It’s kind of creepy, seeing events in real life pattern themselves after thriller novels and Hollywood movies; proof of anything that God – or the Fates – do have an ironic sense of humor. Like certain other bloggers and commenters I am on my knees with gratitude that the asteroid/comet fragment/whatever which detonated upon hitting the atmosphere over the Urals a few days ago did not hit at the height of the Cold War. That would likely have set off a chain of unfortunate events, for which those surviving remnants of the old Soviet high command would have been very sorry afterwards … well, maybe they would have been sorry, but on the other hand, opportunities are not to be wasted. Still – a repeat of Tunguska is fascinating enough, and so is the fact that it was caught on so many dash-cams and CCTV cameras. It’ll be as hard to blame it on global warming as it would be on the US, although some are apparently trying their best. But the wittiest observation on the whole matter simply has to go to a commenter at the Belmont Club, who observed “In Post-Soviet Russia, SPACE EXPLORES YOU!”

Bummer, Ricardo Montalban is dead at 88.  But I bet he rooked mahvelous my dahlings.  Okay, that’s Fernando, but you had to think about it a moment.
I should stop…seriously I jest with all resepct an awe.  What an icon.

Fox News is reporting the author Michael Crichton has died after a private battle with cancer at age 66.

I remember reading “The Andromeda Strain” at the age of 14 after seeing the movie and thinking, “Wow, books are really better than movies.” One of my friends who saw me reading Crichton told me, “If you like Crichton, you’re going to love Asimov.” and my love for novels that taught me something while they entertained me took off. I’ve probably read all of his novels, some of them twice.

Thanks for the stories sir, you will be missed.

NASA Not Just Aiming For The Moon… It Plans To Stay There

Tue, 05 Dec ’06

Agency Announces Plan For Lunar Base By 2020 It’s no secret NASA plans to return to the moon sometime in the next decade… but what it plans to do there is VERY interesting. Officials with the space agency announced Monday they plan to establish a base on the moon by 2020… with the eventual goal of sustaining a permanent human presence on the lunar surface.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’ve been looking forward to this since I was a kidwhen Neil Armstrong first stepped on the moon. Some folks say we can’t afford to do this while we have homeless people and poor people etc.. I say we can’t afford to NOT do this. Someday this planet is not going to be able to sustain us and the sooner we start out for other stars the better. This piece of rock is getting awfully crowded, awfully fast.

Via CNET.

Microsoft has signed a deal with two film studios to make a movie based on its popular space-based video game series “Halo,” a spokesman for Universal Pictures said Wednesday.

Universal and Twentieth Century Fox agreed to pay Microsoft $5 million plus a percentage of movie ticket sales. The total price being paid is capped at 10 percent of domestic box office receipts.

Okay, let’s start with the obvious questions. Who should play Master Chief? Who should play Cortana? Does it matter? Are we mostly concerned with voices? Should we have the voice actors from the game provide the voices and various stunt men and CGI handle the suit and Cortana’s hologram? Will we and should we see Master Chief’s face? I’m thinkin’ not.

Discuss.

Update: Zombieboy and crew are actually discussing this over at Resurrectionsong.

From Air Force Space Command News Service:

CAPE CANAVERAL AFS, Fla. What took years to build took seconds to knock down Aug. 6 when 171 pounds of strategically placed explosives were detonated, toppling the historic 179-foot mobile service tower at Launch Complex 13 here.

The 1,300-ton structure was used to launch Atlas/Agena space launch vehicles in the 1960s and 1970s. The most famous of those launches were five Lunar Orbiter missions for NASA in 1966 and 1967. Those missions photographed about 99 percent of the moons surface and helped pave the way to men landing on the moon in 1969.

The pictures are pretty cool, but it’s a little sad to see this. I’m sure it’s tough to have to maintain an unused launch tower, but this was a piece of history, one of the monuments to our nation’s continuing pioneer spirit.

Fortunately, the towers at Launch Complex 39 are a little bigger and would be harder to take down. :-)

And to further rock your perception of the universe as you thought you knew it:

NASA-Funded Scientists Discover Tenth Planet
July 29, 2005

A planet larger than Pluto has been discovered in the outlying regions of the solar system.

The planet was discovered using the Samuel Oschin Telescope at Palomar Observatory near San Diego, Calif. The discovery was announced today by planetary scientist Dr. Mike Brown of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., whose research is partly funded by NASA.

Anyone know what’s next in the Roman God lineup for naming this thing?

….there must be a good reason for it but it just kills me that the shuttle didn’t go up on time because a fuel indicator isn’t working. Shouldn’t it be full before it goes up and empty when it comes down? Too simple, I know, but still, makes me mutter to myself.

In honor of today’s 15th Anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope, allow me to present one of my absolute favorite links that I usually check every day: The Astronomy Picture of the Day.

It never fails that just when things are going great, I manage to get humbled. Tonight as I was preparing to write my three Easter posts, for this site, and for Patriot Flyer and BNN, my DSL signal went bumping off into the night, taking a holiday. Panicky, I swapped modems, swapped computers, strung wires all over the place, nothing. I got on my dialup – backup, and that worked fine. Calling Bellsouth, I found out that there was a problem, that it couldn’t be fixed tonight, and I will have to suffer the ignominious dragging slowness of dialup until Monday! Check the temper, Joe old boy, you can’t do anything about it, so thank the Lord for dialup, spend a weekend working in a medium that you’ve already forgotten about, and come Monday you’ll be much more thankful for your speedy little dsl signal! OK, Thank the Lord, pass the asdfgqwerty’s and let’s see what is in store for Easter 2005! God bless you every one!

Easter, though some things like the easter bunny crop up to muddy the waters, is a particularly Christian holy day; not a holiday in our secular sense, but truly a very holy day, the very pinnacle of the Christian faith. It is not replicated in any other religion, it was not borrowed from any other culture, it is unique, just as what we celebrate is unique. Let me digress for a moment. I posted on Patriot Flyer yesterday a sort of terse sentence, wherein I said that anyone who is offended by Christianity should just take a hike while we celebrate Easter. I say it again. I promise I won’t get offended by your religion or whatever, if you will just leave the Christians to their celebration without a lot of whining. You might even learn something, if you’re not a Christian and wish to read on, and we most cordially invite you to do so.

Central to the message of the Bible is the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. I do understand that our Jewish brothers do not accept Him as Lord, but we do share the Old Testament Scriptures, and counter to the stories of hatred on the part of many Christians in earlier centuries, we Evangelical Christians today closely embrace the Jews, and we are indeed the best friends Israel has in the world. Continuing with my message today, Jesus is central to Christianity, and central to all of that is the resurrection. My views are somewhat narrow here, by design. I believe, supported by scripture, that Jesus did arise from the dead, that he ascended to the Father, and that He is coming again. If we do not accept those truths, there is no Christianity. The Apostle Paul stated in First Corinthians 15, that it is a fact that Jesus arose from the dead. He went on to say(v.20) that Jesus is only the first of a great harvest of those to follow who will be raised from the dead! “So you see,” he continues, “just as death came into the world by one man, Adam, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man, Christ Jesus.” In a nutshell, by the disobedience of Adam and Eve, death came to us, God having given his son Jesus to die on the cross as propitiation for our sins, has provided for us life, resurrection from our state of death, to live in eternity with God. Redemption. That is the subject of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Not a “religion that someone wants to ram down anyone’s throat,” but a genuine message of God’s love for us all, love that transcends even death. Christianity is an invitation for us to bask in the love and forgiveness of God.

Further down in the I Corinthians passage, Paul writes of how our bodies will be transformed into everlasting spiritual bodies when Jesus comes back for us, and calls to mind a passage from Hosea in the Old Testament, regarding the victory that death seems right now to have over us. He says, that when this time comes, we will see fulfillment of that scripture, that death is swallowed up in victory. “O Death, he says, “where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” (15:55)

I really do anticipate with joy the day when I can join the throng of millions of believers from across the centuries, bought from death with the blood of Jesus Christ, as we march into the holy city, the New Jerusalem, as described in Revelation 21 -22. That day is coming as surely as I write this tonight, and I look forward to meeting you there.

And it’s all because Jesus loved us, died for us, and rose again on the first Easter!

God bless you, and may you have a blessed, holy, and happy easter!

Joe Comer

(all scripture quotations from the New Living Translationof the Bible)

Loading the iPods and reading ChiRunning by Danny and Katherine Dreyer. It’s about applying Tai Chi/Yoga/Pilates principles to running. Basically, using your core muscles to move your body when you’re running vs beating your legs into the ground.

I’ve practiced Tai Chi on and off since I was about 18. These days it’s not so much about the martial art as it is about keeping my limbs and joints from hurting. For me it’s one of those things that I don’t notice I’m not doing it enough until part of me hurts that shouldn’t. At one point in my life I used it to help recover from a very serious illness. I’ve already started using it a bit with my sliced and diced legs. Nothing too athletic…just some weight shifting…a little careful stepping…getting a feel for what the surgery has done. I don’t plan on running tomorrow, the staples just came out yesterday morning, but I like the way they think in this book.

The idea of “Effortless, Injury-Free Running” is extremely appealing to me and so far the writers have my attention.

The method and benefits are the same:

Great posture
Relaxed Limbs
Loose Joints
Engaged core muscles
A focused mind
Good Breathing Techniques

If you’re not a believer in Chinese medicine and the flow of Chi, skip that part and simply pay attention to his biomechanical arguments for running smarter. It makes a LOT of sense. One of the authors is running ultramarathons and is over 50…he’s doing something right.

You can check out the general concepts at their website.

Superhero Hype! is a website dedicated to all things Superhero.

Because I had a comic collection when I was a kid. You gotta problem with that?

(But zipped it up only halfway. Typical.)

SpaceRef has a short article that says Bush I wore a bunny suit to board the Space Shuttle well before John F’in Kerry visited NASA. Here’s one of the pictures:

Did I Ever Tell You That I Do Everything Half-Ass?

The big difference is that Bush I doesn’t look like an Oompa Loompa during the Mike TV sequence in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory:

Oompa Loompa Doo-pa-dee-doo