Thought Gallery October 2001
October 1
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Nice to see that some modern art can incorporate animals into their themes.  I hope that my church never becomes this nieve as to their surroundings and religious rules.
Cemetery Raises Grave Problem for Airline
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - A plea to allow ultra-Orthodox Jews of priestly heritage to fly inside body bags -- to avoid becoming ritually ``unclean'' when traveling over a Jewish cemetery -- was rejected by Israel's El Al airline.  El Al, whose planes sometimes take off from Tel Aviv over a cemetery, said it briefly toyed with the idea before rejecting it on security grounds.  Under ritual law, Jews descended from the biblical Israelite priests must not enter cemeteries. A recent ruling by prominent ultra-Orthodox rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv expanded the ban to include overflights and suggested plastic body bags as a solution.  ``I told flight attendants that should a passenger need to wrap himself up in this covering, not to flee the aircraft despite the unpleasantness,'' El Al company rabbi Avshalom Katzir told Israeli Army Radio Wednesday.
``When El Al's security chief heard about it, he called me in alarm...and said it was unsafe. I said that if it is unsafe, I am dropping the idea entirely,'' Katzir said.  An ultra-Orthodox travel agent interviewed by the radio said some members of the priestly caste had found a way around the problem.  He said they took late-night flights which, for noise pollution reasons, were routed away from the heavily-populated suburb of Tel Aviv where the cemetery was located. 
October 2
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Here's an interesting aerial view of the remains of the world trade center complex.  Now image what other interesting aerials they can capture....
Burger King Workers Burn Feet
MIAMI - About a dozen Burger King marketing-department workers burned their feet when they walked over white-hot coals at a meeting intended to promote bonding.  One woman was taken to a hospital emergency room, and Burger King brought in a doctor to treat others whose feet were blistered. Some workers used wheelchairs the next day when they went to the airport to leave for another company retreat. 
      More than 100 employees at the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo participated Wednesday in the firewalking, a ritual with origins in religions of the Far East.  The Burger King workers had to sign a waiver acknowledging they might get hurt. The injured employees suffered first- and second-degree burns.  Mildred Morse, a Burger King administrative assistant, was the most seriously hurt. She was released from Baptist Hospital on Thursday. 
      ``You're walking over hot coals, and something can happen,'' said Robert Kallen, owner of The Achievement Group, which ran the event. ``The majority of the people get through it without a nick or a blister.''  A certified instructor, Kallen has led thousands of participants over coals that can be as hot as 1,200 degrees.  Dana Frydman, vice president of product marketing for Burger King, was injured but had no regrets about the event she helped organize. It made you feel a sense of empowerment, Frydman said, and that you can accomplish anything.
October 3
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It's interersting to see the different areas that photographers choose to pursue.  There is a canadian one that likes to photograph nudity in public places.  He put an ad in the paper for people to show up expecting 2,000 people and he got 20,000.

Man Serves Friend's Jail Term for Sober Month
STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - A man who wanted to stay sober served part of a friend's jail sentence to see whether he could fool the justice system, a newspaper reported on Thursday.  The 51-year-old Swede posed as his friend and started a one-month drunk-driving sentence, but was
discovered after two weeks in jail, Aftonbladet tabloid said.  ``I wanted to go to jail to stop myself from drinking for a few weeks,'' he was quoted as saying.   ``My pal didn't think it would work. He agreed to let me try. I borrowed his ID card and identified myself as him at the prison.'' 
A Stockholm court has since found the impostor guilty of perjury and wrongful use of another person's identity.  It was unclear whether he would now join his friend, who must serve the original sentence, in jail. 

October 4
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City Sets Up Drive-In Brothels
BERLIN - The German city of Cologne has set up drive-in brothels in a bid to move the red light district away from near its landmark cathedral, authorities said.  The complex is located on the outskirts of the city and includes an ``approach zone'' where clients drive their cars past prostitutes to select them.

When they have made their choice, the prostitute is driven into one of the covered parking spaces adjoining a bedroom with a shower.
``The old red light district was more or less uncontrolled,'' a city spokesman said, adding that it had become a blight on the cathedral area with passers-by sometimes mistaken for prostitutes.  The complex is open from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. Prostitution is legal in Germany and police or city administration officials are on the site, together with a Catholic charity to provide support for the prostitutes, many of whom are drug users.  The project, the first publicly funded scheme of its kind in the country, cost the taxpayer 830,000 marks ($387,100). 

October 5
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Police Use Helicopter for Doughnut Run
ALBUQUERQUE (Reuters) - An Albuquerque policeman and his pilot face disciplinary measures after using a police helicopter this week to swoop in for a midnight snack of doughnuts, officials said on Friday.
The officer and the civilian pilot were on night patrol over the city in a Kiowa OH-58 helicopter when they landed in a vacant lot next to a Krispy Kreme doughnut store around 1 a.m. on Thursday morning.
``The contracted pilot and a police officer landed the copter early in the morning, ran in and grabbed a dozen, came back out and took off,'' Albuquerque Police Department spokesman Brian McCutcheon  said.

``I don't know whose brain child it was, but it's quite an ugly child,'' he said.  McCutcheon said the event was being investigated as a possible misuse of city funds as well as for safety reasons, although he added there was no specific protocol for this case because it had ever
happened before.  ``We've been given no reasonable excuse as to why they would even think they could do this. But there could be some very serious ramifications,'' he said.

An eyewitness told the Albuquerque Journal that he saw the APD helicopter circle the Krispy Kreme and land in a nearby dirt field.
``I was angry, and I'm still kind of angry. That's my tax dollars, your tax dollars. You've got no business flying in to get doughnuts,'' said Keith Turner, who works nearby and was taking a smoke break when he
saw the chopper swoop in,  The cost to the department of running a Kiowa, including fuel and maintenance, is $80 an hour, McCutcheon said.  A Krispy Kreme employee who asked not to be identified said he didn't see why people were making a big deal of the unusual doughnut run.  ``Cops got to eat, too,'' he said. 

October 6
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My parents drove into Austin for the evening to help me organize my thoughts with renovations for my house.  I attended the evening priesthood conference with my dad.  It's interesting to see how church emphasis and programs change in a short amount of time.
This was an interesting map i came across.  I think with about 1 day of internet investigation I could compile a top 100 list of targets for the US, or a how to disable to US in 90 days or less, or a Dismanteling the the US on $1,000 budget a day.  Such are the costs of happening such an open society, I guess it only takes 1 moldy piece of bread to spoil the loaf.
October 7
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War has started, are you ready for it?  I spend part of the day collecting rocks again for my dry creek and waterfall in my back yard.  I took a nap on my flat roof balcony, as starting tomorrow it will be ripped off for the renovation of my house. I relaxed in the evening seeing the movie Training Day.  It's interesting to see how trivial actors view there jobs when when they are working under a wartime situation.  The Emmy Awards were cancelled yet again, at what point do they just give out the awards and start planning next years tv broadcast.  How often does the conference get interuppted for a war attack announcement.
There will be wars and rumors of wars...
October 8
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So at what point do they start calling all this World War 3.  I mean if we are discriminately attacking numerous groups and countries in this worldwide terrorist eviction campaign, at what point should we label it the war it really is!!

Washington Warns U.N. It May Strike Other Countries
By Irwin Arieff
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United States told the U.N. Security Council Monday it may have to launch military strikes on other countries and groups beyond Afghanistan and the al Qaeda network of Saudi-born militant Osama bin Laden. ``We may find that our self-defense requires further actions with respect to other organizations and other states,'' U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte said in a letter to the 15-nation Security Council.

October 9
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What is the weakest link in this picture.  Looks to me like to disable our new "modern" defenses they need to start shooting down our gps & aerial photo satellites....
       Many computer security experts believe that the United States' technostructure is very vulnerable to cyber-terrorism, which could severely disrupt corporate America and the U.S. economy as a whole. The WTC and Pentagon terrorists were computer literate and Bin Laden's agents use encrypted email to communicate covertly, say law enforcement sources.  Corporations should be strengthening their passwords and constantly updating their anti-virus software because smaller sites can be attacked to get at larger sites, says Howard Schmidt, Microsoft's leading information-security executive. Since the attacks, the FBI has told corporations that they must shore up their computer security, even as the General Accounting Office has reported that the government must patch its own security holes. Schmidt is the head of the Information Systems Security Association, a group of Fortune 500 members who have decided to share their security information with other industries. 
       The Federal Aviation Administration's computer security was proven to be inadequate when a teenager hacked into the computers at the Worchester, Massachusetts, airport and shut down the ATC tower for six hours. Furthermore, in 1998, a hacker located in the Persian Gulf broke into a NASA system and entered a search for "high-performance aircraft that could fly under low observable conditions." NASA shut down its database and Internet facilities, but due to the lack of a lead investigative unit that could claim responsibility for finding the hacker, the FAA and NASA bickered for four days before the hacker was tracked; and by that time the trail had run cold, says Tom Talleur, head of the forensic technology unit at KPMG. 
October 10
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We had to redesign the second floor area again after we discovered that the area under the stairs would not be a walkable area.  It was interesting to watch the framers chalk off everything and using their trusty triangle and geometry to figure out angles and measurements.  Bad weather delayed the construction and framing again.  Patience is definitely a virute.
October 11
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There's nothing like waking up in the morning to the sound of water dripping into your house.  I walked out onto the new second floor area to discover 3 inches of standing water on top of the tarp covering.  An hour later after sweeping the water off and covering the rest of the area with another tarp I retired to a hot shower.  It took haf the day for the wood to dry up enough for the workers to start framing in the second floor.  In my wanderings around the city with my mom we visited the distributors for windows, tub, door, and returned items.  We managed to find some french doors with mini-blinds for $200 cheaper than if we had bought them at Lowe's or Home Depot.  There's nothing like going window shopping in Furrow's where everything is 30%-60% off.  I just may end up with a nice living area after all with everything 30% off. 

It interesting to see how many societies can brainwash thier children at such an early age for war tendencies and suicide bombers.

October 12
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October 13
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There's nothing like returning from a night out to discover the sounds of a waterfall as you open the front door to your house.  I need a retractable roof I can place over my house to protect me from the weather.

State Police Cars Catching Unaware Drivers
Speedy drivers now have to keep an eye out for the new "slick top" cruisers the Virginia State Police is putting on the road.
The car is a Chevrolet Impala. Its flashing emergency lights are hidden in the side mirrors and the passenger compartment. Its four radio antennae are mounted on the trunk lid instead of the roof.

There are no identifying markings -- just the state police logo on its side doors and front fenders, and the image of a police badge on its license plate.  Several motorists have complained that the stealth-like design gives police an unfair advantage. They say the use of such vehicles is inappropriate.  Police say there are ten cars are being used right now along interstate highways throughout Virginia, including Prince William County and Fairfax. More will appear in the coming weeks.

October 14
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Today Erin and I got stuck in the mud while trying to get rocks from a property up in Georgetown.  We had to get the truck pulled out of the mud, so no more rock collecting this weekend.  The framers on my house messed up the stairs and will have to add a wierd slant stair on my landing to make up for the lost space. 
October 15
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Well it looks like we have to rearrange the layout of the floorplans yet again.  This time to correct an error in the stair layout.  So I've lost 2 feet in my third floor room and a foot in my second floor room.  C'est la vie. 

      Two interrelated mysteries: Why do so many Arab Muslims think Western civilization is about to collapse? And how could so many well-educated hijackers live among us for so long and not be seduced by our cherished American way of life?
      For example, according to Norman Podhoretz, from a textbook published by the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Education: Western civilization "has begun to collapse to and to become
a pile of rubble." "The age of the American collapse has begun," chimes in a columnist in the Egyptian state-sponsored newspaper Al-Akhbar, two weeks before the Twin Towers attack. 
      Here we are in the early 21st century, a military giant, the world's oldest democracy, with a powerhouse economy creating new miracles of opportunity and ingenuity, still attracting huge migrations from all countries and cultures, a society which (whatever its limitations, and we do have some) is deeply steeped in decency, kindness and openness. How could they know us so well and still hate us so?  For that matter, how could Isanu Dyson, a fifth-generation American who (according to the New York Post) converted to Islam three years ago, say he wants to fight for the Taliban? 
      Here is my best guess at honest self-examination: The Achilles' heel of AmerEuropean civilization is our sexual culture, which even to many Americans looks not only deeply destructive, but ugly. Fatherless
children, fragmented families, the demotion of sex into a product -- these are the surface symptoms of an even deeper problem: a hollowing out of sexual meaning and purpose. 
      "The U.S. might be an economic and military superpower, but Islam is a religious and manpower superpower -- we are 1 billion people," brags Dyson.  If Western civilization does face collapse, it will not come from outside invaders -- they can sow terror but not destruction -- but from the baby bomb. In Western countries people have for two generations stopped caring enough about having children to reproduce our population. Historian Paul Johnson writes about his vision of a long-term clash between Islam and the casually mentioned demographic bomb: "Should present trends continue, both these traditionally Catholic countries (Spain and Italy) will become majority Moslem during the 21st century." Not just because of migration, but because the native birth rates have entered a sudden, dramatic, sustained collapse.
      "The result of a crisis in ... family lifestyles," writes Russian demographer Anatoly I. Antonov in a recent issue of The Howard Center's The Family in America, "depopulation now threatens 20 economically developed countries around the world."
      At the heart of this collapse (in my opinion) is an idea, still contested, but gaining vast ground. The New York Times Sunday magazine devoted a whole issue to variations of it. It happened to be best expressed by a gay couple (but certainly it is not confined to homosexuals): "From time to time we have had affairs with other people, or moments of sexual release, but they were recreational,"
explained Steve. "It is only sex; it has no deep-seated meaning," agreed Chuck. 
      Sex has no deep-seated meaning, no public purpose beyond providing an enjoyable set of internal physical or emotional sensations. Sex is a consumer good. People who believe this end up having unstable marriages, fragmented families or no families at all. 
      For hundreds of years, traditional Islam has failed to produce a society that is attractive: regimes of secular corruption alternate with regimes of religious repression. But Islam remains a successful civilization because it fulfills the two minimum functions any culture must: It channels intense social energy of individuals into the two great sacrifices of self: war and babies. The children in Islamic societies suffer, and the women even more. But though individuals suffer, the family system itself works. The society perpetuates itself. It even finds new adherents in our country, primarily among those who have suffered most deeply from our current sexual disorder, African-Americans.
      The way forward is never the way back. Still, up until about 1970, Western civilization combined democracy, freedom, capitalism and neighborliness with a functioning family system. Who can now say the same?

October 16
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This car can learn to drive for you, is that what you want from your car...  What's next a microwave telling you to ear right while you warm up a taco.

Toyota, Sony Develop Mood-Sharing Tail-Wagging Car
By Edwina Gibbs
       TOKYO - Think you don't have enough of an emotional attachment to your car?  A new vehicle developed by Japan's Toyota Motor Corp and electronics giant Sony Corp will smile, frown and cry, not to mention take your pulse and measure your sweat.  Called the ``pod,'' the car, which has been designed to show emotion and learn from driver experience, will be on display for the first time at the Tokyo Motor Show that begins next week.
       `This concept car explores the potential for communication between people and their vehicle,'' Toyota said in preview information released on Thursday. The face of the four-seater, 1.5 liter engine pod has U-shaped grooves that light up to express emotion, the headlights positioned mid-way to look like eyes and side-mirrors positioned to look like ears.
       When its owner approaches, it lights up a happy orange- yellow. Puncture a tire or run out of fuel, it lights up blue, complete with a display of tear-drops. Swerve sharply or brake too hard and the color is an angry red.
       The back of the car, similar in design to the front, has a tail-like wagging antenna. It's not quite KITT, the high-tech talking sports car in the 1980s Knight Rider TV series. The emphasis is more on ``cute.''  The car is driven with a joystick-type controller and does not have foot pedals, but it does have sensors to detect a driver's emotional state and give advice in driving.  It takes pre-recorded data of an expert driver, compares it with the current driver's style, and displays words of praise or warning on a center monitor.

October 17
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The framing of my third floor and interior second floor walls continues.  I never knew glass (windows) could be so expensive.  One signature later and I'd spent almost $1000 on windows for my new addition.  At least my stairs are done now so I don't have to scale my roof to get to the third floor and admire the view.  I think once the winter season starts, i just may have a view of downtown austin.  I think we've redrawn the floorplan addition layouts at least 10 various ways during the construction process.  That's after thinking we had the "final" version drawn with 4 months of input while waiting for the bank to aprove the improvement loan. It will be nice to have some siding walls up, as it has started to cool off to 40* F during the night.
October 18
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A model shows how the recently developed pill camera, which has just been successfully tested on 13 Australian patients, is swallowed during a display in Sydney, October 16, 2001. The capsule, developed using Israeli military technology and with the U.S. space agency NASA, contains a color video camera, a light source, transmitter, antenna and a battery. A belt containing an information processor is strapped over the abdomen, with the patient then swallowing the pill and it travelling through the gastrointestinal tract viewing areas beyond the reach of an enteroscope. Around seven hours of video footage is condensed into two hours which is then viewed by a doctor to look for any intestinal bleeding. 
October 19
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The goal of this competition is to kick the ball in the most creative way...

There's the Wingding prophecy about a chilling anti-Semetic emssage in code within the Microsoft Word program. It may be a coincidence, but it's there. Someone with lots of time on his or her hands discovered that if you type the letters NYC in a large font and the font to Webdings, you get a series of icons that seem to say I Love New York.  Now change it to font style Wingdings. Both Microsoft and the Anti-Defamation League have denounced this as a tragic coincidence.

October 20
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I roamed around Corpus Christy this weekend with Erin.  Today I saw the new state aquarium.  It was interesting as they had many hands-on exhibits for you to be able to touch animals like a stingray, or horseshoe crab.  I also visited the USS Lexington that is now secured to the floor of the bay.  Walking around that could give people a sense of awe as to the working conditions of the navy.  Yet at the same time it may offer insite to those that wish to see vunerabilities in design to harm our military.  We also visited Mustang Island and saw all the grasslands and beaches with scattered developments.

Man Wins Divorce Over Frog in a Tea Cup
LUSAKA (Reuters) - A Zambian man divorced his wife after he found a frog in a cup of tea she gave him, a Lusaka newspaper reported Tuesday.  The Post reported that 28-year-old Andrew Nyoka had left 26-year-old Catherine Nyoka last year for another woman.

``One time I found a frog in a cup of tea she had served me. That is the reason I went for another woman,'' the independent newspaper quoted Nyoka, whose surname means ``snake'' in English, as telling a community court.  Judges Chidongo Shawa and Wilson Makuwerere granted him a divorce, saying it was clear the couple's marriage could not be saved. 

October 21
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Took a nice detour over to visit Robstown on the coast.  A nice little railroad community of about 12,000 just outside Corpus Christy.  It was interesting to see all the cars returning from Mexico along the Nafta highways.  Driving to Corpus Friday evening about every other car was towing a car to take down to Mexico.  Now we know how all those stolen cars get down there so quickly.  After a brief stop in the San Marcos outlet malls to check out the toy outlets we returned home to relax.  Came home to discover that the contracts had worked all of 3 hours over the weekend on my house renovations.  It will be nice to have a roof over that to prevent any more rain from getting inside.
October 22
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A mother and her children make a practice run for their $5,000 steel backyard fallout shelter in Sacramento, Calif., on Oct. 5, 1961. Since the Sept. 11 attacks, homeland security has been talked about from
Washington to state capitals, from town halls to
backyard fences. 
October 23
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With fishing gear through his cheek, a devotee of a Chinese god joins the last day procession of the Vegetarian Festival in Phuket, 690 kilometers (428 miles) south of Bangkok Thursday, Oct. 25, 2001. The nine-day festival held to worship Chinese gods and goddesses and to promote tourism of this island resort town ended later on Thursday. Some participates in the festival take part in self torture believing that it transfers evil from individuals onto themselves and brings good luck to the community. 
October 24
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Chinese Fighters Killed in US Strikes against Kahandar 
      DEBKAfile has learned from military sources in Dushanbe and Bishbek, capitals of Tajikistan and the Kyrgizstan respectively, that at least 15  Chinese fighting men on the side of the Taliban, were killed in last  weeks US bombing over Kahandar and in a separate incident on the ground. This report as confirmed by Pakistani sources in Peshawar, who discovered the Chinese presence alongside the Taliban from their own intelligence reports on the death of the commander of Arab Afghan troops in Jalalabad, Basir al Masri, who was a senior aide to Osama Bin Laden and the Egyptian Islamic Jihad chief, Ayman al  Zuweiri.  Al Masri appears to have been caught by an American bombardment, just as he was leaving Kahandar for Jalalabad after meeting Taliban leaders.  They warned him as he left that US Special Force units were operating in the southern and western outskirts of the town. Because they thought the size of his bodyguard insufficient, they offered to a detail of their own men to see him safely past the danger zone. Among that armed escort were five Chinese fighters.  A Special Forces unit waylaid the group and detonated explosive charges, one of which hit Abu Basirs vehicle and a second the escort vehicles.  Most of the escort was killed, including three of the Chinese guards. The next day, their bodies were carried into Kandahar.  Another 10 Chinese fighters died in US bombardments. 
      DEBKA files sources have no doubt that the Chinese combatants fought in a Taliban unit  and were not part of Osama bin Ladens Al Qaeda or its associated Egyptian Jihad forces in Afghanistan.  Neither organization admits non-Arab adherents certainly not as guards for its senior officers. According to DEBKA files intelligence sources the mutually beneficial Chinese-bin Laden relationship goes back some years. The British daily, Guardian, carries a report Saturday by John Hooper in Milan, claiming that three years ago, China paid bin Laden several million dollars for unexploded American cruise missiles left over from the US attack on his bases.  Hooper quotes an alleged senior Al Qaida agent in Europe, whose account is contained in the transcript of a secretly taped conversation between two bin Laden adherents.  The Americans fired 75 missiles in the raid on bin  Ladens bases in Afghanistan, carried out on August  20, 1988, in reprisal for the terrorist strikes against US embassies in East Africa. Forty were found unexploded. The conversation taped took place in Milan between a Libyan called Ben Heni -  who was arrested in Munich last week and accused by the Italian prosecution of being the liaison officer between two Al Qaida cells in Frankfurt and Milan and a leader of the Italian cells, Sami Ben Khemmais Essid. The  Italian police had bugged the flat.  According to the Guardian report, the two men confirmed bin Ladens close ties with China and described how the huge sums the Chinese paid for the unexploded US missiles helped him finance his  next three years of Al Qaida operations.
October 25
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Judge Sentences Two Ohio Men to Dress as Women
      Jason Householder and John Stockum, both of Coshocton, Ohio, walk down Main Street in women's clothing. Stockum and Householder, who were convicted of throwing beer bottles at a women in a car, were given the choice of 60 days in jail or an hour walk down Main Street, the center of their hometown, dressed as women as their sentence. Both chose to walk down Main Street in women's clothing. 
      They walked around downtown Coshocton, population 12,000, for an hour Friday afternoon wearing dresses, wigs and makeup.  Coshocton County Municipal Judge David Hostetler passed the sentence on Oct. 18, telling the men they could either comply with his order or go to jail for 60 days after being convicted of criminal damage. He also fined them $250 each.  Hostetler, who often imposes unorthodox sentences, says he does so because of overcrowding in the County Jail.
October 26
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The Perfect Job for the Couch Potato
PARIS - Enjoy lounging around in bed for three months? If you are a European male aged between 25 and 45, don't smoke and aren't fat, you may be in with a chance.  The European Space Agency (ESA) says it is seeking 14 volunteers for a bed rest study starting next March to test the effects of weightlessness in space on bones and muscle tissue. Fourteen men are already involved in the first phase of the study at the MEDES space clinic in Toulouse, southern France. They went to bed in August for 90 days.

Volunteers are put to bed with their heads tilted down at an angle of minus six degrees and have to stay in that position to eat, go to the toilet and wash using a special shower. One group stays in bed all the time, a second has to exercise three times a week and third is put on a drug to counter bone loss.  ESA said volunteers, had to be European Union nationals in good health and highly motivated. Only men need apply so as to eliminate statistical variations because of the small size of the group. 

October 27
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I played Bingo for the first time tonight.  It's interesting that this past time is so popular with older people.  A group of friends and I saw a midnight movie of Halloween III in 3D at the alamo drafthouse.  It was quite entertaining to see all the various objects jump out of the screen at you.
October 28
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Today they worked on the ceiling for the third floor addition to my house.  It's nice to see the slow progress moving along.  Looking forward to Halloween down on 6th street this year, as my costume is now complete.  Misty, Erin, and I spent 2 hours shaving and cleaning a dog.  10 pounds of hair later we had a new dog.
October 29
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You know as hard as it was to make mulch, I just can't seem to move enough of  it to get if off my fence.  Where's my mulchmovers when I need them?? Looks like the earth has wings to me...

Scientists using NASA's Polar spacecraft have captured the first-ever movie of auroras dancing simultaneously around both of Earth's polar regions. During a space weather storm on October 22, 2001, Polar's Visible Imaging System observed the aurora borealis and aurora australis (northern and southern lights) expanding and brightening in parallel at opposite ends of the world. The images confirm the three-century old theory that auroras in the northern and southern
hemispheres are nearly mirror images -- conjugates - of each other. "This is the first time that we have seen both auroral ovals simultaneously with such clarity," says Dr. Nicola Fox, the science operations manager for the Polar spacecraft, based at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. "With these images, we have the ability to see the dynamics of conjugate auroras.

October 30
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It's interesting that Arafat wants a stronger US role, when he's downplayed numerous US-proposed peace deals over the last decade.

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, second right, gives a gift from Bethlehem to  Pope John Paul II, right, during his visit to the Vatican. The Palestinian leader called on Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon  Tuesday to go back to the negotiating table and save the peace process in the  Middle East. Arafat, who was in Rome on an official visit, also said that the  United States, Europe and the United Nations must play a strong role in the

October 31
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Full Moon to Occur on Halloween
MIAMI - For the first time in 46 years, this year's Halloween ghosts and goblins can trick or treat by the light of a full moon. They won't get another chance until 2020, astronomers said.  Wednesday night's full moon will look like an orange jack-o-lantern rising from the east at dusk. It will appear orange at the horizon because it is seen through denser layers of the earth's atmosphere. Adding to the effect, the moon's tilt at this time of the year makes the ``man in the moon'' particularly visible. 
Some astronomers believe jack-o-lantern carving was inspired by the rising, orange October moon. 

To make the superstitious even more jittery, a constellation associated with the some end-of-the-world beliefs will also be at the top of Wednesday night's sky.  The Seven Sisters constellation, which looks like a small cluster of grapes, has long been a signal for the time of year to honor the dead - such as All Saints Day, Nov. 1.  According to myth, the Seven Sisters constellation is at its highest point in the sky during a great calamity, possibly the biblical flood or the sinking of Atlantis. The Aztecs and Mayans believed it would be overhead at midnight on the night the world comes to an end.   The Seven Sisters and the full moon will both be directly overhead at midnight.  ``It's just very nifty because it will be a very bright full moon and when it's up high like that, it will just flood the landscape with a lovely bright light.''.   Technically, the moment the moon will be at its fullest is 12:41 a.m. EST Thursday, but the moon will look virtually full when trick or treaters are out in force late Wednesday.