Thursday, October 16, 2008

Mars Express Close Encounter With Phobos

Hot on the heels of the Enterprise Mission’s publication of a new article addressing the probable artificial origin of asteroid 2867 Steins, the European Space Agency has released startling new images of Phobos, one of Mars’ two “moons.” While the characterization of Phobos as “moon” at all (it’s obviously simply an asteroid somehow captured or held by Mars’ gravitational field) is problematic, it’s not nearly as problematic as characterizing it as a natural object. Phobos is generally considered similar to the carbonaceous C-Class asteroids because of its surface albedo characteristics, but a new analysis of Phobos’ composition revealed something of a surprise; Phobos is basically hollow.


By simply measuring the gravitational influence of Phobos on the Mars Express spacecraft itself (which is a function of Phobos’ shape and density), ESA was able to determine that Phobos is incredibly light, about 1 billionth the mass of Earth, and has a much lower density (1.85 grams per cubic centimeter) than Martian surface rocks (.7-3.3 grams per cubic centimeter). Theoretically, this places Phobos more correctly in the D-Class category of asteroids, which are believed to be highly fractured and cavernous. One explanation for this is that Phobos (and perhaps its sister moon, Deimos) might be a “rubble pile,” essentially a bunch of big chunks that crashed into each other that are held together by gravity. According to this idea, Phobos was formed from material somehow ejected from Mars itself eons ago that somehow assembled themselves into a coherent body. However, there is no suitable explanation for how such a “rubble pile” could manage to find itself in a near perfect equatorial orbit around Mars, a condition that is highly unlikely to have occurred just by chance, to say the least. Given that its composition and density is so different from Mars’ own, it seems more likely that Phobos came from somewhere else, perhaps somewhere in the nearby asteroid field that lies between Mars and Jupiter. The only issue that remains is the question of whether this placement is a natural condition – again, highly unlikely – or whether it was placed there in the distant past by some unseen and unknown force.

Fortunately, Mars Express carries an on board radar called MARSIS which took measurements of the moon’s interior. That data should probably settle the issue of whether Phobos is a natural object or not, or at least whether it has been modified internally by an artificial force of some kind. Sadly, the ESA article does not say when the MARSIS data might be released.

There is however one last scenario under which Phobos might turn out to be a natural object, albeit one that resides in an impossibly perfect equatorial orbit. According to Dr. Tom van Flandern’s exploded planet hypothesis, all the remnant chunks of an exploded planet (like his theorized Planet V in the orbit between Mars and Jupiter) would be expected to have orbiting companions for at least a significant portion of their lifetimes. True to form, Phobos in close up shows the tell tale-signs of just such a post explosion condition; it is criss-crossed with dozens of race track signatures which indicate orbiting companions which have spiraled into the mother body (Phobos). As van Flandern has pointed out, these types of race track patterns are a sure sign of orbiting companions.

So the question at hand now is just what is Phobos? A remnant of the protoplanetary disk that formed the Solar System (not likely)? A captured Jupiter Trojan that somehow drifted into a perfectly equatorial orbit over Mars (even less likely)? Or, is it neither of those, but instead a shattered survivor of the cataclysm that devastated Mars, towed into this bizarrely non-random orbit by the survivors of the Martian Apocalypse and then mined by them, or simply drilled out to make an orbiting, artificial habitat? The MARSIS data should tell us that, if only we get the real stuff. Time will tell if we do.



Shamus said...

Hey Mike it seems to me that when you consider the data about the "diamond in the sky" and the orther artifical strutures in the solar system... the moon, Phobos they end up looking like expressions of design by location and purpose. Meaning, that they are placed and designed different by the intention of what they would do.. "the Dimond" seems to be a becon or reciever of some kind. I wonder what the HD geometory plays into its 3d dimond shape? Any guesses what the moons purpose by design might be?

Mike Bara said...

Well, Steins - assuming it is artificial – appears to be more of a life boat, designed to reflect all manner of EM waves in a way that attracts attention. Phobos, assuming it too is artificial or at least modified, seems more like a way station or a temporary habitat for survivors of the Martian cataclysm. Then again, it could have been mined for its raw materials at some point. Maybe it was once full of ununpentium or something.

Dave Bara said...

Actually, I'm guessing it was neutronium, or solarminite.

Strange that I have hollowed-out asteroids as superweapons in my novel...



Sphinx said...

Hi Mike!

I'm looking forward to see what news will bring Chandrayaan-1. What do you think? Do you think that the mission will be successful? No data lost? No camera malfunction? No system saving error? They will do that three-dimensional atlas, with a high spatial and altitude resolution of 5-10m, ( WOW! Really?! 5-10m?! Awesome!) of both near and far side of the moon?

I really hope so!

I spot some statements of a ISRO officials.

"Moon mission cost is less than Rs 400 crore, which is just ten per cent of annual budget of ISRO spread over many years," ISRO spokesperson S Satish said, countering critics who questioned the need for such a venture when other countries have already explored the moon."

"Those who argue that the moon mission is unnecessary do not know the full facts," say ISRO officials.

Hehe...why don't they tell us the full facts?

"For example, previous moon missions have been undertaken by individual countries and it's no secret that expertise of that nature are not shared. So, India had to do it by itself lest it would lose out in the race for the Moon." know that THERE IS SOMETHING UNSHARED!

They know...we know....everybody so hard to tell out laud what we already know?

Sphinx said...

Breaking News

UFO's caught on tape in Turkey!

...or maybe those UFO's are the newest top secret US aircraft.

T'Zairis said...

Just finished reading all the Steins stuff at TEM. It is really very interesting that this year, there was a 'diamond' crop formation over in England. It looked exactly like the diamond diagrams used in the 'Diamond in the Sky' Steins article at TEM.

The crop formation was reported to the Crop Circle Connector folks on August 3rd., and was at Yatesbury, near Beckhampton, Wiltshire. Here's the address for the page at Crop Circle Connector:

In light of the TEM article, I think it is very interesting that in the crop formation, there is a kind of sunburst-ray pattern in the circle around the diamond. Also of interest is that one of the 'rays' is only outlined and not filled in. Since the 'outline ray' is kind of pointing to the girdle of the diamond, I wonder if it is referencing something about a portion of the girdle of Steins...?



Tarius said...

"Just finished reading all the Steins stuff at TEM. It is really very interesting that this year, there was a 'diamond' crop formation over in England. It looked exactly like the diamond diagrams used in the 'Diamond in the Sky' Steins article at TEM."

I noticed that as well and posted it over on Keith Laney's site.

However the thing that got me with it was that it was made exactly 33 days before the flyby.

T'Zairis said...

Yes, that crop formation is very interesting. It came back vividly to mind when I was reading the TEM article for two reasons. First, because it's a one-to-one match for a faceting diagram, and second, because I remembered that I felt very frustrated that apparently no one who was writing about the formation could figure out that it was a diagram of a faceted diamond. Everybody kept looking at it upside-down and saying stuff like 'well, maybe it's a mountain...'

I've had my own interesting personal experiences with crop formations in the past, and I do know that nothing about them is random or 'just coincidental'. In the Yatesbury figure, all the radiating rays around the diamond are solid except for that one to the left of the girdle (when looking at the diamond in the formation culet-down), and as I was reading the Steins article last night, I was stunned when the proverbial light went on. My puzzlement as to why the circlemakers would draw a faceted diamond with a marker pointing at the girdle of said diamond is puzzlement no longer.

What I now wonder is, do all the angles in the crop formation map the surface stuff on Steins one-to-one?



marsandro said...

We certainly seem to have a lot
of artificial objects in our local
region of space.

Our own Moon...Iapetus...Steins...Phobos...

The list just keeps on growing.

Oh---and I have a late correction about that
object at Saturn, to wit:

(URL must be assembled.)

I believe I misstyped the parameters for
the size of this object. It seems I said
that it was "50 km" long. Wrong:

It is 50,000 km long.

And the Earth, of course, is about
14,784 km in diameter, give or take.

So, this object is over three times as long
as the Earth is big around. And it appears
to be under power.

It has been seen flying pole-to-pole across
Saturn, then it resumes its position in the

And as regards Phobos:

I seem to recall seeing a picture on one
of the "anomaly" sites that showed a set
of bay doors somewhere on the side of
Phobos, shot by an earlier Mars probe.

The picture was widely decried as a fake,
even though it seems it was available off
the appropriate NASA website for some time
before being pulled.

I wonder if they've pulled the latest rover
pic of the standing Rodabear? :-)


Hathor -- Cataloging the anomalies


Sphinx said...

Another interesting news from spaceref:

Researchers from Valencia and Granada Universities considers that there is a higher probability that organic molecules precursors to life could form on Titan, the largest moon of Saturn.

T'Zairis said...

Not only are we cataloging anomalies, we're also cataloging so-called equipment failures/malfunctions. There's only so many times that cameras going spontaneously into safe mode and/or just losing data at a critical juncture will be believed.

I bet if one takes a look at all the instances of missing data/lost data (not to mention supposed loss of entire probes!) which always seems to occur at precisely the moment when make-or-break data is due, one will likely find that the probability of all these failures happening right when they did-- and so darned often-- is significantly above random chance.

Basically we are being asked to believe that every single (multi-million dollar price tag) thing we send up these days fails at the very instant the payoff is due, and frankly, I don't believe it for a minute.

I have to ask, if this is in fact what is happening (i.e., the failures are real), why aren't people being publicly fired right and left? Instead, we see the same old NASA/JPL faces showing up 'failure' after 'failure', as if there are no repercussions to be had for screwing up chunk after chunk of high-priced hardware.

This alone leads me to believe that the failures are bogus. No company I know would keep an employee who couldn't remember the difference between yards and meters when programming Martian probe landing instructions into the on-board computer of said probe, resulting in a supposed 'catastrophic plunge' into the surface of the planet. If that was in fact what really happened, there would be a very public pink-slip waiting for him/her come Monday morning, I'm sure.

Additionally, if random chance was truly operating here, I would expect to see some meaningful data every now and again. Instead, we get a bunch of excuses-- each one crazier then the last-- as to why our latest cutting-edge-tech interplanetary bot-baby goes belly-up just as we were about to get the 'good stuff'.

Frankly, it would make a Martian cat laugh!



Mike Bara said...

Yeah it's amazing how the equipment always seems to fail right when we get to the good stuff, isn't it?

But that's just a coincidence.

Sphinx said...

Of course the failures r bogus....

I only hope that at least some parts of the data coming from Chandrayaan-1 mission will be successfully.
But really....personally I don't expect a different behavior from them.... I think that ONLY when some independents r going to invest in some space science will gonna see some REAL data and not so many "data failure" ..."error reading data"..."system shutdown unexpectedly" ...."critical error" ....and the list can continue....

Only then the truth will be revealed!

Starborne said...

I can't help but think of some other places in our local neighborhood that we don't even know about yet. It makes one ponder what secrets Venus may hold. Once the private sector starts putting up their own probes equipped with HD camers, (like KAGUYA) the jig is up, and our minds will be blown.

It also makes me wonder just what the Japanese have found in the past year with KAGUYA, and I'll bet the real footage doesn't look like a better version of "Google Moon".

Sphinx said...

Yeah....I'm very disappointed about Kaguya images and not to mentioned the Kaguya website...only Pikachu is missing from a corner. I think the only reasonable explication about the look of the website is the (almost)lack of photos. Personally I don't have anything against a more art-look like website...but in this case I expect more interesting data and not a eye candy website.

More interesting news coming from Mars.

"NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has observed a new category of minerals spread across large regions of Mars. This discovery suggests that liquid water remained on the planet's surface a billion years later than scientists believed, and it played an important role in shaping the planet's surface and possibly hosting life."

marsandro said...

Additionally, if random chance
was truly operating here, I
would expect to see some
meaningful data every now
and again.

Amen to that.

As an engineer, I am appalled at the ever
so lackluster performance of our space
probes at critical moments.

One can only surmize tampering for some
hidden purpose.

I would expect far better performance even
from "off the shelf" hardware, leave alone
the sort of "space rated" mil-spec hardware
that supposedly is being used.

Maybe this is someone's idea of a "budget

"...we need more money for the space
program...just look what we have to
put up with...whine-whine-whine..."

Yeah...right...absolutely CLOCKWORK failures
occuring invariably at critical moments....

Do tell....

So, on top of having our noses rubbed in
Brookings, we get a shakedown to boot....

That's our Uncle Sam, alright....


Hathor -- toes tapping, fingers drumming...
never a good sign....


P.S.: Uh-oh...I see Old Mother Fierce Face
rising up....


T'Zairis said...

I tell you, I am ready to start screaming with laughter right about now-- Linda Moulton Howe has an article on her website about all this bright blue stuff that's been found all over the surface of Mercury. The photo posted with the article shows some of the blue areas and the picture has a legend that explains that infrared enhancements to the pic have been made so that the mysterious blue substance may be clearly seen.

So let me get this straight-- Mercury gets infrared color enhancement and clear imaging, while Mars and Steins get the Mr. Magoo myopic fuzz-and-fade treatment over... and over... and over...

After I finish rolling around on the floor in hysterics, I will just point out that the bottom line is this: if clear, nicely enhanced pix of Mercury are possible (so we can all see the mysterious and fascinating blue stuff), the same is then true for Mars, and it is about time we got some properly enhanced, in-focus pictures of the Red Planet(so we can all see the mysterious and fascinating ruins and fossils).

And now I will mention the Moon-- which is (unlike Mars and Mercury) right in our own cosmic backyard, and yet we still have no high resolution, properly enhanced pix of the far side of good old Luna. As a photographic target, the Moon is what you would call the complete and utter mother of all slam-dunks, and yet libraries everywhere are still waiting for astronomy books with detailed maps of the far side of the Moon...

Yet the blue splotches on Mercury are coming in 20-20 thanks to a spot of infrared finessing.

BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!! (And now I will go rest my ribs, which have been tickled enough for a good six months!)



Tarius said...

"And now I will mention the Moon-- which is (unlike Mars and Mercury) right in our own cosmic backyard, and yet we still have no high resolution, properly enhanced pix of the far side of good old Luna. As a photographic target, the Moon is what you would call the complete and utter mother of all slam-dunks, and yet libraries everywhere are still waiting for astronomy books with detailed maps of the far side of the Moon...

You got that right, we are going to Mars to photograph the crap out of it and the moon lies ignored, we are going to Mercury to take really nice photos of that, the moon is still ignored. Its one thing in the case of Mars to mabe photograph it instead of the moon, but Mercury's surface is broadly similiar to the moon's surface, with vallies, crators etc. yet not really any nice photos are taken.

But anyway, wasnt there a military plan or something to take hi-res photos of the entire moon? After a quick net search I wasnt able to find much mention about it, yet I know I saw it somewhere.

All these technical failures is definitly appalling, your right, if this was a true company, the engineers working there would be fired in spectacular fashion for having their heads to far up.......

Lets see, how many times has this stuff gone wrong right at the exact moment in just the last one to 2 years? and really, after all this software "malfunction" someone else should have been hired to write their code because obviously these people are in some way inept.
With the way these craft operate, it should be similiar to a power plant, those things can run days on end without human intervention and be fine and they are a hell of alot more complicated, imagine if we had nuclear powerplants failing at the rate of failure for Nasa probes, nucelar power wouldnt be around for very long in that case...

PS. @ marsandro, did you ever look into that pre einstein type paper?

marsandro said...

Hmmm..."blue stuff" on the
surface of Mercury....

That suggests only two things:

(1) water (which would seem a bit unlikely at
such temeratures, that close to the sun),


(2) pure silicon, a definite possibility, as that
is what you get in a silicon furnace when you
pull crystals to make silicon chips.

Now, if only we could find a way to "dip
and wash" the entire planet of Mercury
after etching in some circuit patterns,
we'd have the largest microchip in this
sector of the Cosmos.

I wonder how long it would take Bill Gates
to write a new operating system to bog it
down, and tie up the memory?


Hathor -- Enjoying the Blue Revolution


Sphinx said...

@ marsandro

Yeah, my guess is the same. The blue colors from Mercury r in facts pure silicon.

But speaking of water, what I don't understand, and hope that you or anyone else please explain to me, how come NASA expect some info from Chandrayaan-1 mission regarding some water that suppose to be found on some craters on the Moon? Frozen water...but still

It's possible to be water on the Moon? Why?

marsandro said...

Hi sphynx,

Water on the Moon might have
originated from a comet strike
(granted the "snowball" version
of comet formation and structure),
or it could have been "tankered" there
by aliens, just to mess with our minds.

Who knows....

Since water is, after all, H2O, maybe there
was some sort of event in the distant past
involving these elements coming together on
or near the Moon (wherever it was at the
time, as there is a growing consensus that
the Moon is not from around here at all).

Beyond that, your guess is as good as mine,
or anyone else's, come to that.


Hathor -- Giving her best impression of a lunar Dorothy Hamill


marsandro said...

Hi tarius,

I've spent some time in the VA
hospital here recently. Cardiac
trouble (had to have stints put in)
and problems with diabetes (now I'm
on insulin). Even so, my apologies for
the delay.

I haven't checked on the situation at the
Magale Library (to see if it is once again
safe to enter the stacks), but I'll check
on it this week.

I'll make a special effort to get that paper
citation for you.

Any good index of the works of Charles F.
Brush ought to list the papers. Nonetheless,
I'll pull that up for you.

Brush also is listed in Who's Who of American
Men of Science. You should find this in the
reference section of any good college library.

Papers by Brush were published in the
Proceedings of the American Philosophical
Society, Journal of the Franklin Institute,
and London, Edinburgh and Dublin.

Brush Founded the Brush Electric Company and
the Linde Air Products Company. Brush had
over fifty patents worldwide.


Hathor -- Your Reference Librarian


Sphinx said...

Thanks for your answer mate.

marsandro said...

Any time, sphinx.

If there's one thing I know
how to do, it's speculate.


Hathor -- The Hot Chick of Speculation


marsandro said...

4:12 PM CST 11-04-2008

Hi tarius,

Sad news: I just returned from the
Magale Library, where it seems they
have purged older documents from their
shelves. Almost their entire 19th century
collection has been eliminated to make room
for newer materials.

I began a desperate search through the files
of Texas A&M University (where I went to
obtain the copies I have in my personal
collection), and even Case Western Reserve
University, Brush's alma mater, to try to
find the reference for you.

Nothing. At least not online.

My own collection is boxed up in a 20-foot
storage locker behind tons of items, or I
simply would have pulled it down and read
off the reference for you long ago.

I don't know what people are supposed to do
for research any more.

Practically the entire scientific record of
the Industrial Revolution has been relegated
to cold storage---or worse.

Anything not online is lost to all but a
handful of privileged researchers.

The "catacombs" in which I spent so much
time as a young undergraduate student are
no more, apparently.

Notwithstanding, I will continue to search
for some source I can quote for a reference.

There has to be an index, or something,
located somewhere.

I'll let you know when I find it.


Hathor -- Queen of the Catacombs


P.S.: Considering the Government penchant
for concealing the truth about Mars and other
objects in our Solar System, this abject loss
of ancient records of science and industry
has an overwhelming Orwellian flavor that
leaves a distinctly bad taste in my mouth.

I wonder how people will view all this a
hundred years from now---assuming, of
course, that they even have the record
of it?


Tarius said...

"Hi tarius,

Sad news: I just returned from the
Magale Library, where it seems they
have purged older documents from their
shelves. Almost their entire 19th century
collection has been eliminated to make room
for newer materials."

They purged older materials? My first reaction is you got to be kidding me. My second is, isnt that sort of thing illegal.

My third is, shouldnt they have scanned all that stuff into microfilm or otherwise put it into storage somewhere? where normal people can access it, I am sure they could create some paperwork or something as they like to do taht sort of thing.

Anyway, that really sucks, well hopefully something will be found.

"Any good index of the works of Charles F.
Brush ought to list the papers."

Well, at least not online from what I have seen, it seems everything I have found, focuses completely on his more famous works.

Take it easy though, a heart attack or anything similiar to that would not be a good thing for anyone.

marsandro said...

No to go off-topic, but---

I have just learned that a
considerable portion of the LSUS collection of
journals (mostly chemistry and physics, mid-
20th century editions) went in a dumpster.

I just hope this isn't what college libraries
everywhere have started doing simply for
a lack of shelf space.

I note that catalog entries for a great many
college libraries are now largely devoid of
any contiguous collections prior to the early
20th century.

Only small portions of 19th-century works
remain available, according to the online
listings I have examined last night and
this morning.

What a shock.

The public record of science and technology
is being dumped.

And now what of information from the space
probes? What becomes of that?


Hathor -- Shades of Sekhmet Rising


marsandro said...

A cursory review of available
science journals at Centenary
College, Texas A&M University,
Case Western Reserve University,
and even the Library of Congress
of the United States indicates:

If you want to see something from, say, the
Proceedings of the American Philosophical
Society from between about 1849 to 1879,
or from about 1880 to 1908, ...

Check your local landfill.

Same thing for Science, Science Review,
Nature, and several other important journals
of the past and present.

What is everyone doing? Have they all gone

Is shelf space really at such a premium?!


Hathor -- Fundraising for shelf space


P.S.: You may not believe this, but one
Texas A&M alumnus tells me that some of
the old journals from their library were
used as kindling in the Spirit Day bonfire
several years ago.

Great...classics of science literature are now
lighting the way for college football.

Are they all insane...?!?


Tarius said...

Well I am very suprised at this, they keep news papers from everyday life yet throw out scientific journals etc, thats completely unexceptable, specifically if they havent saved any electronic copies of these documents. Its seems very funny to me that they would just throw them out without any electronic copies made, because if so, this is borderline communism or whatever you would call supression of knowledge, book burning, etc.

If more people knew about this there might be an uproar, because I am sure that there is someone out there that would be willing to take old documents for free.

But in regards to Brush again, I did another search and it definitly seems to me that people have no idea about the paper you have mentioned. There is only the mention of him starting his company in 1880 and thats it, nothing else.
I would suggest we take this conversation to email or something so as not to clutter these comment boards if thats ok.

marsandro said...

Hi tarius,

I am told by one of the
reference librarians here
that these old documents
are indeed being put to electronic scanning,
and the old hardcopies are being either given
away or tossed.

It seems that "modern libarians" are of the
opinion that "print is dead" and the shelf
space should go to newer printings, while the
old records go to CD.

Trouble is, these records are not "web
accessible," and one must go directly to
those institutions having the records in
order to access them even electronically.

They won't come up on an online catalog

Apparently, it will be some years before
online access to these listings can be
had, when bandwidth has increased even


Hathor -- Taking it to the web


Jon Lester said...

I'm guessing you're already familiar with the Sagan-Shklovsky assertions that Phobos might be artificial, or at least hollow.

Mike Bara said...

Yeah I remember that. Wonder where Carl gotg his ideas from...

marsandro said...

Sorry to go off-topic again,

Will whoever sent me the
WhisperBot message please
send along the secret code
phrase... I can retrieve the message?


(It was someone here.)


Hathor -- Our Lady of Indulgences
(WOO-WOO!!!!!) :-))))


P.S.: I wonder if Phobos has any unusual
low-energy emissions? Radio, X-ray, or
the like?


T'Zairis said...


In answer to your queries at both this blog and mine, libraries that handle archival materials usually have some form of electronic database that they scan stuff to. The problem for them is that a lot of the paper that old periodicals are printed on has a high acid content, etc., and things just deteriorate to the point where it is no longer workable to keep the hard copies, because they'd crumble to dust the minute anyone handled them anyway. Older paperback books are a case in point-- the pages go brown and crumbly after a few years even if they do nothing but sit on a shelf. Newspapers and old magazines are also dodgy, plus they are quite a fire hazard, so the push is to get that sort of stuff scanned and stored before things fall apart.

I am with you when you observe that you don't like big wodges of stuff going missing, but I have a feeling that those scientific papers and the old periodicals are in fact archived somewhere, it's just the 'where' that you'll need to discover. Last ditch would be to ask the Library of Congress, because they are the archive-par-excellance for the U.S. I will also ask a couple of my librarian co-workers who might know where to go for that kind of database if the various university libraries come up empty for you. I know there are special-interest collections out there, but I am not super well-versed in archival ins-and-outs, and they may be, due to their particular areas of expertise.

I also left you a message over at my blog-- I've been out of commission for the last 2 weeks as my computer got hit by a virus. It was all very tedious and exasperating, and I am still trying to recreate some of the stuff that went bye-bye when they wiped my hard drive. I'd backed up the most important folders/files, but I still lost plenty.

The electronic database access problems you speak of are the result of libraries struggling to scan mounds of stuff before it becomes aged confetti-- they are in a weird transition phase where the items are being saved electronically, but systems still need to be worked out to give people general access to what's been archived.

Stupid stuff can hang them up, too. For example, my library system is now starting to offer downloadable e-books for 3-week 'checkouts'. However, they have recently discovered that the system they bought to do this only works for folks with PCs with Windows and plug-in devices that work with same. If you have a Mac-compatible anything you are out of luck until they purchase the requisite software, etc., so I can understand why you might have a weensy dollop of trouble gaining access to some library electronic resources.



marsandro said...

Hi T'Zairis,

I am terribly sorry to hear
about what happened to your

May Sekhmet rip them a new one....

I agree, and understand, about the crumbling
state of affairs of ancient print.

Even as a young undergraduate student, I
was encountering such volumes that had to
be handled with extreme care, and that was
nearly forty years ago.

I understand that these volumes are indeed
being scanned onto CDs, including by the
original publishers, and that they will
continue to be available for public access.

What irks me at the moment, is that the
CD-based files cannot be accessed outside
those institutions where these things are
to be had.

For example, even the Library of Congress
issues for several old science journals cannot
be located even through the electronic card
catalog system, unless you are physically
*at* the Library of Congress. And ditto for
Texas A&M, Centenary, and Case Western Reserve.

I mean, you can't even look up the listings


Perhaps our technology isn't quite as great
as we like to think...or, if nothing else,
we need to get on our producers of this
technology to get them to ramp it up.

Yo? Bill Gates? Anybody home????


Hathor -- Making the IT shopping list


P.S.: Well, I'm still bugged by the fact that
LSUS tossed a bunch of late-vintage works
into a dumpster *without* scanning them,
plus the TAMU bonfire using old volumes for
kindling was just...too much.

What nerve!


T'Zairis said...


Library software is weird indeed. The library system I work for can finally interface with other large institutions in the state (so that folks can more readily do what are called 'Inter-Library Loans'-- referred to as ILLs for short), but even we can't search all of the stuff at the Library of Congress. The problem is that there are lots of different database/inventory management systems out there, and because different libraries buy different ones, one library system's software doesn't talk to another's. It's really stupid, and it drives every library worker I know completely crazy, because our business is to get people hooked up with loads of data fast.

I would think that the stuff that LSUS ditched must be archived elsewhere, and while TAMU using old volumes as kindling may seem strange, a lot of stuff that libraries withdraw goes straight into the recycle bin because it's so far gone that no archive wants it, nor can it be sold in a book sale, etc.

I am going to ask the Librarian I work with on Sundays about how one would go about trying to run down who might have archived turn-of-the-last-century older science papers and periodicals. If she tells me anything interesting, I will let you know.

And, yes, I'm ready to sic Sekhmet on the jerks who lace various websites with advertising malware. May She hit them all with a righteously wrathful EMP that turns every electronic device they own into so much useless scrap...