Friday, May 14, 2010

Potpourri CXXXIV

Annnnnd the fun continues...

Something right up Dar's alley: Citizen scientists have an opportunity to contribute to work done on the Moon...counting craters.

From Brother Kanigan: The top 10 stolen body parts in history.
From Jerry Pournelle: Some more thoughts on the Greek debt crisis and how it affects/reflects what's happening here in the U.S.
From Erin: Your Moment of Coolness for today: a tour of the International Space Station.
For my Huntsville friends...some flyover times for the International Space Station.
Laser weapons on? Burn ‘em!

For Kate Down Under: Australia developing a space policy (about time, don’t ya think?).

Ohio and Massachusetts are developing their own STEM initiatives. What about Alabama?
One of the things I learned to enjoy early on was the art of fine conversation and complex argument. To that end, I'd offer the following series of essays on the topic of "Why aren't there any 'Lester Bangs'-like critics of video games?" That is, why aren't there critics who treat games as a legitimate art form and who have the critical vocabulary necessary to dissect this rather obscure subject? The discussion begins here, with an essay in Esquire Magazine on the topic. From there, move on to Doc's response to the Esquire essay. And, most recently, one can find this scholarly response to Doc's opinion. I'd post my own thoughts on the matter, but I don't play video games anymore, and so am not qualified to comment. On this issue, I'll defer to Doc, though I found the discussion most illuminating.
Space Shuttle Atlantis lifted off for its last mission (theoretically). Always fun to watch. Of course if you spend enough time around the propulsion guys around here, you learn not to turn off NASA TV until Main Engine Cutoff (MECO), not just when the fire and smoke are over.

The Bank of England says U.S. faces the same problems as Greece. Well, duhhhhh…

Also re: the oil spill…Dar has started a crowdsourcing initiative on Science for Citizens to solicit ideas for containing the oil spill since nothing else has worked so far.

NBC is canceling the original Law & Order after 20 seasons. Bummer.

CNN has a (very unscientific) poll about people’s perceptions of the state of the economy. Bottom line: it’s not pretty.

Boeing rolls out the Phantom Ray unmanned aerial vehicle.

Legendary fantasy artist Frank Frazetta has died.

Ka-BOOM! A bad day with a cell phone.

Planets and moons and spacecraft, oh my!

Just because a leopard can’t change its spots doesn’t mean a planet can’t change its stripes.

Subtract one…census worker visits a home and finds a dead body.

Something for the Down Under Defense Expert (DUDE): New Zealand’s PM got himself into hot water for making a cannibal joke.

Another bullying story. Bullying is at least partially alleged in the suicide of a young girl in Birmingham. Hate this stuff.

Disney is building a new animation-themed resort at the Walt Disney World property in Florida. My buddy Gwen already called dibs on the room assignment shift. Guess that means I’m stuck on the desk again, darn it. ;-) It will be located down near Osceola Parkway and Disney’s Pop Century Resort and is scheduled to open in 2012. Also in Disney news, despite falls in Parks & Resorts revenues, including at the Disney Cruise Line, the company is betting on an improved economic future. Glad someone is.

A scientist inspired by the Dalai Lama is studying happiness.

Governor Schwarzenegger is seeking deep budget cuts to reduce California’s $20 billion deficit. This bears watching, as does the continuing mess in Greece, which is similar.

Now here's a sport I'd follow next time I visit Orlando...lingerie football!

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