may 2001

Women in American Space Flight -- There have been quite a few American shuttle astronauts and mission specialists. Infact, more flights have had at least one female crew member than those that have not. Still, out of 46 shuttle pilots, only 3 are female. statistics and photos of female astronauts | more (

Free Downloads of Hubble Space Telescope Images (Updated 4/23) -- The Space Telescope Science Institute, operated for NASA by AURA, has a wonderful site called Hubble Heritage where you can view and download images from the Hubble Space Telescope. The HST images are free and constantly updated. Various resolutions are posted, up to 300 dpi for print use. I've posted six of my favorites so you can get a taste of what I'm talking about. my favorite hubble images

march 2000

Forget About May -- Nowadays, everybody wants to talk like they have something to say, but nothing comes out when they move their lips, just a bunch of gibberish. For instance, I wrote to the scientists on the Raising the Mammoth team at and asked them how a mammoth could be frozen so perfectly that it didn't rot after 20,000 years. The answer was less than satisfying. (3/16) full letter

New Glass Cockpit for Shuttle -- Aviation Week and Space Technology has a comprehensive article on the space shuttle Atlantis' new "glass cockpit", one of the most significant program upgrades since the first launch 19 years ago. The Honeywell multifunction electronic display system (MEDS) configuration provides the commander and pilot with nine high-resolution liquid-crystal flat-panel multifunction display units (MDUs) on the forward instrument panel. They replace three cathode ray tubes (CRTs) and 32 gauges and electromechanical readouts. (3/9) cockpit photo

MiniDV Marvel -- I had a chance to try out the Sony DCR-PC1 MiniDV camcorder this weekend, and I was really amazed. Despite its small size, I was able to get some perfectly steady shots thanks to its built-in image stabilizer, and because it is so small I was able to get some really interesting camera angles. The rotating LCD viewfinder lets you see what you're shooting from waist level, or it can rotate a full 180 degrees if you want to shoot yourself. My friend said she bought it at The Wiz on sale for $700, less than half the $1700 SRP. (3/6) more (

Moller M400 Skycar -- There's an interesting article in this month's Popular Science about Paul Moller's latest flying car effort, but on closer examination it reads more like a press release than an objective article (most PopSci articles do, actually). Moller has been telling everyone about his flying cars for the last 20 years, and still he has nothing to show for his efforts. I wrote PopSci to let them know what I thought was wrong with their article. (3/1) full letter

february 2000

Are You Ready For Hunting Season? -- Now that New York police have free reign to shoot unarmed civilians, perhaps we should all consider investing in bullet proof vests. "We woud [sic] like to have opportunity with you." states Dmitri, a South Korean outfit. Then there is the Advanced Intelligence Spy Shop whose vests offer Level 2 protection. Interpex USA of Tampa is a little less flashy, but their vests offer full Level 3 protection. For your added protection, most of these sites also offer Stun Guns, Pepper Spray, Tasers, Night Vision, Binoculars, Safes, Motorola Radios & Accessories, Bug Detectors, Metal Scanners, Personal Alarms, and more. (2/26) chart showing nij levels

Shuttle Crew Ejaculatory Weightlessness Study -- NASA vigorously denied a French astronomer's claim on Wednesday that shuttle astronauts conducted test trysts to find optimal positions for sex in zero-gravity. (2/24) full story

Never Lend a Knife to Your Neighbor -- That's the moral of this story, I'm sure. A Brazilian stonemason who claimed to be possessed by the devil severed his own penis after stabbing himself in the chest and stomach with a borrowed knife, police said on Tuesday. The mason, who has not been identified by authorities, ran into the house of a neighbor, asked for a kitchen knife and proceeded to stab himself late on Sunday, police said. When police arrived and tried to arrest him [why?!], the 32-year-old man sliced off his penis, they said. The man, who also suffered wounds to his liver and scrotal sack, was taken to a local hospital in Goiania, some 130 miles southwest of the capital Brasilia. His organ was transported separately. A hospital spokesman said a seven-hour operation to reattach the mason's penis was successful. (2/23)

New Palm IIIc -- Now there's a Palm Pilot with a backlit color display! At $449 it's a little expensive for a PDA, and it has no new features, but who cares? Did I mention that my birthday is next week? (2/22) photo of the palm IIIc

Shuttle Radar Topography Mission -- Endeavor astronauts aboard STS-99 finished their successful SRTM mapping operations early today. The shuttle lands tomorrow. (2/21) more (

Rose Center for Earth and Space The new Hayden Planetarium opened today at the American Museum of Natural History. It's a lot more cramped inside than it looks in pictures since it is set way back from the street. I also found it to be quite sterile and the exhibits around the theater to be somewhat boring. But I got my wish: "my" museum has finally been discovered. In a trickle-down effect, the museum store and cafeteria have also been redone and dressed up for the Eastside crowd, with new, higher prices, too. The salad bar (yes, they have a salad bar) is sold by the ounce! And tickets for the space show are already sold out until April! (2/19) more (

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Copyright © 2008 Sandy Campbell. All rights reserved. Last updated April 15. Back to top.