Slow, Cold, Grey Saturday

Kage Baker would have been amused at the news today. Especially on such a slow, cloudy, chilly, falling-asleep-where-you-sit day. Especially since looking it all up would have been preferable to doing any work. It’s the sort of day where you don’t know whether to gulp that extra cup of hot coffee, or pour it in your socks …

The UARS satellite that came down last night “probably” fell into the ocean and may never be found. That’s the last word from NASA, who had been tracking the thing 24/7 for 20 years, until they suddenly weren’t. Also from NORAD, who theoretically track everything potentially dangerous in near-Earth atmosphere. All that time, all those eyes, and we don’t know where it went once it was no longer where we expected it to be. Good thing it wasn’t a dinosaur-killer meteorite, though it doesn’t bode well for when one shows up.

A new kind of raptor has been found (well, its bones. Well, some of its bones) and named “Clever Girl”. If you understand why that is funny, you – like the paleontologists that named it – have watched Jurassic Park too often.

We still haven’t figured out how to re-supply the International Space Station, or get anyone off it. Does anyone still have a functioning spacecraft?

The Chinese have stopped a 600-year old carnival whose point and focus was eating dogs. In other news, deep-fried butter is now available at the Los Angeles County Fair. Sweet or savoury, your choice.

Olive pits can be used as fuel in pellet stoves. Winter is coming, lay in the Greek olives …

There might be a sub-atomic particle that travels faster than light. This could explosively re-arrange the landscape of physics. While the scientific community tries to explain and replicate the experimental results, ideas that have so far been proposed to explain the neutrino findings now include: lies, a supernova from last week, static electricity, the ever-popular “mistake”, and the phases of the moon. No one (but me) seems to find this recital of battling causes funny …

The internet service in the USA lags behind that of 25 other leading technological countries – including Romania.

Which is part of why this is a brief, silly, place-holding list today, Dear Readers. Aside from the fact that is a cold, overcast day and I’ve OD’d on carbs, my modem connection keeps flickering. Also, it’s Saturday! I have been industriously doing next to nothing all day! So should all of you be!

Get a good book and someone snuggly, and curl up for the first autumn evening. It’s coming over the western hills, with the fresh fog from the sea and a chilly wind. Time to contemplate a wood (or olive pit) fire, and some good, hot take-out Chinese food.

Time for the Kage Baker Memorial Mu Shoo Pork. With extra plum sauce. Oh, yeah.

About Kate

I am Kage Baker's sister. Kage was/is a well-known science fiction writer, who died on January 31, 2010. She told me to keep her work going - I'm doing that. This blog will document the process.
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9 Responses to Slow, Cold, Grey Saturday

  1. Spent the afternoon in the South Bay where it was overcast all day, the kind of sky where if you get turned around you have no clues to which way’s North. Thank god for a passing familiarity with the street grid from ages past. Then the crawl up the 405 to the Valley, still grey all the way. Crest the Sepulveda Pass and sunshine! The warmth of a late summer day. And you and I are, what 5 miles apart? Love this town.

    Do you really think they don’t know where the satellite went into the water? They say that, but there may be reasons …



    • Kate says:

      Here near Griffith Park we have been drifting in and out of fog all day. Or maybe the fog is drifting in and out over us – who can tell? But ti’s a thin grey light and a chill wind with it; so while it’s only really about 68, it feels colder somehow. The Valley is almost always brighter and warmer than over beside by the LA River.

      This city is just a crazy quilt of micro-climates. I love it.



  2. Margaret says:

    Is the new raptor’s genus + species name also Clever Girl? Something like Puella + ?

    Meanwhile, in southern NM, just when we thought we were done with over-90-degree temperatures, here they come again. It’s late September – Go away!!


    • I don’t know about Southern NM, but in Southern Cal, September and October are famous for holding the most serious heat waves, just as the most serious rain (which for some reason always comes as a surprise) is in February. We’ve had such a mild summer, I can hope for a proper autumn, but not with any real expectation.

      Puella ingeniosa?


      • Kate says:

        In really good years, we go triple digit in September, roast through October and then it rain through May Day … at least, I can remember several years like that. And this winter is expected to be an El Nino again, which is usually what brings us that pattern. Ah, Maggie, remember rehearsals in Agoura held in any empty school or shopping center we could find? Kathleen


      • Oh, I do, Kate, I do. School, shopping center, and occasionally my tiny living room. Okay, that wasn’t so much a rehearsal as Gereg’s Queen’s Guard watching martial arts movies, then taking their shinai out to practice by the pool, but it was kind of the same thing. I couldn’t very well leave them there alone.


  3. Kate says:

    I don’t know if they gave her that name technically – just they’re referring to her that way in the non-academic reports. It would be fun if it carries over. A lot of recent discoveries – living animals as well as fossils – have gotten some goofy names. Like the Vampire Bat From Hell – which is an octopus.


  4. Wait, wait, what? We shut down the shuttle program WITHOUT a plan for how to get people off the ISS?


    • Kate says:

      Laura – the plan was to rely on the Soviets for re-supply and personnel transport – they don’t have shuttles, but they do have rockets and capsules. The problem being, that since the shuttle program officially shut down, the Soviets have been unable to loft a bird successfully. The rockets have been … blowing up. Falling down. Failing to achieve launch; or, managing that, orbit. I believe negotiations are in process with the European Space Agency (whose financial base, alas, is tottering on Greece and Portugal and Ireland …) and there is a quiet rush to see how fast the new Aries can actually get into service. That’s a our new big one (and it is HUGE) designed for the lunar return and Mars – and, apparently, the ISS.

      Isn’t it interesting?


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