170 Years of the World's Hurricane Tracks Mapped

Betsy Mason, at Wired's MapLab blog writes:

This map shows the paths of every hurricane and cyclone detected since 1842. Nearly 12,000 tropical cyclones have been tracked and recorded, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration keeps them all in a single database. Long-term datasets can be really interesting and scientifically valuable, and this one is undoubtedly both. The map is fascinating. Check it out.

It Is Now Scientifically Proven: Haters Are Gonna Hate

Sarah Kliff, at The Washington Post's Wonkblog writes:

To test out this theory, a team of psychologists asked study participants how they felt about a number of mundane and unrelated subjects that included (but was not limited to) architecture, health care, crossword puzzles, taxidermy and Japan. They wanted to figure out if people tended to like or dislike things in general. This was dubbed the individual’s dispositional attitude or, more simply put, checked for whether they were a hater who pretty much hates on everything that comes across their path. Haters are gonna hate.

Virginia’s Wallops Island to Launch Spacecraft To Moon On Sept 6

Martin Weil, at The Washington Post writes:

The mission will not land on the moon, but it is intended to go into orbit around it. The robotic mission is to collect detailed information about the moon’s thin atmosphere. Sometimes thought to be nonexistent, the lunar atmosphere has been described as extremely tenuous and fragile, but present. According to the space agency, the launch will record many firsts. One will be the first launch beyond Earth orbit from the Virginia facility. Cool.

Melting glacier reveals World War I ammunition


Some of the more than 200 pieces of World War I ammunition which emerged from a melting glacier on a Trentino mountain peak are seen, Aug. 31. Each piece weighs between 7-10 kilos, and the 85-100 mm caliber explosive devices were found at an altitude of 3,200 meters, when a once-perennial glacier on the Ago de Nardis peak partially melted due to a recent heat wave that reached into Italy's highest peaks. The Finance Police Alpine rescue unit, operating in the area between Pinzolo and Madonna di Campiglio, saw brownish metal points emerging from the ice, got a fix on them via GPS, and then extricated the ordnance. The pieces were spread over a 100-square-meter area during series of battles fought between the armies of Austria-Hungary and Italy in northern Italy between 1915 and 1918. Disposal specialists returned to dispose of the munitions.


Get out your iPhone or iPad and load this link in Safari. Welcome to Mars. A huge thank you to @DrewMarlowe for tweeting this and @JenSimmons for retweeting him. Update: Several folks have noted that Mount Sharp is missing from the photo and others were wondering how the photo itself was taken. It seems that Talking Points Memo has the answers to your questions, having interviewed the photographer who constructed the 360 degree view. Also, he is waiting on more imagery from NASA in order to clean up the image so as to make it more accurate and include some of the missing landscape features.

Space Shuttle Discovery, Washington DC Flyover - The Photos

The Space Shuttle Discovery took its final flight this morning from Florida to Washington, DC on the back of one of NASA's 747 carrier planes used to carry the space shuttle's around the country. I went down to the National Mall this morning and stood in front of the Washington Monument to photograph its many fly-overs it took before making its final landing at Dulles International Airport where it will be put on display in the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum, at the Udvar-Hazy Center. Below are what I think are some of my best shots I got with my 28-300mm lens (which on my crop sensor camera, turns into a 480mm zoom).
Approaching over the Lincoln Memorial.

Nice side shot with the NASA T-38 in frame.

Another good side shot.

Flying almost directly overhead.

Washington Monument flags in the foreground.

Coming out from behind the Washington Monument.

With the White House in the foreground.

Another pass with the White House in view.

Another good side shot from close underneath during its last pass.
And while I did not take this picture, I could not resist posting this awesome shot that was posted on the NASA HQ Flickr account:
Also, here is a video from my friend Ted Severson shot from the steps of the U.S. Capital building this morning:

Finally, here is a slideshow of the entire 284 photos I took and posted on Flickr:

What The Space Shuttle Booster Saw

Video from cameras attached to the booster rockets of the Space Shuttle with this minor exception: it is high definition and the audio has been remastered by Skywalker Sound. Watch it all the way to the end with your headphones on - the audio is great. Also, at the end, you can see the other booster splashing down in the ocean nearby.

via Jason Kottke.