Thursday, June 30, 2005
Via New Scientist Space.com: A recent image captured with the Hubble Space Telescope - which looks uncannily like the Great Eye of Sauron from the blockbusting Lord of the Rings trilogy .
Actually it is a spectacular, luminous ring, composed of dust particles in orbit around Fomalhaut, a bright star located just 25 light years away in the constellation Pisces Australis -- or the Southern Fish. Read the rest of this fascinating article about how the ring offers the best evidence yet that a nearby star is circled by a newly formed solar system < here
The image was captured by astronomers at the University of California, Berkeley, US, and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center using Hubble's coronagraph, which blocks the glare of a star while gathering the reflected light from any surrounding ring.
Gotta love that Hubble!
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
"We fight today because terrorists want to attack our country and kill our citizens, and Iraq is where they are making their stand. So we will fight them there, we will fight them across the world, and we will stay in the fight until the fight is won." -- President George W. Bush
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
Paul Winchell, actor, inventor, & the voice of Jerry Mahoney & Knucklehead Sniff (if you're old enough to remember), the scrubbing bubbles on TV commercials, and countless other voices including most recently that of Tigger the Tiger from Winnie the Pooh fame, died on 6/24/05.
John Fiedler, character actor, who played many roles that I know you remember, including Mr. Hengist (the consciousness of Jack the Ripper) on Star Trek: Wolf In The Fold, the meek Mr. Peterson on the Bob Newhart Show, the giggling morgue attendant on Kolchak, and the voice of Piglet from Winnie the Pooh died on 6/25/05.
Is that weird or what?
Yikes! If I were Winnie the Pooh, I'd watch out.
Monday, June 27, 2005
China's communist leaders view the United States as their main enemy and are working in Asia and around the world to undermine U.S. alliances. The article by Bill Gertz can be found here and makes for a sobering read.
It certainly puts the recently unveiled slogan for the 2008 Olympic Games in an ominous light. One world, one dream. Yeah, one big RED world.
Whose bright idea was it to award China the Olympics anyway?
From Reuters, we get a photo of Crown Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands proudly shows his newborn daughter which his wife Princess Maxima delivered at the Bronovo hospital in The Hague June 26, 2005. The girl will be third in line to the Dutch throne after her father and her sister Catharina-Amalia, born on Dec. 7, 2003. The couple have not yet decided on a name for the baby.
Friday, June 24, 2005
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
From Scientific American:
Measured to be equal to 1/137.03599976, or approximately 1/137, [the fine-structure constant] has endowed the number 137 with a legendary status among physicists (it usually opens the combination locks on their briefcases).
Mathematicians might use the digits of pi....314159 or the base of natural logarithms, e,... 271828
This is a fascinating subject. If you know someone's passion for a subject, you can guess their passwords. A Trekker might use 047, or an X-Files fan might use 1013.
Anyone out there have any other important numbers?
[Via Schneier.com who brought it to my attention]
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., set off a political firestorm last week when he compared U.S. treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo to practices employed by Nazis, Soviets, Pol Pot and other oppressive regimes. His statements were condemned by the White House, the Pentagon, the Christian Coalition, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Newt Gingrich (who called for his censure by the Senate) and by right minded (pun intended) media outlets. The uproar over the treasonous remarks grew so loud that, late in the week, Durbin apologized if his remarks had been "misunderstood".
There is no misunderstanding. This was a premeditated attack against our military and our government and was designed to provide aid and comfort to our enemies all over the world.
With Senators like this, America doesn't need enemies.
Shame on you, sir.
While Tom Cruise was giving yet another interview at the "War of the Worlds" premiere in London, he was squirted in the face with water. The water came from what appeared to be a microphone.
Four men who were part of a freelance camera crew were arrested & could face assault charges.
Assault charges for squirting water on a nutcase celebrity whom we are sick of seeing in the news? These guys should get a medal for making Cruise at least think twice before talking to the next reporter holding a microphone.
Sheesh, enough already.
Thursday, June 16, 2005
Keller, Texas - Four Keller High School cheerleaders were sent home early from camp after allegedly putting human feces on a pizza and trying to frame rival cheerleaders for the deed.
Cheerleaders from rival Fossil Ridge High School had sent the pizza to the Keller squad on the last night of a four-day camp at the University of Texas at Arlington. Less than an hour later, some Keller cheerleaders took the pizza to the Fossil Ridge sponsor, claiming that Fossil Ridge cheerleaders had doctored the pizza with feces.
Federal laws bar officials from discussing the girls' discipline, but such an incident would be considered "serious misconduct," district spokesman Jason Meyer told the newspaper.
At the very least, the prank should be the end of their cheerleading days.
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
In Florida, possession of gopher tortoises is a second-degree misdemeaner punishable by up to 60 days in jail, a $500 fine or both.
So learned Carl Franklin King on Saturday evening when a Pinellas County sherrif's deputy stopped him in Palm Harbor for outstanding warrants (burglary & criminal mischief charges) & found 6 gopher tortoises in the trunk of his car.
When challenged about the tortoises, King told deputies that he wanted to cook them for a soup. Apparently, gopher tortoise meat is considered a delicacy.
Monday, June 13, 2005
In a tiny blurb buried on page 8 of the Tampa Tribune, I found this story about Former Attorney General Janet Reno and her beloved red pick up truck (pictured here in better days).
In the Florida Keys on Friday, Reno's truck rear-ended a car that had stopped at a red light, the Florida Highway Patrol said. No injuries were reported except to Reno's truck.
I wonder if A.G. Ashcroft had rammed his car into the rear-end of a vehicle stopped at a redlight, would it be considered more newsworthy?
Friday, June 10, 2005
Another major rainfall event for Florida as Tropical Storm Arlene approaches.
Some strengthening is forecasted during the next 24 hours and it is possible that Arlene could reach hurricane strength before landfall, the National Hurricane Center said.
It's going to be a looooong summer!
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
On April 25, Gregory Despres arrived at the U.S.-Canadian border crossing at Calais, Maine, carrying a homemade sword, a hatchet, a knife, brass knuckles and a chain saw stained with what appeared to be blood. U.S. customs agents confiscated the weapons and fingerprinted Despres. Then they let him into the United States.
Some ask how the customs agents could know Despres had decapitated a man with the bloody chain saw. There was no way to run a field test on the chain saw to tell if it was blood.
Upon seeing this creep & his arsenal, what kind of idiot do you have to be to think the dried red stuff caked on the chain saw is catsup or red dye #2?
Friday, June 03, 2005
A Pennsylvania man injured when a portable toilet exploded is suing a general contractor and a coal company for negligence to the tune of 10 million dollars. The explosion occurred July 13, 2004, at Parrish Shaft in Blacksville. John Jenkins, 53, is a North West Fuels Development methane power plant operator. He entered a portable toilet, sat down and tried to light a cigarette. When he struck the lighter, the toilet exploded. The lawsuit says the cigarette ignited methane gas leaking from a pipe underneath the unit. Jenkins was burned over much of his body in the ensuing explosion.
I don't know what the coal company has to do with this accident other than having deep pockets, but this is definitely one more reason why smoking is hazardous to your health.