Farewell to Mir -- 02/2/01

The Mir space station has about two and a half weeks left before it falls to a fiery end. CNN.com listed some of the key events in Mir's fifteen year history (Mir's first components were put in orbit in February of 1986). Well, I guess I won't get to fly to Mir. Last September I learned about the prospective television program, Destination Mir, that wanted to run a Survivor-type contest to select a winner who would get to travel to Mir. My eldest responded to that by submitting my name to the website the prospective program's producers had posted proposing to pick potential participants. [Yes, I guess I did get a little carried away there.] (Thanks anyway, Adam!)

You have to check out this awesome phonograph of a sonic boom. By the way, that site features a different photo everyday -- and maintains a huge archive -- always interesting, sometimes strikingly beautiful.

While I'm supplying links to various places, here's another example of bureacratic stupidity -- a school system that pulls an eight year old girl's science project out of a school science fair because they thought that there was a chance that some people might have felt uncomfortable thinking about her project. Duh!There have been scores of examples of this kind of idiotic behavior in recent months, most of it based on rigid and mindless enforcements of so-called "zero tolerance" policies that have resulted in students being suspended on drug charges for giving a classmate an aspirin or the recent case of an eight year old being suspended for violation of weapons rules for pointing a piece of chicken in the lunch room and saying "pow" -- if nothing else one must ask (if any type of rational decision-making process is blocked by these "policies") why not dump these high-priced bureaucrats (credentialed products of the education establishment) and replace them with an entry-level clerk? (Last summer I grumbled a bit on this topic when discussing how a school system near me wasted $93,000 attempting to block a student from wearing a White Zombie t-shirt.

Ah well... I am continuing to use my treadmill... got in a two mile run last night even though I wasn't able to get around to it until almost 10:30 at night... I also managed to confirm that although I am able to chew gum and walk at the same time, I am not able to read and run. Nancy is able to read while she walks on the treadmill so I tried to read while I ran... nope... can't do it. No, I was not trying to read a book... just had a copy of the student course manual for something I'm teaching next week opened on the control panel of the treadmill... thought I could review what I wanted to say while I ran... but it didn't work. Oh, sure, I could think about what I wanted to say, but once I reached a ten minute per mile pace I couldn't focus on the words on the page.
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