If you've ever dreamed of going on a spacewalk, now's your chance to at least pretend thanks to the really cool Astronaut Mode for Google Earth. The overlay makes it look like you're an astronaut floating above the planet. It also works in sky mode, so you can look away from the earth too.

If you feel lonely floating in space all by yourself, you can make the experience a little more interesting by also showing all known orbiting satellites and spacecraft. The network link from AGI shows in real time all 12,000+ earth-orbiting objects tracked by the United States Strategic Command.

Here are screenshots looking both towards earth (with the satellite database turned on) and away from earth at Orion's belt:

This interesting post on Project Manhigh comes courtesy of reader John C. Keel, M.D. Enjoy!
It's hard to believe that five years have passed since my wife and I changed our names to "Shiro". This month marks the five-year anniversary of when I made the name change decision public. In this rather personal post, I'll highlight why I changed my name how it's affected my life.

For those of you who don't know me personally, I spent my first 25 years named "Brian White." When we married in 2003, my wife and I were at a bit of an impasse as to what to do about our names. Ostensibly, we both preferred to keep our names, but we also strongly wanted to have the same name since if we ever had kids we wanted the whole family to have one name. We considered many options such as hyphenating our names, merging our names, and thinking of new names. In the end, we chose to morph my name from English to Japanese since my wife comes from a Japanese family. That's how we arrived at "shiro", which is the Japanese word for "white." By taking our new name to be "shiro", I showed a willingness to incorporate her background while still technically keeping my name since it means the same thing.
October 4-10 is World Space Week. This international recognition and celebration of space was formally declared by the United Nations General Assembly in 1999, and today it is coordinated by the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA). The specific dates were chosen to commemorate the 4 October 1957 Sputnik 1 launch and the 10 October 1967 signing of the Outer Space Treaty. This year's World Space Week theme is "Exploring the Universe." Check out the online calendar of World Space activities in your country. Note that the US Presidential candidates released statements about World Space Week: Barack Obama and John McCain.
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