Preparing for Life on Mars

Today the NYTimes published a 360° video about a NASA-funded study of isolation designed to help scientists better understand the requirements for a mission to Mars.

Official information about the HI-SEAS (Hawai’i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation) Project can be found on the University of Hawaii website.

An NPR Article on a prior HI-SEAS mission can be found here.

Of course, if NASA wants to know about living on Mars, they could always just ask Matt Damon.

xkcd

Don Quixote

SpaceX Just Landed a Booster Rocket

Yesterday, SpaceX launched a Falcon9 rocket in the morning on a resupply mission to the International Space Station. Nine minutes later, the same rocket landed at a nearby landing pad. This is a video of the recovery and successful landing of a primary stage booster for a spaceship. This is just amazing.

Reusing is way better than recycling….

A post shared by Elon Musk (@elonmusk) on

Full article is here. via @HuffPostScience

Huizinga & Coulter — Bach Remixed

This is what I am listening to right now. Their concert this last Friday was amazing.

MINI REVIEW (Part 1): Bezzera BZ02 Espresso Machine

Many moons ago, Scott asked me about espresso machines. Specifically, he asked me how I liked our Francis Francis X3. My response? “It died.” In fact, much too my wife’s horror, its guts (and carcass) still adorns my workbench in our garage.

What Scott really wanted to know was “what espresso machine do I like?”

I finally got that answer (but alas, by that time, Scott had purchased his own espresso machine…and thus my recommendation was available a little late…at least for him).

Just today, the email box pinged with another email from Scott. His espresso machine died…so what was my recommendation again? Well, it hasn’t changed. I recommend the Bezerra BZ02. And I really need a “Part 2” in order to explain why.

For now, however, it’s worth posting up my email reply to him for both the links and for the comment about the grinder. Enjoy. Oh, and more from me on this later.

Scott:

Wow…blast from the past. I’m now almost embarrassed to have recommended the Francis.

Anyway,

We have a Bezzera BZ02 (Semi Auto) and love it. We have had it for a while and when I purchased it, it was hard to find….I don’t know whether it will be easier or harder now.

We bought it from a guy in Sac (http://www.vanelis.com/store/), but he doesn’t seem to be carrying it anymore.

As you re-enter this amazingly complicated world, read this thread….it’s a good one: http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/machines/333116

And I can’t stress enough the “GRINDER. GRINDER, GRINDER” comments. I wish ours was better, but since I know how to baby it, I can make good espresso even with ours and thus can’t seem to justify the $$. I always wonder though, what I would get if we had a Mazzer, Macap or Rocky. As one of the guys in the thread said, “Buying a really nice espresso machine and a cheap grinder is a complete waste of time and effort.” I wholeheartedly agree.

Best,
JJ