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Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Peeps Appreciation Society. The Battlestar Goes Digging. Space and Science News. Easter and the Imaginarium.

 Sir Peep A Lot.
The Peeps Appreciation Society

Hello Troops,
Today is a special day for members of the Peeps Appreciation Society (PAS) like me.  The PAS works diligently to foster the celebration of Easter and to insure its place in our society.  While many of us are Christians, and understand the religious significance of Easter, the PAS is a way for all people, religious or not, Christian or not, to celebrate the day when the Peeps make their yearly appearance on grocery shelves to warm the hearts of both children and adults.  

The PAS is divided into two camps.  Stage 1 members enjoy their Peeps fresh off the production line, when the marshmallow is gooey and sticky.  Stage 2 aficionados enjoy their Peeps after confection rigamortis has partially sent in and the marshmallow is gummy and somewhat mucilaginous.  You'll find more boys and men in the Stage 2 group, where the act of biting into the Peep and then pulling and tearing away its marshmallow flesh reminds us of our carnivore heritage.
Digging in the Battlestar

I stopped by the Discovery Space Center on Saturday morning to visit with center director, Casey Voeks.  I wanted to see how things went on their Friday Overnight Camp.  Casey seemed confused.  The dark pouches under his eyes told a story of many late nights and early mornings.  His hair was unkempt and his glasses slightly askew, all normal for Casey;  but if his glasses were a ship at sea, the Captain would be closing the water tight doors and preparing the passengers and crew to abandon ship if the list got any steeper.

I found Mark Daymont and his brother Dave and suggested we take Casey out for an hour or so for lunch, fresh air and great company.

"Casey, do you want to go out for lunch with us?" I asked.

"Lunch?" Casey questioned.

"Yes, lunch - that meal many people eat at or around Noon," I explained. I noticed the concept of lunch was taking hold.  The vacant expression, which had previously squatted on his face, was being pushed aside by the look of someone experiencing a conscious enlightenment.

"Sure," he vocalized.

We settled for Chick-fil-a.  Casey realized he'd forgotten his wallet when the nice lady at the window asked for his order.

"May I help you Sir?" she said with a perfectly fake smile.

"Hummmm, aaaaaaa, I'll have a water," Casey mumbled.

It being Easter and all, I decided to do the Christian thing and rescue this poor soul, drowning in his own confusion.  I bought him a nice box of Chick-fil-a McNuggets, sat him down, and let him work on getting the box open while the three of us talked about this, that and the other.

Our lunch was successful.  We all enjoyed a reasonable fast food meal and color was restored to Casey's face.

I noticed a large vacant lot with a dirt road next to Chick-fil-a as we left.   I cranked the steering wheel and turned the Battlestar heavy to port.  The lumbering Lincoln answered the helm and began a slow, titanic turn toward uncharted waters.

The Dirt Road

"What are you DOING?" Dave shouted from the back seat.  I could see him reaching for the door handle in a vain attempt to throw himself from the car in the event it left the pavement.  Mark grasped the seat belt with both hands and closed his eyes.  Casey simply asked, "Where are going?"

The car left the parking lot.  It was like going off planet.  We were on a real dirt road.  We were digging!   "Put your phone away and enjoy this," I shouted to Dave.  Dave was trying to call his wife but found it difficult as the car lurched one way, then the other as it navigated the bumps and rocks.

"Where are we?" Casey was trying to get his bearings.   "Are we still in Utah?"

"Chick-fil-a was my last meal on Earth," Mark lamented.

Making the tough decision

I stomped on the brake.  The car leaned forward - then settled into a gentle rocking motion.  The dirt road rose sharply ahead, up out of the field and back onto pavement.  Part of me wanted to take it on.  The more sensible part of me urged caution.  Mark, Dave and I are on the large side and I feared high centering the car.  It reminded me of a scene from the film The Perfect Storm, where the captain of the boat steered straight toward an oncoming mammoth wave.  He knew the boat would roll if he took the wave at any angle other than straight on.   I too might have put us upside down if I had chosen to take the great barrier at a sharp angle.  However, taking the angle head on would high center the car.  A decision had to be made, and being captain of the ship, it was up to me to make it.  After a moment's deliberation, I ashamedly backed away.  The passengers were happy, but I felt I'd let myself down for retreating in face of a real American challenge.

It was a three minute adventure none of us will forget.  It made us a Band of Brothers.

Mr. W.       

Space And Science News

Don't even think of skipping this section.  
You DON"T want to get me upset, not with the year I've had.  You MUST at least read the headlines.

Thank you for your cooperation.
The Head Troubadour

Why We Sleep and What Happens When We Don't

We spend a third of our lives doing it.  Napoleon, Florence Nightingale and Margaret Thatcher got by on four hours a night.  Thomas Edison claimed it was waste of time.  Why do we sleep and what would happen if we didn't?

Earth's Super Volcanoes and the  End of Mankind

In Smith's book, "Windows into the Earth," he says, "Devastation would be complete and incomprehensible." Before the super eruption, large earthquakes would likely swarm the surrounding areas until the huge blast that would erase Yellowstone completely off the map.
After the initial eruption, clouds of gas and rock would burn everything in its path with temperatures reaching to hundreds of degrees Celsius. Ashfall would cover the western United States and also enter the jet stream with the potential to cripple air transportation and threaten the world's food supply.  Read More

A Rock from Mercury?

Scientists may have discovered the first meteorite from Mercury.  The green rock found in Morocco last year may be the first known visitor from the solar system's innermost planet, according to meteorite scientist Anthony Irving.  Read More

Biological computer created at Stanford
A team of Stanford engineers has made a simple computer inside a living cell, where it could detect disease, warn of toxic threats and, where danger lurked, even self-destruct cells gone rogue.   Read More
Failure to act on antibiotic resistance risks lives, Yes Even Yours.  
Margaret Chan, the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) warned in 2012 “Unless we solve the problem of antimicrobial resistance to drugs, we will be facing a post-antibiotic era where things as common as a strep throat infection or a child's scratched knee could once again kill.”  Read More  
Other News of Interest
➤ Rapid Cancer Cure:
➤ New Type of Supernova:
➤ Turning CO2 Into Fuel:

  King's College.  Jesus Christ is Risen Today
I try to keep The Troubadour free from politics and religion, both very touchy subjects in the public arena, but twice a year I feel it proper to express my faith.  
This video brings back many fond memories of the time I spent as an LDS missionary in Cambridge, England.  We visited Kings College several times on our P-days.  I remember seeing this world renowned choir rehearse and perform.  Please enjoy the first song from their Easter service.       
The Imaginarium
The creative work of others sparks our imaginations.  Make the ordinary, extraordinary.

The Other side of Pooh - when he doesn't get his honey.

Kim Jong Piggy threatens to blow up the Sun.
Global panic ensues because North Korea is totally serious this time!

A $360,000,000 penthouse pool.
I'll make an offer on this unit once my ship comes in.

A Few Great 20th Century Photographs.

Kim Jong Piggy attempts magic to rid himself of that nation which shall not be named.

My hopes for Kim Jong Piggy when his days as dictator are over.

Creative parenting.
A +

I'm at the corner of Live Long and Prosper

The past and the present collide.

Another visual definition of irony.

A Dad's Creativity.  
A daughter's dream.

Be honest.
This makes a lot of sense.

A billboard advertising the current weather.

How North Korea makes propaganda.
Photography in the dark (top)
And with the lights on (bottom)

Kim Jong Piggy inspects his latest foreign weapons purchase.

Theater is a marvel of science and engineering.

How a King travels.

Teenagers today.

One zillion calories and you order a Diet Coke ????

I'm in.
Anyone else?

The way to have an endless supply of chocolate.

North Korea's Kim Jong Piggy poses for his Dictator's Learner's Permit.