Travels and Images
WEEK 22 2005
Sun- Mon- Tue- Wed- Thur- Fri- Sat- Next Week
Picture of the Week
Saturday 4 June
- something amusing: the teevee in the next room was on, unwatched, but
tuned to the SciFi channel. I could suddenly hear the sound of a pipe
organ and wandered over to see if there was perhaps a weekend matinee
of "Dracula (1931)" or "The Phantom of the Opera (1925)" on. Nope, this was "Mission to Mars", from A.D. 2000.
Heh. It's the scene after the meteor's hit the ship, and they are
losing oxygen and all that. I've seen the movie a couple of times -
another good SF movie spoiled by the insertion of aliens, by the way -
and never noticed that bit of sound track.
Over at Althouse - the blog of a law professor - the hoary old argument about "man versus machines" in space has reared it's head. I'd say:
Cheap access to space is the key - cheap being, perhaps, 10X
the cost that it takes to send personnel and material to Antarctica. At
that price then number of missions for both men and machines would
expand wildly. But this will have to come through the back door -
commercial space - rather than through any government program. The US
has had the forty years since the cancellation of Apollo to develop
this capability, and has not. And still has no serious plans to do so.
- The current manned space effort is incredibly wasteful and irrational,
so the jealousy and frustration of the robotic probe people is
- Money, even if deleted from manned space efforts, is unlikely be
diverted to robotic probes, so this jealousy and frustration is
irrational as well.
- A single astronaut, equipped with my old junior high school microscope
could probably answer the life on Mars question in a single mission.
This is something the two Viking landers, Opportunity, Spirit, the Mars
Global Explorer, the Mars Surveyor, Beagle I, Mars Express, and many
other robotic missions have notably failed to do over the last three decades.
It is difficult to imagine throwing away a technological lead of that
magnitude, but there it is. Bert Rutan may do it. Elan Musk may do it.
Richard Branson may do it. But it's very unlikely that Mike Griffin,
head of NASA, will be able/allowed to do it.
Great squirrel versus motorcycle story at Jamulblog, one of Ann's commenter's, by the way.
Friday 3 June
Friday - working away on things. Not a lot to say there.
I went for a nice walk yesterday. Wildlife seen along the way included:
A rabbit (they are quick, he was fifty feet away before the shutter clicked):
Many hawks (ravens?)
I also met a wildlife biologist who, noticing the camera, told me to be on the lookout for the mojave legless lizard. I'm not sure if she was pulling my leg or not...
Thursday 2 June 2005
- it seems that Ebay can bring out the inner packrat. Beware!
Wednesday 1 June 2005
Wednesday - the computers ran steadily over the weekend, so quite a bit of data to look at.
Tuesday 31 May 2005
Tuesday - heading back home. I hate to go back to work, but the boss is picky about these things.
Monday 30 May 2005
Monday - Memorial Day.
In Flanders Fields
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
For the 2003 Memorial Day I posted some information on a friend of my father's, Johnny Frye, who perished at Okinawa.
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Sunday 29 May
Sunday - Saturday's barbecue down at
Mission Bay, Crown Point, was a success. I owe a big "Thanks" to my
good friend Tim and his family for putting it on and for putting up with me for putting me up!
It wasn't as crowded down at the beach as many Memorial Day events have
been, and that was nice. The weather cooperated and neither froze nor
roasted us. All in all an excellent day.
My brother took this shot, from a boat, while out fishing. It is the
new Benecia Bridge, under construction, over the Sacramento River.
It's can be seen that the construction on each piece seems to be at the
same stage - it makes sense schedule wise, and also makes for a nice
photographic composition. I've another another picture, from 2003, in which only the pilings for these has been finished, and are visible above water.
Last Week- Sun- Mon- Tue- Wed- Thur- Fri- Sat- Next Week