NASA's SPC - (Space Poop Challenge)

Without getting too graphic - if one thinks about it, the process of going to the bathroom in space is a tricky proposition. It's something we tend not to dwell on because - well, you know.

However, someone needs to worry about it, and so NASA has issued a "Space Poop Challenge" - and a $30,000 bounty for a good idea that can *ahem* get to the bottom of things and tame this stinker of a problem once and for all.

The “old standby solution,” NASA explains on the initiative’s website, relies on diapers for the astronauts. “However, the diaper is only a very temporary solution, and doesn’t provide a healthy/protective option longer than one day.”
NASA is looking for a system within the space suit that collects the fecal, urine and menstrual waste and “routes it away from the body, without the use of hands.”
So they can boldly go, in other words...




In Times Of Distress, Seek help

The Best Man at our wedding was my childhood friend, Alastair -a seemingly well-adjusted, likable and popular person.

He took his own life almost ten years after I moved to the USA, leaving behind a wife and young son.

If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

The above is for the US, other countries have their own numbers, please reach out if you find yourself in that sort of distress.

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Humans Are Living Longer, Females Longer Still

Humans as a group are living longer and more healthy lives than ever - hardly antediluvian lifespans yet, but tremendously longer than only a couple of hundred years ago. Not just humans, but other primates too - and females of the different species still lead in the lifespan department.
An international team from the U.S., Germany, Denmark, Kenya and Canada compiled records of births and deaths for more than a million people worldwide, from the 18th century to the present. The data included people in post-industrial societies such as Sweden and Japan, people born in pre-industrial times, and modern hunter-gatherers, who provide a baseline for how long people might have lived before supermarkets and modern medicine.


Let Neural Network AI Colorize Your Black & White Photos

If you have any black and white images laying around, you can have some cheap (actually free) entertainment by allowing a website-based artificial intelligence system colorize your photos.

I tried a few of my own photos, and as you might expect, the results are mixed. At best, the site (quickly) gives a decent-looking "imagining" of what the photo should look like; at worst, it looks like a bland sepia-toned print. 

It does not alter the original image on your computer, you just upload it to the site for almost instant processing and then you can save the colorized result if you wish by right-clicking on the image and selecting "save image as".

It seems to work best if you have something that the neural network AI can "guess" correctly - blue sky, green grass and the like. Below is a photo taken by yours truly in the 1970's, and the colorized result - not terrible.