February 26th, 2006



there's this rule of three thingy journalist have with things happening in threes. if the Cheney shoot-out is strike one & the Dubai deal is strike two, what (i'm thinking) is gonna be number three? emerging GOP Dubai deal? uh, no. shouldn't it be something completely different? found some beautiful Dubai photos & this interesting looking hotel, Burj al-Arab (Tower of the Arabs). boy, like to get spoiled rotten there. the other day CNN had some quick interviews from longshoremen. they made some great comments about the deal — they didn't like it. you can't lose people like that. me, you can lose. in other news: good-bye Mr. Limpet — thanks for the laughs.


Pasta de Conchos Mine Disaster

Pasta de Conchos Mine Disaster

The Pasta de Conchos mine disaster occurred at approximately 2:30 a.m. CST on February 19, 2006, after a gas pipeline exploded near the opening of a coal mine near Nueva Rosita, San Juan de Sabinas municipality, in the Mexican state of Coahuila. The mines were run by Grupo México, the largest mining company in the country. It is estimated that 65 miners, who were working the 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. shift that morning, were trapped underground by the explosion.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
On February 23, 2006 Grupo México advanced to a part of the mine shaft where they believed two of the 65 workers were trapped. However, they found nobody, leading them to believe the force of the explosion knocked them through the mine shaft deeper than they had anticipated. The next day, Grupo México advanced approximately halfway into the 1.75-mile long mine, where an additional twenty-four miners were expected to have been found. Again, nobody was found, and Grupo México hypothesized that either the miners were buried under debris or the miners were located in a deeper part of the mine. On the evening of February 24, Grupo México announced that search efforts were to be suspended for two or three days, due to the search teams advancing to a portion of the mine which leaked out high levels of natural gas. On the afternoon of February 25 the CEO of Grupo México confirmed during a press conference that "there was no possibility of survival after the methane explosion" based on a scientific report.

Mexican Asteroids

asteroids in bold on the 827 List

 • #6349-ACAPULCO
 • #10799-YUCATÁN
 • #10806-MEXICO
 • #944-HIDALGO
 • #5095-ESCALANTE
 • #9680-MOLINA
 • #1920-SARMIENTO

{Mine officials: No chance of survivors}

{Mexico mine vigil ends after 65 men declared dead note: "No bodies have yet been found because rockfalls blocked the tunnels and some men were 1.5 miles (2.5 km) underground."}


ack! comets, curious asteroids & new moons

oh my! pluto's two new moons & gamma-ray burster for geeks (via DarkSyde Roundup) + Comet Pojmanski (C/2006 A1) {image} & "curious asteroid" 2006 DQ14 that flew past earth on 22-Feb (could be space junk so stay tuned to) spaceweather.com.

C/2006 A1 :: 2006 02 24  20 14.36  -21 44.2  0.824  0.557  34.2  89.4  6.5

Longitude :: 0ø56'31"4 Aqu | Latitude:: -1ø49'58"9

 • In the Hopper
 • Comet Pojmański


Large, Well-Rounded, Pointed Drama

while looking for mexican asteroids on wiki, found {solemn drumroll} Divergence Eve

Divergence Eve Volume 1

Divergence Eve is the story of a dark, spooky evil hidden in the far reaches of another universe. Divergence Eve also has an almost all-female cast, each of whom comes equipped with her own personal pair o' torpedoes. In other words, this is a serious sci-fi story awkwardly coupled with absurd amounts of bouncy big-breasted fanservice from every female character over the age of 16. Although an experienced anime viewer will pretty much know exactly where things are going in this series by the end of the first volume, the story shows promise and is interesting enough to leave you wanting to see what will happen next.

The plot (which, in an interesting twist, shows what appears to be the climax of the series in the first episode, before giving us the backstory in the episodes that follow) focuses on two people. One of them is 18-year-old Misaki Kureha, a low-level space cadet with a dark secret that's so secret even she doesn't know about it. Imagine a cross between KOS-MOS from the Playstation 2 game Xenosaga and the title character from Amazing Nurse Nanako, and you'll have a pretty good idea of what she looks and acts like.

We soon find out that Misaki is one of those cheerful, clumsy young girl protagonists so common in anime; the ones who can't seem to do anything right, but through a combination of irrepressible cheer and determination manage to get by anyway. Misaki's tribulations include getting shot down eight times in a combat simulator, falling asleep during her medical exam, and bursting out of her clothes at the slightest provocation during encounters with her alien foes (to the undoubted delight of the show's intended audience). But nevertheless she remains a goofy, naïve ray of sunshine in an otherwise grim and unfriendly world. She's also usually as confused and unsure of what's going on as the audience, which gives her a sympathetic perspective of the world of Divergence Eve.

Divergence Eve: Plot Spoilers

In the year 2017, a satellite on Earth detects a gravitational imbalance in the direction of Lyra, initially believed to be a black hole. Its suspicious X-ray emissions are subjected to noise removal algorithms, revealing the voice message recorded aboard a fictional future Voyager spacecraft, still in the solar system. Before the cause can be determined, additional identical signals are detected throughout the year from other distant gravity-based phenomena. This is considered proof of faster-than-light travel, and the wormhole responsible is pinpointed to be in the core of Saturn's moon Titan. By temporarily entering a baby universe still in a state of cosmic inflation, the signal was able to bypass the known laws of physics and travel at infinite speed. The wormholes themselves became known as Inflation Holes.

blah blah, blah blah.

Luxandra Frail (ルクサンドラ・フレイル) Oldest of the cadets at 23 years, Mexican cadet Luxandra's original goal was to be an astronomer. While working towards this, she found herself caught in a near-deadly encounter when an asteroid struck her passenger ship en route to Jupiter, contaminating it with an unknown virus. She escaped with facial scars, but declined to have them removed as a reminder of her new decision — to become a soldier, one who would put her life on the line to save others, as she herself was saved. She idolises Lyar in this respect.

what's interesting about the Voyager stuff is this from today's spaceweather.com:

CURIOUS ASTEROID: On February 22nd, a small asteroid named 2006 DQ14 flew past Earth at a distance of 1.2 million miles. But was it really an asteroid? 2006 DQ14 follows an orbit around the sun strikingly similar to Earth's. This raises the possibility that the "asteroid" is actually space junk originally from our own planet. 2006 DQ14 was last near Earth in Sept. 1977, about the same time that NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft was launched atop a Titan III Centaur rocket. Stay tuned for updates.

di·ver·gence n.

[Latin dīvergere : Latin dī-, dis-, apart; see dis– + Latin vergere, to bend.]

  1. a. The act of diverging.
    b. The state of being divergent.
    c. The degree by which things diverge.
  2. Physiology. A turning of both eyes outward from a common point or of one eye when the other is fixed.
  3. Departure from a norm; deviation.
  4. Difference, as of opinion. See synonyms at deviation, difference.
  5. Biology. The evolutionary tendency or process by which animals or plants that are descended from a common ancestor evolve into different forms when living under different conditions.
  6. Mathematics. The property or manner of diverging; failure to approach a limit.
  7. A meteorological condition characterized by the uniform expansion in volume of a mass of air over a region, usually accompanied by fair dry weather.

Ernst Toch & Lawrence Weschler

still working on this piece. decided to check Scheherezade operas — remember Flight of the Bumblebee? it's by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (he had synaesthesia) who composed Scheherazade Op. 35; asteroid #4534-RIMSKIJ-KORSAKOV named after him. btw, not sure whether #5340-BURTON named after Richard Francis Burton (came across: sotadic zone). while i'm at it: Scheherazade @ IMDb & Mike Nichols (Angels in America) with 1001 Nights in production & 1001 Nights by Yoshitaka Amano, David Newman, Esa-Pekka Salonen & Mike Smith.

anyhoo, Ernst Toch, "the world's most forgotten composer", a "musician's musician" (see: Milken Archive) also composed a Scheherazade opera as (literally) his Last Tale — Scheherazade's 1001st & final story to the sultan.

this interview with Toch's grandson, Lawrence Weschler is one of those wonderful (& it's a small world, he graduated from Cowell College at UC Santa Cruz) bits i find while looking for something else. wonderful LA history with Binky (another crazy rabbit), LA Reader & LA Weekly (Revisiting Groening & the L.A. Reader).

A Conversation with Lawrence Weschler

I vividly remember the first time I encountered the work of Lawrence Weschler. It was in the spring of 1998. After a three-year hiatus in Arizona, I was back, and gratefully so, in Los Angeles, promising myself I would never leave again. My friends and family members around the country couldn’t understand it. I wasn’t the beach type; Hollywood held no special fascination for me. I couldn’t explain it. There was just something about LA that I loved. Then the California edition of the New Yorker arrived in my mailbox, and Weschler’s essay “L.A. Glows” put it’s finger on LA’s most arresting quality: it’s light. Over the years, I’ve mailed dozens of copies of the essay to friends, for it’s that rare piece of writing that enables those who don’t know LA to understand it, and amplifies the understanding of those who think they do. But I won’t have to send it out anymore: “L.A. Glows” is included in his new book Vermeer in Bosnia. I met with Weschler, Ren to his friends and colleagues, for a brief conversation on a beautiful spring day in LA.

TGP: I would like to talk with you about California and writing. Let’s start where you’re from: Van Nuys, California.

LW: What is now the porn capital of the world.

TGP: Is it really? I thought that distinction belonged to Chatsworth.

LW: I read that it’s the porn epicenter. It’s very funny for me because when I was growing up, I don’t recall much porn going on in Van Nuys. I was born in ’52, and I remember orange groves. They were pushed back a mile every year for the first 20 or 30 years of my life, so it got to be you literally had to go 30 miles to get to orange groves.

TGP: Where did you go to high school?

LW: Birmingham High. I’ll tell you a story you might enjoy. Tina Brown came to me at one point while she was editing the New Yorker. She said, “Ren, we’re doing a California issue, and I know you come from California, so you have to be part of this issue. We’ve already got an exclusive interview with David Geffen.” I said, “No, you’re kidding! How did you do that? Tina, you are amazing!” (We had a very interesting relationship.) She says, “You have to come up with an LA story, a California story.” “Okay,” I say, “Here’s my story. I arrived at my high school – Birmingham High – in September of ’66 and graduated in June ’69. The graduating class of June ’66 – just before I arrived – the student body Vice President was Michael Ovitz.” And she said, “No!” and I said, “Yes! The head cheerleader was Sally Field.” And she said, “No!” and I said, “Yes! The head yell-leader [male cheerleader] was Michael Milliken.” And she said, “No!” and I said, “Yes! I want to do a piece on the one truly successful person in that class. I want to do a piece on the student body President. She was very excited, she said, “Who, who, who?” I said “Bruce Cantz.” And she said, “Who?” I said, “He’s a hippie farmer. He has a little goat farm on a hill in Santa Cruz. A little vineyard. He has never had to look at himself in embarrassment a single day in his life.” She said, “Get out of here!” So I came from a high school that had this funny pedigree. {more...}