Daily Archives: December 12, 2007

Influential Flying Spaghetti Monster Disciple Resigns from Second Life CTO Position

This just in …

Virtual world Second Life’s chief technology officer … has resigned. Cory Ondrejka… quit Tuesday and will depart at the end of the year.

Philip Rosedale, CEO of the eight-year-old company, said Ondrejka resigned to “pursue new professional challenges” and said he and Ondrejka had strategic differences.

Second Life has been criticized for technical problems – graphics that load painfully slowly on older computers, and bizarre glitches where avatars appear unintentionally naked….

Ondrejka has appeared in Second Life as the Flying Spaghetti Monster – [the god of the increasingly mainstream religion] …Pastafarianism – in which the universe’s creator resembles spaghetti and meatballs –

… [ and now for a totally appropriate non-sequitur. Hey, I’m quote mining here, it’s hard…]

If schools teach intelligent design – similar to creationism and contrary to evolution – they should also teach Pastafarianism and other beliefs, insist adherents, including many scientists and technologists.

[source]

Blessed be the macaroni.

New Glyptodont Species

A team of U.S. and Chilean scientists working high in the Andes have discovered the fossilized remains of an extinct, tank-like mammal they conclude was a primitive relative of today’s armadillos. The results of their surprising new discovery are described in an upcoming issue of Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.The partial skeleton was unearthed by the group in 2004 and found to represent a new species of glyptodont–a family of hard-shelled, grazing mammals that may have occasionally tipped the scales at two tons. The newly described animal, which was given the tongue-twisting name Parapropalaehoplophorus septentrionalis, likely weighed in at a mere 200 pounds and was covered with a massive shell of immovable armored plates, unlike the hinged rows of plates on armadillos. The fossil was found at the unusually high elevation of 14,000 feet.[source]

WOC Spy, Codename RD, Slipps Under Radar Screen

One of our more cunning spies, who shall be known only as “RD.”, made his move yesterday to slip under the Christian Radar screen, in a stunningly brave, very public move:

[RD], who has expressed hopes of converting religious believers to atheism through his international bestseller [deleted], made the comments while fielding open questions on religion and debating with conservative MP Mark Pritchard.

“This is historically a Christian country. I’m a cultural Christian in the same way many of my friends call themselves cultural Jews or cultural Muslims,” Oxford biologist [deleted] said on BBC’s recent “Have Your Say” program.

It is only a matter of time before he has their complete confidence.

[source]

My Linux Calendar

Dec 12
E.G. Robinson born, 1893
Dec 12
First wireless message sent across Atlantic by Marconi, 1901
Dec 12
Independence Day in Kenya
Dec 12
Debian GNU/Linux 1.2 alias “rex” released, 1996
Dec 12
N’oubliez pas les Chantal !
Dec 12
Nachrüstungsbeschlu� des NATO-Ministerates, 1979
Dec 12
Ð?енÑ? Ð?онсÑ?иÑ?Ñ?Ñ?ии
Dec 13
Apollo 17 leaves the moon, with “last” men to walk on moon aboard, 1972
Dec 13
Dartmouth College chartered, 1769
Dec 13
Geminid meteor shower (look south)
Dec 13
Republic Day in Malta
Dec 13*
Parashat Va-Yishlah
Dec 13
Ted Nugent, the motor city madman, born in Detroit, 1949
Dec 13
Bonne fête aux Lucie !
Dec 13
Aujourd’hui, c’est la St(e) Rolande.
Dec 13
N’oubliez pas les Aurore !
Dec 13
Ã? la sainte Luce,
Le jour
croît du saut d’une puce.
Dec 13
Por orden de Juan Lavalle es fusilado Manuel Dorrego, 1828
Dec 13
Se descubre petróleo en Comodoro Rivadavia (Chubut), 1907

*

Science News Tidbits

Desktop device generates and traps rare ultracold molecules from PhysOrg.com
Physicists at the University of Rochester have combined an atom-chiller with a molecule trap, creating for the first time a device that can generate and trap huge numbers of elusive-yet-valuable ultracold polar molecules.[]

NASA Satellites Help Lift Cloud of Uncertainty on Climate Change from PhysOrg.com
New findings from NASA’s CloudSat and other spacecraft in NASA’s “A-Train” constellation of five Earth observing satellites offer important insights into this year’s record reduction of Arctic sea ice, global rainfall patterns and the effects of pollution on clouds.[]

Deep-sea drilling yields clues to mega-earthquakes from PhysOrg.com
During a successful first expedition to one of the most active earthquake fault zones on the planet, scientists unearthed initial clues to the geophysical fault properties that may underlie devastating earthquakes and tsunamis.[]

More Evidence for Water on Mars

This time, it comes from the side effect of the Mars Rover getting the Martian equivalent of a flat tire…

NASA’s Spirit Mars rover has been dealing with [a] right front tire [that] went bad nearly two years ago. It didn’t go flat, but it’s quit turning forcing NASA to move the rover around in reverse ever since, trailing the stuck wheel behind.But nearly a year later, [it was noticed that [r]uts carved by the bad wheel last May churned up a bright spot in the rover’s wake.Rover guiders turned the craft back to the colorful streak for a closer look and discovered that the rock contains high levels of silica. Upon further investigation, however, another nearby rock cracked open that was jam-packed with silica.

Silica at this level of density, on Earth, tends to be associated with water, in one of a few differnt ways. Read all about it here, on The Buzz