—Kansas, Schirra Dies at 84, VT, JSC, SRBs Derailed, Postal Religion, Hypernovae



This weblog is now officially behind the times—about two weeks. Can’t seem to keep up with events.

FOXNews.com[AP]- Deadly Tornado Flattens Western Kansas Town
The scene looks more like the aftermath of the atomic bombings at the end of WWII than a weather event The small town of Greensburg was almost entirely erased Saturday by a gigantic F5 “wedge” tornado estimated to be 1.4 miles wide at the ground Survivors—and dead—continue to be found. Although there were warnings about 20 minutes before the storm struck, many were trapped in their basements under collapsed structures, which included a hospital
Tornado and hurricane seasons are just beginning, and it promises to be a very long year, with many more in harm’s way as it progresses Prayer is indicated.

Spaceflight Now—Mercury 7 astronaut Wally Schirra dies
One of the most colorful and influential of the “old guard” of the U.S. astronaut corps, Wally Schirra has died at 84.

My Way News [AP]- Iraq Students Show Virginia Tech Support
One of the more surprising expressions of sympathy for the tragedy at Virginia Tech comes from university students in Iraq—who ought to know the impact of violence as well as anyone

Florida Today: The Flame Trench: ” Griffin memo details tragic JSC shooting”
Yet another mind-numbing tragedy, this one literally just down the street Administrator Griffin’s comments are somehow lacking in depth Maybe it’s just my well-trained distrust of the institution, but I just can’t escape the feeling that we still haven’t heard what really happened here, and why—and probably won’t any time soon.

My Way News – Freight Train With Shuttle Parts Derails
A trestle under repair (!) collapsed under the weight of the train carrying the eight of the infamous SRB segments for future Shuttle launches Moreover, this was apparently the second time the train had derailed in the same trip. NASA officials—apparently not finding the events particularly ominous— are inspecting the segments for damage, presumably with the thought of salvaging them for continued service.

FOXNews.com [AP]- Judge: Keep Religion Out of Post Offices Run By Churches, Contractors
Our criminal justice system is still deliberately trying to miss the point—that the only Constitutional “separation” which applies is that what people say about religion is none of their business:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Spaceflight Now—- Stellar explosion brightest supernova ever seen
If the idea of massive stars collapsing into a tear in space and time wasn’t bizarre enough, there is a stellar fate which might be even worse Astronomers have witnessed the brightest nova ever seen, and interpreted it as the death of an rare and even more massive star The extra mass seems to drive the reactions in the collapsing core even beyond the point of fusion of nuclei leading to iron production, to the generation of matter-antimatter pairs The resulting cataclysm is thought to totally annihilate the stellar corpse, leaving nothing behind but an incredible flash of light and expanding debris
Hmmm—then they talk about one of these hyper-massive stars, Eta Carinae, “only” 7500 light-years away that seems to be entering its death throes….should be a spectacular show.

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