Friday, April 17, 2009

Potpourri XXI

Someday I'll write a real posting again--a book review, a long rant, something like that--but these shotgun-pellet postings seem to get the most mileage and require the least work. And, besides, it's Friday, and my brain is a little toasty after a long week.

The Onion has a couple of dillies out there today:

And here are a couple of other space-related items:


On a completely different note, my friend and cowriter Darlene Cavalier the Science Cheerleader will be speaking to the Pittsburgh chapter of Mensa.

Restoring Science to its Rightful Place
by Darlene Cavalier
Darlene Cavalier, a former professional cheerleader, is a writer and senior adviser to Discover Magazine and founder of Cavalier uses innovative approaches to increase adult science literacy, grow the ranks of citizen scientists and create opportunities for the public to weigh in on matters of science policy. She will discuss and demonstrate the approaches and give Mensa members a sneak peak at plans for her next project:

Goooooo Dar!


This item doesn't surprise my coworker Martin, who continues to lament the ongoing demise of traditional newspapers/media. Bottom line: we're more engaged in politics via the internet than ever before, but it's engagement based on bias (i.e., going to web sites that agree with our own political beliefs).


Due to expected bad weather on Sunday, NASA's Student Launch Initiative and University Student Launch Initiative activities have all been condensed to Saturday. The student rocket launches will be at the Bragg Farms in Toney, Alabama. Directions below, if you're in the neighborhood of Huntsville:

Directions to Bragg Farms:

1. North on Research Park Blvd. to Pulaski Pike
2. Turn north on Pulaski Pike
3. Go 3.6 miles until Pulaski Pike veers to the left. Instead of following Pulaski Pike, go straight onto Patterson Lane. There will immediately be a sharp right turn.
4. After 0.7 miles, turn left on Murphy Hill Road, which is the road to the left.
5. Take Murphy Hill Road 1.8 miles to Grimwood Road.
6. Turn east on Grimwood Road.
7. Take Grimwood 0.9 miles to Bragg Farms. The farm will be on the southside of Grimwood Road and there should be signs showing where to turn into the farm.

I plan to be there at least part of the day and will have pictures to post tomorrow evening.


The History Channel is doing a week of specials on what the Earth would be like "After People." I'm of two minds on this. The science fiction fan in me is curious, the conservative philosopher in me asks, "What motivates people to want to imagine things like this?"


The Obama administration asked Georgetown University to cover up Christian symbols on the lectern and elsewhere during the President's recent speech there, presumably to avoid any sort of endorsement of the faith. This sort of thing is silly pandering to political correctness and non-Christians, and it shows (in my opinion) a bit of disrespect for the faith. Presidents and public officials speak at hotels, conference centers, and other public places, which often attach their logos to the lectern or on the walls. No one expects that the speaker is there as a spokesperson for Marriott or whatever. The workarounds will probably turn out to be more troublesome for Obama than if he had just given the speech and left the symbols alone.


My friends at Media Fusion, the company that does most of the animation and graphic design work for the Ares Projects, also had a slight role in the Stephen Colbert brouhaha.


This one was bizarre to me. There are some folks out there who have it in their heads to ban a font type, Comic Sans. Apparently because bad causes have used the font on their messages, it therefore follows that the font is tainted and must be banned. Like Obama's unnecessary covering of Christian symbols at a Christian college, this is just plain silliness.

Do I have anything else to say? Probably, but it's Friday, and I need a little downtime. Peace and happy thoughts, all.

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