With manned Mars missions on the horizon, nuclear-powered rockets are finally getting reconsidered

I was a sophomore in high school when someone asked me, “what do you want to do when you graduate college?” To which I promptly replied, “make nuclear rockets.”

Nuclear-Powered Rockets Could Be The Best Option For Bringing Humans To Mars

Source: NPR

Finally, nuclear-powered rockets for space travel are getting some recognition.

New Horizon Passes Pluto

Pluto from New Horizon craft 20150714Pluto was discovered/confirmed in 1930 by a 23-year old Kansas farm boy, Clyde Tombaugh, using a telescope at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona.

After a 2 month search for names, an eleven-year-old schoolgirl, Venetia Burney, from Oxford, England, suggested the name Pluto to her father who passed it on to an astronomy professor who passed it on to colleagues in the United States.

New Horizons’ almost 10-year, three-billion-mile journey to closest approach at Pluto took about one minute less than predicted when the craft was launched in January 2006. The spacecraft threaded the needle through a 36-by-57 mile (60 by 90 kilometers) window in space — the equivalent of a commercial airliner arriving no more off target than the width of a tennis ball. Source: NASA 2015-07-14

When the New Horizon spacecraft was launched in January 2006, Pluto was still the 9th planet. Nine months later, in September, Pluto was reclassified as a dwarf planet. It belonged more to the Kuiper belt (or Trans-Neptunian objects) than with the rest of our eight planets.

Zurb Foundation Stack With Sass

I’ll put this here so I don’t lose it ;-)

Zurb Foundation Stack With Sass

Here are the programs I installed that allowed me to create a Foundation 5 project using their Sass (and other) files. I’m running Windows 7 Enterprise (64 bit).

— These require Windows administrator rights —

Ruby (1.9+) for Windows (I got version 1.9.3)
I used http://rubyinstaller.org/downloads/
Installed to C:\Ruby193\bin\ruby.exe

Git for Windows
Installed to C:\Users\[user-name]\AppData\Local\Programs\Git\cmd\git.exe

GitHub for Windows

Node.js (I got version 0.10.29)
This also installs npm.
Installed to C:\Program Files (x86)\nodejs\node.exe

You might need to create the ‘npm’ folder in C:\Users\[user-name]\AppData\Roaming\ to be able to use npm.

— These require npm —

Yeoman (I got version 1.2.1)
Installed to C:\Users\[user-name]\AppData\Roaming\npm\yo

Grunt (I got version 0.1.13)
Installed to C:\Users\[user-name]\AppData\Roaming\npm\grunt

Bower (I got version 1.3.12)
Installed to C:\Users\[user-name]\AppData\Roaming\npm\bower

— These require Ruby —

Sass (I got version 3.3.14)
Installed to C:\Ruby193\bin\sass

Compass (I got version 0.12.7)
Installed to C:\Ruby193\bin\compass

Foundation w/ Sass (I got version 1.0.4)
Installed to C:\Ruby193\bin\foundation

Public Key, Private Key

If you use ssh (Secure Shell) with public/private keys, here is a quick reference. The private key stays on the computer you will connect/send from. The public key goes on the computer(s) you will connect/send to. You can think of the private and public keys as a signature of the sending computer, and they are used to validate/authenticate the sender. (Keys are also affiliated with the user account that creates them.)

Create the public key, private key pair:

ssh_keygen -t rsa

I used RSA encryption here. You can also use DSA. This generates two files: id_rsa (private key) and id_rsa.pub (public key). Move id_rsa to your .ssh directory.

mv id_rsa ~/.ssh

Copy/send id_rsa.pub to the .ssh directory on the computer you will connect to.

scp id_rsa.pub receiving_username@receiving_domain.com:~/.ssh

Add id_rsa.pub to the authorized_keys file on the receiving computer.

cat id_rsa.pub >> authorized_keys

That is essentially it. Now when you connect from the computer with the private key to the computer with the public key, you will be using a secure connection.

To take this one step further and simplify connection commands, you can add an IdentityFile directive to a ssh config file. This allows you to use the keys along with a known, well used username to connect to the receiving_domain computer more quickly.

Create a config file in your .ssh directory (litterally named config) if you don’t already have one. Add the reference to the private key.

Host receiver
    User: receiving_username
    IdentityFile: ~/.ssh/id_rsa

Then, when you connect, you can issue the command

ssh receiver

and it will ask for the pass phrase (not password) you supplied when you created the private key.


TinyMCE hack to shoehorn Paul Irish conditional statements into Cascade Server

Here is some code to shoehorn Paul Irish’s conditional statements for Internet Explorer into Hannon Hill’s Cascade Server using PHP’s ob_start() function. This is a mashup from a few people on the Cascade help forum. Really, it’s a TinyMCE (Cascade’s WYSIWYG editor) hack to get conditional code, i.e. comments, around the HTML tag. I know it’s a very specific use case, but if you are trying to make your web site responsive using HTML5 Boilerplate in Cascade you’ll want this. (Irony: WordPress’s WYSIWYG editor won’t save the code correctly so I took a screen shot.)

Paul Irish Cascade hack


Hannon Hill added a set of special tags in version 7.4 of Cascade that allow code – even “illegal” code – to sit in a page unrendered. You’ll find it in their knowledge base under Code Sections. Below is a revised version of the Boilerplate conditional statements using the new “protect-top” tag.