Tech Net News 10-12-2019

Credit: Fox221

Tech Net on the Hill is coming up next weekend! On Saturday, October 19th, from 2pm to 9pm, we’ll be up on the hill—the Flag Pole Hill pavilion, 8015 Doran Cir, Dallas, TX 75201. We’ll have great presentations and first-rate amateur radio fun and fellowship. Show off your projects, take a class, and enjoy the hot dogs (first-come, first-served of course).

Our DARC EmCom 101 net will continue this coming Monday at 19:00 local on 146.88 MHz with a discussion of the DHS SAFECOM website.

And don’t forget: your ballot for our West Gulf Division director, our representative on the ARRL’s board, should be arriving in your mailbox soon. Don’t forget to vote! Ballots must be received not later than November 15th, 2019.

In news from the world of Ham Radio:

There are several state QSO parties taking place this weekend, but no notable contests. The parties include Nevada, Pennsylvania, Arizona, and South Dakota. If you need one of these states for WAS on any band, now’s your chance!

Did I mention that you should vote in our Division Director election? Yes? Well, I’m mentioning it again.

And in news from the world of science:

NASA’s ICON ionosphere studies satellite has finally launched after a 2-year delay. ICON was launched on an unusual air-carried Pegasus XL rocket released from a venerable L-1011 aircraft. The Pegasus rocket has completed 30 successful launches in a row, but its future is in doubt. While air-launching rockets is very fuel efficient, it actually costs more than using a commercial launch vehicle such as an Electron or Falcon.

Recent simulations have proposed that Venus’s current, hellish climate is not incompatible with its having had a milder, wetter past that even included oceans. Geologists, however, have disagreed with the assumptions embedded in that simulation, arguing that lava flows prove that Venus was never a wet planet.

Bees can count! Or at least, you can teach honeybees to count if you’re willing to be mean and rap their insect knuckles when they get the answer wrong. Yes, new results show that negative reinforcement helps bees learn to count to 8.

And I’ve had lightning on my mind quite a bit for the past few days. It turns out that lightning doesn’t just bother amateur radio operators—it’s twice as likely to strike ships in shipping lanes as it is to strike other areas in the ocean.