I’m sure that most of you have heard about the success of NASA’s Deep Impact mission, which fired an “impactor” satellite at the comet Tempel 1 at 23,000 mph to study the debris generated by the impact. The Astronomy Photo Of The Day pages for yesterday and today have some nice “before” and “after” shots of the comet. By all accounts, the mission was a resounding success, although it could take years to analyze all of the data.
However, there is a somewhat disturbing development that could jeopardize this success. Apparently, a distraught Russian astrologer is suing NASA for $300 million for her “moral sufferings,” claiming that the mission “ruins the natural balance of forces in the universe” and will “deform her horoscope.” No word yet on any possible settlement… 😉
Ricky Gervais (of the BBC’s The Office fame) has a video detailing Phil Collins’ Live8 plans (embedded QuickTime video). The rest of his site is pretty funny too…
Google Weather Map is a nice combination of weather data on top of conventional Google Maps. You can even export current radar data to the external Google Earth application I posted about last week. Very cool…
I came upon an interesting Google Map hack:
The Iraq War Casualties Map uses Google Maps to display information about the soldiers we’ve lost in Iraq in their hometown with information about each (name, age, rank, hometown, and date and location of death).
SFGate.com recalls George Taber’s 1976 “filler article” in Time magazine about “The Paris Tasting” that “revolutionized wine”:
Taber’s news brief – about French judges choosing a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Chardonnay from Napa Valley as superior to the best from their mother country in a blind tasting in Paris – continues to have impact around the wine world.
Apparently, up to the time of that tasting, one of the biggest misconceptions in the oenological world was that only France had the right terroir, “the sum of the effects that the environment has on the vines which produce a particular wine,” to make great wines. “After the Paris tasting, [it was] learned there are good soils everywhere – California, Australia, Chile.”
I am by no means a wine connoisseur (more of a beer man), but I have enjoyed some Shiraz wines that I’ve tried. I still haven’t really found any white wines that I like, though…
In celebration of its 125th anniversary, Science Magazine has a feature with “125 big questions that face scientific inquiry over the next quarter-century.”
I hope that you got a chance to watch the Live 8 Concert last Saturday; we watched almost all of the 8-hour broadcast. Some of the MTV/VH1 hosts got pretty annoying after a while, and the televised broadcasts rarely showed an entire performance of a song. However, there were notable exceptions, like the awesome performances by The Who and the reunion of the original Pink Floyd members. And the sheer diversity of performers was pretty cool…
As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, the Live 8 concerts were held in nine venues throughout the world and are almost exactly twenty years after the Live Aid concerts that Bob Geldof also organized. Unlike Live Aid, though, whose purpose was to raise money to combat poverty in Africa, Live 8’s purpose is to raise awareness about poverty in developing countries in order to pressure leaders attending the upcoming July 6th G8 summit in Scotland to do more for the world’s poorest countries. As Bob Geldof states, “in 2005 it is your voice we are after, not your money.”
The ONE Campaign is:
a new effort by Americans to rally Americans – ONE by ONE – to fight the emergency of global AIDS and extreme poverty. The ONE Campaign is engaging Americans through a diverse coalition of faith-based and anti-poverty organizers to show the steps people can take, ONE by ONE, to fight global AIDS and poverty.
Show your support for this worthy cause by visiting the ONE Campaign’s Action Page and making your voice heard through some of their suggested methods.
GoodBlimey has an awesome collection of mash-ups available to listen and download as MP3s (Flash needed for player/download interface).