Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.

8/23/2019

Astronaut Aptitude Test

Filed under: Fun,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:30 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Third Quarter Moon

Could you cut it as an astronaut?

Last month was the 50th anniversary of the Apollo Moon landing, which means that I’m about as old as our modern space program. Or, as I like to think of it, I’m a child of the space age. That seems much more palatable than being almost as old as NASA.
In any case, for the past month or so everyone has been talking about space and the Moon and possibly returning to the Moon on the way to Mars. All that got me thinking about how every kid’s dream was to be an astronaut when I was little. We all thought we’d somehow be able to go to space by now. And, I mean, everyone would be there, as regular as air travel is now, like they were in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Sadly, it takes a little bit more than just booking a ticket to get into space, and I probably wouldn’t have ever been eligible. But, in the spirit of dreams and our hopeful return to the Moon, this week, I’m sharing a link to The Astronaut Test, so you can see if you have “the right stuff” to qualify as an Astronaut Candidate. The questions are drawn from the actual, official NASA Astronaut Candidate requirements and tests.
Why not take the 15 question quiz and dream of the stars while you take a break from work?

This post originally appeared on Use Your Words!

10/9/2015

Apollo Archive

Filed under: Fun,Photography,Things to Read — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:30 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

I love space.

Recently, thanks to the Martian, there’s been a lot of attention on NASA and space exploration.  Frankly, I think there should be more attention paid to the incredible work that NASA does and a larger portion of our National budget should be spent on what they do.
As a photographer, I admire the large volume of images that they release to the public domain every year.  Images that inspire.  Images that educate.  Images that, I hope, lead us to…
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7/31/2009

Mars Isolation Test

Filed under: Fun,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:04 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

I don’t think it’s a secret that I’m a nut for space exploration.

I’m still torn between a trip to Mars or a base on the Moon as our next step into space, but anything that moves us in that direction is great.  Recently, six volunteers entered an isolation chamber in Russia to study the long-term effects of living in close quarters in preparation for a trip to Mars.  I think this is cool for several reasons.  First, of course, the advancement of science.  Second, it means we may be getting closer to an actual trip to Mars.  And, third, because of all the potential science-fiction stories and movies that will result.

4/24/2009

Video Tour of the ISS

Filed under: Deep Thoughts,Fun,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Ooo, shiny... — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:11 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a New Moon

That’s International Space Station for those of you who may not be aware.

Now that there’s a geek in the top office, maybe we’ll see more action in science and space spending. I hope so, since I think that our future really does rest in the stars. Literally, though, not in the sense of astrology.
I know I’ve been on a bit of a space kick this month, but, as a fan of NASA and space travel, when I saw Slashdot link to a series of video tours of the ISS, I had to share it.

Enjoy!

4/10/2009

Star Ship Drives

Filed under: Fun,Life, the Universe, and Everything,News and Current Events,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:03 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Full Moon

NASA, making science-fiction real.

So, it looks like NASA is working on a plasma drive that will take us to Mars in 60-70 days, instead of a longer time period required of a conventional rocket.

And, if we ever get past that hurdle, someone has created a warp drive. Or, at least, theoretically. I mean, all they have to do is figure out how to manipulate theoretical dimensions and they’ll have it licked in no time! (Okay, okay, even the article admits that “Warp drive isn’t doable now, and probably won’t be for the next several millenia,” according to the scientist interviewed. But, still, a guy can dream, right?)

Also, if you haven’t voted in the poll, please, feel free!

4/28/2006

Give Her All She’s Got, Scotty!

Filed under: Fun,Life, the Universe, and Everything,News and Current Events — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:17 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a New Moon

No, for a change, that’s not a metaphor.
According to The Scotsman.com, appropriately, someone is working on a “warp” drive. A physicist at the Applied Sciences University in Salzgitter, Germany, and a former chief of aerodynamics at the European Space Agency, Professor Jochem Hauser, who’s one of the scientists putting forth the idea, warned that they’re in the very early stages of this project, but indicated that an propulsion system based on ideas first developed by the late scientist Burkhard Heim in the 1950s is possible. The drive would work by creating an intense magnetic field that, in theory, would produce a gravitational field and result in thrust for a spacecraft.
That is the catch, though. It’s all theory. Now, there is a somewhat mysterious “Z Machine” that was created by the US Department of Energy that could generate the kind of magnetic fields required to drive the engine, so it is possible that some very interesting tests might be run in the near future. Apparently, NASA and the US Airforce took notice of this work after Prof Hauser and an Austrian colleague, Walter Droscher, wrote a paper called “Guidelines for a space propulsion device based on Heim’s quantum theory”.
Now, all they need to do is get a Scot on their maintenance crew and they’ll be all set.

7/11/2005

Naming Conventions

Filed under: Art,Fun Work,Geek Work,The Network Geek at Home — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:18 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

“Give a thing a name and it will somehow come to be.”
Names matter. Network device names matter a lot and, since it looks like I’ll be redoing my home network, I’ve been thinking about names and naming conventions. I’ve worked with just about any and all naming conventions that you might imagine. Everything from the very practical LocationFunctionSequencenumber scheme (ie. HouAcct01, ChiMIS13, etc. ) to servers named for NASA spacecraft (ie. Challenger, Discovery, etc. ) I’ve seen stuff named for fantasy fiction characters and Greek mythology and Milton’s angels or devils. I even knew a guy who named his routers after dead musicians just so he could send out pings and see the response “Elvis is alive”. No joke. I personally have also used titles of positions in the Yakuza gang structure, as well as various authors and artists. I’ve even heard of guys using their favorite cartoon characters.
Personally, I like to have something with an underlying meaning to it. So, for instance, when I used the Yakuza schema, the main NDS server was “Kumicho”, which is the “boss of bosses”. And, on a whim, I named the printer Hokusai, after the famous artist. The guy who used angels named them based on what each angel had providence over, such as naming his “alerter” Gabriel, who blew his horn to sound the end of the world, if memory serves.
I’ve thought about using both Norse and Voodoo god names, since they’re somewhat unusual, but their “function” is well documented. I’ve also thought about using the various sefiroth of the Kabbalistic “Tree of Life”, for similar reasons. Greek mythology is far too passé to use and, for home, the LocationFunctionSequence method just isn’t fun enough.
So, anyone have any thoughts or suggestions?

(BTW, the quote is from George R. R. Martin in Dying of the Light which is one of the greatest “soft” science-fiction books I’ve ever read. It’s perfect after a breakup.)

1/22/2005

Free Porn Alternatives!

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Fun Work,Geek Work,Life, the Universe, and Everything,News and Current Events,The Network Geek at Home — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Snake which is mid-morning or 10:16 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

Okay, so it occurred to me that there had to be a better way.
Yeah, sure, I could talk about the evils of free porn until I’m blue in the face. I could even rant about how terrible it is to manipulate searchengines. Instead, I’m going to try and do it. Again.
Yes, again. I did it once back in 2000/2001 to get my site ranked so highly on Google for the search terms “CNE resume” that it was the number one hit. I did all sorts of crazy things, not the least of which was start this blog, incidentally. One thing I did was look at both the Google Zeitgeist and the Yahoo Buzz Index and try to use those terms in my site. So, for instance, according to Google’s Zeitgeist, I should talk about: how I felt about the Golden Globes and who won; the fact that Monday was Martin Luther King Jr. Day; what Teri Hatcher was wearing at the Golden Globes; who Teri Polo is and what she wore at the Golden Globes; what NASA has thrown into space lately; what “naughtiness” Prince Harry has been up to over in the UK; detailed specs on the iPod Shuffle; the super-model antics of Naomi Campbell; the fact that Mariska Hargitay also won a Golden Globe; and how the movie “Elektra” was doing in the box office. As you can see, that first hit, the Golden Globe Awards, was a really popular one, since it was repeated in, or was effected by, several later searches.
Last week, I should have been talking about: Amber Frey, the adulterous whore who was banging Scott Peterson; the terrible damage done by the tsunami in India; how terrible it is that Ashlee Simpson was caught lip-synching; Delta Airlines for some reason; the Weather Channel coverage of that tsunami in India; Heidi Klum, because it’s always a good time to talk about Ms. Klum (and she got married to Seal); NFL player Randy Moss, presumably because he sprained his ankle; the Orange Bowl, because it’s still football season; the fact that Brad Pitt is single again; and all the cool concept cars at the Detroit Auto Show. Crazy stuff, right?

Well, according to Yahoo Buzz Index, I should have talked about some very different things this week. If I wanted to get Yahoo hits, I should have talked about: OJ Simpson’s daughter, Sydney Simpson, getting arrested; Playboy Playmate Alicia Rickter, for obvious, pornographic reasons; those nuts over at Jibjab, who made another hit animation; Enter Location, because, uh, people were travelling a lot?; actress Elisabeth Harnois, possibly for the Golden Globes again?; O.J. Simpson, because his daughter got arrested, of course; the fact that Julian Ozanne got married to Gillian Anderson and no one knows who he is, but everyone knows her from the X-files; anything and everything about actress Lucy Liu, just because, she’s Lucy Liu; the Tennesse-based music and arts festival, Bonnaroo; “How We Do” almost anything, from the sound of it; eating “Breakfast and Brunch”? Or is that more travelling stuff?; how cheap Costco Wholesale pricing is; soap-opera star Annie Parisse, most likely because she moved on to something better; the fact that Japan had another big earthquake; and Jimjab.com, which is most likely a mistake for “jibjab.com”.

Wow, those are totally different things, aren’t they? Are people who use those two different searchengines that different? Have I been losing out by optimizing for Google?
Oh, I don’t know, but I think I’m going to go have a bit of a lay-down. This whole experience has been exhausting.
(And, yes, I’ve posted this same thing on my other blog, the Fantasist’s Scroll, for the same reason as the last post.)


Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time."
   --Abraham Lincoln

8/15/2003

Cosmonaut Marries from Space

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Fun,News and Current Events — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:17 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

Hey, this makes NASA all worth while!

No, really! According to this article in our own Houston Chronicle, NASA let a woman who moved to Houston from Russia get married to a Russian Cosmonaut in their command center this past weekend. And, considering that she plans to move back to Russia to be with her new husband, it was mighty generous of them. Too bad we couldn’t get him to move to Houston!
Anyway, a fun story for a Friday.

2/1/2003

Discovery Lost

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Snake which is mid-morning or 10:24 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a New Moon

Seven heros, lost.

I turned on the TV to watch cartoons this morning and was presented with tragedy. Just like the Challenger 17 years ago, they played the footage over and over again until the horror of it was so burned into my head that I’ll never forget it. The last generation had the JFK shooting, mine has Challenger and now Discovery. I grieve, along with the rest of the country, for the seven heroic lives lost.
But, I grieve for the space program and the setbacks they will now encounter due to this horrible accident. How many missions will be scrubbed? How many new technologies will not see the light of day? How many delays will there be in the already lean experiemental NASA portfolio? Seven lives are gone, but much more will be lost as a result. I mourn for it all.
But, life must go on. I hope that they find out what went wrong quickly and minimize the delays for the rest of the space program. I hope that budgets don’t get cut more than they have been. I hope that we still reach towards the stars.

Ad astra, per aspera.


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