NASA Paying the Fit to Become Less So

If you are an able bodied US legal resident of moderate to amazing physical shape NASA is looking for you to do absolutely nothing!  For 70 short days, or almost ¼ of a year, they simple ask that you remain almost completely still in an almost flat bed.  Don’t worry, you are still expected to exercise while in bed so, you know, walking is still functional at the end of the experiment.  Also all of the highlights of pooping in a pan and washing yourself with a cloth on a stick are just signing bonuses.  All that and more can be yours, plus 18k.

Maybe I have just reached that point in my life that this entire thing sounds horrible, or maybe it was the fact that I would have to poop in a bedpan instead of the toilet—or some special space bed—that made me think this wasn’t a great time.  Also all of the headlines that talk about this also seem to think that just anyone off the street could be taken, including the famous “couch potato”.  If they even bothered to pay attention to the words they typed they would notice that the recruits would have to be in mildly good condition, count me out, or they wouldn’t make it through the application process.

Source: The Hindu

Weekly Anime Round-Up: June 25th – July 1st

The spring season is finally wrapping up, and some shows from the summer season should be starting next week.  Whatever shows I decide to pick up for the summer season will be added here as they pop up, and Accel World, AKB0048, and Space Brothers will continue to air into the next season.  Three shows have come to an end this week, so let’s see how things have wrapped up…

Accel World:  Episode 12

This week was yet another excellent episode.  The big showdown with the Chrome Disaster is finally here, and this fight won’t disappoint.  Haru finally gets serious and proves his worth, amidst his own issues of self-esteem and even a bit of betrayal.  Unfortunately for Haru, it would seem he may have some new problems coming his way, but at least he got some cookies out of the deal…

AKB0048:  Episode 9

After fighting off the DES in space, everyone has finally made it to a planet in dire need of some, dare I say it, fun.  This sad, snowy world is like some sort of Soviet dystopia, full of misery and poverty.  The girls devise a new tactic to deal with the increased DES presence, involving “mini concerts” around the town to distract the police and entertain the townspeople until the real concert begins.  This show has stayed true to the formula of being both ridiculous and entertaining.

Haiyore! Nyaruko-San:  Episode 12 END

As Mahiro discovers how bland his life is without his fan club of adorable abominations, he soon finds out he has fallen into an enemy trap.  A terrible group of monsters wants Mahiro dead so they can indulge in erotic video games, because world domination is so cliché these days.  This show was a blast to watch from beginning to end, and was one of the best shows of the season.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed in hopes that they will do another season of this show.

Natsuiro Kiseki:  Episode 12 END
(A Summer-Colored Miracle)

This time the rock traps the girls into a time loop of an endless summer vacation.  Don’t worry; this isn’t as torturous as the infamous Endless Eight.  The girls make a few more attempts at the idol audition, and even squeeze in some extra fun until they decide to find a way to escape the endless summer.  This show didn’t end the way I wanted it to, it did wrap up everything as best as it could.  While I did enjoy this show, it should be noted that this was a very average slice of life show that had a lot of ups and downs throughout the series.

Sankarea:  Episode 12 END

Now that things are settled with Rea’s crazy father, Chihiro is back to dealing with the issue of finding out how to preserve Rea’s body.  I’m not going to lie; the ending to this show was pretty awful.  Nothing is concluded.  You won’t find out if Chihiro can extend Rea’s life, and you won’t find out if Rea or Wanko ever win over Chihiro.  Something really strange happens at the end and the show suddenly stops, with no explanation at all.  This show managed to keep me watching each week, but between the lousy ending and some pacing issues, this turned out to be one of the bigger disappointments of the season.

Space Brothers:  Episode 13

This week the testing continues within the isolation chambers.  As the candidates are given a series of unusual tasks, rivalries have begun to form and some of the candidates are growing judgmental of their teammates.  This story arc is a bit of a low point for this show, as it seems that “slice of isolated life” just isn’t very interesting.

Weekly Anime Round-Up: June 18th- June 24th

This week things are finally back in full swing now that all of the shows have returned from break. This also draws this season closer to the end, as two shows will air their final episodes next week. Their weekly round-up will be short over the next few weeks as the transition to the next season begins, but Accel World and Space Brothers will still be airing. Speaking of Accel World…

Accel World:  Episode 11

Fans of Accel World are in for a huge treat this week, as this has been the best episode of the show so far. Yellow Radio may have trapped Haru and company, but he will soon find out that a group with two other Legion masters is not such an easy catch. Brain Burst combat turns into all-out warfare in the most exciting and action packed episode of the season.

AKB0048:  Episode 8

The time has finally come for the girls to travel to the planet where their first big concert is being held, on a world where combat with the DES is certain. This time the DES is pretty serious about stomping out the fun before it even begins, and they attack the Idol’s starship as they are traveling to the planet where the concert will take place. Get ready to see a mecha battle that some fans claim was better than the fights in Macross Frontier. If you’re having fun watching this show, don’t worry – I won’t turn you in.

Haiyore! Nyaruko-San:  Episode 11

This week Mahiro finds a lost little girl on his doorstep, which happens to be yet another abomination taking the form of a cute girl. Nyaruko’s motherly instinct kicks in as she makes sure to provide what every growing girl needs – a hentai video game. As usual, there are plenty of laughs to be had in this week’s episode, and I’m already feeling sad that next week will be the final episode.

Natsuiro Kiseki:  Episode 11
(A Summer-Colored Miracle)

With the end of summer vacation drawing near (as well as Saki’s big move), the girls head back to Tokyo for an idol audition. Unfortunately, Yuka begins to cave into the pressure of the situation just as the girls find out that passing this audition may be the only way for Saki to stay with her friends. Check out this week’s episode to find out if the girls make the grade…

Sankarea:  Episode 11

The time of the big showdown has finally arrived. As Chihiro is forced to face off with Dan’ichiro, Rea barges into the mansion to save him.  This week features yet another disturbing room within the Sanka manor – the cosplay dungeon…

Space Brothers:  Episode 12

All three teams are sealed away in the isolation chambers and are given the task of trying to figure out what time it is after travelling on a bus with no windows and walking around a dark, top secret training facility. Mutta puts his “luck” to use yet again to ace the test, making up an elaborate story about seeing the bus odometer, when in reality he saw a clock on the bus dashboard on his way out. Since each of the three groups are charged with the task of selecting two people from their group to become astronauts at the end of testing, they each begin to discuss how they are going to go about making the choice…

Weekly Anime Round-Up: June 11th-June 17th

This week is yet another short one, with two shows taking a one week hiatus. Both Sankarea and Natsuiro Kiseki did not air this week; however I have added a new show to the round up. I have caught up with an amazing show called Space Brothers, and I will give a quick summary of what the show is about before discussing this week’s episode.

Accel World:  Episode 10

After taking last week off, Haru and company are back for more reality-bending game time. The Red King joins the group as they travel to the “true” game world of Brain Burst to hunt down the Chrome Disaster. There will be cliffhanger ending this week, which makes me happy they waited to air this after taking a break.

AKB0048:  Episode 7

With some of the current AKB successors attending a special ceremony, a few of the girls are chosen to stand in for them at an upcoming concert, causing some jealousy among the girls that didn’t make the grade. Things become even more complicated when Chieri’s family secret is revealed. As the drama unfolds, some of the girls sneak off to investigate a “forbidden area” under the training compound…

Haiyore! Nyaruko-San:  Episode 10

While Mahiro and Nyaruko are waiting for the soul-swapping beam to recharge in order to return to their bodies, a new threat arrives on Earth. This episode takes a huge jab at Tokyo Governor Ishihara’s infamous anime/manga regulation laws, as Earth is attacked by an alien with similar political views. Can Mahiro and his crew of adorable abominations save mankind from extreme right-wing space politics?  Check out this week’s episode and find out!

Space Brothers:  Episodes 1-11

This is yet another interesting show I wanted to pick up earlier in the season, but with so many great shows running, I glanced over this.  Fortunately, I found the time to get up to speed on this show and I am going to add it to the weekly roundup. Space Brothers is about two brothers, Mutta and Habito Nanba, who see a UFO as children and become interested in becoming astronauts. Habito grows up and actually becomes an astronaut, training for a mission on the moon, while his older brother, Mutta, designs cars for an auto manufacturer.

When Mutta loses his job, his parents enroll him in JAXA’s (Japan’s version of NASA) astronaut entry exams. This show could best be described as a “slice of life” anime about aspiring astronauts. This show takes place in the not too distant future and is grounded in reality. Many of the locations and technologies that appear in the show are based on their real-world counterparts. It would seem the aim of this series is to spark interest in space programs around the world and show how much effort is put into selecting and training astronauts.

In this week’s episode, Mutta finally arrives at the top secret JAXA facility where the final entrance exam is taking place. All of the candidates are shown a video of a recent spacecraft accident and then they are given one last chance to back out of the final exam. With the paperwork completed, the candidates are placed into three groups and then sealed into a small living space, where they will stay for two weeks for the final tests…

Life on Other Planets besides Mars

For dozens of years now mankind has been convinced that it might be able to prove the existence of life on Mars. As it turns out, it might have been looking in the wrong direction. New photos of Titan (one of Saturn’s moons) reveal that there is a good chance that life has been forming there. At this point the evidence seems to only point to very low levels of life, probably single cells at best, but even if it doesn’t have aliens, it still seems interesting enough to continue investigating. The reason for all of this speculation is massive lakes of methane that have pooled throughout the moon and interesting weather patterns. Due to the location and activity of this liquidized gas, scientists believe it might be a good sign of life.

People have often thought that one of Jupiter’s moons might have good conditions for the formation of life, and theories are always bouncing around about Mars. It seems interesting that the more we look at the solar system around us, the more that it looks like all kinds of conditions are favorable for the formation of life. Who knows — maybe in 100 years we will be able to find out we are not as unique as we once thought. Also, it would be pretty sweet to watch a methane rainstorm. Although it would probably smell.

Source: Wired