Yet another blog that will take up gigs of space, be accessable to anyone on the face of the earth, and will be read by (maybe) three people... If I'm lucky.
Here is the pic from this morning's NASA mission. It was called the Anomalous Transport Rocket Experiment (ATREX) -- five rockets launched at 80-second intervals from NASA's facility at Wallops Island, VA. Each rocket contained a pyrophoric chemical tracer -- trimethyl aluminum (TMA) -- that was emptied into the troposphere (about 60-65 miles above Earth -- just below the boundary to space) in a series of suborbital flights over the Atlantic. The dye was used to allow observers on the ground in three locations photograph and measure upper-atmospheric air currents.
The mission had several previous attempts -- all scrubbed either due to cloud cover, a fouled range, high winds, or technical glitches. Tonight, the range was red right up until the 5AM launch window closed. They were feeding azimuth and elevation data to the rocket launchers while the countdown was ongoing -- right up to the launch, forgoing the launch of test rockets first. The birds launched at just before 5AM. At times, the tracer dye almost looked like a slow moving firework or meteor. Then they looked like giant jellyfish. It was amazing.
This is what it looked like from the street in front of our house.
The comedian Myron Cohen once said of slivovitz that it makes Canadian Club taste like vanilla soda. It's been compared to paint thinner, lighter fluid and jet fuel, and has been pressed into service as a home cough remedy. In an air disaster scenario it might serve to disinfect a wound, or sterilize makeshift surgical tools.
But for many North American drinkers, slivovitz is a liqueur associated with holidays, family tradition and life-cycle events. Many Jews drink it on Passover, because it contains no grain and a number of varieties are certified kosher for Passover. The late Israeli wine critic Daniel Rogov recommended pairing it with traditional Ashkenazi foods like gefilte fish, or matjes herring. In Croatian, Romanian, and Serbian families it might be consumed at a wedding or anniversary, and perhaps as an after-dinner digestif. And for some seasoned drinkers, the Eastern European plum brandy is an occasion all its own.
"Whether you call it slivovitz, or slivovica, it's one of those seminal attractions that East European folks have enjoyed for many, many years," said Gian Cossa, a self-professed slivophile who organizes a slivovitz festival each September in Lanham, Md. By day Cossa works at the District Department of the Environment in Washington, D.C., but in his non-professional capacity he's part of a small cadre of slivovitz fans who believe that the oft-maligned liqueur is worth a second taste.
The U.S. Slivovitz Festival includes music, food and a Miss Slivovitz pageant. But the main event is always the slivovitz competition. To evaluate slivovitz, Master Judges use a six-variable testing model that considers visual and aromatic qualities, taste, aftertaste and alcohol content, as well as a characteristic called "mouthfeel." All of these criteria are laid out by "Radosevich's Slivovitz Festival Competition Score Sheet," which gives directions for tasting and judging entries. Judges are instructed to determine if the slivovitz tastes like old socks or a chemical waste dump, and whether or not it makes the tongue go numb. More favorably, it might taste smoky, or have hints of oak. If the plums weren't stripped of leaves before fermenting it might have an herbal flavor.
In the year of our lord eighteen hundred and eleven
On March the seventeenth day
I will raise up a beer and I'll raise up a cheer
For Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Here's to brewers yeast, that humblest of all beast
Producing carbon gas reducing acetaldehyde
But my friends that isn't all -- it makes ethyl alcohol
That is what the yeast excretes and that's what we imbibe
Also known as fermentation
Give me a beer
My intestinal wall absorbs that ethanol
And soon it passes through my blood-brain barrier
There's a girl in the next seat who I didn't think that sweet
But after a few drinks I want to marry her
I guess it's not surprising, my dopamine is rising
And my glutamate receptors are all shot
I'd surely be bemoaning all the extra serotonin
But my judgement is impaired and my confidence is not
No Long Term Potentiation
Hastens my inebriation
Give me a beer
When ethanol is in me, some shows up in my kidneys
And inhibits vasopressin by degrees
A decrease in aquaporins hinders water re-absorption
And pretty soon I really have to pee
Well my liver breaks it down so my body can rebound
By my store of glycogen is soon depleted
And tomorrow when I'm sober I will also be hungover
Cause I flushed electrolytes that my nerves and muscles needed
Give me a beer
Happy St. Pat's
*Actually, this isn't true. While both anaerobic respiration and fermentation occur without the use of oxygen, anaerobic respiration utilizes the electron transport chain to generate ATP, while fermentation does not. My bad. I would have remembered that if I wasn't trying so hard to rhyme. A new corrected version is now up on my channel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6dzUOYTQtQ
I miss you, Mike... I mean, Linda!
Discussion topics included:
• "The Partridge Family were neither partridges nor a family. Discuss."
• "Palmolive – it's neither palm nor olive. Discuss."
• "Grape-Nuts – it contains neither grapes, nor nuts. Discuss."
• "The Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire. Discuss." (This quote is based on a famous comment by Voltaire.)
• "The peanut is neither a pea nor a nut. Discuss."
• "Ralph Fiennes is spelled neither rafe nor fine. Discuss."
• "Rhode Island is neither a road nor is it an island. Discuss."
• "The Thighmaster is neither a thigh nor a master. Discuss."
• "The chickpea is neither a chick nor a pea. Discuss."
• "The jelly bean is neither made of jelly nor is it a bean. Discuss."
There's one that Linda should have done, but for some reason missed:
Old TV shows for you to enjoy
JUST CLICK ON A DATE AND SIT BACK AND ENJOY
1. JACKIE GLEASON ON THE ROCKY MARCIANO SHOW THE MAIN EVENT (1960)
2. JAMES DEAN: HIS FINAL TV APPEARANCE (1954)
3. ELVIS SINGS BLUE SUEDE SHOES (1956)
4. A TRIBUTE TO ELVIS PRESLEY, THE KING OF ROCK & ROLL (1959-62)
5. THE EDSEL INTRODUCED ON NBC (1957)
6. BOBBY DARIN'S "MACK THE KNIFE" (1959)
7. WESTINGHOUSE DEBUTS HI-TECH "ADVANCED TV" (1951)
8. WILLIAM BENDIX AS LOVABLE CHESTER A. RILEY (1956)
9. ICONS I: WHAT MADE 50'S TV GOLDEN (COMPILATION, (1952-60)
10. THE PATTI PAGE SHOW (1958)
11. BLOOPERS FROM THE HONEYMOONERS (1957-58)
12. THE CENSORED JERRY LEE LEWIS HERE UNCENSORED! (1957-59)
13. A TRUE 50's DOO WOP TV CLASSIC (1958)
14. FAMILY AFFAIR (1966)
15. ALAN FREED'S BIG BEAT DANCE PARTY DANCERS (1959)
16. THE STEVE ALLEN SHOW (1957)
17. The Inventor Of TV Sketch Comedy ERNIE KOVACS (1954)
18. THE RED SKELTON SHOW (1959)
19. ICONS: THE DELINQUENCY RAMPAGE! (COMPILATION, 1957-60)
20. FATHER KNOWS BEST (1953)
21. PETTICOAT JUNCTION (1962)
22. OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST BOB MATTHIAS (1956)
23. DANCES OF THE 1950's: THE HAND JIVE (1957)
24. GROUCHO MARX YOU BET YOUR LIFE (1959)
25. DRAGNET (1959)
26. THE IMMORTAL MUSICAL COMEDY OF VICTOR BORGE 1951
27. EDDIE FISHER SINGS A MEDLEY OF HIS BIGGEST HITS 1953
28. ABBOTT & COSTELLO: WHO'S ON FIRST? 1951
29. MORE DANCES OF THE 1950's THE JITTERBUG 1958
30. THE HONEYMOONERS ... IN COLOR! 1969
31. THE ORIGINAL FLASH GORDON SERIAL theatres-1939; TV-1960's
32. THE LONE RANGER 1955
33. THE ENDEARING GRIMACES OF EDDIE CANTOR 1952
34. BOBBY DARIN NERVOUSLY HOSTS A BEAUTY CONTEST 1957
35. MORE DANCES OF THE 1950's: THE LINDY HOP 1959
36. SHAKE, BABY, SHAKE! IT'S THE KILLER AGAIN! 1958
37. THE DANNY THOMAS SHOW 1958
38. SID CAESAR: YOUR SHOW OF SHOWS 1957
39. HERE COMES TOBOR! 1954
40. THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN 1954
41. THE ADVENTURES OF FLIPPER 1964
42. SPIKE JONES 1951
43. CAPTAIN VIDEO & HIS VIDEO RANGERS 1950
44. THE LIBERACE SHOW 1952
45. MEDIC 1954
46. THE BIG VALLEY 1965
47. THE ROOTS OF TV BASEBALL 1950-57
48. Mc HALE'S NAVY 1962
49. HOPALONG CASSIDY 1952
50. DARK SHADOWS 1966
51. FADS & FANCIES OF THE 50s & 60s
52. I LOVE LUCY 1952
53. THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW 1962
54. THE BEATLES FIRST TELEVISION APPEARANCE 1963
55. BAT MASTERSON 1958
56. MARTY ROBBINS ON THE JOHNNY CASH SHOW 1964
57. FRANK SINATRA SPEAKS CANDIDLY 1954
58. PASSWORD 1962
59. STAR TREK TV ON DEMAND 1966-present
60. MORE DANCES OF THE 50's: THE SWINGBACK 1958
61. THE LIVE TV FRIDGE COMMERCIAL CATASTROPHE 1954
62. THE ARTHUR GODFREY SHOW 1957
63. BUILDING THE 1958 DODGE 1957
64. FIGHT CLASSIC: ROCKY MARCIANO vs. JERSEY JOE WALCOTT 1952
65. AND MORE GREAT ICONS OF THE 50's VOL III 1952-59
66. ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS 1959
67. SATURDAY NIGHTLIVE~~ BEFORE SNL 1954-58
68. FELIX THE CAT 1959
69. THE DONNA REED SHOW 1958
70. THE GOLDBERGS 1952
71. LUCILLE BALL & CAROL BURNETT 1965
72. THE LITTLE RASCALS 1955
73. HIGHWAY PATROL 1956
74. LOST IN SPACE 1966
75. BEULAH 1951
76. BEWITCHED 1966
77. I DREAM OF JEANIE 1966
78. SEA HUNT 1957
79. DYNAMITE JOE RINDONE 1954
80. THE MILTON BERLE SHOW 1957