NASA’s New VASIMR Plasma Engine Could Reach Mars in 39 days

Franklin-with-VASIMR (Image by Robert Markowitz and Bill Stafford.)

NASA’s New VASIMR Plasma Engine Could Reach Mars in 39 days  By: David Russell Schilling | January 3rd, 2016

NASA recently provided $10 million in funding to Ad Astra Rocket Company of Texas for further development of its Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket (VASIMR), an electromagnetic thruster capable of propelling a spaceship to Mars in just 39 days. NASA’s funding was part of the “12 Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnership.” Ad Astra’s rocket will travel ten times faster than today’s chemical rockets while using one-tenth the amount of fuel.


The VASIMR system would cut the trip to Mars by months according to Franklin Chang Diaz, a former MIT student, NASA astronaut, and now CEO of Ad Astra.  …



VASIMR heats plasma, an electrically charged gas, to extremely high temperatures using radio waves. The system then provides thrust by funneling the hot plasma out of the back of the engine. According to Diaz, VASIMR will save thousands of gallons of rocket fuel and tens of millions of dollars a year.


In the following video, Diaz explains in great detail the origins of space travel and why the magnetoplasma rocket technology will revolutionize space travel and exploration.


Source: NASA’s New VASIMR Plasma Engine Could Reach Mars in 39 days – Industry Tap

Austin bookstore Brave-New-Books offering 10 percent discount to open-carriers

AUSTIN — Brave New Books is offering a 10 percent discount to all customers open-carrying in their store.

The store is also hosting an open-carry symposium on Jan. 30 to help Texas residents learn more about open-carry legislation.

Speakers for the event include Michael Cargil of Central Texas Gun Works and Stephen Sheftall of Defense Distributed. There will also be a panel of firearms freedoms activists who will discuss Second Amendment activity in Texas.

The bookstore, located next to the University of Texas campus, said in a press release that they are the only bookstore in Austin to allow open-carry.

“We appreciate it when people take security and defense in to their own hands.  In a world where mass shootings are happening more and more, when seconds count, it’s up to we the people to protect our community,”  said Brave New Books general manager John Bush in a press release.

Popular Austin bookstores, including Half-Price Books and Book People, have said no to customers openly displaying firearms while in their stores.

Brave New Books isn’t the first business in Texas to offer a discount to open carriers. Brooks Place, Houston-area barbecue joint, is offering a 25 percent discount to customers who come in wearing their weapons in the open, according to the Houston Chronicle.

For more information on open-carry, here is a run-down from our news partner The Austin-American Statesman.

Source: Austin bookstore offering 10 percent discount to open-carriers

The search for ‘Bigfoot’ comes to East Texas

It’s too bad that this CBS19 “news report” didn’t note the terrible record of Tom Biscardi as a hoaxer and con-man:

The search for ‘Bigfoot’ comes to East Texas
Posted: Jan 08, 2016 10:47 PM CST
Updated: Jan 08, 2016 10:47 PM CST
By Gerardo Martinez

CHEROKEE COUNTY (KYTX) – It has many different names. Some call it Bigfoot, Sasquatch, even Yeti.

The creature’s existence has never been scientifically established. But still, the sightings of a big hairy creature continue. And that’s what keeps a group of ‘Bigfoot experts’ still searching for it.

Recently captured images taken at a hunting site in Cherokee County brought the Bigfoot experts to East Texas.

Known by many as the ‘Godfather of Bigfoot,’ Tom Biscardi has been on the hunt for the creature for more than 45 years.

“I know that one day or another, someone’s going to come across one and bring it to the front and prove it to the scientific world that it’s here,” he said.

Tom and his group of self- proclaimed ‘Bigfoot experts’ were recently brought to east Texas after a land owner captured some images he can’t explain.

The images were captured by a thermal camera by a deer feeder in December. Tom says, with no doubt in his mind, what was captured in the images was a 7-foot Bigfoot.

So with the help of his crew, including his own son T.J., Tom set up several cameras and ‘Bigfoot bait’ to try to capture the creature on camera – or in person.

Tom and T.J. say they’ve managed to get some Bigfoot imprints over the past several years and even some hair samples, but capturing definite proof of the beast has been tricky.

Either way, they say they’ll continue searching for Bigfoot as long as it takes.

“This is what we do full time,” said T.J. “It’s a job. It’s wonderful.”

When we tagged along with the group, we didn’t capture any definite proof either, but what we did capture was this. When T.J. made a ‘Bigfoot call,’ we heard something howl back.

The crew says they will stay out in the area Friday night to find more evidence of Bigfoot.

For more information on the Bigfoot experts, click here.

Source: The search for ‘Bigfoot’ comes to East Texas


More Arabic speaking tutors needed for Austin School District (Video)

More Arabic speaking tutors needed at AISD

Video at the Source.

A University of Texas graduate student is calling for more Arabic speaking tutors to help an influx of refugees from Iraq and Syria at Austin Independent School District.

Dana El Kurd volunteers twice a week at Anderson High School and said the students she helps are struggling to adjust to a new culture and language.

“There are students who have been in refugee camps for five or six years waiting for this kind of official permission,” El Kurd said.

Part of the problem she said is that the majority of the classes the refugee students attend are in English. “Nobody speaks Arabic and a lot of them are kind of lost,” El Kurd said.

Many consider dropping out because of the lack of support and on top of that, El Kurd said refugee students report they are also being bullied. “I don’t think that a lot of their peers know where they are coming from so they are calling them things like ISIS and these people are escaping ISIS so it’s very difficult for them,” she said.

El Kurd said more volunteers would help the students adjust and be successful at school but she hopes the district will beef up support as more Syrian refugees will be settled in Texas in the coming years. “There is a humanitarian need and we need to address it,” she said.

Austin ISD was unavailable to provide a comment for this story. But according to the district’s website there is an Office of Refugee Family Support. The latest data provided shows there were 675 refugee students for the 2013-2014 school year.

The office meets with school staff for training about the refugee population and assists families with school business.

Ideally, new refugee students are placed in a Newcomer’s Program where they receive daily beginner ESL instruction and English language support.

Source: More Arabic speaking tutors needed at AISD | News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News | KEYE

Del Rio UFO Festival – January 23 and 24 with George Noory, Nick Pope and More

George Noory Featured at 2015 Del Rio UFO Festival

George NooryThe 2015 Del Rio UFO Festival will be held Jan. 23 & 24, 2015, at the Paul Poag Theater in downtown Del Rio, Texas. For complete details, visit To purchase tickets, visit The organizers are thrilled to welcome to Del Rio for the first time ever, one of the world’s leading spokesmen in the field of UFOs and the paranormal, Mr. George Noory. Listened to by millions of people on over 500 radio stations, Mr. Noory is the undisputed king of late night talk radio. The popular host of Coast to Coast AM, Mr. Noory has maintained a lifelong interest in unidentified flying objects and the paranormal, which are recurring topics on his radio show. Mr. Noory has hosted some of the greatest minds in the field of UFO research, and his own interest in the subject remains extremely strong.

Bestselling Author Jim Marrs to Speak in Del Rio on “Ancient Aliens”

Bestselling author and one of the most renowned conspiracy theorists of our time, Jim Marrs, will speak about his latest book, Our Occulted History: Do the Global Elite Conceal Ancient Aliens?, which reveals the genuine archaeological discoveries and well documented geological data to not only support the notion that human civilization originated from extraterrestrials, but also that advanced civilizations, humans or otherwise, have made Earth their home long before the recorded dates in our history books.In addition, he will also speak about the John F. Kennedy assassination conspiracy, and why it remains relevant today.

The “Real” Fox Mulder, England’s Nick PopeNick Pope

Nick Pope held the unique job of being the British government’s top UFO researcher during his 21-year career with the Ministry of Defense. Holding the highest top-secret clearance regarding UFOs, Nick went from being a skeptic to being a believer after seeing all the remarkable evidence that crossed his desk. Now retired, Nick is one of the world’s top speakers on UFOs and the paranormal. He will bring us two amazing presentations regarding the enduring mystery of UFOs.

Star Trek Writer David Bennett Carren

We are extremely happy to announce that Star Trek, Twilight Zone, and Stargate writer David Bennett Carren will speak at the Del Rio UFO Festival! David has directed, written or produced more than 200 films and television shows, including many science fiction shows.

Among his cherished memories in his long career is having worked with Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, the original Captain Kirk (William Shatner), and Next Generation cast members including Patrick Stewart and Brent Spiner. His Star Trek stories will amaze and inspire you.

Noe Torres & Ruben Uriarte to Speak on Del Rio UFO Incident

Texas author Noe Torres and veteran California UFO researcher Ruben Uriarte stunned the UFO world in 2008 with the publication of their book The Other Roswell: UFO Crash on the Texas-Mexico Border, in which first-hand witness Colonel Robert Burton Willingham said he visited the crash site of a UFO near Del Rio (in Langtry).

The authors have spoken about the case on numerous TV and radio shows, and world-renowned UFO investigator Dr. Bruce Maccabee called it “One of the world’s most interesting UFO crash retrieval stories.” Noe and Ruben will bring the latest information on this remarkable story to the 2015 Del Rio UFO Festival. You won’t want to miss this!

Texas Observer

Tickets Now Available for Immediate Purchase!

Two-day admission Festival tickets are only $30 and may be purchased online at

Border Zone UFO Festival | “UFOs have no borders …”.

Anniversary of the Cash-Landrum UFO Case 12/29/1980

The anniversary of this classic modern Close Encounter approaches…  cash-landrumVia Curt Collins’ BlueBlurryLines blog…

Lighting a Candle for the Cash-Landrum UFO Case

The December 29, 1980 Cash-Landrum UFO event is one of best known, thoroughly documented cases in UFO history.  This is due in part to the investigation led by John F. Schuesller, then deputy director of MUFON. The other reason is the dramatic story itself, with the apparent credibility and sincerity of the witnesses, Betty Cash, Vickie and Colby Landrum. On the anniversary of their encounter, last year, I posted this memorial:
Remembering Betty Cash and Vickie Landrum

Shedding some light

Some regard this as an old and cold case, but it’s not too late to learn more about it and from it. Much of value can be learned just from studying the event’s investigation alone. Preserving the evidence and stripping away the layers of apocrypha can help let us examine the truth in this case.  Whatever secrets lie at the heart of this mystery, they have value to other UFO cases past and present.
The passage of time closes some doors, but others may open. Betty Cash died in 1998, and Vickie in 2007, leaving only Colby Landrum remaining as a primary witness.  The helicopter personnel who would have participated in the operation are at retirement age and could now discuss this case without the fear of risk to their military careers. Others who may have been involved could still be alive, and it is possible that once-secret government documents could now be available.

Blue Blurry Lines: Lighting a Candle for the Cash-Landrum UFO Case.


Austin Zine Fest, Dec. 14th, 12-4p @George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center

Austin Zine Fest – 2014!

Austin Zine Fest brings together regional zinesters from the Austin, TX-area for a celebration of print culture. We are a small annual fest focused on highlighting the work of local independent publishers and artists. AZF is co-coordinated by Hillary-Anne Crosby and Caroline Knowles. 

You can contact us by filling out the Contact form below or by emailing us at

The 2014 Austin Zine Fest will take place on Sunday, December 14th from 12-4p at the George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center. Up to the date details are available on Facebook here

More details (including participants) on the way! Keep updated by following us on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter.  

You can pick up some of Austin Zine Fest’s local & international zine picks over at MASS Gallery’s retail shop, MA$$, in Austin, TX. It’s a great way to support AZF & your local zinesters.

Some of what we currently have in stock:

– The Austin Review
– Heroine Zine
– Museums Press
– Raw Paw
– Red Kitty
– Rough House
– Vagina
– Women Artists: Interviews

… plus many others!

MASS Gallery is located at  507 Calles Street, Suite 108, Austin, TX 78702. Hours & recent happenings are available online at


AZF PopUpShop

Bill Hicks statue coming to Houston


Bill Hicks statue will be coming to Houston: Here’s a sneak peek



Over two years after initially announcing plans to fund the construction of a statue of Houston comedy legend, the organizers behind the project say that they are in the final casting stages.

Omar Afra with Free Press Houston announced an ambitious plan at Free Press Summer Fest in 2012 to commemorate the work of comedian Bill Hicks with a stone statue to be placed somewhere in the Houston area.

Hicks died in February 1994 after succumbing to pancreatic cancer at the age of 32. His comedy albums are now like biblical scripture for some comics.

His last public words, which he wanted released upon his death, were positively sublime, considering Hicks spent his comic career raging against everything, albeit with a twinkle in his eye.

“I left in love, in laughter, and in truth and wherever truth, love and laughter abide, I am there in spirit.”

“This isn’t just five or six people who have made big donations, its many people from the community,” he says, adding that he has put up the lion’s share of the costs out of his fandom of Hicks.

“The volume of donations has demonstrated the enduring love of Hicks,” he says.

Read more here:

Bill Hicks statue will be coming to Houston: Here’s a sneak peek


WEIRDFEST at the Spiderhouse Ballroom – Austin, TX – October 10th, 2014


WEIRDFEST with Superette, Sciborg & the Robopimps, Alien Knife Fight, Chasca

Spiderhouse Ballroom

2906 Fruth St.
Austin, TX, 78705                 

Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM

WEIRDFEST with Superette, Sciborg & the Robopimps, Alien Knife Fight, Chasca – Tickets – Spiderhouse Ballroom – Austin, TX – October 10th, 2014 | Ticketfly.

Chester Moore’s KingdomZoo Seeks Funding

kingdom_zoo chupa-replica-chester-moore-kingdomzoo

Need a $100 sponsor to get a special carrying case for our amazing chupacabra replica. You will be helping us reach kids in a very unique way.

Any takers?

Kids LOVE our chupa but we’re afraid he’s gonna break. You can make a tax deductible donation by clicking link below or sending us a check. Message for details. Let’s help chupa out today!

Chester Moore.