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Neville Ridley-Smith
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Really don't like this new layout for Google+. What's wrong with a single column of reverse chronological news? This two column layout feels like a mess.

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Kind of scary - and these are college students presumably studying physics!
A question posed to a classroom of college studentas aged between 18 and 22.

Approximately how far have humans traveled from the surface of the Earth in your lifetime? [e.g., since 1980 or so]

a) 600 km (low Earth orbit, 0.1 times the Earth radius)
b) 6,000 km (about the radius of the Earth)
c) 36,000 km (geosynchronous orbit; about 6 Earth radii)
d) 385,000 km (about the distance to the Moon; 60 Earth radii)
e) beyond the Moon

Out of a total of 109 students responding (one group in 2006, another in 2010), only 11% got the right answer: low Earth orbit. 52% thought humans had been as far as the Moon since the 1980′s, and 20% thought we had been farther than the Moon. Some were indignant on learning the truth: “What do we use the space shuttle for, if not to go to the Moon?!” I can only guess that some students imagined the International Space Station as a remote outpost, certainly beyond the Moon, and likely strategically located next to a wormhole. How disappointing it must be to learn that it merely hugs the globe.

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Here's one for the next ForceCast. Original Star Wars props are up for auction. The Star Wars stuff starts on page 255.

The most expensive thing is "the only painted and finished X-Wing Fighter we have encountered from the original 1977 Star Wars film" going for around $100k.

I can only imagine Steve Sansweet must be drooling and figuring out which items he can afford...

Where's Kitster!

Where's Kitster?

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Woo hoo! Transport for NSW launched on Google Maps! That's +Mickey Kataria at the podium.
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