An Explosion on the Moon

Read about this via Eliot. It turns out, I could have listened to it as well.

So you thought nothing ever happens on the moon? [NASA]
NASA scientists have observed an explosion on the moon. The blast, equal in energy to about 70 kg of TNT, occurred near the edge of Mare Imbrium (the Sea of Rains) on Nov. 7, 2005, when a 12-centimeter-wide meteoroid slammed into the ground traveling 27 km/s.

“What a surprise,” says Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) researcher Rob Suggs, who recorded the impact’s flash. He and colleague Wes Swift were testing a new telescope and video camera they assembled to monitor the moon for meteor strikes. On their first night out, “we caught one,” says Suggs. [more]

Very cool! It’s hard to get research luck like that.

More About the “Reach” PSA From NASA

Here is some more about the NASA PSA I mentioned last week. I stumbled across this info from NASA’s Exploration Systems Mission Directorate at SpaceRef via NASA Watch.

“”Karen O. Lau and David E. Sanders created the original “Reach” public service announcement (PSA) as part of the NASA Means Business competition in 2003. Information on that effort (and more) is online here.

General information on the annual NASA Means Business competitions can be found here.

NASA and its contractors assisted Ms. Lau and Mr. Sanders in bringing the film to broadcast quality by providing post production assistance, editing, and image compositing. They also edited the sound and images down to the industry standard 30 seconds and broadened the original Mars message to one that now incorporates the Moon and “Beyond” as well.

The PSA has been shown on NASA-TV and the National Geographic Channel and numerous university stations. It was featured at the recent Yuri’s Night celebrations. It will shortly be seen in the lobby displays of Regal theaters across the country.”

All these worlds are yours, except Europa…

Ian and I are gearing up for another week on our own. Actually, I’m gearing up, he is blissfully unaware.

Audrey is getting ready to head out tomorrow for NASA Planetary Science Summer School.

WHAT: A one-week intensive team exercise learning the process of developing a robotic mission concept into reality through concurrent engineering.

The trainees participate in a team activity to develop a mission proposal, working with JPL’s Advanced Projects Design Team (“Team X”) and other concurrent engineering teams. Using JPL’s Project Design Center, trainees assume roles including principal investigator, project manager, and mission and system designers. They are mentored and assisted by corresponding JPL proposal organizers and Team X members. The team carries out the equivalent of an early concept study responsive to a selected NASA Science Mission Directorate Announcement of Opportunity, prepares a proposal authorization review presentation, presents it to a review board, and receives feedback.

WHEN: Session 1: July 25-29, 2005 (18 participants)

WHERE: Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA

WHY: To prepare the next generation of engineers and scientists to participate in future missions of solar system exploration.

As I understand it, their concept is putting a lander on Europa. (insert obligatory “Attempt no landings here” comment)

I am really proud of her. The only problem is, I just can not figure out how to make the transition from archaeologist to space scientist. 🙂

[ha ha only half-serious]

Very Cool NASA PSA

Audrey pointed me to this extremely cool NASA public service announcement (mpeg file) that she noticed at the University of North Dakota’s Department of Space Studies.

It gives me goose bumps! 🙂

later: goose bumps is an understatement. it makes me weep with hope and optimism, this is one of the most forward-looking things I have seen in a long time in regards to we humans. I downloaded the file and have watched it over a dozen times. it really strikes a chord with me.

ER Followup

Thanks for the emails and comments about Ian’s early morning adventure. You all are fantastic. I should have reassured you and mentioned that he was quite cheerful on the way home and through the rest of today.

Ian was doing our routine of saying ‘hi’ to the city buses, bicycles, motorcycles and birds while driving along (“Hi bus! Where ya goin’?”) and generally making his parents aware that we were the ones holding on to the morning’s events, not him.

The only down moment came when he took his shirt off in preparation for going to bed tonight and saw the band-aid on his arm where the IV was. “That’s my big owie! That hurt!” and started to sniffle. So, we got the T-Rex pj top on ASAP in the hopes that ‘out of sight’ would help.

It did, a little. But it really wasn’t until it was lights out and time to say good night to the luminescent star constellations on his bedroom ceiling that he really started to quit fussing about his arm. And by the time we finished the second bedtime song, he was singing and clapping along.

What a great kid, and you are all a bunch of great people. Thanks!

Oh yeah, farting hasn’t been a problem…

Coming up: Audrey’s trip to Huston next week for The Workshop on Radar Investigations of Planetary and Terrestrial Environments at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in the Center for Advanced Space Studies in the land of TLAs (three letter acronyms).

blivet – 10/23/2001

Ian Lovell Rager

The little guy now has a name.

Ian was released from the nursery last night and stayed in Audrey’s room with us for most of the night. He still gets some antibiotics a couple of times a day. Everyone is very helpful

The name Ian has no clear association with either of our families, we just like it. Lovell was my maternal Grandfather’s given name (Lovell Martin Boyle). According to several of the baby name books we have, it is a Celtic name that means ‘Wolf’. Ian’s Great-Grandfather was the first generation of his family born in America. Both of Lovell’s parents were from Ireland.

I’ve updated what has become Ian’s announcement page accordingly.

I’m overwhelmed by the responses we have received. I’m printing them to take to Audrey in the hospital. Thank you all so very, very much. forehead to floor…

And now, for something completely different.

The Odyssey will arrive at Mars on October 24, 2001, 0230 Universal Time (October 23, 7:30pm PDT). As in tonight. Yesh!

I would love to find out how to get access to something like the Favorites List again, now that Weblogs.Com has emerged from its chrysalis.

Three from wood s lot:

Mitsu: Against dogma
Gentle Leonard (Leonard Cohen)

garret and sandra are heading west.

Apple releases iPod

At an event at Apple headquarters in Cupertino today, CEO Steve Jobs announced the company’s new digital device. Dubbed the iPod, the new device is the size of a deck of cards — 2.4″ wide x 4″ tall by .78″ thick and weighs 6.5 ounces. It also features a one-hour recharge, a 10-hour battery capacity that charges over FireWire and 20 minute skip protection. The iPod can download an entire CD in under 10 seconds.

I have little to no use for an iPod, even if it is from the mothership. I’m not against it mind you, it does tweak my technophile receptors, but I don’t even listen to CDs that much. I wouldn’t know a good mp3 player if it tap danced across the store counter. If it was an updated Newton-ish pda, however, I would have to lock the credit cards away.

blivet – 6/17/2001 Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day to all you fathers and grandfathers out there.

It is also Juneteenth, the oldest known celebration of the ending of slavery. via Jeff

Congratulations to Olov Schedin and girlfriend Sara on the birth of another daughter! Olov is Jonas Beckman‘s business partner.

I have this mental image of a very determined garret on his knees in the corner of the yard with a pair of scissors. A trail of light industrial flotsam and jetsam (come apart grass clippers, broken electric trimmer, dull reel mower) leads back to the garage. cut to: <sandra in the doorway> garret, the lawn can wait… <garret> No, it’s become a matter of principle! <scissor noises> snip, snip, <garret mutters> going camping next weekend <fade scissor sounds> I hope today’s hike is bug-free.

Pictures of Ireland from André’s trip.

Sense objects.

upcoming: 7/20 at the las vegas house of blues :: warren zevon

I’m trying to find a certain photograph of my Dad to scan and post…
I never located that particular picture album pfffbbbt!

Audrey is gone to Boulder, Colorado for a week to take a short course in Hyperspectral Imaging and Data Analysis using ENVI software at The Center for the Study of the Earth from Space. The course is offered cooperatively by CSES, Analytical Imaging and Geophysics (AIG), and Analytical Spectral Devices (ASD) at CSES facilities in the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She has been using the software quite successfully for over a year, along with ERDAS Imagine and ESRI Arc GIS. The instructors are the people who wrote the software, so I bet she will come back able to make ENVI jump through hoops.

She is going to stay with her parents in northern Denver and commute to Boulder, then spend the weekend with them before returning to Las Vegas. I’m going to miss her terribly… sigh But, I have things to do…

I’ll leave you with this from Daily Zen:

Every day priests minutely

Examine the Dharma

And endlessly chant

Complicated sutras.

Before doing that, though,

They should learn

How to read the love letters

Sent by the wind and rain,

The snow and moon.

– Ikkyu (1394-1491)

blivet – 5/8/2001

I met with my thesis advisor for four hours today. I’m there. The statistics work, the null is rejected. I’ve already written this part up three times, only to watch it crumble as problems with the methodology or data were uncovered. This time I’ve waited for that joyous advisor phrase, ‘yeah, you got it’. A couple of weeks of hammering ought too it – i imagine slightly more than 100 pages of text total (sans figures, tables, and graphs). I need to write about 25-30 pages. Then it’s time to dump it into PageMaker and ‘sign ze papers’. Piece of cake.

I have no idea where this phrase came from but it always seems to fit. Now that you’ve got the first 80 percent done, you only have to do the last 80 percent.

David Singer is going to accompany his son Jeffrey’s class to Space Camp. I think there should be an adult Space Camp. I’d go! ‘Mr. Rager, you’ve been in there long enough. You need to let the children try the Lunar landing simulator…’

Just in from the site, 11:30 and it’s 97°F. Yep, it will start getting warm soon…


Lots of scanning and putting together graphics for a series of large format posters for Wednesday. Tomorrow will be a session with spray-mount and the foam-board. We’ll just talk from the posters. I think it will be more engaging this way, we’ll move around more and not get bogged down with the minutiae that even Archaeologists don’t care about. I think the message will come across better this way. On a side note, I love our HP 2500CM plotter. I used to care and feed for a CalComp 48″ electrostatic plotter that was a nightmare. The HP is just a big 36″ ink-jet Postscript printer. And it just works …

Dave has been thinking about why we never went back to the moon. I read this a while ago and took a walk to think about it. Not because it disturbed me, though it did a little. Reflecting on the space program often disturbs me a bit because I was late to the realization that we really did go to beat the Russians. Somehow I had come to the conclusion that the real reason was the challenge, the quest for space. ‘To boldly go’ and all that. I think that’s the story I wanted to believe. However, I think Dave is spot-on. Going to the Moon may have saved the world. But he ou; [import pproblem? –ed.] it much better than I could paraphrase here. Go have a read …

And so to work …

I know it don’t thrill you,

I hope it don’t kill you.

Welcome to the Working Week…

Elvis Costello

Al‘s finger will take some time to heal (8 weeks), He’s certainly opened my eyes to some hazards of the caregiver profession. I’d never considered the patients to be on that list.

Dave’s absolutely right. I must work on that …


I hope all the Americans had a good Memorial Day weekend and fostered some recognition of why we do this to our children. I was a little surprised at how many people (adults) I knew asked about the red poppy on my shirt that I got for contributing to the Veterans today.

OK, I’ll tone down the Manila Express entries. Its just too easy to add links this way! I miss the of bit extra thinking that takes place with multiple cutting and pasting … I’ll adjust.

John at Curmudgeon contributes his personal experience with The Lessons of a Lost Career. “College administrations do not always have academics as their first priority. (A bit tangential, but …)” and of course, that is where it gets interesting.

[have browser] Jim Roepcke is having major problems with his wisdom teeth. I’d watch out for that lower right one too! Ow! Been through that, more on the way elsewhere in the mouth.

[CNN] Rare Mars meteorite discovered in Middle East (a couple of days old but new to me)

A meteorite hunter combing the deserts of Oman found a stone thought to have originated on Mars. Of the 20,000 known meteorite discoveries, the brownish gray stone is only the 15th identified as coming from the red planet, scientists said this week. <…> The rock has chemical similarities to a Mars meteorite found in Antarctica in 1984, which some NASA researchers said exhibits fossilized signs of microscopic life.

more [CNN] Rocker Eddie Van Halen receiving cancer treatment Apparently its an experimental preventative treatment for cancer of the tongue. Man! Another guy my age battling the big C.

David Anderson at Montana News Daily writes: "James V. Smith, the editor of the Shelby Promoter, has written a fine reflection on Memorial Day. Lots of good stuff in this piece. Here’s a teaser:

We disdain reflection in others and fear it in ourselves.

We pack our lives with ferocious activity as if that will somehow give worth to living. In fact, what do we say about somebody not being busy? That he is wasting his life away.

But do not equate activity with achievement, nor reflection with idling and most importantly, do not fail to reflect on Memorial Day.”

They Write the Right Stuff: The right stuff kicks in at T-minus 31 seconds.

At T-minus 6.6 seconds, if the pressures, pumps, and temperatures are nominal, the computers give the order to light the shuttle main engines — each of the three engines firing off precisely 160 milliseconds apart, tons of super-cooled liquid fuel pouring into combustion chambers, the ship rocking on its launch pad, held to the ground only by bolts. As the main engines come to one million pounds of thrust, their exhausts tighten into blue diamonds of flame.

Then and only then at T-minus zero seconds, if the computers are satisfied that the engines are running true, they give the order to light the solid rocket boosters. In less than one second, they achieve 6.6 million pounds of thrust. And at that exact same moment, the computers give the order for the explosive bolts to blow, and 4.5 million pounds of spacecraft lifts majestically off its launch pad.

It’s an awesome display of hardware prowess. But no human pushes a button to make it happen, no astronaut jockeys a joy stick to settle the shuttle into orbit. <…> What makes it remarkable is how well the software works. This software never crashes. It never needs to be re-booted. This software is bug-free. It is perfect, as perfect as human beings have achieved. Consider these stats : the last three versions of the program — each 420,000 lines long-had just one error each. The last 11 versions of this software had a total of 17 errors. Commercial programs of equivalent complexity would have 5,000 errors.

The space program has always been a part of my life. I stayed home from school in the first grade to watch John Glenn fly the Friendship 7. I stayed up for three days in the middle of July 1969. I wept for several hours and was depressed for days after the Challenger disaster. These folks who write the software for the Shuttle are fantastic purveyors of their craft. One error. Wow. For whatever reason it reminds me of an interview I read once with Reinhold Messner. He was a high altitude climber who did his climbing solo. He soloed Everest, Denali, and a number of peaks in the Hindu Kush, as well as a lot of ice climbing (waterfalls in the winter, that sort of thing). He was asked if he made mistakes climbing solo in these extreme conditions and he replied: "I don’t think so, You only get to make one."

[Book Notes] A Happy 25th Anniversary to the Jensen’s!

[Book Notes] “I’m reading A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr. I mentioned it last Friday as a title I was adding the Books as Characters project.” What a fantastic book! As a Science Fiction reader, I love that book. As an archaeologist I love it even more, not only as a reminder that the past (in this case the book’s far past is our present) should be spoken of with care, but that we can never fully imagine what ir was like then … Or as Anne McCaffery wrote in the Dragonrider series – somewhen.


Jeremy’s CyberCafe and Beer Haus is up for sale, but what’s really cool about it is that it is located just outside of Joshua Tree National Park in the Southern California desert, and they have a full T-1 line that they’re selling along with the business. Hmm…T-1 access plus nearby national park? Maybe we should take up a collection and buy it ourselves? 🙂

I couldn’t agree more! I’ve given some thought to doing CRM archaeology based out of Joshua Tree but the nagging question is “is there enough work there and in the vicinity?” Still, … a cybercafé in the Mojave desert!

I just posted that with Manila Express – This is very cool. Thanks!

[Manila Express] Earlier today Brent released Manila Express for the Macintosh. Manila Express makes it easy to add links to the home page of a Manila site (like this one) without having to go there. Brent has written a How I Did It piece to help us get set up.

Dave notes that Themes are in the pipeline, also largely due to Brent’s efforts.

Al at View From the Heart used a term in his weblog this morning that is new (to me at least) and is so self-evident I don’t understand why its not more widely used in the lexicon. EditThisPage friends. Yep…