The Sniper In The Brain

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Remember to look up at the stars, and not down to your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up.
Stephen Hawking (source: muldershutup, via rockandrollandrobin)

(via fromtheweirdtotheinsane)

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Ranking Member Edwards Introduces Legislation to Authorize NASA, Cites Need to Return Agency to Path of Greatness


Today [July 8, 2013], Ranking Member of the Space Subcommittee, Donna F. Edwards (D-MD), introduced H.R. 2616, the NASA Authorization Act of 2013. H.R. 2616 reauthorizes the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for three years, beginning FY 2014 with an authorization level of $18.10 billion and increases at about 2 percent a year to a level of $18.87 billion by FY 2016.

Important provisions in the bill include:

- Preserving NASA’s purchasing power relative to FY2012 enacted levels by authorizing $18.1 billion;

- Providing a clear goal of a crewed mission to the surface of Mars and requiring a roadmap that identifies intermediate destinations and activities which contribute to enabling achievement of that goal;

- Recognizing the Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion crew vehicle as the highest priorities for carrying out the Mars goal;

- Providing robust funding for commercial crew system development of $700 million per year;

- Maintaining U.S. commitment to International Space Station (ISS) operations through 2020 and initiating a process for determining if and how long ISS should operate beyond 2020;

- Restoring Planetary Science to $1.5 billion in annual funding following recent cuts to the program;

- Maintaining a sound Earth Science program that ensures observing systems development, and advances research, knowledge, and applied data uses that benefit society;

- Sustaining a stable aeronautics research program, consistent with FY 2012 enacted levels, that supports research priorities, strategic initiatives, and flight demonstrations;

- Investing in space technology to enable future missions, spur innovation, and contribute to economic growth and job-creation; and

- Sustaining NASA’s STEM education activities and continuing agency education and outreach activities supported by scientists and engineers.

Ms. Johnson said, “NASA is a critical part of the Nation’s innovation infrastructure, a driver of technological and scientific progress, a positive symbol of the United States throughout the world, and most importantly, a source of inspiration for successive generations of our young people.”

Ms. Edwards added, “It is my hope that we can work together with Members on both sides of the aisle to ensure that NASA’s mission is clear, expectations will inspire the public and workforce, and that the level of resources enables the agency to be successful.”

Committee on Science, Space, and Technology website.

Read full article here.

(via project-argus)

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Tesla Museum To Be Built At Recently Purchased Wardenclyffe Laboratory

The last remaining laboratory of scientist, visionary and inventor Nikola Tesla has been sold this week by the Agfa Corporation to Friends of Science East, Inc. dba Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe. Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe is a 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit corporation dedicated to saving and restoring Wardenclyffe, with the aim of turning it into a science learning center and museum.

Wardenclyffe is a 15.69 acre site in Shoreham, New York, where Tesla planned to build his wireless communications and energy transmission tower in the early 1900s. The tower was completed, but only one test was made in July 1903. Shortly after, Tesla suffered some financial reversals, and in 1917, the tower was taken down and sold for scrap metal.

Tesla was one of the most influential scientists of the late 19th and early 20th century. His contributions to commercial electricity, radio, magnetism and the invention of the AC (alternating current) motor helped to usher in the Second Industrial Revolution. He also made contributions to the fields of robotics, remote control, radar, computer science, ballistics, nuclear physics and theoretical physics. Nikola Tesla was one of the most famous scientists of his time in the United States, “but because of his eccentric personality and somewhat unbelievable and bizarre claims about scientific and technological developments, Tesla became disliked and was regarded as a mad scientist.”

Tesla is perhaps best known today for the controversy over the invention of the radio. A debate still rages between Tesla supporters and those who favor Guglielmo Marconi over who truly invented the first radio. According to the US Supreme Court in 1947, it was Tesla.

Newsday reports Friends of Science East, Inc. partnered with online comic Matthew Inman of in August 2012 to host an online crowdfunding project on They raised $1.37 million towards the purchase price of the Wardenclyffe site. The campaign reached the $1 million mark in just over a week, with the help of 33,000 contributors from 108 countries.

“This is a major milestone in our almost two-decade effort to save this historically and scientifically significant site. We have been pursuing this dream with confidence that we would eventually succeed,” said Gene Genova, Vice President of the organization, in a recent statement. “We are very excited to be able to finally set foot on the grounds where Tesla walked and worked.”

Friends of Science East, Inc. isn’t done yet, though.

“Now begin the next important steps in raising the money needed to restore the historic laboratory,” said Mary Daum, treasurer. “We estimate that we will need to raise about $10 million to create a science learning center and museum worthy of Tesla and his legacy. We invite everyone who believes in science education and in recognizing Tesla for his many contributions to society to join in helping to make this dream a reality.”

The organization is planning many fundraising events in the future to raise the capital to restore and run the site as a museum. You can find more information on these events on their website, at the Facebook page, and via Twitter.

(via thescienceofreality)