Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Apocalypse, Start of the 14th Baktun, or Y5.6K Problem

The last day on earth will begin in 12 hours and 45 minutes from now if the hype about the Mayan calendar apocalypse is to be believed. Alas, I fear we will all be relieved, or indifferent, or perhaps a bit disappointed after December 21st passes us by without an apocalyptic incident of any kind. I also fear that the world will not undergo a brilliant flash of enlightenment that will herald a new age for humanity (though Valhalla knows we could certainly use it).

I prefer to think that all the COBAL equivalent programs written for the ancient Mayan computers will glitch on December 21st due to the b'ak'tun roll-over problem (just like our own Y2K) which assumes (1) that the ancient Mayan programmers were foolish enough not to include the b'ak'tun digit in their date representations, and that (2) the ancient Mayans actually had computers, and that (3) any of said same computers were somehow still running. I call this non-existent problem the Y5.6K bug.

So in case the Mayans were somehow right, I'ld like to thank you for reading this blog, and I hope that you have found it enjoyable. And for insurance purposes, today might be a good day to go home a little early, tell your spouse she or he is beautiful, have a nice dinner, hug your kids and tell them you love them, and let your dog or cat sleep inside for a change.

A nice link about the functions of the Mayan calendar

Dragon Resupply Mission #1

This news is once again quite late in coming. After a successful COTS demonstration in May of 2012, Space-X returned to the space station in October for its first official station resupply mission. This is great news as Dragon has made two incident-free flights to ISS within the last year, given the fact that there have been a total of four Falcon 9 flights all-together. I'm not saying Space-X should be having problems, but they have been remarkably problem free since their inception. They obviously have a great technical staff.

One thing though, every time I see the recovered Dragon capsule, I can't help but imagine that it's a big toasted marshmallow. If Space-X ever feels like pulling off an April fools day prank, they could run a photo of a recovered Dragon capsule atop a simulated chocolate bar and graham cracker platform and sell it as "the World's Largest Smore".

The next Dragon flight to ISS is scheduled for March of 2013. Fantastic Job Space-X, and keep up the good work!