To Mars and Back in 80 Days

February 10th, 2009

In 1873 Jules Verne published the novel “Around the World in 80 Days“, in which an English Gentleman attempts to circumnavigate the Earth on bet. At the time the story was taken as simple fiction.

In 1889 Nellie Bly actually succeeded in making the trip and did it in just 72 days.

Today the Space Shuttle can make the trip in about 90 minuets.

A new plasma based rocket engine system, named Vasimr, has just recently been approved for testing on the ISS in 2012. The new engine could make it possible to travel to Mars in as little as 39 days, making around trip voyage of less than 80 days.

could we finally be on the Brink.

Nasa Web Site

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Barack Obama

Obama in Iowa

President Obama was in Iowa on Wednesday. Here are his remarks courtesy of C-Span.

HRC Dinner

Saturday night before the National Equality March, The HRC held a fundraising dinner at which President Obama spoke. He reiterated his commitment to repealing DOMA and DADT. Now if he would only put action to it.

Obama?s speech is posted after the break.

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Obama – The Biggest Spender ?

Many congressional Republicans as well as GOP talking heads like Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich, and Fox ?News? pundits Sean Hanity and Glenn Beck, have often made the claim that President Obama has spent more money than any President in history.

When President Clinton left office the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), had estimated a surplus in 2001 of about $800 Billion dollars. So where did it all go?

New York Times writer David Leonhardt took on this topic Tuesday and the results might actually surprise you.

You can think of that roughly $2 trillion swing as coming from four broad categories: the business cycle, President George W. Bush?s policies, policies from the Bush years that are scheduled to expire but that Mr. Obama has chosen to extend, and new policies proposed by Mr. Obama.

The first category ? the business cycle ? accounts for 37 percent of the $2 trillion swing. It?s a reflection of the fact that both the 2001 recession and the current one reduced tax revenue, required more spending on safety-net programs and changed economists? assumptions about how much in taxes the government would collect in future years.

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Syked Out

The White House Correspondents Dinner has never really gone without some sort of controversial joke being uttered to the crowd, and this weekend proved to be no different when comedian Wanda Sykes suggested that Rush Limbaugh could have been the 20th hijacker who simply missed the plan because he was high. She then followed up by saying that she hoped his kidneys would fail. While I have no love for El’-Rushbo, the Apparent King of the GOP, I think Wanda overstepped the bounds of funny by bringing up 9/11.

It also appears that the White House agrees that the joke was in poor taste. When Press Secretary

Robert Gibbs was asked what Obama thought of the joke, he replied?

I don’t know how the guests get booked…I haven’t talked specifically with him, but my guess is, Jeff, I think there are a lot of topics that are better left for serious reflection rather than comedy. I think there’s no doubt 9/11 is part of that.

White House Correspondents' Association Dinner

Here is video from the Correspondence Dinner… Remember, it’s just all meant in good fun.

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