—Challenger 20th, Democracy in Palestine, Chirac Threatens Nukes, “Daniel” Dead, and Other Stories


Jan. 27, 1967 – Jan. 28, 1986 – Feb. 1, 2003
SPACE.com — Remembering Challenger: Shuttle Disaster and Others Refocus NASA
7 myths about the Challenger shuttle disaster – Space News – MSNBC.com [Oberg]

Twenty years since Challenger….it’s hard to believe it’s been that long since I stepped out of the Zoology laboratory I was teaching and was told by a student coming in for the next class that “the Shuttle exploded”.
NASA held an agency-wide Day of Remembrance on Jan. 26 for all three accidents.
The dates that Apollo 1 caught fire on the pad during a test, the Challenger broke up on ascent, and the Columbia broke up on re-entry are all close enough together to allow a single, efficient memorial service for all of the NASA dead. Memorials are one of the few things that NASA still does really well.
Meanwhile the manned orbital junkpile usually referred to as ISS is still up there, and it’s about that time again.

Why Democracy Doesn’t Actually Work
FOXNews.com – U.S. & World News – Hamas Positioned to Make Gains in Historic Palestinian Elections
FOXNews.com – U.S. & World News – Israel: No Talks Until Hamas Halts Attacks

The free people of the Palestinian “cause” once danced in the street when they received news of the 9/11 attacks in New York. They seem not to be satisfied with holding onto whatever credibility their movement has left. Hamas, of course, went on to win a clear majority in the Palestinian “government”. Now all the lines on the infamous “Roadmap to Peace” converge on an incomplete bridge….
…and the old V-8 has thrown a rod. We’ve all seen this movie….

Russia makes a deal
FOXNews.com – U.S. & World News – Iran Says Russia Uranium Plan is Worth Pursuing
Let’s see….the wolf agrees to help the fox make the ladder for the henhouse further out in the woods….how does this help, again?

H5N1 in Iraq
FOXNews.com – U.S. & World News – Iraq Confirms Girl, 15, Died of Bird Flu
“The girl died after contracting a severe lung infection in her village of Raniya, about 60 miles south of the Turkish border and just 15 miles west of Iran.”
The most-feared strain of Avian influenza has spread acros the Turkish border into Iraq, officially involving the Middle East. We’ve all probably seen this movie, too.

More trouble for U.S. auto makers
FOXNews.com – Business News – Ford Expected to Cut Thousands of U.S. Jobs
Ford is following GM into severe financial trouble. Financial analysts seem to be kind of confused about what the problem is, so let me help: these people don’t make very good cars.

France responds to threats
Chirac: Nuclear Response to Terrorism Is Possible
Yes, the French PM is actually threatening to nuke terrorist-sponsoring nations if they mess with France. I’m not sure I understand why they would be messing with France.

Another happy thought
New Scientist Breaking News – Prion disease found lurking in deer muscle
Yes, your venison sausage may kill you. The whole prion thing is sort of morbidly fascinating—an inventive new way for nature to knock off humans.

Nemesis revisited
Do stellar disks hint at our sun’s ‘Nemesis’? – Space.com – MSNBC.com
Spaceflight Now | Breaking News | Two new planetary disks may mirror our Kuiper Belt
New Scientist SPACE – Breaking News – Rocky rings around Sun-like stars revealed

Comparisons of what we know about our Sun’s accretion disk—including the Kuiper Belt—with other systems suggests that there might just be something else out there; possibly a Brown Dwarf sub-star circling our Sun as an invisible partner.

Titan clouds
Spaceflight Now | Cassini | Spying Titan’s weather
Information from Cassini-Huygens about the nature of the moon’s clouds and its bizarre atmospheric “methane cycle” is beginning to come together.

Hard to believe…
FOXNews.com – Foxlife: Entertainment and Lifestyle News – NBC Pulls Plug on ‘The Book of Daniel’
No, really. Why would any network attempt to air a program specifically for the purpose of mortally insulting most of the potential audience?

Benedict says stuff:
FOXNews.com – U.S. & World News – Pope Encyclical Mandates Charity
It even appears to make sense—-which is especially painful to think about. I will have to make more extended comments on the Other Page.

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