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* Posts by David Stever

82 posts • joined 27 Apr 2007

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Elon Musk vs NASA and the US rocket industry - ding ding!

David Stever
Thumb Up

MV Smith's ride home

Yeah, and when we're done with him, he'll make some mighty fine soup stock

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David Stever
Coat

Abandoning the outpost on the way to the solar system

Bypassing the moon now? We've not been out of orbit (with a human) for 40 years, so using the Moon to test out our hardware concepts, in a place where folks can be rescued when the crap hits the fan is a great idea. Losing a crew that is anywhere from 39 days to 6 months away is just a horrific way to watch people die on television. I'd rather that we land on the moon's lesser gravity well, and figure what the hell we're doing with our technology before we push on to Mars.

Apollo 18-20 were canceled because Nixon thought he was saving money. Monet that has already been spent for hardware that was sitting in a warehouse. Apollo was a damn sight safer than the shuttle, looking at the death tools of both programs. If we'd pressed on with the moon back then, I think we'd have infastructure in Earth Orbit, Lunar Orbit, and the Lunar surface by now, rather than what we have now. We've canceled at least two versions of us going beyond LEO (Bush I, Bush II), plus various new launchers and programs. NASA at this point is very gun shy, and having our space efforts in the hands of anyone but them is good to me.

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Nutter repairmen scale 1,768ft TV mast

David Stever
Thumb Up

Tower location

There are towers that tall all over North America. My favorite was the huge farm of them located in New Brunswick. Can't remember what the hell they were broadcasting off them, but they are impressive as you drive past 'em.

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David Stever
Boffin

Flat but curved, eh?

If you look towards the horizon, you'll see the gentle curve (just below the distant thunderheads, mate). You'll also notice that you can see a greater and greater distance, the further up you go, proving once again, that Newt Gingrich and his crowd is wrong, the Earth is round.

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Indiana judges dismiss girl's nipple exposure appeal

David Stever
Stop

South of the 45th?

Sorry mate, I leave in St. Paul, Minnesota, where the 45th runs through a nearby suburb. The parallel you want is the 49th, which even then, works west of Lake of the Woods. East of that, you have Thunder Bay Ontario and various points east, where the border dives south.

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Could Oracle buy HP?

David Stever
Unhappy

Turning Mark Hurd loose

Yeah, combine the companies, and let's see how long it takes Mark Hurd to run up against another woman who'll bring charges. Unless the new corporation institutes public beheadings to get rid of the odd uncooperative lady friend, it will happen, as a tiger can't change it's stripes.

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Moon actually dryer than dem dry bones, say boffins

David Stever
Boffin

Reading the damned report

Yeah, I'm with you on this. Earth was formed with water in just about every damned mineral, which means nothing to us looking for a few pounds / kilos / tons of water when we get there over the next decade. The heart of the moon is likely as dry as Bush Family episode of Jeopardy, but on the surface, where we'll be, there appears to be water measured in megatons. This article would appear to be preaching to the choir, but the news releases of the past six months are where I'm at right now, trying to figure out what we need to do to get to it. Somewhere down the road, we might need to harvest some tiny asteroids for additional water and mineral resources, but we're decades from needing that technology to supplement what is there now.

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David Stever
Grenade

Yeah, because the entire earth is like Yellowstone Park

We've been to six points on the Moon, and the rest of the bloody thing is EXACTLY like those places. Anyone landing on Earth at the Old Faithful Geyser would have a wonderful notion as to what conditions on Earth, with it's steam vents, and forests, and wild animals.

Back atcha, mate!

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Elon Musk plans new Mars rockets bigger than Saturn Vs

David Stever
Joke

God's Words

I think that God was warning us to not go forth with the North Korean coal fired booster. The cost in colliers and stokers was just too steep.

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David Stever
Boffin

Always in the Future?

Yeah, we have to do this stuff in the future, because starting with Bush I, NASA has proposed a series of programs that have never been funded. Because of this, we have no follow on to the shuttle. Even Bush II proposed a program, but didn't bother to do the whole funding thing, that might have put us on the way to that future. The Obama Administration has rightfully dropped that NASA employment package known as Orion (you didn't really think they would ever build that rocket, did you?), and left us with a company that knows they'll make a boat load of money if they actually follow through. Major difference between SpaceX and NASA in that last sentence. Following through. With NASA, you pour in a bushel of money, and you get compost and some jobs. Pour a bushel of money in to SpaceX, you get far fewer jobs, and more actual products. Wow.

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Huge Indiana Jones rumbling Moon billiard potted in crater

David Stever
Boffin

Did the stone bounce?

Looking at the trail left, did the damned thing bounce on it's way down the slope? If the thing did a slow roll, I'd expect a steady trail, but this one leaves gaps, indicating to me that this 3 story monster had some momentum behind it. Even if it was rolling on hard ground, it'd leave a trail that we'd expect to be visible to us.

Mark Salter left a URL to another photo- http://twitpic.com/1qv9xz. In this one, you can see one more trail that seems to bounce, and a second that does leave a constant trail. This moon place does seem interesting to me. Can I sign up for a expedition to the cottage at the end of the road?

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Neil Armstrong renews attack on Obama space vision

David Stever
Pint

what going beyond LEO needs

@ Monkeywrench Unfortunately I don't think the private sector will accomplish much more than low earth orbit tourism. Going any further requires very large rockets.

With refueling, smaller rocket stages can go damned near anywhere in the near solar system. Technos have wanted NASA to test on-orbit fuel transfers for a decade or more, but if that worked, than the need to build huge-ass boosters would be lessened, and for the rocket boys, that would be as bad as the Navy being told we won't be building them another damned battleship. If you can launch a transfer stage into orbit mostly empty, and refuel it from other fuel tankers that have been lifted into orbit, you can go to the moon, to an asteroid, or even to Mars.

Once LM or Boeing, or Space-X is in orbit, then with a few bucks, a Bigelow hotel module, and an imagination, you can go anywhere.

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David Stever
Boffin

Hand me my strap-ons

Both the Atlas and the (god-forbid!) Falcon 9 has designed to at their upper end, strap together 3 first stages in parallel to massively add to their throw weight. You can look at the wiki or the corporate web pages to see what they would be capable of. Neither are quite as large as what the Ares V was supposed to lift, but a better engine could do so much better than was the Ares V was supposed to do for us. Maybe the Russians could dust off the Energia booster again...

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David Stever
Boffin

Atlas Family

The original Atlas was a US ICBM, and was used by Mercury, after they flushed the Redstones

Gemini used a Titan II, another ICBM, and the only booster close to being safe as houses. The newest Atlas is built around a Russian engine design, and not that close to the old Atlas . Lockheed is working towards 'man rating' the new family, but NASA has moved the goal a couple of times during the process.

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David Stever
Coffee/keyboard

Human Rating forcing a redesign/rebuild? B-S!

The Human Rating is just minor adjustments of the flight profile, so that the rocket doesn't exceed human G force maximums during the flight to orbit. To declare that it would be a complete redesign of either the Delta IV or the Atlas V doesn't know what they're talking about. See the Selenian Boondocks blog a year or two ago, where this very topic was discussed, and what it meant was explained, by rocket scientists.

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David Stever
Boffin

Who threw it away?!?

It was Richard F.U. Nixon who decided that having three more missions to the moon to discover and explore were somehow not worth it, even though the ships had been built. He shut down the Saturn V production line as well. What bollocks that was! We might have found 35 years ago that the moon had thousands of tons of water, instead of last year. We might have found the means to continue that exploration, instead of being stuck in low earth orbit for the past 40 damned years.

The planet was not ready for a reusable shuttle that wasn't all that reusable, as it turns out [14 dead], but now Obama is being things right by getting the easy stuff (transit to LEO) pushed over to a commercial company, and having NASA work on the things that are still hard, like getting back to the huge open pit mine called the Moon, and finding out where the water is (Moon, Ceres, every other frakking rock in the asteroid belt), so we can start using the resources of the solar system. God bless you, Barack Obama.

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Game developer's lost electric buggy FOUND ON MOON

David Stever
Boffin

other wreckage

I can hardly wait to have the images of the Ranger and Luna crash sites- they should look like relatively fresh craters. I think that every lunar orbiter also ended in a crash, and they'll be harder to find

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Robot mini space shuttle is go for April, says US air force

David Stever
Grenade

another reference

used in such a fashion, the designation for the first unit would be 007*,

*Roger Moore need not apply.

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David Stever
Megaphone

reaching for Harlan's lawyers

Watch it, mate. Didn't Harlan Ellison copyright all Universal Soldier references?

Siddown, Harlan.

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The anthrax scare: Case and flask closed

David Stever
Grenade

How did Keyser Soze do it?

I want to know how Keyser Soze did the original anthrax attacks and got close enough to Ivins to kill him.

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US burg renames self 'Google'

David Stever
Happy

Retro active?

Now that it's been renamed for the month, can we go back and rename popular references too? Isn't there a song that talks about the Atchison, Google and Santa Fe Railroad? Judy Gumm (renamed when Louis Mayer made her a offer she could refuse) sang it in a movie run after WWII.

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Surplus astronaut right-sizing imminent at NASA?

David Stever
Coat

Anti-freemarket?

The rest of the human race is anti-freemarket, Captain. We need market rules, and the GOP hasn't brooked those for the last 30 years.

The best way to get rid of the horrible, unflyable Ares I was to trash the program. Once we man rate the Atlas V, we'll fly that, as well as the Dragon Capsule that SpaceX is building. The Orion capsule can be redesigned again, so all the weight savings pulled out over the past two years can be put back, so it will be a robust machine, and be capable of doing what it needs to do- fly to the Moon, fly to an Asteroid or two, on top of the Atlas. Don't forget, Bigelow will be flying space research modules soon, and LM, SpaceX, Boeing, and Orbital will all be flying by the end of the decade.

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Drink beer not fizzy pop for pity's sake, say boffins

David Stever
Pint

The Pilgrim Diet

Whilst putting up with the folks at the Pilmouth Plantation Hysterical Recreation at Plymouth Mass, the folks there told us the the average person back in the day consumed a pound of meat, a pound of bread, and a quart of ale/beer a day. Everybody, including the kids. Good bless the ancestors.

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David Stever
Pint

Bad research

Eye, my question is whether it's sugar doing the dirty deed, or the High Fructose Corn Syrup that we Americans are subjected to, else the crap they put in the diet pop. Unless the study breaks this down, I'm afraid it's back to the lab and another decade of research. Thanks to the the Corn lobby, there's not a damned thing we can buy in America that isn't polluted with the HFCS that is making us all fat.

Barley pops all around boys, we're getting another research grant, and we're in the money now!

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Men at Work swiped Down Under riff

David Stever
FAIL

...and further more

IF the song is still in copyright, why did it take this knob 22 years to bring the suit? Isn't he under any obligation to bring suit in a reasonable amount of time? At this point, most of the (il)gotten gains been spend, for god's sake?!?

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Obama plagiarist has a legal posse

David Stever
Grenade

He needed months ago to get a visit from...

...the Brute Squad!

Boing Boing as trust fund kiddies- I laughed. Did I mention Cory Doctorow's new book?

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Unisys lands $187m Pentagon mainframe deal

David Stever
Happy

I'm glad I'm not there any more

My part of the Unisys Circus was sold years ago to Lockheed, and what comes to mind is a little lyric from 10cc (yup, I'm that old)

Now time goes marching on

And it won't wait for you

You've gotta take it when it's offered

And get it when it's due

Now a man can move much faster

Without a millstone around his neck

So if you get the chance to lose it

You've gotta drop it and run like heck...

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Vote, vote, vote for Barbie the computer engineer

David Stever
Boffin

Barbie Data Centers

The data center in a box makes a perfect Barbie add-on accessory. The trailer that unfolds into the Google style stackable data center. Plug the USB cable in, and it can be used as a USB hub. Make 'em pink, throw some corporate logos on it, logos that could be paid for in a licensing deal, and Mattel will make out with this.

Ken dolls, with tented pants ("you're REALLY pretty, Barbie! Would you like to go out to lunch with us?") and lab coats...

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Obama to scrap Moon, Mars expeditions - report

David Stever
Thumb Down

...but how would we do that?

"But then these are quite different times to the sixties, and he was voted in on an agenda of change. Perhaps the bigger vision now is to lay off the expensive, slightly stagnant space stuff for a while til the technology has progressed a little more, and concentrate on putting the country to rights."

Yes, there's always another reason to spend the money for something else, but if we don't get out THERE and use the technology we have, we will never know how to improve the technology. If English sailors had not gone out and used the 16th century sailing technology, they would not have figured out how to improve upon it.

NASA and Lockheed had a great idea to make a single stage to orbit vehicle called the X-33. They ran into some technological problems, but rather then working through it, they threw in the towel, and surrendered. Now it's 40 years later, and we never go beyond low earth orbit. More's the pity for the human race.

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Top Gear's Stig prowls Loch Ness

David Stever
Boffin

Jiggy Stig

...and don't forget the puggy American Stig that came to the track last year (for us in the colonies, it was last year- who know when you saw him). he was quite unstig-like, but quite funny in context.

No helmet, but Ian Hunterish shades will do.

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Naked scans: Net cries nude-o-geddon

David Stever
FAIL

Aussie Airport Privates Police Outrage?

...so, will any of these scanners end up in airports in Australia? New South Wales? Sounds like a clear violation of their idiotic porn laws. I can hardly wait for the suits to roll out of law offices around the country, in the coming months.

Can I get a bag of popcorn while I wait?

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Aliens more likely to live on moons than planets, say boffins

David Stever
Thumb Up

Other worlds, other moons

I own the cover art of Poul Anderson's THE LONGEST VOYAGE, where a human civilization is coming up on the moon of a gas giant, when a voyage of exploration stumbles across a crashed spaceship.

http://www.coverbrowser.com/image/astounding-stories/361-1.jpg

The cover really gives you a taste of what the sky would look like on such a body in space. Thanks to John Schoenherr for painting such a beautiful thing, 50 years ago.

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Dan O’Bannon dies at 63

David Stever
Boffin

How to convince the bomb not to explode

Teach the bomb phenomenology!

Thanks goodness for the dead and frozen captain.

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Philip K. Dick's kid howls over Googlephone handle

David Stever
Joke

..do the Sheep look up?

If the Sheep look up to see what's going on, we'll have to worry about the estate of another dead SF author, John Brunner.

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David Stever
Thumb Down

...what was that marketing phrase?

oh yes!

First, do no harm.

Let me know how that's going for you.

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Bendy flash memory raises prospect of flexible displays

David Stever
Troll

Teletubbie

Oh oh!

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US Congress seeks control over NASA moonshot

David Stever
Flame

Turning Govt. over to the Companies

Shelby thinks that the agency which came up with The Stick would be willing to change their minds when a large gun is held against their head? Nothing like a little law to set that into stone. I think it would be funny now if the private sector ends up getting back to the moon before NASA figures out which end is their arse and which end is the mouth.

Marvelous Shelby, just marvelous.

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Blue whale males now singing bass, say scientists

David Stever
Pint

Barry White? Ally McBeal!

Come on, blokes! If you're going to mention the former in the article, then it's pop culture law that you have to mention the latter.

Eat a sandwich, love. PLEASE.

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ISS crew drops from 12 to 2

David Stever
Boffin

Dragon Capsule joins the fray

Well, in about 2.5 years, the Dragon capsule will be flyable by SpaceX (barring exploding test flights, etc.). What's the story there? Will they have their own set of crews and flight attendants (would you like another Tang with your bag of lunch, sir?), or will the NASA kids have to bring their resumes over to California if they want to fly to orbit before they reach mandatory retirement age? I bet a few of the folks who have left the Astro League in the past few years have already got their ducks in a row for working for SpaceX or Orbital Sciences to live the dream.

Remember, even the Russians are seeing the end of the Soyuz in the next decade or so, not that they know yet what will replace it.

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Legless woman falls onto Boston train tracks

David Stever
Pint

NOT a suicide attempt

I grew up outside Beantown, and the look she gave down the track is one I'm familiar with- looking to see whether there was a train approaching, so she could figure out if she'd get in a few more drags on her ciggy. She was so shitfaced that the look into the distance unbalanced her, and own she went. There used to be a light, 20-30 feet up the tunnel that I think would go on when a train was near. Much safer then doing the stare down.

Let's see if Sophia Hartdegen's name ever pops up again, or if she melts back into humanity. She's deeply embarassed by what happened to her right now. She claims no drinking problem, and says we should move along now

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Top prices, old shows - the Beeb's iPlayer goes global

David Stever
Thumb Up

Deep Archives content?

Does that mean that we'll be able to see once again, Charlie Dimmock bouncing around the garden then? Time to pick the melons, dear...

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NASA panel: Human spaceflight in 'unsustainable trajectory'

David Stever
Boffin

Saving the ISS

If you put a wire, kilometers long, standing straight up from the station, the wire will either generate electricity or raise the orbit of the device. You do this scientific pole dance long enough, the station will get out to an orbital distance where it can stay for decades, with no further need to reboost. Take a look at the years of discussion at SelenianBoondocks.com

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Byrne's naked shorting crusade outs Yahoo! security vuln

David Stever
Welcome

@ Ian Ferguson - 'Hacker'

Yup, it sure sounds like something the Repuglicans did here a decade ago- they hacked into Ted Kennedy's Email account as I remember, and watched Democratic strategy in the US Senate, and came up with ways to thwart them for upwards of two years. No charges out of that either. The Repuglicans love to use tactics like this to their advantage, and always cry foul when it's their ox being de-balled.

If Bagley used this 'tool' to put the screws to a jerk like Gary Weiss, then all the more power to him, and Gary needs to STFU, and lay by his dish. Otherwise, Madoff will end up with some fellow GOPers he can play chess with, during the afternoon exercise time in the yard...

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Boffins develop 'Hidden gateway to Hogwarts girls' loos'

David Stever
Alien

@ Doc Spock

I think you'll find the origins go back a lot farther the Joe Haldeman- if you go back to EE 'Doc' Smith (not EE Tookietookie, as is commonly held), you'll find a fellow named Peter van Buskirk who in an era of energy weapons and force fields, found that a simple fireman's axe (Why the Hell they had a fireman's axe on a spaceship is truly beyond my ken) did the job against the murderous alien brutes. Within a few pages or a few volumes, van Buskirk's buddies were suitably armed with chromium axes of marvelous design, and the Space Marines were launched. I think the Anime boys have taken over all of these stories now.

Bring me the head of Alien the Baptist

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Rogue knob could ground space shuttle Atlantis

David Stever
Alert

Seriously, a Dremmel Tool and a vacuum hose

They're NASA. Rejigger a Dremmel, attach a vacuum hose to suck up metal shaving, and cut the damned knob in half. The vac will suck up the metal bits, and you'll know it''s done when the vac sucks up half the knob when you're done.

Well, at least with three orbiters in the mix, if they need to take one out of the mix because of this fuck up (don't they have a spare window pane on the shelf somewhere?), I'm sure the other two can complete the damned job, so we can get around to twiddling our thumbs until the Dragon comes on-line, followed a few years later by Apollo on Steroids.

Yes kids, Steroids are bad, unless you have some localized swelling, or a Space Capsule...

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Missing: 1TB of Clinton White House data

David Stever
Joke

...I know where to look for it

If they're looking for it, I'd check with Karl Rove or 'Dick' Cheney.

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Darth Vader tops movie misquote poll

David Stever
Heart

@ Nano Nano

In the movie, the way that Lector says the line, it's obvious that he's mangling the word 'Chianti', knowing that it's use is out of character for him. I would characterize it as a Northern New Jersey / Tony Soprano pronounciation of the word. THAT was in character for him.

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Tandberg trundles into virtual tape

David Stever
Boffin

What about the Video Teleconferencing Division?

In neither story is there a mention of the blokes that I am familiar with, when I hear about Tandberg, and that's their video teleconferencing kit. I assume that it's the same company, and this bunch looks to be successful at what they do. All of the sites in my company are sucking up various Tandberg hardware devices, and they work like gangbusters.

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Boffin: Titan moon largely made of LPG, not cheese

David Stever
Alert

Planting a big wet one on The Register today

What a lovely day to be an inquisitive geek - an article about Bacon Sarnies and Titan, the Gas Station of the Solar System. Luvly. Just luvly, folks!

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Indian boffins mull zero-grav bhajis

David Stever
Boffin

Spicy Foods in orbit call for a new clothing allowance

They've already developed charcoal filtered underwear here on Earth. The Indian (...and Brit) space flights need to be combined with a shipment of these space shorts to allow the rest of the crew to live with the discharge.

Geek Chic glasses enclosed.

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