Space: Outerspace, Physical Space, and Cyberspace.

Neat astronomy pictures.

Milky Way Falling

Star Trails New Norcia

The Rho Opuichus Complex

The Lagoon Nebula & The Trifid Nebula

The Tarantula Nebula & The Large Magellanic Cloud

Corona Australis

The Seven Sisters

Via & via.

An alien juicer.

Available here for $14.95 (plus shipping).
Via & via.

today's robot:
Wall-E posters

Game crack for the day.


More from Fernando Vicente here.

12 Green hostels in North America.
  • Best View: Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel, Pescadero, California. It's in a lighthouse, it's got a hot tub with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. It's got whale watching, tide-pooling opportunities, redwood forests, a bird sanctuary, and an elephant-seal breeding area. It is green because of the low-flow showerheads, propane furnace to conserve heating efficiency up to 90%, energy efficient mercury-free lights, Energy star appliances etc etc. You have to hang-dry your clothes.

  • Best Active Urban Vacation: Hostelling International-Austin, Austin, Texas. Hiking and biking trails within the Austin Greenbelt start right outside the door, where the Colorado River runs by, rent a canoe, a bus ride away from all the music, film, etc. of Austin. Completely powered by sun and wind. They don't water their lawn. Ever.
hi austin hostel common area photo
A common area for eating and relaxing. Photo via HI-Austin.

  • Best Art Hostel: Auberge Alternative, Montreal, Canada. Use local products and eco-friendly cleaners. Stay includes organic breakfast and organic fair-trade coffee. "There is no coke/pepsi machine, no vending machines, no TV and there never will be," they promise.
auberge alternative hostel kitchen montreal photo
The communal kitchen. Photo via Auberge Alternative.

  • Best Hostel with a Green Roof: Portland Hawthorne Hostel, Portland, Oregon. The Oregon hostel buys in bulk, uses scent-free laundry detergent and eco-friendly cleaning supplies, etc. Discount to guests who arrive on bikes.
portland hawthorne hostel green roof photo
The green roof, in progress and installed. Photos via Portland Hawthorne Hostel

  • Most Relaxing Hostel: Yosemite Bug Rustic Mountain Resort, Midpines, California. Basic beds, hot tub on the deck, overlooking Bear Creek Canyon (just $10 for all-day access), spa with herbal baths and scrubs, massage and yoga, cafe stocked with their own organic compost. A nearby swimming hole and walking trails provide convenient diversions, while more ambitious explorers can find a world of outdoor activities in California's famous Yosemite National Park, just 25 miles away.
yosemite bug california hostel cabins photo
Private cabins outside the main lodge. Photo via Yosemite Bug.

  • Best Recycling Program: Hedonisia Hawaii, Big Island, Hawaii. The location's a former car junkyard. Organic farm where visitors can volunteer for cheaper room and board. Most facilities are built from scavenged, donated, and recycled materials. Theyrent bikes, and use eco-friendly laundry soap.
hedonisia hawaii hostel recycling hut photo
The hostel's recycling facility (left) and a private hut made in part out of found lumber and refurbished metal roofing. Photos via Hedonisia Hawaii.

  • Best Sightseeing Base: Hostelling International's DC location, Washington, D.C. Just eight blocks from the White House and all the famous monuments and museums on the National Mall. The world's first hostel to be Energy Star-certified, recycles everything, has low-flow aerators on its faucets and showerheads, and they screen environmental documentaries at monthly movie nights.

  • Best Active Outdoor Vacation: Girdwood Backpackers Inn, Girdwood, Alaska. Hiking, biking, kayaking, rafting, skiing, and fishing opportunities, and glaciers and wildlife are just a stone's throw away. Recycled materials for the rooftop, salvaged lumber for the counter-tops, energy-efficient lighting, sell fresh veggies from farmer's market.
girdwood alaska hostel exterior photo
The new lodge. Photo via Girdwood Alaska Backpackers Inn.

  • Most Unusual: Gus the Baja Beach Bus, BajaTrek, Baja California, Mexico. This "carbon-neutral hostel on wheels" runs on 100 percent recycled veggie oil donated by local restaurants and takes intrepid travelers to explore the Baja California mountains and beaches. Sign up and you'll visit wineries and watch whales. Travel around in the bus and stay on campgrounds or at hostels on the way.
gus biodiesel bus bajatrek photo
Gus and guests in Baja. Photos via BajaTrek.

  • Most Harmonious with Nature: Abram's Creek Lodge, Mt. Storm, West Virginia. Dorm-style accommodations and a family campground with an organic garden. No chemicals, pesticides, or environmentally damaging products of any kind are used on the grounds or in the buildings.Diligent down to the last detail. They run workshops on botany and wilderness-survival skills.
lodge abrams creek west virginia hostel photo
The lodge house. Photo via Abram's Creek.

  • Best Educational Opportunities: Shadowcliff, Grand Lake, Colorado. Regular nature and conservation lectures, interpretive hikes, and visits from rangers and naturalists at nearby Rocky Mountain National Park. The hostel uses compact-fluorescent light bulbs and solar-powered lights, actively recycles, and composts yard waste.
shadowcliff hostel colorado view photo
The view from, and of, the lodge. Photos via Shadowcliff.

  • Truth in Advertising Award: HI-Montreal, Montreal, Canada. "We are light green, but we'll do better." The hostel's attempts to go green "slowly but surely" include using new ecological and biodegradable cleaning products, swapping regular light bulbs out for CFLs, installing recycling bins on each floor and in all common areas, looking for green suppliers, and offering guests information on public transportation and carpooling -- and reusable grocery bags to take shopping.

Free shipping at Rick Steves travel store this weekend.

Slideshow: Guide to hidden flight fees.

Slideshow: Open living spaces.

Quotes about Twitter:
  • "oh this is going to be addictive" - Dom Sagolla, Twitter co-creator
  • “The qualities that make Twitter seem inane and half-baked are what makes it so powerful” - Jonathan Zittrain, Harvard law professor and Internet expert
  • “Twitter lets me hear from a lot of people in a very short period of time.” - Robert Scoble, blogger
  • “Using Twitter for literate communication is about as likely as firing up a CB radio and hearing some guy recite ‘The Iliad.’" - Bruce Sterling, science fiction writer and journalist
  • "Whoever said that things have to be useful?"- Evan Williams, Twitter co-founder and CEO
  • "For the uninitiated, here’s how Twitter works - I have no f***ing idea. I have no idea how it works - or why it is." Jon Stewart, comedian and host of The Daily Show
  • "Facebook is to 2007 as Twitter is to 2009. It’s the most open communication platform out there" - Roger Kondrat, social media consultant
  • "The people drawn to Twitter are people on the cutting edge, the real nerds who are resentful of the fact that the general population have found and taken over Facebook" - Steve Dotto, host of Dotto Tech
  • "HI TWITTERS . THANK YOU FOR A WARM WELCOME. FEELING REALLY 21st CENTURY" - Oprah, yes that Oprah, on Twitter
  • "Ummm . . . I don’t think it’s as big of a dilemma as people seem to think. We haven’t focused on it yet and I can’t say for sure how it’s going to work." - Evan Williams, Twitter co-founder and CEO, on how Twitter will make money

I've seen this on the internet a lot this week. It's a usb credit card swiper. It'll set you back about $100.

The thing is, our Dutch bank gave us basically the same thing for free. Except the one our bank gave us also generates a new passcode each time we log on to our bank's website. Any money transfer requires us to swipe our bank cards.

But, it's not exactly the same thing. Ours is not used at retail sites, only at the bank site. But still. We have to have it to do our online banking. American swiper via, via, & via.

A new laptop.

Compact, lightweight, four colors: Orange, Midnight Blue, Mint Blue and Black, 10-hour battery, a 3-in-1 memory card reader, 3 x USB 2.0 ports and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, 2.7 pounds, scratch resistant display, 1.3-megapixel webcam, WiFi, Bluetooth, Atom N270, 1GB RAM, 160GB HDD, 10.1-inch 1024 x 600 resolution, $449 at Newegg. They also have it at BestBuy. (Somewhat relatedly, this one has an alien theme and is a shade of pink is also pretty cool, but a lot more expensive.)

More links:
Facebook says that you said they could whore out your photos in ads.

An iPhone ap that tells you which fruits and veggies are in season wherever you happen to be.

Free blog backgrounds.

A new social networking site for academics MyExperiment might make academic papers obsolete, according to Via.

animated gifs from Library of Congress photos

Kevin J Wier makes animated gifs using old photographs from the library of congress flickr account. ...