Cheetah prosthesis, dolphin tails and the russian space program. Here’s a few follow-ups.

Photo credit: Pieter Hugo for The New York Times

-Yesterday, when I opened the New York Times, I came across the photo of athlete Oscar Pistorius along with the article The Fast Life of Oscar Pistorius – NYTimes.com. It made me very happy. Pistorius wears two Flex-Foot Cheetah leg prosthetics and will soon be competing for a chance to go to the Olympic games. Key thing here: I don’t mean the Paralympic games,  but at the actual Olympics. If he succeeds, he will be the first person without legs to compete.

-Still on the topic of prosthetics, we move on the prosthetic tail for the dolphin Winter, which I described previously. Coincidently, a week after my post, onboard of a plane, the on flight movie was “Dolphin Tail”. The screenplay is embellished, exaggerated, fictional and inaccurate. So you can have an idea: a 10-year-old boy is the hero, who rescues the dolphin and devises the whole prosthetics enterprise. Anyways, it was still worth it to see Winter swimming around (she played herself in the movie). As I pointed out earlier, she does curve her tail to the side, and swims with a sideways motion, as opposed to the up-and-down of most dolphin tails.  That novel movement was causing strain in her spine, and therefore created the need for the prosthetic.

Last week, Phobos-grunt crashed into the Pacific ocean. You might recall from my earlier post (or from several media outlets) that the Russian space agency was sending a craft to land in one of the martian moons. The goals was to collect soil samples and study the effect of radiation in microorganisms onboard. Sad.

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