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In Absence of Labour

Posted on September 5th, 2022

Dave!International Labour Day is a global holiday on May 1st which celebrates the contribution of workers to society and advocate for their rights. The United States, ever marching to the beat of our own drum, celebrates our Labor Day today.

I, of course, had to work.

Which is fine. I plan on taking a half-day off on Wednesday.

Somebody else who isn't getting a holiday today either? Voyager 1. He was launched 45 years ago today. I mean, he's more of an "it" than a "he," which is actually a better way to look at the situation...

It's the Voyager 1 spacecraft!

Otherwise you have to assign feelings to Voyager 1 as he hurtles through the vastness of cold space all alone. Poor guy.

Look, I did it again.

   

Behold The WEBB

Posted on July 12th, 2022

Dave!NASA released four images from the WEBB Space Telescope, and lo did the people of earth lose their minds. And well they should, because the images are absolutely jaw-droopingly stunning.

The best we could really do prior to this was the images that came out of the Hubble Space Telescope. And, amazing though they were, technology has come a very long way since Hubble was launched in 1990.

A guy released a tool for comparing Hubble to WEBB, and it's impossible to overstate what a drastic difference it is...

A gorgeous nebula.

A galaxy cluster.

Another gorgeous nebula.

Another gorgeous nebula shot.

But that's just the beginning.

Not only can we see more stuff better, we can see further back in time. 4.6 billion years and counting.

This astounding shot of Stephan's Quintet is mind-boggling. Each of these four massive nebulas contain millions of stars. But each of those little dots scattered around them? Galaxies with hundreds of thousands of millions of stars each. There's billions upon billions upon billions of stars in this image. And many of those could have planets. Many of those could have planets with life. Odds are very good that we are not alone...

A quintet of nebulas with thousands of galaxies around them.

Zooming closer... more galaxies!

Zooming closer... more galaxies!

Zooming closer... more galaxies!

The photos we're going to see from WEBB will most certainly continue to astonish for decades to come. And the amount of learning opportunities for all of humanity are likely staggering.

I dunno about you, but I like the idea of tax dollars going to occasional programs like this instead of exclusively fueling a war machine that's already bigger than most other countries on the planet combined. WEBB cost $10 billion. That's a massively-huge amount of money, no doubt. But considering an aircraft carrier costs $14 billion... and the jets that are onboard cost a cool $80 million each... well, if there's money for that, there's money for this.

   

Bullet Sunday 758

Posted on April 10th, 2022

Dave!Winter may have come back, but there's warmth in my heart... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Two No More! I wanted taco salad for dinner. I had the lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, cheese, salsa, sour cream, veggie crumbles, thousand islands dressing, and frozen corn... I just needed tortilla chips. So I stopped at the store on my way back from Home Depot. The "$2 ONLY!" Santinas Brand I've been buying forever are now "$2.29 ONLY!"

NOW $2.29!!

I know that prices for all the food I buy is through the roof, but this shook me. "$2 ONLY!" ain't "$2 ONLY!" any more.

   
• Cumin! The "Martha Stewart and Marley Spoon meal service has been a huge source of culinary happiness for me. So many new recipe ideas and flavors. But they keep raising their prices which, on it's own is not a deal-breaker... but they refuse to do anything to protect their ingredients, even after I've made numerous complaints. Nor do they compensate you any more. It used to be that when something was missing or damaged... they'd at least give you a token credit on your next order. Not any more! Your sour cream packet was smashed open and smeared everywhere because it was placed under ice bricks? OH WELL! Missing your carrot? SORRY! Tomatoes pulped by a can of beans? OOPSIES! And so I canceled. And replaced them with "The Cumin Club," and Indian-based food service that you prepare from little packets...

Cumin Club Packets

So far I am quite pleased. Fairly economical, promised authentic flavors, easy to prepare, and tasty (if a little on the spicy side). If you're interested in giving them a try, here's a link that gives us both 15% off.

   
• What? A director I like with a movie starring a bunch of actors I like is usually guaranteed to grab my attention. It is not, however, guaranteed to please. Enter The Bubble...

The Bubble actors yelling in front of a green screen.

A movie about making a movie in the middle of the pandemic... which is supposed to be funny, but is actually about as unfunny as it gets. What a waste of talent all the way around.

   
• Gooshing! Chipotle Mexican Grill keeps sending me emails telling me how close I am to getting enough points for a free entrée. I always order a rice & black bean burrito with salsa, sour cream, guacamole, and extra cheese. But the last burrito I bought was INEDIBLE. I always have to order double tortilla wrap so it doesn't bust open while I'm attempting to eat it... but this time even a double wrap wasn't enough because (and I am not exaggerating here) the entire first half of the burrito was entirely guacamole, sour cream, and salsa. That's it. And how can even two tortillas compete against THAT? — I was half-way through before I hit cheese and rice, so it was just gooshing liquid the entire time. By the time I hit beans, the tortilla had disintegrated. It was one of the grossest things I've ever eaten and I had to dump a bunch of it back in the bag so my clothes didn't look like a murder scene...

The very wrong way to make a burrito.

So... yeah... I guess I'll keep ordering until get my free burrito, but then I'm done. It will just be chips and guac from then onwards. The burritos aren't worth the trauma.

   
• =eyeroll= Real NASA Astronomer Reviews Flat Earth Simulator...

I mean... holt shit. It defies all possible common sense, yet here we are.

   
• Discovery! When you read this fascinating story... be sure to read the caption under the photo: Woman Discovers She Isn't The Biological Mother Of Her Own Children.

   
• Brain Hurty! Veritasium is a YouTube channel that I watch because it's interesting and challenging. Even when Derek breaks down items and concepts into something that I can mostly understand... there's always elements that lay just outside my grasp. This video I've watched at least three times over the years. It's actually not overly-difficult to understand... there's a reference point change that explains things quite well... the thing that I have a hard time grasping is how there exists within science concepts which are absolutely horrifying to contemplate. Such as the idea that there were people thinkning that eventually the earth would flip over...

Now, this turns out not the case... science has an explanation as to why that's not going to happen... but for a while there it seemed like a possibility. And this has me wondering about all the horrifying things that haven't got science to explain it away.

   
And that's all the bullets for today, buckaroo.

   

To Webb, Perchance To Dream

Posted on February 4th, 2022

Dave!There's several government programs that I'm happy to support. One of the best, in my humble opinion, in NASA. The volumes of "stuff" we've learned from it have resulted in all kinds of technological advancements that have made our lives better. Not to mention the cool stuff they are doing.

One of the most current projects that I'm completely obsessed with is the WEBB Telescope. It's going to be able to see further back into the origins of the universe than we've ever been able to before, further understand planets outside our solar system, and all kinds of other amazing things. Every once in a while I drop by NASA's website to see how the project is going and read up on any new information available.

Every time I visit I marvel at how cool the WEBB logo looks. Somebody at NASA got a very good designer to boil the project down to this awesome graphic...

NASA EYES ON Solar System Viewer

While I was at the site, I spotted the "NASA Eyes" project, which has various interactive toys to play with.

And promptly fell down a rabbit hole of exploration for over a half-hour using their Solar System Viewer...

NASA EYES ON Solar System Viewer

After the solar system appears, you can click on objects to explore them. Naturally I started close to home with Mars...

NASA EYES ON Solar System Viewer

Then various asteroids...

NASA EYES ON Solar System Viewer

Then I started clicking on various man-made objects...

NASA EYES ON Solar System Viewer

Some of these things are utterly fascinating, and are out there doing things I never knew were even happening...

NASA EYES ON Solar System Viewer

Still others I knew about, but didn't know what was happening with them. Like OSIRIS-REx, that little probe that landed on an asteroid a while back and is currently heading back to earth with specimens...

NASA EYES ON Solar System Viewer

After a couple objects I got to DART... Double Asteroid Redirection Test...

NASA EYES ON Solar System Viewer

This cool-looking thing has the thankless task of crashing into an asteroid to see if it can redirect it. This is the first step in building a defense against an asteroid hurling towards earth. I figured that it must be the size of a frickin tank to have any hope of making a dent, but it's actually quite small. Something you can verify by comparing it to earth objects. As you can see here, it's only about the height of a human scientist...

NASA EYES ON Solar System Viewer

But slightly wider than a school bus...

NASA EYES ON Solar System Viewer

Though considerably smaller than the Rose Bowl Stadium...

NASA EYES ON Solar System Viewer

There's all kinds of information available to say how the mission was set up, what it hopes to accomplish, and how it aims to accomplish it...

NASA EYES ON Solar System Viewer

NASA EYES ON Solar System Viewer

The poor thing is on-target to crash into the smaller half of a double-asteroid called Didymos. And if you zoom back a bit, you can see exactly where it's located in relation to DART...

NASA EYES ON Solar System Viewer

So there he is out there seeing the sights and thinking that he's got some really cool exploring ahead of him... when the entire time his purpose is to crash. Sad.

And because I just couldn't help myself, I started looking for Voyager 1, the first man-made object to leave the solar system. At least that we know of. I had to zoom out quite a bit to see that...

NASA EYES ON Solar System Viewer

From there I kept poking around the solar system until I had to get back to work.

Fascinating, fascinating stuff. If you've got a little time to kill, there are far worse ways to spend your time than exploring the solar system . Enjoy!

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Categories: News – Politics 2022Click To It: Permalink  0 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bullet Sunday 702

Posted on February 21st, 2021

Dave!The weather may be hitting hard here in these United States of America, but I will not be deterred... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Ingenuity! I am still in awe of NASA's latest mission to Mars. I have spent hours upon hours pouring over the NASA documentation, briefs, reports, and news about it. One of the things that blows my mind even more than the fact that we can land something on the surface of Mars is how they actually do it. It's actually a sky crane which gently lowers the Perseverance rover to the surface like so...

Artist rendition of the lander lowering the rover to the surface of Mars from NASA.
Artist rendering from NASA/JPL - Caltech

The landing modules that did the heavy lifting... er, landing... sent back a photo of it actually happening...

Photo of the Perseverance rover being lowered to Mars from the viewpoint of the lander module looking down at it.
Photo from NASA/JPL - Caltech

NASA even managed to get an orbital view of it happening...

Photo of the lander module plummeting towards Mars, it's parachute deployed.
Photo from NASA/JPL - Caltech

But the big surprise here is that Perseverance didn't land alone. He brought a little buddy with him... the Ingenuity test copter drone!

Artist rendition of the Ingenuity copter on the surface of Mars.
Photo from NASA/JPL - Caltech

This little helicopter bot is just a test project. It's not really on Mars to do anything except experiment with the concept of using helicopters on the red planet. Not the most mind-boggling thing to happen on this mission, but every journey begins with a single step. What IS a bit mind-boggling is how Ingenuity hitched a ride to the planet's surface. It's snuggled underneath the Perseverance and will be popped off, rotated right-side-up, then placed on the ground as the rover drives away. NASA tested it here on earth, as you can see from this cool video...

The engineering required to make all this happen... and happen under Mars' brutal temperatures and a much thinner atmosphere... is truly a testament to human ingenuity. Oh... wait a second... is that why the little helicopter bot was named Ingenuity? NASA will be holding another press briefing at 2pm P.S.T. tomorrow, and you can bet I'll be watching!

   
• Help! So much attention is (rightfully) being directed towards the human crisis happening in Texas, and my heart aches for all those who are suffering. But what keeps me up at night are the animals who are caught up in the cold weather danger as well. They are mostly overlooked, and it's gut-wrenching to see the reports coming out of the Lone Star State. A friend has been sharing links where people can donate, and I've done what I can, starting with these three organizations...

  • Austin Pets Alive! — Trying to keep up with the influx of animals as a result of the storms.
  • Primarily Primates — Rescue primates organization in need of funds to keep doing the work they do.
  • Sea Turtle, Inc. — Images of rescued sea turtles being stacked in cars in an attempt to save them is just the start... organizations charged with housing them are in desperate need.

Anything you can donate... no matter how small... will be much appreciated.

   
• Social Media Reporting! United Airlines Flight 328 suffered catastrophic engine failure and was forced to land. And the way I found out about this major news story? It appeared on TikTok as a trending video...

@dogthatkills

Y’all I just saw a plane fly over my house with a blown engine. Hoping everyone is okay! ##plane ##ohnoo

♬ Oh No - Kreepa

What's even more amazing was the footage of the blown engine from within the cabin...

Planes can fly on one engine and are built to accomodate a blown engine. However... this flight was on its way to Hawaii from Denver. This would have been a very different story if they were 1,000 miles over the Pacific Ocean. I'm just happy it happened so soon after takeoff and that nobody was hurt. The interior video above was shot by Bretty Guy who, ironically ennough, posted this back in 2013...

Tweet from Brett Guy saying A few years later and still clueless as to what the point of twitter is...?

After having his video viewed millions of times and being picked up by every possible news organization, he probably gets it now. Social media is how we communicate. It's how information (and, disinformation, natch) gets seen.

   
• NEWSFLASH! Womans Wants Apology After Tom Brady Trophy Toss — Apology? Are you shitting me?!? Because your feelings were hurt over an object you don't own? It wasn't even fucking damaged! It got tossed by somebody WHO TOSSES SHIT FOR A LIVING...

Tom Brady tossing the trophy to fans in Tampa.
Photo captured from video by WFTS via WCVB.

Good Lord. Nobody... absolutely NOBODY... gives a shit about your stupid-ass feelings over the fucking Lombardi trophy, and absolutely NOBODY owes you shit. Your dad got paid to do a job and he did it. Your ownership... or rather any ownership by your your father... ended the minute the trophy left left Tiffany & Co. — If I bought a Tiffany baby rattle that your dad made and shoved it up my ass, would you be acting this stupid? Oh probably. Because self-important pieces of shit ALWAYS act just this stupid. I am getting so damn tired of the entitlement people feel when it comes to nonsensical bullshit like this. Save your outrage for something that matters... like the current flavor of the month ice cream at Baskin-Robbins or which kitten video is trending on YouTube or some shit like that. If anybody should be dishing out apologies, it should be your pathetic ass for acting like Tom Brady melted the fucker down and took a shit on it while you were holding it. I mean, there's a pandemic going on that's killing people... but Tom Brady tossed a trophy to somebody, so let's all shed tears over that. Jesus Christ.

   
• Loser! This appeared in my Facebook feed. One of those few times I don't mind seeing an ad because this is hilarious...

A T-shirt showing a human being beamed aboard a flying saucer saying GET IN, LOSER — WE'RE DOING BUTT STUFF!

If only there was an apropriate place I could wear such a thing. If you do, you can pick one up (in several designs) right here at TeePublic.

   
• Cheese! There’s a meme going around TikTok which originated with a man going to his refrigerator and asking "Doesn’t everybody have a drawer in their fridge that’s completely dedicated to cheese?" The joke being that he has DVDs stored in his refrigerator...

@.ceoofdadjokes

Cheese 😆##heybree ##ceoofdadjokes ##cheesedrawer ##heretoembarassmykids ##marylandgang #

♬ original sound - Jonathan Kung

Since then people have been making their own version of the meme where they have increasingly weird stuff being stored in their refrigerator. — And this whole time I’m like "BOTH DRAWERS IN MY FRIDGE ARE DEVOTED TO CHEESE!!!" And also a third draw which has my snack cheeses in it. My refrigerator is all cheese all the time and it's no laughing matter!

   
• Va Va Voom! There are two sides to TikTok that I absolutely love and would rather watch than most television shows or movies... Black TikTok and Gay TikTok. Both can be entertaining as hell, and I laugh out loud more often than I'd ever admit. I also end up learning more than I'll ever admit. And while there's some overlap from time to time, they are two very different entities. UNTIL TODAY, THAT IS. I've run into the song Va Va Voom by Nicki Minaj on both sides. It's a song that I've never heard of before. And it ended up being 100% my jam for the weekend...

Banger! Thanks TikTok!

   
Enjoy the rest of your Sunday, bullet fans...

   

Bullet Sunday 622

Posted on July 28th, 2019

Dave!The world may be turned up-side-down, but there's at least one thing you can still count on... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Moon! The 50th anniversary of the Apollo Moon Landing was July 20th. As a build-up to this amazing event, NASA unleashed a flood of images from their archives. The photos are stunning...

An astronaut descending from the lunar lander on the moon.

An Apollo astronaut on the moon.

The earth as seen from the moon.

The scanned resolution is quite high, so you can zoom in for some great detail...

Closeup of the earth as seen from the moon.

But the real gold here? NASA has also posted some panoramas they've stitched together. They're huge...

Panorama of Apollo astronauts on the moon

Panorama of Apollo astronauts on the moon

To see them in all their glory, you'll need to head over to Flickr. Well worth your time.

   
• Emoji! As I mentioned previously, I question Apple's emoji strategy. Most times what they come up with is beautiful when seen at large sizes... but fall apart at smaller sizes. Which is crazy, because the vast majority of the time emoji are displayed tiny. Google, on the other hand, creates more simple, easily identifiable emoji that read well at small sizes. Their cartoonish style just works SO much better...

Apple's beautifully-detailed emojis for ape and skunk vs. Google's more cartoony take.
   
That's Apple on the left and Google on the right.

With the upcoming emojis for 2019, Apple seems to be shitting the bed. Their emoji for falafel looks like a plate of turds... even at large sizes! Google, on the other hand, has captured the spirit of falafel with their gorgeous, more cartoony take...

But the one that REALLY bothers me? Apple's take on the new waffle emoji...

Arguably, the Apple waffle looks more delicious. But no butter or syrup? Who eats a waffle like that? Google's waffle doesn't look as appetizing, but at least they gave us a little butter! Step it up, Apple!

   
• Hey Boys! And so... Amazon's adaptation of The Boys has been released. It's faithful to the idea of the original comic book series in many ways, has incredible acting by a terrific cast, and is pretty entertaining (assuming you're not opposed to violence and gore)...

An image of The Seven, a super-hero group from the Amazon mini series The Boys

There are some negatives, however. First of all, the editing is weird. Scenes are made confusing by cuts or appear in an order that seems backwards. Second, it ends on a massive cliffhanger (fortunately the show has already been renewed for a second season). And, of course, there have been some massive changes from the comics which I found bothersome. Yeah, I know, that's par for the course, but the changes made were kinda self-defeating. Even so... it's an interesting look at the super-hero genre that might be worth a look if you're into that kind of thing.

   
• Just the Equifax, Ma'am! In case you haven't heard, odds are highly likely that your private information was leaked by Equifax, a consumer credit company. In a hilariously inadequate punishment, they agreed to a direct payout settlement with the FTC for up to $425 million in order for citizens to help clean up the mess they created (when Equifax earns $877 million per quarter... and rising). If you want your part of this absurd slap on the wrist, the FTC has a page for that. But before you go running... you should know that the amount of money they have to pay out is capped. The $125 you think you're applying for is not a guaranteed amount you'll receive. It's the maximum amount you'll receive. If one million people make the request, you'll just get $31. If all 147 million people who were affected make the request, you'll get a whopping 21¢. So when I had to choose between the "$125" and the free credit monitoring, I went with the free credit monitoring. It's pretty much nothing compared to the damage Equifax has done. But I'll take "pretty much nothing" over actually nothing any day. The good news is that I can cancel the $10 a month service I have been using, and that adds up to real money.

UPDATE: Well, that was fast... no more "$125" settlements are offered. Oh yeah, and then there's this from the FTC.

   
• Keyboard Katasrophe! Oh wow. Maybe Apple isn't as stupid as I thought. They're apparently going to finally replace their shitty "butterfly keyboards" with something that (hopefully) won't suck shit through a tube. Except they are pretty damn stupid considering they waited far, far longer than they should have to ditch these crappy, horrendously evil keyboards, didn't they?

   
• Schadenfreude! Mitch McConnell is a festering pile of crap, and I'll take my moments where I can...

Jon Stewart smiles as Piece of FUCKING SHIT Mitch McConnell walks by

This is before the vote where the Senate approved legislation to permanently fund care for 9/11 survivors and first responders who suffered health issues. Something PIECE OF FUCKING SHIT MITCH MCCONNELL has been fighting against since day one. Which is business as usual for a GAPING ASSHOLE LIKE MCCONNELL, who is perfectly fine letting our 2020 elections be hacked, has no problem breaking the law if it means he can make money, and wastes no opportunity to forward the agenda of the lobbyist handlers who have bought and paid for his ass. He is the epitome of corruption in government. He is the best ever example for why we need congressional term limits. He is garbage who profits off of the misery he is elected to relieve. I try my best not to hate people. Hate consumes you. Hate destroys you. But I fucking hate Mitch McConnell to such an extremely illogical degree that it doesn't even register as "hate" on my psyche. When this fucker is finally dead and rotting in hell, I plan on celebrating like I won the lottery. Because his death is apparently the only thing that will keep him out of office given how Kentucky keeps sending his heinous ass back to "represent" them. I guess they like getting fucked, and he's happy to keep fucking them. Over and over and over and over since 1984.

   
• Divine Voice! Because I'd like to end on a positive note today... here's a really cool video of Simu Liu telling the story of how he found out that he was cast as Shang-Chi in Marvel's upcoming movie...

I've only seen Liu in a few things... but he's crazy-talented and I'm sure he's going to do a great job.

   
And that's the end of that. See you next Sunday.

   

Bullet Sunday 535

Posted on September 24th, 2017

Dave!Autumn is here and it's going to be a great, great season, because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Cassini! Okay... two things concerning the live broadcast of the NASA-assisted suicide by the Cassini space probe last Sunday...

1) NASA engineers singing as Cassini takes its suicide plunge into Saturn is the sickest fucking thing I've seen in ages...

Cassini NASA Singers

2) NASA divided an hour-long program into two pieces, so I didn't get to see the ending because my DVR didn't know to record it. Assholes!

   
• Just a Bill! It looks like the heinous "Graham-Cassidy Healthcare Bill" is likely dead. Which is probably a good thing since NOBODY and, by nobody, I mean "nobody except wealthy old white male politicians who have their lips in a death-grip on insurance lobby cock"... wanted this bill. Except... NOW EVEN INSURANCE COMPANIES ARE WARNING THE BILL IS BULLSHIT?!? WTF? Look, something has to be done as Insurance companies pull out of ACA exchanges thanks to Republicans sabotaging them before having an alternative in place... Something has to be done. But it has to be something actually sensible instead of all the insurance lobby capitulation that ruined "Obamacare" and the same massive insurance lobby capitulation that is fucking up any GOP alternative. Fuck the insurance company profit margins... Congress needs to do their damn jobs and start saving American lives!

   
• Smooth! Sean Spicer's appearance at the Emmy's was abhorrent. Forget all the people in the audience laughing it up, there was nothing funny about Sean Spicer cashing in on his notorious tenure as White House Press Secretary for award show schtick. He's a fucking liar who misled American citizens every fucking day he took that podium as Trump's mouthpiece. He deserves to disappear, not cash in on such heinous notoriety. And yet... here we are. And Jay Smooth totally called it...

It didn't even take years... it took weeks. The garbage that it America's political system is alive and well in 2017. If anything, it just keeps getting worse.

   
• Num Noms! If you want to get your kid in the habit of sniffing nail polish, here's a good way to encourage that...

Totally won't lead to kids sniffing ADULT nail polish laying around the house. And it's impossible that will lead to kids sniffing nail polish REMOVER, right?

   
• Hobby Lobbyist! Let us all recite the American prayer: "You must suckle at the teat of your overlords and thou shalt not have no other teats than theirs. Disobey and you shall be cast out, fined, and imprisoned so as to discourage others from the free thought and action that leads to ruin. Profit be unto our overlords forever and forever, amen."

THIS is fucking politics in the USA... read it and weep: Thanks To Lobbying, It's Illegal To Power Your Home With Solar Panels In Florida

Honest to God, I cannot figure out what is keeping American citizens from initiating open revolt against those who have enslaved us.

   
And now... that garage is not going to clean itself, and I've got a car that I'm really not wanting to scrape frost off of each morning.

   

Cost

Posted on July 18th, 2015

Dave!And now, following up on yesterday's post...


The Planet Pluto

   

Obviously, our priorities are completely fucked.

   

Planet

Posted on July 17th, 2015

Dave!So...

NASA...

Money well-spent, again, I think.


The Planet Pluto

The Moon Charon

Pluto. Charon, and the Moon

   
The planet Pluto. Pluto's moon Charon. A size comparison of Pluto and Charon vs. the Earth.

Cool.

And worth every penny...

Instead of cutting their budget even further, we should give NASA billions more dollars and see what cool stuff they come up with to spend it.

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Categories: News – Politics 2015Click To It: Permalink  1 Comment: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Bullet Sunday 294

Posted on September 2nd, 2012

Dave!Turns out that bullet points are not as rare as a blue moon... because yet another Bullet Sunday starts... now...

   
• Astronomy. Considering how amazing the news, the official NASA press release appeared relatively boring... there are millions of supermassive black holes hiding behind a veil of dust that's mucking up the universe. Other news sources decided to take the NASA news and make it pretty. Forbes ran the story's talking points alongside this photo...

NASA Quasar
Unsurprisingly, this stunning image is from NASA.

I could look at stuff like this all day. Fortunately, NASA has a site for that...

NGC 4038
Again, this stunning image is also from NASA.

I swear... every time the latest Astronomy Picture of the Day hits my web feed reader, it makes me glad I'm not in charge of the US budget. Because, if I were, I'd give NASA more money than they could spend. I'd be rolling up dump trucks full of cash to Jet Propulsion Laboratory and every other division that NASA has. I'd shower them with such massive loads of funding that they'd have to reach into their wildest dreams to find ways to spend it all. I'd probably be branded a traitor and shot for spending public money in such an egregious and irresponsible fashion... but I wouldn't care. As the stunning success with the Curiosity rover has shown, nothing can inspire quite like the USA's forays into space. Alas, reality dictates we have to put the bulk of that money elsewhere, but I can dream. NASA makes it so damn easy.

   
• Holy Crap. If you're not watching Breaking Bad, you are seriously missing out on one of the most depressingly brilliant shows ever to air on television...

Breaking Bad Promo Pic

I was a latecomer to the show... I didn't start watching until half-way through season two. But now that the show is on its fifth and final season, I am trying to envision life without it. Especially when I turn the channel and see the utter shit that's splattered across my television. And speaking of amazing television...

   
• Toby. Even though I just finished making my way through all seven seasons of The West Wing six months ago, I started in again last night (IT'S TOTALLY BLAIR'S FAULT!). I enjoy the show. And, at a time when politics on both side of the spectrum are so dismally disappointing, it makes for better background noise while I work than the news. The only problem is that I HATE HATE HATE HATE the character of Toby Ziegler with the burning passion of a thousand suns...

Toby Ziegler
I know how you feel. I know exactly how you feel. Starting with you.

He was an arrogant asshole from his very first appearance on the show. It seems like creator Aaron Sorkin intended Toby to be some kind of "moral center" he could use to inject his personal politics into a story where they otherwise wouldn't fit. And it was a good idea... except Toby was a total condescending dick most of the time. I don't think actor Richard Schiff is totally to blame, but he certainly didn't infuse much likability into his character that I could ever find. Even when he was being likable. And so now any time I watch an episode, I cannot help but think of how much it would be improved if Toby weren't in it. Or how much fun it would have been to be a writer on The West Wing and kill him off.

   
• Charlie. On the other hand, with each new viewing of The West Wing, I appreciate the subtle genius that Dulé Hill brings to his role of Charlie Young...

Dulé Hill as Charlie Young

When people talk about how astoundingly well-cast The West Wing was, I think that "Charlie" is often-times overlooked, and this is a shame. The character had a very fine line to walk, and the more I re-watch the show the more I am convinced that Dulé Hill is one of only a handful of actors that could have pulled it off. This is made even more apparent when I see the complete 180 he did when he jumped into the role of Gus on Psych. And while I still like Psych, I admit that I'm very interested to see where he jumps next.

   
• Eat. I want nothing more right now at this moment to eat a really good pizza. Alas...

   
And... I should get to bed since I'll be working on Labor Day tomorrow. I guess for me it actually is Labor Day, whereas for most everybody else it's No-Labor Day. Or something like that.

   

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