Things and stuff and things.
Tatiora's Articles In Life, the Universe and Everything
May 5, 2021 by Tatiora
Is Earth ready for a potentially catastrophic asteroid impact? Unfortunately, the answer appears to be no. An international exercise to simulate an asteroid striking Earth is finished, and with its fictitious impact concluded, things aren't looking so hot for the 185-mile stretch between Prague and Munich. It sounds like a game, but it's actually serious business. The exercise is being led by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Center for Near Earth Object Studies and is meant to prepare sc...
April 14, 2021 by Tatiora
Image courtesy of NASABack in February, NASA's Perseverance rover landed on the surface of Mars. Perseverance is equipped with all sorts of amazing tools and gadgets - including the first ever Mars Helicopter, Ingenuity. Originally, the helicopter was scheduled to attempt its first flight early Monday morning, but data that NASA scientists received late last week have caused them to postpone the flight to no earlier than April 14th (that's today - wonder if we'll get an upda...
April 7, 2021 by Tatiora
The USS Johnston - photo courtesy of Caladan OceanicThis week, in "science is cool," the main section of a ship that sunk 77 years ago during the Battle of Leyte Gulf in World War II has been discovered off of the Philippine coast. Resting over 4 miles beneath the surface, the USS Johnston is the deepest shipwreck ever to be investigated. The 376-foot long Fletcher-class destroyer was discovered in the Philippine Trench near Samar Island at a depth of 21,180 feet (6...
March 18, 2021 by Tatiora
I don't know about you, but over the last year I've come to appreciate (and deeply miss!) a lot of things that I used to take for granted before. One of those things was playing tabletop games with my friends - in person. I hope very much to be returning to that soon, but in order to help fill in the void left by not being able to gather in my basement, I've taken to playing D&D online. Apart from physically seeing my friends' smiling faces all in the same room, one of the things I'v...
March 10, 2021 by Tatiora
No, it’s not science fiction - the video above is a demonstration of a new 3D printing method that can create something that would normally take 6 or more hours in just 19 minutes. Engineers at University of Buffalo say that this technology is progress toward 3D-printed human tissue and organs, biotechnology that could eventually save countless lives. This new technology is 10-50 times faster than the current industry standard and works with large sample sizes that have been previously ...
March 3, 2021 by Tatiora
I imagine that I'm probably not the only one who has inherited boxes of old photographs of dearly departed family members throughout the years. Many of the photos I have in my possession depict people I never got a chance to meet - my great grandfathers and grandmothers, for instance - and what really connects me to the photos are the loving stories that my parents and grandparents would share about them. A company that provides automatic AI-powered photo enhancements called MyHeritage has de...
February 24, 2021 by Tatiora
In case you hadn't noticed, we really love space here at Stardock. Our fascination for space and science-fiction is obviously reflected in tons of our games, from Galactic Civilizations III to Offworld Trading Company and Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion. Because of our collective interest in space as a whole and in the Sci-Fi genre, we get excited about rocket launches and missions to other planets. Last March, the Mars Rover got its name ahead of its July 2020 mission launch. We watched...
February 17, 2021 by Tatiora
What started out as a mission to gather sediment from an Antarctic ice shelf ended in a bit of a surprise when researchers discovered an array of strange creatures on the footage when they began to review it.Back in 2016, a team of scientists from around the world sought to learn more about the mysterious ecosystems under Antarctica's vast ice shelves - specifically, the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf. The trip turned into a disaster, with the research team drilling through half a mile of ice only to ...
February 3, 2021 by Tatiora
This week, in "science is cool," we have a new rocket launch from aerospace firm bluShift. Founded in 2014, this Brunswick, Maine based start-up company has devoted its research and development to creating a unique line of rockets powered by bio-derived fuels. Their goal has been to integrate multiple innovative technologies into a single motor for the first time ever, and also to use a sustainably farmed fuel that increases performance and mitigates impact on the environment.In addition to bein...
January 6, 2021 by Tatiora
Happy 2021, everyone! Now that the holidays are over, it's back to accidentally writing the wrong year on everything for at least two weeks before everything starts to normalize and feel like routine again. Anyone have any major New Years resolutions? This is a little delayed, since it came out about a week ago, but I just couldn't stand the thought of people missing out on some dancing robots to ring in 2021. Boston Dynamics, who have become known over the last several years for their rob...
December 18, 2020 by Tatiora
Seasons Greetings, everyone! All of us here at Stardock are wrapping up our work for 2020 as we prepare to go on our holiday break next week, but that doesn't mean we haven't made sure to fit some festivity into our days.  Normally, we'd be a'wassailing at our holiday party together right now, but for obvious reasons, we're skipping that this year. Instead, we decided to share some cheer from our home offices by displaying our merriment in the form of ugly sweaters. Here are the results:...
December 2, 2020 by Tatiora
By the time I publish this, it'll probably be "old news" and, oh, I don't know, maybe the aliens will have landed by then, but seriously: what the heck, 2020!? The monolith discovered out in the middle of Utah's Red Rock Country about a week ago disappeared on Saturday. Heck, for all we know, it disappeared before then, but Saturday is when the federal Bureau of Land Management's Utah office announced that the monolith had been removed by an "unknown party." Unknown party, huh? I'm just go...
November 25, 2020 by Tatiora
Everyone loves a good mystery, and officials in Utah recently stumbled upon a doozy. On November 18, the Utah Department of Public Safety discovered a shiny metallic monolith in a remote rural area of the Red Rock Country while surveying herds of big horn sheep by helicopter. The monolith is eerily similar to the one found in Stanley Kubrick's 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey, though it doesn't come with its own iconic background music track. Officials have no idea who may have placed ...
November 5, 2020 by Tatiora
Nearly fourteen years ago, long before I arrived here at Stardock, some of my colleagues arrived to the office on a chilly morning. Tied to a post in the parking lot was a small poof-ball of a puppy, a little Shih Tzu mix, who would eventually come to be called Sophie. Sophie, in all her little floofy glory, not long after she was adopted by PatPretty much everyone here at Stardock is a major animal lover, so there wasn't any chance of Sophie being left out in the cold. Our manager of Tachy...
September 16, 2020 by Tatiora
In Spring of 2018, Microsoft's Project Natick team deployed the Northern Isles datacenter 117 feet deep to the seafloor off the coast of Scotland's Orkney Islands. Earlier this summer, marine specialists reeled up the shipping-container sized datacenter from the seafloor in order to study it and confirm their hypotheses regarding the viability of underwater datacenters. The team hypothesized that a sealed container on the ocean floor could provide ways to improve the overall reliability of da...