It Was 50 Years Ago Today: NASA Launched First Manmade Satellite Echo 1 into Orbit

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the successful launch of Echo 1, the first manmade satellite to orbit earth.  That makes it pretty darn important, as it paved the way for the cancerous signals we have bouncing all around us today.

When the Echo 1 finally reached orbit on August 12, 1960, it stayed there for eight years, and was visible to the naked eye over the entire planet. It’s considered to have been seen by more people than any other manmade object in space. Ever. For NASA, it was an invaluable source of experimental data, and was used to send TV, phone, and radio transmissions across the US and around the world. For the US government, it was also wielded as an effective work of propaganda, a symbol of glowing American influence above the world.

Gizmodo

It’s been a long time since the entire country could high-five in the excitement of scientific achievement, and the Space Race undoubtedly pushed technology to deliver all the little things we can do today that were formerly unimaginable.  Sure, a violent uprising of self-aware automatons is only a matter of time.  But sexts? Come on.

Gizmodo

SHARK WEEK is Upon Us

Grab your snorkel and head for the couch, Discovery Channel’s Annual Shark Week (aka Nightmare Week in my house) began last night with a new special called “Ultimate Air Jaws” (promo below).

I know I’m not telling you anything new here, but sharks are just about the scariest fucking things on the planet.  Shark Week’s usual focus is the message that sharks aren’t mindless killing machines, but thinking creatures who don’t normally attack humans intentionally out of sheer aggression or for food…and I have to say that isn’t very comforting.  I saw Jaws when I was 4, so no matter how many Shark Weeks I have under my belt, I still go to bed with nightmares about being in the middle of the ocean with what is essentially a 20-foot bowie knife swimming around chopping people’s legs off by accident.

Last year there was a story about a diver and his first up-close encounter with one and it was swimming right beside him.  He was obviously terrified but tried to remain calm and not spook the shark.  Eventually it turned and swam away, at which point the diver let out a sigh of relief, then shat his pants and came to the realization that the only thing scarier than a shark grazing your chest with his pectoral fin as he swims parallel to you is the moment when you don’t know when or from what direction he will return to finish you off.

Don’t get me wrong though, they’re beautiful and fascinating creatures and it would be amazing to get into a cage and watch them go about their business.  Except there was that one scene in Jaws where the shark crushes the cage so NO THANKS.

Hold onto Your Butts: Tonight’s Episode of Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman is Called “Are We Alone?”

  1. DVR
  2. Acquire drugs
  3. Consume
  4. Watch
  5. ????
  6. Profit

Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman Will Make You High

morgan freeman haz cotton candy

Up late, and just caught this show on the Science Channel.  Lemme just say that I don’t have any weed at home, nor have I been smoking recently, but goddamn am I jonesing for a toke right now.  First of all you’ve got the new Voice of God in Morgan Freeman (respect to Bob Sheppard), and not just covering penguins being cold [spoiler alert] cold penguins are cold[/spoiler].  Here you’ve got him narrating a debate on the existence of God between a beachbum surfer in Hawaii who’s poking holes in philosophical models and a physicist who is speculating that since matter can be split into “pixels” millions of times smaller than atoms and we continue to develop our computers’ abilities replicate human behavior, it’s entirely possible that our “world” is being played out on the PS12 (which btw I heard from my cousin they have in Japan) of some god who’s just an evolved form of us.  They even threw a little interview with Will Wright in there.

I only caught the end of that episode but the next one is on black holes and your boy Pavlov is just killing me right now.  Just the fact that I’m sitting on the couch with my laptop speculating about the cosmos is giving me the munchies (and Loooord knows I don’t need that).  Anyway, as a wannabe astrophysicist, I have to say, “I am excite.”

The show is on the Science Channel at 10 pm on Wednesdays, set your DVRs to “stoned.” Official site: http://science.discovery.com/tv/through-the-wormhole/