The Van Allen Belt is a pesky radioactive torus surrounding Earth. Spacecraft operating for extended periods within it must use heavy and expensive radiation hardening techniques just to survive. Tethers Unlimited has proposed a rather daring scheme for circumventing this nuisance: HiVOLT. [more inside]
When communism crumbled in 1989 it created an opportunity for wildlife. The Iron Curtain that divided communist Eastern Europe from the capitalist West had created a no-man's-land protected by barbed wire and minefields - a last haven for many rare animals and plants.
There used to be this problem you see, until one of our own kindly settled it. His services are desperately needed once again.
The New England Belt Sander Racing Association has just held their 2006 Winter Nationals. The results aren't up yet but you can watch a movie of the 2003 championship. [via]
Big object sighted... if you liked Sedna and Quaoar, you're bound to love 2003 EL61, which has been found lurking in photographs from a couple of years ago. There appears to be some speculation that this one could be larger than Pluto.
In vogue during the Middle Ages, chastity belts are making a come back in Pennsylvania. Get yours today from the Pennsylvania State Legislature in time to celebrate their annual Chastity Awareness Week. But of course, what's good for the goose is good for the gander (NSFW) so I expect all (unmarried) Pennsylvanian legislators to be similarly outfitted. Your tax dollars at work to the tune of a quarter billion dollars.