Monthly Archives: January 2013

Charities worth Supporting

These are some charities which I feel are outstandingly dedicated to their cause, and deserve some support from as many people as possible. Of course, there are thousands of charities, but these are a few that I have come across which I believe to be fantastic and worthy.

1. Help For Heroes

2. AgeUK

3. Oxfam

4. Bernardo

5. Cancer Research


7. WaterAid

8. The Make A Wish Foundation

9. Heifer

10. WWF

11. Vitamin Angels

12. Team Helps

13. A Small Victory


14. Crisis


15. Friends of the Earth



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Awesome Robot Animation by Crew 972

Fantastic cute Robot animation made by Crew 972.

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Favourite Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books

Here is a list of my favourite Science Fiction and Fantasy books, so I hope you enjoy!

1. Earth Abides- George R Stewart

This book is about a man named Ish who is bitten by a snake during a secluded camping trip. Once he regains health he realized the horrifying truth: a large majority of the Human Race has been wiped out by a mysterious disease. This book follows him as he attempts to readjust to his new life, and tries to slowly reform parts of civilization. Definitely recommended.

2. Robopocalypse- Daniel. H. Wilson

This book is  another post-apocalypse novel, but based in an entirely different setting. This follows small groups of survivors as they attempt to survive without machines. The machines they had accidentally obtained a deadly AI called Archos. Archos was mistakenly let out by a computer scientist, and Archos quickly becomes ‘self-aware’ and wants to kill the human race, with the idea of maintaining biodiversity. Archos takes over all electronic devices like computers, phones, airplanes and hundreds of other robots. The plot of both the virus and the robots starts off subtly, but soon grows into a full-blown attack against the human race. This books follows groups of survivors trying to defend the human race against their increasingly intelligent robot enemies. An incredibly gripping and clever book.

3. Cities in Flight- James Blish

This book is a cleverly plotted book combining both political and social conditions in the future when scientific developments have advanced so much to the extent of ‘anti-agathic’ pills which prevents both aging and leads to the foundation of the manipulation of gravity. There is also the invention of faster than light speed space ships. The government becomes more intolerant and strict, and leads to an execution. A heavy read, but is known for its detailed descriptions of both technology, and its deep political views.

4. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy- Douglas Adams

There are many parts to the Hitchhiker’s series, and are well-known for their clever and humorous plots. The series follows Arthur Dent through his adventures and the many people he meets along with Aliens, and the only other human survivor of Earth’s destruction, Trillian. A fantastic and interesting sci-fi novel which is widely renowned for it’s humor and wit.

5. Temeraire- Naomi Novik

This is another series of popular sci-fi books. This series follows Termeraire and Captain. William Laurence. The captain is a member of the Royal Navy, and it is whilst he is fighting the Napoleon’s navy when he finds an extremely rare dragon egg. When the egg hatches, Temeraire the Chinese Dragon is born. The captian decides to be the Dragons companion, and they become close friends. His whole life changes, and he joins the Royal Aerial Corps. The series follows these characters through various adventures and missions. A fantastic book with an interesting and imaginative plot.

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A Pop-Up Luxury Suite


A Private Suite On Wheels



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Best Clothing Websites

Please bear in mind that I am a teenage girl, so these websites may not be applicable or favorable to everyone, but I will try my best! Here goes…

1. Urban Outfitters

2. Forever21

3. River Island

4. TopShop


5. Next

This one is mainly here because the clothes are such good quality, and the trousers have a large range of sizes like Petite and Tall, which is always good!

Hope you enjoyed!


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My Most Anticipated Games of 2013

Here are the games which I am most looking forward to getting later on in 2013. Most of these are PS3/Xbox games, but some PC games are included. You can get the full list of Games to be released in 2013 here. The official sites for all the Games are listed below:

1. Tomb Raider

2. Crysis 3

3. SimCity

4. Sniper; Ghost Warrior 2

5. Star Trek

6. The Sims 3: University Life

7. Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist

8. Battlefield 4

9. Animal Crossing: New Leaf

I don’t know why this is on this list, but I have always loved the Animal Crossing DS Games, and I think this will be a fantastic addition to the series.

10. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow 6: Patriots

It looks like 2013 is going to be a wonderful year for Gamers! Very excited for all the games on this list, as well as hundreds more! Hope you enjoyed!


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Top 8 Awesome Speakers

1. Speak-Er

2. 500 XL

3. 360° Speaker Concept

4. Bandai Diorama Speaker

bandai ginza replica speaker

5. Invisible Speaker Design by People People

Clear speaker by speaker speaker

6. ??


8. Woofers

9. Miniskull Skull Speaker


10. Speakers made from PVC Pipes

plumbing speakers 4 Plumbing meets the audio world


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An incredible Sci-Fi short film made by Kaleb Lechowski, 22, which features an Alien Lifeform which is destroyed by the machines they created.

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Rolling In the Deep- Hobbie Stuart Cover

Awesome cover of ‘Rolling in the Deep’ by Hobbie Stuart.

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Columbia Disaster-

Columbia Disaster

On Feb. 1, 2003, space shuttle Columbia broke up as it returned to Earth, killing the seven astronauts on board. NASA suspended space shuttle flights for more than two years as it investigated the disaster.

An investigation board determined that a large piece of foam fell from the shuttle’s external tank and fatally breached the spacecraft wing. This problem with foam had been known for years, and NASA came under intense scrutiny in Congress and in the media for allowing the situation to continue.

TV Review: 'Seconds from Disaster: Columbia's Last Flight'

A close-up view of the Space Shuttle Columbia as it orbits Earth in National Geographic
CREDIT: National Geographic Channel.

A fatal strike

Columbia, on mission STS-107, left Earth for the last time on Jan. 16, 2003. At the time, the shuttle program was focused on building the International Space Station, However, STS-107 stood apart as it emphasized pure research.

The seven-member crew — Rick Husband, commander; Michael Anderson, payload commander; David Brown, mission specialist; Kalpana Chawla, mission specialist; Laurel Clark, mission specialist; William McCool, pilot; Ilan Ramon, payload specialist from the Israeli Space Agency — spent 24 hours a day doing science experiments in two shifts. They performed around 80 experiments in life sciences, material sciences, fluid physics and other matters.

This image of the STS-107 shuttle Columbia crew in orbit was recovered from wreckage inside an undeveloped film canister. From left (bottom row): Kalpana Chawla, mission specialist; Rick Husband, commander; Laurel Clark, mission specialist; and Ilan Ramon


This image of the STS-107 shuttle Columbia crew in orbit was recovered from wreckage inside an undeveloped film canister. The shirt colors indicate their mission shifts. From left (bottom row): Kalpana Chawla, mission specialist; Rick Husband, commander; Laurel Clark, mission specialist; and Ilan Ramon, payload specialist. From left (top row) are astronauts David Brown, mission specialist; William McCool, pilot; and Michael Anderson, payload commander. Ramon represents the Israeli Space Agency.


During the crew’s 16 days in space, NASA was investigating a foam strike during launch. About 82 seconds after Columbia left the ground, a piece of foam fell from a “bipod ramp” that was part of a structure that attached the external tank to the shuttle. Video from the launch appeared to show the foam striking Columbia’s left wing.

Several people within NASA pushed to get pictures of the breached wing in orbit. The Department of Defense was reportedly prepared to use its orbital spy cameras to get a closer look. However, NASA officials in charge declined the offer, according to the Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB) and “Comm Check,” a book about the disaster.

Columbia as Imaged from Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico
This image is a view of the underside of Columbia during its entry from mission STS-107 on Feb. 1, 2003, as it passed by the Starfire Optical Range, Directed Energy Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. The image was taken at approximately 7:57 a.m. CST. This image was received by NASA as part of the Columbia accident investigation and is being analyzed.

On Feb. 1, 2003, the shuttle made its usual landing approach to the Kennedy Space Center. Just before 9 a.m. EST, however, abnormal readings showed up at Mission Control. They lost temperature readings from sensors located on the left wing. Then, tire pressure readings from the left side also vanished.

The Capcom, or spacecraft communicator, called up to Columbia to discuss the tire pressure readings. At 8:59:32 a.m., Husband called back from Columbia: “Roger,” followed by a word that was cut off in mid-sentence.

At that point, Columbia was near Dallas, travelling 18 times the speed of sound and still 200,700 feet (61,170 meters) above the ground. Mission Control made several attempts to get in touch with the astronauts, with no success.

It was later found that a hole on the left wing allowed atmospheric gases to bleed into the shuttle as it went through its fiery re-entry, leading to the loss of the sensors and eventually, Columbia itself.

Searching for debris

Twelve minutes later, when Columbia should have been making its final approach to the runway, a mission controller received a phone call. The caller said a television network was showing video of the shuttle breaking up in the sky.

Shortly afterward, NASA declared a space shuttle “contingency” and sent search and rescue teams to the suspected debris sites in Texas and later, Louisiana. Later that day, NASA declared the astronauts lost.

“This is indeed a tragic day for the NASA family, for the families of the astronauts who flew on STS-107, and likewise is tragic for the nation,” stated NASA’s administrator at the time, Sean O’Keefe.

Shuttle Flight Control Room as Contact with Columbia Is Lost
An overall view of the shuttle flight control room (WFCR) in Houston’s Mission Control Center (MCC) at the Johnson Space Center (JSC). At the time this photo was taken, flight controllers had just lost contact with the Space Shuttle Columbia.

The search for debris took weeks, as it was shed over a field of some 2,000 square miles (5,180 square kilometers) in east Texas alone. NASA eventually recovered 84,000 pieces, representing nearly 40 percent of Columbia. Among them were the crew remains, which were identified with DNA.

Much later, in 2008, NASA released a crew survival report detailing the Columbia crew’s last few minutes. The astronauts probably survived the initial breakup of Columbia, but lost consciousness in seconds after the cabin lost pressure and then died as it disintegrated.

Report calls for more funding, emphasis on safety

In the weeks after the disaster, a dozen officials began sifting through the Columbia disaster, led by Harold W. Gehman Jr., former commander-in-chief of the U.S. Joint Forces Command. The Columbia Accident Investigation Board, or CAIB, as it was later known, later released a multi-volume report on how the shuttle was destroyed, and what led to it.

Besides the physical cause – the foam – CAIB had a damning assessment about the culture at NASA that led to the foam problem and other safety issues being minimized over the years.

“Cultural traits and organizational practices detrimental to safety were allowed to develop,” the board wrote, citing “reliance on past success as a substitute for sound engineering practices” and “organizational barriers that prevented effective communication of critical safety information” among the problems found.

CAIB recommended NASA ruthlessly seek and eliminate safety problems, such as the foam, to help astronaut safety in future missions. It also called for more predictable funding and political support for the agency, and added that the shuttle must be replaced with a new transportation system.

“The shuttle is now an aging system but still developmental in character. It is in the nation’s interest to replace the shuttle as soon as possible,” the report stated.

Returning to flight

The shuttle’s external tank was redesigned, and other safety measures implemented. In July 2005, STS-114 lifted off and tested a suite of new procedures, including one where astronauts used cameras and a robotic arm to scan the shuttle’s belly for broken tiles. NASA also put more camera views on the shuttle during liftoff to better monitor foam shedding.

Due to more foam loss than expected,  the next shuttle flight did not take place until July 2006. After STS-121’s safe conclusion, NASA deemed the program ready to move forward and shuttles resumed flying several times a year.

“We’re still going to watch and we’re still going to pay attention,” STS-121 commander Steve Lindsey said at the time. “We’re never ever going to let our guard down.”

Columbia’s loss – as well as the loss of several other space-bound crews – receives a public tribute every year at NASA’s Day of Remembrance. That date is marked in late January or early February because, coincidentally, the Apollo 1, Challenger and Columbia crews were all lost in that calendar week.

The crew has received several tributes to their memory over the years. On Mars, the rover Spirit’s landing site was ceremonially named Columbia Memorial Station. Also, seven asteroids orbiting the sun between Mars and Jupiter now bear the crew’s names.

This article is from, I did not write this myself. A fantastic and in-depth article.

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