Conferences I Hope to Attend in 2015

Quantified Self

March 13-15, 2015

San Francisco, CA

Registration Fee: $499

QS15 is a two-day working meeting of pioneering self-trackers, toolmakers, artists, designers and engineers, followed by a grand, day-long, public exposition. Please join us as we inspire each other with our self-tracking projects, try out new tools, and shape the future of Quantified Self.


International Space Elevator Conference

August 2015 (exact dates TBD)

Location: TBD

Registration Fee: TBD


100 Year Starship

TBD (in 2014 it was in Houston in September)


Mars Society Convention

TBD – In 2014 was in League City, TX in August


(keeping an eye out for others… leave a comment if you know of something really interesting)


Space ventures to keep an eye on

There are quite a few things going on that have the potential of expanding people kind’s place in the universe. It is sometimes hard to keep track of them, so here is a list to get you started:


Space Elevator



Getting to Orbit (or close)


Blue Origin


World View Experience

Virgin Galactic

Space Adventures




Place to stay after you get there

Bigelow Aerospace



Inspiration Mars

Planetary Resources

Golden Spike


Learning about the Universe

Google Lunar X Prize

Sentinel Mission



These are just a few.  If you know of other space projects and activities that we should be keeping an eye on, then please leave a comment.



Coming Soon: October Writing Contests

I’ve been thinking, how to get people to read the books I am interested in and have them do something with it.  I have decided to try a writing contest based upon some of my favorite (or yet to be discovered) books.    Please join the Writing Contests Announcements mailing list to be kept up to date.

I am still working out the details, but right now I am thinking of a monthly contest with a top prize of $100 paid through Pay Pal.

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Project problems

Really funny video about when the impossible (un-useful) things are asked for.

Also, the classic “project disconnect” cartoon:

Project Joke

Sleep Number – Sleep IQ Bed

Makes a really good point

Quantified Self – tracking yourself

Source on Git

Running version where you can set up your own dashboard at

Created by Sacha Chua (who I remember from years and years ago when I was researching wearable computing…Kind of neat to run across some of her more recent work. )  Sacha’s blog is at

There is a whole movement of people who track themselves.  You can learn more at


Viewing the Total Lunar Eclipse from Houston, TX USA

What time is the Lunar eclipse (

Central Daylight Time (April 15, 2014)
Partial umbral eclipse begins: 12:58 a.m. CDT on April 15
Total eclipse begins: 2:07 a.m. CDT
Greatest eclipse: 2:46 a.m. CDT
Total eclipse ends: 3:25 a.m. CDT
Partial eclipse ends: 4:33 a.m. CDT

Wow! that is really late (early?!), How to see it.


Nasa will be providing live commentary (see details below).  Could record it on video.

Right now the weather in Houston is very cloudy, but looking at the forecast is to be clear starting at about 11AM.

But I am wondering if I could use a raspberry pi and web cam to capture the event.  Hopefully I will have more details to share.

April 11, 2014

NASA to Provide Live Coverage and Commentary of April 15 Lunar Eclipse

The public will have the opportunity to view and learn more about the Tuesday, April 15 total lunar eclipse on NASA television, the agency’s website, and social media. Coverage begins at 2 a.m. EDT and will last about three hours. The eclipse’s peak, when the moon will enter the Earth’s full shadow or umbra, will occur at 3:45 a.m.

The United States will be in a prime orbital position and time of day to view the eclipse. Depending on local weather conditions, the public will get a spectacular view looking into the sky as the moon’s appearance will change from bright orange to blood red to dark brown and perhaps gray. The eclipse is a phenomenon that occurs when the Earth, moon and sun are in perfect alignment, blanketing the moon in the Earth’s shadow.  The United States will not be able to witness a full lunar eclipse in its entirety again until 2019.

Leading up to the eclipse, NASA will host a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) on Monday, April 14 at 2 p.m. with astronomers from the agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center. Various NASA researchers also will be available for media interviews. NASA Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Instagram followers will be able to join the conversation and ask questions using the hashtag #eclipse.

The public will be able to tag and share their images of the eclipsed moon on Instagram and on the agency’s Flickr group at:

Lunar eclipse video resources are available at:

Live NASA TV coverage and commentary will begin at 1 a.m. To view the coverage and access eclipse streaming video, visit:

For more information on NASA’s eclipse activities, visit:

What happens when you like your job.

Routine pre-flight safety announcement that is usually is usually a boring and is at best ignored, and at worst, endured. This flight attendant has turned it into a completely funny, and enjoyable experience that had everyone paying attention. Fun & Safe, enjoy

Of course this is not the only such example:

Building a transatlantic autonomous boat


Poppy Platform

Open source humanoid robot:  Poppy