A peripatetic podcast in which Leigh Sales and Annabel Crabb discuss what they're reading, watching, cooking, listening to or irrationally exhilarated by.
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New Podcast Locations starting 01/01/2021 The NEW Dark Horde - https://thedarkhorde.podbean.com/ The Tempest Universe - https://thetempestuniverse.podbean.com/ Subscribe to the YouTube Channel here - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCggl8-aPBDo7wXJQ43TiluA Join the Episode after party on Discord! Link: https://discord.gg/ZzJSrGP FAA approves SpaceX’s Starship launch to 50,000 feet Link: https://www.expressnews.com/business/article/FAA-approves-SpaceX-s-Starship-launch-to-50-000-15773391.php A 17-story-tall silver spacecraft is testing patience and capturing imaginations in South Texas. At the SpaceX launch facility in Boca Chica — near the mouth of the Rio Grande — Starship SN8 stands in the coastal breeze, ready to blastoff to roughly 50,000 feet sometime soon. The craft’s planned flight, its first above 500 feet, will also test its ability to glide and land vertically on a pad near its launch site. The FAA granted a “temporary flight restriction” that covers an area from just south of State Highway 48 at Port Isabel to the U.S.- Mexico border and extends east into the Gulf of Mexico. Aircraft are barred from flying in the area in order “to provide a safe environment for rocket launch and recovery,” the FAA said. Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño Jr. authorized the closure of Boca Chica Beach and portions of State Highway 4 Friday through Sunday. He’s also approved additional closures Monday through Wednesday. If nothing else, the wait for SN8 offers a reminder that space travel takes patience. Delays and changes are normal when it comes to lobbing rockets into the stratosphere. Technology and weather don’t always cooperate with the plans. From the Lee archives: UFO sightings over the Playboy Club in 1974 Link: https://www.kenoshanews.com/news/local/from-the-lee-archives-ufo-sightings-over-the-playboy-club-in-1974/article_750bc587-d7e9-5a3d-b8f5-7bf4a827f317.html A number of area residents have reported sighting unidentified flying objects last Wednesday night in the Lake Geneva area. Officials at Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay said that they observed nothing unusual Wednesday night but said that it was possible that something could fly in the area without being observed at the observatory. The longest sightings of the UFOs was reported by Wayne Krage and Steve Hanchette, both Playboy Club employees. The two men said that they observed three UFOs for a period of three hours between 7 and 10 p.m. Other observers include a number of Playboy employees, including a sergeant on the security force, a family in Elkhorn, and at least 15 other area residents. The longest sightings of the UFOs was reported by Wayne Krage and Steve Hanchette, both Playboy Club employees. The two men said that they observed three UFOs for a period of three hours between 7 and 10 p.m. Other observers include a number of Playboy employees, including a sergeant on the security force, a family in Elkhorn, and at least 15 other area residents. Krage and Hanchette said that they saw a number of cars parked on Sheridan Springs Road behind the Playboy Club with the occupants looking up and observing the flying objects. The two men themselves said that they first saw the UFOs when they driving to work at 7 p.m., between Elkhorn and Lake Geneva on Highway 12. They said that they saw two bright “stars” high above the road in front of them. At first they thought that they were merely stars, but they kept observing them because they wondered why they had never noticed them before. All of a sudden the two “stars” took off, according to the two men, one north and one south. “It was spooky,” Krage said. As the objects took off, they dimmed, the men said, and while in motion they each had two blinking lights, much like the wing-tip lights on an airplane except that the lights were both white. They said that they at first thought that there were only two of them. However, when they arrived at the Playboy Club they noticed a single right star off in the distance. Suddenly the other two flying objects converged on it, they said and then the single “star” took off and the other two followed. China’s Top Alien Hunter Is About to Take His Big Shot Link: https://www.sixthtone.com/news/1006525/chinas-top-alien-hunter-is-about-to-take-his-big-shot BEIJING — Zhang Tongjie cuts an unassuming figure. A slight man wearing a dark plaid shirt and square-rimmed spectacles, he’s almost a caricature of a kindly middle-aged professor. The 52-year-old, however, is a man with cosmic ambitions. For the past six years, the academic has been tirelessly working to make China a leading player in an unlikely research field: the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, or SETI. And he believes he’s now on the verge of success. Scientists have been hunting for evidence of alien civilizations for decades. Though these efforts have proved fruitless so far, it hasn’t deterred researchers who consider it improbable that humanity is alone in a universe housing over 100 billion galaxies. In China, SETI research is just starting to gain popularity. Yet Zhang, a professor of cosmology at Beijing Normal University, is already convinced his country could be the first to detect a signal from another world. “We will probably find it first,” Zhang tells Sixth Tone in his cramped Beijing office. “They (the West) have more experience, but … our telescope can detect things theirs can’t.” China’s trump card is the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST) — a giant observatory built on a mountaintop in the southwestern Guizhou province in 2016. The facility is the world’s largest single-dish radio telescope, around 2.5 times more powerful than any previous instrument of its kind. Many consider FAST to be a game-changer for SETI, as it could be capable of picking up signals from outer space missed during previous observations. Zhang has spent years lobbying Chinese authorities for greater access to the telescope. And in August, these efforts finally paid off, with the National Astronomical Observatories granting Zhang 17.5 hours at FAST’s controls spread over several months. For weeks, he worked intensively with his team to create a shortlist of solar systems he suspects are most likely to host intelligent beings. The observations — China’s first SETI project — began on Saturday. Over the coming months, the telescope will train its giant antenna on dozens of galactic coordinates supplied by Zhang, listening for any unusual radio activity.