Tuesday, April 25, 2006

---Egyptian Resort Bombed, Iran Again, Bad News for NASA, and Other Stories 

Matthew 24
If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.

Another Egyptian Resort Bombing
FOXNews.com/AP - 10 Arrested in Egyptian Resort Bombings
One thing that can be said for stupidity---it does have a certain monotonous consistency about it....
Just take a minute to think about this, guys. If your deity allows you to murder your way into “heaven”, doesn’t it seem likely that he also has a somewhat deficient concept of “paradise”? Maybe you should ask a few more questions before you go out to blow yourself up with that restaurant full of women and children....
...like, say, “Nine virgin what?

FOXNews.com/AP - Iran Hints at Exiting Nuclear Treaty
Iran’s Ahmadinejad said some more stuff. Perhaps online gaming could teach us something about dealing with people like this. Why doesn’t the news come with an “Ignore” button?
Ok, boys and girls, be sure to catch up on your required reading at the CIA - The World Factbook -- Iran .
But it is extremely unlikely that the U.S. would take direct action against Iran. The military types have surely played the same simulation games we have: The players for China, North Korea, and a suspiciously re-Communized Russia (he’s obviously been masterfully holding onto that event card for dozens of turns) all take exception to the U.S. players’ completion of his contiguous sphere of influence spanning the entire Middle East and Asia from the Mediterranean to the Chinese border, and form an alliance, despite the U.S. player’s impassioned pleas that he only wants to instill “peace” and “democracy” in the region. Russia sends advanced weaponry to Iran, North Korea ships long-range missles with nuclear warheads (or activation codes for the ones it already sneaked in while the U.S. was out getting a cup of whipped cocoa), and China invades Afghanistan and/or Pakistan with massive land forces. The U.S. is further befuddled by simultaneous threats to Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, and various nominal allies in the Middle East, in addition to resurgent political chaos in Iraq, and sullenly decides to quit and go watch “Aliens” for the sixteenth time. The rest isn’t history...yet.

More bad news for NASA
Spaceflight Now | STS-121 Shuttle Report | Tank foam lost during shuttle wind tunnel test
Yes, space fans, the changes to the PAL streamlining foam for the infamous External Tank appear to actually make the debris shedding worse. This can’t be good news for the re-return to flight currently scheduled for July.

Michelle Malkin
Hot Air
Michelle Malkin has inaugurated her new conservative podcast. On the video “Vent” feature, Malkin had a lot to say yesterday about certain ethical inconsistencies by major technology vendors where big bucks in China are at stake. Out here, major search engines such as Google reveal that Tian'anmen Square was a peaceful mass demonstration against the Communist Chinese government which was brutally suppressed. In there, it’s a tourist attraction....

So much for the ST hiatus theory
SPACE.com -- 'Star Trek' to Return with 'Mission Impossible: 3' Director at Helm
There have been some rumors about a “young next generation” plot, or something. Even though no actual plot has been officially mentioned, this one already has “straight to HBO” written all over it.

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Saturday, April 22, 2006

---Scott Crossfield Dies, Russian Meddling, Hu?, Mumps, Shuttle Fix, Armstrong Award, Philips Ad Enforcer, Sudoku 

Scott Crossfield dead at 84
SPACE.com -- Former Test Pilot Scott Crossfield Killed in Plane Crash
One of the more likable of the modern aviation pioneers has been found dead in the wreckage of his small plane.

More Russian meddling
FOXNews.com/AP - Russia Defies International Boycott, Pledges Aid to Hamas
FOXNews.com - Russia: Iran Must Cooperate With IAEA

I guess it’s still too early to start thinking fondly of the good old Soviet days. The decline of Soviet-ness doesn’t really seem to have made much difference in foreign relations.

AP: Protester Yells at Hu; Bush Apologizes
Much has been made of the fact that the protester was arrested moments after the President spoke about the necessity of freedom of speech, and that Hu’s first stop in the U.S. was not at the Capitol, but a visit to Microsoft’s Bill Gates. The whole thing seems largely pointless in any case, and in fact nothing material was accomplished---at least not in Washington, D.C..

Mumps is back
Why a Mumps Outbreak is Sweeping the Midwest - Newsweek National News - MSNBC.com
Over 1,000 cases so far....must be a new strain of the old misery.

People who actually know what’s going on win one at NASA!
FL Today Space: Shuttle fix cuts disaster risk
In a measure of the new attitudes among NASA management, engineers will be allowed to take steps to further mitigate a small risk that the Shuttle’s manuvering thrusters could fire without a command to do so. If the Shuttle happened to be docked to the Station when an accidental firing occurred, the resulting overstress could destroy both spacecraft---and their crews---before the runaway thruster could be shut down.

Venus Express arrives in Venus orbit
ESA - Venus Express - Unexpected detail in first-ever Venus south pole images
ESA’s new Venus probe has arrived on station, and returned its first images of the planet.

Neil Armstrong honored
SPACE.com -- NASA Honors Neil Armstrong with Moon Rock Award
Neil Armstrong received a small sample of Lunar rock for his contributions to space exploration. The first man out the door on world’s first landing on another celestial body accepted his award with a long, rather tedious story in which he personified the life of his rock sample. He then donated the historic sample to a museum.
I’m still reading “First Man”, the official biography of Neil Armstrong. I’ll post a review, which no one will read anyway, when I get through.

Philips contemplates corporate suicide
New Scientist Invention blog: The advert enforcer
For reasons only an MBA could want to understand, Philips has filed for a device which will force cable TV viewers to watch commercials all the way through at normal speed. The device will prevent viewers from changing channels until the advertisement is finished, or fast forwarding through commercials in recorded replays. Philips could actually come to be more widely loathed than Sony....

It’s that game again
Web Sudoku
Sudoku is an ingenous logic puzzle, sort of like a numeric crossword puzzle.
I recently got sudoku books as a gift, and have had several brief bouts of addiction since then. It’s now available in numerous other forms, including this online version.

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Friday, April 14, 2006

---25th Anniversary of STS-1, Iranian Prez Says Stuff 

25th Anniversary of STS-1
SPACE.com -- The Ultimate Test Flight: NASA’s Shuttle Fleet at 25
As shuttle turns 25, NASA faces upheaval - Space News - MSNBC.com

Various commermorations of the first Shuttle flight, interviews with Young and Crippen. Of course, the vehicle they flew on that historic mission doesn’t exist anymore.

I think if we knew then what we know now, we’d have probably been a lot more nervous,” Young said....”[Space.com interview]

Oh, Come ON!!!
FOXNews.com/AP - Iran President: Israel Will Be Annihilated
Not another psychotic Middle Eastern head of state who writes his own material! Hire some writers over there! Maybe have an original thought occasionally!
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Saturday, April 01, 2006

---Nationwide Protests in U.S. 

April Fools?
FOXNews.com - U.S. & World News - Thousands Protest Immigration Policies in New York City
Is this possible? How much of the roaring, unstoppable juggernaut of the American economy is based on the labor of pitifully underpaid illegal immigrants? How much of the rest of it is based on virtual slave labor by Chinese peasants and “political prisoners”? Who were the idiots who thought this would work? No wonder they’re rioting in the streets....

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