Space time...."OUT TO LAUNCH"

Shuttle update: finally the first post-Columbia disaster liftoff, no problems so far.

Saturn update: Listen to some eerie radio transmissions from the ringed planet. Shifted down by a factor of 44 for your puny human ears. :)


Can your government ever GIVE UP power, once taken?

Looks like we're trudging towards making most of the "Patriot" Act permanent for the next 10 years. It's passed the House, so WRITE YOUR SENATORS and tell them you don't want to live in a police state where everyone is suspect to numerous violations of your rights, at any time. (good stuff on that last link explaining what exactly the government can now do...search your house without notification, get info on what churches you go to, books you get from the library, any financial records, e-mail and web use....usually WITHOUT PROBABLE CAUSE.)

We'll see how the Senate vote goes....but if you vote for ANY of the asses in Congress that pass this, we're going to be standing across a wide chasm on our political discussions from now on. :)

Next time you go to vote, remember that lots of Dems and Reps both pass this sort of oppressive crap. (Oh, and I loved the convenient 2nd bomb threat in London that didn't kill anyone, it just *happened* to be the same day that Congress was debating limiting their powers under the Act. Yeah, great coincidence. Scare people, then have the vote.)

Libertarian: No longer voting for the lesser of 2 evils.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The House voted by a wide margin Thursday night to renew expiring provisions of the USA Patriot Act, the collection of antiterrorism measures passed after the September 11, 2001, attacks.

The final vote was 257-171. The bill makes permanent 14 of 16 provisions in the act set to expire next year and extends two others for another 10 years.


Lawmakers narrowly turned back an effort by Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Virginia, to renew the expiring Patriot Act provisions for four more years, rather than making them permanent -- an amendment that drew spirited support from archconservative Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-California.

Rohrabacher said he supported the Patriot Act in 2001 because of the threat faced by the country after 9/11, but only under the belief that once the emergency was over, "the government would again return to a level consistent with a free society."

"We should not be required to live in peacetime under the extraordinary laws that were passed during times of war and crisis. Emergency powers of investigation should not become the standard once the crisis has passed," he said, drawing applause from his colleagues.


Boy do I feel dumb....

Proof that it's never too early to take your Microsoft certification exam:
A Pakistani girl has qualified as a Microsoft Certified Professional at the age of 9.

Arfa Karim of Multan has officially become the youngest MCP in Pakistan, and one of the youngest in the world. Karim, now 10, met with Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates last week--an experience she later described as second only to visiting Disneyland.


Fireworks for NASA?

Of a different sort: NASA slams an 800-pound copper projectile into a comet to see what's inside. History in the making? Or just grown boys who like to blow things up? :)

Update: Some things never change....a Russian astrologist is suing NASA for messing with the ephemeris of the comet and f*cking up her horoscope.