Acts of Volition

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Willem -

My cellphone has no signal when I'm at my parent's place.

That's 2004 for ya.

Craig -

...and what did herself think of this bedroom activity. I always knew there was a geek hidden in yer big lovable self.

Alan -

I was eating food from a tube as I watched...

Brad Pineau -

Damn.. I wanted to watch that.... guess I missed it. =(

Lou Quillio -

Brad, I'd look for a backdoor, a commercial news site that's mirrored the NASA video and devoted sufficient resources to serving it. Can't hit NASA.gov for nothin' right now, but I think USAToday.com or CNN.com might offer something. Sadly I'm without broadband at the moment, so it's an utter waste for me to follow any red-hot multimedia links.

Must fix my connection soon. Dial-up is so Flintstones.

Recently saw a Rick Steves travel program on PBS, about visiting eastern Turkey. He liked the place (that's his job) and extolled the travel values to be had. He pointed out that most Western travelers should head straight for the best hotel available since it'll be cheap anyhow, but warned that breakfast is likely to be served with a Tang-like drink in place of juice.

That made me think of the early 1970s, when 1960s space-race overspill still preserved NASA's cool. Once in a while I could persuade my Mom to buy Tang. Seems so silly now, a latter-day perpetuation of 1950s attitudes that canned vegetables (for instance) were superior to fresh because they were more modern — or could do double-duty in the bomb shelter. Today many folks who rarely open a canned product still think they need an electric can-opener on the counter — because it's part of the 1950s-derived de rigeur household equipment list.

Then again, an uncle whom I've lost touch with returned from a bow-hunting trip to Alaska in about 1974 with a report that Alaskan natives had made a morning drink of Hot Tang: a warm and portable source of Vitamin C. Funny thing is that, when served hot, Tang is very tart.

These space travel products enter society from an odd vector and, it seems, retain an elliptical quality even after they do.

LQ

Dave S. -

It's funny, I had similar thoughts on the issue. Quite a time to live in, this age of information.

Steven Perry -

If we're so futuristic how come the Mars photos are black and white!? Maybe colour hasn't been invented there yet.

(Or there's some kind of scientific excuse based on the atmosphere of the planet?)

nathan -

Those black and white photos are just from the navigation cams... the rover's eyes used to land, orient itself, and explore. Full color photos with 14x the resolotion should be available tonight.

The limiting factors when sending images back to earth are the power required to send radio signals over 300 million kilometers and the limited opportunities when either the earth or a mars orbitor is in view. The rover is solar powered with batteries to get it through the night, so power is quite limited. On top of that it also takes considerable time just for the radio wave to reach us, but this just affects interactivity and not downloading of data.

Still pretty high for a ping time and really highlights how the instant worldwide communication we take for granted now really can't extend much further than our own planet unless we find a way to communicate that is faster than the speed of light.

Toby Rockwell -

Rover Spirit is wheeling around. http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/mer2004/rover-images/jan-15-2004/captions/image-5.html
And JPL played Baha Men's "Who Let the Dogs Out" to cap the moment. I am starting to appreciate what the Canadian weather does to refine musical tastes. So what would be some musical choices for this occasion?