Flat Earth Enthusiast ‘Mad’ Mike Hughes Finally Blasts Off!

Back in November, we wrote about the 61-year-old limousine driver, entrepreneur and amateur scientist (who doesn’t actually believe in science) named ‘Mad’ Mike Hughes and his attempt to fly his homemade rocket high enough to prove the Earth is flat.

mike hughes 2
What $20,000 and a whole lot of free time can buy you.

His attempts ran into a couple delays, including Federal Aviation Administration clearance and a broken motor in his mobile home/ rocket launcher, but with the proper paperwork filed and a few screws tightened, five months later we had lift off!

mike hughes lift off

The launch took place this past Saturday afternoon, March 24, 2018, in the Mojave Desert in California and sent ‘Mad’ Mike 1,875 feet into the sky in his homemade rocket.

coyote on rocket
How I pictured the launch in my head, not how it actually happened. I assume.

‘Mad’ Mike (seriously what better way is there to add credibility to your name than by adding an adjective like “Mad” in front of it?) built the rocket and custom launcher himself for a total investment of around $20,000, which he should be given plenty of credit for. That must have required an impressive amount of engineering and dedication.

However, if we look at the experiment from a simple return on investment point of view, a couple hundred dollars for an airline ticket would have been much more cost effective…and safer.

Just for a point of reference, the window seats on the Delta Airlines flight my family took to Cancun Mexico last month cruised at approximately 30,000 feet. That is roughly 16 times higher than the 1,875 foot altitude ‘Mad’ Mike’s rocket achieved.

And Lil’ G-Man got a free mini sombrero out of the trip!

Lil G-Man in Sombrero
Hola senior.

At least ‘Mad’ Mike did come out of the adventure (possible suicide attempt?) relatively uninjured…

mike hughes injured

As to his belief that the planet Earth is actually shaped like an IHOP pancake, Mike held firm in his interview with the Associated Press:

“I don’t believe in science” he said. “I know about aerodynamics and fluid dynamics and how things move through the air, about the certain size of rocket nozzles, and thrust, but that’s not science, that’s just a formula.”

He concluded with (what is sure to become a catch phrase or novelty t-shirt in the near future), There’s no difference between science and science fiction.” 

So, according to ‘Mad’ Mike’s logic, that would make Star Wars historical fiction!?! Afterall, it did happen “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…”

bill nye

Side Note: Is it just me, or does it sound like this guy is applying for a science officer position in Trump’s cabinet?






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NASA To Screen Star Wars The Last Jedi From The International Space Station

The astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) are soon going to be able to create an awesome Meme for Facebook pages that reads something like this:

star wars in space

That’s right. NASA has confirmed that the astronauts currently hovering in orbit over the Earth aboard the International Space Station (ISS) are going to be able to stream Star Wars: The Last Jedi!

The new release will be uploaded from Earth to the ISS for the astronauts to view from their laptops! Hopefully none of them forgot their charging cords (I wonder if they need adapters aboard the ISS?)

adapter

How many people can say that they watched a Star Wars new release in space?

Seriously, using this rare achievement as a pick-up line, these explorers will have absolutely no problem scoring at a hotel singles bar! Provided that the hotel is located somewhere near a sci-fi or comic book convention that is… 




California Man Plans to Launch Himself In Homemade Rocket To Prove The Earth Is Flat (Updated Nov. 24th)

Update 11/24/17:

Mike Hughes has been forced to push his launch (attempted suicide) back a couple days due to two issues: Clearance from the Bureau of Land Management (since his original launch site was on public land) and a broken motor in his mobile launch center (modified mobile home).

The speed bump with the permission from the BLM was contingent on approval from the Federal Aviation Administration since obviously the FAA needs to make sure Hughes flight path does not interfere with other aircraft.

 

 

hughes rocket launcher
It does look rather SCUD missile-ish.

Neither agency has commented on what the exact hiccup is, but Hughes has found a way to circumvent the issue by moving his launch site to a private property near his original site.

“It’s still happening. We’re just moving it three miles down the road,” Hughes told The Washington Post on Friday. “This is what happens any time you have to deal with any kind of government agency.”

What is that I just smelled? Could it be the stench of a government cover-up???

Hughes plans on his re-scheduled launch happening sometime around Tuesday, so we will be checking Wednesday’s obituaries to see how his flight went.


 

My Original title for this was “California Man Plans Launch In Homemade Rocket To Prove He Is Really Wile E. Coyote”.

Mike Hughes, a 61-year-old limousine driver with no official engineering experience, is planning to launch himself over the Mojave desert in his homemade rocket this Saturday. It is his first step toward proving the “world is flat” and to “shut the door on this ball Earth” theory.

mike hughes 2

He hopes his homemade steam-powered rocket (launched from it’s base of a heavily converted mobile home) will reach an altitude of 1,800 ft and safely fall back to the flat Earth below.

Hughes longterm goal is to launch himself a mile up into the atmosphere and take a picture of the disc shaped Earth below.

No one is entirely sure what a flat or disc shaped Earth would look like from space. Maybe a ring of ice holds in the oceans?

To assist with funding the $20,000 rocket, he has enlisted the help of the flat Earth community through social media and crowd funding sites such as GoFundMe.com.

The entrepreneur has even started a Kickstarter campaign in an effort to raise $150,000 for his quest. The campaign is currently hovering around $310 with 2 backers.

“We were kind of looking for new sponsors for this. And I’m a believer in the flat Earth,” Hughes said. “I researched it for several months.” 



No word yet if either of Kickstarter backers is the “ACME” brand made famous in Looney Toons videos Hughes may have mistaken as “instructional videos”.

coyote on rocket

In this video of his third test fire of the rocket engine, his crew was able to successfully test fire the engine, after spending around 45 seconds trying to determine whether or not the camera was turned on (even comically waving a hand over the lens as a sure fire camera test).

It is important to note that Hughes will not be able to fully test his rocket prior to strapping himself in for the 500 MPH flight this Saturday but he does plan on tinkering with it right up until countdown.

But don’t sell the determination of Mad Mike Hughes short however, per Ars Technica, he is a Guinness World Record holder for a limousine jump in 2002!

All joking and sarcasm aside, I do wish Mr. Hughes a successful launch and safe landing…in his rocket built upon round Earth science.

Please check back next week as we plan on updating with post launch news!

flat earth
Book available on Amazon.com

An EKG Machine That Can Attach To Your Cell Phone!

Heart disease is the #1 killer in the United States.

It accounts for 1 in 4 fatalities, partially due to the difficulty in detecting. The main way of detecting heart disease now is by having your cardiologists order a test using a bulky EKG machine which is time consuming and expensive.

Some ex-Googlers got together and decided to do something about this.

Introducing the AliveCor Kardia.  This $99 sensor is about the width of 2 sticks of gum and can be attached to the back of your phone or simply kept in your wallet.  Hold 2 fingers on the sensor for 30 seconds and you have a medical grade EKG reading.  That’s cool!

alivecor2
Image: qmed.com

But what really is the game changer is what AliveCor Kardia does with the data.  In order to prevent doctors from getting bombarded with calls from patients who think they may have gotten a bad EKG reading, AliveCor developed multi-layered algorithms and neural networks to create a fingerprint for each heart.

By placing your fingers on the pad every morning for 30 seconds for about a month(like brushing your teeth), AliveCor Kardia can create a profile for your heart.  So basically, your heart shows the same profile day after day, then one day the reading looks slightly different do to a change in how your heart’s electrical system is firing.  AliveCor Kardia will be able to detect this change and let you know to see a cardiologist.

alivecor
Source: Wired.com

Right now, AliveCor has FDA clearance identify atrial fibrillation, a common early warning of stroke. “The most common arrhythmia, the one that we need to detect, doesn’t need all 12 EKG leads,” says CEO Vic Gundotra. The size of the unit can be kept small because it is looking for specific data only.

alivecor4
AliveCor Kardia available on Amazon.com

 

 

Feature Image: AliveCor.com

Congress Passes $19.5 Billion NASA Bill, Includes Manned Mission To Mars

The bill was approved by the House of Representatives on March 7th and passed the Senate on February 17th. It does still need to be signed off by the President.

mars

The $19.5 Billion bill applies to NASA projects for the fiscal year of 2017. Per IFLscience, some of the highlights from the bill include support for NASA’s journey to Mars. It states that the agency should work towards the “long-term goal of human missions near or on the surface of Mars in the 2030s”. This refers to the idea that early missions to Mars could involve landing on its moon Phobos, before eventually heading to its surface.

Once President Trump appoints a NASA administrator (Robert Lightfoot is still the acting administrator), they will be asked to submit an assessment on whether or not a manned mission to Mars in 2033 is in the strategic interest of the United States.

The bill also suggest a robotic mission to Europa should continue to be supported and other programs such as the Commercial Crew Program (funding for SpaceX, Boeing and other companies).

buzz-9-390x285
Buzz wants us to go!

There is no mention of any Earth science however, which President Trump has previously mentioned he wanted to strip away from NASA. I would assume this means Trump is more likely to sign the bill.

Sidenote: How awesome is Buzz Aldrin?  Not only was his name “Buzz”, he was the second human to walk on the moon, served in Congress and punched out  “we never went to the moon” conspiracy idiot Bart Sibrel, but he also went on TV wearing this shirt!

Amazon.com Get Your Ass To Mars NASa Buzz Space Travel Planetary T Shirt Clothing
T-Shirt Available on Amazon.com

 

Feature Image courtesy of spacenews.com

Scientist Discover How To ‘Upload Knowledge To Your Brain’

If you are thinking “Whoa…This sounds like the Matrix”, that is because this sounds like the Matrix!

neo_whoa_1

 

From the Telegraph, researchers at HRL Laboratories in California, claim to have found a way to amplify learning via electrode-embedded head caps.

To really oversimplify the process: As the brain learns new information or skills, the brain actually alters by forming new electric connections in specific areas. HRL Laboratories has found a way to map these connections and assist to re-create them in another person.

For their test, they studied the electric signals in the brain of a trained pilot and then fed the data into novice subjects as they learned to pilot an aeroplane in a realistic flight simulator.

The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, found that subjects who received brain stimulation via electrode-embedded head caps improved their piloting abilities and learnt the task 33 per cent better than a placebo group.

head cap
Image: neuroelectrics.com

“Our system is one of the first of its kind. It’s a brain stimulation system,” explained Dr Matthew Phillips.

“The specific task we were looking at was piloting an aircraft, which requires a synergy of both cognitive and motor performance.

“When you learn something, your brain physically changes. Connections are made and strengthened in a process called neuro-plasticity.”

I remember watching Neo download Kung Fu in the Matrix at the theater, then heading back to the dorm to cram for my QMM Statistics exam I had the next morning, thinking how much I wished I could download that boring information.

While there is a bit of a leap that needs to be taken between what HRL has discovered and Neo dodging bullets, it is one heck of a first step!