Diary of a Narcissistic Misanthrope

I like to think I’m an acquired taste, like old whiskey or arsenic in your tea

My name is Clarence (Hello), born in 1988, i got my undergrad degree in Sociology (with a concentration in Women's Studies) and I'm utterly terrified. I'm scared of everything, people, my own feelings and sometimes even being but really there's nothing much to be done about that despite what I say. And I will say a lot about how my life has no meaning and i want to die (which is the majority of the time) but sometimes it seems like life is worth living for and everything in it is a spectacular explosion of awe inspiring wonder (which is usually a three week span some time in March). If it seems odd to read think what it might be like living it. So to get off the topic of terror I prefer stories es. I like to read them, I love to live in them and there is nothing better to me than a story so I guess this blog is a story mostly about me. Don't bother trying to find themes, connection or messages in what I post cause there really aren't any (unless they are completely accidental).

This blog is a story about what I find, what I feel and what I think so to that end I collect things to post or reblog. Its not meant to be anything truly meaningful or interconnected, just fun (mostly fun for me if you don't like it you can fuck right off) This is collection of all the the weird and interesting links from around the net that I find, comics, technology, comedy, current events, sociology, general geek/nerd interest, and more weird stuff. I think it makes for the closest representation to who I am that I've ever done and it just keeps growing bigger which is most of the fun. Please feel free to talk to me and don't mind the depressive tone i will probably be using. I like to think I'm somewhat fun if also a complete idiot.
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The Impossible Girl,
The Sky is Calling


A song about nuclear fusion and how heavy elements are formed when a star dies, that’s all.

(You can download the whole album for free from her bandcamp)

(via fattycorpuscle-deactivated20140)


“They say the stones contain fossilised biological structures fused into the rock matrix and that their tests clearly rule out the possibility of terrestrial contamination. ”


July 16, 2005: The eye of Hurricane Emily, as seen by the crew of the International Space Station while over the southern Gulf of Mexico

(via thescienceofreality)


ATTENTION folks, there is currently an astronaut posting to Tumblr from space. I repeat, there is a human being, that is currently in freakin’ SPACE, posting pictures (from said SPACE) to their Tumblr blog.

There are things, called words, that are failing me, about the other things, that I am feeling.

Expedition 35 Commander Chris Hadfield: You sir, are cooler than a polar bear’s toenails.

(He’s also on Twitter)


Space Station to Test Inflatable Habitat

Image: Using inflatable habitat concepts originally conceived by NASA, Bigelow Aerospace hopes to have a commercial alternative to space station technology. Credit: Bigelow Aerospace

It would be the company’s third orbital prototype, but the first to be tested as part of a crewed spacecraft. The demonstration not only is expected to help Bigelow lease space to paying customers aboard its planned free-flying Earth-orbiting outposts. NASA also is interested in the technology for future deep space missions, such as to an asteroid, the moon, or Mars.

“This partnership agreement … represents a step forward in cutting-edge technology that can allow humans to thrive in space safely and affordably,” NASA deputy administrator Lori Garver said in a statement.

Details of the project will be announced Wednesday at Bigelow’s headquarters in Las Vegas.

More on the Bigelow Inflatable Module

(via scinerds)


Up Goer Five

Neil Tyson once lamented that the Saturn V rocket, a vehicle once heralded as the first generation of a coming era of interplanetary rocket travel, was taken for granted by a world looking to the future. And instead of the first of its kind, it was the last.

We haven’t surpassed the Saturn V. The largest, most powerful rocket ever flown by anybody, ever, the thirty-six-story-tall Saturn V was the first and only rocket to launch people from Earth to someplace else in the universe. It enabled every Apollo mission to the Moon from 1969 through 1972, as well as the 1973 launch of Skylab 1, the first U.S. space station.

Inspired in part by the successes of the Saturn V and the momentum of the Apollo program, visionaries of the day foretold a future that never came to be: space habitats, Moon bases, and Mars colonies up and running by the 1990s. But funding for the Saturn V evaporated as the Moon missions wound down. Additional production runs were canceled, the manufacturers’ specialized machine tools were destroyed, and skilled personnel had to find work on other projects. Today U.S. engineers can’t even build a Saturn V clone.

With this epic, holy-crap-rolling-on-the-floor-laughing-but-also-crying comic, xkcd provides us with this simplified set of plans, in easy-to-understand terms, to buil the Saturn “Up Goer” V. Think of it as a swift kick in the pants to get our space-exploration efforts on the right track.

Sure, what was impossible yesterday can be made possible today, through the hard work and application of science. But we must also remember that if we don’t keep stoking the fires of curiosity, what was possible yesterday can be made impossible today.

And much like failing to point the end with lots of fire toward the ground, we will be “having a bad problem and you will not go to space today”.


NASA Plans for 3-D Printing Rocket Engine Parts Could Boost Larger Manufacturing Trend

There is a lot riding on NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS). Not only does the agency’s first new heavy-lift booster since the Saturn 5 that took U.S. astronauts to the moon play a central role in the future of the American spaceflight, it also provides a critical test for technology expected to figure prominently in revamping the country’s ailing manufacturing industry.

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., is testing an approach called selective laser melting (SLM) to create parts for the J-2X and RS-25 rocket engines that will power the SLS, whose maiden voyage is slated for 2017 (pdf). The space agency expects SLM to simplify the process of making certain parts and in some cases halve the cost of producing them—a huge advantage for NASA, provided the components can withstand the rigors of lifting the largest launch vehicle ever built into space.

The first version of the SLS is a 70-metric-ton rocket that will lift around 70,000 kilograms while providing 10 percent more thrust than the Saturn 5. This SLS will power the 2017 Exploration Mission 1, which will launch an unmanned Orion spacecraft on a circumlunar voyage as a precursor to Exploration Mission 2. That mission, scheduled for 2021, will use a 130-metric-ton version of the SLS to launch Orion and a crew of up to four astronauts. This second SLS will be capable of lifting more than 130,000 kilograms and provide 20 percent more thrust than the Saturn 5.

Cash-strapped NASA is counting on SLM to speed SLS’s development and reduce the program’s costs. SLM is a type of additive manufacturing technology, which uses computer-aided design (CAD) files to build parts layer by layer (3-D printing is perhaps the most well known example of additive manufacturing). With SLM, a finely powdered alloy is deposited in a layer as thin as 20 microns and then fused together by a focused laser beam inside a chamber containing inert gas such as argon or nitrogen. Once the laser has turned that layer into solid metal, another layer of powder is deposited and the process is repeated.

NASA is testing the viability of making engine parts from nickel-based alloys using an SLM machine (pdf) with a square cubical build chamber measuring 250 millimeters on each side and a depth of 280 millimeters. These same alloys are already used to make 90 percent of the parts in the RS-25 and J-2X engines. The key difference is that the engines’ current elements are forged and then milled into their final shapes. Often several pieces must be welded together to create a part.

Marshall engineers began evaluating alternative approaches to building parts for the next-generation J-2X engine a few years ago. In late 2010 they turned to SLM to create a duct for a gas generator in the engine. “The part itself is not necessarily complex—it’s a [10-centimeter] in diameter duct that’s bent in a U-shape,” says Andy Hardin, SLS Liquid Engines Office engine integration hardware lead. However, “because of the thickness and the radius of the bend, it’s very difficult to make. We were having trouble getting vendors to do this properly.”

After printing the duct, the engineers set about deconstructing it to study its metallurgy and microscopic structure. They found that although the part was not as strong as a forged and milled duct, it fell within the “minimal acceptable range,” Hardin says. “If you made a part [using SLM], the material properties would be degraded somewhat but not much.” One structural advantage is that the part required no welding. “When you make a part out of multiple pieces, welds are always the weakest points,” he adds. This opened the door for the engineers to consider using SLM to make other engine parts as well.

SLM, and additive manufacturing in general, is not a viable option for all J-2X or RS-25 engine parts. For starters, the printed parts must be small enough to fit in the machine’s build chamber. And a lot more testing is required to determine whether components such as turbines, which operate under the most intense conditions, could be made properly using SLM, Hardin says. Good candidates for SLM are those with complex geometries that are difficult to make and require multiple welds to achieve those geometries. Depending on how well printed J-2X parts fare in tests, Marshall engineers hope to at some point use SLM to likewise make parts for the older RS-25, which served as the space shuttle’s main engine throughout its 30-year history.

Another incentive for NASA to transition to additive-manufactured parts: their contractors are beginning to adopt the technology in their factories. “As a big customer for many of these manufacturers, we thought it was important that we understand the technology,” Hardin says. NASA does not want to hold manufacturers back by failing to create specifications for parts made using SLM or some other additive process, he adds.

As such, NASA’s success with SLM could be a boon to a flagging U.S. manufacturing industry that seeks to create more domestic jobs but has been reluctant do so because of high costs.

(via scinerds)


A Needle in Countless Haystacks

In a universe of billions of galaxies filled with billions of stars, how do we go about finding habitable planets?  It seems like barely a  week goes by before another frustratingly uninformative headline pops up saying something like “Earth-like planet orbiting distant star?

Earth is the only living planet that we know of, so we use it as a model for the rest of the universe. Here’s how astronomers do it, thanks to TED Ed.


Planets Series by Colin Nichols

(via scinerds)


Image description: A student participating in the CanSat competition goes through a pre-flight safety check of her satellite.

The CanSat competition, sponsored by the Navy Research Laboratory and NASA, challenged teams of college students to develop a satellite in a can with a special deployable part that would land safely and protect a raw egg inside.

The satellites were launched about 2001 feet in the air by rockets.

Twenty-six team entered the competition, held in Texas, and earned points based on design, pre-flight inspections and post-flight reviews.

Learn more about the CanSat competition.

Photo from the Navy Research Laboratory.