Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Smooth Riding in the North Alantic....NOT!

Okay, now imagine your riding around in a round barrel much lower in the water, with a big "Sail" sticking up just waiting for a wave to splash along the side instead a ship like is shown here!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Git er done! One show Down (Thursday) and two to go!

Friday, March 16, 2007

REALLY!! ...It IS a Small World!

Fifty-Four Years Ago...

Tom Davis (3rd from left, top row) and Walter Reitz, (directing) both now in their 80's performed with my mother in this 1953 edition of the Amherst Male Glee Club Show. Actually, I should say, my mother performed with them!! Anyway, this coming week will be the 59th year of continuous production of the Amherst Male Glee Club, under the direction of its founder, Walter E. Reitz!
The accompanying clipping explains a bit about the show that year.

My mother passed away November 2005, which also happened to be the same day Walter Reitz transferred ownership of his summer cabin to me. ..What comes around, goes around I guess!

For those of you reading this blog who happen to be BOSTON Shipmates, that is as long as the service life of the hull of the old Protected Cruiser BOSTON under its two names!


Thursday, March 15, 2007

There's No Business like Show Business!

Time for another Glee Club Show!

One week from tonight is opening night!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Ah Yes! Atomic Power has it's moments!

Nothing like that WARM BLUE GLOW greeting you in the morning!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

"Grounds" For Removal?...

...Bean There, Done That!

You know the old saying: "For All the Tea in China" well, it seems that "StarBucks" is in BIG trouble with the Chinese Government over what really amounts to a "Hill O' Beans".

Read: "Chinese Lawmaker Revives Calls to Oust Starbucks From Beijing's Forbidden City" for more on this late-breaking story!

Frankly, I think it's time for the Chinese Government to "Wake-up and smell the Coffee" on this one!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

A Dining Room Table for Bubbleheads

Certainly something a clever Nuke Bubblehead invented!

What DO you do when more guests show-up for dinner?

These Tables are actually for sale from DB Fletcher Expanding Tables

Thursday, March 08, 2007

World Destruction may be a forgone conclusion...

...But you should always look on the Bright Side of Life

After all, life is filled with too many ironies and humorous situations isn't it? Just look at the motley group of characters that reads this blog? Even tailors have a seamy-side to their lives which can be so laughable that it puts a little "zip" in their lives and keeps those they don't know in stitches!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

I guess our existence comes down to money...Hmmm

Did Chicken-Little have it right?

You know me, I don't mind kicking-up "a little dust" (so-to-speak) but the below three articles speak volumes for the short-sightedness of the "Bean-Counters" on this global cesspool of politics or is it an arrogant cry; "Go ahead and Hit me!"
Not only that, they want to treat us to a system of "Mushroom-Management" which is essentially, a policy of to:

"Keep us in the dark and feed us Bullsh*t"

By SETH BORENSTEIN, AP Science Writer Mon Mar 5, 8:06 PM ET

NASA officials say the space agency is capable of finding nearly all the asteroids that might pose a devastating hit to Earth, but there isn't enough money to pay for the task so it won't get done.

The cost to find at least 90 percent of the 20,000 potentially hazardous asteroids and comets by 2020 would be about $1 billion, according to a report NASA will release later this week. The report was previewed Monday at a Planetary Defense Conference in Washington.

Congress in 2005 asked NASA to come up with a plan to track most killer asteroids and propose how to deflect the potentially catastrophic ones.

"We know what to do, we just don't have the money," said Simon "Pete" Worden, director of NASA's Ames Research Center.

These are asteroids that are bigger than 460 feet in diameter — slightly smaller than the Superdome in New Orleans. They are a threat even if they don't hit Earth because if they explode while close enough — an event caused by heating in both the rock and the atmosphere — the devastation from the shockwaves is still immense. The explosion alone could have with the power of 100 million tons of dynamite, enough to devastate an entire state, such as Maryland, they said.

The agency is already tracking bigger objects, at least 3,300 feet in diameter, that could wipe out most life on Earth, much like what is theorized to have happened to dinosaurs 65 million years ago. But even that search, which has spotted 769 asteroids and comets — none of which is on course to hit Earth — is behind schedule. It's supposed to be complete by the end of next year.

NASA needs to do more to locate other smaller, but still potentially dangerous space bodies. While an Italian observatory is doing some work, the United States is the only government with an asteroid-tracking program, NASA said.

One solution would be to build a new ground telescope solely for the asteroid hunt, and piggyback that use with other agencies' telescopes for a total of $800 million. Another would be to launch a space infrared telescope that could do the job faster for $1.1 billion. But NASA program scientist Lindley Johnson said NASA and the White House called both those choices too costly.

A cheaper option would be to simply piggyback on other agencies' telescopes, a cost of about $300 million, also rejected, Johnson said.

"The decision of the agency is we just can't do anything about it right now," he added.

Earth got a scare in 2004, when initial readings suggested an 885-foot asteroid called 99942 Apophis seemed to have a chance of hitting Earth in 2029. But more observations showed that wouldn't happen. Scientists say there is a 1-in-45,000 chance that it could hit in 2036.

They think it would mostly likely strike the Pacific Ocean, which would cause a tsunami on the U.S. West Coast the size of the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean wave.

John Logsdon, space policy director at George Washington University, said a stepped-up search for such asteroids is needed.

"You can't deflect them if you can't find them," Logsdon said. "And we can't find things that can cause massive damage."

On the Net:

NASA's Near Earth Object Web site: http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/neo/

Planetary Defense Conference: http://www.aero.org/conferences/planetarydefense/

(CNN) -- If scientists detect a killer asteroid shortly before it slams into Earth, should the public be informed?

One researcher, Geoffrey Sommer of the Rand Corp., a Santa Monica, California-based think tank, believes the best answer in some cases is no.

Should an alert come too late to make a difference in the outcome of a global catastrophe, Sommer suggests governments should remain silent.

"If you can't do anything about a warning, then there is no point in issuing a warning at all," Sommer said earlier this month at an American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Denver.

"If an extinction-type impact is inevitable, then ignorance for the populace is bliss," he said.

Other space researchers were highly critical of Sommer's views.

"I find Geoffrey's whole idea both irrational and unrealistic," said Benny Peiser, a U.K. scientist at Liverpool John Moores University who monitors asteroid threats.

"The advocated secrecy, far from being cost-effective as Geoffrey claims, would most certainly preclude any attempt at impact mitigation," he told CNN.com.

Regardless, Peiser said, any attempt to keep a killer asteroid quiet would be futile.

"Professional and amateur astronomers from around the world can easily access and confirm observational data and calculations of any discovered NEOs [Near Earth Objects]," he said.

Scientists estimate more than 1,000 asteroids 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) in diameter or larger -- big enough to cause global devastation -- lurk near the Earth's orbital path.

Killer Asteroids: A Real But Remote Risk? By John Roach for National Geographic News

It is almost certain that Earth will be hit by an asteroid large enough to exterminate a large percentage of our planet's life, including possibly over a billion people, according to researchers. But as such cataclysmic collisions occur on average only once in a million years or so, are they really worth worrying about?

At some point in the geological future a large chunk of rock and ice will smack into Earth and destroy life as we know it. This is a cold, sober, scientific fact, according to Andrea Milani, a researcher at the University of Pisa in Italy.

"A future impact from, say, a 1-kilometer [0.62 mile]-diameter asteroid is, rather than just probable, almost certain over a time span of a million years," he said.

Wolf Reimold, a geoscientist at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, said a 1-kilometer-wide asteroid would produce an impact crater of about 12 miles (20 kilometers) in diameter and wipe out an area the size of the United Kingdom. The human toll would depend on where such an impact occurs.

"Estimates may range from 500,000 to 1.5 billion casualties," he said. "This latter number certainly smells of global nuclear war. Such an event would in all likelihood not wipe out mankind, but it would cause a global economic crisis."

Given the real threat of impact by a so-called near Earth object (NEO) and the consequences for human life, Milani and Reimold are urging the worldwide scientific community, and the agencies that fund their research, to take the field of impact mitigation seriously.

In separate papers appearing in the June 20 issue of the journal Science, Milani and Reimold outline what is known about the impact threat and how impacts have shaped the geologic and life history of Earth.

They agree that the developed world has made great strides over the past few decades in NEO research, but say that more funding is required to raise public awareness of the impact risk and to determine how to thwart an incoming object.

"Governments have the responsibility to deal with a lot of problems afflicting humankind. But these same governments must realize that large asteroid or comet impact has the potential to wipe out all other problems, including mankind," said Reimold.

Impact Science

Impacts of meteorites, asteroids, and comets are frequent events on a geological time scale, said Milani. They have shaped the surface of the Earth and altered the course of life that thrives upon it.

For example, 65 million years ago a 6.2-mile (10 kilometer)-diameter asteroid impact resulted in a 100-million-megaton explosion that excavated a 112-mile (180 kilometer)-wide crater on the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico and brought the dinosaur era to an end.

Events such as the impact implicated in the dinosaur extinction happen on the order of once every 100 million years. Smaller objects collide with Earth with greater frequency. Asteroids large enough to cause ocean-wide tsunamis, for example, happen once every 63,000 years.

In 1998 NASA accepted the responsibility of compiling a catalog of at least 90 percent of NEOs of 1 kilometer (0.62 miles) in diameter or greater and to assess the probability that any of them will impact Earth. Such events are believed to happen on the order of about once every 1 million years.

To date the NASA initiative, known as Spaceguard, has identified 585 objects of 1 kilometer or greater. Most of them have no chance of impact and those that do have only a very low probability. Scientists estimate there are about 1,000 NEOs, so NASA is more than halfway to accomplishing its goal.

Reimold notes that this initiative and projects such as the British Taskforce on Potentially Hazardous Near Earth Objects and the Intercontinental Scientific Drilling Program into the Chicxulub crater in Mexico have helped scientists understand the risks and consequences of collisions with asteroids and comets.

The developing world, he said, is slower to catch on, but a movement by astronomers and geoscientists in South Africa to establish a National Working Group to assess NEO impact risk and mitigation is gaining traction.

"On the other hand, the general public in developing countries has a host of other problems than the possibility that a large bolide could wipe out mankind," he said. "If your first concern is to have shelter and food, if HIV/Aids and unemployment are your daily worries, you cannot be expected to be wary of meteorite impact."

More Mitigation Funding?

Writing in Science, Milani says that the scientific community should take on the responsibility to investigate all objects that could potentially impact Earth "down to the size compatible with available technology and with the public perception of acceptable risk."

According to Milani, a reasonable goal would be to detect within the next ten to 20 years 90 percent of the NEOs over 1,000 feet (300 meters) in diameter and 97 percent of those greater than 1 kilometer in diameter.

To accomplish this goal, Milani says that understanding and awareness of the impact risk must be raised amongst the public and the agencies that provide the requisite funding to perform the work.

"If [funds] are provided, the scientists would know how to use them efficiently," he said. "If resources dedicated to this task are not provided, the scientists have difficulties in canceling other worthwhile basic research to make resources available for impact risk assessment."

Reimold said that more money ought to also be made available for research into known and potential impact sites. Currently, he said, only a few impact sites older than 300 million years are known, but that many more should be out there.

"Ongoing detailed geological analysis of known impact structures is a must in order to further improve our knowledge of the impact process and its devastating results," he said.

Robert Jedicke, an asteroid expert with the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii, said that "it would be nice" if asteroid researchers had more money but that current funding for the NEO impact risk assessment programs is sufficiently supported given the available funding for all scientific research.

"There's only so much money to go around," he said. "So if the pot gets split there's less stew for the rest of the astronomical/scientific community."

NEO Deflection

As NEO researchers continue to search the skies for objects that pose an impact risk, they are also beginning discussions on how to deflect an object on a collision course with Earth.

One of the issues being explored is the interior structure of asteroids. If the interior is weak, for example, an attempt to deflect it with a nuclear warhead (an option under consideration) may simply breakup the asteroid into many smaller and uncontrolled pieces.

Milani writes that such investigations are a valid extension of the NASA and European Space Agency NEO programs and make logical sense: "We cannot justify the effort for discovery unless we can safeguard our planet."

Jedicke said that we are not currently prepared to deflect an incoming asteroid, but that there is no reason to be alarmed because there is little chance that an asteroid even as small as 330 feet (100 meters) will hit Earth within the next 100 years.

"They don't build tornado shelters in Germany. Cities don't buy snowplows in Florida. And there's no pressing need to worry about deflection of incoming NEOs at the moment," he said.