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Blog Entries from 2005-06-28 to 2005-08-01

Submitted by kavanagh. on 2005-08-01 04:12 PM. space
Watch the view from a camera mounted onboard one of the space shuttle's solid rocket boosters (SRB).

This first of its kind video follows the SRB from takeoff strapped to the shuttle to SRB jettison, tumbling through the atmosphere to splashdown in the ocean - with an underwater view! Very cool.

Submitted by kavanagh. on 2005-07-24 06:48 PM. recreation
Toured the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum on Pratt Street in Baltimore

The B&O Museum has to be the best collection of railroad history that I've ever seen. Fourty acres of finely restored steam and diesel locomotives, dozens of railcars and a newly rebuilt climate controlled roundhouse.

Submitted by kavanagh. on 2005-07-23 06:03 PM. recreation
Explored the Chesapeake Bay shore of Calvert County, Maryland

Hiked Calvert Cliffs State Park and enjoyed the inaccessbile fossil-filled sandy beach at the base of the cliffs. After cooling off with the onshore breeze, I drove south to the mouth of the Patuxent River and came across a suprisingly cool place called Solomons Island. This quaint seaside village is a blend of Cape Cod and Key West. Great water sporting and seaside dining.

Submitted by kavanagh. on 2005-07-20 08:13 PM. recreation
ten weeks, two days
Submitted by kavanagh. on 2005-07-16 02:14 PM. space
It looks like UPI is reporting erroneous budget numbers from the Russian Space Agency - inaccurate by a factor of 100. By comparison, NASA 2005 budget appropriation was $16 billion or ~0.1% of the entire national budget.

Although the new Russian 10-year space budget will total about $10.5 million (300 billion roubles), it is less than what the United States spends annually on its space program.

Russia Approves A 10-Year Space Budget
Moscow (UPI) Jul 14, 2005

Submitted by kavanagh. on 2005-07-13 12:58 PM. military
Washington Post: Through cultivation of Saddam Hussein's government, China sought to develop some of Iraq's more promising reserves. Beijing advocated lifting the United Nations sanctions that prevented investment in Iraq's oil patch and limited sales of its production

The Iraq war substantially intensified the foreign push. Most immediately, it destroyed China's hopes of developing large assets in Iraq. China had been waiting for the end of sanctions to begin work on the Al-Ahdab field in central Iraq, under a $1.3 billion contract signed in 1997 by its largest state-owned firm, China National Petroleum Corp. The field's production potential has been estimated at 90,000 barrels a day. China was also pursuing rights to a far bigger prize -- the Halfayah field, which could produce 300,000 barrels a day. Together, those two fields might have delivered quantities equivalent to 13 percent of China's current domestic production.

"No matter if it's rogue's oil or a friend's oil, we don't care," said an energy adviser to the central government who spoke on the condition he not be identified, citing the threat of government disciplinary action. "Human rights? We don't care. We care about oil. Whether Iran would have nuclear weapons or not is not our business. America cares, but Iran is not our neighbor. Anyone who helps China with energy is a friend."

Big Shift in China's Oil Policy
By Peter S. Goodman
Washington Post Foreign Service

Submitted by kavanagh. on 2005-07-10 02:37 PM. freedom
NY Times Magazine follows President Assad through a series of interviews and explores modern Syria.

The Enigma of Damscus

Submitted by kavanagh. on 2005-07-01 10:11 PM. recreation
Jordan took his first steps in June this year. Kelly captured the walking toddler with Quicktime video at the Parker's home this week.

Jordan's First Steps

Submitted by kavanagh. on 2005-07-01 04:59 PM. space
When the space shuttle returns to flight next month, it will have twenty more flights to complete the International Space Station by 2010. Any station parts that haven't been launched by then will have to find a different ride to orbit.

This official NASA document details the areas of the International Space Station that are complete and those that remain to finish the 'core': ISS Technical Configuration

Submitted by kavanagh. on 2005-06-28 05:20 PM. freedom
The Economist writes in support of continuing the expansion of the European Union eastward.

This survey will look beyond the recent post-constitutional doom and gloom about Europe's future, to argue in favour of continued enlargement of the Union as the best way to manage relations with neighbouring countries, save for Russia.

The Economist: Meet the neighbours