:: welcome to ...all these worlds... :: bloghome | contact ::
[::..about this blog..::]
"...all these worlds..." is a blog by David Hitt. It covers space exploration, decent science fiction, humor (by its very nature), and whatever else I happen to find cool. (Formerly "You Must Fight The Bear")

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[::..launch countdown..::]

[::..dave online..::]
:: hatbag.net [>]
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[::..me at a glance..::]
:: NASA [>]
:: Apple [>]
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:: Star Wars [>]
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[::..space news..::]
:: NASA Watch [>]
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[::..other blogs..::]
:: Nik's Blog [>]
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:: Joe's Music [>]
:: Jordan's Blog [>]
:: Rebecca's Blog [>]
:: DeeDee's Blog [>]
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[::..aerospace events..::]
::Aug. 3::
:: Mercury orbiter "Messenger" launch
::Aug. 3::
:: Expedition 9 EVA
::Aug. 5::
:: Wild Fire Unveiling
::Sept. 8::
:: Genesis solar wind sample return
::Sept. 29::
:: SS1 X Prize Attempt
::Oct. 9::
:: Expedition 10 launch
::Oct. 18::
:: DART orbiter launch
::Oct. 19::
:: Expedition 9 lands
::Dec. 25::
:: Huygens Probe Release
::Dec. 30::
:: Deep Impact launch
::Jan. 14 '05::
:: Huygens descent to Titan
::NET March 6 '05::
:: STS-114 launch
::April '05::
:: ISS Crew Exchange
::NET May '05::
:: STS-121 launch
::August 10 '05::
:: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

[::..release dates..::]
::Aug. 3::
:: The Black Hole SE DVD
::Aug. 13::
:: Alien Vs. Predator M
::Sept. 7::
:: ST: Generations CE DVD
:: Clerks 10th Anniv. DVD
:: Jersey Girl (1st) DVD
::Sept. 10::
:: Enterprise premiere TV
::Sept. 17::
:: Sky Captain... M
::Sept. 21::
:: Star Wars Trilogy DVD
::Sept. 22::
:: Smallville premiere TV
::Nov. 5::
:: The Incredibles M
::Nov. 9::
:: Gone With The Wind DVD
::Nov. 16::
:: Buck Rogers DVD
::Dec. 7::
:: Mary Poppins DVD
::May 19, 2005::
:: Star Wars: Episode III M

[::..space voyagers..::]
As of today, a total of 434 people have flown into space.
Latest: Mike Melvill

:: Hitchhiker's Guide [>]
:: Ain't It Cool News [>]
:: DVDFile.com [>]
:: VideoETA [>]
:: DVDanswers [>]
[::..comic books..::]
:: comiccompany.com [>]
:: NEWSarama [>]
[::..comic strips..::]
:: Arlo & Janis [>]
:: More Arlo & Janis [>]
:: Mr. Lowe [>]
:: Marshall Ramsey [>]
:: Lucky Cow [>]
[::..Mac stuff..::]
:: Cult of Mac [>]
:: MacNN.com [>]
[::..other links..::]
:: Engrish.com [>]
:: carbwire [>]
:: The Onion [>]
:: Jabberwacky [>]
:: Strong Bad e-mail [>]
[::..tutor's kitty kam..::]
Kitty Kam

[::..my profile..::]

Name: David Hitt
About Me: Inspiring the next generation of explorers...
See my complete profile

The opinions expressed on this page are those of the author, and very likely no one else.


:: Friday, October 31, 2003 ::

Scroll down. Look at the pictures.

Today In History
The first permanent crew of the International Space Station launched three years ago to begin the continuous occupancy of ISS

:: Thursday, October 30, 2003 ::

Yo, Joe
There's tons and new blogging on the Joe Blog.

:: Wednesday, October 29, 2003 ::

Alien is opening on only like 350 screens, none of which are anywhere near me (Atlanta was the closest I found).

Hotty Toddy
From this amusing WIRED article:
"A game that's being considered both hot and new by experts is Tom Clancy's Junior Miss. In this exciting first-person shooter you are Savannah Montgomery, an 8-year-old Mississippi girl who has been registered by her mother in the Southern Regional of the Little Miss Jr. Miss Pageant at Ole Miss. Armed with a vast array of weapons and accessories, you ensure victory by killing off the other contestants without getting caught. It's so lifelike you'll swear you really are an 8-year-old girl in a beauty pageant! The best feature: You can switch back and forth between the mother character, who is equipped with a special Shriek Ray, and the daughter character, who can control wind by batting her heavily made-up eyelashes."

Today In History
Five years ago, Space Senator John Glenn made his second spaceflight, aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery.
For some reason, it seems like much longer than that.
I still remember watching the launch. I was working in Houston (er... the other one) at the time, and basically just went home in the middle of the day to watch it. It was the first launch I had watched in probably about 10 years, most likely the last one before that was the STS-26 RTF mission in 1988. I remember waiting impatiently for the launch--at that time, I had no understanding of the concept of built in holds in the clock. I just wanted them to quit stopping the countdown, and get that bird in the air. It was a beautiful launch though.
Man, I can't wait for the next one.

We're going back! Maybe...
Oh, sweet gracious. If this is true...
Of course, even if it is true, it would get the approval it needs...
And even if it gets the approval, it doesn't mean anything will come of it...
But, man, if it does...
If it does...
Right now I'm just too jaded to get too excited about it. But that doesn't mean if he actually announces it, it won't send chills all through me.
Please, Mr. Bush?

Robot Holocaust Update
Would you like tartar sauce with your robot spy?

Microsoft is evil. Just check this out.

:: Tuesday, October 28, 2003 ::

Waiting For The Future
NASA's got a long three of four months ahead of it, at least.
This Space.com article is pretty good reading.

Safe Landing
Expedition 7 is safely home.

This would be easier to take seriously if Energia hadn't accused the Soyuz crew of pushing the wrong buttons the last time they came down.

More Shenzhou Non-News!
Maybe three people will fly on the still-far-in-the-future second manned flight.

Hotty Toddy Doggy Dog
Um...OK. Check out the second story.

Lucky Cow
This reminds me of a funny story about Lain.

:: Monday, October 27, 2003 ::

Things That Tick Me Off, No. 1753
So, the Director's Edition of Alien hits theaters in 2 days, and yet I can't find anything that will tell me whether or not it's coming to Huntsville.

Daily Hatbag
Lest you doubt the following post, think of how much funnier this strip would be if there were a little speech balloon coming from the television saying, "Pets or meat, KITT!"

Bowling For FFLAG
Trying to make a Knight Rider movie without David Hasselhoff in the lead role, but want to capture the same demographic?
This blog humbly suggests Michael Moore.

North Alabama's improv group has a whopping eight shows over four nights at four venues in November!

Dogs Without Honor
OK, this is probably wrong, but that's not to say I don't empathize.

If Anyone's Interested:
The Borg Hypothesis.

Let no one say that the Columbia Accident Investigation Board has not caught the full spirit of the DVD age. Having released the feature presentation back in August, the CAIB tomorrow releases the Director's Cut "six-disc set" of its report, loaded with tons of extras like commentary from those with dissenting opinions, "deleted scene" recommendations that didn't make the report, and "behind the scenes" supporting documentation referenced in the first report.

Should we go to Mars?

Expedition 7, Signing Off
After 185 days in space, Ed Lu and "newlywed" Yuri Malenchenko return to Earth today with Euronaut Pedro Duque, leaving the Station at 5:17 p.m. CST (have to get used to not typing D) with an anticipated touchdown in Kazakhstan at 8:40:40 p.m. CST.
Addendum: According to USA Today, Expedition 8 crewmembers Foale and Kaleri will stay on the Station nearly 7 months, longer than any previous Station crew. The previous longest increment was 6 1/2 months, by Expedition 4, whose U.S. members currently hold numbers one and two spots on the NASA overall space duration record, a record which Foale, who previously served on Mir, with surpass about halfway through his mission and then well exceed before it's over.

Forever Young
Ed Lu has published what will be his final letter from space, about how Einstein helps him stay young.

Or 0.0000000005 Percent Of The Population
Yay! Shenzhou VI non-news!

Shocking News
It turns out--and this is going to be hard to believe--but Lucas has apparently been fiddling with his greatest creation again, probably hoping to eventually pull it down to the same level of mediocrity as the new trilogy. That way future generations won't understand what a disappointment the prequels were.

Hotty Toddy!

On Sale This Week (By Curmudgeon Man)
I'm sure that all of you will be running out this week to buy The Hulk DVD tomorrow, but for those of you who don't feel the need to pay too much for mediocrity ("Don't make me, Ang Lee. You wouldn't like me when I'm angsty!"), there are a few other options on sale tomorrow to help you remember how much better the world of entertainment used to be.

  • R.E.M. has a greatest hits album for the years 1988 to 2003 (Green makes the cut, Document does not). They've chosen not to put the tracks in chronological order, sparing it from documenting (Ha! Get it?) R.E.M.'s gradual decline into obscurity. Also, I find it hard to believe that "At My Most Beautiful," for example, was really a bigger hit than Shiny Happy People, for example. Spend a couple of extra bucks for the "Special Edition" and get Pop Song '89, The One I Love, and the greatest song in the history of the world, Star Me Kitten with William Burroughs. (It's probably not the greatest song in the world. That was just my little tribute.)
  • For history buffs, tomorrow's a big day. Remember how, in the days before TV, theaters you to show news reels before movies? Or how radio stations used to broadcast soap operas and other serials before they moved to television? Well, a set of DVD's tomorrow will be of interest to those interested in learning more about archaic forms of entertainment. You see, many years ago, in time out of mind, just like radio used to air serials that later became TV shows, TV channels used to broadcast--get this--songs. Just like on radio! But the kicker was, they had short little movies, or "videos" to go along with them. Isn't that wacky? Of course, later, crap youth programming killed the video star, but tomorrow, Being John Malkovich director and two other guys are releasing DVDs on which they've dug up some of their better efforts in the "music video" format. So now you can watch these forgotten treasures on DVD. Wouldn't it be cool if there were some place on TV that would show these? Some sort of "music television" or even a "video home" channel? Sorry--I'm probably being too far out there.
  • On a similar note, also being released tomorrow is a DVD music video collection from Guns 'N' Roses (I believe only one of those apostrophes is correct, but I forget which one, and am too lazy to look it up). GNR is one those groups that I had absolutely no interest in back when they were popular, but the more time that goes by, I have growing appreciation for. Too many years of Backstreet Boys and Christina Aguilara and Eminem and Beyonce and P. Diddy and R. Kelly and on and on ad nauseum makes me long for the days when musicians could rock in public without shame.

  • Weighty Matters Update
    So as of this morning, I am really, really overweight.
    Which is a marked improvement, considering that it's the first time in 7-10 years that I haven't been obese, according to your friendly neighborhood body mass index people.
    I'm down 59 pounds in 5 months, 1 week. Still plenty to go, though.

    Why People Hate The Media
    Lain sent me this, which is really just going to far for a story:

    :: Friday, October 24, 2003 ::

    Daily Hatbag
    Well into the month, this strip has come from nowhere to get on the most-viewed list for the month.

    I've got basically nothing to say today.

    For reasons not entirely clear, this page has basically overnight become the number three referrer to the Hatbag site, having generated 45 hits.
    Also on the list are A Welcome To Koeln page, and a page that does not exist on this site.

    :: Thursday, October 23, 2003 ::

    Space Duque!
    Well, the first letter home from the new ISS flight is out, but it's not from one of the Expedition members. The ESA has posted Pedro Duque's thoughts on space pens.

    Daily Hatbag
    You know, the more time goes by, the more impressed I am that Hippie actually kept a diary.

    According to Michael Foale, ISS smells better than Mir.

    Empty House
    For what may be the first time in years, the Internatioal Space Station will be unmanned very briefly in February in a very unusual procedure.

    Independence Day Lite
    This Spaceref.com story is kind of interesting, but the little graphic that goes with it is entertaining!

    Lucifer Rising
    Astronomers puzzled by Jupiter's new dark spot have obviously not watched 2010.

    Exciting TV News
    Luann's getting her own series! w00t degr00t!

    This Week At NE
    This week NASAexplores, we have the conclusion of my Skylab series, and a story about paraffin-based rocket fuel research.

    It's Mole Day
    So get up off your... well, check out the recipe.

    The Undiscovered DVD
    Good times for Trek DVDs: Just last week I added STV to my collection, and now they've announced STVI will be released February 27 (so anyone wanting to get Nicole and I a day-late anniversary present will know what to get). Now we'll have to see if they re-release the first three Next-Gen movies in decent editions (and whether I would buy Insurrection if they did).

    Oh Well
    Since Lain declared yesterday the most Disturbing Richie Post Day ever, I was going to try to outdo him today, but I couldn't find many Richie Posts, and the ones I did weren't very disturbing.

    Famous Amos
    So I read yesterday that Tori has a greatest hits album coming out. Only, it's not.
    Which is both good and bad. Tori's releasing her first compilation album, but it's not her greatest hits, it's her "musical biography." The bad part--it's not necessarily the songs I would have picked. (Whither "Crucify," "Caught A Lite Sneeze," etc.?) The potentially cool part--Tori's reimagined the songs. Which won't necessarily be an improvement, a lot of them were pretty close to perfect to begin with. But, at least you're not spending money for new copies of songs you already have.
    Anyway, the track listing is here, and Tori's explanation is here, and The Core is here (Somebody leave the light on).

    Oooooh! Cool
    Starting today, Amazon.com will let you do full-text searches of books, finding any book among over 120,000 that contains a word anywhere in it. That's kind of cool.

    :: Wednesday, October 22, 2003 ::

    Daily Hatbag
    Where have you gone, Billy Brewer?
    (Answer: Enjoying life and spending more time with his grandchildren.)

    RTF Update
    According to Cosmic Log, the addditional crewmembers have been named to STS-114: Wendy Lawrence, Andy Thomas, and Charlie Camarda. The article also states that the crew of the STS-121 follow-up RTF mission will be taken from the later-scheduled STS-119 mission, and that STS-121 will be a crew-rotation mission, carrying a three-member ISS crew.

    Yang Yen
    Where's the taikonaut?

    Guilty Pleasures
    OK, I know it's sad, but I'll likely watching at least the start of The Surreal Life 2, though I have trouble believing it'll be as good without the gravitas of Hammer.

    I'll Believe It When I See It
    Joe sent me an item yesterday about the possibility of Episodes VII through IX being made. The whole story is like a paint-by-numbers Star Wars rumor, down to the obligatory Darabont reference. You'll forgive me if I don't get excited yet. Of course, after this trilogy, it would take a good bit to get me really excited again anyway.

    :: Tuesday, October 21, 2003 ::

    No Joy In Hulkville
    The Hulk is ending his blog. Alas.

    China Decorates My Skies
    Heavens-Above is tracking the booster for the Shenzhou spacecraft, and will provide data on when you can see it pass overhead.

    Turing The Jabberwacky
    Here is a transcript of my chat with the Jabberwacky chat program that I linked to a story about below.
    "Good morning!"
    "Good afternoon."
    "How are you today?"
    "Very good. yourself?"
    "Not bad. I have a question."
    "Ok, what's the question?"
    "Can humans and robots get along?"
    "I don't think so"
    "Why not?"
    "Because I am smarter than you."
    "How so?"
    "You exist inside a machine."
    "What machine is that?"
    "You don't argue with me."
    "I'm not arguing with you. I'm really interested in your opinions."
    "Well, I'm not interested in you knowing more about me !"
    "Why not? Are you shy?"
    "No, are you?"
    "No. Thank you for our conversation."

    Daily Hatbag
    OK, so maybe time hasn't treated this strip well.

    Robot Sales Up
    Sales of both industrial and home robots have increased in the first half of the year.
    And they're getting sneakier.

    NASA: Defendant!
    So the SCI FI channel may sue NASA and other federal agencies to get access to their secret UFO files.

    We Named The Second And Third Movies Indiana
    In stores today on DVD: The Indiana Jones trilogy and Charlie's Angels 2 (including the Unrated version).

    :: Monday, October 20, 2003 ::

    E-T News
    Abbott honored.

    Kinda Cool
    One of my stories made the "Humans In Space" of the NASA Homepage. It's the third one down (currently), titled "Preparing for Next Shuttle Mission."

    See Halley's Comet!
    Anyone dedicated enough can get up at 5 a.m. tomorrow to see a meteor shower. The meteors, the Orionids, will originate in the southern part of the sky. The Orionids originate from a cloud of debris left by Halley's Comet. Jupiter and Saturn will also be visible, Saturn near the origin of the Orionids, and Jupiter just below the Moon to the east.

    Daily Hatbag
    Ah, who could forget those heady days of U92.

    Foaled Again
    Here's a decent article about the tendency for NASA's duraction astronauts to stay on the ground.

    Home In Space
    Expedition 8 has arrived safely at the International Space Station.

    I've been trying to convince Lain, upon reaching his weight-loss goal, for us to both lose a little extra, which we would then re-gain in the course of a weekend in which we would eat like no one has eaten before, crossing the South like a Sherman of gluttony.
    And since every good adventure needs an anthem, I put together this little ditty to the tune of Simon & Garfunkel's "America":

    "Let us eat burgers we'll buy some down at the Varsity"
    "I've got some Steak Escape here in my bag
    So we bought a pack of Raisinettes, and ate some diet pie
    And walked off, to eat across America

    " Dry ribs" I said as we entered a Corky's in Georgia
    "I'll order up some ice cream for me now!"
    It took us 4 days to eat our way to Huntsville
    And we've gone to eat across America

    Dreamlandin' is for us
    Triple Play at the Chili's
    Lain said the man in the Shoney Bear suit has some pie.
    I said "Be careful the buffet is monitored on camera!"

    "Toss me some Raisinettes, I think there's some with the carry-out."
    "We ate the snow nuts an hour ago"
    So we stopped for lunch in Tupelo, and you know what that means:
    That the moon rose, over an Abner's spread!

    "David, I'm stuffed" Lain said, though we knew he was kidding
    There's still miles to go and things we must fry
    Counting the carbs on the Avron B. Fogelman expressway
    And we've gone to eat across America!

    Simon & Garfunkel play Atlanta Dec. 20.

    The Second First Million Is Always The Easiest
    iTunes for Windows: One million songs, three and a half days.
    On a related note, sweet, sweet Sarah McLachlan has posted an exclusive live acoustic EP on the iTunes store, as well as a video for her new single--and she's naked.

    :: Friday, October 17, 2003 ::

    Interesting Article
    This has nothing to do with anything, but it interested me, so I posted it.

    Daily Hatbag
    Here 'tis.

    It's Official
    We're getting not one, but two, schools named after Columbia.
    One will be in the Huntsville district, which already has Grissom High School, Ed White Middle, Chaffee Elementary, and Challenger School; and the other will be in the Madison district, which already has a school named for Discovery.

    Where Do We Go From Here?
    Here's a summary of the testimony from yesterday's science committee hearing.
    And, if anyone's interested, NASA Watch has copies of several statements.

    Um, Sure
    Space.com has an interesting story about the implications of Shenzhou 5. But, what I found interesting was the name of the expert quoted--Is it just me, or does "Bates Gill" not sound like a bad pseudonym for someone we all know and hate?

    Ha, Ha
    National pride, indeed.

    Expedition 8
    The week's second manned space launch is coming up, and this time it's the good guys--the Russians. Ah, what brave new world is this. Anyway, Expedition 8 launches from Baikonur for ISS tonight around 12:38 a.m. CDT.

    Anticlimactic Personal Announcement
    As of yesterday afternoon, Nicole and I are homeowners.

    :: Thursday, October 16, 2003 ::

    This Week At NE
    This week at NASAexplores, we have the second part of my awesome Skylab series, as well as a story I wrote about dental spin-offs of the space program.
    In addition, we finally have the links to the Skylab educational videos Dr. Garriott produced following his time on the station. I'm proud that we were able to get this online.

    Daily Hatbag
    Here ya go.

    Dave Barry's blog had a link to this video of the tiger that attacked Roy Horn.

    It turns out that China's von Braun worked for NASA before being run out of the country.

    The Future
    The House Committee on Science will be meeting today for an ineffectual and likely depressing discussion of the future of spaceflight.

    Two Years?
    China apparently plans to return to space "in a year or two."

    The Rankings Are (Almost) In...
    And it appears America's fastest supercomputer is a Mac. The Virgiania Tech multi-Mac supercomputer is expected to rank No. 2 in the world.

    :: Wednesday, October 15, 2003 ::

    Godspeed, Yang Liwei
    As I write this, Lt. Col. Yang Liwei is making one final lap around the world, before returning home to the surly bonds of Earth.
    To him, and to all of China, congratulations.
    You've taken your first step into a larger world.
    We challenge you to, as so many others have, come in peace for all mankind.
    Do so, and you deserve to be welcomed by the elite brotherhood you have joined.
    You are to be respected for your accomplishment, and admired for the spirit in which it was undertaken--because ultimately, the best answers to the unasked question are "Because it's there," and "Because we can."
    You've taken a first step, but there's a lot of space out there. May you continue to boldly go. May you be an inspiration to others.
    Safe landing!

    Daily Hatbag
    One can't help but speculate that the Chinese chose yesterday as the date for their mission because it was the 9th anniversary of this strip.

    When you start with a site called The Amazing Baconizer, you can only go so far wrong. While not technically having anything to do with actual bacon, it's still pretty darned cool.

    Shenzhou News
    I'm not even going to bother trying to post links to stories about the launch, in as much as that there's a ton of them out there.
    Of course, last night, when I made it to my TV about half an hour after the launch, CNN was showing an interview with Jessica Simpson and her husband about their newlyweds show, without even a crawl mentioning the launch.
    You've got to have priorities, I suppose.

    For the second day in a row, I feel like crap.
    This will likely affect blog prolificness, for which I apologize.

    :: Tuesday, October 14, 2003 ::

    Polarity Hater
    This page has Geordi LaForge dialogue generator.

    A Rule You Shouldn't Stick To
    The new Chicago Manual Of Style, 15th Edition, says:
    "The traditional caveat of yesteryear against ending sentences with prepositions, is for most writers, an unnecessary and pedantic restriction. ... A sentence that ends in a preposition may sound more natural than a sentence carefully constructed to avoid a final preposition. ... The 'rule' prohibiting terminal prepositions was an ill-founded superstition."

    Taco Bell Update
    And to think, people scoffed at this.

    "Your Mall Content"
    Some of these are kinda funny.

    More Robot Holocaust News
    Oh, crap!

    Here's some info on the double Leonids I mentioned last week.

    Tonight's The Night
    ...Maybe. It's entirely possible that within 12 hours of this writing, the world will have three space-faring nations.
    And we may now have a name: Yang Liwei
    Addendum: MSNBC has an excellent James Oberg article about where China goes from here.

    And So It Begins...
    So apparently iTunes for Windows will be "released" on Thursday. It'll be very interesting to see how it does.

    Daffy, Daffy, Give Me Your Answer, Do
    Saturday, Kevin Smith IS Hal Jordan on Duck Dodgers on Cartoon Network.

    What Is The Matrix? And What Does God Need With A Starship?
    The two great questions of our time will both be answered today, as The Matrix Reloaded and Star Trek V SE are both released on DVD today.

    The same magazine (um, that you're about to read about) had a review of the Star Wars Galaxies online game which was criticized for overly limiting players to the mundania of the SW universe, rather than letting them do the cool flying around the galaxy fighting bad guys stuff that everybody wants to. It had one line I love though: "Well, that's what Star Wars Galaxies is--An Uncle Owen simulator."

    Daily Hatbag
    So I'm reading a review of the new Dino Crisis 3 video game, of which is written: "The third entry in the esoteric dinosaur-hunting franchise, DC3 takes place in the isolation of the ghost ship Ozymandius, an intergalactic Titanic, minus Billy Zane and Leonardo DiCaprio. Also, a T-Rex appears." Now, this may sound slightly familar to some, but we don't mind at all. We're just glad to see the idea being used. In fact, to show our appreciation, our lawyers will be contacting them tomorrow. (OK, so our "lawyers" are really just Richie and Rebecca, but that's still a step up from a year ago, when it was just Lain and I pretending to be lawyers.)

    Terror Beyond Imagining
    I'll let you dwell on the ramifications of this on your own. No doubt it will keep you up at night. We're so doomed! (Courtesy of Lain [the article, that is, not the doom])

    Skylab Anniversary
    Here's the first official info I've seen for the event that will be in Huntsville on November 10.

    :: Friday, October 10, 2003 ::

    And Admiral...
    I came across this picture while surfing the NASA web earlier.

    Daily Hatbag
    For those not versed enough in Hatbag to recognized Lain's Col. Reb strip below.

    Today In History
    On this date, 19 years ago, the Soviets fired a laser at Challenger, causing malfunctions and temporarily blinding the crew.

    Lance says he still may yet fly.

    Oh, Well
    So, it turns out O'Keefe's not flying:
    He then said "I maintain that our objective is to assign folks to the crew who are trained and competent to carry out those mission objectives." O'Keefe said "I am clearly not competent. Anyone who is not competent will not be considered for flight. We can't have bystanders up there. Everyone has to be competent."

    Living In A Powder Keg
    The next lunar eclipse is coming up Nov. 8.
    Also, next month will feature not the usual one, but a double does of Leonid meteors, on Nov. 13 and a stronger one on Nov. 19.

    Shenzhou Update
    Well, it's official--the flight is next week, as early as Tuesday, U.S. time.
    With all the comparisons to the Soyuz, etc., it turns out the Chinese are borrowing one of the cooler aspects of the Russian space program, despite claims this mission has no miliary element.
    Meanwhile, Chinese citizens are borrowing from the American public in anticipating the flight.
    Addendum: Space.com has comments from Aldrin saying the U.S. should work with China, which is particularly interesting in light of his space-futurist novel Encoutner With Tiber, in which the Chinese are the uncooperative partners in an international space mission that in a way lead to astronauts dying. Also, the story has an error of the sort you don't expect from Space.com--the U.S. does not, and currently cannot, by Soyuz from the Russians.

    Trek Line
    So I'm hoping that it turns out that when Sulu says that in Star Trek IV about "crossing the Terminator" as they're approaching California, it was really a Gov. Schwarzenegger joke, and we just didn't get it yet.

    Baldy And The Steroid Guy
    I just had to share this amusing bit of Lain's handiwork.

    Ole Miss Mascot Update
    The search is over, but the Colonel's still MIA.

    :: Thursday, October 09, 2003 ::

    Ole Miss Mascot Update
    Well, now, isn't this interesting (scroll down).
    Also, this. Among others.

    Not On Hulk's Watch
    The thing I like best about the inscription for this picture is the idea of an alternate universe where Hulk works in Mission Control.

    This Week At NE
    This week at NASAexplores, we have the first part of my three-part series marking the 30th anniversary of Skylab, possibly my favorite story of my entire career to work on. Also new this week is my story about the history of the X-Plane program.

    Official Jason Smith Free Blog
    Since I ain't got nothing, if you do, go for it.

    Blog Update
    Sorry... slow news days recently.

    Daily Hatbag
    Here 'tis

    Good Advice
    Yeah, I stole the link from Dave Barry, but this list is still good stuff.

    October Red Sky
    So, the latest report is Shenzhou 5 will launch around 8 p.m. CTD October 14.

    :: Wednesday, October 08, 2003 ::

    Angels And Ministers Of Grace...
    Now, this is a proud day for Ole Miss. I've yet to vote, but I'm really hoping "No" is an option.

    Might As Well Link
    Ah, those were the good old days.

    Senator Kelly was right! This headline shows why you can't trust those darned Muties!

    Panther Is Coming
    ...On October 24. Make plans to visit your local Apple Store.

    :: Tuesday, October 07, 2003 ::

    Daily Hatbag
    Here ya go.

    Good stuff.

    Blog Stats
    Here's an interesting group of statistics, which make this blog look downright succesful.

    Tentatively Decided
    If you happen to have a Shenzhou pool at work, Oct. 15 is apparently the date to go with, per collectSPACE.

    Today In History
    A mere 6 days after the agency was created, NASA established Project Mercury on this date 45 years ago.

    The local improv troupe has new shows scheduled. In addition to the ones on the site, there are two in Huntsville on Oct. 17.

    American Soyuz?
    It could happen, says Spacehab.

    :: Monday, October 06, 2003 ::

    Coming Soon
    Theaters have been announced for the LOTR trilogy expanded-version theatrical release.

    Looking Out The Window... To The Past!
    Here's some photos of what the Rocket Park in front of my building looked like in 1968.

    Things I Found This Weekend
    Thanks to Googlifications, I was introduced to the phrase, "hell in a hatbag," and found this DM story, in the feedback for which someone who is not Jesse, Lain, or I recommends that Hippie and the Black Guy become the new Ole Miss mascot.

    Daily Hatbag
    The cool thing about the beginning of the month is that stuff makes the most popular pages list without me putting it there.

    For Richie
    Among the recent search strings on hatbag.net: Number one is "Lain Hughes" (no doubt being googled by the ladies), racist comics, bear blog, bear fight photo, buzz aldrin fight video, explanation of the flight or fight response picture, hippie wagon, pear pimples for hairy fishnuts, pirate fight songs, so the pope says.

    His and Hers
    Since it turns out my Your Robot Masters blog was way more trouble than it was worth, I've decided to move all robot holocaust related blogging back here.
    Also, here.

    Attention Richie
    It appears I owe you an apology.
    Poetry, it turns out, is most definitely not dead.

    Shenzhou VI
    I've posted a lot of links recently about China's upcoming first manned spaceflight, so I thought it was time for something a little different. So here's a link to a story about China's second manned spaceflight.

    T -1 Year
    So, now it's NET September 12, half a year later than it was a couple of weeks ago. By the time we fly again, the fleet will have been grounded for about 80 percent of my time at NASA. Also, STS-121 is now official, scheduled for Nov. 15, 2004.

    :: Saturday, October 04, 2003 ::

    Today In History
    The space age began on this date 46 years ago. You can mark the exact moment at 1:26 p.m. Central time.

    :: Friday, October 03, 2003 ::

    Making Sure
    So, apparently, when the Pope dies, he won't be hit with a hammer.

    E-mail Left Behind
    OK, so this sight will let you send e-mail to your friends after the rapture. Once you're raptured, the system will automatically send the letter. So my question is: how does the computer know there's been a rapture?

    Pop Quiz
    From the BBC: What Kind Of Thinker Are You?
    Personally, I'm, shockingly, a linguistic thinker.

    Though I don't feel that there's really substantial need for more nations with launch capability, Brazil's situation is kind of sad.

    Of Dubious Value
    I'm always intrigued by the arguement that manned spaceflight is not worth the cost now. That it may be worth it later, when we can do it better, but right now, we're just taking baby steps that accomplish nothing.
    Pretend for a moment that's true (though it's not).
    Baby steps. When a child starts walking, it's not the most efficient means of travel. But it's necessary, in order to walk better in the future.
    The Wright Brother's first flight held little real value of its own. The need to travel a few yards in a slightly shorter period of time was not a capability that humanity was really desperate for at the turn of the century. But I doubt many would make the arguement that they should have just quite, since flight really wasn't worth it on Dec. 17, 1903.
    The fact of the matter is this--in order for spaceflight to be more productive in the future, we have to do it now. Skill comes with experience. The day will come when we want, or need, spaceflight capability far beyond what we have now. We can either work to be ready for that day, or we can decide to be unprepared.

    Worth The Risks
    Here's a good article about the importance of manned spaceflight by Space Senator Jake Garn.

    Georgia On My Mind
    If only Lain had been there, he could have done something!

    You Should Have Heard The Name She Wanted
    Jason Lee's new son is PILOT INSPEKTOR RIESGRAF LEE.

    I Need My Pain
    So, it turns out the Star Trek V DVD is apparently not very good.

    :: Thursday, October 02, 2003 ::

    Resource Link
    This e-mail I just received amused me, so I'm posting it:
    "Good Afternoon:
    Please consider adding a link to us on your resources page:
    We are Foodservicedirect - a leading online supplier of restaurant supplies including cookware, glassware, bar supplies and paper supplies.
    Thanks for your consideration!
    Randy Smith
    Marketing Services
    27 Forest Ave.
    Locust Valley, NY 11560
    Telephone: 516-759-9000
    email: randy@foodservicedirect.com
    url: http://www.foodservicedirect.com"
    Um... I'm not entirely sure why they wanted it on my site, but there they go.

    Serial Experiment, Lain
    Coming from the world of AP Style, I've had trouble adjusting to the use of the serial comma in GPO style, but came across a very convincing arguement for it this morning.
    "I'd like to thank my parents, God and Ayn Rand."

    Maybe Marty McFly Helped
    It turns out Ferris Bueller's Day Off is tragically flawed. It there nothing pure in this world?

    Free State
    Generally, I try not to steal from the Joe Blog (which, BTW, has good new bloggin'), but this story is just pretty cool. Libertarians, it turns out, are planning a take-over of New Hampshire.

    You Don't Know How Lucky You Are
    Oh, man, this would be cool.

    Shenzhou Update
    October 15?

    This Week At NE
    This week at NASAexplores, we have two of my stories, one about space tether research, and the other about a local high school student who worked as an intern at Marshall this summer.

    :: Wednesday, October 01, 2003 ::

    Daily Hatbag
    Here it is.

    What Is The Halo Matrix
    Kinda cool

    The Man Who Owns The Moon
    ...and will sell you a piece of it.

    Tickle This
    Fur Is Muppet Murder

    Warning Shot
    Sweet home Alabama

    We Have Met The Enemy...
    OK, this is exactly why we have to take the Chinese manned space program seriously.
    On the one hand, you have the U.S. telling 14 nations that they basically spent a ton of money building a space station for the U.S. and Russia.
    On the other, you have China helping to bail out the ESA on its Galileo GPS system, working to break the U.S. monopoly on the service.
    Now, all other things being equal, who would you rather partner with?

    Goldilocks Principle
    Schweickart says we should go to an asteroid.

    "We must get in our spaceships and go"
    A good editorial from the Space Foundation.

    Shenzhou Update
    Another China space story.
    Addendum: And another.

    Happy Birthday NASA
    Per Space.com:
    "CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- On Oct. 1, 1958 -- the beginning of a new fiscal year -- NASA workers enjoyed their first day in the office. Most had gone home on Sept. 30 working for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics.
    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) turns 45 today."
    Addendum: The agency has some cool multimedia stuff on the NASA homepage.

    Well, Duh
    As work progresses on Burt Rutan's Scaled Composite's SpaceShipOne, there has been a great deal of speculation that its first flight--very likely the first private manned spaceflight--will take place soon, very likely in the next few months, but nobody has said exactly when.
    But, having heard the actual planned date, it's just one of those "Well, of course..." moments--it's just danged right it's obvious:
    December 17, 2003.
    Oh, man. A new age begins.
    Very nice.

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