Mars or Alderaan?

Friday, August 31, 2012

While we have been discussing the 2nd Amendment here at ATK, the Curisoity rover has been blasting away on Mars with a gun - of sorts - of its own.

As you will see below, Curiosity has been zapping holes into rocks with a laser to examine their make-up.  See the before and after below.

So I wonder if the 2nd Amendment applies on Mars.  Does the 2nd Amendment apply to laser weapons?  If there are Martians there, could Curiosity defend itself?

Read more here.


Faculty in Colorado Told to Allow Concealed Carry

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

In many states, college campuses are still a no-go for lawful carry. Michigan makes in unlawful to carry in a college classroom or dormitory. Most campuses ban carry for students and employees. There are some states, such as Utah, that allow it. Well, now Colorado joins them. The Supreme Court of Colorado said that campuses can't prohibit concealed carry. Despite this, some professors said they would cancel class if some permit holder had a concealed gun. The chancellor responded by telling them they could not do this. Personally, I have no problem with university carry. In Michigan, most college students are under 21, so the majority of students would not be able to carry anyway.


To Infinity And Beyond

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Neil Armstrong; August 5, 1930 - August 25, 2012. May he rest in peace. Fitting, isn't it, that we can and will remember him every time we look up in the night sky at the moon. That's a helluva tomb stone...


Obama Continues to Disappoint Civil Libertarians

Thursday, August 23, 2012

One of my favorite writers, Glenn Greenwald, is now at the Guardian. He continues to grill the current administration on issues dealing with civil liberties, war and terrorism. Unfortunately, outside of blogs and media outlets that deal primarily with civil liberties, the MSM really isn't interested in talking about these things. For that matter, most people don't really seem all that interested. His latest OpEd discusses the administration's strange secrecy practices, which seem to be let secrets out when it may help reelection and don't when it might hurt. I understand that there are legitimate security concerns, but it does seem odd to allow a Navy SEAL that was on that raid to publish an account of the mission, while John Kerry tells reporters asking about it to, "shut up and move on." Even more disturbing is how this administration has gone after whistleblowers at an unprecedented rate (double all of the previous administrations combined). Greenwald referenced a Mother Jones article that does a good job of highlighting some of the recent abuses. Is this healthy?


Obama...Gimmie Your Brew!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

News of the Whitehouse supplying POTUS with home-brewed Honey Ale (made with honey from the Whitehouse garden) as he hits the road has been broadly covered by nominal publications like WaPo and important publications like our very own Around The Keg. But now the story gets a step more interesting. When he started in office, Obama created a citizen petition site called We the People. If you have an issue you wish the Whitehouse to address, get enough signatures by a certain date and ostensibly the Whitehouse will pay heed to your issue. I've used this petition site several times on some pretty meaningful petitions (ask me off-line), but I think this newest petition is the most important of all. The petition: Release the recipe for the Honey Ale home brewed at the White House. From the petition:

Following in the footsteps of great men like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin, Barack Obama has reportedly been enjoying the rewards of home brewed beer. Recent reports from news outlets like the Washington Post (August 15th, 2012) have stated that Obama has been drinking a White House home brew Honey Ale while on the campaign trail. In keeping with the brewing traditions of the founding fathers, homebrewers across America call on the Obama Administration to release the recipe for the White House home brew so that it may be enjoyed by all. "I think it’s time for beer” -Franklin D. Roosevelt (March 12, 1933)
The goal is to reach a total of 25,000 signatures by September 17, 2012; as of typing this post, there are 2,838 signators. I hope, as soon as I hit "publish," to be 2,839. Do your patriotic duty, Keggers. Sign the petition. Interestingly, a Reddit user has actually sent a real-life FOIA request to the Whitehouse, asking for the recipe. A copy of the FOIA can be found here. It ends with "Also, if you could send me a copy autographed by the President, you'd be the coolest FOIA officer in the whole federal government, and who could resist that title?" Personally, I hope he gets the autographed copy.


Obama Brew!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

In the most imporant news of the day, it has been reported that the White House now brews its own beer!

According to the DesMoines Register, not only does the White Brew two varieties of beer, they carry it with them on the Presidential tour bus.

Maybe you think Obama is the 2nd coming of Christ, who saved the world from economic collapse and brought honor back to America.  Maybe you think he is the illegitimately-elected Kenyan usurper of the Constitution. 

Not matter your political affiliation, I think we at ATK have to say that this action alone warrants an endorsement from our editorial board.  What say you ATKers?

UPDATE:  In a related article from CBS News:

"...the White House's own brew, made with equipment the Obamas bought with their own money -- the first beer ever made at the White House, according to historians.

It is White House Honey Ale."


Gun Laws in Wake of the Colorado Shooting

Monday, August 13, 2012

I didn't mean to hijack the previous post and turn it into a gun debate, so I thought I would start another discussion for just that purpose. I keep hearing how we, as in the US, can't have a discussion on this topic for whatever reason. I am skeptical of people making this claim. If I had to guess, most of them are saying this because they just don't want to hear from the "other side." Like any other political/social issue, this one can get heated. I figure that the readers we have are rational and reasonable people, so why don't we have a discussion? What changes do you think are needed?


They're Short.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Moments ago, Mitt Rmoney (R-Flip flopper) just chose Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Tea Party) as his running mate.  So, can a Presidential candidate pick a running mate who wants to turn Medicare into a voucher program and not lose senior votes?  Is Florida now an easier win for Obama?

This just reeks of a campaign that cannot shore up the support of its base.

Let's kick off this campaign season a bit late and let me know your thoughts.


We're Tall

Monday, August 06, 2012

If you missed it last night, here's the vid of the Entry, Descent and Landing portions of the Curiosity rover landing on Mars.


I think at about 28:00, touchdown is confirmed.  NASA JPL...erupts.  It's just awesome.

Video streaming by Ustream

Look what we can do when we put our minds to it!

Here are the first 2 shots from Curiosity, confirming not only that it landed in a series of really complicated maneuvers (including a parachute, retro-rockets and a crane), but that it works.  I'm all misty.

rear-facing "hazard cam;" lens a bit dusty, clear shadow of
Curiosity on the surface of...oh...ANOTHER PLANET
The surface of Mars, using a slightly higher-res camera.  To the
lower right is one of Curiosity's wheels. 

UPDATE BY BOB:  Even higher res image from same camera:

Higher res, (but not HD) image sent from Mars a couple hours after the above.  This one is double the resolution.

UPDATE 2 BY BOB - A shot of the parchute open above the lander as shot by the orbiter.

Unreal.  There it is.  In another 48 hours, we'll start getting hi-resolution color photos.



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