February 24, 2006

This Just In

There's been a cherry added atop the heap o' prizes for the winners of this year's Team America Rocketry Challenge (I'm quoting the entire press release below):

Raytheon to send TARC Winners to Farnborough International Air Show

Arlington, Va. – A trip to the Farnborough International Air Show near London in July 2006 awaits the Fourth Annual Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) winners courtesy of AIA member Raytheon Company.

The trip, which will be in addition to the winnerÂ’s share of the TARC purse of more than $60,000 in savings bonds and cash, will give the victorious students a hands-on look at applied aerospace engineering, the skill the contest is promoting, AIA President and CEO John Douglass said.

“TARC is a great way to introduce these kids to aerospace through the challenges of engineering a model rocket,” Douglass said. “Taking the winners to Farnborough will show them what these lessons lead to in the real world.”

TARC, the worldÂ’s largest rocket contest, pits teams of between three and 15 middle and high school students in a challenge to build and successfully launch a model without breaking a raw-egg payload. The final round of competition is scheduled for May 20 at Great Meadow in The Plains,Va. The goal is to launch the rockets as close as possible to 800 feet in altitude and 45 seconds in flight duration.

“Rewarding the TARC winners with a trip to Farnborough is right in line with Raytheon’s emphasis on promoting math and science education among young people through our MathMovesU initiative,” said Raytheon Executive Vice President for Business Development Thomas M. Culligan. “We hope that this will help motivate the winners and all the competitors to stick with science and math and ultimately pursue a career in aerospace.”

The Farnborough International Air Show is one of the largest and most prestigious aerospace events in the world. It includes flying demonstrations of both civil and military aircraft from around the world as well as static displays from thousands of aerospace companies. RaytheonÂ’s sponsorship will pay for four students and one adult chaperone, including air fare, lodging, a company tour, and a TARC champion recognition dinner.

The winning team will attend the air show on FarnboroughÂ’s International Youth Day, a program for 1,000 invited students between ages 15 and 23 aimed at attracting youths who show promise in areas that could lead to aerospace careers. Activities include presentations from test pilots, scientists, and journalists; a build-a-plane project; and test spins in aircraft simulators. In addition to commercial jetliners, business aircraft, and fighter jets, the air show includes special displays on space products and unmanned aerial vehicles.

TARC is sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association and the National Association of Rocketry, the nation's oldest and largest non-profit organization dedicated to sport rocketry. The contest is co-sponsored in part by 39 AIA member companies, NASA, the Defense Department, and the Civil Air Patrol.

I'll be volunteering to assist again this year, as I have every year since this started. Read about previous events here and here and here.

Posted by: Ted at 04:19 PM | category: Rocketry
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February 20, 2006

Happy Long Weekend

Hello all, I hope you had a nice weekend. My wife and I travelled south to visit Rachael and see her first college production, Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado. It seems that people either love or loath Gilbert and Sullivan, and I'm firmly in the love camp. Naughty humor and moral dilemmas, served up with a heaping helping of satire and sarcasm.

Rachael's kimonos were beautiful.

Liz had to work today, so I built a larger set of shelves for my DVD collection (outgrew the last set) and putzed around the house doing laundry and such. I also watched a couple of movies that I may review later. You know my attitude is "zombies forever", but after the latest mummy jones I've been slaking my thirst for vampire flicks and boy howdy, do I have some doozies to tell you about!

I also have a new banner in mind. Everyone I've told thinks that it's funny, so now I must stretch my photoshop skills to do it justice.

As a designated cronie of the Ministry of Minor Perfidy, I would be remiss not to mention that they're hosting this week's Carnival of the Recipes (apocolyptic aftermath edition).

I now have a Rocket Jones frapper map. Stop by and stick a pin in it. Do the ol' virtual voodoo.

Posting will remain irregular while I continue to deal with some ongoing matters, but I'm still around and occasionally do get a chance to visit my friends on the blogroll.

Take care and have fun. Hope to be back soon.

Posted by: Ted at 08:53 PM | category: Square Pegs
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February 17, 2006

This is probably interesting to only one other person

Nic, I found a review of Snakehead Terror.

Posted by: Ted at 06:10 AM | category: Cult Flicks
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February 15, 2006

NaNoWriMo - next chapters

Sorry it's a couple of days late, been busy. Previous chapters are here. And in the extended entry are chapters 11 and 12.

Enjoy. Leave feedback. Thanks. more...

Posted by: Ted at 11:55 AM | category: Zombies of Autumn
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February 14, 2006

Two thoughts after watching a Japanese Monster movie

First, I would've loved to have been one of the special effects guys on those old movies. Models and miniature sets, explosions and fire everywhere. Too much fun to be called work!

Secondly, every Japanese movie monster got pissed off at something humans did, whether it was intentional or not. The monster's reaction was to immediately begin to destroy everything in its path, and kept the tantrum going until he got his way or someone stronger came along and kicked his ass. I never realized that Godzilla was a muslim.

Posted by: Ted at 09:11 PM | category: Square Pegs
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February 11, 2006

Another new banner found while organizing my hard drive files

I half-expect to find virtual Hoffa buried deep in some forgotten directory.

Posted by: Ted at 02:50 PM | category: Square Pegs
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Must be the Winter Olympics

It was rather surreal. Ladies hockey, the arena music starts in and it's La Bamba. So I'm watching Sweden vs. Russia, playing in Italy, and a Mexican folk song sung by an American teenager gets the crowd fired up.

Later they played the Banana Boat song made famous by Belefonte (Deyyyy-oh!).

Even later, I watched the USA ladies dominate the Swiss.

Posted by: Ted at 02:37 PM | category: Square Pegs
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February 10, 2006

Two posts in one day? To what do we attribute this largesse?

This bug, whatever it is, has officially kicked my ass. I've been dueling with it for more than a week, and even took last Friday off in the hopes of getting over it once and for all. No joy. I left work early yesterday, came home and napped, then slept 13 hours last night (not uninterupted, as there were two nocturnal dashes made to the loo), and still felt rotten this morning, so I called in. Bah.

Not that I'll use the "free" time to catch up on blogging, mind you. Unless you want to see the ugly and venomous side of me, 'cuz I'm not in a good mood.


Posted by: Ted at 10:47 AM | category: Square Pegs
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Hockey Whoopass Jamboree

Gir's Calgary Flames outscored my beloved San Jose Sharks last week, and so I will display her cool logo on my page for most of forever (considering how often I've posted lately).


Congrats, Gir!

PS. Your oral surgeon went to clown college.

Posted by: Ted at 10:37 AM | category: Balls and Ice
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February 06, 2006

NaNoWriMo, it's serialriffic!

I humbly present Chapters 9 and 10, in the extended entry.

Thanks once again for all the feedback, every bit is appreciated.

I haven't forgotten the "name this story" contest, it'll be posted in the next few days when I get a chance.

Previous chapters:

Chapters 1 and 2.
Chapters 3 and 4.
Chapters 5 and 6.
Chapters 7 and 8. more...

Posted by: Ted at 12:14 PM | category: Zombies of Autumn
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February 05, 2006

Daniel Boone goes to the Blogmeet

Last night was the latest Washington DC blogmeet, and as usual the evening was highlighted by excellend company, conversation and plenty of excellent beer.

Princess Cat sent out the details after doing a test-run at the chosen meeting place. We gathered together at the Castle and Elephant Pub, on Pennsylvania Avenue just a couple of blocks down from the Capitol building.

Over time, it appears that our requirements for an acceptable gathering spot has evolved into:

1. Good Beer
2. Casual Dress
3. Metro Access

Now the walkabout portion of the evening happened when my wife and oldest daughter Robyn and I walked out of the metro station and found ourselves in the Woodrow Wilson Plaza smack dab in front of the Ronald Reagan building. Making our way to Pennsylvania Avenue, I confidently led us off in the wrong direction, and after making a grand circle, we found the pub when the ladies noticed the name etched into the windows of the building we were passing. We could see the entrance to the plaza from the front door. In my defense, there was no lighted sign for the pub.

We walked in (fashionably late) and immediately found the group busy trying to arrange tables and seating. Turns out that the pub lost our reservations, so we wound up rearranging tables for additional seats no less than three times during the evening.

Like I said, the highlights are always the company and conversation. The food was ok. Nothing special, although the appetizer platters were heaped with tasty bits. I did notice Robert the LlamaButcher looking a bit green in the gills as I feasted, but he was kind enough not to get sick at or on me while we talked.

The guest list included:

Princess Cat and blogless wonder stealth-blogger Matt
Victor and Nic
Blogoline and her husband Jerry
Dawn (who's having hosting issues, link to be added when her home is settled)
Yours truly with Wife and daughter

There were several no-shows, and you were all missed and talked about behind your back. Neener neener.

We left somewhat early because Liz had been up early for work, and daughter Robyn still had some personal business to take care of (oh yes, she did).

Once again, another excellent evening. Thanks to everyone, and it was great seeing you again, or meeting you for the first time, and I'm looking forward to the next one.

Posted by: Ted at 02:07 PM | category: Links
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February 03, 2006

Stretching your cinematic budget

If you enjoy B-films, then you probably know the name Roger Corman. Even if you don't recognize the name, you've probably enjoyed some of his films. He's responsible for movies like Attack of the Giant Leeches, the Wasp Woman, Little Shop of Horrors, a terrific series of films based on Poe stories, Boxcar Bertha, Death Race 2000, Humanoids from the Deep, and over 350 more.

After last weekend's Mummy jag, I started watching a series of prehistoric women flicks. I'll post a review later of classics like Wild Women of Wongo and Mesa of Lost Women.

So last night I started watching a movie and things seemed *very* familiar. About halfway through I started laughing when I realized that I'd already seen much of the movie under a different title, but there were serious differences in the plotlines.

It was time to do a little research. VideoHound's Cult Flicks & Trash Pics gave up this gem:

Communism met a most ignominious humiliation at the hands of Yankee capitalist pig Roger Corman when the latter purchased the 1962 Soviet feature Planeta Burg (Planet of Storms), a serious-minded feature (with groundbreaking and costly special effects) about a collection of brave, bland cosmonauts exploring a hostile planet.

What Corman did was to use the acquired Russian film as the basis of two different movies. By adding english dialogue and extensive editing, the original film was rearranged into 1965's Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet. Scenes were added starring Basil Rathbone as an Earthbound professor and Faith Demergue as Marsha, the lady astronaut who stays in orbit as the mission doormat while the commander patronizes the hell out of her. The basic plot involves a rescue mission for two explorers and a robot on the surface of Venus. I've seen it mentioned in more than one place that the film credits were invented to disguise the fact that it was a Russian movie.

In 1968 Corman did it again, again re-editing and rearranging the original movie to create Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women. This time, Mamie Van Doren stars as the leader of a telepathic group of mermaid Venusians who can control volcanos and the weather. When the exploring astronauts kill their pteradactyl "god", the women get pissed and try to destroy the alien invaders.

About 70% of the two movies duplicate each other, and I was greatly amused when, in the second movie, it's explained that "Marsha" is the code-word that everyone uses to refer to Earth. Silly, but it saved money by letting them share more of the dialogue between the flicks.

Both movies suck, and I highly recommend them.

Posted by: Ted at 10:07 PM | category: Cult Flicks
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I thought it was 42

A couple of months ago I got an email from someone looking for information on how to get into blogging. BK mentioned that he'd started at Blather Review and from there was just kind of randomly clicking blog links.

I suggested that he head over to Blogspot and fire up something for free and give it a test drive, see how he likes it.

Go say hello to BK over at The Meaning of Life... Or Something Like That. He's interested in philosophy, gaming and science, and looks to have some controversial views on religion.

Hint: Turn on anonymous comments, many of us don't have blogger accounts.

Posted by: Ted at 03:51 PM | category: Links
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