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Evan Ackerman

Evan Ackerman is a native Oregonian who now lives, somewhat unwillingly, in San Francisco. He has a background in creative writing and astrogeology, neither of which are necessarily appropriate for someone who is now a full-time blogger. Evan also writes for IEEE Spectrum's robotics blog, and when he's not parked at his computer with his eyes glazed over, you can find him getting injured on a soccer field or playing bagpipes excellently.

 
The 1,700 pound sensor that makes up the wide-angle eye of the VLT Survey Telescope (aka VST) is exactly like the sensor in your digital camera. Except, you know, bigger. A lot bigger. We're talking an array of 32 individual CCD sensors that together take 268 megapixels worth of images of outer space. Meet OmegaCam.
 
Today is June 16th, better known across the quadrant as Captain Picard Day, where schoolchildren everywhere celebrate by making lumpy clay sculptures of Captain Picard's head. Not having any schoolchildren handy (or any clay, for that matter), we're going to instead celebrate with 10 examples of why Captain Picard is so incredibly awesome. Of course, we're fairly certain that we didn't hit all of Captain Picard's high points here (since that would be impossible), so don't hold back, what'd we miss?
 
Personally, I don't have a porn folder. I've never looked at porn. I don't even know what porn is. Some sort of snack food, I imagine. But from what I hear, people seem to keep a lot of pictures and video of it on their computers, and thanks to these new concepts, you'll be able to feel just exactly how heavy and bloated all those files are.
 
Whether or not they get their electricity from solar panels, satellites still need fuel to keep themselves from eventually crashing back to Earth in an apocalyptic fireball that might, but probably won't, land right on your head. The only way to extend their lifespan is with in-flight refueling, and a new gas station on the ISS might make that possible.
 
Having a pulse is generally associated with not being dead, but that's only because a pulse is connected to a heartbeat. There's no reason that our blood needs to be all stop and go like that, and a new type of heart implant uses a pair of turbines to eliminate both heartbeat and pulse while quietly and efficiently keeping you alive.

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