Project Nova

From BBC News:

Engineering students from Cambridge University have sent a camera to the edge of space for less than £1,000.

Carl Morland, Henry Hallam and Robert Fryers attached the tiny camera to a helium balloon, which flew to nearly four times the height of Everest.

Throughout the flight it took images which show the curvature of the earth.

The students hope Project Nova will allow small rockets to be sent into space for just several hundred pounds, instead of a six-figure sums.

And here is the website for the project with plenty of pictures from the flight.

The House That Flips the Bird

From Snopes (It’s True)

I thought each of you could use a little comic relief today. Here’s the story. A city councilman, Mark Easton, lives in this neighborhood. He had a beautiful view of the east mountains, until a new neighbor purchased the lot below his house and built.

Apparently, the new home was 18 inches higher than the ordinances would allow, so Mark Easton, mad about his lost view, went to the city to make sure they enforced the lower roof line ordinance. Mark and his new neighbor had some great arguments about this as you can imagine — not great feelings. The new neighbor had to drop the roof line — no doubt at great expense.

Recently, Mark Easton called the city and informed them that his new neighbor had installed some vents on the side of his home. Mark didn’t like the look of these vents and asked the city to investigate. When they went to Mark’s home to see the vent view, this is what they found …

Pope Asked to Convert to Islam

Is this a bad time for me to put in a good word about atheism to both Muslims and Catholics?

Tripoli – The elder son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has called on Pope Benedict XVI to convert to Islam immediately, dismissing last week’s apology from the pontiff for offending Muslims.

“If this person were really someone reasonable, he would not agree to remain at his post one minute, but would convert to Islam immediately,” Mohammed Gaddafi told an awards ceremony on Monday evening for an international competition to memorise the Qur’an.

“We say to the pope – whether you apologise or not is irrelevant, as apologies make no difference to us.”

Gaddafi junior also hit out at “those Muslims who look for comfort in the words of a non-Muslim”.

He said Muslims “should not look for charity from the infidel… but should fight Islam’s enemies who attack the faith and the Prophet Muhammad”.

On Sunday, the pope said he was “deeply sorry” for the reaction to a speech he made last week in which he quoted an obscure medieval text that criticised some teachings of the Prophet Muhammad as “evil and inhuman”.