Sailing On Light

I think almost everyone has heard of solar sails, where crafts in space are moved by giant “fabric” being unfurled to catch the winds of light always blowing around the universe.

June 21 2005 should see the launch of Cosmos 1, a craft built by The Planetary Society and Cosmos Studios, which stem in large part from the life’s work of the unusually broad-minded scientist Carl Sagan.

The goal of Cosmos 1 is modest: enter Earth’s orbit then open your sails and see if the solar winds will raise you into a higher orbit.

Well, actually there are a few other considerations, like testing orientations of the 15 sails to catch sunlight in different ways for maneouverability, etc.

Space programs tend to be funded by governments. In a seemingly advancing trend, Cosmos 1 is not. It is a private venture of people interested in extrasolar exploration who would like to prove and further the only technology we currently have that provides us feasable interstellar flight capabilities.

As we know, light travels fast – around 670 million miles per hour. The fastest intersteller spacecraft we’ve launched, Voyager One, travels at a mere 39,000 miles per hour. It gained much speed from planetary fly-by’s during it’s exploration of our solar system. Right now, after traveling for nearly 30 years and 9 billion miles, it’s just past Pluto, heading toward the nether reaches of our tiny little home in the universe.

I have to mention the Helios 1 and 2 probes, though – those zippy German probes that currently hold the galactic speed records at sizzling 158,000 mph. Well, sizzling at least because they achieved that in such close orbit of the sun.

So what of solar sails? They can never travel the speed of light and the nearest star is just over 4 light years away. In fact, there are only 3 stars that are around 4 light years away, then we quickly start moving up to 11 light years away.

But if we consider we’re willing to wait 30 years for telemetry from Voyager, just now leaving our solar system, and that Voyager may be sending us still some amazing scientific information as it leaves the odd outer boundaries of our solar system, it might just be worth the effort.

If we added a laser, or a type of magentic field sail and/or beam collector, a solar sail could reach speeds of over 1 million miles per hour, which would allow it to overtake the Voyager in just a few years, and reach the next star system in just a bit longer time than we’ve been waiting for Voyager.

These other types of solar sailors might be the best bet – particularly one type called Mini-Magnetospheric Plasma Propulsion, developed by Robert Winglee at the University of Washington (yay!). His creates a magnetic bubble around the spacecraft to collect the solar winds, instead of a giant, solid sail that can be damaged by space debris.

One thing is for certain – right now we are a little trapped by the speed of light and the constraints of space-time. I find it downright vexing.

But realize, Cosmos 1 is being launched by normal people – not a government agency. And even moreso, it is being launched inside a Russian inter-continental ballistic missle – the Volna – from a Russian Delta III submarine. In other words, we’re using the worlds most destructive weapons platforms to launch a ship into space that will sail upon light.

I think that must be a good thing.

For those of you who might be interested, the Cosmos 1 will have a near circular polar orbit. If the sails work well, it may remain up there for a very long time. If they don’t, it’s likely to fall down to earth very soon. You should be able to see it.

Perigee radius 7137.536 km
Apogee radius 7220.636 km
Inclination 80.03 degrees
Right ascension of the ascending node 212.99 degrees
Argument of perigee 125.98 degrees
Initial mean anomaly 3.2 degrees
Nominal orbit injection time 21 June 2005 19:46 GMT

Telemetry will be broadcast on 401.5275 MHz UHF and 2250 MHz S-band.



How To Be A Liar (or just support one)

I’ve known a few liars. Not just people who lie every once in a while about silly things. I’m talking liars who completely fabricate realities around themselves, either to hide themselves away, or to achieve a more gradiose status or goal at any cost.

People who are liars exhibit several behavioural patterns. They also have several ethical and emotional tendencies in place.

The first thing an aspiring “master” liar must do is have an overwhelming internal motivation. The best kind of internal motivation comes from psychological disfunction – a juxtaposition of how your true internal self feels you to be, opposed against what your more rational outward self desires you to be.

This juxtaposition of conflicting notions of the Self is the perfect fuel for carrying out all manner of lies and manipulations, and has the added benefit of confusing the liar so much internally that they often believe themselves, which makes the lies all the more convincing.

However, the genius comes through the flexibility inherent in this dynamic – the master liar need not stick to any one point that they’ve lied about – they can move, in, out and around, through the conflicting motivations, to subtly change, tune and perfectly alter the circumstance of any challenge to their lie.

This genius does not come easy – it must be integrated into you. You must allow the warring parts within you to have full reign over your sense of identity – you must allow your fears and your desires to overcome the very knowledge of who you are.

Most people will think this silly – in some sense we all have warring and conflicting aspects within us. But to become a master liar, you have to take that extra leap – you have to move into the realm of impossibility, and make it possible: you have to truly be more than one person at a time – and you must integrate them into a functioning whole that is greater than yourself.

The part of you that doesn’t like you, knows you need to be greater – the part that knows you’re greater knows you actually are greater. Once this is established, you can then begin to alter the very fabric of reality around yourself, to further your own self within the world, and, that which is not yourself.

And, once you become a master in the shaping of reality, you’ll find others who will help you. Some will help you because they see this wonderous thing you’ve created in yourself, some will help you because they sense the potential to be exploited. It’s not important that either of these people really know you – for they know You.

That little you is worthless – unimportant – even a danger. The larger You must crush it.

And in doing so, the realities you weave around you will become all the more engaging. More and more, your attention can be fixed upon the weaving, and less upon the pathetic little part of you that you hate.

Of course, there are always dangers, even from outside yourself, though they are rare. The external world is conditioned to accept surface images without question, and to keep questions silent when something is suspected.

At all costs avoid the few people who can see through your weaving, into your core. Though you will feel enexorably drawn to them, you must remember at all costs that it is your weak and hated pathetic side that is drawn to them, not You. Remove them from your life, and if you cannot, move far away from them, for they are your greatest threat. Surround yourself with people who are loyal to You.

As time passes, you will percieve the benefits of your vigilance. More of the world will reflect back the greatness of You, and the you who you were will be all but gone. If you start longing for simpler times, or just being able to be comfortably yourself with another human being, remind yourself: this is what growing up is all about. Soon, that too, shall pass.

How to get started:

Find at least two things that cannot be true about yourself at the same time. The deeper it goes into you, the better. You must also know with certainty that who you are, you despise, for your weakness, your stupidity, or any reason, really. This is key.

If you are gay to any degree in a society that is conditioned against this reality, you have it easy: believe you are not. This runs very, very deep and will bring forth a wealth of possibilities in all aspects of your life, both emotionally and career-wise. You will find that you will become a master liar in no time, and can move about like a shadow wherever you choose to go, with reality flowing effortlessly around you. Exploit your talent. You are the crown jewel of liars with foundations that go down to your very soul, and outward into the very self-definitions of others. The insight you will gain is priceless. The power you will wield over the insecure and uncertain people will be practically limitless. Sexuality is a fundamental foundation for us all – and you will control it as it touches upon so many things. Hate your gayness, but take what it gives you. Never give in.

If you are stupid, having put playtime above all else, never found anything interesting in books, or felt inadequate compared to “smart” people, you also have a very powerful force to be unleased within you. Know that you understand a greater world – that this book-smart stuff is nothing compared to what you have known and seen. That the force of your personality and those people loyal to you are a force much, much greater than any measurable reality – for measurable reality can be bludgeoned into whatever you choose. And this is beyond smart and stupid – it is the very foundation of the universe – the strong – the evolutionary dominance – the primal force of life itself! People who think you’re stupid just really have no idea…

But perhaps the most powerful conflict you can draw upon is believing in the spiritual, and not believing in the spiritual. If you can combine this with being gay and not being gay, your success is absolutely assured – there is nothing with more potential for power and self-aggrandizement. However, if you combine these two with being stupid and not being stupid, you’re likely to fail. Spirtuality and stupidity are fine together, though your power base will be limited. Spirituality, like sexuality, is a formative foundation in all people – easily used to raise yourself to great heights of self-justification and visionary leadership to a vast number of people. When the master liar is formed from the conflicts of spirituality and sexuality, there really is no limit. Anything you need to do can be done, and made completely justifiable, and you’ll have no lack of people supporting you in this. In fact, you won’t even need to work at all to maintain your weaves of reality around you – othters will be more than willing to do this for you – as you give them a basis and justification for themselves.

As I said, the more “iconic” the conflict is within you, the greater your potential as a liar. If the best conflict you can come up with is, I love my job, I hate my job, or I love my familty, I hate my family, then your potential is pretty limited. And if you’re a person who always just says everything about what they’re thinking and feeling all the time and is all honest about it, forget it – you give all your potential power away to the others around you for them to utilize how they see fit: you’re the weakest of all.

Above all, you must always remember – it’s not about who you are. Who you are is something you must avoid – utterly – without fail. Who you are is wrong, it is weak, it is to be hated, feared for the wretchedness it represents for you, and it must be destroyed, buried and smothered. Who you Are, is who you are. That is the only truth you need. And if others cannot see that and respect that, then make them, or make them irrelevant.

This is the path to becoming a Master Liar.

Sometimes you will be challenged.

You don’t always need to remember what you’ve said.

Just keep to your track – push it to the limit against any challenge.

Begin to alter reality, in subtle bits, to bring doubt to others. Pressure loyals for loyalty
.

Manufacture a high ground and stand upon it.

Distract others and futher more goals at the same time.

Only the meek will inherit – just the stupid little Earth.

Should I Scream, Cry, or Drop Into Coma of Dumbfoundedness?

DebianI can, at least, just drop over dead, and be done with life.

The impossible has happened!

June 6th, 2005 – a date that will live in infamy – or at least, as a permanent nervous twitch for many.

Congrats to that team. It’s really a nice job they’ve done.

Strangely, the 64-bit architecture isn’t in Sarge – it’s still separate. I guess they haven’t conformed to everything they need to, but I’ve been using it and it’s wonderful.

This sure has been a lot of extra work over the last few days for some of us… and others… you, you… putting it off… come on… get it over with… 😉

------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Debian Project                                http://www.debian.org/
Debian GNU/Linux 3.1 released                           press@debian.org
June 6th, 2005                  http://www.debian.org/News/2005/20050606
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Debian GNU/Linux 3.1 released

The Debian Project is pleased to announce the official release of Debian
GNU/Linux version 3.1 codenamed ``sarge'' after nearly three years of
constant development.  Debian GNU/Linux is a free operating system which
supports a total of eleven processor architectures, includes KDE, GNOME
and GNUstep desktop environments, features cryptographic software, is
compatible with the FHS v2.3, and supports software developed for the LSB.

With the development of the new debian-installer, this release features
a new, modular and sophisticated installation routine with integrated
hardware detection and unattended installation capabilities.  The
installation is available in about thirty languages and includes
configuration of the X server for many graphic cards.

The task selection system has been revamped and made more flexible.  The
debconf tool has been integrated into most packages that need to be
configured and makes this easier and more user friendly.  Debian
GNU/Linux can be installed from various installation media such as DVDs,
CDs, USB sticks, a few floppies, or from the network.  It can be
downloaded now, and will soon be available on DVD and CD-ROM from
numerous vendors http://www.debian.org/CD/vendors/.

Debian GNU/Linux runs on computers ranging from palmtops and handheld
systems to supercomputers, and on nearly everything in between.  A total
of eleven architectures are supported, including Motorola 68k (m68k), Sun
SPARC (sparc), HP Alpha (alpha), Motorola/IBM PowerPC (powerpc), Intel
IA-32 (i386) and IA-64 (ia64), HP PA-RISC (hppa), MIPS (mips, mipsel),
ARM (arm) and IBM S/390 (s390).

This release includes a number of up-to-date large software packages,
such as the K Desktop Environment 3.3 (KDE), the GNOME desktop
environment 2.8, the GNUstep desktop, XFree86 4.3.0, GIMP 2.2.6,
Mozilla 1.7.8, Galeon 1.3.20, Mozilla Thunderbird 1.0.2, Firefox 1.0.4,
PostgreSQL 7.4.7, MySQL 4.0.24 and 4.1.11a, GNU Compiler Collection 3.3.5
(GCC), Linux kernel versions 2.4.27 and 2.6.8, Apache 1.3.33 and 2.0.54,
Samba 3.0.14, Python 2.3.5 and 2.4.1, Perl 5.8.4 and much more.

This is the first Debian release that includes OpenOffice.org (1.1.3).
It also features cryptographic software integrated in the main
distribution.  OpenSSH and GNU Privacy Guard are included in the default
installation, and strong encryption is present in web browsers, web
servers, databases, and many other applications available in this
release.

Debian GNU/Linux 3.1 includes the efforts of the Debian-Edu/Skolelinux,
Debian-Med and Debian-Accessibility sub-projects which boosted the number
of educational packages and those with a medical affiliation as well as
packages designed especially for people with disabilities.

Upgrades to Debian GNU/Linux 3.1 from the previous release Debian
GNU/Linux 3.0 codenamed ``woody'' are automatically handled by the
aptitude package management tool, and to a certain degree also by the
apt-get package management tool.  As always, Debian GNU/Linux systems can
be upgraded painlessly, in place, without any forced downtime.  For
detailed instructions about installing and upgrading Debian GNU/Linux,
please see the release notes http://www.debian.org/releases/sarge/releasenotes .

About Debian
------------

Debian GNU/Linux is a free operating system, developed by more than
thousand volunteers from all over the world who collaborate via the
Internet.  Debian's dedication to Free Software, its non-profit nature,
and its open development model make it unique among GNU/Linux
distributions.

The Debian project's key strengths are its volunteer base, its dedication
to the Debian Social Contract, and its commitment to provide the best
operating system possible.  Debian 3.1 is another important step in that
direction.

Contact Information
-------------------

For further information, please visit the Debian web pages at
http://www.debian.org/ or send mail to press@debian.org .