Linkadelica

Animal armory

• The legend of rocket cats.

• How does the internet get from here to there?

• Two words to brighten your day: beekeeping donkey.

• It turns out your teeth can teach scientists about how to make glass stronger by cracking it.

• Study well, and one day you, too, can unlock the secrets of the Universe.

• Space is really, really big, right? Contemplate our solar system with interactive models from BBC Future and Josh Worth.

• The name of your next band? Try earthquake lights.

• It’s not all in the wrist; the “flat loop” rope trick is also in the thumb and forefinger.

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“Okay, here’s what we’ve got: The Rand Corporation, in conjunction with the Saucer People, under the supervision of the Reverse Vampires, are forcing our parents to go to bed early in a fiendish plot to eliminate the meal of dinner.”

Milhouse van Houten

Fabian Oefner, Black Hole (detail)Cassini buzzes Titan again today.

• Paint … drill … physics … camera … art.

• This time it’s in Turkey; or, they found Hell … again.

• Er … oh, wait … Ur? (Wait, wasn’t that the Geo Quiz last week?)

Rhett Allain would like to confuse you; but then he sets everything straght again, so it’s safe to click the link.

• Today’s vocabulary lesson: ectopic eyes.

NEOSSat: Canada Looks to Protect the Planet

NEOSSat (Photo by Janice Lang)And you thought the Canadian Space Agency was only good for sending up Twitter-friendly astronauts? Well, ha! In the wake of this week’s NEO fever, with asteroids racing by, and rocks raining down from the sky, NEOSSat, the Near-Earth Object Surveillance Satellite currently under construction:

Slated for launch in 2013, it will circle the globe every 100 minutes, scanning space near the Sun to pinpoint asteroids that may someday pass near our planet. NEOSSat will also sweep the skies in search of satellites and space debris as part of Canada’s commitment to keeping orbital space safe for everyone. NEOSSat applies key technology already demonstrated in Canada’s very successful MOST satellite.

The suitcase-sized NEOSSat will orbit approximately 800 kilometres high above the Earth, searching for near-Earth asteroids that are difficult to spot using ground-based telescopes. Because of its lofty location, it is not limited by the day-night cycle, and can operate 24/7. The hundreds of images that NEOSSat will generate per day will be downloaded and analyzed by the University of Calgary’s NEOSSat science operations centre.

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Linkadelica

“D’oh!”

—Homer Simpson

The Pluto formerly known as a planetI really need to work on my repertoire. I shouldn’t have to stop and think of a brilliant quote from someone, somewhere, sometime, every time I do this. Meanwhile, we can file under “live and learn” the idea that I’ve been doing it wrong. Instead of using unordered lists, I should be using “p style” tags. Or something like that. So if things look a little strange over the next few days, that’s probably why.

• Just when I thought it was safe to beam up to the Enterprise, it turns out spacetime might not be so cooperative

• As long as we’re in a Trekkie mode, can you guess the most popular suggested name for the fourth moon of the former planet Pluto?

• And considering the final frontier, David S. F. Portree offers his reflections on the current and future American space program.

• In more Earthbound news, yes, your dog is plotting subversion.

• The National Institutes of Health have achieved new insight into Fetal Alcohol Syndrome; now they just need to figure out what to do with it.

• And let us head back into orbit, because Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield is really cool.

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“Too soon fron the cave, too far from the stars. We must ignore the whispers from the cave that say, ‘Stay.’ We must listen to the stars that say, ‘Come.'”

—Ray Bradbury