Space Station Sunday: Three Cheers For The One-Year Crew!

Happy Sunday, space fans!  It's been another outstanding week in orbit, and an exciting week ahead.  Here's what was up!

The One-Year Crew enjoys a few more micro-gravity backflips
before they're much more difficult on Earth.
(Image courtesy

The Opportunity Of Unity: Virgin Galactic Has A New Spaceplane On The Horizon

With the imminent return of NASA astronaut Scott Kelly from his near-yearlong post on the International Space Station, humanity has once again become publicly aware of how cool it is for people to exist in space.  Now, entrepreneur Richard Branson is set to up the ante by sending up a new spaceship...and anyone who can pay the price can be a passenger.

(Image courtesy

Wash 'N Roll: New Prototype "Bike Washing Machine" Launders Via Your Legwork

Chores are never pleasant, but what if you could get more than one of them done at the same time, get exercise, AND help the environment as you did so?  With this new invention, you'll be feeling good, looking good, and doing good, all at once...

What's next, a rowing machine whose flywheels spin a clothes dryer?
(Please steal that idea and make it real, Chinese students.)
(Image courtesy

Seek Guidance (Through Traffic) From Morgan Freeman's Voice

The demand is simple:  you need to go places, which likely requires directions.  Those directions can be read off of a boring old map, or a guy who once played God can liltingly illuminate them for you.

"Get busy ridin', or get busy dyin'."
(Image courtesy

Space Station Sunday: Two Dropoffs Before Next Liftoff

Good afternoon, space fans!  What wonders were worked on this week, hundreds of miles above our heads?

It's all about solar:  the station's solar arrays soak up the rays.
(Image courtesy

3D In The UAE: Dubai's Latest Architectural Innovation Is A 3D-Printed Office Building

The world has watched Dubai build all manner of architectural artwork...first by rising phoenix-like to form a bustling desert oasis in record time, then erecting sights like the massive Burj Khalifa tower, or islands in the shape of the entire world.  Now, they're setting the stage for a new kind of innovative intrigue...

Your future workspace could be one of these cozy little rounded rectangles.
BTW, that's the Museum of the Future in the background.
(Image courtesy

World Peace / Space Pieces: Russia Could Convert Missiles To Destroy Asteroid Threats

Remember that whole Cold War thing between the US and Russia, with all the missiles and arming up and whatnot?  Yeah, all those spare, fortunately-unused weapons didn't exactly vanish.  However, scientists in Russia are working to put them to another effective (if hopefully unnecessary) purpose...

Because pointing these at the sky is still better than pointing them at America.
(Image courtesy

Support Sans Surprises: New App Helps Divorced Parents Fund Without Fury

Divorce can be brutal.  Now, there's a way to fight for what you (and hopefully, your kids) need without any of the...well, monstrous fights.  Thank whatever god (or lack of god) that you believe in, someone invented an app to deal with finances after your marriage fails...

When procreation turns to recreation, sometimes you deserve compensation.
(Image courtesy

Will History Be Written By Lasers And Preserved On Crystals?

Have you ever written something so mellifluously elegant, so heartwrenching, or so damn dirty that you hid it away on a disk?  How about preserving important family history in your formerly-current computer's format?  If this happened twenty (or even ten) years ago, that disk is likely now obsolete.  How can we keep our digitized information in perpetuity when it's tougher and tougher to stay caught up with upgrades?

Now we can keep track of all of man's crazy fairy godparents,
right up until we all find out whether they're real or not.
(Image courtesy

Space Station Sunday: Orbital Business As Usual

Good afternoon, space fans!  Here's what was up on the ISS this week.

"Got to see the Super Bowl in person after all!
But at 17,500MPH, it didn't last long. #YearInSpace"
-Astronaut Scott Kelly

Iran, And You Can Run Too: New Iranian App For Avoiding Morality Police

In much of the world, apps can provide amusing diversions or helpful little bits of information for daily life.  However in Iran, one app has achieved a new level of importance regarding an issue that few Westerners would (hopefully) never have to worry about...

How would you like to be fined and forced to sign a confession of repentance
just for not covering your hair?
(Image courtesy

Space Station Sunday: Extremophiles, An E.V.A., and English Rugby

Good afternoon, space fans!  Get down with all the best news from orbit...

Cosmonauts Malenchenko (left) and Volkov prepare to explore the mysteries just outside their door.
(Image courtesy Scott Kelly.)

Ingrained In The Brain: New "Brainprints" Security Metric Proven 100% Accurate

We've all seen a spy movie where someone's fingerprint-scan is needed to access an important area, and they end up forced to scan in at gunpoint, or simply having their finger lopped off to fulfill the invaders' needs.  And even retinal scans could possibly be faked with the right medical information and digital technology.  However, the latest security is key is stashed somewhere very safe:  inside your skull.

When your brain is your password, is your cap the Caps Lock?
(Image courtesy

Number One For The Sun: World's Largest Solar Power Plant Fires Up In Morocco

We're now well into the 21st century, and it's time for energy technology to reflect that.  On Thursday, a major leap was made by Morocco, who became the nation that put the world's largest solar power plant online.

Who says you can't grow anything in the desert?
Noor 1 has officially begun harvesting solar energy.
(Image courtesy

Eagles Vs. Drones: Fight In Flight

It's no secret that drones are becoming more and more ubiquitous, both from a law-enforcement perspective as well as hobbyists and aerial Peeping Toms.  But what can you do when a drone is infringing on your airspace and you don't think firing weapons or fireworks at it is a safe and/or sane option?  One word:  birds.

Uncle Sam must be very conflicted about this match-up.
(Image courtesy