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Astrobiology in peril April 30, 2006

Posted by dr. gonzo in Space.
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May the fountains of Enceladus erupt forth with their icy, geysery goodness. As those of you who pay attention to space-related news know the Saturnian moon Enceladus is the newest darling to astrobiologists. (more…)

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All at Once (It’s Not Important) April 28, 2006

Posted by dr. gonzo in Pop Culture.
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Song lyrics from The Secret Machines. Their album, "Ten Silver Drops" is out in the U.S. now so as a break I post these lyrics. By Monday I should have a couple interesting pieces for you to read, one on death as a business in America and another on some myths of the Drug War, perhaps a bigger waste of money than the Iraq War.

For now enjoy these lyrics: (more…)

Two posts today April 26, 2006

Posted by dr. gonzo in BlogNotes, Horse Slaughter.
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Two posts today, Chernobyl below and I did a pretty lengthy write up on horse slaughter, responding to a Montana letter to the editor and updating the status of current, federal horse slaughter related legislation.

Remembering Chernobyl April 26, 2006

Posted by dr. gonzo in Nuclear Power.
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Today marks the 20th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear disaster. It happened in the Ukraine.

Chernobyl, April 26, 1986. Blatant disregard for safety regulations led to a nuclear explosion and ensuing fire which contaminated huge areas of Europe.

Areas where people are still dying. And despite the fact that some areas will remain uninhabitable for 900 years, people are still living in the "exclusion zone" around the plant.

Here is a stunning set of photographs of the after effects of the disaster.

There is still significant debate about just how many people will eventually perish from Chernobyl related illnesses.

A sad day to be sure. But a day that must not be forgotten, as we know the sooner we forget the sooner it all happens over again.

Fun and silliness April 24, 2006

Posted by dr. gonzo in Miscellaneous.
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A pointless and fun post for today. Nothing serious is on my mind at the moment, nothing of the world at large anyway.

I was messing around with the quiz/meme site Blogthings. It's really kind of silly. But you can get some interesting answers if you are honest on the quizzes. There were literally hundreds of quizzes of various types on there. The code was screwy though. (more…)

Swine, more fear and more loathing April 23, 2006

Posted by dr. gonzo in DeKalb, Gonzo.
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Midnight approached with liquids free flowing. What was I doing? Enjoying a weekend. But alas, as the police approached all was not well. (more…)

Lyrids peak tonight April 21, 2006

Posted by dr. gonzo in Space.
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Lyrid meteor shower peaks tonight. Just how many meteors can be seen is up in the air but most of the time the Lyrid shower is a trickle (10 to 15 per hour).

However, like I said it's up in the air (literally-haha), In 1982 the shower peaked at an amazing 100+ meteors per hour. Wow.

If you want to see the Lyrids best viewing is in the pre-dawn hours away from city lights. The moon won't be out yet so viewing should be optimal. They will appear to radiate from the constellation Lyra, The Harp.

Lyra is easy to find. Just look for the brightest star in the sky in the predawn hours toward the north-northeast, it's Vega. The quadrilateral pattern around Vega, also easy to spot is Lyra.

You won't need to find Lyra to see the meteors though but just in case you wanted to find it there it is, an easy spot.

If you are patient and have a small telescope this year's shower could be especially interesting. The moon itself will be passing through the cometary debris cloud that creates the shower on Earth. If you have your scope pointed at the moon after it rises you just might get to witness a special treat. As the moon passes through the cloud it raises the possiblity that, through a telescope, you will be able to see some of the debris impact the moon creating bright flashes on its surface as they explode. Neat.

Jason-2 April 21, 2006

Posted by dr. gonzo in Science, Space.
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Everybody else had been writing about Venus and the ESA's sucessful orbital insertion of its Venus Express orbiter. Anyone who wasn't is writing about LCRSS, NASA's plan to slam an impactor into a lunar crater on the moons southern polar region to analyze the ejecta for water.

So this post is just going to avoid those topics, space news is kind of slow right now anyway but you can read about them elsewhere in great depth, just try a few of the blogs in the Space Blogroll or even the ESA link in the Space Links section on the sidebar.

Instead I am going to write about Jason. Macabre deaths and murderous rampages, not really. That's not the Jason I want to talk about. (more…)

Journalists in collusion with terrorists? April 19, 2006

Posted by dr. gonzo in Iraq.
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Editor's Note: Gonzo is a former journalism student and newspaper editor. 

Alright, I just read a couple posts on the media's use of local stringers in Iraq.

Clicked here first
And then here
And then on to Michelle Malkin
And from there to CBS news blog

The gist of these posts is that certain stringers in the Iraqi (hired by Western outlets) media appear to be in collusion with terrorists. The last three links center around Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist Bilal Hussein, who was apparently captured and taken into custody by coalition forces in Iraq. (more…)

Turkey point and NRC brief April 19, 2006

Posted by dr. gonzo in Nuclear Power.
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A few notes on nuclear power, I have been saving up a few items for several days, just haven't got to posting them until now.

Turkey Point Sabotage

The first bits of news items involve the Turkey Point Nuclear Plant, near Miami, which is the location of an act of suspected nuclear sabotage. (more…)

Historical perspective April 18, 2006

Posted by dr. gonzo in Iraq, Politics.
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A quick blast from the past.

Can someone tell me how this:

Time Mag. special 9-11 issue.  

Newsweek mag. special 9-11 issue.

Turned into/was allowed to turn into this:

Chicago Trib. Iraq invasion headline.  

Bloomington Pantagraph Iraq invasion headline. 

This concludes the blast from the past, brought to you by the "World Congress of Non-Paying Journalists."

Psycho blogger April 17, 2006

Posted by dr. gonzo in Crime.
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On the topic of morbid fascinations. This guy, Kevin Underwood (sicko), was arrested for the brutal murder of a 10 year old girl in Purcell, OK. Apparently he planned to eat her corpse. (more…)

Bunk science, bunk news April 17, 2006

Posted by dr. gonzo in Space.
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Marching in from the land of idiots is a never ending procession of bunk science, quacks, and downright anti-science musings from fools.

Add to this collection the news services offered up via Google and Yahoo! Both offer quick links to countless, legitimate news stories. But in addition they are blatant purveyors of misinformation and out and out falsehoods. (more…)

Comcast is com-suck-castic April 17, 2006

Posted by dr. gonzo in BlogNotes, Miscellaneous.
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I just have to say. To hell with Comcast. Those people suck. The outage tonight, while short, not only interuptted a post I was writing for this blog. But also interrupted my viewing of a film I have never seen called The Human Stain. That's just annoying.

Life in our solar system April 17, 2006

Posted by dr. gonzo in Space.
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This most excellent article, 8 worlds where life might exist, by Seth Shostak, Senior Astronomer at the SETI Institute, sums up the worlds in our system that may potentially harbor some form of extraterrestrial life. (more…)

Staring at the sky April 15, 2006

Posted by dr. gonzo in Space.
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Spent an hour or two last night observing Jupiter and the moon through a small reflector telescope. Very cool. Very easy to find. Jupiter's proximity to the moon made it easy to find, even in a crappy manual telescope.

Good times, always. Of course, the planet's disk made a rapid pass through the field of view, which made it difficult to keep up with because I don't have a schnazzy scope. But it is still cool. Cloud bands and variations in color were obvious and the moon, always stunning, gave up some breathtaking views near the edge of its disk.

Might be out there again with a more powerful lens trained on the Jovian system, looking for cool sights.

It’s raining ice April 14, 2006

Posted by dr. gonzo in Science.
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Earth is weird. I know this. But large ice chunks falling from the sky? I know, I know what you are thinking, airplanes. But it's not that obvious. Or maybe it is, depending on who you talk to. (more…)

R.I.P Proof April 13, 2006

Posted by dr. gonzo in Pop Culture.
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Rapper Proof shot dead in a nightclub in Detroit at age 32. Eight mile, what?

Asteroid Watch I April 12, 2006

Posted by dr. gonzo in Asteroids, Space.
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Currently watching JPL NEO site for information on 2004 VD17, Apophis, 2000 SG344. The following was taken directly from http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/risk/#legend. (more…)

The grand Iraq low-level civil war April 12, 2006

Posted by dr. gonzo in Iraq, Politics.
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“When foreigners come in with international solutions to local problems, it can create a dependency. A long-term foreign presence in a country can be unnatural. It is much like a broken bone. If it is not set properly at the outset, eventually, the muscles and tendons will grow around the break, and the body will adjust to the abnormal condition. This is what has happened in a number of places with a large foreign presence. Economies remain unreformed, distorted and dependent. Educated young people make more money as drivers for foreign workers, than as doctors or civil servants.”

Who said that? Hmmm . . . some dope smoking hippie? Nope. Some anti-American, commie? Nein. Who? None other than, ::drumroll:: . . . (more…)