Nineties internet dating, NASA's logo, octopus warfare: Your weekend reading list

Dr. Robert H. Goddard
Dr. Robert H. Goddard at Clark University in Worcester, Mass., in 1924. Dr. Goddard died in 1945, but was likely as responsible for the dawning of the Space Age as the Wrights were for the beginning of the Air Age.
NASA

Thirty-eight years ago this week, Viking 2 landed on Mars after a 333-day trip. During your downtime this holiday weekend, take a trip back in time to mid-90's dating — dial-up Internet-style, the NASA logo that re-branded the space shuttle era and octopus' territorial warfare.

Read this

I met my first girlfriend through Windows 95: An Internet love story

A tale of adolescence, technology and and pioneering Internet dating in the mid-1990s.

The '90s brought personal computers into the home, shrinking the world in new ways, launching an era of AOL chat rooms and introducing parents to large modem-driven long-distance phone bills. via Ars Technica

Why fear the fire when you don't burn?

A plot of cypress trees planted in the 1980's to test disease resistance inadvertently displayed their fire resistance when a wildfire decimated the forest they were in, leaving them standing tall and 98 percent undamaged. via the BBC

Meet the "Fortuneteller of Kabul"

Mystics have long been part of the Afghan cultural lifeblood, but religious hard-liners have been cracking down on the centuries-old practice. via The Guardian

Drone pilots take to the skies, by balloon

Federal Aviation Administration rules state that if you want to charge for drone flight services you need a 333 exemption, and for that you need to hold a crewed pilot's license. Ballooning certification is providing an unlikely avenue to FAA compliance. via The Verge

Harness the power of 5,000 suns, and a flower

Gallium-arsenide solar cells replaces the usual silicon solar cells in these artificial sun-tracking metal flowers. via Ars Technica

Logo madness!

• Google.

This week, Google announced a new iteration of its logo [Author note: It looks to me like the Lego Duplo version of Google's old logo; so round!], and it seems like the design community is at least tentatively embracing the new look.

The space-age NASA logo

NASA worm logo
NASA 'worm' logotype used from 1975 to 1992
NASA

Two designers hope to preserve the legacy of the iconic NASA "worm" logo used between 1975 and 1992, which was replaced by the agency's current "meatball" logo.

The "worm" logo was a result of the Federal Design Improvement Program, a program started by President Nixon with a memo to the heads of all federal departments asking how the arts and artists could make their jobs better.

Enterprise Offloading
The space shuttle 'Enterprise' is offloaded from a Boeing 747 displaying the NASA 'worm logo' at Redstone Arsenal Airfield near Huntsville, Ala., in March 1978.
Space Frontiers | Getty Images

Watch this

New Zealand is in the final stages of choosing a new flag.

https://youtu.be/jysDdiEa35c

Australian octopuses of Jervis Bay appear to be taking out territorial frustrations out on their neighbors

Close proximity has created territorial squabbles and according to marine biologist Peter Godfrey-Smith they appear to be hurling objects, perhaps at each other. via NPR

A Viking on Mars

Shortly after touchdown on the surface of Mars, the nuclear-powered Viking 2 took this panoramic view of the martian landscape on Sept. 3, 1976.

Viking 2 on Mars in 1976
This rocky panoramic scene is the second picture of the Martian surface that was taken by Viking Lander 2 shortly after touchdown on Sept. 3, 1976. The site is on a northern plain of Mars known as Utopia Planitia.
NASA

Listen to this

Squirrels take on bird calls to foil predators

Having a hard time deciding if that wildlife you are hearing is a bird or a squirrel? There is a good chance that a squirrel joined in on the avian cacophony to fend off predators. via NPR

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