|:: Thursday, July 31, 2003 ::|
It's The Economy, Stupid
May I direct the Democrats in the audience here?
Carrying The Torch
New Scientist has an interesting interview with Barbara Morgan, which includes the first I've seen her talk at any length about Columbia.
More Edwards Landings?
Florida Today reports that NASA is considering shifting more landings away from Kennedy in order to cut down on re-entries over densely populated areas.
Astronaut: Hubble can't come home.
Deep Space 0
NASA ran an ion engine continuously for five years on the ground. I wish this story would tell what sort of speed it would have built up if flying freely through space. I imagine it probably could have gotten somewhere given five years.
In case anyone besides me cares, here Busiek on Marvels II.
Turns out Stalin tried to kill The Duke.
|:: Wednesday, July 30, 2003 ::|
Science At Work
I just received the following teaser for a Science@NASA story:
"NASA scientists have discovered a new extreme-loving microorganism in California's exotic Mono Lake."
I think I caught part of "Extreme-Loving At Mono Lake" on Cinemax last night.
How Common Is Your Name?
It turns out my first and middle name are the 5th and 6th most common names for men in the United States.
Hitt is the 3,401th most common last name, representing about 0.004 percent of the U.S. population, or about 10,000 people.
Dead On Dead
The reporter who wrote Bob Hope's NYT obituary was, himself, already dead.
Your Subpoena Is Coming...
...In about 2,000 years. This story about the RIAA's threatened litigation involves the greatest use of math I've seen recently.
How To Get Kids To Come To The Zoo
Man, I hope this sets a precedent.
Link courtesy of DeeDee, who needs to hurry up and get better (and back to work!)
So it turns out we still can't believe the Russians: Preparations are still continuing for the August 10 wedding of Yuri Malenchenko and Kat Dmitriev.
And So It Begins, Again
Anyone who has any doubts as to why NASA projects are traditionally often late and over-budget should read this. Keep in mind, this was not a project that NASA requested in the first place, but one that was congressionally mandated.
From a great article about BuyMusic.com from USA Today:
BuyMusic.com's tech support staff was of little help when contacted Thursday. An e-mail response read: "We are unable to provide technical assistance after you have downloaded the music ... to your primary computer. In addition, we are unable to credit you back for failed or damaged copies once you have successfully downloaded the music."
Apple has sold 6.5 million songs since April; BuyMusic won't release figures, but "it's not millions," Blum says.
I had an item recently about the fact that Kurt Busiek's next super-long Astro City run was going to be adapted from an idea he originally had for Marvels II. Now, it turns out, he doing Marvels II also (hopefully with a different idea).
Calling All Angels
You'll be glad to know, I'm sure, that when Charlie's Angels Full Throttle hits DVD on Oct. 14 it will be released in both PG-13 and Unrated versions.
Oh, Superman... er, Clark
Smallville's season premeire airs October 1 at 8 p.m. (though, again, I'm not sure in what time zone). Hopefully this means that Smallville and Enterprise won't be be airing at the same time, however.
There's No T In A-Team
I'm all in favor of an A-Team movie, but completely recast it just wouldn't be the same. If you wanted new actors, it might work better to do like with Charlie's Angels, and have new characters join the team, but have the originals "mentoring them." Not that that would be optimal either.
|:: Tuesday, July 29, 2003 ::|
The Planetary Society is deploying a mock-up solar sail (And yes, I included this item just so I could make a Star Trek IV reference).
This is reassuring. I'm not saying that hazardous waste clean-up is not important, I'm just saying that it shouldn't come at the cost of exploration.
Today In History
It's NASA's birthday! On this day in 1958, President Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act, which created, which turns a spry 45 today!
Wired has an interesting article about the ongoing fanaticism for Apple's discontinued G4 Cube (if you need somewhere to go for stories about weird Mac fanaticism, Wired's a good place to start looking [for instance, this computer is kind of cool looking]).
Lain sent me an e-mail yesterday asking my thoughts on the news that Best Buy will be selling Macs and Mac stuff. After giving it some thought, I have no opinions on the matter at all. To be honest, unless they have a decent selection of peripherals, it probably won't matter that much to me. I'm excited about it, but can't shake the nagging suspicion that one party or the other (likely Apple) will manage to screw it up eventually. So, yeah, I'm excited about the notion that if I need Mac stuff, and I'm at Best Buy, I might can find it (and that is where I bought my iPod), but it's not like Earth-shaking news or anything.
Out today on DVD are Daredevil, which was entertaining, and Solaris, which I never saw.
Giant Killer Robots
It's a rarity on the Dave-blog: Good robot news. AICN has an update on the live action Transformers movie.
|:: Monday, July 28, 2003 ::|
I just read on the collectSPACE message boards that
"THAT'S ONE SMALL STEP FOR MAN, ONE GIANT LEAP FOR MANKIND.-NEIL A. ARMSTRONG"
is an anagram for
"A THIN MAN RAN, MAKES LARGE STRIDE, LEFT PLANET, PINS FLAG ON MOON. ON TO MARS."
T 1,000 Days
From NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 28 Jul 2003:
"Today, continuous manned occupancy of the ISS reaches 1000 days. What a milestone in human frontiers exploration history!"
What A Wonderful World
I received this e-mail today through one of my Web sites:
I want to give m some informations about Lois Armstrong with fotoes!!!
Ed. Note: Somebody really, really needs to write that song-- "I see skies of black, and stars of white. When the Sun is up, it's still black as night. And I think to myself, what a wonderful Moon."
Gee, Microsoft is considering a new online music service. How original.
The next crew of the International Space Station has been named. Expedition 8, which will launch on October 18, will consist of NASA astronaut Michael Foale and cosmonaut Alexander Kaleri, who was originally scheduled to be a member of the Expedition 7 crew, before it was decreased to two people. Interestingly, since command of ISS is rotating back to the US with Exp. 8, British-born Foale will serve both as ISS Commander and Science Officer. Foale's assignment to ISS represents a new step for NASA. Foale's five previous spaceflights included a four month incriment on Mir, giving him a total of 178 days in space already. NASA has never before assigned an astronaut to two long-duration flights, and the current U.S. duration record holder, Carl Walz, has spent only 231 days in space over several flights, including a 6 1/2 month stay on ISS. Foale's roughly 6 month stay on station will give him a total over around a year in space, far and away a new record for NASA, though not even in the top 15 worldwide (Walz, for example, ranks 30th in the world for total spaceflight duration, and Foale's stationmate Kaleri has already logged 416 days in space [Exp. 8 will likely move him up to number 5 in the all-time ranking]).
Accompanying Foale and Kaleri on their launch to ISS will be ESA astronaut Pedro Duque (perhaps best known to Americans for being a member of the STS-95 crew that also included John Glenn), who will return to Earth on Oct. 28, 8 days after docking with ISS, with Exp. 7 crewmembers Ed Lu and Yuri Malenchenko (who may or may not be married at that point).
The Adventure Continues
The next season of Enterprise begins Wed., Sept. 10, at 10 p.m. (though in what time zone, I'm not sure).
On Mon., July 21, the domain hatbag.net expired, a fact which we did not figure out until Friday. As a result, this blog was inaccessible to an increasing degree all last week (This on the heels of technical problems the week before on our ISP's side). The domain name has been re-registered, and service has been restored. Sorry for the inconvenience.
|:: Friday, July 25, 2003 ::|
Add this to the YMFTB wish list.
Parade Of Catfish
Somebody needs to recognize Stennis Space Center with some sort of space-catfish as part of this project.
Addendum: And speaking of catfish...
Jonesin' For A Mac
The Indiana Jones And The Emperor's Tomb game is being ported to the Mac, if anyone's interested (well, even if you're not, actually), with a release date set for September.
|:: Thursday, July 24, 2003 ::|
Oh man, this is really tempting, if somewhat pricey.
The creator of the Enterprise has died.
I'm no good at this, but it's anti-Microsoft, so I'm posting it anyway.
In other shocking computer news, it turns out there's a bug in Windows that will let hackers control your computer! This is unprecedented. Um, other than the dozens of times its happened before. I'm curious how many parts of Windows/Explorer/Outlook don't let people hack your system or make it easier for viruses.
Reality Of Space
Efforts are underway once again to develop a spaceflight reality TV show.
BuyMusic.com has started airing commercials in which people listening to an mp3 player sing popular songs, all in front of a white background. A PC developer ripping off Apple?! What is this world coming to?!
OSP v. OSP
Should the Orbital Space Plane be a capsule or winged vehicle? I was initially in favor of a winged craft, but that was just largely a gut reaction that a capsule would not be as "cool." The more time goes by, the idea of the capsule grows on me more and more.
|:: Wednesday, July 23, 2003 ::|
Ed Lu has posted his latest letter from space, this time about exercise in microgravity.
Now this is a cool use of science.
(Interesting, the news today had two stories about pancakes and science, with no breakfast implications at all.
Many of Jack Handey's Deep Thoughts were pretty funny.
For Richie, who was disappointed last week when I didn't attribute the Ole Miss Faulkner mascot story link to him last week, I dedicate The Official List Of Old Science Fiction Tropes, which is even annotated to show which ones are acceptable for continued use, and which are not.
It's A Nice Day For A Space Wedding
More on Yuri's wedding, which, according to his fiance, is still on.
It's time once again for the Official Jason Smith Free Blog section. Got something you want to talk about that I'm not posting on, do it here.
(And say "the sound of one hand clapping" one more time, and I'll clap one hand into your face [um, over the internet, I guess].)
Long March To Space
Following up on the item I posted yesterday, here's more about China's launch plans for October.
Here's a really good story about decisions made during STS-107.
Phish Are King
From the Web site of the band Phish:
"HOUSE OF LIVE PHISH Amidst the commotion will be a tranquil, well-lit, air-conditioned tent to create your own custom FREE Live Phish CD. Create a playlist from hundreds of Live Phish tracks preloaded onto a couple dozen iMacs, burn a CD on iTunes, and walk out with a great mix for the ride home. Or if you've had your fill of Phish, come on in, check your email, check the scores -- whatever your pleasure. Special thanks to Apple Computer for providing the iMacs and Verbatim for providing the top quality blank media."
Green Lantern has been cast, and it's ... Kevin Smith. Which is actually cooler than it sounds.
|:: Tuesday, July 22, 2003 ::|
If you've not yet seen the "Best Batman Movie Ever" talked about in that Ain't It Cool News story I linked to yesterday and are interested, just follow that link. That said, while it's very, very technically impressive, it's not all that great a depiction of Batman and the Joker, in my opinion. A lot of it's pretty cliched ("You made me") stuff, and there's enough old tropes to keep Richie listing them for a while.
Beating Around The Bush
I thought this was kind of interesting.
The Sound And The Furry
Here's a link to this year's Faux Faulkner winner, from which you can also find the runners-up, the faux Hemmingway winner, and past winners, if so inclined.
wOz not Woz
Just FYI, here is Wozniak's new endeavor's homepage.
I Do... Or Do I?
More in the continuing saga of Yuri's potential wedding.
T -100 Days?
China may be only about 100 days away from its first manned spaceflight, according to a Chinese newspaper. Details are still very scare about plans for the launch, but this schedule is much sooner than the most recent announcements.
Also, here's a tiny bit about China's lunar exploration plans.
Bring Me Pictures Of Spiderman!
One of my current favorite comics, Alias, is coming to an end soon, but, unlike usual, that's not necessarily a bad thing. Jessica Jones will stick around, but clean up her language, in a new non-Max title, The Pulse, in which she'll team up with J. Jonah Jameson. I'm not sure I approve of the direction they're taking him, but don't have enough deep-seated JJJ love to really care, and I'm all for a comic set largely in a newspaper.
Matrix In A Box
Not a big deal, but it pertains to one of my pet peeves--Warner Bros. is deviating from its stupid devotion to those annoying cardboard DVD cases and releasing Matrix Reloaded in a decent plastic case. Warner has been one of the last major holdouts for the crappy cardboard "snapper cases," and may be re-evaluating that decision.
|:: Monday, July 21, 2003 ::|
The creator of the very cool Martian Soil Web site listed in my sidebar has created a new sister site, Lunar Soil. Check it out.
I bet this lady dropped that burger on the floor (Sorry, another inside joke).
There's a ton of new posts on the Joe-Blog!
NASA is currently debating whether the remains of Columbia should be displayed in museums and other exhibits. Personally, I think, if done tastefully, I would be in favor of it.
Today In History
Today is the 42 anniversary of the second American spaceflight, the suborbital launch of Gus Grissom's Liberty Bell 7 (MR4).
Yesterday, of course, this blog took a day off in honor of the 34th anniversary of the first footsteps on the Moon.
No Russian To The Altar
So, apparently, Yuri's wedding is off again.
What We Do
I'm not sure if I've posted this one before, but here's an article about what exactly NASAexplores is.
Here's what people think about our space program, according to one recent, but thorough, poll.
Pictures of Batman? Kinda.
(The Joker in this vaguely reminds me of my friend Jay Morris, but I don't know exactly why)
|:: Saturday, July 19, 2003 ::|
A-Wing, B-Wing, C-Wing
Sure, we've seen X-Wings, Y-Wings, B-Wings, and A-Wings in Star Wars, and read about E-Wings, but what about the other fighters. What do they look like? When will we see Lego sets of them?
Well, coming up with them is a tough job, but somebody's got to do it. (Link stolen from DeeDee)
Hey, They're Just Making That Stuff Up As They Go!
Face2Face Improv will be holding shows on Friday and Saturday.
You've Got Courriel!
France has banned the word "e-mail."
Just Get To Zvezda On Time
OK, so Yuri may be getting married after all.
Turns out the loss of the Hyper-X scramjet in 2001 may have been due to poor risk assesment by NASA, according to this article.
|:: Friday, July 18, 2003 ::|
This would be the perfect job for my friend DeeDee, combining her worlds of Mississippi State and NASA.
Robot Holocaust Update
This blog has no comment about this headline.
It's been talked about for quite a while, but the spaceflight lottery may be closer to becoming a reality. As little as five bucks could buy your ticket to space.
Return To Flight Update
NET March 11.
(Which, by the way, is the birthday of my middle school friend Elaine Elizabeth Baath, whom I mention here only in hopes that she'll come across this and get in touch with me [my e-mail is in the contact link at the top])
I'm going to a meeting today about OSP, so I'll be interested to ask about this. Part of the reasoning for why the agency believes it can meet an accelerated scheduled for completion of Orbital Space Plane is that whatever the new craft is, it will rely primarily on existing technology. Reliable escape systems, however, are something that have been deemed nigh impossible on Shuttle over the years, so how long will it take to integrate an impossible system onto OSP?
Speaking Of Those Spoilsport Russians...
RSA doesn't believe the Shuttles will fly as soon as we think.
Apple just reported its highest quarterly profit in two years.
Thank You Cylons
Every good action figure collection needs Alanis Morissette and Alan Rickman with his pants around his knees. Well, Alanis, at least. While they look kind of flat in that picture, it's only because those are concept sketches for what will eventually be part of the Dogma portion of the Clerk Inaction Figure series.
Listen To That Movie
"Hello, my name is Marty Di'Bergi. I'm a filmmaker. I make a lot of commercials." Oh, sure, there are any number of places you can download clips from movies on the internet, but this site lets you listen to the entire movie. The selection is pretty limited, but options do include Spinal Tap and Clerks.
Oh, Won't You Please Take Me Hoo-oo-omeTwo more issues remain in Local Heroes. When writing the current miniseries, Busiek decided that the story in Issue 4 was too big for one book. So he split it in half, making that story Issues 4 & 5.
Sweet gracious, my loyalty to Astro City, the best "ongoing" comic book series ever during the lean years is paying off! I've been enjoying the new bi-monthly Local Heroes miniseries, but with the knowledge that it was only a limited series, and that while Busiek had said that more would be coming, no more had been announced. Sparse, limited Astro City was certainly far, far better than no Astro City, but I wanted more.
Well, more is coming. Much more.
Since that rounded out the promised 5-part series, the story that was going to be Issue 5 was removed from Local Heroes. Instead, though, it's being released as an extra-large stand-alone book after Local Heroes is over.
After Local Heroes, and after the one-shot, comes an eight-page preview of the next story arc.
After that will be the biggest Astro City story ever--a 12-issue miniseries consisting of one long story (which was originally going to be the story for Marvels II, but drastically re-written). The series will be broken up into four three-part sub-arcs.
Since that huge story will be largely set in the past (70s and 80s), interspersed between the sub-arcs will be possibly five stand-alone hero-focuses one-shots.
DVD: The Final Frontier
Alright, the good news (as such): Star Trek V is coming to DVD on October 14 (Tellingly, MSRP is $19.95, five bucks less than the preceding ones). The bad news: The DVD set features the theatrical version of the film. Shatner had really wanted to do a "special edition" of the movie a la The Motion Picture DVD, but was denied permission. Even assuming it would still be pretty rough, a new Shatner cut of the film could still be pretty darned entertaining. As with previous Trek collector's edition DVDs, V will come loaded with special features, though unfortunately, they will not include a "Horse Vs. Alien Horse" comparison (possibly because they are so completely unlike there's no room for comparison) nor seatbelts for your home.
Houston Woman Weds Spaceman!
Yuri's getting married! ISS Commander Yuri Malenchenko will become the first person to get married in space when he (hopefully) exchanges vows with his fiance in August.
Addendum: Or maybe not.
|:: Thursday, July 17, 2003 ::|
This makes me sad.
The Clarion-Ledger recently printed a good profile of Shuttle program head and Mississippian Bill Parsons (though the last name of the other Mississippi-connected NASA official, the Education AA, is Loston, not Lofton).
1) Read DeeDee's definition of well-read, about two-thirds of the way down this post.
2) Discuss. What would you add, subtract, or clarify?
3) Review your answer sheet, making sure that all answers are filled in clearly. The machine will not give credit for improperly marked answers.
Hotty Toddy, Absalom, Absalom
The last bit of this article about Ole Miss' mascot woes are priceless.
Smashing Use Of Web
It turns out the Hulk's been keeping a blog for years.
As it happens, the Hulk is much as depicted in Toyfare, and is Hulkier at some times than others.
OK, imagine if Metallica actually became lawyers.
Addendum: Upon further surfing, this may be a hoax. But even so, my question remains.
An Alabamian has won an award for intentionally bad writing. Of course, if it had been for unintentionally bad writing, my native state would have a hard time competing with my erstwhile home of Mississippi, home of animals falling into holes.
Good News: The world is less likely to have to be saved by Ben Affleck and Bruce Willis that previously thought.
Today In History
Russians and Americans came together in space for the first time on this date 27 years ago during the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project docking.
One cool thing I've learned through all the annoying service outages this week is that the server on which this blog is hosted is named "Space."
Manned Spaceflight, NASCAR-style
Although the X Prize is still a ways from being won, the X Prize Foundation is already planning what to do for a follow-up after the initial competition is over. The answer: The X Prize Cup spacecraft competition. Every year, private spacecraft teams would get together at one of America's 15 spaceports to pit their spacecraft against the competition, seeing who could reach the highest altitude, have the best launch time, the quickest re-launch, most passengers, etc.
If this ever happens, it'll be a testament to the success of the X Prize in changing paradigms of spaceflight. The first "space race" involved two nations, took over a decade, and cost billions of dollars. Now, private companies can get together every year and have their own space races. The biggest question, to me, is, would people watch? The Foundation says they want to try and stir up NASCAR-type excitement about space. With all the sports that people watch, how would this do?
Addendum: Here's an interesting bit about the state of commercial spaceflight regulation.
Lain sent me an e-mail about this a while back, but I forget if he had the release date--Space Ghost Coast To Coast Volume 1 is coming to DVD Nov. 18.
...Through The Airless Night
According to this article, today is the 34th anniversary of the loading of the first flag to fly on the Moon (Although the source where I got the article pointed out that it's wrong about the flag still flying--Aldrin said he saw it fall over as they took off).
Addendum: Um, actually, that was yesterday. I forgot what the date was today. Yesterday was also the anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch, meaning that the flag was loaded onto the lunar module just hours before launch, something I had not been aware of.
This Week At NE
There's two new articles this week at NASAexplores: one about the summer triangle constellation, and the other about astronaut candidate Leland Melvin (this Jocasta piece is possibly our first non-writer-written article).
|:: Wednesday, July 16, 2003 ::|
Entertainment Weekly put Liz Phair's "Why Can't I?" video on their most-recent Must List, and it is pretty darned clever.
When flinging just isn't enough.
USA Today on iChat AV: "Microsoft's latest provides some welcome improvements. But compared with the ease of iChat AV, Messenger 6 is for the dogs."
Popular Photo Story
This site is kind of funny, read over a few days. Plus, it introduced me to Yahoo's Most E-mailed Photos page, which I was not previously aware existed. Based on today's photos, tomorrow's story should be interesting.
I don't even need to comment on this. This is how they lure you into a false sense of security, and then they've got you. Robot talent show, indeed. More like robot propoganda event!
Return To Flight Update
Six to nine months, says O'Keefe.
Addendum: Bill Readdy's letter to the RTF team is interesting reading.
According to the CAIB, the crew likely had time to know what was happening.
Addendum: From NASAwatch.com: "Will details about the crew's last moments help spacecraft experts prevent future accidents? Perhaps. Will releasing this information to the public help? No. Yet I'll bet there are a few reporters out there who just won't be able to fight the urge and will post every lurid, morbid detail they can - all because 'the public has a right to know'. Stay Tuned."
Avril Lavigne has shown her support for Apple's iTMS by releasing a five-song live set which is only available through the online music store.
|:: Tuesday, July 15, 2003 ::|
Oh, Sweet Gracious...
Lego might as well just syphon the money out of my pocket.
Richie Dataguy profiles
Recent search strings on the hatbag.net site:
beatefull women (this brought two people to the site)
colonel reb pics
India monkey picthers
STS-107 AND Expedition 8 AND Soyuz TMA-3
arlo and janis naked
cylon quotes mp3
Here's something interesting I learned today--scientists can't replicate sweat.
Um, here's an internet-related one I don't think I've posted here yet.
Marshall has a new deputy director (as does Kennedy).
Don't Call It A Comeback! Well, OK
After 15 years, Garbage Pail Kids are coming back next month.
A while back I posted about searching for Weapons Of Mass Destruction on Google. DeeDee has found a story about the result you get.
Life On Mars?
Two British astronomy writers are saying NASA found evidence of life on Mars in 1976, but dismissed it. I actually read a story about this recently, and an alternate explanation for the phenomenon was offered, having to do with sub-soil gasses, and which was deemed more in line with the limited amount detected.
An Interesting Apple Rumor...
...with absolutely no details.
Get 'Em While They're Hot
Unconfirmed Batman rumors!
The Matrix Reloaded hits DVD on Oct. 14 with a complete set of unimpressive features.
According to DVD File, on Dec. 2, Disney is releasing as part of its Walt Disney Treasures series of DVD's "Walt Disney's Tomorrowland," which is a compilation of the "Disneyland" TV episodes that focused on outer space and space travel, six in all. Does anybody know if this would be the Disney shows which featured Wernher von Braun? 'Cause I would pay cash money for those.
Please Stand By...
We seem to be experiencing technical difficulties. Yesterday, the Hatbag.net server was down, and today the feedback system has been quirky. Hopefully all will be resolved shortly.
|:: Monday, July 14, 2003 ::|
This movie is apparently getting close to being finished. I forget when it's supposed to come out, but I don't understand why we have to wait that long. I'm really looking forward to seeing it.
Headline on Yahoo news today: "Bush defends intelligence as 'darn good'"
ISS Science Officer Ed Lu has posted the latest in his Greetings, Earthlings series, this one about how orbits work.
JoCasta sent me a collection of amusing street signs, and I thought this one merited being posted here.
Ronny Chaser has a giant head.
In a bit of quasi-good news, the CAIB has determined that the age of the orbiter was not a major factor in loss of Columbia. While it's not a stunning endorsement of NASA's estimates regarding the remaining life of the fleet, hopefully this may support use of the orbiter fleet at least to finish construction of ISS.
Nicole and I watched T3 and LXG this weekend, so if anybody wants to discuss 'em, this is the place to do it.
The Columbia Accident Investigation Board has issued a preliminary "Working Scenario" report.
|:: Friday, July 11, 2003 ::|
In my fantasy world, whoever used to live at my old apartment is puzzled by a constant stream of mail addressed to "Hippie And The Black Guy."
Democracy At Its Best
I would likely vote for Schwarzenegger if Springer were my only other choice.
My God, Man...
Drilling holes in this man's head was the answer.
Canada Hoax Update
Let me direct you to this quote from the Los Angeles Times (reg. req.): "It's not quite Mars, but for aficionados of the Red Planet, it's the next best thing. It's Canada."
Bye, bye, dead Princess Di
Well, it turns out Princess Di won't be in an X-Men comic afterall. Though I hear that when DC wrote Zero Hour, they included a brilliant way to bring her back from the dead if she ever died, but nobody will ever figure it out.
Lain will be pleased to know... well, at least possibly interesting in knowing... that A Mighty Wind is coming to DVD September 23, loaded with extra features.
|:: Thursday, July 10, 2003 ::|
Come On, Windows, Hold Together
Were I ever to buy a PC (and I'm not), I would want it to look like this.
This is kind of cool, if it's still working when you read this. Go to Google, type in "weapons of mass destruction," but instead of hitting search, hit "I'm feeling lucky," and read the message you get.
A Brief History
Um... this somehow doesn't fit in with my mental image.
New Breakthroughs In Dinosaur Research
So, um, what part exactly is the stegosaurus? (And apologies to Lain for stealing too much from Dave Barry today)
Oh my goodness!
This is just wrong! (Warning: Mildly non-family-friendly material ahead)
Those Darned Russians!
Do they understand the gravid-y of the situation?
So what exactly is going on with Hippie's shirt in this strip?
OK, is there any way in which this is not stupid?
The End Of Off The World As We Know It
Every morning I read a handful of space-related Web sites looking for story ideas. One of the most interesting of those is SpaceDaily.com, which is a Web site dedicated to spaceflight which has an enormously negative attitude toward spaceflight. One wonders how exactly the idea came about--"I'm really turned off by everything about space exploration. I think I'll start a pro-space-exploration Web site." To be fair, the problem is more than the site carries a huge antipathy toward NASA and everything the agency does. However, rather than focusing on all the other things going on (and to be fair, they do have possibly the best coverage of China's space program), they simply sit around bashing NASA. I'm not entirely sure what they do think NASA should be doing, I just know everything they don't think the agency should do (to wit: everything it's doing). Case in point: today's article, "The End Of US Manned Spaceflight Looms Ever Closer." Reading the article, one is struck by the fact that it does not ever actually demonstrate that the end of U.S. manned spaceflight is actually particularly looming. Rather, it just bashes the OSP, largely with outdated information and faulty logic.
OK, I just wanted to rant for a while. And now I have.
Apples Are Good
Apple received mucho recognition in a recent PC Magazine survey.
And despite the Mac's liberal arts reputation, the new G5 was picked as the Editor's Choice computer by Scientific Computing & Instrumentation magazine.
This Week At NE
This week at NASAexplores, we have my profile of astronaut Jan Davis, a Huntsville native who flew into space with the first cosmonaut to ride the Shuttle, as well as the first Japanese astronaut, and who now heads the Flight Projects office at Marshall. Also online this week is an article about the constellation Bootes, the patron constellation of this blog.
|:: Wednesday, July 09, 2003 ::|
Alright, it's been light blogging today while I wrapped up my Skylab behemoth (about 110 inches, Joe). I'm not 100 percent pleased with it. It's still a pretty darned good story, but I was hoping for something transcendent, a shimmering thing of ephemeral Skylab beauty. Oh well.
I got to talk on the phone this morning for quite a while with Jerry Carr, who served on the final Skylab crew. Like Garriott, very, very helpful. It was just such a thrill to actually be talking to these guys about the amazing experiences they had.
This is possibly the most popular strip ever on the Hatbag site.
According to The NYT, the release of the CAIB report on the Columbia accident has been delayed until early August, after members of Congress have gone home.
Space.com has an interesting story about a problem on an earlier Shuttle flight.
Every Now And Then...
Isn't it nice to see a story about humans and robots getting along?
|:: Tuesday, July 08, 2003 ::|
I had the pleasure this morning of meeting and interviewing Dr. Owen Garriott, a member of the second Skylab crew. Great guy. The interview is one of three I'm doing for an upcoming NASAexplores article, which will be one of the most fun things I've ever written.
Oldie But Goody
In the fast-paced, always-transforming world of the internet, where you can you go when you need something that's not always changing? Here. ppphhhhhbbbbbllllltttttt!!!!
If you haven't seen photos, the CAIB is calling yesterday's foam impact tests a smoking gun in the investigation.
The second U.S. Mars Exploration Rover, Opportunity, is now on its way to the Red Planet, after a successful launch last night. Video of the beautiful night launch is available here.
Speaking of internet downloads, remember the good old days?
LXG "CD" only iTMS mp3!
The soundtrack to the new League of Extraordinary Gentleman movie will be distributed only on the iTunes Music Store. Which also means that for the time being, only Mac users can buy it. Sean Connery would buy the soundtrack, but he doesn't understand how.
Smith On Superheroes, Redux
NewsAskew has a link to another article by Kevin Smith about superheroes. If you're interested, the link goes to the main page, just scroll down until you find it.
Brad Pitt as Captain American? Well, if he has his way.
|:: Monday, July 07, 2003 ::|
Richie (who apparently has time to surf the Web for Superman rumors but is too busy to post feedback here) pointed out that the scholarship winner in the second to last paragraph may have had an unfair advantage (his dad used to be an artist on the book).
Rosie the robot, formerly a mechanical paragon of cleanliness, would have been disgusted with herself, were she still functioning. The floors and furniture, which she would have aimed to keep spotless, were now littered with mechanical parts--parts which had only recently been freed from her metallic casing by a blaster shot from Twicki. Nearby were the twisted metal carcasses of C3P0, who, as the "lifegiving" current flowed its last through his circuits, cursed his metal body that it wasn't fast enough to avoid the horrific termination handed him by B4. The other survivors were shocked at the ferocity that kid from AI had unleashed on Max the Space Camp robot after Max had attempted to sabotage their spacecraft, nearly bringing about thermal curtain failure.
"Oh dear, oh dear," Gypsy muttered to herself. As she nervously fidgeted, trying to figure out a way to put a stop to the violence, she accidentally bumped a button on the control panel of the Satellite of Love.
"Oh dear, oh dear," she muttered again as the SoL airlock opened, blasting Twicki, B4 and that kid from AI out into the vacuum of space, along with the remains of their defeated rivals.
Or atleast that's the way it might have happened, according to the votes in the most recent YMFTB poll.
This week's poll takes the robot combatants up a notch.
There's a retirement home here in H'ville that has as its slogan, "I want to live only at Somberby," and I wonder to what extent the implication that its elderly residents would not have the will to live elsewhere is intentional.
The Old Hip has updated the link to the Hatbag site! Thanks!
According to Walter Scott's Personality Parade feature in the Parade magazine in my Sunday Paper, Felicity's Keri Russell is rumored to be a strong contender to play Lois Lane in the Superman movie. Need more proof--she's currently in London filming a movie with Nathan Lane!
Just a subtle reminder.
Maybe This Time
NASA's MER-B Mars rover is still waiting its Opportunity launch opportunity. The launch was delayed again this wekend, and is now set for 9:35 p.m. CDT tonight. A second launch window occurs today at 10:18 p.m.
We Will Be Deploying...
The Planetary Society plans to launch the world's first solar-sail spacecraft before the end of the year. I didn't see it in this article, but the Cosmos I craft will also be the first in-space test of beamed-energy propulsion, using microwaves beamed from Earth to very briefly and slightly propel the craft.
|:: Friday, July 04, 2003 ::|
Here are the top search strings that have lead people to the hatbag.net site:
- STS-114; Collins Eileen
- guy profiles
- 10 best educatinal programs for elementary students
- Collins Eileen; Return to Flight
- India monkey picthers
- MER patches
- bb king homecoming miss pic
- colonel reb pics
- da pits
- finding nemo and propulsion
- how to make a bottle rocket
- howto make a bottle rocket
- naked nintendo
- shenzhou-5 check out
- terminator photo star wars kid
- the final flight of the Osiris
- you must fight the bear
Michael Kinsley wrote this this week:
"There is a solution that ought to satisfy both camps and may not be a bad idea even apart from the gay-marriage controversy. That solution is to end the institution of marriage. Or rather (he hastens to clarify, Dear) the solution is to end the institution of government-sanctioned marriage."
I wrote this 7 years and a month ago:
"Perhaps it's time to get rid of marriage. Not that getting married, in and of itself, is a bad thing. It simply has no societal relevance. The big question concerning the Supreme Court decision about marriage is 'Why is it any of their business anyway?' The answer, of course, is that as an arm of the government, they have a fairly large stake in the matter."
Plus, he got paid a lot more for it. Oh well.
Public Service... Um, Except Not For The Public
I thought Jason might enjoy this cartoon, and probably wouldn't see it otherwise.
Today In History
According to Martian Soil, today is the 6th anniversary of the Mars Pathfinder's landing on Mars.
According to Space.com, flight tests of the X-43A Hyper-X scramjet, which, if succesful, could revolutionize a lot of things.
A while back I reported the problems experienced by the SOHO solar observatory. According to this follow-up, it's not going to be as bad as feared.
And now for something completely different.
According to this article at Marvel.com, Marvel's new series, Trouble, was originally going to be called Parents, "and was to be about the conception of Spider-Man." Um... OK. Man, those Japanese bring their dirty Manga comics over here and now suddenly anything goes in comic books.
|:: Thursday, July 03, 2003 ::|
Daily Hatbag Bonus
Hmmm... based on yesterday's Dilbert, I think it's obvious Scott Adams is a fan of Hatbag.
Now here's a pretty darned impressive blog.
Addendum: You might also be interested in Bacon Tastes Good.
This Week At NE
This week at NASAexplores, we have an interview with astronaut Rex Walheim, who participated in ISS construction EVAs during his first spaceflight, and who is an all around great guy, and an article about Ursa Major, The Big Bear.
This is being posted everywhere. I wasn't going to post it, but decided I have to just because of the end of the NASA caption: "This Carina sub-cloud is particularly striking partly because its clear definition stimulates the human imagination (e.g. it could be perceived as a superhero flying through a cloud, arm up, with a saved person in tow below). " Um. Yeah. Right.
Millions Of Miles
Go to the Space Station, earn 3.2 million frequent flyer miles. That's the offer for the next space tourist who is a member of US Airways Dividend Miles program, but the benefits go to charity.
I Can't Stand It/ It's That Red Planet
Of course, we all know the famed Mars Curse isn't really real, but the Mars Express Probe is suffering power problems. And, of course, Japan's Mars probe may never make it there at all. And the U.S. MER-B launch has been delayed yet again.
Resistance Is Futile
Japan's scale Shuttle tech demonstrator crashed during tests in Sweden recently. But here's the cool part--since it happened in Sweden, you get quotes like this in the article:
"The crash-landing occurred about a kilometer from the planned landing site, well within Esrange territory and far from any residential areas, Borg stressed."
"According to Borg, the Japanese team would be unable to complete the two remaining tests due to the damages suffered to the prototype."
Closer To Home
Astronomers have discovered the stellar system that so far is most like our own.
In case you're busy tomorrow, Happy Fourth!
There Are Those Who Believe...
Battlestar Galactica will be released on DVD in October as one massive set with the entire series. Oddly, apparently there will be an interview with the guy that one the first Survivor series.
(And, yes, I do know better).
Addendum: Jeremy just sent me Richard Hatch's official Galactica homepage.
Sean Was Wrong?
Remember that bit yesterday about Spielberg not directing Indy 4? Nevermind. Maybe.
World's Finest Cameos
Batman on Smallville? Been rumored before, but looks like it's coming now... as well as possibly Perry and Jimmy.
|:: Wednesday, July 02, 2003 ::|
Lain sent me this, which is kind of interesting. Lawsuits over a property not being as good as it used to be would set an interesting precent. In Viacom's response, they say that there will be more Trek movies.
An interesting article from Wired about alternate uses for the Sims (Nicole, be sure to read this one).
Well, the big Fourth of July movie weekend is coming up soon.
Planning a vacation? Considering Disney? The Grand Canyon? The Statue of Liberty? According to TripAdvisor.com, you should forget those, and go with NASA. Kennedy Space Center topped their list of family-friendly destinations. The article does not say whether or not seeing a launch affects the ranking.
The Columbia Accident Investigation Board has released its fourth preliminary recommendation--NASA should improve monitoring of Shuttles during liftoff, possibly even using chase aircraft to film the Shuttle on its way to orbit. I can't speak to the feasability of that (though I'm sure they've considered it), but, man, this could make launch footage even cooler!
Space.com has a good article about the Project Prometheus nuclear initiative and the JIMO Jovian System mission.
OK, here's my bit of free advice for anyone running a major space agency out there: If you don't want people to ask stupid questions about your Zero-G room where you can turn off gravity, then don't show pictures of things floating in an Electrostatic Levitator without explaining what it is and why it doesn't float astronauts.
It's apropos of nothing, but here's an article written by one of my co-workers for an education site about what we do.
The Onion posted a Harry Potter spoiler, but--and don't finish reading this unless you want to--it's not true.
What does NASA do when it wants to make spaceflight cool? Up the Mac factor, naturally!
Big Budget Director Leaves Indy Film
Apparently, Spielberg's out on Indy 4.
Ed Lu on NE TV
Now you can watch Mindi's NASAexplores interview with Ed Lu on ISS, if you have a fast enough internet connection.
|:: Tuesday, July 01, 2003 ::|
So Long, Buddy
Comedian Buddy Hackett has died, a fact I mention largely for its NASA connection--Hackett is widely considered to be the originator of the Mr. Gorsky story.
A week after it hit stores, Liz Phair's new album, Liz Phair, is now on the iTunes Music Store, along with a previously unreleased exclusive track, Insanity, which it says is one of Liz's personal favorites, though apparently not favorite enough to include on an album. The iTMS also has a "clean" version of the album, which would be interesting, in that I don't see how you could do clean versions of some of the stuff. Oh well.
Worst Accents List
"They asked me to do a proper accent, but I couldn't understand how." (For those who missed the interview, Connery said he was asked to do both the Matrix and Lord of the Rings, but turned them down because he couldn't understand them. He said he didn't understand LXG either, but wasn't going to turn it down again after missing out on the other two).
Addendum: The link above is apparently gone, so here's a new one.
First Line Quiz
I got 9 out of 13 right on this quiz, which could have been better. Basically, I wasn't wrong about any I thought I knew, I just could have guessed better on the ones I didn't know.
Here ya go.
Under my policy of stealing from DeeDee's blog when the mood strikes, here's a great quote she posted:
"One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries."
-- A. A. Milne
Not a whole lot new, but a good summary on the Orbital Space Plane after yesterday's OSP posting.
Happy Birthday, Ed
ISS Science Officer Ed Lu turns 40 today, with absolutely no concerns about his friends showing up for a surprise party.
The launch of Mars Rover Opportunity has been delayed again, this time until Saturday, which will leave only 10 days in the launch window.
Addendum: The launch is scheduled for 9:51 p.m. CDT Saturday, with another opportunity at 10:34 p.m.