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Goodbye, space shuttles

July 8th, 2011 . by maria

NASA’s space shuttle program was born in January 1972, when President Richard Nixon announced its existence to the nation. (I was born that year.) The first flight took place on April 12, 1981. (My sister Amanda Lynn Fineran was born about a month later.) I grew up in FL, and I remember seeing the shuttle explode over our schoolyard in Jr. High. I remember watching TV and seeing the ISS first docking with a shuttle…it was amazing. We have never known a world without a US space shuttle program. It is the end of an era. I feel like crying.

New Star Trek Movie

November 20th, 2007 . by maria

So, have you heard they’re making a new Star Trek movie with an ENTIRELY new cast? This is one of those things that is bound to go badly, but in such a way that we’ll all be inexplicably drawn to watch. So, to summarize what I’ve read of the staffing plans thus far, I’ve created this quicky little piece of cut-and-paste:

William Shatner is replaced by Chris Pine – Capt. James T. Kirk
Leonard Nimoy is replaced by Zachary Quinto – Spock
DeForest Kelley is replaced by Karl Urban – “Bones” McCoy, Chief Medical Officer
James Doohan is replaced by Simon Pegg – Scotty, Chief Engineer…and yes, I HAD to use the “Shawn of the Dead” face.
Nichelle Nichols , Zoe Saldana – Uhura, Communications
George Takei, John Cho – Sulu, Helmsman
Walter Koenig, Anton Yelchin – Chekov
In case you don’t recognize most of these names (I didn’t), look them up on…you’ll recognize the movies they’ve been in. Once I did that, I began to wonder just how well these personalities would mesh. But then, all the “original” cast members seem like pretty big personalities, and they somehow made it work. The real question for me is if it will try to be “campy”, or serious sci-fi. I’m on the fence about which way I would WANT to see it go. If it goes serious and fails, I’d be hugely disappointed. But, if it goes campy to the point of being really stupid, I’d be disappointed as well. Both directions require serious attention to detail to succeed. It’ll be…interesting…

new Earth-like planet announcement from NASA

November 6th, 2007 . by maria

Astronomers will announce new findings about a planetary system similar to our own at a media teleconference Tuesday, Nov. 6, at 1 p.m. EST.

NASA will stream audio of the briefing live on the Web at:

At the start of the briefing, NASA will post supporting images and graphics at: