Subject:

Science and Technology

  • Blogs

    July 8, 2011

    15 Unfamous But Great Space Shuttle Photos

    Even if it's not today, at some point Atlantis will lift off and eventually finish the last of the space shuttle missions. There are plenty of famous, even iconic, NASA photographs of the program; we pulled some highlights of lesser-known ones. 15. Almost a rocket ship This makes the shuttle look ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 7, 2011

    Shuttle Atlantis' Souvenir Load: 22,000 Flags, 10,000 Patches, A Very Small Painting And More

    Atlantis: Last chance for souvenirs​If you're making the last-ever trip on the space shuttle, you want to make it count. And if the list put together by collectSPACE.com is any indication, this last flight is taking along enough souvenirs to outfit a small army. Almost all the items are put ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 6, 2011

    Shuttle Atlantis: Its 10 Weirdest Mission Patches

    In May, as it prepared to take off, we offered a list of the five coolest mission patches of the shuttle Endeavour. We wish we could do the same for the Atlantis, scheduled tentatively to go up on the last shuttle mission Friday, but it appears the ship did not provide as much inspiration as the En ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 17, 2011

    Cover Story: Austin Fires Back

    Feelings have been hurt​So I'd gotten up at 5 a.m. and spent the day at NASA's Mission Control, where along with about fifty other writers, talking heads and camera crews from Houston, New York, London, Paris and Tokyo, I'd been granted unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to the final full- ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 17, 2011

    In Run-Up to Space Shuttle Atlantis Launch, NASA Allows Rare Peek Behind Mission Control Curtain

    Photos by Troy Fields​Check out our pictures of the final round of space shuttle simulation training at NASA's Mission Control. Space. If you are anything like me, you've probably started to take it for granted. Save for disasters like the Columbia explosion in 2003, the country as a whole no ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 17, 2011

    Hot Stuff: Will The Texas Heat Melt Your Vinyl LPs?

    Note: All temperatures in the following article are given in degrees Fahrenheit. Here is a helpful Celsius conversion calculator. ​You might not have noticed it lately, but outdoors, rays of this thing called "sunshine" are hitting the Earth like the planet didn't bring the Sun a sandwich wh ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 17, 2011

    Annise Parker Wins National Award for Making Houston Greener

    Getting some (wind-powered) props.​What with all the electric cars and the green municipal buildings, Houston is maybe starting to ditch its reputation for being one of the more polluted cities in the country. Of course, there's still a boatload of pollution, but at least the city government i ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 15, 2011

    Tasting Notes: This Week in Wine Blogs

    Know a Houston-based blog we should be paying particular attention to? Leave the address in the comments section below. Vintage Texas: Top Texas wine blogger Russ Kane may be based in Houston, but, man, this dude gets around. His blog is always our No. 1 go-to resource for wine events happening aro ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 15, 2011

    Cover Story: Air Hockey Reigns Supreme (With Video)

    As the space shuttle program winds down, people will be reflecting on all the contributions to society NASA has made. Among them: Air hockey. The game was developed by NASA contractors, and it remains huge, especially in the Houston area. Our cover story this week, "Hover Boards," examines the ph ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 7, 2011

    The 10 Coolest Shuttle Atlantis Pictures

    Next month will bring the final space shuttle mission ever, and the vehicle that will take that last ride will be the Atlantis. The Atlantis has taken 32 trips to space so far, and like every shuttle, stunning photographs have been part of the deal. Here are 10 of Atlantis' best. 10. Leaving that ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 7, 2011

    ZZ Top Debuts New Song... In Space

    ​The first bit of music from ZZ Top's long-awaited, long-delayed, semi-mythical forthcoming album has leaked... but not anywhere on Earth. Astronaut and friend of ZZ Michael Fossum, currently headed to the International Space Station on a Russian spacecraft, is carrying a copy of "Flyin' High ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 30, 2011

    Hurricane Season 2011: The Predictions

    Hurricane Ike's track from all the way out in the Atlantic to the Texas coast.​Hurricane season is upon us. Just like Christmas, but with high winds and death from above instead of toys and egg nog, it creeps up on us quicker than we expect and, before we know it, we're knee deep in a disaster ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 27, 2011

    App of the Week: MySocialMania

    It doesn't get much easier than this.​App: MySocialMania Platforms: iPhone Web site: Apple Link Cost: $0.99 Mania seems to be an appropriate word when discussing the crazed use of social media by millions worldwide. From Twitter to Facebook to Flickr to MySpace (God help us), millions of ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 26, 2011

    Shuttle Endeavour in Hi-Def: Its Final Liftoff

    NASA has released hi-def video of the shuttle Endeavour's final liftoff, from cameras mounted at various points on the outside of the vehicle. Your tax dollars at work! Enjoy.

  • Blogs

    May 19, 2011

    Hurricane Predictions: Feds Say to Hunker Down

    Rita, when it was coming for us.​The time to predict hurricane season has arrived, and -- as with Texans season previews -- what's predicted doesn't always tend to be what happens. So get your grain of salt ready. (On the other hand, severe weather has been the norm elsewhere in the U.S. rece ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 13, 2011

    Space Shuttle Endeavour: Its Five Coolest Mission Patches

    Monday, barring yet another delay, the space shuttle Endeavour will take off on its 25th and final mission. Each mission gets its own patch, of course, designed with input from the crew. The five coolest mission patches Endeavour has had: 5. STS-49, May 1992 Endeavour's inaugural flight paid tribu ... More >>

  • Calendar

    May 12, 2011
  • Blogs

    April 21, 2011

    Amazon Crash Hits Reddit, Others: Social Media Armageddon

    Now get some work done.​The spinning of the earth has nearly come to a standstill thanks to major server problems with Amazon.com's Web Services, a cloud-computing platform used by dozens of very popular social networking sites. "The cloud," for you luddites, means stuff that's saved in the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 15, 2011

    Space Shuttle Blues: County Commissioner Calls for a Congressional Investigation

    Answers are demanded, even though they're obvious.​You know what the Space Shuttle fiasco needs? Congress getting involved. At least that's the thinking of Harris County Commissioner Jack Morman. He's introducing a resolution at next week's meeting demanding Congress investigate "Nasa's deci ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 13, 2011

    Space Shuttles: Ten Ways Los Angeles and New York Can Show Theirs Off, Dammit

    Bi-wing airplanes...pfft. Try this on for size, Kong.​This week, we learned that Houston, essentially the birthplace of the space shuttle program, will not be given one of the four remaining shuttles. Two of the four cities receiving them are both deserving and appropriate: Washington D.C. (fo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 11, 2011

    Jethro Tull in Space: No Aqualung, Though

    In honor of the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's historic spaceflight, current space station astronaut and noted flute player Cady Coleman joined in an earth-orbit duet with Jethro Tull founder Ian Anderson.

  • Blogs

    April 8, 2011

    Is Blog Love Overvalued?

    ​It's funny watching new artists stumble over themselves trying to score coverage on popular blogs. Take the fast rising L.A. crew Odd Future, for example. Group captain Tyler, The Creator is almost as famous for his musical ingenuity as he is for his feud with revered rap blogs Nah Right and ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 8, 2011

    App of the Week: Alfred

    A quick search using Alfred yielded really helpful results.​App: Alfred Platforms: Mac OSX Web site: Alfredapp.com Cost: Free (Power Pack add-on for about $20) Normally, this space is reserved for apps for the phone and the occasional Web site. This week, we're going to talk directly to M ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 8, 2011

    Gabrielle Giffords: No Media Appearances If She Goes to Husband's Shuttle Launch

    Expected to go to Florida for shuttle launch.​Staffers for Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, recuperating here after her Tucson shooting, say she still plans to attend the April 29 launch of her husband's space shuttle mission. But if she does, there will be no press interviews or public stat ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 6, 2011

    Photographers Reeling After German April Fools' Day

    www.re35.netDigital photography had apparently been turned on its head last week.​Looks like the Germans have us beat in soccer, old-school communism and April Fools' Day gags. On April 1, Rogge & Pott, a Hamburg, Germany-based design company, unveiled a jump-up-and-down-with-excitement produ ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 30, 2011

    Why We Can't Be Friends on Facebook

    Why can't we be friends, why can't we be friends.....​Something interesting happened when social media started bearing down on us a few years back. We began to yearn for friends, and not the kind that you can call up on a Tuesday night for a bull session at the bar, or someone to watch your pu ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 29, 2011

    Astronaut Plays Jethro Tull Flute In Space

    Rocks Off has been trying to come up with a "space rock" joke all day, but we can't, so we'll just say this is pretty cool. Today we got an email from Austin nonprofit Dart Music International with a link to the above video, which premiered during SXSW. It's astronaut (and musician) Cady Coleman ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 11, 2011

    The Ultimate Musical Space Shuttle Crew

    ​The first man to ever leave the Earth and venture into space was a Russian cosmonaut named Yuri Gagarin, who, if he hadn't died at the young age of 34 in a plane crash he would be 77 years old today. Garagrin was launched into space on April 12, 1961, and orbited once around the planet in 108 ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 9, 2011

    Retired Space Shuttles: Will Houston Get Shut Out?

    A space shuttle on display​Discovery has landed safely, ending its last mission of a long and fruitful career. It's expected to spend its retirement at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum branch in Virginia. Two other space shuttles are retiring this year -- the Endeavour and Atlantis -- and 2 ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 8, 2011

    Space Cowboys: Big Head Todd Serenades Shuttle Crew

    ​If someone woke Rocks Off up at 2:30 in the morning with a Big Head Todd & the Monsters song, even the band themselves, we might have a few choice words for them. But we suppose it's a little different when you're 220 miles above the Earth. That's what happened earlier today (way earlier tod ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 7, 2011

    Discovery 's Last Take-Off: Some Wild Views

    NASA has put together an impressive montage of the last take-off of the space shuttle Discovery, using a wide range of cameras on the launch pad and the vehicle. There's about five minutes or so of preflight stuff here, so fast-forward if you prefer.

  • Blogs

    February 7, 2011

    Sexting: Parents to be Punished for Their Kids' Naughtiness if Bill Passes

    Sexting: The love song of the modern J. Alfred Prufrock​If you're the parent of a tween/teen who's dumb enough to sext, you've got enough problems. You don't need to add to them by being forced to attend a class on the whole thing. But according to a bill announced today by state Attorney Gen ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 28, 2011

    Comment of the Day: Does the Challenger Explosion Only Resonate in Houston?

    ​We have some great commenters here on Hair Balls, and it's time we paid some damn attention to them. So we'll be highlighting a Comment of the Day each morning, from the previous day's work. Maybe two comments, even. This will all be determined by a highly rigorous scientific formula involv ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 27, 2011

    Challenger Disaster, 25 Years Later: The Five Most Chilling Moments

    Tomorrow is the 25th anniversary of the Challenger disaster, a news event that remains so vivid -- especially to Houstonians -- that most everyone can remember where they were when they learned of it or when they first saw a replay of that launch, embedded above. That day and its aftermath trigger ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 11, 2011

    What Do Rappers Have Against Facebook?

    Some rappers happen to be thoughtful, intelligent people. Every Monday (or thereabouts) that isn't a national holiday, Rocks Off will have some of them here discussing issues relevant to their culture. Photo illustration by John Seaborn Gray​This Week's Panel: Z-Ro, Slim Thug, hasHBrown, Kirk ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 31, 2010

    Before Networking Was Social: Ten Early Social Websites That Are Dead or Dying

    Who needs Classmates.com when we have Facebook?​Social networking today is a foregone conclusion. Many of us wake up and check Twitter on our smart phones or pull up Facebook on our laptops. We surf YouTube videos in our spare time, find dates on Match.com and spend hours reading music, politi ... More >>

  • Calendar

    December 30, 2010
  • Calendar

    December 30, 2010
  • Blogs

    December 29, 2010

    Five Tips for Shooting Food Photos with Your iPhone

    Photo by hirotomoThe iPhone really can take good photos if done correctly.​Lots of you like snapping photos of your food while preparing it or after it is served. Most of the time, that means using a point-and-shoot digital camera or something nicer if you have it despite the weird looks of wa ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 21, 2010

    Teen Birth Rate Hits Lowest Point In 70 Years

    Less chance these days his mom's a teenager​See what happens when you get rid of abstinence-only sex education? The birth rate for teen mothers is at its lowest point since 1940, when records were first kept, a federal study released today says. The report from the National Center for Healt ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 20, 2010

    Lunar Eclipse: Viewing Tips That Might Or Might Not Be Useful

    The lunatic is in the grass, trying to see an eclipse through the clouds​It's Lunar Eclipse Night!! Feel the excitement!! What? You're not on the edge of your seat? CHeck out this paragraph from ABC News: If the sky is clear, experts say the show might be extra spectacular, as the moon will ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 3, 2010

    Outsmarted By Your Smartphone? T-Mobile Wants To Help

    Photo by Flickr user tomsunThese are not the Droid apps you are looking for.​What's so great about the holidays? You never wear those horrendous sweaters from Grandma, all the money you get burns a hole in your pocket, and you forget to use all of your gift cards, which eventually expire. Don' ... More >>

  • Calendar

    December 2, 2010
  • Blogs

    November 10, 2010

    iPod: Happy Anniversary, You Little Devil

    Can somebody please tell us what the hell Firewire is? Nine years ago today - November 10, 2001 - Apple unveiled a new kind of MP3 player known as an iPod. About the size of a deck of cards, the device contained five gigabytes of memory, enough for about 1,000 songs, and cost $400. Four. Hundred. ... More >>

  • Calendar

    October 28, 2010
  • News

    October 7, 2010

    Intelligent Life

    When NASA employee April Evans questioned animal experiments, her career fell apart.

  • Blogs

    September 21, 2010

    Space Shuttle Discovery: Five Notable Missions, For Better Or Worse

    Godspeed, Discovery​The space shuttle Discovery headed to the pad yesterday for its last trip into space.The 26-year-old craft has seen a lot in its career, some good, some bad, some odd. Here are five highlights:5. Being used as an old-folks' tour busIn 1998 Discovery took John Glenn up to space ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 14, 2010

    Ford Jumping On Houston's Electric-Car Trend

    Horseless carriages that run on electricity?​Houston has been getting a lot of attention for its seeming devotion to the electric car -- or at least its demonstrated devotion to issuing plans about using electric cars -- and now Ford is jumping on the bandwagon.The company announced today it would ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 10, 2010

    10 Reasons Your Restaurant Website Sucks

    Your restaurant website probably sucks​I have spent more than ten years consulting with companies in a wide range of industries on the design and development of their websites. It's a job that can be quite challenging because I often work with organizations who don't know very much about websi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 8, 2010

    Climate Change, Houston's Hot Summer And An Extreme-Weather Future

    The heat is on in Texas and elsewhere​August was the hottest month ever in Houston. A whopping 88.7 degrees, on average, topping previous records from both 1980 and 1962 by a full three-tenths of a degree.And while that doesn't sound like a lot to most folks, it's the kind of number that makes sci ... More >>

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