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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Aftermath

The day after Hurricane Katrina struck, the devastation in the Gulf Area is becoming apparent. Breaches in the levees around New Orleans mean the situation there may get worse before it gets better. The Governor of Louisiana has ordered an evacuation of those remaining in the city. (I haven't heard how this will be accomplished logistically.) MSNBC's web site provides an index of articles and a list of organizations accepting donations for post-storm aid. And we need to keep everyone involved in our prayers.

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Sunday, August 28, 2005

Katrina Targets New Orleans



The massive Hurricane Katrina approaches the Gulf Coast as residents evacuate or take shelter. May they be in our thoughts and prayers.

UPDATE: Monday 8/29 ~8:30 PM.
Katrina veered slightly to the east, sparing New Orleans from the worst case scenario, but there is still much devastation in the Gulf Region to recover from.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Hubble Peaks at the Moon

The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) was used last week to observe sites on the lunar surface in a test of remote sensing of lunar resources, according to Maggie McKee, who writes for New Scientist magazine.
"We're trying to ascertain the potential of ultraviolet spectra for indicating lunar resources," says Bruce Hapke, a planetary scientist at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, US. He is one of a team of six researchers led by NASA's chief scientist, Jim Garvin, using Hubble to view the Moon.

In particular, the team hopes to be able to identify a mineral called ilmenite - or iron titanium oxide - which has previously been found in lunar soil samples. "It has properties which would be useful in constructing a lunar base," Hapke told New Scientist.

The article goes on to state the observations' relevance to NASA's exploration plans.
He adds that the time for the Hubble observations would probably not have been allocated were it not for US president George W Bush's "Vision for Space Exploration", which calls for returning people to the Moon by about 2018.

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Sunday, August 21, 2005

A Giant Leap For Nanotubes

Along with the biomedical development described in yesterday's post, this nanotechnology breakthrough could also have a big impact on society.

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Saturday, August 20, 2005

Space Tech Could Alter Stem Cell Field

A technology derived from NASA micro-gravity research could provide a new ethical and more effective source of stem cells, as reported at CNET.
Microgravity technology developed by NASA can multiply stem cells from a newborn's blood in large enough quantities to be used to regenerate human tissue, London scientists have found.

Researchers at U.K.-based Kingston University have discovered primitive stem cells in the umbilical cord blood of infants that are similar to those from human embryos, which can be used to develop into any tissue in the body. The newly discovered human cells, called "cord-blood-derived embryonic-like stem cells" or CBEs, are more versatile than adult stem cells, found in bone marrow, which can mend damaged tissue during life.

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Thursday, August 18, 2005

WYD 2005



Young people from around the world are gathering with Pope Benedict XVI in Cologne, Germany, providing a spark of Faith in Christ much needed in Europe right now. Amy Welborn provides a list of links and blogs for the event.

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NET March 2006...

...for resumption of Space Shuttle flights.

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Friday, August 12, 2005

Evolution and Design

Frederick Turner has an interesting analysis that transcends the conventional assumptions about evolution and Intelligent Design as being two mutually exclusive concepts.
A perfect creator would surely have no need to step in once the process was going. He would not be a "god of the gaps", where we bring God in just when we can't explain some connection in the history of the universe, on the assumption that this was where God had to fix some imperfection in the process. A perfect creator would not be hostage to the possibility that one by one the gaps would be filled by good clear science. He would not need to be successively robbed of the credit for making the warmth and light of the sun, the thunder and lightning, the motions of the planets, and the wonders of digestion and muscular contraction and psychological motivation as they are explained by science, because he could take the even greater credit for having created the natural process that produced all of them.

While there is much subtlety in the discussion of this whole topic, I find this article to be the most satisfying I've seen so far. I would add that this does not preclude God from intervening in human history, which He did by sending His Son to save us from our sins.

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On the way to Mars


NASA/KSC

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) was successfully launched this morning on an Atlas V booster. When it arrives at Mars next March, MRO will begin to image the Martian surface with unprecedented resolution, probably leading to more unimagined discoveries.

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Voices of 9/11

The release of the New York Fire Department's recordings of emergency radio traffic remind us of the unspeakable evil but also the great courage and kindness shown that day.

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Tuesday, August 09, 2005

RTM Wrap-Up

A quite comprehensive report on the Return to the Moon conference in Las Vegas which I attended last month is posted at HobbySpace.

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Welcome Home Discovery!

It may be a day late and at the other end of the country, but the crew of the Shuttle Discovery returned safely from their crucial mission this morning.
With veteran commander Eileen Collins at the controls, Discovery swooped to a ghostly, tire-smoking touchdown on runway 22 at Edwards Air Force Base in California's Mojave Desert at 8:11:22 a.m. EDT, one day late because of concern about cloudy weather in Florida. The crew had two shots at a Kennedy Space Center landing today, but off-shore storms forced entry flight director LeRoy Cain to divert the shuttle to California.

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