Sunday, September 21, 2014

Comets, Mars, and Neil Gaiman, and the Underrated Treasures Blogfest

Hi everyone, and as always thanks for stopping by! Thought I would get back to the science roots of this blog and talk about a very exciting event that’s happening right inside our very own solar system.

And don't forget to scroll down for the Underrated Treasures Blogfest!!!
Mind-Blowing First Close-Up Look At A Comet: Ten years ago the European Space Agency launched Rosetta, a first-of-its-kind spacecraft on a mission to meet a comet. That comet? 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Rosetta finally accomplished that goal earlier this month — getting into the comet's orbit (how cool is that!!!).

What a Comet looks like from Earth
It’s as close as twenty miles from the comet This November, Rosetta will deploy a small probe that, if successful, will land on the comet — the first time we've ever made contact with a comet (intentionally). (Reference)

What a Comet Looks Like from Space
Did You Know: NASA plans to launch a deep-space rocket, SLS, in 2018. The SLS has been in development for three years already, and when finished it should propel spacecraft beyond Earth's orbit and eventually launch crew vehicles to Mars by the 2030s.

To Infinity (Well, at least Mars), and Beyond!
Fun Fact: There are also plans to send men and women deeper into space on missions that could very well last a life time. Translation, they’re not coming back. (Reference)
What I’m Reading: My first Neil Gaiman book American Gods. I’m half way into it and enjoying the story very much. A quirky fantasy tale of gods that imigrants brought to the United States whose power has diminished over time as people's beliefs wane. New gods have arisen, reflecting America's obsessions with the Internet, highways, media, celebrities, technology, and drugs, among others.
There is a storm a brewin’ as the these former gods set to do battle with the new Gods of America. A great premise for a book and I’m glad I picked this one to read.
Question: Would you consider a life long deep space mission where you would live out your life and die in outer space? Like Neil Gaiman's book? Ever heard of Dread Zeppelin?
Underrated Treasures Blogfest: Love Love Love this Underrated Treasure Blogfest hosted by Alex Cavanaugh. Everyone has a favorite movie or band that no one else has ever heard about. For whatever reason, they remain undiscovered and underrated. Now is your chance to tell the world about this obscure treasure!

What immediately came to mind was a blast from the past: Dread Zeppelin. A wild and crazy group of dreadlock guys led by Elvis himself (Okay, it's an Elvis impersonator) performing Led Zeppelin songs live for all to dare to see or so drunk they actually pay the cover to see these guys. Talent or gimmick? You decide.


  1. I've heard those guys! Amazing what happens when you just add alcohol...
    My first Gaiman book was Stardust, so I might need to try another.
    Thanks for participating in my blogfest.

  2. 3rd time lucky... (blogger ate my comment twice)
    As adventurous as it sounds, I don't think I would volunteer for the no-return space mission. I like my solid ground too much.

  3. Hi Stephen .. the Rosetta landing will be so interesting .. just hope it works for them and we can find out some fascinating facts about the comet. I couldn't just go into space and never come back, or go into space for that matter! I have a Gaiman book to read .. need to get to it .. drunken Dread Zeppelin ... interesting! Cheers Hilary

  4. I'm like Lynda and wouldn't volunteer to travel in space forever. Loved Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book. Thanks for suggesting anther one to check out.

  5. I really enjoyed American Gods. My favorite one was Neverwhere. I also liked Good Omens. And for kids, The Graveyard Book and Coraline are fantastic!

    Thanks for sharing such cool pictures.

  6. I've read a few Gaiman books and they're awesome - haven't tried that one yet.
    It will be fascinating to see the comet close up!

  7. Uh, I'm going with gimmick---but a really hilarious one. I rully need to read me a Neil Gaiman book.

    Thanks for the space updates. Comets were the first space "thing" that ever fascinated me (as a wee 4th grader), and I can't beleive we're so close to attaching a probe to one of them! No, I would never consider living out my life in space. I'd be too chicken to even fly out there for a few hours.

  8. My friend's favorite book of all time is AMERICAN GODS, and yet, I've never read it. I should! :)

  9. I agree with Nicki. A pretty fun gimmick.

    My daughter is really into Neil Gaiman. I've only read one of his short story collections. She gobbled up The Graveyard Book and Coraline, and is disappointed that many of his books are too adult for her (she's 12).

  10. Hello Stephen, this was so interesting to read, all those space updates was fascinating.
    My late husband love anything to do with space.

  11. Oh no, I'm not going to outer space indefinitely, but the prospect of it is interesting.
    I’ve read Stardust, but am still interesting in trying more.
    That band is the craziest thing I’ve seen in a long time.

  12. I love Neil Gaiman so much. Such a great writer. And Dread Zeppelin - hilarious!

  13. Hi, Stephen. Dread Zeppelin, I'll go with gimmick. Thanks for sharing your pick for the Underrated Treasures Blogfest.

  14. Hi Stephen - I thought I'd dust myself off and see what the old posse is doing.
    Neil Gaiman is a great writer - I highly recommend a book of his I just finished: The Ocean at the End of the Lane - a page turner.

    As always - your space posts are great! I don't know if I'd have what it takes to handle going on a one way trip into deep space - unless I committed a crime that was equal to life in prison - then it might be a trade off. (though, still not sure… will have to wait till I do the crime, haha)

  15. Dread Zeppelin - absolute talent! I found a gem in this blog hop - that video is worth a re-post. Loved it!

  16. This post had a bunch of interesting goodies! Thanks for sharing your underrated pick!

  17. When I was a young adventurous adult and before marriage and family, I would have volunteered for that mission. How exciting would that be!

  18. Leaving earth forever. That's a commitment all right.

    Loved seeing that video.

  19. My first Neil Gaiman was Stardust too because I saw/have the movie. You always have such interesting scientific facts. That would have to be a heck of a ship for people to live on for the rest of their lives. Reminds me of a story which I think was called The Tree about several generations living on a starship and eventually when they land, the first thing they see is a tree. Tried Googling, couldn't find it. It would be a commitment certainly.

  20. My first Gaiman book was the Graveyard book.

    Ha, that video was a hoot.

  21. Hey I found you, I am not up to speed with anything music, movies, or sometimes the news, I'm probably in a capsule circulating the earth. I wonder who would go on a never to return mission.

    I am new at Tumblr and the address is on my profile.

  22. Ooohh that's interesting. Keep me posted on how that landing goes. I'd love to see comet pics, if they manage to do it.

    I've always thought the world should look into sending a few families up into space on a ship intended to remain in space forever. Get a little traveling colony going. I don't think I'd qualify for the trip, medically, but I do think it should it happen.

    As for the book- it's on my TBR pile. Sitting right there on the stack. :)