Sunday, November 12, 2006

---Ed Bradley, Jack Palance Dead, Rwanda, U.S. Space Defense Policy, MS Vista, Polar Hurrincane on Saturn 

FOXNews.com - CBS News' Ed Bradley Dies After Battle With Leukemia
Ok, so I haven’t watched “60 Minutes” since the ’80’s, but Ed Bradley was one of those seemingly permanent fixtures of television even then. Nobody seems to have known he was seriously ill.

FOXNews.com - Actor Jack Palance Dies at His Home in California
Another regular acting institution we grew up with has died.

My Way News [AP] - Catholic Nun Gets 30 Years for Rwanda Ro
In 1994 as the unending resonant cycle of reprisal and revenge in the African nation reached a murderous peak, Mukakibibi---a nun with Hutu sympathies---forced Tutsis who sought refuge in a hospital outside to be killed by rampaging Hutu militias.

Remember the ‘90’s? Remember how hard the Clinton Administration worked to stop the horrific genocide in Rwanda? No? That’s probably because they didn’t---do---anything.

Remember how Bill Clinton started a war in Central Europe for the sole purpose of distracting everyone from impeaching him for having a liaison with an intern in a government office on government time and lying about it while pedantically wagging his finger at us on national television? Remember how many U.S. soldiers died in that war, and how Apache helicopters---sent in as an afterthought without ground support--- and an F-117 “stealth” fighter---the only example ever downed in combat---were lost, and how Wesley Clark somehow arranged to bomb the Chinese embassy? Do you remember how many news reporters worldwide ever referred to that hellish misuse of American lives and credibility a “quagmire”?

See, it’s history, and if you’re ignorant of it, and you get bored and forgetful and let people order you to make the same stupid collective mistake all over again, you get to re....oh, never mind. Just try to pay attention this time....

An outer-space war of words escalates - Space News - MSNBC.com
James Oberg at MSNBC relates the rise of tensions with Russia and other foreign governments over the recent publication of the Bush Administration’s space defense policies. The source of the tension seems to be a misrepresentation of the contents of the U.S. policy in an article in the Washington Post:
Bush Sets Defense As Space Priority - washingtonpost.com
Several people with known tendencies to paranoia and anti-American sympathies, including Vladimir Putin and Al Gore, have jumped to hysterical conclusions based on the mis-statement of American intentions toward potentially hostile users of outer space in the U.S. news media. The consequences could be quite grave, if the Russians decide to implement actual orbital weapons systems, and trigger another real arms race.
In fact, the current policy statement is basically a continuation of the space defensive posture established in the Clinton era.

FOXNews.com - Microsoft Wraps Up Windows Vista, Sets On-Sale Date of Jan. 30 - Technology News | News On Technology
What? Oh, yeah---Vista!
Which is why I’m still using W2K, and why I’m starting to explore various distributions of Linux and Open Office....

Spaceflight Now | Breaking News | Problems for Mars Global Surveyor orbiter
Ten years after its launch to Mars orbit, Global Surveyor has failed to check in. A positioning motor for one of the solar arrays experienced problems, and the spacecraft subsequently lost contact with Earth while aiming the array at the Sun.
There are plans to have the new Reconnaissance Orbiter take a look at the veteran spacecraft. The two apparently approach within 60 miles of each other in orbit on a regular basis. Is that a good idea? I guess a maneuvering error or system failure that could cause an actual collision is an extremely remote possibility.

Cassini-Huygens: Multimedia-Videos
Polar vortices are very fashionable these days. All the planets under study seem to have them, including Earth, Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn. This Cassini study of the Saturnian south polar vortex is especially spectacular. The vortex resembles a Terrestrial hurricane with a deep eye and eye wall, albeit 5000 miles across. It forms a hole in the upper cloud layers, and infrared studies have shown that atmosphere is descending into the eye at the pole, and warming to form a polar “hot spot”. The monstrous storm appears to be fixed to the planet’s pole.


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