The Watering Hole – Saturday, Aug 4th, 2012 – Seven Minutes of Terror

In honor of Walt the Man, I have chosen to write about the upcoming Mars Curiosity rover landing. I’m sure Walt would have chosen that topic if he were writing this Saturday’s post, and it would have been far more informational and educational. Enjoy the view from up there, Walt.

Something wonderful is about to happen. On Monday morning, the Mars Science Laboratory will, if all goes according to some very meticulous planning, drop Curiosity, the next Mars rover, onto the surface of Mars. While they will stop sending signals to the MSL two hours before the landing, it is the seven minutes it will take for the spacecraft to execute its landing instructions that have NASA scientists nervous. Earth is fourteen minutes away from Mars via radio telemetry signal, so there is no way to correct anything should it go wrong. I’m sure our crack staff at The Zoo will keep you informed as the landing time approaches.

UPDATE: I said Monday morning, but it will happen on Sunday night if you live on the West Coast. 10:30 PM Sunday night, or 1:30 AM Monday morning.

UPDATE: For more info on Mars, TheWeatherChannel has “5 Things You May Not Know About Mars” and Mars photos.

This is our open thread. Feel free to discuss any topic you want.

MORE 8/5: Additional info from TheWeatherChannel.

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131 thoughts on “The Watering Hole – Saturday, Aug 4th, 2012 – Seven Minutes of Terror

    • Oh, yeah, I could have written about that, too. Barack Obama is the first presidential candidate for whom I cast a vote that was younger than me (in his case, by about a year.) Of course, I’ve also reached the stage where I no longer consider my birthday to be a day worthy of celebration or observation by others. Barack Obama’s birthday, OTOH, should be a national holiday, if only for the reason that it would finally give us a day off in August. :)

      • Wayne, “crack staff”? Now they’re going to want their paychecks and you know I haven’t gotten around to doing them yet. Unless you meant on crack staff. In which case. Never mind. :)

  1. Only 16 more workdays before the end of August, the start of football, and the weather cooling off. Maybe I’ll even be divorced by then! We got the house appraisal back Thursday, which was the last variable in the agreement, so we should be signing papers soon.

    • This must be very stressful for you. As for the football, nonewhere renewed his season tickets to Temple football and there is no offer on our house so it looks like Saturdays in Philly to watch the game and then spend some time in the city.

      • Not really stressful, as we are still friends and still help each other. I’ll actually be giving her less money each month, because I’m only required to buy half the value of the house. She gave me credit for some of the money I’ve paid her over the years since she moved out, by her assuming responsibility for most of the credit debt, which was in her name and run up by her, and not me.

    • He will be 72 when he finally gets released. Karl Rove should be in prison for treason but somehow, he got away with his crimes against the nation.

      • I was just thinking about Rove not being in prison yesterday. But what theyve done to Don Siegelman makes me wonder what kind of country we really live in.

    • yes, beat me to it BMM :)

      Great line in Bubba Ho-tep last night. Elvis (Bruce Campbell) asks Jack Kennedy(Ossie Davis, go with on that, you need to see it to understand) how ‘Marilyn was in the sack’.

      ‘That’s classified information, but between you and me – wow!’

    • Adam and Eve rode their dinosaurs in the Antarctic rain forest, prolly.

      I do wonder how it could be 52 million years old, though, given that the earth was created just 6000 years ago (give or take a month or two).

      I was, a little while ago, watching videos of Republicans bitching and spitting about upcoming military cuts (to which they agreed last year), and about how cutting military spending will cost tens of thousands of jobs. My suggestion: laterally transfer the scissored military $$ to education. We sure in hell need to find the means of overcoming our widespread ignorance, to put it to sleep that soundest time, without the weariness (apologies to Emily Dickinson for borrowing some of her always grand lingo).

  2. Happy Birthday to President Obama, and to my granddaughter, the future president.

    • A very Happy Birthday to Outstanding’s granddaughter.
      (One of my sisters-in-law shares the same b-day)

  3. RNC Obama birthday cake update:

    http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/242163-rnc-sends-dnc-you-didnt-bake-this-obama-birthday-cake-

    The Democrats sent the cake back:

    “This is typical of Mitt Romney’s approach to the middle class,” DNC spokeswoman Melanie Roussell told The Hill. “He wants to ‘Let them eat cake!’ while robbing them blind. We sent the cake back to the RNC, along with a copy of the Tax Center’s report on Mitt Romney’s tax plan.”

    • This is my view of the scenario: The cake was baked in China by child slave labor.
      It contained lethal levels of artificial sweetener.
      The icing was made by inmates making .25 cents an hour at an out sourced for profit prison.
      It was shipped in a box made of unrecycled cardboard.
      The cake was delivered by a religious fundy that will claim it as a tax deduction/exemption for a church.

    • These people live in fucking opposite world. The Republicans that control the state government in Ohio are the ones that are restricting the vote. The low information voters will believe the lie. Everyone else will read the truth in their local papers.

    • Ummm, they’re participating in the Olympics on the American teams, I doubt they have much say in choosing their outfits. I see American flag patches on their jackets, but OMG, they didn’t have flags flying from every limb during their events. Horrors!!

      Shut the fuck up, Fux morons.

    • Petty, petty, petty. Get a damn life…simply wearing an effen flag pin does not make one a patriot.

      Odd they didn’t mention the Olympics Willard held in Utah…those uniforms were MADE in CHINA! (they were RW&B, BFD).

    • What a crock. I haven’t said the Pledge since I was a schoolboy in the mid-fifties; I swore it off shortly after “under God” was added by congress. Through and including tomorrow, I wouldn’t wear a flag pin if somebody gave me a truckload of the damn things. They’d be landfill bound. I do have … and use regularly … a copy of the Constitution on my hard drive, however. But I doubt to Fox idiots that would be seen as “patriotic” … I mean, it’s not written in RW&B ink, after all, so probably I have Marxist tendencies? (I do, actually, and am pleased to have no fear about admitting it).

      Faux patriotism is a disease. Maybe not a fatal one, but every bit as annoying as, say, chicken pox.

      Oh, and btw, what is “American exceptionalism” really? Unimaginable stupidity intrinsically blended with unbelievable arrogance? That would fit, yes. “USA! USA! USA!”

      Bleah.

    • I wonder if this dork knows what the word “jingoism” means. He seems to think it’s a wonderful thing and somehow we’ve lost it…

      I’ve only watched some of the Olympic coverage, btw, and I have certainly heard fans chanting “USA!”, particularly during women’s gymnastics. WTF is he on about?

  4. Wouldn’t it be a hoot if, after that 7 minutes, Curiosity kicked in its cameras and found this guy wearing a robe with long hair and a beard carrying a sign that said “Yankee, Go Home!”?

    • He’ll be like Peter’s next-door neighbor in “Office Space.” After discussing with his friends how disastrously wrong their embezzling scheme went, he asks the guy if he wants to come over (they have paper-thin walls). The neighbor shouts back, “No thanks. I don’t need you fucking up my life, too.”

  5. What’s that Olympic event where they run at the high bar with the long pole? Anyone know if they’ve done that already?

    I love that event.

    • I think Willard did it earlier this week. Something about a Pole vault or holy place or something. ;)

        • Speaking of jokes…these 3 guys want to get in to see the Olympics but they can’t afford it. Heinrich, Pierre and Ole. So they decide to try and sneak in the competitor gate.
          Heinrich sees a cannon display and grabs a cannonball that he takes to the gate and announces…”Heinrich Clauss, Germany, Shotput!” He gets in.
          Pierre grabs a small pennant pole and follows claiming “Pierre LeBeau, Javelin.” He gets in.
          Half an hour later they are wondering where Ole is when they spot him coming up to the gate wrapped in some sort of wire.
          “Ole Kiedrowski, Poland, Fencing!”

    • That’s some potent wine!
      I haven’t had time to watch much, but in years past I realized that the track and field athletes had really nice butts.

    • Pole Vaulting.

      Haven’t a clue (satelite tv out the past 2 weeks).

      And what is it about you and bars and long poles?
      ;)

  6. Well bugger it – GB women and men both eliminated from Olympic footy….. penalties *again* for the men….

    But Jessica Ennis is the world’s top all-round athlete, she is quite something – led the womens heptathlon from the start.

    US women going in the semis against the Hosers on Monday. Hope Solo is hot, Alex Morgan is a cutie (with a lethal right foot) but Abby Wambach is the complete player for me been watching her play for years – she deserves success for her efforts and commitment and grace in adversity and occasional defeat. Come on US women!

    • You’ve every reason to be proud!
      Reading that rousing enthusiasm for these women for being able to participate was very heartening, indeed!

  7. OK I confess – I’m going to go see Total Recall tonight :) ….. not just to see the triple-breasted woman…. but you have to say… Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel kicking butt in the same movie…… you know it makes sense!

    • “…you know it makes sense!”

      Unfortunately, after a while it makes no sense.

      • You were right …. after a while I was like ‘oh they are punching and kicking each other again ….. ‘

    • Makes great sense.

      I have to wonder what Philip K. Dick would have made of all these movies issued over the years, ostensibly based on his stories. I haven’t seen them all, but I know of none that captures his nearly hallucinatory writing, which was really what his work was about, far removed from film sf action. Maybe he would have liked Blade Runner (while wondering why the title was lifted from a different sf writer), or maybe I say that because I loved the movie.

    • That is despicable. I guess I’m still shocked at the depths to which Romney will go.

      Like I said somewhere above, this is going to be an ugly filthy election. We need to pace ourselves, because the obscenity will really start getting to us FAST.

      • We talked about this earlier today. Here’s what Mitt’s idiot campaign manager, Eric Fehrnstrom tweeted: “Ohio was right to extend early voting days to military voters & families. Obama is wrong to file lawsuit to stop it.”

        Ya know, I’d normally say he’s lying, but Fehrnstrom is stupid enough to not get it.

  8. Total recall …… two flippers down :(

    That was poor……. not even Bill Nighy could save it. Probably because he only had 5 mins of screen…..

    Should have stayed and watched Dr who – fezzes are cool….

      • Has anyone seen “Brave”? I want to take my red-headed granddaughter to see it.

        • It looks awesome. I saw the preview, and I’d like to see it. I haven’t wanted to see an animated movie in a long time.

          • I’ll report on it if we get to go.Son thinks 3 is too young for a movie and that I should give her the DVD when it comes out. He might be right, I’ll not question the instincts of a man who is currently raising four children younger than or equal to 7.

            • I’m not sure any child of 3 could properly appreciate any movie, so your son is probably right. My eldest went to his first movie at age 6, and he still remembers it.

  9. I’ve been working on a long post for my own blog, which I will cross-post here as next Saturday’s Watering Hole. It’s called, “Evolution of an Atheist.”

  10. It’s a full time job being poor. Son has been trying for two weeks, since the court gave him custody of his two eldest in the wake of the meth lab incident, to transfer the boys Medicaid from this county to his. The county he lives in is so understaffed that Medicaid coverage has been “pending” for a week. Meanwhile, the county which used to have the case cannot help him either. Net result, we’re paying cash for the oldest boy’s epilepsy medication while son spends several hours a day in voice mail hell.

    • That is so wrong. It shouldn’t have to be that difficult for needed medical assistance.
      Eff the Repugnant/teapotty party for attempting to making it much more difficult by fighting the ACA. They’ve no concept, absolutely none of the hardships they cause/will cause/ always cause…

      • Well, they can always go to the ER, where they will be told “We can’t help you, but it really important that he take his medicine on a regular schedule.” The ER as a healthcare stopgap for the uninsured is a myth. I doubt anyone ever received needed chemo in the ER. Yes, f’em, f’em all.

  11. Romney says the Federal Reserve shouldn’t use new stimulus measures to boost the still-sluggish economy. Europe’s austerity is a warning sign for what Romney would bring to America.

    Mittens believes (well, says) slashing taxes on the super-rich will unleash the animal spirits of capitalism! But how do you do that when no one else can afford to buy the products? He would slash tax rates for the rich and end deductions which would not contribute to any increase in revenues. All the while ramping up Pentagon spending. This is a recipe for Bush-Cheney debt again.

    For Romney, the years 2000 – 2008 seem to have been etch-a-sketched away. He’s learned nothing nor has his party.

    • Obama for America has and ad which makes exactly this point. If the “job creators” were going to be motivated by lower tax rates they’ve had a decade to demonstrate their enthusiasm. Consumer demand = growth.

      • The guy in that TED video (Nick Hanauer?) said something like, ‘I make a thousand times the average worker, but I don’t buy a thousand times as much stuff. My family has three cars, not 3,000.’ Giving the ultra rich huge tax breaks does nothing but give the rich huge tax breaks. It has no appreciable stimulative effect on the economy.

    • That’s brutal! Please keep it up your way…we don’t need that kind of heat, thank you very much.

        • Unfortunately still among the missing…
          I spent several hours looking for him.
          His ‘family’ returns tomorrow (Sunday) and we’ll up the canvassing!
          Toothy is a climber!
          Kiwi is content to wander about the 12′ x 15′ pen. S/he is only about 3.5″ so that’s lots space…as it would be for “Toothy” who is maybe 5″.

          • Well, I guess, good hunting? Keep me apprised of the sitch…If his personal power is such that he seeks his freedom, I bow to his quest, but wish him well even if he’s hiding under the sofa cushion.

            • He’s “in the wild”…meaning out of doors…
              I’m with you though that if he seeks to wander freely may it be safely.
              Uncertain who’ll peel the bananas he likes or dice the dandelions!

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