‘Cause the Chiefs and the Kings both won today and I’m all relaxed and sports-ed out, that’s why.
- The results of yesterday’s “research project“? First, the margarita was quite good. It was the first time that I had tried the pre-mixed stuff that you simply pour over ice. Maybe not quite as good as making them “from scratch,” but not bad at all.
- In case you didn’t notice, there was a comet that came thiiiiiis close to Mars earlier today. From Earth and from Earth orbit (where the Hubble Space Telescope and other telescopes are) it was a unique event. From Mars orbit (where there are five orbiting spacecraft from NASA, ESA, and the Indian space agency) and from the surface of Mars (where Curiosity and Opportunity are exploring), it should have been spectacular. All of our orbiting spacecraft have reported in as safe and unharmed from any impacts with dust, ice, or debris from the comet. It will take a few days to download the data and photos, but keep and eye open, there may be some amazing things coming.
- For Halloween this year, we’ll be taking the telescopes out as we do, offering kids (and their parents) a look at some of the brighter objects.
- Secondly, the cookies & cream ice cream was wonderful. The hard stuff, the real Dryer’s full-of-fat-and-lining-my-arteries-as-I-eat-it brand, none of this “reduced fat” or “fat free” crap.
- Speaking of amazing views of comets, the European Rosetta spacecraft has been getting closer and closer to Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko for months now. In about ten days it will release the Philae lander, which will try to make the first soft landing on a comet, where it should send back data for at least a few days. After that the batteries will be discharged, but if we’re lucky and the solar panels can keep recharging the batteries, we could get data for months. Keep an eye out for some mind-boggling images there.
- There’s something in the pine trees out in back. I could hear it last night, and so could Joey and Jessie. I went out and looked, but never saw it. But from the sound, it’s good sized, not just a squirrel or two. On a related note, something’s back walking around on my roof at night. I figured Rocky and/or Raquel, but either I’ve forgotten how loud it can be when they’re walking around or they’ve grown quite a bit. Or it could be something bigger than a raccoon?
- Third, while each was excellent in their own right, combined they were marginal at best. The margarita seemed much too tangy and bitter when drunk immediately after a bite of ice cream. Thank goodness I didn’t take The Long-Suffering Wife’s suggestion of pouring the margarita over the ice cream.
- The Philea lander has a camera which is separate from the cameras on the Rosetta “mothership.” This allowed it to take a selfie of Rosetta with Comet 67P only 16 km away. Wow!
- The leading candidates for the tree critter: Raccoon, opossum, owl, mutant tree-climbing bunny rabbit, cougar, bear, E.T.
- Finally, next time it would be best to do the before-bed chores (locking up the house, doing the dishes, cleaning the cat boxes, and so on) before having the margarita, not after. A relaxed, mellow, fuzzy state of mind does not lend itself to thoughts of, “Crap, I’ve still got to clean the cat boxes!”
- Final astronomical heads up for the week is a partial solar eclipse this Thursday, October 23rd. The areas of visibility are pretty much the same as the total lunar eclipse on October 8th — the two eclipses are related. (Celestial mechanics and all of that sort of thing.) Go look at it if you have the chance, maybe even try to photograph it, but above all, BE SAFE WHEN LOOKING AT THE SUN. (Pop Quiz Redux — What should you never, EVER do because it really, REALLY will make you go blind?) There are ways to do it simply and cheaply (i.e., pinhole projection or a $2 “eclipse filter”), but doing it wrong can lead you to a world of hurt. Be safe, enjoy the sight!
- November 1st is just thirteen days away, which means…NaNoWriMo. Should I, or shouldn’t I? Any suggestions for a plot, genre, or style you would like to see me tackle?
Remember, “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro!”