Thursday, June 16, 2005

NASA is shooting things at comets, just to see what happens

And they're naming their devices after cheesy disaster movies.

From their press release:

The Deep Impact spacecraft's 820-pound 'impactor' is scheduled to
smash into the Tempel 1 comet on July 4, Eastern Daylight Time (late
July 3, PDT). Scientists hope to learn more about comets by observing
the resulting cloud of debris following the impact. Scientists believe
the impact will form a crater on the comet.

Ames' Vertical Gun Range is used to simulate the physics and
mechanics of planetary 'impact cratering' and micrometeorite impacts.
For Deep Impact, studies included crater-scaling experiments.

The Vertical Gun has been used to conduct tests related to many other
space missions including Apollo, Mariner 9 to Mars, Mariner 10 to
Venus and numerous others.

Earlier: "It is not appropriate for the U.S. to not be the world's prime space-faring nation."

Schaivo redux

The report generally supported the contention of Schiavo's husband, Michael, accepted by judges in six courts over the years, that she was unaware and incapable of recovering. It also countered arguments by her family, who badly wanted to win custody of Schiavo, that she was responsive and could improve with therapy.

Monday, June 13, 2005

These are dark, dark times

Forty percent of Americans think Bill O'Reilly is a journalist; 27 percent believe Rush Limbaugh is one.

In the poll taken before the Deep Throat revelation, only 30 percent said they considered Bob Woodward a journalist. What the heck did they think he was, a game show host?

As for O'Reilly and Limbaugh...I have pretty much the same thing to say about them as I did about Pat Buchanan last week.

Vote to Restore Hetch Hetchy!

Nearly 100 years ago, the beautiful Hetch Hetchy Valley -- inside Yosemite National Park -- was stolen from the American people by San Francisco for the city's exclusive use of the Valley's water and power. Today the Valley remains under San Francisco's tyranical control.

Vote in the San Francisco Chronicle poll to restore Hetch Hetchy.

Even if you don't live near Yosemite, this valley belongs to YOU and is meant for your recreation, inspiration and enjoyment -- if you are a US citizen -- because it's in a national park.

Over the years, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission has selfishly retained control of the Hetch Hetchy Valley and water system, even though millions of people who live outside the city rely on the system for their water; only one-third of the users of Hetch Hetchy water live in San Francisco!

On top of that, San Francisco PUC has collected tax money from the residents of the cities surrounding San Francisco that use the water, and have funneled that money into the city's general fund, instead of using it for the intended purpose of maintaining the Hetch Hetchy system. As a result, the pipes and pumps have fallen into grave disrepair, putting the whole region at risk of a massive water shortage if a large earthquake hits. The cost of fixing the system continues to skyrocket into the several-billion-dollar range.

Still, San Francisco visciously fights against efforts to restore Hetch Hetchy Valley, even though it would result in the water being stored closer to the millions of people who use it, make the system more stable.

Friday, June 10, 2005

A highly local issue

This man hates children.

We already figured this was the case. See his argument againt the modest parcel tax increase here. Nice work, Jack. You helped get the schools screwed.

Here's proof (see fifth item).

My favorite new blog

It's by an "anonymous" person who may or my not live and/or work in or near Mountain View.

Now this is a funny post. It made me laugh, anyway.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

God hates fags

A quote from this Chron story about people from Kansas (yes, the state) picketing against gays in Central California: "Strip away their titles, and those churches are all talking about the same big lie," Phelps-Roper said, "that God loves anyone."

Um, maybe I'm mis-remembering what I learned in Sunday School, but isn't the big message of Christianity that God does love everyone?

Let's summarize.

Bush is against stem-cell research, in favor of war and in favor of global warming. He also loves the death penalty. So much for the "culture of life."

Why hasn't this guy been impeached yet? We don't even need Deep Throat to help us this time. We just need the Downing Street Memo and some notes from an aide in a global-warming brief.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Pat Buchanan is...

...oh, why even bother at this point.