Monday, August 2, 2010

Monday, August 2, 2010, By The Numbers

  • Only 145 shopping days left... Christmas shop, selling seasonal decorations, opens in London department store.
  • Scientific American takes pains to note that the Spirit Rover is conserving energy to keep itself at a minimum of -40 [Fahrenheit], failing to notice that -40 is the same temperature in both Fahrenheit and Celsius scales.
  • Bajillions of charged particles headed toward earth as a result of a pair of ionic flatulence events on the sun yesterday... Aurora alert for tomorrow (August 3)? Go to SpaceWeather for updates, reports, observations and latest news.
  • While you're looking at the sky, at least three planets- Venus, Mars and Saturn- should be easily visible after sunset for the next week or so. Even though the story is described as from Western Oregon, making allowances for your latitude and minor variations regarding where you are across the breadth of your time zone, these should work okay for the northern mid-latitudes generally.
  • This week marks the "35th Anniversary of Global Warming." Pretty amazing call, given the uncertainties at the time.
  • Value of a piece of gag merchandise, the Hot Wheels version of "Wonder Woman's invisible jet" (an empty box, with a jet form molded into the plastic window), a week ago: $5.00. Asking price for the same empty box today: $20.00. I'm in the wrong business.
  • Is it over now? Best estimate to date of total amount of oil spilled at BP's Macondo prospect: 4.9 million barrels, or ~206 million gallons. This makes it half again as large as the previous record-holder, the Ixtoc spill of 1979.

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