Monthly Archives: June 2009

Billy Mays

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We were just talking about who merits the sorrowful, montage filled, death tribute. We were interested in Ed til Farrah died. Interested in her for a few scant hours til Michael Jackson died.

We still remember Neda right?

And now Billy Mays. He gets a brief mention on CNN and we’re moving on. Does he deserve round the clock coverage? What are the guidelines for who to cover?

Billy was a Pitchman, and a damn entertaining one. Watching his show of that name, you saw a cranky guy, the rough exterior, but also someone who seemed to genuinely like helping a li’l inventor get a break.

He wasn’t music or television show, he was a commercial and you were forced to watch. But alot of us didn’t feel forced, he was usually more entertaining than what we were currently watching.

He was a happy force in the world, a nice guy, and of all the celebrities, A through D list, he’s the one that gets me wiping the tears from my eyes.

“That’s gonna leave a mark”

I don’t need round the clock coverage to know that.

RIP Billy Mays.

World Moon Bounce Day – June 27th 2009

Moon Bounce | Echoes of ApolloWorld Moon Bounce Day – June 27th 2009

“On Saturday, June 27th, many of the world’s large parabolic antennas (sometimes called dishes) will stop their normal space work and swing around to track the moon when it rises. EOA volunteers will then use the EME or Moon Bounce transmissions to link up with other dishes worldwide via the moon. Signals are literally being bounced off the moon’s surface and back to other stations on earth where they are received some 2.5 seconds later.

There has never been so many dishes pointed at the moon since the lunar landings and possibly this will even break that record.”

Also a good article on Wired: Moon Bounce

Summer Solstice, Sun at 0 Cancer 00, June 21, 2009, 1:45 am EDT

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The Summer season begins with Sun entering Cancer.

For East Coast June 21, 2009, 1:45 am EDT
And West Coast June 20, 2009, 10:45 PM PDT

Down under, Winter begins.

Solstice means the Sun Standing Still and
The days the sun stands still varies by where you live. A few days in the north east to over a week in the south west.

The US Naval Observatory has an online calculator for looking up how long the sun will be hanging out in your area:

United States Naval Observatory Sunrise/Set

Betelgeuse shrinking?

UC Berkeley researchers say red giant star Betelgeuse mysteriously shrinking

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The red supergiant star Betelgeuse, the bright reddish star in the constellation Orion, has steadily shrunk over the past 15 years, according to University of California, Berkeley, researchers.

Long-term monitoring by UC Berkeley’s Infrared Spatial Interferometer (ISI) on the top of Mt. Wilson in Southern California shows that Betelgeuse (bet’ el juz), which is so big that in our solar system it would reach to the orbit of Jupiter, has shrunk in diameter by more than 15 percent since 1993.

Nobody’s 100% sure if this is a normal size variation, or the beginning of the end for Betelgeuse. Red supergiants are older stars, living out their retirement and telling comets to “stay the hell off my orbit!” Shrinkage could just be the next step on the way to the supernova grave. So raise a glass of Metamucil to Betelgeuse, in case this is the beginning of the end.

Endeavour to Launch Saturday, June 13

Spaceflight Now | STS-127 Shuttle Report | Endeavour

The countdown began on time at 9 a.m. Thursday, setting up a launch attempt at 7:17:15 a.m. EDT Saturday, roughly the moment Earth’s rotation carries launch pad 39A into the plane of the space station’s orbit. The shuttle has enough power to launch five minutes to either side of that “in-plane” time, but NASA targets the middle of the 10-minute window to maximize ascent performance.