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The local solar neighborhood....

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Buckling Under the Weight

This image, which is composed of data obtained by NASA's Cassini spacecraft, shows the topography of a mountain known as Janiculum Dorsa on the Saturnian moon Dione. Color denotes elevation, with red as the highest area and blue as the lowest.

Janiculum Dorsa is a 500-mile-long (800-kilometer-long) mountain and ranges in height from 0.6 to 1.2 miles (1 to 2 kilometers). An analysis of the topography data suggests the crust under the mountain puckers as much as 0.3 mile (0.5 kilometer). This bending of the crust suggests the icy crust was warm at some time in recent history. The best explanation for such behavior is the existence of a subsurface ocean under the mountain when it formed.

The data used to create this image were obtained from NASA's Cassini spacecraft on Oct. 11, 2005, and Oct. 17, 2010.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo. 

Asteroid 1998 QE2 is making its closest approach to Earth on May 31 at 4:59 p.m. EDT. It will get no closer than about 3.6 million miles (5.8 million kilometers), or about 15 times the distance between Earth and the moon. This is the closest approach the asteroid will make to Earth for at least the next two centuries. 

On May 30 from 8-10 p.m. EDT, join Dr. Bill Cooke of the Marshall Space Flight Center Meteoroid Environment Office as he takes your questions about QE2 via live Web chat. 


Asteroid 1998 QE2 was discovered on Aug 19, 1998, by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) program near Socorro, N.M. While the asteroid is believed to be about 1.7 miles (2.7 kilometers) in size, or nine Queen Elizabeth 2 ship-lengths in size, it poses no threat to Earth. 

wondering where uncle martin is in this photo

where's mike bird when you need him...

OPPORTUNITIES: Science film festival open [Worldwide]

Educational filmmakers worldwide with a focus on science can participate in a film festival.

The 8th International Popular Science and Educational Film Festival World of Knowledge, organized byLennauchfilm studio, will take place October 22-27 in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

The program includes an international competition and other special programs. Awards will be given in the following categories: grand prix, best director award, best camerawork award, best scenario award and best debut award.

Participation is free. If the original language of the film is not Russian the applicant has to provide subtitles in English or Russian. The festival accepts films produced from 2011 to 2013.

Apply by July 1.

For more information, click here.


Gene Burns the last literate talk show host died..

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Gene Burns , a veteran KGO talk show host whose generosity and wit evoked comparisons to Santa Claus, died Saturday (May25) at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. He was 72. Mr. Burns had suffered a series of strokes in recent years, including one just a few days ago, acquaintances said. Mr. Burns' career as a talk show host and broadcaster included stops in New York, Philadelphia, Boston and Orlando before he came to San Francisco's KGO in 1995. Bay Area listeners perhaps knew him best from his eponymous weeknight program on politics and social commentary - "the issues of the day," as Mr. Burns called it  - or his Saturday "Dining Around With Gene Burns " show focused on Bay Area wine and food in what Mr. Burns called the "epicenter of American gastronomy." Colleagues recalled an intellectual powerhouse with a tremendous wit and grasp of the English language who, nevertheless, was painstakingly respectful to whomever he encountered. "If someone was homeless, he would treat them with the same amount of respect as he would the president of the United States," said Pat Thurston, a KGO show host and friend of Mr. Burns'. "You'd think a man like that would be intimidating," Thurston said. "He was never intimidating. He was kind of like Santa Claus. He didn't look anything like Santa Claus, but he had that voice and that wit, and he was generous to a fault." Mr. Burns "was always donating his time and really sharing," said Joel Riddell, a close friend who viewed Mr. Burns as a mentor and, with his partner, Robert Moon, cared for him as his health flagged. "He was a really wonderful human being," Riddell said. Mr. Burns also possessed a renowned libertarian streak, and he ran for the Libertarian Party's presidential nomination in 1984, though he withdrew before the nominating convention. Born on Dec. 3, 1940, he was raised in Hornell, N.Y., in a family of six children. He began his career in radio in 1962 at WWHG in his hometown, the start of a broadcast career that would last five decades. In 2002, Talkers Magazine ranked Mr. Burns No. 24 on its list of "The 25 Greatest Radio Talk Show Hosts of All Time." Mr. Burns was laid off from KGO in late 2011 along with three other prominent talk show hosts when the station changed formats to focus more on news. He was scooped up by KKSF (910 AM) in January 2012 but never made it on the air for that station, after suffering a stroke and being placed in a residential facility. He is survived by his sister Margaret Burns; sister Roberta Riggsbee and her husband, Ferris Riggsbee; brother David Burns; and brother Dennis Burns and his wife, Mary Sue Burns, all of Orlando. He is preceded in death by his brother Tom Burns.

Delta IV launches a new wideband global sat

Saturday, 25 May 2013

NEWS: Qatar unveils plans for two new film festivals

Friday, 24 May 2013

The Doha Film Institute (DFI) has announced that it is expanding its festival format to include two new cinematic showcases: the Ajyal Film Festival for the Young and the Qumra Film Festival.

The Qumra Film Festival, to be held over eight days in March 2014, will focus on first and second time filmmakers – of both short and feature length films.

OPPORTUNITIES: Call for young journalists to cover “Croatia in the EU” – strengthening ties in youth cooperation

Monday, 20 May 2013

Orange Magazine is looking for 10 young journalists working with print, video, photo and multimedia to cover the international youth conference "Strengthening ties in youth cooperation", in the final days before Croatia becomes the newest member of the EU on 1 July, 2013. The conference is organised by the Directorate-General for the Enlargement of the European Commission.

Who are we? Orange Magazine provides journalistic education and supports young journalists by giving them room to explore media and current affairs.

Where? Zagreb, Croatia

When? 24-26 June, 2013

Costs? Travel arrangements will be made by our partner Grayling. Accommodation for two nights and breakfast are covered.

Submission deadline: Saturday May 25, 2013, 23h59 CET

Selected participants notified by: Tuesday May 28, 2013

full info

ARTICLES: From Blue Peter to Peppa Pig: The changing world of children’s television

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Nostalgia ain't what it used to be. While adults young and old can look back on their childhoods with fond memories of British shows which were raucous, anarchic and always that little bit educational, some parents fear today's children will reflect on a cultural black hole.

Perhaps all they'll have to reminisce about will be their ephemeral chats on Facebook, hours spent jealously guarding their iPads and an isolated existence gawping at imported American cartoons and YouTube clips in their bedrooms.

In December, the BBC moved its children's programmes from BBC One to its two dedicated digital channels for kids. ITV had already made the move almost six years earlier.

full article

Trashed by the Sun

Friday, 17 May 2013

four x class solar flares...a flare a day for may..2013

There goes the neighborhood

Radio has made Howard Stern a rich man, and the self-proclaimed “King of All Media” will spend $52 million of it on a new Palm Beach, FL home. The Palm Beach Daily News says he’s buying the 3.25 acres estate not far from a home owned by conservative talker Rush Limbaugh. If accurate, the paper says it would be the highest ticket real estate deal in Palm Beach so far in 2013.

WORKSHOPS: OneMinutesJr workshop on Violence against children in Georgia - Day 3

TBILISI, 15 May 2013 - On day 3 of the OneMinutesJr workshop in Georgia, the participants set out to film their movies, some with the help of the trainers, some on their own.

When the OneMinutesJr project started ten years ago, one of the pre-conditions for participation in the workshops was that the children were already involved in film-making. Over the years, this approach changed and it became more and more important that the participants were close to the topics of the workshops.

full article

The Death of Paul Drew

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Radio has lost a true legend. Top 40 radio pioneer PAUL DREW died of natural causes at VICTOR ROYALE ASSISTED LIVING in GLENDALE, CA; he was 78.  
DREW launched his radio career in ATLANTA, as a DJ at WAKE, WGST and WQXI -- the latter station promoted him to PD. He also held PD gigs at CKLW/WINDSOR-DETROIT, WIBG/PHILADELPHIA, KFRC/SAN FRANCISCO and KHJ/LOS ANGELES.  After programming KHJ, DREW was promoted to VP/Programming for RKO Radio, overseeing the stations in NEW YORK, LOS ANGELES, CHICAGO, BOSTON, SAN FRANCISCO, WASHINGTON, MEMPHIS and FORT LAUDERDALE.  
He was also a partner in the radio consulting firm DREW-ATKINSON ASSOCIATES, and was appointed Director of the USIA's RADIO MARTI PROJECT by President RONALD REAGAN.
In addition to countless friends and colleagues, PAUL is survived by his former wife, ANN.  Funeral arrangements are private

More here.

kepler we miss you..rip

At our semi-weekly contact on Tuesday, May 14, 2013, we found the Kepler spacecraft once again in safe mode. As was the case earlier this month, this was a Thruster-Controlled Safe Mode. The root cause is not yet known, however the proximate cause appears to be an attitude error. The spacecraft was oriented with the solar panels facing the sun, slowly spinning about the sun-line. The communication link comes and goes as the spacecraft spins. 

We attempted to return to reaction wheel control as the spacecraft rotated into communication, and commanded a stop rotation. Initially, it appeared that all three wheels responded and that rotation had been successfully stopped, but reaction wheel 4 remained at full torque while the spin rate dropped to zero. This is a clear indication that there has been an internal failure within the reaction wheel, likely a structural failure of the wheel bearing. The spacecraft was then transitioned back to Thruster-Controlled Safe Mode.

An Anomaly Review Board concurred that the data appear to unambiguously indicate a wheel 4 failure, and that the team’s priority is to complete preparations to enter Point Rest State. Point Rest State is a loosely-pointed, thruster-controlled state that minimizes fuels usage while providing a continuous X-band communication downlink. The software to execute that state was loaded to the spacecraft last week, and last night the team completed the upload of the parameters the software will use. 

The spacecraft is stable and safe, if still burning fuel. Our fuel budget is sufficient that we can take due caution while we finish our planning. In its current mode, our fuel will last for several months. Point Rest State would extend that period to years.

We have requested and received additional NASA Deep Space Network communication coverage, and this morning the Anomaly Review Board approved the transition to Point Rest State later today. Because this is a new operating mode of the spacecraft, the team will closely monitor the spacecraft, but no other immediate actions are planned. We will take the next several days and weeks to assess our options and develop new command products. These options are likely to include steps to attempt to recover wheel functionality and to investigate the utility of a hybrid mode, using both wheels and thrusters.

With the failure of a second reaction wheel, it's unlikely that the spacecraft will be able to return to the high pointing accuracy that enables its high-precision photometry. However, no decision has been made to end data collection. 

Kepler had successfully completed its primary three-and-a-half year mission and entered an extended mission phase in November 2012.

Even if data collection were to end, the mission has substantial quantities of data on the ground yet to be fully analyzed, and the string of scientific discoveries is expected to continue for years to come.

Updates will be provided as information is available.

The end of Kepler..from New Scientist

"Kepler was my North, my South, my East and West, my working week, no weekend rest, my noon, my midnight, my talks, my song; I thought Kepler would last forever: I was wrong."
So laments planet hunter Geoff Marcy, with a due nod to W. H. Auden, upon hearing the news that NASA's Kepler space telescope is probably close to ending its search for extrasolar planets.
Since its launch in 2009Movie Camera, Kepler has discovered 132 exoplanets and identified nearly 3000 more possible planets, including a handful of potentially rocky worlds that may be able to host life. The mission's plethora of data has transformed our view of the galaxy, showing, for instance, that Earth-sized worlds should be common, and that one may even be lurking a mere 6.5 light years away.
But the pioneering telescope has been hobbled by a damaged reaction wheel, NASA announced at a press conference today. These wheels help Kepler keep its orientation in space, and precision steering is crucial to the mission.

Rest and relaxation

The telescope has been watching some 150,000 stars near the constellation Cygnus for changes in brightness caused by a planet crossing, or transiting, its face as seen from Earth. To do this, it needs to keep the same specific pixels of its light detector trained on given stars for months at a time.
Kepler started out with four reaction wheels – one to control its motion around each axis and one spare. One wheel stopped turning in July last year, leaving the telescope with no backup. In January, a second wheel began misbehaving, so mission managers gave Kepler a small break from planet hunting, in the hopes that a spot of R&R would fix the problem.
Despite the Kepler team's best efforts, on Sunday the space telescope put itself into safe mode, an automated stop of its science operations that is usually triggered by a system glitch. Follow-up communication from the team showed that the wheel had stopped moving and that it is not responding to attempts to restart it.
"Unfortunately, Kepler is not in a place where I can go up and rescue it," John Grunsfeld, a former NASA astronaut who now works in the agency's science directorate, said during the press briefing. The prognosis is not good, but the team is not quite ready to give up the ghost. "We're looking at the data very carefully to see if it's possible to get back into science mode," said Grunsfeld. "I wouldn't call Kepler down and out just yet."

Tragic timing

Word of Kepler's woes was not exactly a surprise. The mission was initially funded for three and a half years and has been running on an extended time frame.
"It was already known that it wasn't going to go on for decades," says astronomer Daniel Fabrycky of the University of Chicago. "Its days were numbered."
Still, if Kepler cannot be brought back into action, the timing will be tragic for scientists hoping to realise the mission's primary goal: determining what fraction of sun-like stars host Earth-sized planets with temperatures favourable for life.
Astronomers need to see at least three transits to confirm a signal as an orbiting planet. That means planets farther from their stars, in the habitable "Goldilocks zone" – in which a planet's surface temperature is just right for liquid water to exist – will take longer to find. Kepler needs a few more years' worth of data to see planets around sun-like stars with orbits that last longer than 200 days, says exoplanet researcher Sara Seager of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
"It will mean that the mission won't confirm as many small planets in the habitable zone as had been hoped," says Fabrycky. "It's a real loss."

Earth twins await

But Kepler team member William Boruki points out that even if Kepler's main mission is over, the team has about two years of data that have not been fully searched. He is optimistic that the bounty still holds some surprises. "We're really pretty positive we'll get Earth-sized planets in the habitable zone around stars like the sun. I'm confident that the data we have will allow us to accomplish that," he said at the press briefing.
There will be a gap of at least four years before the next exoplanet-chasing telescopes come online. NASA will launch the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) in 2017 to scan the entire sky for exoplanets. The European Space Agency also plans to launch the Characterizing Exoplanets Satellite(CHEOPS) in 2017, with the goal of following up on known planetary systems and searching for traces of life.
For Fabrycky, such missions are a sign of Kepler's lasting legacy. "The people who worked on it will go off and do other things, but in its wake it will have inspired a lot of people to join this field."

GPS 2 F 4

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

LC 40 the old titan pad home of the ATLAS V

Tonights Atlas V launch with the latest GPS sat..getting you from here to there

PUBLICATIONS: Prix Jeunesse WatchWords online

For the newest edition of the Prix Jeunesse newsletter "PRIX JEUNESSE

WATCHwords Online", click http://www.prixjeunesse.de/newsletter

The latest issue contains reports on recent PRIX JEUNESSE Suitcase

Workshops in Afghanistan, Palestine, Hong Kong and much more.

WORKSHOPS: OneMinutesJr workshop on Violence against children in Georgia - Day 1

TBILISI, 13 May 2013 - 20 teenagers from the Georgian capital Tbilisi are taking part in this week's OneMinutesJr video workshop on the topic of Violence against children.

UNICEF Georgia will soon publish a report that takes stock of the general public's knowledge, attitude, behaviors and practices around the issue of violence against children. The study is quantitative and contains data gathered in more than 3,000 households randomly selected across the country.

The teenagers at the workshop will develop their own stories and the finished product, a series of 20 OneMinutesJr videos, will add a very important personal and visual component to the quantitative study.

full article

50 years ago today..MA 9 the last Mercury flight

Proton launch last night

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Spacecraft "Double Dee 3» (Eutelsat W3D) launched into orbit

15.05.2013 ::

    May 15 at 05 h 15 min. Moscow time, according to cyclogram flight spacecraft (SC) "Double Dee 3» (Eutelsat W3D) was separated from the upper stage (RB) "Briz-M, launched into the target orbit and transmitted to the control of the customer launch.
    Start Launch Vehicle (ILV) "Proton-M" with the upper stage "Breeze-M" (production - Khrunichev. Khrunichev) intended for breeding of this satellite, made the day before in 20 hours 02 minutes. Moscow time from the launch complex area 200 Baikonur calculations of rocket launchers and space industry. After the separation of the main unit of the third stage of the launch vehicle to further elimination of the spacecraft into orbit was performed by the operation of the propulsion system booster.
    Spacecraft "Double Dee 3» (Eutelsat W3D) created by Thales Alenia Space on the order of one of the leading satellite operators Eutelsat (France) and is designed to provide digital television, telephony and broadband Internet access on Europe, Turkey, North Africa, Middle East and Central Asia.

Your next launch tmw afternoon

The U.S. Air Force Global Positioning System (GPS) IIF-4 satellite is ready for launch aboard a UnitedLaunch Alliance Atlas V Launch Vehicle on May 15 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. 

The launch window opens at 5:38 p.m. EDT and will remain open for 18 minutes to accommodate any delays for weather or technical reasons. The satellite, designated as Space Vehicle Number (SVN) 66, is the fourth in the series of 12 IIF space vehicles that Boeing has on contract with the Air Force. SVN-66 will be joining the other operational satellites currently on-orbit in the GPS constellation. 

"We are looking forward to yet another successful launch; tremendous progress is being made with the GPS IIF space vehicles. The first three satellites are on-orbit and meeting all mission requirements and the atomic clocks on-board the payloads are providing the best accuracy ever," said Col. Bernie Gruber, director of the Space and Missile Systems Center's Global Positioning Systems Directorate. 

"This is just the beginning of the modernization plan to improve operations, sustainment and overall GPS service for military and civil users around the globe. I would like to commend the 45th and the 50th Space Wings, United Launch Alliance, our industry partners, the Atlas V and GPS IIF launch teams. Thanks to the hard work and focus on mission success, we are ready tolaunch the fourth GPS IIF satellite," he said. "To mission success!"

The new capabilities of the IIF satellites will provide greater navigational accuracy through improvements in atomic clock technology; an increased design life of 12 years for long-term service; and a new third civil signal (L5) to provide a more robust signal for commercial aviation and safety-of-life applications, while the second civil signal (L2C) is available for dual-frequency equipment. 

GPS will deliver sustained, reliable and improved military and civil navigation capabilities to ensure GPS remains the "Center of Excellence forspaced-based navigation."

Americas Cup..watch the video

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Coming home via Soyuz from NASA

Monday, 13 May 2013

Soyuz Landing
 Up to three crewmembers can return to Earth from the International Space Station aboard a Soyuz TMA spacecraft. The vehicle lands on the flat steppes of Kazakhstan in central Asia. A Soyuz trip to the Station takes two days from launch to docking, but the return to Earth takes less than 3.5 hours. 

Lightening the Load on the Way Down 

Graphic showing three Soyuz elementsImage to right: This illustration shows the Soyuz Descent Module, center, immediately after the Orbital Module, left, and Instrumentation/Propulsion Module are jettisoned. Credit: NASA
+ Larger image

The Soyuz TMA spacecraft is composed of three elements attached end-to-end -- the Orbital Module, the Descent Module and the Instrumentation/Propulsion Module. The crew occupies the central element, the Descent Module. The other two modules are jettisoned prior to re-entry. They burn up in the atmosphere, so only the Descent Module returns to Earth. 

The Orbital Module provides the crew with extra living space during the two-day trip to the Station. It contains systems vital to rendezvous and docking with the Station's Pirs Docking Compartment or other port: a docking mechanism, a hatch and rendezvous antennas. Once the Soyuz departs, the Orbital Module is no longer needed, so it is jettisoned about three hours after undocking.

The Instrumentation/Propulsion Module is shed at the same time, about half an hour after its engines perform their final task -- a deorbit burn that drops the Soyuz from orbit. With it go the spacecraft's two solar arrays. This module contains the primary guidance, navigation and computer systems for the vehicle. 

Graphic of Soyuz re-entering Earth's atmosphereImage to left: In this illustration, the Soyuz Descent Module reaches Entry Interface, where friction from Earth's thickening atmosphere heats its outer surfaces. Credit: NASA
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A secondary guidance, navigation and control system in the Descent Module enables the crew to maneuver the vehicle after the Instrumentation/Propulsion Module has been jettisoned. The Soyuz commander can pilot the module using a rotational hand controller that manages the firing of eight hydrogen peroxide thrusters on the vehicle's exterior. This system is deactivated 15 minutes before landing, when the parachutes are deployed.

Cushioning the Landing

Having shed two-thirds of its mass, the Soyuz reaches Entry Interface -- a point 400,000 feet above the Earth, where friction due to the thickening atmosphere begins to heat its outer surfaces -- three hours after undocking. With only 23 minutes left before it lands on the grassy plains of central Asia, attention in the module turns to slowing its rate of descent. 

Eight minutes later, the spacecraft is streaking through the sky at a rate of 755 feet per second. Before it touches down, its speed will slow to only 5 feet per second, and it will land at an even lower speed than that. Several onboard features ensure that the vehicle and crew land safely and in relative comfort. 

-- Parachutes

Graphic showing locations of two new landing enginesFour parachutes, deployed 15 minutes before landing, dramatically slow the vehicle's rate of descent. Two pilot parachutes are the first to be released, and a drogue chute attached to the second one follows immediately after. The drogue, measuring 24 square meters (258 square feet) in area, slows the rate of descent from 755 feet per second to 262 feet per second.

Image to right: Two new engines on the bottom of the Soyuz TMA Descent Module ignite one second before landing to reduce the force of impact. Credit: NASA
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The main parachute is the last to emerge. It is the largest chute, with a surface area of 10,764 square feet. Its harnesses shift the vehicle's attitude to a 30-degree angle relative to the ground, dissipating heat, and then shift it again to a straight vertical descent prior to landing.

-- Landing engines

The main chute slows the Soyuz to a descent rate of only 24 feet per second, which is still too fast for a comfortable landing. One second before touchdown, two sets of three small engines on the bottom of the vehicle fire, slowing the vehicle to soften the landing. 

-- Seats

Further cushioning the impact of landing are the crew seats with their custom-fitted liners. The liners are made preflight, individually molded to fit each person's body -- this ensures a tight, comfortable fit when the module lands on the Earth. When crewmembers are brought to the station aboard the Space Shuttle, their seat liners are delivered with them and transferred to the existing Soyuz spacecraft as part of crew handover activities.

Soyuz landing zone map

Image above: This map of Kazakhstan and the surrounding areas shows the target area for landing Soyuz vehicles. Credit: NASA

TMA Improvements for Landing

The Soyuz TMA spacecraft is a replacement for the Soyuz TM, which was used from May 1986 to November 2002 to take astronauts and cosmonauts to Mir and then to the International Space Station beginning in November 2000.

Soyuz seat improvements graphicImage to left: Soyuz TMA seats accommodate both larger and smaller occupants than the older model, and seat shock absorbers have been modified to suit the varying loads. Credit: NASA
+ Larger image

The TMA increases safety, especially in descent and landing. Two new engines reduce landing speed and forces felt by crewmembers by 15 to 30 percent, and a new entry control system and three-axis accelerometer increase landing accuracy. Instrumentation improvements include a color "glass cockpit," which is easier to use and gives the crew more information, with hand controllers that can be secured under an instrument panel. All the new components in the Soyuz TMA can spend up to one year in space.

Descent module structural modifications, seats and seat shock absorbers were tested in hangar drop tests. Landing system modifications, including associated software upgrades, were tested in a series of airdrop tests. Additionally, extensive tests of systems and components were conducted on the ground.

Flare incoming


Skylab's 40th the video


Any day now the hum of the Cicada..


Love this Cmdr Hatfeld shot of Florida

Great night time view of Florida you can see Orlando in the center, the spacecoast on the right and at the bottom right West Palm to Miami. Top of the photo shows North Florida and Jacksonville

This man is the "rockstar of astronauts"

Not a aerospace book in the bunch


NEWS: CCTV and ABC co-produce new children’s series

Friday, 10 May 2013

Filming is currently under way in Beijing on Hoopla Doopla, a brand-new preschool series co-produced by ABC Children's Television in Australia and China's CCTV.

The 52x12-minute live-action comedy series is dialogue-free. It revolves around six characters who tumble, juggle, leap and somersault into and out of trouble. The cast and production team hail from both China and Australia, including a Chinese and Australian director. The series will be filmed over six months on a specially designed studio set and will air on ABC4Kids in 2014.

Tim Brooke-Hunt, ABC's controller of children's TV, said: "We are delighted to extend our relationship with our friends at CCTV through this exciting new co-production."


CALL FOR ENTRIES: Asia–Pacific Child Rights Award for Television 2013

The ABU, CASBAA and UNICEF are calling on Asia–Pacific broadcasters and producers to submit entries for the 2013 Child Rights Television Award.

The award is given each year to the best television programming on children's rights produced in the Asia–Pacific region.  It recognizes the efforts of broadcasters in pursuing both the production of high quality children's programming and better coverage of children's issues.

full article

ISS coolant leak following..more later

Following Thursday's identification of an ammonia coolant leak outside the International Space Station, the Expedition 35 crew Friday began preparing for a possible spacewalk Saturday. A final decision on whether to go forward with a spacewalk is not expected until late tonight.

The crew is not in danger, and the station continues to operate normally otherwise.

NEWS / RESEARCH: What children want to watch: new report (AUSTRALIA)

Children are a discriminating and potentially highly engaged audience, but influences on their viewing patterns are complex, a comprehensive study conducted by Screen Australia and the Australian Children’s Television Foundation has found.

Child’s Play was produced with the aim of increasing understanding of how children engage with screen content, and the unique challenges involved in financing, producing and scheduling children’s programs in today’s rapidly evolving media landscape.

full article

NEWS / PROJECTS: New York City Teens Study Media and Peacebuilding in Bosnia

NEW YORK, May 8, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A group of 18 New York City public high school students will travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina to explore media and society in collaboration with Bosnian peers, June 26--July 19. The students participate in Global Kids (www.globalkids.org), an award-winning, non-profit educational organization that promotes global learning and youth development.

Amidst the cultural heritage of the capital Sarajevo, the group will meet local leaders, activists and artists. They will also see the progress that has been made in rebuilding the divided city of Mostar. The bulk of time will be spent in Sanski Most, living with families and engaging in dialogue and community projects alongside Bosnian peers.

full article

NEWS: UNICEF's C4D course at Xavier's Institute of Communication

MUMBAI: Xavier's Institute of Communication will offer a formal post-graduate diploma course in C4D. Possibly, it may be the first course of its kind being offered in India. In recent years, we have witnessed a number of public awareness campaigns.

Where C4D differs from these is that it is communication about development and not merely about awareness generation. In this context, UNICEF in collaboration with nine media schools has developed a curriculum framework for C4D Course in India. The modules were developed through a series of consultations with selected media schools.

full article

When Jeff Bezos...

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Amazon.com is developing a wide-ranging lineup of gadgets—including two smartphones and an audio-only streaming device—to expand its reach beyond its Kindle Fire line of tablet computers, said people familiar with the company's plans.

ARTICLES: Digital apps make learning fun for young children

Today’s children grow up in a vastly different technological world than that of their parents or grandparents. While you may fondly recall a favorite storybook stored on your nightstand, many kids today are reading using their parent’s smartphone or tablet. Digital devices are becoming a regular part of a child’s life, and parents should understand what this means for how kids learn and grow.

How are these new devices different from traditional electronics? Unlike passively watching TV or a DVD, reading a book or playing a game on an electronic device is interactive, meaning children can actively explore a story or game through touch screens or voice commands. Interacting through technology can be an enjoyable way for kids to obtain new skills.

full article

To tweet or not to tweet that is the question

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

With so much emphasis in recent years on tweeting as a low-cost marketing strategy, how are stations engaging with their Twitter followers? Mostly, stations are trying to drive followers to the station Website. Beyond that, their objectives are far more diffuse, and not even as directly marketing-focused as one might think.
The 2013 Edison Research/Arbitron Infinite Dial Study found that the percentage of respondents who had ever used Twitter was up sharply, from 10% to 15%. Stations were encouraged to “engage Twitter users differently than is done with Facebook.”
So last Wednesday, April 12, around 3 p.m., I analyzed one hundred of the tweets from the broad cross-section of stations I follow (too many to count but likely over a thousand) in a wide variety of formats. I didn’t include tweets from individual personalities, except when a jock was clearly tweeting on behalf of a station or as an extension of station promotion. Tweets were classified in to more than 15 categories, and a single tweet could qualify in more than one category.
Out of 100 random tweets, here’s what stations used them for:
53 — Drive traffic to the station site, for any reason. Most of these tweets had some other purpose, such as sending listeners to a station site for promotions, artist or celebrity news, or contesting. But in many cases, there was no second objective beyond driving Website traffic. Some stations weren’t even driving traffic to their own sites; a number of tweets from CBS Radio-owned stations sent listeners to stories on CBS Local sites in other markets. Five years ago, endless on-air attempts to drive listeners to a station site by any means necessary (“Lindsay did what? Go to our site”) became a running joke in the industry. Now that type of content has migrated to Twitter, and, yes, there were several about Lindsay Lohan.
28 — Artist news/gossip. In general, a lot of the artist/celebrity news and other “relatable” bits and factoids that might have once comprised an on-air jock break have moved to Facebook or Twitter. Carrie Underwood’s People interview, in which she addressed the possibility of retirement, showed up in several tweets. So did new artist releases and videos. So did the first week sales of the new album from The Band Perry on KFRG Riverside, California.
27 – Video. These weren’t necessarily tweets that drove listeners to see a video (e.g., several postings on the new Demi Lovato video); they also included other features that were illustrated with any sort of video, whether it was an artist interview, movie trailers, or news reports from a local TV station.
24 — Random Internet goofiness. Drunken man robs Stop & Shop! Deep-fried chicken-head found in box of nuggets? Rapping weathermen! Worst Mother’s Day gifts! Woman’s car hit by iPad! Circus elephant injured in drive-by shooting! If the idea is for stations to market less to their followers, but to interact with them as friends, then about a quarter of the tweets contained the sort of trifling but entertaining content that friends send to each other. Nothing here could be said to have achieved meme status; it was more often “news of the weird” from the other news sources used by station sites.
22 — Contesting/Promotions. This category included crossplugs for on-air contesting and Web-only “secret” contests, but also tweets that supported other station promotions. The common theme here was ticket giveaways, but there was also Majic 100 Ottawa’s Pinterest tie-in, “Pin And Win” and Jack FM Sacramento’s “Shiny Briefcase of Cash.” Again, less than you’d expect, especially attempting to influence behavior at a given moment.
18 – Engage directly with listeners. A few stations retweet listeners’ postings about the station. Some engage in the sort of semi-private conversations that often characterize personal Twitter exchanges. But any tweet that gave listeners a chance to interact with the station beyond merely clicking through to register for a contest was included here. Those ranged from Facebook page conversations or comments on station postings to Listener Driven Radio song voting to other request solicitations. This percentage would have likely been far higher during morning drive when stations use Facebook and Twitter to drive on-air topics. In afternoons, it was shockingly low.
12 – Create a new listening occasion. For all the emphasis, good or bad, on creating additional listening occasions, a surprisingly low number were actually cross-promoting something taking place on the air, either at that moment (Toronto’s “The Flow” encouraged listeners to tune in to hear the new Justin Timberlake single and, separately, to win concert tickets) or in general (KOSF San Francisco’s $1,000 giveaway).
12 – Hear or see music from an artist. This ranged from the handful of stations that were streaming the just-released new single from Jimmy Eat World to US99 Chicago’s links to music from the just-announced Country Hall of Fame inductees. WQQK Nashville posted singer Ray J’s just-released “I Hit It First,” widely implied that day to be about Kim Kardashian, with the headline “All-Time Low.”
11 – Feature a station sponsor. For better or worse, there was surprisingly little of this, even though Facebook and Twitter have often become the new way to keep a giveaway from taking up airtime. Any contesting that even mentioned a sponsor was included. Mix 96.5 Houston’s “Mad Men” prize pack was included, but so were several sponsored ticket giveaways and a station’s sponsored meet-and-greet with R&B singer Miguel. Country KTTS in Springfield, Missouri tweeted a giveaway with clothing designer Cowgirl Clad.
11 – Drive traffic to a station or personality’s Facebook page. Like the majority of tweets that sought to send listeners to a Website, this was a grab-bag category, although it was often the site of those “news of the weird” postings that drove listener comments.
Fewer than 10% of the tweets that were analyzed attempted to do any of the following:
Offer listeners enterprise content. Stations have a special ability to create additional entertainment for listeners, but only seven of the hundred tweets analyzed featured any. Chicago’s 101.9 The Mix posted an in-studio performance from Vicci Martinez. New York’s Power 105 had several clips of jocks interacting with artists, including one playing “slide” with Kelly Rowland. England’s Absolute Radio had the most elaborate: it had built a several weeks-long stunt out of the relationship between a personality’s brother and actor The Rock that culminated in video from a trip to Wrestlemania in the U.S.
Report breaking news. Only nine tweets contained breaking news, weather or traffic information that wasn’t music news or artist gossip, and two of those were from all-news powerhouse WTOP Washington, D.C.
Support charity efforts. With more stations chafing at the notion of turning over the airwaves to an all-day radiothon, one rationale has been that stations have so many other ways to engage with listeners for the community good. But only three tweets fell in that category. Two were part of one station’s anti-bullying campaign; the other was KMLE Phoenix’s “Pack The PODS For The Troops” effect

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