Friday, July 22, 2005

New Miss Texas - Morgan Matlock & company

A new pic sent from a friend.... from left to right: me, the new Miss Texas, Morgan Matlock and Miss Dallas, Charlye Gwinn. This photo was taken right after the pageant at the awards ball held afterwards. It was a special night, and these are two special young ladies with bright futures.

NASA Aims for Tuesday Launch

Wired News: "NASA will try to launch Discovery on the first shuttle mission in more than two years next Tuesday, after tracing last week's fuel gauge failure to, most likely, an electrical grounding problem lurking inside the spacecraft.
Shuttle program manager Bill Parsons said the only way to thoroughly check the system is to fuel Discovery and have all its equipment running."

IM someone: the online popularity test

IM someone: the online popularity test - Highlights - "WASHINGTON - If all of life is like high school, at last we have the answer to the question that goes to the core of our id-driven, zit-popping, green-eyed insecurity:
Are you more popular, at this very second, than the person who's instant-messaging you?

Instant messaging, you will know, is the way tens of millions of Americans connect with their buddies faster than e-mail. Beginning this week, the 50 million users of AIM, America Online's version of instant messaging -- including nearly half of all Americans between the ages of 13 and 25 -- could perform a self-esteem check by visiting . There you enter your AOL or AIM screen name and your friend's AOL or AIM screen name. Then you click 'fight' to figure out who's got a bigger score -- as in who's better connected and more popular. You can almost hear the tap-tap-tapping on the keyboards right now."

Medication triggered madness of King George

Medication triggered madness of King George - Mental Health - "LONDON - Scientists have found high levels of arsenic in the hair of King George III and say the deadly poison may be to blame for the bouts of apparent madness he suffered.
In 1969, researchers proposed the strange behavior of the monarch who reigned during the American Revolution resulted from a rare hereditary blood disorder called porphyria.

However, a study this week in The Lancet medical journal found high concentrations of arsenic in the king's hair and contends the severity and duration of his episodes of illness may have been caused by the toxic substance."

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Latest bombers failed - Jul 21, 2005 : "LONDON, England (CNN) -- Two weeks to the day after the July 7 London bombings, attackers tried -- and failed -- to set off explosive devices at three Tube stations and on a double-decker bus. "

Steve learns to ski...

On his second waterski trip, Steve gets to ski. He was up for a good five/six minutes and looked awesome!

Sadie Gettin' Out of the Water

SKI Bunnies...

Last Tuesday, several of us went out to Mike and Pam's house for a little ski trip. The three lovely ladies you see there are much better to look at in this natural state than out on the lake trying to ski. Of the three pictured here, the redhead (Sadie) was the most successful. She actually saw some air and didn't suck in too much water for at least two or three milliseconds.

For me, it was a much more successful trip than my first attempt at waterskiing back in the early '90's. That evening ended in tears, gnashing of teeth and a couple of playful slugs at my friend at the time. This particular evening, while not ending in waterski success, did end without any significant bruises, scrapes, cuts or concussions. It did, however, end with a sword fighting lesson from one of our more adventurous colleagues, Steve. We took some great pictures, and Steve Photoshopped them to show me actually holding a light saber. My dream come true!

For me, it was quite a thrill to navigate the wooden practice blade in Jedi fashion - imagining the day when I meet Darth Vader or the next Darth and try to fend him off my kids. OK, so that is just a ridiculous fantasy, but oh well. I can dream, can't I???

All in all, it was a great bonding evening for the six of us. Mike was a great teacher - quite patient and very clear about feedback on each attempt. While we may not have had "success" in skiing (well, Steve did, but we're still not talking about that... he's just great), there was marked improvement over previous attempts.

Deep Impact stays on course for an encore - Space News

Deep Impact stays on course for an encore - Space News - "MSNBC staff and news service reports
Updated: 9:01 p.m. ET July 20, 2005
LOS ANGELES - NASA kept its comet-crunching Deep Impact spacecraft on course Wednesday for what could be an encore performance.

While the space agency's headquarters has not approved a specific future mission, it did give scientists at its Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena the go-ahead to bring the spacecraft closer to Earth's orbit for a potential mission extension.
'We're trying to maintain as many options as we can,' said Andrew Dantzler, the director of NASA's solar system division."

Comic Relief

Google Sees Record Search Queries In Second Quarter, July 20, 2005

InformationWeek > Search Engine Market > Google Sees Record Search Queries In Second Quarter > July 20, 2005: "Leading search engine Google Inc. attracted a record amount of traffic in the second quarter, but rivals Yahoo Inc. and Microsoft Corp.'s MSN also saw more Internet visitors, a web-tracking firm said Wednesday.

Mountain View, Calif.-based, Google ended the quarter with 37 percent of search queries, the highest percentage since ComScore Networks started tracking search engines in December 2003. In the same period a year ago, Google had 35.3 percent.

The number of search queries on Yahoo, Sunnyvale, Calif., rose to 30.4 percent from 28.2 percent in 2004, while No. 3 MSN saw an increase to 15.6 percent from 14.5 percent. Oakland, Calif.-based, Ask Jeeves, the No. 5 search engine, nearly doubled its traffic to 6.1 percent from 3.1 percent. "

ITunes-Disguised Worm Spreads Via IM, July 20, 2005

InformationWeek > Viruses & Worms > ITunes-Disguised Worm Spreads Via IM > July 20, 2005: "
A worm disguised as a file coming from iTunes, the popular online music service from Apple Computer Inc., has been found on America Online Inc.'s instant messaging service, a security firm said Wednesday.
The Opanki.worm, first reported earlier this month, arrives as the file iTunes.exe, Trend Micro Inc. said. The writer apparently is trying to trick the recipient into thinking that the file is associated with Apple's iTunes music software, which is installed in a PC to download and play songs from the company's online store. "

James ‘Scotty’ Doohan dies at age 85

The Associated Press

Updated: 11:02 a.m. ET July 21, 2005

LOS ANGELES - He made his name in Hollywood beaming his colleagues back to the safety of the Enterprise on “Star Trek.” Now, actor James Doohan’s family is hoping to beam him up to the “final frontier” that Doohan’s character “Scotty” loved so dearly.
The actor, who died Wednesday at age 85, had told relatives he wanted his ashes blasted into outer space, as was done for “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry.
“He’ll be there with his buddy, which is wonderful,” said Doohan’s agent and longtime friend, Steve Stevens.