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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