A ship may be safe in the harbor, but that's not what ships are for.
Ethnicity. that of my father and his father before him
Location Cherry Hills Vil, CO
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The Link To Zanzibar's Past
This is my page in the beloved art community that my sister got me into:
Extra points for people who know what Samarinda is.
The Phases of the Moon Module
The Tree and the Telephone Pole
I Do Not Know Their Names
Today I am Young
A Night Poem
Siren of the Sea
If I Were a Dragon
To the Dreamers Leave the Sky
The Honor of the Oyster
Return From San Diego
A Late Summer's Night
Of Dragons and Men
The Edge of the World
The Snake's Terror
Metaphysics and the Middaymoon
Of Adventures in Foreign Lands
The Rogue Wave: The Unedited Version
Adventures in the PRC
Voyage of Discovery
Drinking the Blood of Goats
Ticket for a Phantom Bus
Os peixes nadam o mar
Three Villages Far Away
The River Weser
Children I Should Have Kidnapped, Part I
Let's Get You Out of Those Clothes
If Underwear Could Speak
Croc Hunter/Combat Wombat
Only My Favorite Baseball Player EVER
Aw, Larry Walker, how I loved thee.
M: Science and Exploration
T: Cook a nice dinner
Th: Parties, movies, dinners
F: Picnics, the Louvre
S: Read books, go for walks, PARKOUR
Su: Philosophy, Religion
The Reading List
This list starts Summer 2006
A Crocodile on the Sandbank
Tales of the Alhambra (in progress)
Dark Lord of Derkholm
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
The Lost Years of Merlin
Harry Potter a l'ecole des sorciers (in progress)
Atlas Shrugged (in progress)
A Long Way Gone (story of a boy soldier in Sierra Leone- met the author! w00t!)
The Eye of the World: Book One of the Wheel of Time
From Magma to Tephra (in progress)
Lady Chatterley's Lover
Harry Potter 7
The No. 1 Lady's Detective Agency
Introduction to Planetary Volcanism
A Child Called "It"
Is Multi-Culturalism Bad for Women?
Americans in Southeast Asia: Roots of Commitment (in progress)
What's So Great About Christianity?
Aeolian Dust and Dust Deposits
The City of Ember
The People of Sparks
When I was in Cuba, I was a German Shepard
The Golden Compass
Clan of the Cave Bear
The 9/11 Commission Report (2nd time through, graphic novel format this time, ip)
The Incredible Shrinking Man
The Elves of Cintra
The Gypsy Morph
Animorphs #23: The Pretender
Animorphs #25: The Extreme
Animorphs #26: The Attack
A Journey to the Center of the Earth
A Great and Terrible Beauty
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
To Sir, With Love
Alice in Wonderland
Through the Looking Glass
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
The Hunger Games
Shadows and Strongholds
The Jungle Book
Beatrice and Virgil
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
No One Ever Told Us We Were Defeated
The Name of the Wind
Tao Te Ching
What Paul Meant
Lao Tzu and Taoism
Sand and Sandstones
Lost Christianites: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew
The Science of God
Great Contemporaries, by Winston Churchill
City of Bones
Around the World in 80 Days, by Jules Verne
want to read: Last Hunger Games Book, Honeybee Democracy, The Bell Jar
Sunday. 1.20.08 5:59 pm
The surface of Mercury is a many-splendored thing. Let me put us into context: Mercury, the first planet in our Solar System, named for the messenger of the gods because of its fleet-footed movements across the sky.
Mercury is extremely difficult to view by telescope because it is so close to the sun. That means that whenever Mercury rises in the night sky, the sun is close behind it, or in front of it, making it extremely difficult to see. The giant, looming sun also poses the greatest difficulty in sending a spacecraft to the planet, which is the other reason that so little of it has been seen or mapped even though its existence has been known since thousands of years B.C. According to the people on the MESSENGER mission, the sun on Mercury would appear about three times as large as it does here on the Earth and would be 11 times as bright.
To send a spacecraft into orbit around Mercury requires incredible precision and a lot of planning. Mariner 10, the first spacecraft to view Mercury, was a flyby mission, meaning that it went into orbit around the sun at an orbit comparable to Mercury's, and then took pictures of the planet every time their two orbits intersected. This was over 30 years ago, and it was the first time that anyone had used the gravity of another planet (in this case Venus) to help the spacecraft along its way and to save the fuel it would take for course corrections.
It wouldn't take very long to fly a spacecraft straight at Mercury. However, by the time it arrived, it would be traveling at a tremendous speed, and the amount of fuel it would take to fight the ever-growing gravitational pull of the sun (which scales as a square to the inverse radius) would be unfeasible. Instead, the spacecraft travels towards Mercury in circles around the sun with ever lessening radii. In the case of MESSENGER, at the moment that the spacecraft was launched, it is traveling the same speed as the Earth, which is a little bit less than 70,000 mph. After making some changes in its speed and direction, it flies for a year before encountering the speeding Earth again. This time it uses the gravity well of the Earth to help modify its speed and direction, and it makes a slightly smaller circle which lines it up to intersect with the planet Venus. MESSENGER had two Venus flybys, each about a year apart and each modifying the trajectory just a bit, until it finally moved into the orbit of Mercury. You can control the way that a planet affects your flight path by planning how fast you will be going with respect to the planet (You can change this by changing your angle of approach) and how far away you are when you fly by (which changes the magnitude of the change that the planet can make in your trajectory).
On January 14th, the spacecraft flew by Mercury in the first of three flybys that it will complete before orbital insertion. Each flyby will slow down the spacecraft and prepare it to burn its thrusters and be captured by the gravity of the small planet. It is a great difficulty to avoid being drawn in by the immense gravity of the sun and to catch the gravity of the tiny planet Mercury.
um... I'll have to continue this later...
The Tour of the Solar System (coming soon)
Friday. 1.18.08 1:50 pm
At the moment I am up to my eyes in pictures of Mercury. Maybe up to about 6 ft above my head. But upon my return to Earth, I will explain all of Mercury's mysteries! Except for those which are under embargo, of course, and those secrets of the solar system that I am saving so as to become rich and famous in the future. Those being relative terms.
In fact, I think I will embark upon ZANZIBAR'S TOUR OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM... starting at the first planet, Mercury, of course, and moving outwards. But every voyage needs a crew...
Wednesday. 1.16.08 6:15 pm
THE OTHER SIDE OF MERCURY
Tuesday. 1.15.08 6:39 pm
We've seen the other side. Buuuuut, I can't tell you about it yet. HAHAHAHHAA. Watch for the press release at 8 tonight.
The Unknown Shall be Made Known
Sunday. 1.13.08 10:00 am
Well guys, looks like I have to fly down to NASA and be there when the images come down from the Mercury flyby and we see the side of Mercury that has never before been seen by spacecraft. No more will we have a globe of Mercury with half of it covered by a mysterious shroud of gray and marked "unknown". Yes, the hidden shall be revealed tomorrow, January 14th, 2008; the final frontier of the terrestrial planets will be explored; all things will be made known.
I'll be gone for like 8 days; I may or may not have internet access... according to my supervisor we're going to be working like 24 hours a day to get the pictures and data ready for public and scientific debut. So if you see a link about MERCURY on your MSN or Yahoo homepage, click it, and read about the intercrater plains, and think of me, your friend Zanzibar, slaving away at the Applied Physics Laboratory just for you. My job is so hard.
The Welshman: "Is there a problem with me getting access to NASA seeing as I'm not a native American?"
Jimothy: "I don't think any of us are Native Americans, actually..."
Jay: "A bag of Skittles says there's an alien civilization."
Me: "I'll take that bet."
Jay: "Uh, actually, lets make the bet 1 or 2 alien civilizations."
Me: "What if one is a suburb of the other?"
North of Lake Chaubunagungamaug
Saturday. 1.12.08 9:22 am
The day was spent dilly-dallying. Everyone was distracted with anticipation. Around 2:30 the Welshman and I started making preparations, and Thalweg joined us around 2:45, too distracted to focus on work anymore. We piled into the Adventure Camry, picked up the Welshman's girlfriend, we'll call her the Coolest Chick Eva, and we headed for the Great North.
That was the year I entered Princeton. That is to say, 2008, when I drove into the small town of Princeton, Massachusetts. Before we knew it, we were there! The finest ski resort in Southern New England: Wachusett Mountain. You know the one, just a bit north of Lake Chaubunagungamaug?
We suited up and off we went, shedding any and all thoughts of work, Thursdays, or Providence, Rhode Island that remained lodged in our conscious minds and shredding some coarse false powder, which slid over our skis more like pellets of plastic than snow.
All might have gone well this night, if not for one thing: Thalweg, the fastest skiier known to man, had not yet learned to stop. So it was that we went on a very steep blue run with many jumps and Thalweg mistakenly took one of the largest jumps available and executed perfectly the face-land... that is, she landed directly on her face, and slid down the mountain on it a fair way until her Thalwegian visage was covered in blood.
After several chocolate-covered sugar-waffles at Das Waffle Haus and a trip to the ski patrol hut, we were back on the slopes, and had a representative from In Touch magazine been watching, they would have consulted a plastic surgeon which does not treat the star and he would have agreed most heartily that Thalweg had had some augmentation done to her upper lip, which was now near twice its previous size. Her spokesperson would be unavailable for comment.
The way home, marked by the deep sleep of the Welshman and the Coolest Chick Eva in the backseat of the Adventure Camry, and an unfortunate >1-hr detour into the state of Connecticut, was nonetheless a perfect ending for a perfect night of skiing, and a great mischevious self-satisfaction took over all of us, as we had just been in another world, and no one would know when we went to work the next day. Except Thalweg of course, who can't laugh without splitting her lip, but who assured curious passersby that the wound was cosmetic and that they should feel sorry for the slope itself, which had to be taken away in a stretcher. Many stretchers, really, given the size of the slope.
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