Category Archives: Travel

US phones to lock out drivers

Too many people are still using apps while driving. Phone manufacturers are always looking for new features to build into their devices. According to a report from the New York Times, the federal government has a suggestion: a “driver mode” that prevents the phone from being a distraction. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration put… Read More »

Teleportation of consciousness rediscovered

Chew on this for a few years… Recent experiments by researchers at the Karolinksa Institutet in Sweden show that it is possible to rather easily trick the mind’s sense of self into leaving the body. Given visual cues and physical sensations of the right timing your brain will ‘teleport’ what you experience as ‘you’ into space, into a complete… Read More »

Grasshopper’s Journey Hints at New Era in Spaceflight

In 1997 McDonnell Douglas was the prime contractor in the Delta Clipper-Experimental project, commonly known as DC-X. During the years of 1993-1996, DC-X achieved several successful tests in the quest to become the first single stage to orbit reusable launch vehicle, ascending vertically, moving laterally, and then descending to the ground. Originally a project of… Read More »

Virgin Galactic ship shakes its space-flight feathers

… The first vehicle purpose-built for carrying tourists into space has now tested not just its wings, but also its feathers. Although it still hasn’t reached space, Virgin Galactic’s SpaceshipTwo flew slightly longer and higher than it did on its first powered flight in April – and this time it also deployed a safety mechanism… Read More »

Real-time flight tracking

This is fun: watch planes in real time all over the world, as long as they have ADS-B transponders. Click image for site: The above image is from the free version of the app. The web site is more detailed. I’ve seen JetBlue Airways, American Airlines, FedEx, Virgin American, UPS Airlines, United Airlines around SF.… Read More »

A day at the beach

I’m one of my favorite photographers. 😉 Taken last weekend at Limantour Beach. Point Reyes National Seashore Point Reyes Station, California 94956 with an iPhone 4S.

Meet the NASA scientist devising a starship warp drive

To pave the way for rapid interstellar travel, NASA propulsion researcherHarold “Sonny” White plans to manipulate space-time in the lab The idea that nothing can exceed the speed of light limits our interstellar ambitions. How do we get round this?Within general relativity, there are two loopholes that allow you to go somewhere very quickly, overcoming… Read More »

Report: Train derails in Spain, killing 69

A high-speed passenger train derailed as it hurtled around a curve in northwestern Spain on Wednesday, killing dozens and injuring more than 100, a regional official said.By Thursday morning, the death toll had reached 69, Galicia regional government official Samuel Juarez told the Spanish newspaper El Pais. Pictures of the scene showed a train car… Read More »

U.S. begins flying deportees to Mexico City

U.S. immigration authorities have begun flying deportees deep into Mexico in an effort to discourage them from trying to return. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says the first of twice-weekly flights from El Paso, Texas, to Mexico City left Thursday with 133 deportees aboard, all men. ICE spokeswoman Nicole Navas says the flights will accommodate… Read More »

Plane Crash at Alaska Airport Kills All 10 on Board, AP Reports

An air taxi that crashed at an Alaska airport killed all 10 people aboard, the Associated Press said. Nine passengers and the pilot died when the de Havilland DHC-3 Otter crashed in Soldotna, about 75 miles southwest of Anchorage, the AP reported, citing Clint Johnson, an investigator with the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board. The… Read More »

Star Trek deflector shield could protect Mars mission from cancer risk

A Star Trek style deflector shield that could protect deep-space astronauts, such as the much-discussed manned mission to Mars, from cancer-causing levels of radiation is in testing, researchers have revealed. The system, described as a “mini-magnetosphere” in reference to the Earth’s magnetic field which protects us from solar radiation, is the handiwork of the Rutherford… Read More »

Xeno is out

I’m taking a break. Not many new posts for a while. Photos (by Xeno 2013 w/ iPhone 4S) below are from my current expedition: Search for the Seven Secrets of Renewable Rejuvenation. Create your own light. Reflect at the end of the day. Challenge yourself with something big. Enjoy the beauty of something small. Throw… Read More »

Stealth motorcycle for special forces being tested

Zero Motorcycles has created a stealth motorcycle for use by U.S. Special Operations Forces: The MMX. The all-electric off-roader features a nearly silent powertrain, full blackout capability, wiring for infrared lighting systems and a keyless ignition for quick starts. “It was a very rewarding experience for the Zero team to go through such an exacting… Read More »

Radiation on Mars trip would have unknown health effects

Mars-bound pioneers will be exposed to radiation levels that could effectively retire astronauts under NASA’s current standards, scientists reported Thursday. The radiation astronauts would face on a round trip would be comparable to getting an abdominal CT scan “about once every five days,” Cary Zeitlin, principal scientist for the NASA-led Martian Radiation Environment Experiment, told… Read More »

Solar plane sets distance record on US tour

The first manned aircraft that can fly day and night powered only by solar energy set a new distance record Thursday when it landed after the second leg of a cross-country US tour. The Solar Impulse project, founded and led by two Swiss pilots, aims to showcase what can be accomplished without fossil fuels, and… Read More »

Meet the thousands of people ready to die on Mars

Mars One is a private space mission that hopes to send a group of people to Mars in a decade and leave them there to foster the first human colony. It has received endorsement and support from the likes of Gerard ’t Hooft, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist. But it has also been criticized on several… Read More »

20-foot boat that drifted to California is tsunami debris

The barnacle-covered boat with Japanese lettering spent 758 days at sea before it drifted onto a Northern California beach. Nearly three weeks after the 20-foot boat washed ashore in Crescent City, about 20 miles south of the Oregon border, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration determined it was from the 2011 tsunami, the first confirmed… Read More »

Applicants wanted for a one-way ticket to Mars

Want to go to Mars? Dutch organisation Mars One says it will open applications imminently. It would be a one-way trip, and the company hopes to build a community of settlers on the planet. Uncharted waters, mountains or far away lands have always drawn explorers. History books show that desire for adventure, even in the… Read More »

Game meant to be played in 2,000 years gets buried in desert

The cathedrals of Europe took centuries to build, surviving political upheavals for the benefit of future generations. Can a board game created today also last that long? That’s what game designer Jason Rohrer was shooting for when he unveiled A Game for Someone, winner of the Game Design Challenge at the recent Game Developers Conference… Read More »

Samoan airline says pay by weight plan fairest way to fly

A Samoan airline that says it is the world’s first carrier to charge passengers by their weight rather than per seat defends the plan as the fairest way to fly, in some cases actually ending up cheaper than conventional tickets. Samoa Air, which opened in 2012, asks passengers to declare their personal weight during booking,… Read More »

Mars or Bust: Dennis Tito Plans to Send Couple on 2018 Mission

In 2001 the millionaire Dennis Tito became the first paying space tourist — he bought a flight to the International Space Station from the Russian space agency. Inspiration Mars Foundation Now he’s aiming higher. He and a group of fellow space entrepreneurs announced today that they will try to mount the first-ever flight to Mars,… Read More »

‘Odd-even’ gas rationing to be instituted

Nassau and Suffolk counties announced Thursday that they are imposing “odd-even” gasoline rationing to ease congestion and frustration at filling stations. The counties will join with New York City to impose the new system beginning at 5 a.m. Friday, in the wake of a shortage that began after superstorm Sandy hit the region. Under the… Read More »

Road cleared for self-driving cars in California

  California Governor Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed a bill clearing the way for self-driving cars to jockey with human-operated vehicles to test the technology on the state’s roads. “Autonomous vehicles are another example of how California’s technological leadership is turning today’s science fiction into tomorrow’s reality,” Brown said during a signing ceremony at the… Read More »

Game makers accused of spying in Greece transferred to Lesbos

  Two game developers visiting Greece have been arrested on suspicion of spying. The two men, who work for developer Bohemia Interactive, were arrested outside a military base on the island of Limnos. A Bohemia spokesman said the pair had simply been on holiday on Limnos. The Prague-based game maker has clashed with the authorities… Read More »

Einstein, Gödel, and the Science of Time Travel

Gödel actually showed that if we were living in a rotating universe, this universe could create loops in time — and by “loops in time” I mean you actually have a timeline that’s normally a straight line of past, present, and future, that’s turned into a loop — and you can actually go along that… Read More »

Samuel Arbesman’s Milky Way Transit Authority Map

  Our galaxy is unimaginably vast, and we really have no idea what is out there. We are discovering new planets in other star systems all the time, learning new facts about the galactic core, and even learning about whole new portions of the galaxy. This map is an attempt to approach our galaxy with… Read More »

1 boy dead, another missing in Yosemite river

A 10-year-old boy died and his 6-year-old brother was missing after they were swept away along a popular but treacherous boulder-strewn stretch of the Merced River, Yosemite National Park officials said Thursday. The two victims were part of a family visiting from Southern California that was hiking near the Vernal Fall Footbridge. Group members were… Read More »

1 Man Dead From Rodent Disease at Yosemite

A man died and a woman became seriously ill after contracting a rare rodent-borne disease that might have been linked to their stay at a popular lodging area in Yosemite National Park, officials said Thursday.The man was the first person to die from hantavirus pulmonary syndrome contracted in the park, though two others were stricken… Read More »

Mars crater looks ‘Earth-like’

THE ancient Martian crater where the Curiosity rover landed looks strikingly similar to California’s Mojave Desert with its looming mountains and hanging haze, scientists say. “The first impression that you get is how Earth-like this seems looking at that landscape,” said chief scientist John Grotzinger of the California Institute of Technology. Overnight, the car-size rover… Read More »

iPhone Portable Solar Power

I’ve been thinking about getting a solar charger for my iPhone for multi day backpacking trips. I just picked up the one below from REI for about $100. There were cheaper ones, but this one had the most power. Out of the box the battery pack brought my iPhone 4S from 60% to 78% in… Read More »

Camping at Steep Ravine

Not many posts for the next few days. We are currently backpack camping at Steep Ravine, near Stinson Beach. Buzzed by Pelicans. Photo with my iPhone 4S:

Needles found in sandwiches, Delta says; FBI to investigate

The FBI says it has launched an investigation into the discovery of sewing needles in four turkey sandwiches on separate Delta Air Lines flights from Amsterdam to the United States. The objects were discovered in food on planes as they were en route from Schiphol Airport in the Netherlands to Minneapolis, Seattle and two flights… Read More »