A Worldview via balloon

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World View capsule and balloonWorld View Enterprises, a Tucson, Arizona start-up, has gotten FAA approval for a revolutionary experience, riding 19 miles into the stratosphere and getting a spectacular view of the planet… by balloon.

Which may not sound like much to most jaded humans, until you remember that a commercial airliner generally flies no more than one mile high.   Mount Everest, the highest point on the planet, is about 5.5 miles high.  You’re still in atmosphere, and it’s not quite considered orbit (officially designated as being 100 km or 62 miles high)… but for the view, I’d say it’s frackin’ close enough. Continue reading

HAPPY NEW ERA!

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Happy New Era toastSo, 2012 has now gone into the yearbooks as being another year when the world didn’t end!  HAPPY NEW ERA!  Silly, really… thinking that reaching the end of the Mayan “long-count” calendar meant there was no more… pretty much like thinking that reaching December 31st meant there would be no January 1st.  Ah, me.  (For more info about why the world didn’t end, check out this NASA video.)

So, now that we’ve gotten that foolish notion out of our heads (assuming you’re not still hung over from last night… and I can’t wait to see the pregnancy figures a few months from now), maybe we should start thinking about what we are going to do to make sure humanity reaches the end of this long-count calendar (which, by the way, will be December 21st, 7137). Continue reading