Saturday, January 20, 2007

AFC-NFC Championship Predictions.

NFL Championship picks:Cory-COLTS/BEARS





Thus it has been recorded for posterity.

Monday, January 15, 2007

So there's kinda cool but a little TOO crazy for me right now, and then there's... .Yah right...NO SERIOUSLY!!...Ya right..Lemme see.

A few months ago I stumbled across this cool video of these guys free-jumping off of cliffs and then gliding for a little while using this glider flight suit that looks like one o' them monkeys with the flappy armpits. It was cool, and it was set to a cool Red Hot Chili Peppers song, which is nice.

"kinda cool but a little TOO crazy for me right now"

Then I came across this other one of a guy taking it a few steps further. This would be the-

Yah right...NO SERIOUSLY!!...Ya right..Lemme see.....NNNNNOOOH WAAAAAAY!!!!!!!

Why yes, I have been pondering a skydive, if you must ask. Not a "hope" I make to the ground safely kind of skydive, but a "yeah, you'll be ok" kind of skydive. Because MAN does that stuff look like fun....

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Pale Blue Dot.

So I spent last weekend up in Boston with my Mom and my Sister, which was of course spectacular because they both rock. During the trip my Mom and I waxed eloquent about this particular webpage from The Big Sky Astronomy Club homepage dedicated to 'The Pale Blue Dot'-

A Pale Blue Dot

On October 13, 1994, the famous astronomer Carl Sagan was delivering a public lecture at his own university of Cornell. During that lecture, he presented this photo:

The photo above was taken by Voyager 1 in 1990 as it sailed away from Earth, more than 4 billion miles in the distance. Having completed it primary mission, Voyager at that time was on its way out of the Solar System, on a trajectory of approximately 32 degrees above the plane of the Solar System. Ground Control issued a command for the distant space craft to turn around and, looking back, take photos of each of the planets it had visited. From Voyager's vast distance, the Earth was captured as a infinitesimal point of light (between the two white tick marks), actually smaller than a single pixel of the photo. The image was taken with a narrow angle camera lens, with the Sun quite close to the field of view. Quite by accident, the Earth was captured in one of the scattered light rays caused by taking the image at an angle so close to the Sun. Dr. Sagan was quite moved by this image of our tiny world. Here is an enlargement of the area around our Pale Blue Dot and an excerpt from the late Dr. Sagan's talk: can click here to read the rest, but this is the key line from Sagans speech that my Mom and I talked about-

Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us. .

Which it is of course. I believe that we are in far greater danger of some rogue terrorist group igniting some horrible munition on an unsuspecting populace than we are of a ten thousand meter wide asteroid crashing in to Lake Michigan and drowning a few million people. But I don't think we can really prevent humans from being human. We could potentially avoid the ten thousand meter wide asteroid crashing in to Lake Michigan.

Shouldn't we be at least spending a little more effort thinking about this? I'm all for the Mars and Saturn projects, but won't they pretty much be irrelevant if we get whacked by some big rock?

As always, a little plug for Rusty Schweickart and the folks at the B612 Foundation. There is also the following article from The Lifeboat Foundation that details this undisputed fact-

If we don't do something, sooner or later Earth will be hit by an asteroid large enough to kill all or most of us.

We should be spending more resources working on this problem than we currently are. NASA has a yearly budget ranging in the $15-$20 billion dollar range, and not even 10% of that is used for asteroid mitigation purposes. It is a pale blue dot. And we can't control humans from being human, but this is something we really have a chance to prevent, and we still aren't taking it seriously.

From the Lifeboat Foundation Page

Some of the 60 million flattened trees from the 1908 Tunguska event.

The energy of the Tunguska asteroid impact would have been equivalent to 10 to 40 Megatons of TNT. Had this happened over a populated area it would constitute one of the greatest natural disasters of all time.

In 1908 a small asteroid (perhaps 50 meters across) hit Tunguska, Siberia and flattened 60 million trees. That asteroid was so small it never even hit the ground, just exploded in mid-air. If it had arrived four hours and fifty-two minutes later it could have hit St. Petersburg [3]. At the time St. Petersburg was the capital of Russia with a population of a few hundred thousand. The city would have ceased to exist. As it was, dust from the blast lit up the skies of Europe for days. Asteroid strikes this size probably happen about once every hundred years. However, this is just an average. Just because we got hit once doesn't mean we're safe for another hundred years. Indeed, there was another Tunguska-class strike in the Brazilian rain forest on 13 August 1930 [3]. But don't worry, it gets worse.

There are about 1,000 asteroids a kilometer or more in size that cross Earth's orbit (the path Earth takes around the Sun). About a third of these will eventually hit Earth [2] if we don't do something about it. An asteroid strike this large can be reasonably expected to kill a billion people or so, depending on where it hits. A strike in China or India will kill more, in Antarctica less. Even a strike in the ocean would create a tsunami so enormous most people living near the coast would be drowned. A strike of this size is expected about once every 300,000 years or so. We might as well be playing Russian roulette. Admittedly, the revolver has 300,000 cylinders, but if we keep pulling the trigger long enough we'll blow our head off, and there's no guarantee it won't be the next pull.

Happy New Year Everybody!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

It's OK Vince, You Can Go Rest Now.

A well earned rest, no less. He can add this one to the rapidly growing trophy case. Might need a new case pretty soon.

Titans' Young is Offensive Rookie of the Year wire reports

NEW YORK (Jan. 3, 2007) -- Vince Young looks as if he'll make the NFL his personal playground, too.

The dynamic quarterback for the Tennessee Titans won The Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year Award. He did it in the same fashion he turned around the Titans' season -- running away from the rest of the field.

Young, who led Texas to the 2005 national championship and was the third overall pick in last April's draft, overwhelmed one of the strongest rookie classes in NFL history. He received 23 votes from a nationwide panel of 50 sports writers and broadcasters who cover the league.

That easily beat New Orleans wide receiver Marques Colston and Jacksonville running back Maurice Jones-Drew, who had nine apiece; San Diego tackle Marcus McNeill (6); and Saints running back Reggie Bush (3).

Running back Carnell "Cadillac" Williams of Tampa Bay won the award last year. Young is the third member of the Tennessee-Houston franchise to take top rookie honors: Earl Campbell in 1978 and Eddie George in 1996 did it for the Houston Oilers.

Young was the catalyst in Tennessee' rally from 0-5 to 8-8, at times looking as unstoppable for the Titans as he did with the Longhorns. A starter from Week 4, Young sprinkled all kinds of spectacular big plays with a growing maturity in joining Ben Roethlisberger (2004) as the only quarterbacks to win top rookie honors in the 49-year history of the award.

"A lot of people said it couldn't be done, especially at my position," Young said from Houston. "I just worked hard to get to that position behind the scenes, to get to the point of getting into the race of trying to get rookie of the year."

This is still just an award for individual achievement, but Vince himself has stated before that anytime he gets accolades of this kind he is quick to point the fingers at his offense line and the other teammates around him. This is also very -dare I say?- McNairesque in the way that Vince handles compliments such as these. Steve never took credit for the Titans success, and always blamed himself when things went bad. This is what leaders do, unlike some other QB's in the league *cough PEYTON cough*. Thank god McNair was able to show Vince how to act both on and off the field. The last thing the Titans need right now are more headcases.

Congratulations to Vince for being the head of one amazing rookie class. It just goes to show you that when someone is able to drown out the naysayers and believe in themselves, they can do anything they set their mind to (it sure helps to be 6'5" 260 with sick speed as well). Good call by the Titans staff in going with Vince in the draft, I think a Rookie of the Year awarded to their pick is some pretty sweet vindication.