A Bunch of crap that's been accumulating

Ok, I admit it. I don't get around to blogging much. In fact I find interesting articles now and then and ship a copy off to my e-mail intending to blog about them. Then I never get around to doing it. Well I've got a mailbox full of these kind of articles and I thought I'd clear all of them out in one fell swoop.

First one: (Here's the link)

It seems that MicroSoft has decided to get into the realm of robotics. They've put together a software suite for programming robotic applications. That's all I need, now when I'm trying to hack my code into some odd microcontroller, not only do I have to worry about the oddities of the chip itself, now I also have to fight the tool. I can just see it now, I'll be sitting there with a design asking myself some question like "Why the hell can't I pass a property by reference (one of my pet peaves in VB.NET).

Number Two (Here's the Article)
Scientists are finding that numbers once considered constant under Einstein's special relativity may not be all that constant and may change over time. For example the speed of light may not have always been 299,792,458 meters per second. Go figure, that's always been one of my pet peaves. How can these constants exist? Nothing in nature is unchanging. Why should these numbers be any different?

Number Three (Again, the Article)
This article details Bezos' plans to build a spaceport in West Texas. Anyone who's been reading my blogknows that I'm a big supporter of private space initiatives. All I have to say on this one is "Cool!"

Number Five (You ought to know the drill by now...)
It would appear that they've determined that when an alzheimer's drug is administered to guinea pigs exposed to nerve agents, that the guinea pigs suffer on ill-consequences from the exposure. Very interesting! When I was serving in the military all we had were those damned atropine pens and we were always told "If you need to use one of these, you're probably already dead or brain damaged so it won't really matter". Now, theoretically the military can innoculate our soldiers against exposures to nerve agents.

Number Six (You guessed it)
This is the article regarding the efforts to determine exactly what constitutes a "planet". Under the current suggestion anything that orbits a star and not another planet and is round would be considered a planet. Using this definiton, Pluto will remain a planet and Xena, Ceres and Charon will gain planethood status. Ok, I can understand Xena and Ceres, but why Charon? Does it not orbit Pluto? wouldn't that make it a satelite and not a planet? Too much work and not enough recreational reading time to discover the rational. Anyone care to enlighten me?

Number Seven (Last one so get with the program)
NASA's Odyssey orbiter has detected gas eruptions from Mars' south polar region during that hemisphere's spring. If I'm not mistaken that is only the second eruption detected on a body other than Earth by a spacecraft (the other being Io). I just thought this was pretty cool.

So that's it. Now I can clear out all of these links that have been cluttering my inbox.

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