How many naked-eye objects in the solar system can a person with average eyesight see given reasonably dark skies?
Normally one rattles off seven (excluding comets): Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. But Uranus is bright enough if you know where to look. That makes eight ...
It turns out Vesta, the brightest asteroid, becomes a naked eye object roughly every 18 years and this is the year. It will be in Ophiuchus and visible during May and June from dark regions (anywhere you can see the Milky Way and Ophiuchus is good enough).
So an opportunity for those of you who would like to do something that most people have never considered...
An anonymous reader sent the following while watching Jon Stewart on Bill Moyers
I'm watching Moyers' Journal, and Jon Stewart is the guest, with Josh Marshall from TPM to follow. It's caused me to reflect on the fairly recent past, and I am getting an almost cellular sense that something very profound is beginning to bud.
I have to say that a remarkably intimate, yet expansive, community of thought seems to be forming across television, film, and the Internet. There's a rather quiet, yet intense, movement of thought and expression building. It focuses not so much on any particular ideology ("right" or "left"), but on a common, critical-mass thirst to dispel the deception, irrationality, and utter hubris that has been corroding our proud country for what seems like an eternity.
An undeniable intellectual and social confluence is rapidly gaining momentum and solidarity. This solidarity is amazingly organic, not hierarchical -- its only guide is the sixth sense of skepticism, outrage, and, yes, reason. It transcends party. It is oceanic, atmospheric. An intellectual, moral, societal, and psychological gestalt as ancient as humanity itself, kept underfoot by a long winter, but indelibly germinating once again with the thaw.
It is literally everywhere now. The voices of blindness and rage cannot shake me anymore. I haven't felt such hope in a very long time.
But beyond affirming executive supremacy in matters of war, what is George Bush going to do? It is simply untrue that we are making decisive progress in Iraq. The indicators rise and fall from day to day, week to week, month to month. In South Vietnam there was an organized enemy. There is clearly organization in the strikes by the terrorists against our forces and against the civil government in Iraq, but whereas in Vietnam we had Hanoi as the operative headquarters of the enemy, we have no equivalent of that in Iraq, and that is a matter of paralyzing importance. All those bombings, explosions, assassinations: we are driven to believe that they are, so to speak, spontaneous.
When the Romans were challenged by Christianity, Rome fell. The generation of Christians moved by their faith overwhelmed the regimented reserves of the Roman state. It was four years ago that Mr. Cheney first observed that there was a real fear that each fallen terrorist leads to the materialization of another terrorist. What can a “surge,” of the kind we are now relying upon, do to cope with endemic disease? The parallel even comes to mind of the eventual collapse of Prohibition, because there wasn’t any way the government could neutralize the appetite for alcohol, or the resourcefulness of the freeman in acquiring it.
General Petraeus is a wonderfully commanding figure. But if the enemy is in the nature of a disease, he cannot win against it. Students of politics ask then the derivative question: How can the Republican party, headed by a president determined on a war he can’t see an end to, attract the support of a majority of the voters? General Petraeus, in his Pentagon briefing on April 26, reported persuasively that there has been progress, but cautioned, “I want to be very clear that there is vastly more work to be done across the board and in many areas, and again I note that we are really just getting started with the new effort.”
The general makes it a point to steer away from the political implications of the struggle, but this cannot be done in the wider arena. There are grounds for wondering whether the Republican party will survive this dilemma.
Messerschmitt tried to stay alive making cars in post WWII Germany.
from a 1955 Popular Science
Over 100 mpg with a primitive drive train. Doubling that should be easy and a modern platform with a small lithium battery and efficient motor coupled with a small extremely efficient engine generator topping the battery would be very interesting.