An engineering student’s Blog

” …All of this. All of this was for nothing – unless we go to the stars.” – Infection, Babylon 5, J. Michael Straczynski

Martians future drinking water spoted

This NASA computer graphic shows three craters in the eastern Hellas region of Mars containing concealed glaciers detected by radar. The left image shows how the surface looks today with the ice covered by a layer of Martian soil. The right image depicts the hidden glaciers. - LA.Times

This NASA computer graphic shows three craters in the eastern Hellas region of Mars containing concealed glaciers detected by radar. The left image shows how the surface looks today with the ice covered by a layer of Martian soil. The right image depicts the hidden glaciers. - LA.Times

This is hot.

Well – maybe – not so much.  But this is a very important discovery for future manned exploration of the red planet.  Ice-water at less harsh, slightly warmer lattitudes closer to the equator is great news for NASA and future astronauts in line for the mission to mars.  Every pound of equipment and supplies you need to drag out thier increases the cost and complexity of the mission – if the ice on mars can be processed and used by future astronauts it would make the trip and even a colony more feasible.


Filed under: Mars, Space

A New President in the morning – not a dream – a reality in America

Appearently I was wrong about my early estimate – it would seem 538 was also wrong, in fact we were both wrong about the same state of Indiana swinging to McCain – they projected a 349 ev victory for Obama.  With this exception they called the election dead on and I will be going to thier site for analysis of future elections.  Although it hasn’t been called yet, North Carolina gave Obama a squeeker like Indiana – Missouri gave McCain a squeeker in that state according to this mornings tally – giving the final number of 364 – 174, or with that singular, still undecided electoral vote in eastern Nebraska 365 – 173.  Again, I thought Indiana was going to swing towards McCain, but it gave a solid blue north east to Obama.

Another interesting look at this is that 62,423,875 votes went for Obama and 55,368,713 votes for McCain giving Obama a win by over 7million votes or 6%.  117million voters turned out on election day, according to current numbers this morning. 

But enough about the numbers – Americans turned out because as McCain acknowledged, Obama inspired millions to participate in our democratic process with a hopeful, intelligent message.  And for the first time since I’ve been paying attention America choose wisely.  A campaign reveals a lot about the character of the candidates, Obama stuck with his message of hope and refused to engage in the character attacks, and fear mongering that defines old-school politics.  McCain – not so much – he promised not to, in his own words, “take the low road to the highest office.”  Last minute robo calls here in Miami targeted the irrational fears of Cuban Americans and of Latin-American by saying Fidel Castro endrosed Obama, and that Obama would remake America into a Communist, Socialist state.  The sad point is that thru the tone of McCains late campaign and the emails and flyiers being circulated by them here, he already had the fearful-irrational vote.  To attempt to expand it in the last 24 hours was not constructive and smacked of desperation.  In the north-east – different strokes for different folks – McCain saturated the airwaves with the hacked up sound bites of Rev. Wright the controversial polmec for the Church Obama attended, and once revealed rejected.  Old news and disappointing to say the least.

I’m glad the vast majority choose to vote with thier head on, and vote with thier imagination and higher ideals – rather than succumb to thier fears to ellect another mediocre leader who can’t even hold true to his own word before even getting into the office – I’d hate to imagine what kind of leader McCain would’ve been if he had won.

The President Elect’s Speech

Before the speech – Obama thanked his supporters and volunteers in an email:

I’m about to head to Grant Park to talk to everyone gathered there, but I wanted to write to you first.
We just made history.

And I don’t want you to forget how we did it.

You made history every single day during this campaign — every day you knocked on doors, made a donation, or talked to your family, friends, and neighbors about why you believe it’s time for change.
I want to thank all of you who gave your time, talent, and passion to this campaign.
We have a lot of work to do to get our country back on track, and I’ll be in touch soon about what comes next.

But I want to be very clear about one thing…
All of this happened because of you.

Thank you,

Filed under: Politics

Its Over : Obama is our next President.

MSNBC called Ohio for Obama before 930pm EST – with Pennsyvania and new Mexico McCain has virtually no chance of geting to 270 EV.   And at this point as the vote continues to be counted – Florida, Virginia and North Carolina are very likely to be called soon for Obama.  If Colorado and Nevada go to Obama as expected that will mean a 353 to 185 Electoral vote victory.

Goodnight and enjoy everybody.  Its over.

Filed under: Politics

Obama seems set to win.

At 538 Nate has McCains chances of winning the election at less than 2 percent.

The final national daily tracking polls have Obama up by 5-11 points and in 6 out of 8 of the toss up states Obama has a credible lead.  All he needs is for those who polled for him to show up on election day and cast the die, and we will have him as President elect at the end of the day.

The states to watch I think are Indiana – likely McCain, but Obama ground ops overwhelm McCains and the polls are close enough for an upset, that would make it a potentially short night.  Then Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio & Pennsylvania.  If Obama gets the expected Virginia and Pennsylvania but not Ohio, Florida and North Carolina.  Thats an Obama squeaker even in the unlikely event that McCain can sweep the western 3 that are leaning Obama – Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado. 

If McCain some how closed the 8 point lead in Pennsylvania in 24 hours – Obama would need to sweep the western 3. 

If McCain takes Virginia Obama would need 2 of the 3 to edge out a win, and one of them would have to be Colorado.

I have to study for a Math test. 

goodluck everybody with your election day.

Filed under: Politics

in the unlikely event…

Nate at 538 puts together the most like scenarios of a McCain win:

An interesting read since the polls seem to be edging in that direction although I doubt its at a quick enough rate for McCain to pull off a squeaker on the 4th.

Filed under: Politics


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