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(Canine) Guardians of the Corpse Ways

Guardians of the Corpse Ways is a thorough one-stop resource for all of your canine Underworld mythological needs. Why did countless cultures associate dogs with the realm of the dead? Here's a tiny sample: "The essence of the hellhound is his intermediary position - at the border of this world and next, between life and death, hope and fear, and also (given its pairing with the dog of life) between good and evil. For this role, the dog is perfectly suited, being the domestic species par excellence, the tamed carnivore who stands midway between animal and human, savagery and civilization, nature and culture [26]. 'The growl of the hellhound is yet another expression of this liminal position, for the growl is a halfway station between articulate speech and silence. It is a speech filled with emotion and power, but utterly lacking in reason. Like death itself, the hellhound speaks, but does not listen; acts, but never reflects or reconsiders. Driven by hunger and greed, he is insatiable and his growl is eternal in duration. In the last analysis, the hellhound is the moment of death, the great crossing over, the ultimate turning point.' [27]" [more inside]
posted by quiet earth on Dec 6, 2014 - 8 comments

Getting to the Moon was only half the job

On July 21th, 1969 Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin waited within paper thin walls on the surface of the Moon. Hours ago they had made history by being the first humans to land and walk on its surface. Now the only thing left to do was take off. All that entailed was performing the final test of the Lunar Module: launching from the lunar surface with no on-site support or possibility of fixes if something failed. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jul 21, 2014 - 67 comments

The Apollo 11 flight plan

Presented for your enjoyment and perusal: the Apollo 11 Flight Plan, and other fun reading material. [more inside]
posted by TheNewWazoo on Jun 29, 2014 - 23 comments

Say "Green Cheese"

Camera Used by Astronauts on Moon "Pulls $940 Gs" at Auction — The history of Hasselblad cameras used (and perhaps abused) during the Apollo moon missions.
posted by cenoxo on Mar 27, 2014 - 9 comments

Something still aloft

Do the Apollo flags remain where they were planted or have they fallen or have they disintegrated after four decades of intense UV and heat? James Fincannon investigates flags left behind from Apollo 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17 missions.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Mar 2, 2014 - 33 comments

Flight, try setting SCE to AWESOME.

This dad puts us all to shame. All I ever got from my dad was a train set.
posted by pjern on Feb 21, 2014 - 26 comments

Apollo of Gaza

Fisherman find an ancient Greek bronze statue in the waters off the coast of Gaza. Now the question is how it can be preserved and what its ultimate fate will be. Here Apollo is lying on Smurf sheets (photo from an Italian article). (Previously on underwater archaeology in the Mediterranean.)
posted by larrybob on Feb 9, 2014 - 38 comments

What "makes a man willing to sit up on top of an enormous Roman candle"?

In 1972, Tom Wolfe was assigned to do a piece for Rolling Stone on Apollo 17, NASA's last moon mission (Google book preview). That turned into a four-part series on the astronauts, written in a frantic three weeks. From there, he thought he could quickly expand the piece into a book (Gbp). But that book, on what makes an astronaut, ended up taking a much broader scope and more time. In 1979, The Right Stuff was published, and later was made into a well-regarded 3 hour movie. A few years later, Andrew Chaikin started on a similar path to Wolfe, more broadly documenting the US moon missions in his book, A Man on the Moon. The book was published in 1994, and HBO used it as the basis of a 12-part mini-series that they aired in 1998, titled From the Earth to the Moon. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Dec 26, 2013 - 28 comments

The Good Earth

How The 'Earthrise' Photo Was Made.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Dec 24, 2013 - 4 comments

Bras in Space

Bras in Space: The Incredible True Story Behind Upcoming Film "Spacesuit"
When we think of the Apollo 11 moon landing, what do we think of? President Kennedy’s bold vision. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin’s heroism (unfortunately we rarely think about Command Module Pilot Michael Collins). Perhaps we even think of the incredible engineers, rocket scientists, astrophysicists and all the other geniuses at NASA who made it possible. Now we want you to think about your grandma’s bra.
[more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Oct 29, 2013 - 20 comments

Looking out the window while landing on the moon

Simultaneous video and selectively played audio of every Apollo lunar landing on one screen. (via Collect Space) [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Oct 22, 2013 - 8 comments

Space Shack

Skylab, NASA's budget space station, launched 40 years ago today. Designed as an orbiting optical laboratory, she served as a cold war weapon, underwent an historic salvage job, and was the site of America's first space mutiny before landing hard in Australia while waiting for the Space Shuttle to be invented.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on May 14, 2013 - 37 comments

belters expanse trajectory: working up the Epstein Drive

How NASA brought the monstrous F-1 "moon rocket" engine back to life - "The story of young engineers who resurrected an engine nearly twice their age." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Apr 14, 2013 - 34 comments

"Where is the moon?" "Right straight ahead of you, John."

Distractions in Space: Because astronauts also have problems with directions, coworkers, and poop.
posted by ardgedee on Apr 3, 2013 - 28 comments

"We found so much."

As promised, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his team have recovered several Apollo F-1 rocket engines from the bottom of the ocean. [more inside]
posted by Chutzler on Mar 20, 2013 - 58 comments

Viewing the Earth from orbit changes your perspective

The Overview Effect
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jan 12, 2013 - 26 comments

One small clarification for a man, one giant scene of drama for mankind

Months after the death of Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, a question arises: when did he think of the infamous quote "One small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind"? His brother Dean says, in a BBC documentary, it was not made up by Neil after landing on the moon, as the astronaut has said for 40+ years. Instead, Neil asked Dean for his opinion on the quote several months before Apollo 11 even launched.

Newspapers headlines asked "Did Armstrong lie", prompting protest, clarifications and remembrances from space historian Andrew Chaikin and longtime friend Dudley Schuler.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jan 7, 2013 - 32 comments

Not because it was easy, but because it was hard

Apollo 40 years on: how the moon missions changed the world for ever
posted by Artw on Dec 17, 2012 - 28 comments

This is a post that explains the sky flying thing that makes a lot of noise and fire

XKCD explains explains the major parts of the Saturn V rocket.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Nov 19, 2012 - 44 comments

Testing spiders and gumdrops on Apollo 9

In March of 1969, Apollo 9 was launched into low earth orbit as critical test for future lunar landings. The Duet of Spider & Gumdrop is a half hour film, set to music from The Yellow Submarine, that publicized highlights of the mission.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Oct 21, 2012 - 4 comments

Astronauts and religion

Communion on the Moon: The Religious Experience in Space.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jul 22, 2012 - 35 comments

An Audience With Neil Armstrong

An Audience With Neil Armstrong is an hour long interview with Neil Armstrong about the moon landings from 2011, including a comparative view of footage from the Eagle's landing alongside Google Moon maps. [more inside]
posted by dng on May 23, 2012 - 14 comments

F-bombing the moon.

Farting and f-bombing on the Moon - Apollo 16. [SLYT] Houston: "Okay John. We have a hot mike." Commander John Young: "How long we had that?"
posted by srboisvert on May 5, 2012 - 54 comments

A few things we learned on the way to the Moon

39 years ago today, Apollo 17 splashed down in the South Pacific, marking the end to manned exploration of the Moon. What we learned from those 10 years of discovery was amazing. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Dec 19, 2011 - 42 comments

Apollo 15, The notable and not so notable firsts

Designed as "an expeditionary force for a geologic assault1" on the Moon’s Hadley Rille, Apollo 15 was a groundbreaking lunar mission. Designed to be devoted entirely to scientific exploration, it included a number of notable firsts: first to land outside of the lunar mare; first 3 day stay on the moon; first use of the Lunar Rover by Commander David Scott and Lunar Module Pilot Jim Irwin; first use of the Scientific Instrument Module, used by Command Module Pilot Al Worden to study the moon from lunar orbit; and first launch of a subsatellite, used to map the plasma, particle and magnetic fields of the moon. On top of that, Scott gave a visual proof of Galileo's theory of objects in gravity fields in a vacuum, showing gravity acts equally on all objects regardless of their mass. Scott and Irwin also discovered of the Genesis Rock, a piece the moon's primordial crust, formed only 100 million years after the solar system itself.

The mission was a spectacular success, publicly called "One of the most brilliant missions in space science ever flown". The crew was lauded and their future with NASA seemed assured.

Then the stamps hit the fan and Apollo 15 became the first US space crew that was ever fired. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Dec 2, 2011 - 61 comments

Astronauts who got creative about their experiences

Over 500 people have traveled into outer space. While many have written books about the experience, only a few have used more creative means to express what they saw and felt. Here are a few: [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Oct 9, 2011 - 13 comments

Apollo 11, as seen through Google Moon

The descent of the Apollo 11, plotted with Google Moon Pictures from the actual moon landing side-by-side with Google Earth, as the lander descends. [via]
Also, try the Google Earth KML file for the Apollo 11 landing.
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike on Sep 28, 2011 - 22 comments

Moon Camera's Missing Instructions

It's probably too late to take your Hasselblad aboard a Space Shuttle, but if the opportunity arises, read the Astronaut's Photography Manual (PDF) and you might capture photos like this one. Previously.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Sep 26, 2011 - 9 comments

What's in Apollo 18's name?

The movie Apollo 18 opened recently. The plot centers around a supposedly secret Apollo moon landing mission (the last actual mission was Apollo 17). But never mind the space stuff, what is up with the title of the mission? It's been used for a couple of non-space related music projects. They Might Be Giants used it for the title of their fourth album. Then there's a Korean indie rock band with the name, who won the Rookie of the Year award at the 2010 Korean Music Awards. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Sep 3, 2011 - 39 comments

Lift and separate

Initially the conventional wisdom was that spacesuits “would be like rockets: adamantine, metallic, armored and smooth.” But in practice, rigid spacesuits repeatedly failed under testing. So when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the Moon they were protected from the vacuum of space by flexible spacesuits crafted from twenty-one layers of fabric, “each with a distinct yet interrelated function, custom-sewn for them by seamstresses whose usual work was fashioning bras and girdles” for the Playtex Corporation. The Spirit of the Spacesuit , Spacesuit: Fashioning Apollo [more inside]
posted by Herodios on Jul 21, 2011 - 25 comments

On President Kennedy, the Space Race, legacies and politics

50 years ago today, on May 25 1961, US President John F. Kennedy decided "...this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth." Eight years later the Apollo program fulfilled the task, leaving the world with a legacy that includes advances in computers and communciation, lessons in managing complex projects, technological innovations and new views of the Earth. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on May 25, 2011 - 79 comments

For All Mankind

For All Mankind "Al Reinert’s documentary For All Mankind is the story of the twenty-four men who traveled to the moon, told in their words, in their voices, using the images of their experiences. Forty years after the first moon landing, it remains the most radical, visually dazzling work of cinema yet made about this earthshaking event." "For All Mankind is irreplaceable: one of a kind and likely to remain so. It is, formally, among the most radical American films of the past quarter century and, emotionally, among the most powerfully affecting. It makes its impossible title stick. In For All Mankind, we all lift off together, and we all come home the same way, and few movies have captured so well the rhapsodic absurdity of our common voyage." 1 :: 2 :: 3 :: 4 :: 5 :: 6 :: 7 :: 8
posted by puny human on Apr 7, 2011 - 35 comments

Apollo 14 note

Apollo 14, with Alan Shepard, American's first man in space, as the Commander, Stuart Roosa, Command Module Pilot and Edgar Mitchell, lunar module pilot, splashed down forty years ago today. It was flight of the rookies (total previous time in space was 15 minutes, all by Shepard). There were several odd things about the flight, but no need to worry, the moon trees are doing just fine.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Feb 10, 2011 - 11 comments

People who changed the way the world works

They Were There is a 30 min video from IBM, who is turning 100 this year. "told by first-hand witnesses—current and retired employees and clients—who were there when IBM helped to change the way world works."
posted by finite on Jan 22, 2011 - 52 comments

Cosmic Journeys and other space-related videos

Cosmic Journeys is a documentary series on various astronomical and space-related subjects, e.g. supermassive black holes, Apollo 12, whether the universe is infinite and many more. The creators, SpaceRip have a lot of other, shorter videos online as well. They are indexed here. Most, if not all, of the videos are available in HD.
posted by Kattullus on Dec 30, 2010 - 2 comments

"You're right. Man, this is beautiful"

Built as part of the fifth /dev/fort developer retreat, Spacelog.org allows you to explore early space missions via the original NASA transcripts. Currently live are Mercury 6 which made John Glenn the first American in orbit, and the 'successful failure' Apollo 13 (The transcribed key moment and the original). Alongside the transcripts are supporting materials from the NASA archives including photography and descriptions of the mission phases. The developers are looking for help to digitise the Gemini 7, Apollo 8 and Apollo 11 missions.
posted by garrett on Dec 1, 2010 - 11 comments

2009 John H. Glenn Lecture

On the eve of the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, the Annual John H. Glenn Lecture took place at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Tickets were in high demand for the event, which featured the Apollo 11 astronauts - among others - discussing the past, present, and future of manned spaceflight. [more inside]
posted by futureisunwritten on Jan 2, 2010 - 17 comments

Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind- bogglingly big it is.

Space is really big. A perspective on the Earth and Moon from the view of a pixel.
posted by loquacious on Aug 11, 2009 - 50 comments

The Lunar Orbiter's Kodak moment

NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has returned its first images of the Apollo moon landing sites. The spacecraft’s onboard camera photographed Lunar Module descent stages at five of the six Apollo sites—11, 14, 15, 16, and 17. The Apollo 12 site will be photographed in coming weeks. [more inside]
posted by prinado on Jul 17, 2009 - 38 comments

Land, Eagle, Land

We Chose the Moon: The JFK Library and Museum has just launched this interactive web experience using archival audio, video, photos, and recorded transmissions to re-create, in real time, the July 16, 1969, Apollo 11 mission to the moon.
posted by Miko on Jul 13, 2009 - 43 comments

Happy 40th anniversary, mankind.

Moon Landing Tapes Found! [more inside]
posted by sexyrobot on Jul 2, 2009 - 93 comments

That's no Moon. Or a McDonald's. WTF?

At the mostly abandoned Moffett Field in an abandoned McDonald's, digital archeologists attempt to restore, recover and archive abandoned high resolution imagery and data from previous manned Moon missions, using an abandoned Ampex 2" tape drive found in a chicken coop - the last working machine in the world, restored by the last man alive capable of rebuilding the heads. This is likely only part of their weird story.
posted by loquacious on May 1, 2009 - 66 comments

Grab your gun and bring in the cat

Reviews and thoughts on the Battlestar Galatica finale, and a few answers from show creator Ron Moore
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Mar 21, 2009 - 440 comments

Mankind up close and personal

One Small Step (HQ footage) [more inside]
posted by Substrata on Mar 8, 2009 - 30 comments

The Solar Connection

Rethinking Earthrise. On the 40th anniversary of the NASA's Apollo 8 mission [caution: weird JFK animation], which answered Stewart Brand's epochal, LSD-inspired question "Why haven't we seen a photograph of the whole Earth yet?" with an unforgettable image of a seemingly fragile and isolated blue planet, Nature editor Oliver Morton -- author of a new book on photosynthesis called Eating the Sun -- disputes the notion that the Earth is fragile and isolated. "The fragility is an illusion," he writes. "The planet Earth is a remarkably robust thing, and this strength flows from its ancient and intimate connection to the cosmos beyond. To see the photo this way does not undermine its environmental relevance -- but it does recast it."
posted by digaman on Dec 24, 2008 - 39 comments

"I think Isaac Newton is doing most of the driving now."

Forty Years Ago Today The first humans to leave earth orbit, Frank Borman, James A. Lovell, and William A. Anders, and their Christmas message. [more inside]
posted by Snyder on Dec 23, 2008 - 71 comments

Mythbusters takes on the Moon Hoax!

Has man really set foot on the moon? There have certainly been a lot of claims that the whole Apollo missions were one giant hoax. Adam and Jamie at Mythbusters examine the claims of the Hoax Believers one by one. Did they use a wire rig or slow down the film to simulate the 1/6 moon gravity? What would it look like in real 1/6 G? Would a footprint in the lunar regolith have maintained it's shape even if there was no moisture to keep the material together? Why was the flag waving so much if there was no wind on the moon? Why are the shadows on the moon not parallel if they are coming from a single light source? Why can we see the astronauts when they are in shadows if there isn't a second light source? To finish it all off they shoot a laser at the moon to see if the reflector they supposedly left there is actually there.
posted by Sir Mildred Pierce on Dec 18, 2008 - 105 comments

Video and photos of spacewalks

The environment does terrible things to the human body and it smells. Many people go for that walk anyway. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Feb 10, 2008 - 32 comments

Unseen photos of lunar surface

In honor of this morning's impressive lunar eclipse, another moon-photo post: For decades you had to be a scholar or specialist to get access to the original Apollo flight films, most of which have been stored in freezers at Houston's Johnson Space Center. Now Arizona State University and NASA are scanning the negatives with high-resolution equipment and creating an online digital archive of downloadable images for the general public. Here are the first few, from Apollo 15. (Similar topics previously: 1, 2, 3, 4.)
posted by GrammarMoses on Aug 28, 2007 - 9 comments

Dying Hard at the Apollo

I contend this house-swaying performace at the Apollo Theater earlier this year, purporting to feature soulful everyman Brad Prowley ("real life homeless man . . . who makes a living singing classic R&B songs on the streets of major cities not just to get by, but out of a true, life-long passion for music"), actually showcases this man in disguise. You be the judge.
posted by azaner on Jul 15, 2007 - 71 comments

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