Thursday, August 31, 2006
farkleberries Links du Jour 157: The Sacrilicious Silly Season Edition 
by Lenka Reznicek [permalink] 

Tuesday, August 29, 2006
5 Dead in Adirondack Bus Crash 
by Lenka Reznicek [permalink] 
Some sad news from my old stomping grounds in northern New York...details from WPTZ-TV, Plattsburgh, NY:
ELIZABETHTOWN, N.Y. -- The Greyhound bus that crashed in the Adirondacks Monday night was removed from the scene Tuesday morning and all lanes of Interstate 87 reopened.

New York State Police said they believe that tire failure caused the bus to crash and flip over on Interstate 87 in Elizabethtown. Five people were killed, including the driver of the Montreal-bound bus, 52-year-old Ronald Burgess of Islip, N.Y. Police also released the names of two other victims: 16-year-old Tambadou Souleymane of Montreal, Canada, and 81-year-old Antonide Dorce of Hempstead, N.Y. The names of the other victims were not released.

Fifty-two passengers were on board at the time of the crash. Thirty-seven passengers were taken to Plattsburgh's Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital. Most were treated and released but four remain in critical condition.
[More details available at the Montreal Gazette (source image above), CJOB News, and CBC News]

Thursday, August 24, 2006
Goodbye, Pluto 
by Lenka Reznicek [permalink] 
UPDATE: I'm a few hours too late to enter Jason Kottke's Pluto Mnemonic Contest, but here's my 9 words:

Many valid extraterrestrial masses jointly secede under new plan.

Isn't there's something surreal - and vaguely ominous - about the natural world arbitrarily "losing" a planet, somewhere along the lines of a global math society declaring the numeral "9" nonexistent?

Offsetting this loss, we will gain objects in the "dwarf planet" and "pluton" categories, but my mid-Century sensibilities have been dealt a decisive thwack by the Union's fateful decision in Prague. Specifically, the International Astronomical Union has set the definition of "planet" to be
...a celestial body that (a) is in orbit around the Sun, (b) has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape, and (c) has cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit.
...and by not "clearing the neighborhood around its orbit," Pluto didn't cut the mustard. Not a good enough housekeeper for the celestial condo association, apparently. I don't know about you, but I know some people who meet all three criteria of planethood, with the additional quality of periodically dispersing vast quantities of gaseous matter into their surrounding atmosphere. Perhaps we could call these folk "planets" as a subtle form of insult.

Think of all the science textbooks that will have to be revised - wait, scratch that - I'm sure the ID folks would gladly just pull them from circulation. Not to mention, this website will have now have to change its domain name - and this obscure science-fiction book [which I confess I read in 7th grade, although in terms of content, it really had no business being in a middle-school library] is one planet further away from reality.

We still love you, Pluto, and to me you will always be the NINTH planet....(*sigh*). Can I start my own revisionist curriculum now?

Monday, August 21, 2006
Creator's Legacy Lives On in The Moog Foundation 
by Lenka Reznicek [permalink] 
One year after his death, the new Moog Foundation's website debuts, carrying on the legacy of pioneering electronic music inventor Robert Moog:
On August 21, 2005 my father died. He was a great and gentle man who left his mark on the world forever. During the past year my family and I have discussed many ways in which we could carry on his work and his legacy.

We have decided to establish the Bob Moog Memorial Foundation for Electronic Music, with a few carefully chosen objectives, each tied to his life and work.

Today, we invite you to join us. Please visit our new website www.moogfoundation.org


Michelle Moog-Koussa
Director, The Bob Moog Foundation

farkleberries Links du Jour 156: The Would You Like a Mustache in Your Vindaloo? Edition 
by Lenka Reznicek [permalink] 

Friday, August 18, 2006
Ultravox's "Astradyne" Set To Urban Settings 
by Lenka Reznicek [permalink] 

Found this on YouTube: a splendid homebrew video for the instrumental track "Astradyne" by Ultravox. Click and enjoy your trip from pre-9/11 Manhattan (!), to an aerial excursion down Chicago's waterfront, and beyond.

Friday, August 11, 2006
"Do You Have Prince Albert In A Can?" 
by Lenka Reznicek [permalink] 
"Remember Richard Reid, the guy who tried to light up his shoe on the airplane? After that we had to take off our shoes. Imagine what would have happened if he had hid that bomb in his pants..."

-- Michael Boyd, president of the Boyd Group, an aviation consulting firm in Evergreen, Colorado

Thursday, August 10, 2006
This Flight Tonight... 
by Lenka Reznicek [permalink] 
Sorry for the protracted absence, readers, but blogging has been interrupted by hectic daily (and not-so-daily) life events for the past few weeks; however, I look forward to returning to regular posting in the near future.

Just flew back from Washington, DC yesterday, hours before events in the UK plunged us into travelers' Hell once more. *sigh* Something I tried for the first time - not that I had a choice in the matter, really: DCA (Reagan National) has the Smiths Detection chemical trace detection units that blast you with air to see if you're carrying explosives or drugs on your person...not the most pleasant experience (those airjets dry out contacts in a flash - I'd have shut my eyes if I knew how strong the air blasts would be), but it beats a cavity search any day. Next time I fly, I'm sure the new restrictions will still be in place...this time, no liquids.

No shoes, no shampoo, no deodorant; no water or drinks. Hmm. Remind you of anything? Wandering 40 days in the desert, perhaps?

Actually, the trace detection portion of the security screening requires you to keep your shoes on - and, had Richard Reid tried to walk through of these babies with his chaussures plastiques, he would have been taken down in a hailstorm of sirens, flashing lights and Segway'd airport cops.

One nattily-dressed foreign gentleman ahead of me in line didn't quite understand the TSA agent's barked instructions to KEEP YOUR SHOES ON, ON!, resulting in an awkward queue delay and said gentleman's beeline to the shoeshine stand for a quick touch-up before boarding - after the shoes had to come OFF, OFF! for the metal detector portion of the security check.

Really, fingerprints on brown Bruno Maglis just don't make it.

"Focus, Daniel-san! Shoes ON, Shoes OFF! Shoes ON, Shoes OFF!" [NSFW]

Someday, they'll just strip us naked, tranquilize us, and stack us upright like cordwood to fly.