The first ever song transmitted back from Mars by Nasa featured a tune by Grammy-winning US musician will.i.am, as part of efforts to inspire young people into science.
The extraordinary feat was among several astonishing achievements by US space agency’s £1.6 billion Curiosity rover, which landed on the surface of the Red Planet earlier this month.
The Black Eyed Peas rapper’s song, titled Reach for the Stars, was beamed more than 300 million miles back to Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.
The first music broadcast from another planet came after the planetary explorer beamed back incredible high-resolution, colour portrait images from Mars.
Nasa staff clapped their hands and held their arms in the air, smiling and swaying to the rhythm during the slightly less scientific use of the rover’s hi-tech equipment and communications ability.
The achievement also gave great delight to dozens of students who gathered at the laboratory to listen.
"It seems surreal," said will.i.am, who is also an actor.
He explained how Charles Bolden, the Nasa administrator, had called him to suggest beaming a song back from Mars as part of educational outreach efforts by the US space agency.
The song, which includes lyrics "I know that Mars might be far, but baby it ain’t really that far", involved a 40-piece orchestra including French horns, rather than a more modern electronically-generated sound.
The 37-year-old, whose real name William James Adams, told a student audience that he didn’t "want to do a song that was done on a computer," given that it was going to be the first piece of music broadcast back to the Earth from Mars.
"I wanted to show human collaboration and have an orchestra there and something that would be timeless, and translated in different cultures, not have like a hip hop beat or a dance beat," he said.
"A lot of times ... people in my field aren’t supposed to try to execute something classical, or orchestral, so I wanted to break that stigma."
The aim was to inspire young people like those at the Nasa event, including some from Boyle Heights in East Los Angeles where the musician grew up, to take a greater interest in science.
The Nightwatchman: Crime-predicting robot aims to patrol our streets and schools 2013 12 06 Get Ready. They’ll be watching.
These new robots that are an unnerving mix between Star Wars’ R2-D2 and Doctor Who’s Daleks, are being touted as the new way to "monitor, map, and secure" the humans around them.
The robots are purported to replace security guards and watchmen, in a bid to reduce labor costs and streamline surveillance.
A company in California ...
Microsoft’s Smart Bra Will Monitor Mood & Reduce Overeating 2013 12 06 Microsoft is designing a “smart bra” that will monitor women’s health by tracking their heart rate, her emotional state, whether or not she is over-eating and more.
Sensors in the bra detect when the wearer is bored, stressed or discouraged and send a warning signal to the woman’s smartphone that she should caution from making bad food choices.
In a paper entitled, ...
“Saint” Mandela? Not So Fast! 2013 12 06 President Barack Obama has compared him to George Washington. MSNBC’s Chris Matthews heralded him as “perhaps the world’s greatest hero.”
The Las Vegas Guardian Express dispensed with the “perhaps,” declaring in headline: “Nelson Mandela World’s Greatest Hero.”
Others have christened him “the greatest man of the 20th century.” Many revere him as “the savior” of South Africa. School children worldwide read books, ...
The Legacy of Nelson Mandela: A Dissenting Opinion 2013 12 06 Nelson Mandela, rights activist, political icon and former president of South Africa, dies age 95
There is no doubt that Nelson Mandela suffered for his cause of an end to bloody apartheid, racial segregation and government oppression in South Africa:
[Mandela was a] South African anti-apartheid revolutionary as well as a politician and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa ...
Tylenol can kill you; new warning admits popular painkiller causes liver damage, death 2013 12 06 It has been a common household name in over-the-counter pain relief for more than 50 years. But the popular painkiller drug Tylenol is getting a major labeling makeover following a string of personal injury lawsuits. According to the Associated Press (AP), so many Tylenol users these days are suffering major liver damage or dying that the drug’s manufacturer, McNeil Consumer ...