Monday, November 5, 2007

fade to a spot

I am off to Florida for the rest of the week. The worst case is I arrive alive. If so, we’ll see if the hotel internet service actually speaks to the web. I’ve had silly problems getting a connection in my room elsewhere. I’ve got the script of the tech support guys down pat – 10MB, half-duplex, disable, enable, reboot with wire attached. It got so bad in Virginia one time that they rebooted the entire 9th floor attempting to get me connected. I leaned towards to the door to try to hear the collective “WTF” echoing through the hall. I just bagged it and went to the lobby in my jammies for the wireless access. I loved being there with all the dudes in suits and cell phones and power meetings and jocular rah-rah words followed by hush tones and secretive, understanding nods, broken only by their synchronized butt-check of some 20 year old.

So, if by some Heavenly decree I should get access, I shall be blogging. Else, I shall write and blog an Epistle upon my return.

I am in the mode of writing everyday and I have to continue it. Got my book to crank out. If I lose momentum, I will think about it too much. Thinking is bad. makes my writing be what I chose, instead of letting it write itself, allowing it to unfold before me. A story, even fact-based, is its own entity, has its own personality. If I determine what all of that is, then the story will be me. How pathetic.

I was teaching a writing class and I asked a student how she liked her writing assignment. She said, “I hated the topic.” I said, “I let you chose any topic.” She said, “I know.” I said, “So, help me understand.” She said, “I decided what to write about and what I wanted to say, then was too far into to change when I decided I didn’t like it.” I said, “It was 1,000 words. How could even the last word be too far to start over with a new topic?” “She said, “I, I guess I should have. I just didn’t like the way my outline controlled the story.” I thought, ”You’re a fucking MASTERS student! WTF, lady? I said, “Whatever topic you chose and stuck with and stoically adhered to an outline was raped. Never do that to a story again. Show it more respect.” I love being the dick in the front of the room sometimes. I gave her an “A” for the class. She was a good writer, just tight.

I want to get this next bit off my hard disk in the off chance I do go [CRUNCH] along with 186 other people and a several-ton jet into a spot the size of a small woodland creature somewhere over Georgia tomorrow afternoon.

I was playing with science, but I had trouble embedding a video without it distorting the screen for some silly reason. I’ll play with HTML Embed another time. So, here’s your moment of science …

This is old information – 2005 – but I found it in my links and thought is was rather cool. This iceberg, which is the approximate size of Long Island (80 islands long), broke off and floated down the Ross Sea in Antarctica. The trip was caught on satellite, and on the link above is a video (halfway down).

When it hit the ice shelf, it did some major damage. This pic is a close-up from NASA. The area of damage is at least 50x30 miles, eh? That would be 1,500 square miles of cracked ice. That’s a lot of chilled vodka.

Next up, the Yohkoh solar observatory satellite launched in 1991 to observe the solar atmosphere in X-ray radiation. The project is funded and operated by Japan, US, and the UK. The Images Gallery has some incredible pics. Here’s one:

At the bottom of this page is a list of other sources for data and pics.

Class dismissed.

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