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 Currently, the view is rather dark as "Falling Skies" plays in the background. s There have been several "alien" entertainment offerings. "Falling Skies" is unique in the field as it is TV series on TNT. The acting is good, the story line is complex and well done, and the special effects are generally well done as well. Definitely worth a peek, if you like alien (read extraterrestrial).

Late last week, humanity witnessed the end of a 30 year manned spaceflight effort. The last mission information site link tells the story more eloquently than I. The immediate fallout from this event is still raining down with the immediate effect showing up as several hundred jobs being cut from the NASA roles as well as the shutdown of the Mission Control Center at NASA JSC in Clear Lake, TX, outside of Houston. The future of manned spaceflight will be up to the private sector to establish and maintain, while NASA is charged with planning return of manned missions to the Moon and the initial interplanetary exploration by man to Mars. It will be interesting to see how both of these efforts will work together to maintain and extend manned space exploration. I believe we can continue to see NASA working with unmanned explorations in both near Earth, lunar, and interplanetary efforts - at least there are several missions in the planning and preparation phases at this time.

On a more science fictional note, I highly recommend the first book in Stephen Baxter's Time's Tapestry series, Emperor. The link will take you to Mr. Baxter's website. Click on the Works option on the top navigation area to see the entire constellation of his works to date. He writes "hard" science fiction - "hard" in this context means the story includes researched science works for the more "speculative" aspects of his stories. He makes sure that his stories stick closely to extant scientific reality, and he rarely takes liberties. His combination of following science fact with compelling stories makes Stephen Baxter one of the best science fiction authors writing today, at least in my honest opinion.

Quite a lot to see on the first trip around...Look for more soon.

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