Thursday, September 8th, 2005


For anyone who has seen American Astronaut, MSNBC.com offers this:

Ceres has long been considered one of the tens
of thousands of asteroids that make up the asteroid belt between Mars
and Jupiter. At 580 miles (930 km) in diameter about the size of
Texas it’s the largest asteroid in the belt, accounting for about 25
percent of the belt’s total mass.

Astronomers had thought Ceres might never have been heated enough to create layers of material.

But
computer models now suggest Ceres has a differentiated interior dense
material in the core and lighter stuff near the surface. Possible
configurations include a mantle rich in water ice around a rocky core.

If
this mantle is composed of at least 25 percent water, Ceres would have
more fresh water than Earth, according to a statement released by the
Space Telescope Science Institute, which operates Hubble for NASA and
the European Space Agency.

So now we know:  they can open a bar there.  Rock.

(more…)

I’m afraid that, to counter ongoing comment-spam, I have enabled the
“spamquiz” feature of Pivot Blacklist.  In short, to comment, you
must input the correct answer to a short question when
commenting.  This, in the words of Pivot Blacklist, “baffles”
spambots.  My question to you is, is this a pain in the
tuckus?  Should I turn it off?  KJ
was beaten by it once yesterday (the answer is “manly” by the way), and
I don’t want to make people hate me for having added something to the
comment process.  If you’ve been beaten by this, just drop me a
line at:

robustmcmanlypants (at) nc (dot) rr (dot) com
or
michael (at) metalab (dot) unc (dot) edu

I would also gladly entertain suggests of more obvious questions to post.

I’ve also decided to use the .htaccess generator in Blacklist to
populate some rules that simply disallow any access to the site at all if referred from a domain that includes any of a selection of obvious spam-words.  To demonstrate my own cluelessness, I nearly asked in this post that anyone who couldn’t get to the site at all just email me, as well.  At least the problem with doing so, once I started to type it, became obvious before I was done. (more…)