Despite budget cuts, here’s how NASA plans to reach Mars by 2018

Mars Reasearch not yet off the tableBy Matthew Jackson, Source: Blastr.com

Two weeks ago, NASA’s woes got deeper when they took a 20 percent cut to their space exploration money. That money might mean we never make it to Mars, but NASA’s not giving up on the Red Planet just yet.

On Monday, the space agency announced the foundation of the Mars Program Planning Group, which will attempt to work within existing budget constraints to find a way to keep America rolling on a mission to Mars. Orlando Figueroa, the agency’s former program manager, has been appointed to lead the group. Continue reading

‘Spock’ vs. ‘Sherlock’ in new pics from ‘Star Trek’ film set

By Ashley Bergner; Box Office Buzz

It’s “Spock” vs. “Sherlock” is these pictures from the film set of J.J. Abrams’ highly anticipated sequel to his 2009 “Star Trek” film.

The pictures, which were released on www.trekmovie.com, feature actors Zachary Quinto (Spock) and Zoe Saldana (Uhura), as well as Benedict Cumberbatch, the star of the BBC hit “Sherlock” who is playing an as-yet unknown character in the upcoming “Trek” movie.

Although the plot remains top secret, it appears Spock and Cumberbatch’s character get into a fight, which also involves Uhura. These pictures make it appear likely Cumberbatch is indeed playing a villain, as rumored (and it’s probably not Khan), but fans likely will have to keep waiting for more details about the film.

This bites: After 4 seasons, True Blood loses creator and head writer

Writing team leaving true bloodBy Matthew Jackson, Source: Blastr.com

As we prepare for the fifth season of HBO’s sinful little vampire show, it’s clear that True Blood the series shows no signs of slowing down. Sadly, it seems the same can’t be said for series creator and head writer Alan Ball, who’s just plain tuckered out from hanging with the creatures of the night.

Rumors of Ball’s departure from the series began circulating early Friday, and then were confirmed Friday afternoon by Forbes’ Roger Friedman. Friedman cites “exhaustion” as the chief explanation for Ball’s departure from the show, which he developed from Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse novels. But even though he’s no longer planning to lead the series, Ball seems to be willing to at least hang around in some capacity. Continue reading

Grundy’s Web Pick of the Week: The Totally Rad Show

The Totally Rad Show is a video podcast featuring three Internet personalities playing games and hosting reviews. Alex Albrecht kick started the show’s popularity leveraging his fan base from his co-hosting duties on show Diggnation–a “best of the web” program linked to the website Digg.com. TRS’s other two hosts, Jeff Cannata and Dan Trachtenberg, have both moved forward their careers enough since the early days of The Totally Rad Show that it is safe to say that they all share the spotlight equally today. Continue reading

There may be 100,000 nomadic planets for every star in our galaxy

Wandering Planets are more comon then we thinkBy Evan Ackerman, Source: Dvice.com

Our galaxy is home to about three hundred billion stars. That’s a lot of stars. New research suggests that for every one of those stars, there may be a hundred thousand homeless planets wandering the galaxy. If you’re counting, that’s like 30,000,000,000,000,000 planets, and some of them may be home to life.

All those zeros add up to thirty quadrillion planetary mass objects. Quadrillion. If each one of those planets kicked in three dollars, we’d be able to build a Death Star, with enough cash left over to trick it out with some rims and a sweet sound system. On the face of it, this seems crazy: all of these planets are just floating around out there, without any star systems to call home. And since planets don’t emit light of their own, how is it possible to spot one of them, let alone estimate that out galaxy is full of quadrillions? Continue reading