|:: Friday, November 28, 2003 ::|
And Thanksgiving week comes to a thrilling conclusion.
S3X It Up
Many of the world's languages assign gender identity to inanimate objects, and why should English-speakers miss out on the fun? Which gender do you believe these objects should be?
Many of these are rather amusing.
By The Power Of Grayskull Invested In Me
Man, why can't we ever have candidates like this running for office (well, except for Jem).
Monkey Hall Of Fame
How cool is a site where Donkey Kong can be honored alongside the Space Monkey Mafia?
(Also on the site is the full version of the "What's the frequency, Kenneth?" story, which I didn't know, and is pretty darned interesting.
Of all the tribute sites in the world, this has to be one of the greatest.
I posted a while back that this was coming, but here's an update on the Tron comics.
|:: Wednesday, November 26, 2003 ::|
Another classic for Thanksgiving week.
If anyone hasn't seen the new Opus, here it is.
Apropos Of Nothing
Fun with words. Well, not so much fun, per se, as just interesting.
And more fun with words, this time involving actually fun--for your mouth!
X Prize Update
The Canadian Arrow team has passed a major milestone, and is gearing up for a launch in the next few months.
Dante, There's A Phair Outside The Quick Stop!
In a nice bit of Dave-likin' synergy, Liz Phair has recorded a new song, "You," for the soundtrack of Kevin Smith's Jersey Girl. In other KS news, the issue of Playboy with the Lois Lane-inspired spread he did is apparently now on stands.
For all this and more View Askew news, visit NewsAskew.com.
|:: Tuesday, November 25, 2003 ::|
Thanksgiving Week continues.
I don't know what I'd do with it, but I want this.
Ace Of Base
I really have nothing to say about this, but it must be linked to.
A non-profit group has included on its list of toys you shouldn't buy children a stuffed toy Hulk that yelps when hit in the chest, saying he sends a bad message to kids.
Being the positive societal influence that it is, the blog agrees, and wants to make sure its readers know that you should never, ever punch The Hulk in the chest in real life. Trust me, nothing good can come of that.
(That said--I'm not sure what the proper safety protocol for dealing with The Hulk is. Do you run? Play dead? Tell him you saw Banner going the other way?)
That's No Moon... Oh, Wait, Yes It Is
I don't know how feasible it is, but any plan that involves building a giant space-laser on the Moon to destroy asteroids is alright in my book (coming to fine booksellers whenever the heck I write it).
In A Shocking Turn Of Events...
Anthony Hopkins is not going to be in the Batman movie.
|:: Monday, November 24, 2003 ::|
Do Not Try This At Home... Or In Space
How flight-worthy is Kirk's Enterprise?
It's Thanksgiving Week here atYMFTB (and probably elsewhere, I guess).
For some reason, Friday was the record day for visits to hatbag.net, which means I may end up with a decent average for the month, despite the fact that the traffic tracker my site provides has failed to keep stats 7 days this month.
X Prize Update
On the local front, a Huntsville company has entered the X Prize competition, featuring a reusable booster and capsule using a lot of the Huntsville hallmarks.
Looking for that perfect retirement home, but don't want to pay an astronomical amount for the land? Maybe you should consider the Moon.
In The Name Of Trivia
Lain sent me this cool '80s lyrics quiz.
I just wanted to make sure Lain knew this, and I'm too lazy to e-mail it to him.
That Vision Thing Update
Spaceflight Now has an article about O'Keefe talking about the development of a NASA vision.
Shocking quote: "While President Bush is not believed to be actively engaged in the formulation of the policy..."
So did anyone else get to read the new Opus yesterday. I was disappointed to find that it not only was not in The Huntsville Times, but is also not being posted online, which kind of surprised me. Thank goodness for Books-A-Million.
Anyway, I thought it was OK. And relatively Bloom County-ish. Nothing stellar, but not like it got off on as bad a footing as it could have.
Unexpected This Is. And Unfortunate
So I'm now in the unprecedented position of rooting for Arkansas to win this week.
I've got the better part of 5 days to practice going "Whoo, Pig, Sooey." Sheesh.
I'm pretty sure I've posted or linked to the Expedition 9 crew at some point, but if not, it's Bill McArthur and Valery Tokarev.
|:: Friday, November 21, 2003 ::|
I wonder if Luthor spies on Batman like this.
Powers Of Ten
This tour from macrocosmic to microcosmic is kinda cool.
Hatbag only wants to be with you.
Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!
Only 10 days left to finish your novel!
Today In History
On this date 43 years ago, Project Mercury once again dazzled the world with the 4-inch flight of Mercury-Redstone 1, which flew for about 2 seconds after launch before the main engines cut off, and the escape tower fired.
Nuclear space propulsion is a step closer to reality.
And, Admiral, It's Enterprise
OV-101 is now on display at the Smithsonian. I love the first picture that goes with the story--how'd you like to meet that coming through the woods?
(On a sadder note, it appears in that picture that the left wing leading edge is still missing, having been removed during the Columbia investigation for testing.)
|:: Thursday, November 20, 2003 ::|
Lain wanted me to add this survey to the blog. So now, I have. I do pretty much everything Lain tells me.
Today marks 9 months of actual content on YMFTB, which is pretty decent staying-with-itness for me, and also 6 months that I've been on my diet, which is phenomenal Dave tenacity. So there.
If I've posted this recently, I apologize. My mind is going.
Again, I'm just saying, but why exactly is bail set for Michael Jackson at $3 million? Is he really that much of a flight risk? Like he's just going to disappear? "Uh, sir, we saw a bizarre freak of nature with plastic skin, a face mask, and no nose getting on a plane surrounded by a huge mob of people, but we weren't sure if it was him or not." Plus, he hasn't even been freakin' arrested yet. Isn't it a bit more likely that if he's just going to flee, he would do it BEFORE posting bond? For that matter, if there were any chance at all he would flee (which a large bond implies), isn't that pretty much encouraging him to go ahead and do it before he's arrested, and save a few million, rather than waiting until later?
A Real Lack Of Progress
I'm sorry, I'm beginning to side with those calling for a temporary exception to the Iran Non-Proliferation Act, just for a little while.
'Cause You Gotta Have Priorities
OK, so NASA had to fight to get a $15.3 billion budget for this year, because some in Washington believe we shouldn't be spending any more than that on space. (And one should note that spaceflight is only one of several endeavors within NASA, along with such things as Earth science and aviation research). This, of course, has been an ongoing battle, with the agency constantly striving to make the most of a limited budget.
Here's the kicker, though--think of everything NASA does with the portion of that $15 billion that goes to spaceflight-- the Shuttle, the Station, Mars landers, etc.
Now think about all those exciting Department of Defense space programs, like... well, we can't talk about them here, I'm sure.
Did you know that, despite the fact that $15.3 billion is as much as the nation can spend on NASA, DoD got $18.4 billion for space programs this year, and is asking for $20.4 billion next year.
Any idea how much NASA could do with an extra $5 billion a year? How many programs have been cancelled for the lack of just a small fraction of that?
Rocket Of The Future
The rocket engine of the future may already exist today, but since it lacks a spacecraft to power, it's currently being used only in Mississippi.
This Week At NE
This week at NASAexplores, I've got an article about DART, a technology demonstrator aimed at letting NASA catch up with (and surpass, natch) the rest of the world in having automated on-orbit rendezvous and docking capability, a functionality planned for the Orbital Space Plane.
Also online this week is a story about eating in space.
X Prize Update
After encountering problems earlier in the year, SpaceShipOne is back on track. I had read a while back that the Centennial launch date was out of the question due to the problems earlier, and this article does not address whether that's still true.
Happy Birthday, ISS
The International Space Station turns 5 today.
(And to mark the occassion, SpaceDaily actually posted a story about it that wasn't negative. How sweet)
|:: Wednesday, November 19, 2003 ::|
Turns out I left the last poll up there so long that it's expired, and you can't access the results anymore. Mea culpa. Any ideas for a new poll?
Pasta Point Of No Return
You know you've been on Atkins too darned long...
Lain points out that the presence of Genevieve Bujold Janeway footage makes the Voyager first season boxed set almost, but not quite, tempting. So the question is, what would it take for you to actually get the Voyager DVDs. For example, I would buy them if either the price were marked down to $10 per box, or if all the episodes were replaced with new episodes of DS9 that I had never seen.
So I'm listening to Tales of A Librarian on a PC since I'm at work, so I'm having to use RealOne Player instead of iTunes, and I was amused by the little blurb they have for Tori when you put in one of her albums: "Direct, disarming lyrics give Amos' sparse, piano-tinkling music added weight -- both sonically and emotionally."
That's really going out on quite a limb to postulate that maybe her lyrics are an important part of Tori's music. I wonder if she realizes that.
(To test it out, I tried listening to "Me And A Gun" without the vocals. Not only was it alternative, it was alternative to alternative.)
Light Blogging Today
Due to not much going on.
I'm sure I've linked to this one before, but it's a perennial favorite (um... so far this year) due to the people finding it via search engine.
I Mean, You Know
I'm just saying, any current or future charges of molestation against Michael Jackson should be accompanied simultaneously with charges of parental neglect against the caretakers of the child in question. I'm not saying he's guilty, I'm just saying there are somethings you just don't chance.
Why Does The &@(#*& Matrix Keep Crashing?!
Who knew Bill Gates could be so cool?
I linked to an article the other day about Microsoft's Matrix parody (who would have thought that Microsoft would see somebody else's intellectual property that was cooler than anything they had and try to appropriate it for their own purposes--that's just hard to believe), and today--here's the pictures!
Today In History
On this date 34 years ago, Apollo 12 commander Pete Conrad became the third man to walk on the Moon, followed by Alan Bean, who I talked with just last week.
Space.com has an interesting article on the Orbital Space Plane. I would note one quote in particular:
"It's not a mystery…at least we hope it hasn't been one. One of OSP's objectives is that we are a pathway to future NASA missions," (MSFC's Dennis) Smith explained.
There's that vision thing again.
|:: Tuesday, November 18, 2003 ::|
Light Blogging Today
... due to important NASA meeting, German lunch, and a tornado. Sorry.
Send Them Back
Looking for a way to assuage your .mp3 guilt? Here ya go.
Come To Me, Son Of Skywalker!
So maybe Luke and Leia's father is really... Superman!
Mall of Memphis, RIP
In Stores Today
Today is the release date for the latest LOTR box set, which features a 2:1 disc-to-tower ratio. Also out today on the DVD front are the Space Ghost box set and Marooned, both of which are just going to have to wait for my money, I'm afraid. Too many things coming out today.
On the CD front, Joe will be happy to know that he can get his naked Beatles today (I've been listening to my CD of Let It Be the last couple of days to better appreciate every nuance). Tori's "greatest hits" CD is also out today, with its "revisited" versions of her songs. I listened to some of them on iTMS, and it's not as heavy-handed as I feared, and some of them were not bad at all. Probably of less broad interest is that Cyndi Lauper has an album of covers out today, which is also available on iTMS (Unsurprisingly, The Beatles' CD is not).
And, for those into that sort of thing, there's roughly a million more CDs coming out today, from such artists as Britney Spears and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
|:: Monday, November 17, 2003 ::|
Tons of new bloggin' at the Joe Blog (well, relatively new, but I'm just now getting around to seeing it and posting feedback).
One's a heartless computer program in which millions of humans are trapped, used as fuel as their software captors become more powerful and try to destroy the handful of cool renegades who have broken free. And the other's the Matrix.
Best line: "We've got Steve-O indoctrinated," Gates said to nervous applause from the audience.
Getting To Space, The Atkins Way
From an article on an Educator Astronaut candidate:
In September, she received a letter stating that NASA wanted to pay for her to get a physical, which she promptly did. The cross-country coach and avid runner was shocked to hear she was 10 pounds overweight for the job.
"I went on a quick, crash version of the Atkins slash southern-beach diet, or whatever it's called. I ate proteins only for breakfast and dinner," she said. "I lost the weight and got that recorded in time."
Within This Half-Century
Florida Today has proposed a vision for 50 years of lackadaisical spaceflight.
Return Of Shuttle-C?
Space.com has an interesting article on the possibility of a cargo-only Space Shuttle.
A Piece Of The Rock
The ESA is currently developing plans for a spacecraft that will launch FROM Mars in a little over a decade, carrying back mankind's first samples from the Red Planet.
But Will Bill Murray Come Back?
I'm hoping this leads to multiple competing series of Charlie's Angels films, each with its own group, set in different times, but all in the same continuity. And I hope one group is led by Crispin Glover in drag.
On a semi-related note, I read recently they're working on a sequel to The Mask Of Zorro, and hoping to bring back all three principals, including Anthony Hopkins, who's character apparently died in the last film. Frankly, I'd be just as happy if they ditched Banderas and Zeta-Jones, and did more Adventures Of Old Zorro movies.
Hello, What Have We Here
Landa Calrissian may star in a movie that may be filmed in Huntsville.
Time De-Cools All Things
There's been a new Powerpuff Girls video out since October, and I didn't even realize it.
It's apropos of nothing, but Jocasta sent me this little quiz which is kind of amusing.
|:: Thursday, November 13, 2003 ::|
(This one raises a good question, too)
Die, Diogenes, Die
This is disappointing, and, yet, cool.
We Get It
As it turns out, I bought a key chain this weekend which says I have a tattoo. Whoops.
I was at a record store (er... CD store), and they had one of those racks with all the hip key chains and stickers and stuff, and I came across a key chain that said, "Got ink?"
Being a writer (albeit one that doesn't use the ink so much anymore), I thought it was pretty cool, but figured the odds of it actually being for writers was pretty slim, and that it had to have some other hip connotation that I wasn't hip enough to get. After the two equally-unhip people with me were unable to determine what the alternate meaning might be, I went ahead and bought it.
So today, I googled the phrase. The first site I came across told me my suspicions were probably correct--while it didn't have any information, it was a place were you could order "Got ink?" halter tops and brazilian tie underwear. The next several sites were all for cartridges for printers, but I didn't think that was the connection (unless my inkjet printer had become much sexier than I realized). Eventually, though, I found the tattoo connection. So now I'm debating whether to keep using the keychain, or to bet that most people I know aren't hip enough to understand it either.
This Week At NE
This week at NASAexplores, we have an article I wrote about the X-37, one of three technology demonstrators for the Orbital Space Plane program, which could become the first X-plane to be tested in orbit.
Also online this week is an article about the fact that NASA has the biggest air-hockey table in the world.
You ingrates haven't been reading the Daily Hatbag enough lately, so there's none for you today!
OK, my new favorite hatbag.net search string: "eileen collins laundry shuttle"
Also recently we had "blind lemmon jefferson biography," "origin of sorority," "honor test," and "how to fight a bear" (which generated four hits [and, really, you're doing good if you can get in four hits before the bear mauls you]) make their debut on the search string list.
"ABC developing astro-drama: Hollywood daily Variety reported today that Gary Glasberg ("Crossing Jordan") is scribe and executive producer for an educator astronaut themed drama to air on ABC. The script follows a teacher who moves his family to a small town near Houston. "It's sort of 'The Wonder Years' meets 'Everwood,'" described former ABC executive Stu Bloomberg to Variety."
cS also notes that on this date 32 years ago, Mariner 9 became the first spacecraft to orbit another planet after reaching Mars.
Alan Boyle writes in his Cosmic Log on the topic of whether we should go to Mars, with info on groups that are trying to push for an expedition to the red planet. As much as I hate to say it, though, I'd probably rather Bush stick with a realistic, near-term goal of lunar exploration (with Mars as a long-term goal, natch), than push for a Mars mission as an immediate priority.
It turns out Marshall is the best place in the federal government to work.
|:: Wednesday, November 12, 2003 ::|
So Be It, Jedi
After 4 1/2 months, two characters in the online Star Wars Galaxies game were the first to become Jedi. And how does the rest of the community celebrate? By trying to kill them, of course.
More Matrix deconstruction.
The Post After Tomorrow
Science has determined pollution is good!
OSP? Make It So!
According to NASA Watch, Lockheed Martin is opening an Orbital Space Plane Demo Center, complete with an OSP simulator and a video presentation narrated by Patrick Stewart.
That Vision Thing
More rumors about the supposed future interplanetary junket.
|:: Tuesday, November 11, 2003 ::|
Every One's A Critic
For those that missed them on TV, the Clone Wars shorts are online. Who wouldn't like some Clone Wars shorts?
Carb Control To Major Tom
Ruby Tuesday's launches their low-carb menu today.
Here ya go.
The Way It Could Have Been
The Matrix Postmortem, funny stuff, loaded with spoilers.
David Hitt Sings This Stick That He's With
I love this stuff--tons and tons of misheard song lyrics.
Robot Holocaust Update
I'm not entirely sure how this is bad for humanity, but if it involves robots, I'm sure it is.
Four robots have been inducted into the Robot Hall Of Fame.
(Lain, who sent this to me, questioned whether the HAL 9000 is actually a robot. My 2 cents--he definitely would be if you included the Discovery as part of HAL.)
Skylab Summary II
The abridgement of my Skylab story was featured on the front page of Spacedaily.com today--particularly flattering considering their usual anti-NASA attitude.
Skylab Summary I
Spaceflight Now has a story about the conversation between two Skylab astronauts and the crew of ISS during yesterday's reunion event. One of the cooler parts of the day for me was that I was actually in the room for this conversation (earthside, natch), the first time I had ever been inside the science "mission control" at Marshall.
Better yet, here's a link to the video.
Maybe Next Year
DVDfile.com has a brief item supporting rumors that Star Wars may hit DVD next holiday season.
|:: Monday, November 10, 2003 ::|
Back To The Moon?
NASA Watch has copies of testimony before the Senate on that subject last week. Links to additional testimony are at the bottom of the page.
Apparently, e-mail from space is so slow that a person can reach Earth long before an e-mail does. Anyway, Ed Lu's last musings from space have been posted (in which Lu namechecks both Superman and The Tick [and to show just how cool he is: the cartoon version, not the live-action one]).
Speaking Of Skylab Day
An abridged version of one of my stories made the "front page" of the main NASA site (www.nasa.gov) today for the first time. Kinda cool.
I Haven't Looked At This Yet...
...but it's supposed to be cool.
It's SKYLAB DAY!!!!!
I'll blog if I get a chance, but I've got higher priorities today!
|:: Thursday, November 06, 2003 ::|
Return to the Nude House of Wacky People
I was a little bummed to discover that the exact phrase "You must fight the bear!" doesn't actually appear in the old Saturday Night Live sketch that made that phrase into a craze that swept the nation...or at least my immediate circle of friends.
Where's the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man when you need him?
This would have made the big freeway battle scene in The Matrix Reloaded a lot better.
We're not on any mercy mission this time
Attention, DaveBlog readers: this is the P.A.N.T.S. Commander with a very cruel link. Why is it cruel? Because it's CHOCK FULL OF STAR WARS: EPISODE 3 SPOILERS, that's why! Which makes it a link on David's blog that he can't click on! HA HA HA HA HA HA (or, if you prefer, BWAH HA HA HA HA HA). Stay tuned for more evil from the P.A.N.T.S.
Arrest yourself, sir!
So, Microsoft is now offering bounties on people who purposely distribute sinister and destructive computer programs that hurt productivity and mess up people's computers, eh? Man, I bet their Windows programmers are nervous. (And by the way, take a look at this story just for the picture of Bill Gates in a cowboy hat. Someone must have spent MINUTES using Photoshop to do that!)
What this country needs is a good five cent piece...or two.
Holy Ned, now they're redesigning the nickel. If you enjoyed the state quarters, chances are you'll enjoy this about one-fifth as much.
Thank goodness his daughter's favorite hero wasn't the Hulk
If you're trying to show the court that you're a good, sane, parent, what's the best way? Why, dressing as Spider-Man and climbing atop a construction crane, of course!
Good Night, Jobs-Boy
Oh, no, now Wal-Mart is horning in on the iAction. Oh, well, maybe they'll be so successful that Microsoft will launch a bid to acquire them. Now that's a clash of the Titans that I'd love to see.
My High School Now Seems Even Lamer
But what I really would like to see is a homecoming float that pits Saddam and Jesus AGAINST each other. With maybe Osama and Mary as tag-team partners.
I Blame the Taikonauts
Man, David didn't mention that it was going to be a Communist eclipse.
iWant Some Fries with that Pepsi, Please
McDonald's jumps on the iTunes bandwagon. Man, if Corky's ever gets into this kind of cross-promotion, that'll basically be it for me.
|:: Wednesday, November 05, 2003 ::|
What If The Moon Doesn't Come Back?
In case I don't get to post again before then, there's going to be a lunar eclipse Saturday evening.
A Russian scientist says women can have babies in space.
If anybody could record the Star Wars cartoon for me Friday, I'd appreciate it.
Do Not Adjust Your Monitor
This blog has been taken over by the Posting Army, Nerd-Taunting Squadron (P.A.N.T.S.)! Let us go forth and remake the DaveBlog in our own image! I, the P.A.N.T.S. Commander, have spoken!
Uh, can anyone think of anything interesting to post?
|:: Tuesday, November 04, 2003 ::|
We Teach For Les
Ole Miss bought its own Wal-Mart.
So You Say You Want The Revolutions
Matrix Revolutions comes out tomorrow, and if you're like me, you probably haven't seen everything leading up to it, unless you've played through the "Enter The Matrix" video game, which is considered canon.
To save having to play the game, spoilers can be found here and here. Among other revelations is one writing around the death of Gloria Foster.
Will The Real Yo Momma Please Stand Up
It turns out Eminem is offensive even in other languages.
Big Mac is No. 3 Combo
The G5 supercomputer at Virginia Tech has been moved up to Number 3 in the world, thanks in part to Panther (I believe--I know they were going to install it, not sure if it's finished, and this story doesn't address it).
Sometimes Close Does Count
The X Prize is working to establish a second-place prize to encourage teams to keep working after the contest has been won (the money could also be used as the primary prize in case the contest is not one before the Jan. 1, 2005 deadline, though organizers say that's unlikely). From everything I've read, they might could encourage more competition by establishing a third-place prize instead of one for second place. It sounds much like there's a race for first place between two front-runners, and a race for third-place among everyone else. It sounds pretty likely that second place will just go to whoever doesn't win first place--Scaled Composites or Armadillo Aerospace.
China's plans for spaceflight: ambitious, yet relaxed.
Tuesday Shopping Guide
In stores today and of interest to Dave: Sarah McLachlan's new CD Afterglow; Sheryl Crow's Best Of CD, which is also available as a special edition with 13 of her videos; the Pixar hit Finding Nemo; and Tenacious D--The Complete Master Works DVD, which at Best Buy at least is packaged with a bonus CD, but which, unlike the bootleg D DVDs that have been available on eBay, lacks Heat Vision and Jack.
I would so buy The Alien Quadrilogy DVD set, if it were like a third of the price.
|:: Monday, November 03, 2003 ::|
Under A Vulcan Moon
No less an organization than Starfleet will be holding its international conference in Birmingham next year.
Chicken For Health
Oh, man, this is the health-care secret I want to adopt.
(If anyone doesn't get it, you're obviously not familiar with this, much to your misfortune.
I've posted a new topic for conversation on the DaveMatrix blog in preparation for Wednesday's release of Revolutions, for which I just bought my tickets.
Among recent search strings that have led people to hatbag.net in the first couple of days of November are "batman censor," "foodservicedirect," "hoka code 3 dongle," "lain blogs html" (proving that there's a market out there for a Lain blog), and, my personal favorite, "then you must fight the cow" (That's just a little bit more than the cow will allow).
Here ya go
Here, Doggy, Doggy, Doggy
Forty-six years ago today, space-dog Laika was launched to a horrible, horrible space death by the Soviet Union aboard Sputnik 2.
I'm ticked off with Joe, who won't answer my e-mails!
When Non-Special Is The Most Special Of All
AICN has some juicy non-news about Star Wars DVDs.
Just because Starkville is the second-worst college town in the entire country, that doesn't mean it's boring. Check out these exciting things to do in Cowtown, like touring the A.B. McKay Food Research and Enology Lab (BTW, Lain, Starkville is apparently the anti-Athens).
The Huntsville Times had a story Saturday about the possibility of returning to the Moon.