This coming Monday is legendary comic writer Alan Moore’s 60th birthday. The outspoken Moore is arguably the most influential comic writer of the last thirty years (if not longer). His most famous work, Watchmen, made Time Magazine‘s list of the 100 greatest novels. Please note that this list is not for graphic novels, but NOVELS. That means it’s on the same list as To Kill a Mockingbird, Lord of the Rings, The Great Gatsby, and 1984, among many others. Alan Moore has also had a considerable number of his works made into films (Watchmen, From Hell, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen).
In early celebration of Mr. Moore’s milestone birthday, we would like to share a magical journey with Mikey Mason and Alan’s most distinctive facial feature, his beard.
In further comic news, Apple has decided to pull Matt Fraction’s Sex Criminals from the iOS Marketplace. It’s not at all surprising that Apple has chosen not to allow issue three after choosing not to sell issue two, but what is surprising, and more than a little concerning is their decision to pull issue one from the market a full two months after it was released. Apple is known for being exceptionally tight-lipped about how they determine what content is suitable. While no one questions whether Apple should be free to make any policy they want regarding what is sold through their apps, there is a concern that their policy is becoming de facto censorship. Without clear definitions of what is or is not disqualifying, it is up to someone at Apple, instead of the consumer, to determine whether something is offensive.
After the final vestiges of the Comic Code were officially reversed two years ago, it would be a real shame to see retailers setting up their own private versions of the Code.
Ever wonder why it always seems that your awesome smartphone or computer starts to fall apart right about the same time that the manufacturer announces a brand new model? If the answer is yes, then you are not alone. The New York Times’ Technology section attempts to tackle this mystery. It turns out there is a very fine line between making a quality product that everyone loves and “planned obsolescence”. Stray a bit too far either way and your bottom line will be taking a considerable hit.
It’s reassuring to know that I’m not losing my mind when I notice these things.
The US Navy’s newest destroyer, the USS Zumwalt, has made its way into the water finally. The Zumwalt, named for former Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt Jr., is significantly larger than its predecessor but requires a much smaller crew. While technologically advanced, the design program met with considerable problems and cost a lot more than the original budget, much in the way the earlier Seawolf Class Fast Attack Submarines did. Also like Seawolf, the program was cut down to just three ships.
The Zumwalt boasts advanced radar systems, a new 155mm gun, an electric propulsion system, significant computer automation, and a stealth hull.
Popular Science finally answers a question I’ve always had about the Apollo missions. What happened to Apollo 2 and 3? We all know about the tragic fire on Apollo 1 and the investigation that followed, but what happened to the next two missions? As it turns out, they never happened. Each of the Saturn rockets to be used was assigned to a mission, and so Apollo 2 and 3’s rockets were never used, due to the massive redesigns following the fire. With the introduction of the new and improved Saturn rockets, the mission number was maintained and the next unmanned Apollo flight became Apollo 4.
Apollo 4, 5, and 6 were all unmanned test missions that were conducted prior to resuming manned missions with Apollo 7.
I know we’ve all heard this one before, but Voyager 1 has officially left the solar system, at least until they make another announcement. Launched in 1977, Voyager 1 is the first manmade object to travel beyond the confines of our solar system and into interstellar space. Considering Voyager 1 has taken 36 years to get to where it is, it’s not likely its going to have any company any time soon.
This thing is getting some great gas mileage.
Keeping with our space theme, we have news from SpaceX. The commercial space flight company is going to be performing a second static test of their Falcon 9 rocket. Due to some anomalies (love that word, especially when it involves space) during the last test, they’ve decided to perform another one. Unfortunately for them the test will be pushed back until the end of the month due to Air Force’s testing of ICBMs.
At least it turned out better than the early days of NASA.
Today is the release of iOS 7, which by the time you are reading this has probably somehow bricked my phone. But for those of you who are not as unlucky as I am, we’ve found a handy little guide to help you prep your phone prior to updating. They provide some common sense kind of stuff like backing up your pictures and videos just in case.
Well at least my phone will be a very attractive looking brick.
Finally, Popular Science has answered a question that I’ve had since I was a kid; What happens if you put rocket fuel in your car? Turns out, not much. I’m kind of disappointed
It’s not nearly as funny as this will end up being.
NASA is in trouble. Or at least so says Scott Pace, Director of the Space Policy Institute. In an open press call, Pace expressed concern about the overall lack of direction within the administration. Without a clear, long term mission, American manned space flight will likely end with the International Space Station.
It would be disgraceful if the country that first put a man on the moon completely gave up on the idea of exploring the universe beyond our small blue planet.
I don’t know about you, but there has been more than one occasion that I’ve needed a bit of extra cash. I may or may not have considered selling a kidney to get that extra cash. (Don’t look at me like that. I know I’m not the only who has thought that might be a viable financial decision.) I’m glad I didn’t however, because it turns out I would have gotten ripped off.
Is it just me, or does it look like this kidney is wearing a toupee.
Turns out the people selling the organ don’t really get that much of the money. Glad I went with underground D&D games to earn my cash.
Finally, in the weeks to come, I, like many of you, will be forced to update to iOS 7, whether we want to or not. Personally, I’m fine with the idea. There is certainly room for improvement in the current iOS. I’d really enjoy not going through five different actions to turn my bluetooth on or off. I’m pretty sure the guy driving next to me would appreciate that as well. Some basic uniformity wouldn’t hurt either.
Steve Jobs is rolling in his grave right now. Do a barrel roll, Steve!
Lastly, I’d like to end this week’s segment with a fantastic piece of science history. A beautiful chart explaining electromagnetic waves from the 1940’s has been brought to us by Popular Science.