Stellarium on Ubuntu

It has been too long since I have sang the merits of Ubuntu. Meerkat is great. 10.10 LTS has been flawless for me, even since the beta, on both my notebooks and my Mini 9 netbook.

Anyhow, I have had Stellarium running for some time. I realized I have yet to mention it. Here is the view from my ‘laboratory’ from two nights ago:

moon venus

I apologize for my camera. Whatever.

Awful photojournalism. Wanna fight about it? Pictured is the Moon, Venus, the Moon, and Venus…the two former live, and the two latter via Stellarium. Pretty sweet. I have had Stellarium cranked up several times looking at stars, but my BlackBerry is far worse when it comes to photographing stars than it is when photographing planets and the Moon.

Check it out…price is FREE.99 via the Ubuntu Software Center. FTW.

Japanese Humanoid Moon Robot. Whoa.

I might have to move to Japan. First, they have that food thing down. Secondly, and more importantly, they are BUILDING A DAMN HUMANOID ROBOT TO GO TO AND RETURN FROM THE MOON BY 2015.

That happens, and we have officially lost, my friends.

japan humanoid robot

robot + humanoid + space = nerd boner


Looking largely to inspire dreams of space among the Japanese, a manufacturing cooperative named Astro-Technology SOHLA announced on April 27th that they are planning to create and send a two-legged humanoid robot to the moon, have it draw the Japanese flag on the surface, and then hopefully get it back to the Earth, all by the year 2015.

Making inspirational ideas about space technology a reality is not new to the Osaka-based cooperative of six small and medium sized enterprises. SOHLA had previously built a small-scale satellite, named Maido-1, as a demonstration of the ability of SMEs to research and create short-term, low-cost space technology which could help improve local economic activity. Maido-1 was sent into orbit aboard a Japanese H-IIA rocket in January of 2009. Following that successful launch, the group asked people to start forgetting about the word “recession.”

SOHLA believes that there is a growing passion in Japan about space technology and exploration with recent national successes, such as two Japanese astronauts meeting on the International Space Station for the first time. However, the group also feels that the ISS’ highly visible robotic arms not being Japanese-made is a real letdown for a nation well-known for its robotic technology prowess.

Robotic prowess indeed. First the Gundham statue, now this. Fuck you Washington…we need MORE federal funding for space science. It will take a lot more than some accelerator problems on imports to spin this story into oblivion.

Come on…robotic astronauts…I am in awe.