Saturday, November 26, 2011
Not too many links today, but all very interesting:
* Euronews in Portuguese is in danger: this article (automatically translated from Google, just beware of the parts where it sometimes says English but actually means Portuguese) says that Euronews in Portuguese has no guarantee for funding past 31 January 2012 when the contract with RTP expires. Two possibilities for extending it: funding from the Portuguese government...or Angola. Losing Euronews in Portuguese would be a real shame, as it is one of the best places to find text with matching audio in European Portuguese. Brazilian Portuguese - now that's easy to find, and losing a news station in that would be hardly noticeable.
* Ten years of adaptive optics! Few know of this, but adaptive optics is one of the most exciting developments we've had in astronomy over the past number of years, simply because it gives us the opportunity to use earth-bound telescopes to achieve some pretty amazing things. Telescopes that don't need to be launched into space can naturally be built to sizes unimaginable for something that must be launched into orbit, and there is also the possibility of further development and advancement to existing facilities, another task that is more or less impossible for something in orbit. 2018 will be a very exciting year when a full three new observatories with 30+ metre telescopes are finished.
* A Latin murder mystery was published a few months ago, the first original novel in the language in 250 years. The author would love to have it reviewed by a fluent speaker of the language:
Berard is also hoping a reviewer who can actually understand his book will step forward to wade through all 627 pages. It’s published by his own imprint, Cataracta, through Author House and is available in hardcover, paperback and e-book versions.I wonder if he'd send a complimentary copy to someone without the financial means to obtain a copy but with fluent Latin skills and the intention to review it (not me).
* Sarkozy reaffirms commitment to French space spending.
Oh, and Mars Science Laboratory launches tomorrow. Given the complexity of the landing, I'm purposely avoiding thinking about it as much as possible. Once it gets to the surface and begins operations then I'll get excited about it, but my state of mind now is pretty close to just pretending it doesn't exist. Best of luck but I don't intend to stress out about it for a full nine months.