GOOD-BYE, JULES VERNE: European mission controllers commanded the robotic cargo carrier Jules Verne to re-enter Earth's atmosphere over the south Pacific Ocean on September 29. The disintegrating spacecraft made a spectacular fireball observed by at least one NASA aircraft and possibly the International Space Station. First pictures at SPACE WEATHER
VIENNA (AFP) - The Vegetable Orchestra has been playing with its food for 10 years, delighting audiences from Belfast to Hong Kong with its self-made cucumberphones, celery bongos, pepper trumpets and leek violins. Drawing inspiration from electronic music artists such as Germany's Kraftwerk or John Cage, the dozen musicians from Vienna carve and chop their own instruments to create a truly organic sound. The orchestra, which has racked up almost 2 million hits on the video-sharing YouTube website (VIENNA VEGETABLE ORCHESTRA) also offers its fans a treat after each concert: vegetable soup. "But we're not necessarily vegetarians or militant environmentalists," Wilhelm said. "Besides, our instruments aren't organic. That would make them too expensive."
"For a few weeks, advocates of choice have been using e-mail to announce a nationwide campaign for donations to be sent to Planned Parenthood in Sarah Palin's name. I checked with PP representatives, who said that as of Friday, the organization had received $763,350, from 29,609 individuals in all 50 states. More than two-thirds of that money came from first-time donors." (Leah Garchik, San Francisco Chronicle, September 29)
Recently, someone posted a link to an article implying that Pacifica schools might not be seismically safe. According to my source at the Pacifica School District, our schools are as safe as can be:
"As part of the modernization, geotechnical surveys were done at each school site. The design incorporated seismic upgrades based on survey. All plans were approved by the State's division of architecture to ensure that they were built to the highest safety standards: current seismic requirements, fire plans, and general structural integrity. The district hired a licensed contractor to oversee the projects to ensure that each school was built to plan and code. The bond money approved by the voters in 1996 was spent wisely to ensure that elementary students are in safe, beautiful schools, which are a source of pride for our entire community."
We have tons of rotting meat on our beaches and it's no one's job to do anything about it. City of Pacifica seems to think that the Marine Mammal Center (MMC) has to do it, but that is just not true. MMC looks after only live animals, not dead ones. The Academy of Sciences might want a bit of them for some sort of sample, but they don't remove them, either. I found that out from the MMC itself, when I spoke with its representatives at the Fog Fest. I asked what we can do about it and they told me there are three options. We can tow them out to sea, bury them, or ignore them. The first is preferable, but it would require a boat of some sort that the city, to my knowledge, does not have. The second might be easier to do. We get the "Bad Boys" who do public service for the county instead of sit in county jail, and I think that burying dead seals might be just the sort of task that they are suited for. They do go around now to clean streets and empty garbage cans, so we could feasibly add that work detail to their duties. At first, it might resemble the scene in the Reno 911 movie with the whale, but I am sure they will eventually get the hang of it. Let's get a number to call to report dead carrion on the beach and a work detail to bury it then. The last option, which we do now, has these wonderful creatures exposed and rotting for months on end down there. There are certain environmentalist fanatics who really do believe that the public should never be allowed in a natural environment except in strictly controlled settings. I and the rest of the public who love nature and the beaches hold them in contempt. I don't want to send photos of the dead animals, but trust me, they are there. What should be done?