Thursday, 21 July 2011
This afternoon, the group I work for had an outing at a local park. There was catered food, bocci ball, and badminton. The two games were in tournament style, complete with large brackets taped up to the side of the pavilion where participants wrote in their names as they moved up the rankings.
I was in the bocci ball tournament. My team lost their first game, so I had a lot of down time. In between eating ice cream (oh my god! Reece’s Pieces ice cream is like, the best dessert ever) and playing Uno, I checked out the two tables worth of prizes. The plan was, right at the end of the picnic, someone would draw names out of a bowl and the person named would then get to come up and select a prize.
While looking over the prizes, I decided that my first pick would be the camping chairs. Jennifer and I don’t have any nice chairs like that and when we’ve gone camping, or even just a few weeks ago when we were sitting on the shores of the St. Croix watching the fireworks, it would’ve been nice to have some camping chairs. So that was my first choice. But I knew that they would be a popular option so, unless my name was called first or second, I probably wouldn’t get the chairs.
My second choice, I decided, would be one of the bocci ball sets. My third choice would be the board game Fact or Crap, which I’ve never played before but it looked like a fun trivia game in the same spirit (though perhaps not quite as good) as Wits and Wagers.
A couple of hours later, after playing Uno with some co-workers, arguing with them over the rules of the game, and ultimately being proved correct, everyone gathered around for the prizes. First the bocci ball and badminton champions received their gift cards for their superior sportsmanship. Then came the drawings.
The first person to have his name pulled out of the bowl was someone I don’t know, but he went up to the tables and began poking around at everything, as if he couldn’t decide. He started asking questions like, “how do you play this game?” and he began carefully inspecting things like the mini-grill and the Igloo coolers. Some co-workers started heckling him for taking so long.
Finally, the VIP in charge decided to move on while that guy continued to weigh the pros and cons of selecting a badminton set over Guesstures.
My name was called second and, in contrast to my uncertain co-workers, I walked straight up to the camping chairs, grabbed the handles, and sat back down. The woman sitting next to me said, “You don’t mess around, do you?”
No. I don’t.
Here’s another shot of the chairs, with the model donning a more contemplative expression for this picture.
Friday, 22 July 2011
So, for most of my life (from 1978-2005), the planet Pluto had only one natural satellite: Charon. It was discovered by James Christy and the finding went a long way towards demoting Pluto from the coveted Planet status.
Then, in the middle of 2005, The Hubble Space Telescope team discovered Nix and Hydra (go team!). This meant Pluto had at least three satellites, making Earth once again the only planet with only one natural satellite.
And guess what just happened this week? Pluto, no longer a planet anymore, has been found to have four natural satellites (at least)! READ MORE ABOUT IT HERE. Good for Pluto. I’m glad it has some company to console it now that it kicked out of the Planet Club. Notice IN THIS PRESS RELEASE, however, that New Horizons’ Principal Investigator Alan Stern refers to Pluto as a planet.
This makes me even more excited for New Horizons’ arrival to Pluto. It still has a ways to go on its journey, but it’s past the halfway point and, by December, it will be closer to Pluto than any other human-made object ever. New Horizons is scheduled to make its closest approach to Pluto in 2015.
Also, the dipshits on Kentucky’s Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources commission think we need to start killing Sandhill Cranes. Sign THIS PETITION to US Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar asking him to deny this law.