time. Let’s get right at it, shall we?

  1. The sports headlines of the day are being dominated by the NFL labor talks right now. We’re skipping that and flashing back to an NHL game last Saturday night (2/26/2011). Why? Well, we haven’t talked hockey in a while, and this shootout ended on a shot reminiscent of one of my favorite commercials. Check it out…  Off the stick, off the crossbar, off the goalies back (?!?!?), and into the net.
  2. Last week I talked about the last fight of the US space shuttle program. Turns out I was one off (I know, I know, I hear that about me a lot!). There’s one more flight/mission. Discovery is done though. Why I am I bringing it up anyways? Because if they aren’t going to use shuttles anymore, NASA is gonna need to get better at launching rockets again. The latest one ended up in the Pacific Ocean. Call it a hunch, but I don’t think that’s where they were aiming.
  3. This quote really says it all:
    “We haven’t been seeing a lot of Ronald McDonald,” said Tim Calkins, a marketing professor at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. “They’re beginning to appeal to much more sophisticated individuals.”
    Seriously man. You just used “sophisticated individuals” in a sentence talking about McDonald’s? Seriously?
  4. We’ve seen cars recalled for any number of things before. Ignition cylinders, suspension components, wiring, etc.. By definition a recall will fall into safety or emissions related fields to qualify, anything else is just a voluntary callback by the manufacturer. Why do I mention this? Because Mazda may have just qualified for one of the creepiest recalls yet. Spiders. Spiders in your car. Kinda like Snakes on a Plane, when you think about it.
  5. How can you not love an article running with the headline “Revenge of the low-flow toilets“? It would seem that San Fransisco is dealing with a little thing called “The Law of Unintended Consequences“. Or in this case… a really bad stench! But hey, any excuse to introduce toilet humor into a post, right?

Ok, that’s five (very random!) thoughts. Who else is ready to start the weekend? Let’s get to it then. On our way out, something a bit out of line with the stuff we usually try to close with. See what happens when Beermaker gets to play with the scan button on the radio?

Have a great weekend folks!

Five Thoughts on a Friday – The “Clever Title Goes Here” Edition

And another Friday rolls right in…

Howdy folks, and welcome back to another edition on Five Thoughts on a Friday. Wow. 25 years ago today, the 25th flight of NASA’s space shuttle program exploded just after liftoff. Just like that, The Challenger and her crew were gone. Regardless of anyone’s thoughts on whether going into space is worth it or not, there’s one thing to always remember. No matter how many times it’s been done, it’s still never a sure/safe thing. Breaking free of the Earth’s gravitational field is not exactly a natural act.

Ok, I admit, leading off with the Challenger disaster was a bit of a downer. Still, it’s significant history. Now, on to some fun and silliness. Where will Beermaker’s brain wander to today? Why don’t we find out?

  1. From the I can’t quite figure this out, I must be getting too old for this social media department…  Downy Fabric Softener is now on Twitter. What exactly is a fabric softener going to tweet about?
    “Okay, clothes are soft now!”? (And how many of the followers on that account are Proctor & Gamble employees?)
  2. I find this one amusing… Yes, I can find amusing (to me, at least) in the business section. NBC Universal is now “NBCUniversal” (No space in the new name). What’s so amusing about that? The author spends the rest of the article referring to NBCUniversal as….   NBC Universal. That’s right, in an article talking about the “new” name, the use the old name. Repeatedly. That’s some darn fine reporting there, Lou.
  3. There’s been an ongoing story that I originally thought was kind of fun. A piano on a sandbar in Biscayne Bay. Since the story came out though, I’ve seen two different stories with different people claiming to have put it there. Well, that finally got sorted out, and it’s gone now. Somewhere along the way though, the story ended up being not as fun. Still, Piano on a Sandbar has a nice ring to it. Maybe a good name for a Jimmy Buffet cover band?
  4. Looks like one of the cops from CHiPs is heading to jail. He’s being sentenced on securities fraud and could be looking at several years behind bars. Ironic, no? At least it gave me a chance to link to one of the great TV themes of all time though.
  5. Lost in the news earlier this week was this little tidbit. havign realized that they really only ever needed ONE color, the Department of Homeland Security is abandoning it’s color coded threat index. Seriously, it’s been at orange since it came out. Hasn’t it? As a frequent traveler, I sure don’t recall it ever changing. I’m not saying that having some sort of system isn’t important, but if it’s never gonna change, then….

Okie dokie… That’s Five and I’m out for weekend. Tune in next week when our very own Kingkielbasa will  actually write the column! While I’m away on business (The business of not being here).

Since we closed by making a bit of fun of the one color threat level system.. Let’s go with… Colors!

Have a great weekend folks!