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Dan Goodman's prediction and politics journal.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Thursday October 23, 2003. "She drank, but Trollope didn't know it."

I had no intention of using an unreliable narrator. But there was the nagging question "If he's so sensible, how did he get into this situation?"

So, things didn't happen quite the way he remembers them. And there's a hole in his memory....

And among his memories is one of watching a steamboat race on the Los Angeles River, which is usually not a navigable stream.

I don't think the headache I had today was tied in with this. I expect to have fewer tension headaches in future, partly thanks to the dog collar I bought at Steeple People Thrift Store.

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Kieran Healy on http://www.crookedtimber.org
Patrick Belton at OxBlog disapproves[1] of the “Pope Death Watch” but can’t resist linking to the betting on JPII’s successor[2], together with an analysis of the contenders[3]. The main candidates are an Italian, a Cuban and a Nigerian, which sounds like the beginning of a pretty bad joke, the punchline to which is left as an exercise for the reader. I want the Nigerian to win, mainly because of the expanded possibilities for spam:

REQUEST FOR ASSISTANCE — STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL.

Dear Sir, I pray this important message meets you in peace, may blessings of God be upon you and your family and grant you the wisdom to understand my situation and how much I really need your assistance. Before I start let me introduce myself, my name is FRANCIS ARINZE, Cardinal of the most holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, former President of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and prefect of divine worship and discipline of sacraments. I have recently been elected Pontiff of the Universal Church by the conclave of cardinals, which you may have seen on the news…

1. http://www.oxblog.blogspot.com/2003_10_19_oxblog_archive.html#106686610985015692
2. http://www.online-betting-guide.co.uk/Next-Pope.htm
3. http://www.stratfor.com/corporate/static_index.neo

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Email: A first for me -- spam ad disguised as a chain letter.

Paper mail: Penzey's Spices catalog.
Tapestry Folkdance schedule for November and December.
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http://www.eurekalert.org/pubnews.php
Public Release: 23-Oct-2003
Pedro Duque's diary from space
I am writing these notes in the Soyuz with a cheap ballpoint pen. Why is that important? As it happens, I've been working in space programmes for seventeen years, eleven of these as an astronaut, and I've always believed, because that is what I've always been told, that normal ballpoint pens don't work in space.

Contact: Franco Bonacina
franco.bonacina@esa.int
33-015-369-7155
European Space Agency

Public Release: 23-Oct-2003
Energy & Fuels
Amber waves of grain on a mission to Mars
Scientists have developed a fully sustainable disposal system to deal with waste on long-range space flights using a simple byproduct of wheat, moving the space program one step closer to a manned mission to Mars. Wheat grass, an inedible part of the wheat plant that would normally be trash, can be used to reclaim pollutants produced from burning waste on a spaceship.

Contact: Allison Byrum
a_byrum@acs.org
202-872-4400
American Chemical Society

Public Release: 23-Oct-2003
CIB-CTBUH International Conference on Tall Buildings
Developing elevators that function during fires
In the aftermath of the Sept 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, U.S. fire experts are beginning to advocate the use of elevators in high-rise buildings throughout a fire, both to carry firefighters to the site of the blaze and as a secondary method (after stairwells) for evacuating building occupants. The National Institute of Standards and Technology has joined others to study ways to build "protected" elevators.

Contact: John Blair
john.blair@nist.gov
301-975-4261
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

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