Original Apollo moon landing film lost !

Buzz Aldrin landing on the moon?
Man, isn't this amazing. The original moon landing film is lost, and NASA has been searching unsuccessfully for it for the past year!

Original moon landing film lost [Washington Times]

One would think that if for nothing else, these particular films would be saved! Beside the unrivalled historical value, some of these could be useful for future missions to the Moon?
& nobody cared to take care of these magnetic tapes? I guess, having studied enough about "computer" peripheral devices, my hopes are not that high about their state that many years after these recordings were taken...

Very sad.

& given all this, why exactly should I not join the people who suspect that there was a conspiracy here and nobody really landed on the Moon?

"The original film footage of astronaut Neil Armstrong's first steps on the moon, one of the most important artifacts of the 20th century, has been lost.
The television broadcast seen by about 600 million people in July 1969 is preserved for posterity, but the original tapes from which the footage was taken have been mislaid, most likely in NASA's vast archives at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland.
The footage could transform our view of the moon landings, offering images far sharper than the blurred, grainy video shown around the world. It also could lay to rest the conspiracy theory that the landings were faked on a Hollywood soundstage.
Despite its iconic status, the television footage was the equivalent of a photocopy of a photocopy. It came from a camera that had been pointed at a black-and-white monitor on Earth. The image on the monitor, in turn, had been stripped of much of its detail.
Rather than prizing the tapes as vital recordings, NASA simply filed them away. As personnel retired or died, the location of the tapes was forgotten. "

P.S.: And talking of astronomy, I will miss Pluto! They decided to downgrade it from "real planet" to "dwarf planet" yesterday :-(.

A sad but vivid example of Darwinian selection (poor duck chicks)

I saw this picture in a talk by Eric T. Wang on "Accelerated Evolution in Recent Human History" / paper Global landscape of recent inferred Darwinian selection for Homo sapiens.
[I googled duck and ducklings after that, & here the pix was on google images of course]

Really memorable. "Bad parenting mother duck leads ducklings over drain".

From the web site, apparently in this particular case the ducklings were rescued. However, the talk was on natural selection - the Darwinian type of selection. The picture really brings home the importance of changes in the environment and their effect on selection and what the spiecies might be "selected" for.

P.S. This site seems to have a video of probably the same event, but I can't easily see it here right now http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5139410/.

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SandDisk's Sansa e280, iPod Zune & other mp3 players

I am planning to get a music player of the iPod type. I want a very small thing, with lots of memory :). But also want to be able to add easily music which I have not bought (for example, have a cheap monthly subscription or just radio music). So for right now I have not found anything that fits that description - I like Yahoo Music, but it can not be listened to on an mp3 player as far as I understand.

Nevertheless, here is my first entry of a device of interest for the future, in addition to the Apple's iPod & Microsoft's Zune:

SanDisk's Sansa e280

August 30: New cool news:
Universal Music to Offer Free Downloads

What this means is, maybe by the time Zune comes out, this will be available & I'd be able to listen to the music exactly the way I'd like to? That would be soooo awesome.
Btw the article mentions that the SpiralFrog service will not be availabe to iPods. So one more reason against getting an iPod. This is some serious war between the music providers (& remember all these cars which will come equiped for iPod usage next year or so?)

The water market in India ( investments )

Excellent article which I want to read, but don't have time right now.

Water - India needs massive investments

Btw, this had a link to this
might or might not be worth checking

also: Investing in India Blog: http://investinginindianews.blogspot.com/

Improving Windows (XP) performance (cutting on visual effects & optimizing memory management)

This post is mostly for my own future records.

When one starts to worry too much about improving Windows XP performance, maybe all this really means is that she needs a new laptop...
However, while this is not an option (as is my case right now), this information is very useful:

Steps You Can Take to Increase Windows XP’s Performance

In my case both the memory management (switching to "System managed size") as well as removing Visual Effects really made a difference.

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