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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Martin World News

Gotta get Bobby G to put Poophead the Buffalo and the groundhog-in-a-tube on here too, somehow...
ITEM:  For those of you that enjoy the Scrappy walks, I have someone for you to meet.  She goes by Brea in my comments section and does her thing at Real Housewife of North Idaho.  Not only did our walks inspire a hiking day of her own, not only did she post pics of her excellent trip on said blog, but she pimped me out in doing it!  So get your butts over there and hit the "follow" button!  Don't be a poophead!

ITEM:  I saw on Epoch Times 9 ways to stop overeating, an article by certified health coach Kerry Bajaj.  He had some ideas that would work for me- and some not so much.  I thought I'd share them for your perusal.

1- Eat more.  WTH?  He means, don't skip some meals and eat anything that moves the next one.  Eat a little breakfast, have healthy snacks in between.  He'd flunk me bad on this one.  Not likely to change much, either.

2- Eat whole foods.  Apparently they fill you up quicker.  Again, not a biog member of the Martin Menu Club.

3- Eat healthy fats.  He suggests, "avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, almond butter, coconut butter, grass-fed butter, salmon, sardines, nuts and seeds".  Outside of salmon and sardines, I'm not sensing tongue appeal.  Except maybe the butter, but I don't know how to go about getting my butter to eat grass.

4- Fill up on fiber.  I tried switching my fiber pill intake to evenings to keep me out of the fridge, but a whopping two days of attempts with no result made me go back to habit.  Bajaj says he puts a 1/4 cup of chia seeds in his smoothies.  Uh... not liking the concept of "chia colon."

5- Include bitter flavors.  He suggests this as a means of curbing sweets cravings.  He suggests sauerkraut or kimchee.  Kimchee doesn't curb your taste for anything- it burns it right off your tongue!

6- Hydrate.  Now here's one I've actually had some luck with.  Snack craving?  Bury it in a tall glass of water.  If it can't breathe, it can't crave.

7- Identify the foods that trigger a binge.  Got that one, too.  Dinner means salty, which triggers sweet.  HoHo takes care of sweet, which triggers salty.  Out comes the cheese.  Been eating healthy snack bars after dinner to tamp that down.  At least I think they're healthy,

8-  Take a break from alcohol.  He says some people have a think about eating while drinking.  For me that only ever occurred when it was a "throw something solid down there before you barf" moment, and since I don't do that no more...

9- Intentionally eat in full view of other people.  Thought being that you eat differently when someone else's watching.  I kinda doubt the efficacy of that one with me.

ITEM:  On the subject of weight loss, here's a headline from FoxNews that should, IMHO, go without saying:

Caffeine-infused underwear not a weight loss aid, US regulators say

Apparently two companies were applying the PT Barnum rule to idiots who thought that this was a viable concept.  And apparently there were enough idiots to make it work for a while...

In the case of Oregon-based Norm Thompson, the company sold clothing made with Lytess brand fabric infused with caffeine which, the company said, would break down fat.
"Slimming and firming results are visible in under a month," the company said in one advertisement the commission quoted in its complaint.
Wacoal America, based in New Jersey, also advertised that its clothing had microcapsules with caffeine, vitamin E and other chemicals that it said led to weight loss. In one ad, it cited the "revolutionary iPant new shapewear that works with your body to eliminate cellulite," the FTC said.

The two will be issuing about a million and a half bucks in refunds as a result.  Frankly, the FTC should have just sent out a few thousand postcards reading, "caveat emptor."

ITEM:  Still on the subject of food:

A road tunnel in Norway has been closed - by a lorry-load of burning cheese.
About 27 tonnes of caramelised brown goat cheese - a delicacy known as Brunost - caught light as it was being driven through the Brattli Tunnel at Tysfjord, northern Norway, last week.
The fire raged for five days and smouldering toxic gases were slowing the recovery operation, officials said.
The tunnel - which is said to be badly damaged - is likely to remain closed for several weeks, they added.
"We can't go in until it's safe," geologist Viggo Aronsen told Norwegian broadcaster NRK.

Police officer Viggo Berg said the high concentration of fat and sugar in the cheese made it burn "almost like petrol if it gets hot enough". says, "Brunost is served thinly sliced on rye toast or crisp bread. It is considered healthy because of its high content of iron, calcium and B vitamins."  Hopefully there was a truckload of rye right behind the cheese truck.

ITEM:  The headline is "Ugandans baffled by sleeping ministers"...

Kampala, Uganda - At the most recent state-of-the-nation address, Uganda's second deputy prime minister wore sunglasses too dark to enable anyone to see whether his eyes were open or closed. 
Moses Ali, 74, is one of the cabinet ministers who seem to have improvised a way to escape the scrutiny of nosy media cameras that have on several occasions caught senior government officials and MPs dozing when the president is delivering his address and when the national budget is read. 
It all started four years ago when a local tabloid splashed the pictures of sleeping ministers and MPs on its front page as President Yoweri Museveni delivered his address to the country.
The paper's headline on the day was "Sleeping Nation". (Courtesy Al-Jazeera)

My only question is, "Why are they baffled?"

ITEM: Tired of your team playing in a crappy arena?  You could be in Oakland... and I'm not talking the O.Co Coliseum for a change...

The Golden State Warriors want their fans to know that their team won't be playing in an arena soon to be known as the "The Bowl."

Warriors Arena
The Warriors assured fans their team won't be playing in an arena that looks like a giant toilet.

Renderings from Manica Architecture, the lead designer of the Warriors' new arena, presented Thursday at the local citizens advisory committee went viral and made national news earlier this week after a San Francisco real estate blog called attention to the fact that it looked like a giant toilet bowl.
"This was presented at the meeting as very much a work in progress so that we could put the size of the building in context," Warriors spokesman P.J. Johnston told "In the next few months, we will continue to show much more and the arena design will continue to be refined."

All I will add, is it appears they will have a roof that opens and closes, a first for a basketball arena to my knowledge.

ITEM:  And finally, from the "Hall of Fame, Lame Excuses Wing":

MIDDLETOWN, Pa. (AP) — Police in Pennsylvania say a man accused of shooting a bullet through a neighbor's window told a judge he fired the gun because it was the only way he knew how to unload it.
Middletown Detective Patrick Nicastro tells the Bucks County Courier Times ( that 31-year-old George Byrd IV of Penndel at first denied being behind the shooting but then acknowledged during his arraignment that he fired the weapon to clear the chamber because he was unfamiliar with guns.
Authorities say Byrd fired the gun early Friday afternoon in the suburban Philadelphia community. No one was injured.
Byrd is being held in the Bucks County jail on $20,000 bond. 

And with that, another sun sets upon the halls of stupidity.

Monday, September 29, 2014

The groundhog story

Those of you who are FB friends have already seen this and wonder WTH?  Well, now those on the blogosphere can say it too!  Anyway, it's the time to answer all your questions about our rather unhappy rodent here.

It was a typical Sunday walk... well, maybe not typical, as you might extrapolate from the talk that the Lord and I had to have after the Sunday Message yesterday-  But, by the time we hit the river it was more or less typical.  Except the river was way low...

And we were making out way along the bank to see if there was anything interesting washed up.  Sorry, nothing doing.  So we went down the south trail across the bunny field.

An early morning fog had lifted into the mesosphere... it was a beautiful day.  We crossed at the rise overlooking the Alumni Center  which I have decided we're going to call Mushroom Hill after these little guys and their several brethren.

And yes, I've skipped past the groundhog incident so I can show you these other interesting picutres as well.

Ah, autumn.  The season of new-fallen trees...

Well-hidden squirrel.

All right, back to the ground hog.  The west end of the trail is a collection point for the area's construction vehicles, for some odd reason, and was against one such that I spotted the rodent du jour:

Despite my best efforts and the varmint's apparent obliviousness, I could not get Scrappy to remove head from butt long enough to notice him.  I was considering picking him up and punting him like a football in the right direction when the victim finally noticed us, said, "Oh, $#!t!" or the marmot equivalent thereof, and dove into one of those tubes you see there- which are actually poles for lights presumably to be used up on Coliseum.

Despite our best efforts (well my best efforts and Scrappy's half-witted efforts to sniff him through the pipe), our little friend remained quite safe, and after about ten minutes we gave up trying to convince him to come out.


Oh, and I should let you know about the road trip thing.  KC had found a neat sports bar and grill that he wanted to show off.  So he tried to retrace the way he got there- back roads from Hicksville to Defiance, Ohio- and after several wrong turns (one of which led us to the bustling corner of Buckskin Rd and Farmer Mark Rd in beautiful downtown BFE), we managed to backtrack by sheer luck to the point of our error, make a turn at the gas station with the big fish:

And finally arrived at our destination- just across the street and across the US 24 exit from the Big Boy Laurie and I stopped at when we went to Turkey Foot!  Another words, we could've hopped 24 and got there in about 2/3 the time (well, 1/2 when you figure in our detour to BFE).

"It was the only way I knew to get here", said KC.  And that was problematic...

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sunday message-the spiritual block

Ever had one of those passages in the Bible that you just couldn't grasp and didn't know why?  Well, I have, which is why you didn't see me here last week.  Once again, this didn't make sense until I applied it to myself, so bear with me.

The genesis of my consternation is in Ezekiel, specifically starting with ch14, v 13.  Here we are introduced to a theme that runs into the next chapter:

Eze 14:13  Son of man, when a land sins against Me, baring a faithless act, then I will stretch out My hand on it, and I will shatter the staff of bread to it, and I will send famine on it. And I will cut off from it man and beast. 
Eze 14:14  And though these three men were in its midst, Noah, Daniel, and Job, by their righteousness they should deliver only their souls, declares the Lord Jehovah. 

First off, you should know that my Bible translates the crime of the land as "persistent unfaithfulness".  I am not sure why, because the concordance doesn't really hit on the concept of persistence, but of its COVERTNESS.  Both of these will become key as we go on.  But the key to what grabbed me was the inclusion of Noah, Daniel, and Job- especially as Daniel was yet alive when the prophesy was given!  So I bent my will to finding the connection between the three men.  And they are many.  They were all three basically alone against overwhelming obstacles, and by great faith were brought past them.  But even they would not suffice against the sin God was discussing.

So I applied the Kalko rule and looked before and after.  Before took me to God explaining to Ezekiel that certain elders of Israel where supposedly servants of the Lord, but were secretly (or COVERTLY) worshipping idols- until the whip came down, and they turned to alleged prophets to of God to tell them what to do.  Which kind of reminds me of what John the Baptist said to the pharisees:

Mat 3:7  But seeing many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, Offspring of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 

And apparently it appeared that way to God as well.  And then I looked after, and saw this in the next chapter:

Eze 15:6  Therefore, so says the Lord Jehovah: As the vine tree among the trees of the forest, it which I have given to the fire for fuel, so I will give those living in Jerusalem. 
Eze 15:7  And I will set my face against them. They shall go out from the fire, and the fire shall devour them. And you shall know that I am Jehovah when I set My face against them. 
Eze 15:8  And I will give the land to be desolate because they have done treachery, declares the Lord Jehovah. 

And once again, my Bible here used the term "persistent sins".  So I had my bookends.  And in between I had promises of God bring upon the sinful nation famine, wild beasts (which translated to 'hordes of living things'), war and pestilence, and warned the sinful:

Eze 15:7  And I will set my face against them. They shall go out from the fire, and the fire shall devour them. And you shall know that I am Jehovah when I set My face against them. 

Or, as my Bible put it, they would flee from one fire to be consumed by another.  And besides this, in between, I had Noah, Daniel, and Job.  The past (Noah), the present (Daniel), and the semi-legendary (Job).  The ones whose faith had made them fruitful (Noah, the father of everyone after the flood), with reward on earth (Job, who got back double of what he lost), and a clear vision of what lie ahead (Daniel).  The ones who stood alone against Kings, friends, the whole world.  And yet, what was it about them that held them in common in this story?

The answer I searched my mind and their histories for was right there in between the bookends.  THEY WOULD NOT BE SUFFICIENT TO SAVE.  Not in the face of persistent, covert sin.

So I looked around at the "land." is this a lesson about the US of A?, A warning that the ticking time bomb of persistent sin was going to expire soon, as soon as there were no longer any Noahs, Daniels, and Jobs to preserve it?

Nope, this is where I apply it to me.

Amo 8:11  Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord Jehovah, that I will send a famine into the land, not a famine for bread, nor a thirst for water, but rather a famine for hearing the Words of Jehovah. 
Amo 8:12  And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to east; they shall roam about to seek the Word of Jehovah, and they shall not find it. 

I could search Noah, Daniel, and Job all I want, but until the persistent, covert sin in MY life vanishes, I am going to have times when the sin wins and I get "famine".  What do I have to repent from?  Sorry, between God and me, this is not a gossip post?  Ask not what Chris has done... if you are at a sticking point, ask what YOU are doing?

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Out in the woods

Just another afternoon's walk...

Yet another puffball... I guess I was just early.

There was a chipmunk there a second ago, I swear!

Starting to Autumn up around here.

The latest in technology- a sign that indicates a turn that actually turns!

Now THAT'S a puffball!  Sounded like a slightly underinflated volleyball when tapped- and about the same size.
As we were walking, I heard my text sound go off.  I had two messages, but because of glare, I only saw the second.  It was from KC:

"Don't Eat Breakfast".

Scratching my head, I responded:

"Little late for that."

While KC puzzled my answer, I figured out there was a first text, to wit:

"Road trip tomorrow."

So as I was sending "Oh?" in response to that, KC was replying to me:

"Y is that"

To which like a proper smartass I answered:

Because I don't eat BF at 3 PM."

At this point, KC is lost and I try calling him.  No more do we say two words, and his phone (that brand new phone he just got) cut us off.  I called back.  He said, "My phone doesn't get good service inside my apartment", and had been rushing outside when it clicked off. ( phone...)  So I explained about the mix up, had a good laugh, and asked him what the road trip was about.  Apparently he's found this little place that he wants to take me to tomorrow.  OK, says I, what time?  He says, call me when you're ready. I said, just come over when you get up.  He says, "Do you know what time I get up?"  I said, I get up like 8, 9 AM.  He says, "Oh, maybe you should eat breakfast."  Why, says I.  "We want to shoot for about 12," he says.

"That would be lunch," says I.

"I know, I just thought you might want to be extra hungry."

Sigh.  Okay, so we get done with details, hang up.  I no more hang up and the phone rings.

"Hmm, must be Laurie," Thinks I.  But there was a growing disconnect between mind and body being brought on by contact with offspring.  I pulled out my phone, and saw it was KC.

My thumb said, "Nope, not Laurie",  AND HIT DISCONNECT.

My mind shouted "No!" and then thought, "Oh well, he'll probably blame it on his stupid phone.  He'll call back if'n it's important."  He did not.

Later that evening, he would call back, on an unrelated matter.  I asked him why he called the second time, and he said, "I didn't.  Sometimes the phone doesn't get the call disconnected before I put it back in my pocket, and it hits "send" again."

---------------- "I'm happy with my simple phone..."--------------------------

On the way home, we ran into Nova and mom.  Now, when they first met, Nova was just a little bigger than Scrappy.  But now she's almost twice his size, and still the uncoordinated puppy.  Scrappy is old, was hot and tired, and enjoying the effects of a pill and a half of Benedryl for his scratching, and didn't exactly appreciate the landing of her two giant front paws on his back- her way of saying, let's roughhouse.  So, he let her know he was displeased, forcefully enough that she bowled over on her side with a what the heck just happened look on her face.


Those of you that are facebook friends know that last night I began my adventure in Spotify.  To say that this was an epiphany over Pandora doesn't do it justice.  So, I slowly figured out how to make a playlist.  Two hours later, I posted to FB:

    Okay, just investigated Spotify. In two hours I have a 654-song playlist and forgot about dinner.

It swiftly became an addiction.  As it stands this morning, I have a nearly 94-hour long playlist, which would be longer if the Beatles and Dylan weren't such douchebags over copyrights.  I have been playing the songs alphabetically since approximately 9:30 last night, stopping at 1 AM and picking up where I left off at around 8:30 this morning- and at 10:50 AM, Big Wheels by ELO is playing.  This is going to be a problem for me...

Friday, September 26, 2014

Time Machine week 23

It's September 26, 1972, and today a couple of things of note happened.  First internationally, North Vietnam dropped their condition of the removal of South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu for an agreement on peace.  Second, domestically, President Nixon signed the WIC program into law.  From what history tells me on the one and Laurie (as a Wal-Mart cashier) tells me on the other, neither one descended from idea to practice very well.

Now wait... let's not be hasty about this "keeping me in office" thing...
And that starts us out on another adventure in my Time Machine (sorry it's not as roomy as a Tardis, but Doctors make more than me!).  This week, yet another new #1, yet another backwards six degrees (or "what does Disco Inferno have to do with this week's top ten?"), the #9 top top ten, and the #10 one hit wonder's next hit!  This is the week that two well-known songs first played on the American charts; one of them you know as one of my faves- Seals and Crofts' Summer Breeze (funny time for that to come out!)  The other was from a band that covered a Sonny Bono song on their first lp (his top ten Laugh At Me)... and David Bowie for their first hit!  (Actually that's not quite true- he wrote the song for them, and then HE covered it later.)  That would be Mott The Hoople with All The Young Dudes.

And our top 40 this week kicks things off with four debuts!  Leon Russell hits at #40, up 9, with Tightrope.  The Cornelius Bros and Sister Rose leap 11 to hit at #39 with Don't Ever Be Lonely (A Poor Little Fool Like Me).  At #36, also up 11, is Danny O'Keefe with Good Time Charlie's Got The Blues.  And the high debut, up ten to #33, Curtis Mayfield with Freddie's Dead.

And a peak at next week's debuts might be in the offing on the biggest mover in the countdown page- Lobo Climbs 17 from 85 to 68 with I'd Love You To Want Me.

And now that I hopefully have you in a mood for good music, it's time for this week's one-hit-wonder's next hit.  The hit came from the group Pilot, which was founded by a pair of early washouts from the Bay City Rollers, David Paton and Billy Lyell.  Their hit Magic was a big summer hit in '75, peaking at #5 but it definitely got #1 type airplay here in Indiana.  Not so for their next hit.  It was much bigger everywhere else, topping the charts in the UK, Germany, and Australia (unlike Magic, which just missed the top ten in the UK and Oz).  It hit #87 here, but deserved better.

Not a lot of action on the You Peaked page;  Tower Of Power's You're Still A Young Man drops this week after reaching a zenith of #22 last time out.

We are at the ninth best top ten of the Martin Era (Note:  all subjective judgements are my own and do not reflect the opinions of the world at large), and it was the top ten of November 16th, 1974.  

10- Everlasting Love, Carl Carlton.  This tune hit the top 40 in the sixties ( by Robert Knight, #13 in '67), the seventies (this version, which BB peaked at #6), the eighties (Rex Smith and Rachel Sweet, #32 in '81), and nineties (Gloria Estefan, #27 in '95), becoming one of only two songs to manage that*.

9- Longfellow Serenade, Neil Diamond.  This is one that has grown on me over the years.

8- I Can Help, Billy Swan.  The classic song for roller skating.

7- Life Is A Rock (But The Radio Rolled Me), Reunion.  All the things I say about rap and sampling come back to bite me in the butt on this one!

6- Tin Man, America.  My mom told me she hated this song... but it was mainly her mis-hearing of "I never did give nothing to the Tin Man" rather than "Oz".

5- Back Home Again, John Denver.  Back then, I didn't get into John all that much.  Now, they all give me a lump in my throat.  Even Sunshine On My Shoulders, which I really didn't like back in the day.

4- My Melody Of Love, Bobby Vinton.  Now THIS one Mom liked.  She made me the Bobby V. fan I am today.

3- Jazzman, Carole King.  "It's the late night side of morning, in the darkness of his soul..."

One of those handful of women I would have married just for her voice, along with Karen Carpenter, Yvonne Elliman, and Roseanne Cash.

2- You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet, Bachman-Turner Overdrive.  # 1 on the cool names for a band list.  I had a karaoke groupie that used to make me sing this every time.

Annnnnnnd at #1 that week- and sorry, but you got a picture last week-

1- Whatever Gets You Through The Night, John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Nuclear Band.  Or Elephant's Memory, whichever you prefer.

* The other was, The Way You Do The Things You Do, with the Temptations hitting #11 in '64, Rita Coolidge #20 in '78, Hall and Oates with Temps David Ruffin and Eddie Kendricks at #25 in '85, and UB40 with #6 in 1990.

One song joins this week's top 10, one falls out.  The dropper is You Don't Mess Around With Jim, from 8 to 22.

Bread holds in place at #10 with The Guitar Man.

Our only debut this week is the Main Ingredient at #9, up 3 spots with Everybody Plays The Fool.

Former top dog #1 is Al Green's I'm Still In Love With You, down 3 to #8.

And at #7, our other former top dog- last week's, in fact- and our six degrees.

Disco Inferno was the first really big hit for the Trammps, but they had hit #17 R&B and #64 pop with a remake of Zing Went The Strings Of My Heart in '72.  This song was written in 1934 by James F. Hanley and the first notable recording belonged to Judy Garland, whose 1939 recording made #22 in 1943.  It was also covered by British rockers The Move on their 1968 debut lp.  This is the band that would evolve into ELO eventually, but the only ELOer in the band at the time was drummer Bev Bevan, who sang lead on Zing.  The hit off that lp was called Fire Brigade, and it hit #3 in the UK.  This song was covered by the Fortunes, whose career had slowed down since the Roger Cook- Roger Greenaway penned You Got Your Troubles, a #7 hit in '65.  And the two Rogers had writing credits on last week's #1- and this week's #7- The Hollies' Long Cool Woman.

Former top dog #3 is Gilbert O'Sullivan's Alone Again Naturally, slipping three spots to #6.

Chicago logs the second most impressive jump of the week, going from 9 to #5 with Saturday In The Park.

Mac Davis moves from 6 to #4 with Baby Don't Get Hooked On Me.

Gary Glitter's Rock And Roll Pt. 2 moves up a spot to #3.

The most impressive move belongs to Three Dog Night with Black And White at #2, up from #7.

And the new top dog this week....

...  The O'Jays with Back Stabbers!!!!!!!

Kids, that's a wrap!  See you here next week, eh?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Mars on the cheap

Today I was reading about how India, land of the gang-rape as an art form, had successfully put an orbiter around Mars.  This orbiter was named Mangalyaan, which I believe is Hindi for "Star Trek: The Search For Buddha". It is also the very first time a nation has succeeded in its first attempt in putting a satellite around Ol' Rough and Reddy. (According to, the Russians are 2 good out of six on flybys, 1 out of 5 in landings, and 3 out of ten in orbits; the US of A is 4/5 on flybys, 4/7 on orbits, and a fantastic 7 of 8 on landings; Europe split the difference on their first mission, making orbit but failing to land its capsule, and got credit for the Rosetta mission flyby; and Japan botched their one attempt at orbit.)

Now mind you, I'm no liberal "why are we wasting money on space that should be going to Welfare" type, but the first thing I think when I hear "India goes into space" or "India builds a nuclear weapon, " or even "India films new Batman in Bombay movie" is, all those people in poverty.  You know, remember Sally Struthers pleading for us to give money for little Haji while munching reincarnated-grandpa-burgers off camera?  And when you look up the numbers, they don't lie:

Percentage of population below poverty level:

Russia:  13.1%  (BTW, a 50% drop since ditching the USSR thing, I'm told)
US of A: 16% and a scosch.
Europe:  16.4 %

INDIA:  32.7%.

At this point, I saw a Martin World News post coming on, and was prepared to file it away... until I got the rest of the story.

The US of A just put a new orbiter around Mars Monday, called the Maven.  Cost- $671 million.

The European mission that ended up a half-success back in '03?  $195 million.

The last Russian mission, called Phobos-Grunt, was supposed to land on the Red Planet's moon and collect samples, then come back.  It got stuck in earth orbit and burned up in trying to get it to come home.  A Phobos-Grunt II is planned for 2022-25, with an estimated cost of about 130.8 million dollars.

The cost for India's trip?  $74 million.  As in, 11% of what the latest US mission cost.

How did they do it so cheap- and still get it right the first time?

Lower costs for people- particularly engineers.

Prioritising home grown parts and technologies.

But most of all, they kept it simple.

"They've kept it small. The payload weighs only about 15kg. Compare that with the complexity in the payload in Maven and that will explain a lot about the cost," says Britain's Prof Andrew Coates, who will be a principal investigator on Europe's Mars rover in 2018.
"Of course, that reduced complexity suggests it won't be as scientifically capable, but India has been smart in targeting some really important areas that will complement what others are doing." (Courtesy BBC)

The author of the second article I read, one Jonathon Amos, came into this with the same thought I did.  But he- and I- learned.

The money would be better spent on healthcare and improved sanitation, so the argument goes.
But what this position often overlooks is that investment in science and technology builds capability and capacity, and develops the sort of people who benefit the economy and society more widely.
Space activity is also a wealth generator. Some of the stuff we do up there pays for stuff down here.
The industrialised nations know it; that's one of the reasons they invest so heavily in space activity.
Consider just the UK. It has dramatically increased its spending on space in recent years.

The government has even identified satellites as being one of the "eight great technologies" that can help rebalance the UK economy and drive it forward.

Mangalyaan's main job will be measuring the methane levels in the Martian atmosphere, helping to determine if certain Methaneophillic microbes might live in the Martian atmosphere. It will also study Martian weather systems, both of which will compliment data being collected by the US's Maven orbiter. And simple?  Mangalyaan actually means, "Mars craft."

It will join 4 other satellites orbiting Mars- The US-made Mars Odyssey (launched 2001) and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (launched 2005), along with the Maven;  and the European Mars Express (whose lander crashed, launched 2003).

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

After dinner deer

Well, first we have yesterday's pics from early afternoon...

We accidentally chased this squirrel up a tree.  He was hopping along the branches... guess he didn't want to jump to the other tree.

Different squirrel, pretending to be a branch.  Not real good at it.

Darn near missed her along the back trail.  She held still for one snap.

I was just telling Scrappy it was odd we hadn't seen a puffball all year.  Then he found two.

And that brings us to tonight's after dinner walk.  A walk pretty uneventful until we came out of the ravine trail into the woods...

There were three of them peacefully munching at the side of the trail... then came this blonde jogger.  Even running, she got super close to them... but then she yells to her partner about ten yards behind her, "Hey!  Deer!" and waves her hands like she was shooing a mentally challenged cat off her lap.  Slightly brighter, her partner replies, "Don't scare them!"  But they had already disappeared.  I headed north up the trail, and we did our usual cut through to the south end of the loop.  I figured they would follow the creek up between the retirement homes and the med park, and we'd seen the last of them.

 But I was wrong... they had come up through the brush, crossed the creek and the south loop, and now we were going to spend the next few minutes taking a few steps north, stop and look, take a few steps, stop and look...

After that, we ran into a lady and her dog.  She remarked to her dog about Scrappy's good manners.  After I got done laughing, I remarked she HAD to be talking about HER dog.