<< archive: mar 2, 2002 - mar 11, 2002 >>
it doesn't matter what i think.
zig omnis evolare! aspiro iustum grandis!
on the whole, i'd rather be in philadelphia.
do not attempt to disprove the four-colour theorem on your flag!
you take a poll right now, i'll bet you can't find one country that wants more cats.
it means the ship is going to dive into the sun. sun... dive.
nothing but air, heads up.
the most modern piece of rubble along the sea.

approved links

Angels From Another Pin


Talking Points Memo

Roger Ebert

The Institute of Official Cheer

ToastyFrog Jump!

Bob the Angry Flower


I didn't think it would work. It's nice to be wrong.

Another of those weird picky things I'm fascinated by: here's a description of all the legal formats for compact discs.

All I want is a dangerously unstable star with frickin' laser beams coming out of it! Throw me a bone, people!

Here's the home page for Pioneer 10 (as mentioned below, still going strong after thirty years.) Pioneer and the two Voyagers are still doing valuable science: as the farthest and fastest-moving spacecraft leaving our solar system, they are in an excellent position to look for the heliopause -- the place where our Sun's solar wind meets the interstellar medium. Although there are millions of comets that orbit farther than the heliopause, it can still be regarded as outlining the true limit of the Sun's influence and the border of interstellar space.

I shouldn't just rip links off like this, but what the heck. Restore the Deleted Expletive is just too funny to ignore.

And while we're on the subject: are most stars too inconveniently bright for you to be able to photograph their planets? Well, then, why not just try dimmer stars instead? I love this stuff.
At last, the flags of many nations have been given letter grades. This is the sort of thing where, after you've read it, you wonder how we could ever have possibly done without it.

The nice thing about the search for extrasolar planets is that, even without fabulous interferometers and such, there are so many fronts it can progress upon. For example, one group of astronomers is searching for transits -- looking for the slight drop in a star's brightness as an orbiting planet or brown dwarf passes between the star and Earth. They've found quite a few already.

The Antikythera mechanism suggests that the ancient Greeks had remarkably advanced technology. The mechanism is a clockwork computer that can predict the dates of various astronomical phenomena. In sophistication, it matches the great cathedral clocks of Renaissance Europe. Aside: the method described in the article for deducing the exact year when the mechanism was built (the year 82 BC) is particularily clever.

I finally managed to once again find the link to Roger Gonzalez's masterful takedown of Trespasser. Trespasser belongs alongside Daikatana in the Hubris Hall of Fame; it would not be out of place to bronze the two games and place them on a monument in the center of Dallas, Texas as a reminder to all game designers that they are fallible human beings, too.

My favorite political columnists right now: on the left Michael Kinsley, and on the right Jonah Goldberg.

More on skyscrapers.

Pioneer 10 just won't quit: it's still operational after thirty years in space, when it was originally supposed to last less than two. Science probes outlasting their mission duration is actually a problem for NASA, believe it or not: the amount of funding for space science is very small, and when a spacecraft outlasts its budget it starts competing politically with other already-approved projects. Many recent space missions have been ended with either a spectacular crash or a suicidal series of maneuvers of dubious scientific value (Magellan being dragged through Venus's atmosphere and finally deorbited in 1994, Lunar Prospector being steered into the moon's south pole in 1999, NEAR-Shoemaker's landing on the asteroid Eros in 2001) and I'd be surprised if this isn't part of the reason why -- that, and a crashing spaceship is a surefire way to get press coverage. Galileo is probably next on the chopping block. It would be nice if this didn't have to happen.

Dig it. Water on Mars.

A fan site for my favorite skyscraper (and bête noire of Parasite Eve players), the Chrysler Building.

Since I've brought up video games anyway, I might as well take this opportunity to gratuitously link to Ichirou Moriguchi's home page which contains the best information I've ever seen about Namco's brilliant Ace Combat series.

Oh, yes: and relax. Even if they've got nukes it won't help them.

It's time for a poetry spam here at One Small Small Step! I meant to write "poetry slam" but that typo worked, so I'm running with it. First up is Make the Pie Higher by our own President George W. Bush, and next we've got this elegant proof of the irrationality of pi set to the tune of Gilbert and Sullivan's I Am The Very Model Of A Modern Major-General. Ahh, I love the arts.

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