June 30, 2005

A Real Firewoks Display will be readily visible to New Zealand this July 4th, although NPR said that the United States should be able to get a good look at it with the naked eye. I keep thinking of the Apu clone from The Simpsons saying "What better way to celebrate the birth of your nation, than by blowing up a small part of it?"
  • Whoops...although NPR said one could see it with the naked eye..PBS says you can't.
  • No mention of how big any of these things are in respect to Wales. In Old Blighty, that's our standard unit of comparison. ("An area the size of Wales was destroyed by a rogue Cornetto this afternoon..." etc). I'm confused.
  • [The impact] is not expected to change the comet's path. Flash forward one week after impact... CNN Headline News... in a startling press conference today, NASA admitted that last week's mission, Deep Impact, in which a coffee-sized spacecraft collided with comet Tempel 1 to study the "building blocks of life," did in fact alter the comet's path. Scientists are stunned to learn that Tempel 1 is now on a collision course with Earth! While the trajectory was modified by an almost unmeasurable amount, current NASA models predict that comet Tempel 1 will collide with Earth on April 1, 2011. In other news, today Michael Jackson's attorney...
  • Who set my wok on fire?
  • I would have upped the meta-irony even further, and had the comet splitting in two. Both pieces, of course, would then impact the Earth. But that's just me. I'm also willing to bet that present in the debris cloud will be a large amount of copper, leading to confusion over whether the comet contained copper, or if the impactor was vaporized on a rocky part of the comet. Because the universe is mean and spiteful that way.
  • I wonder where I can acquire a medium-power telescope at short notice.