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Mars needs pioneers

Never, ever thought I'd be tempted to contribute to PETA. But this is such a darn good cause:

PETA, ever inventive in finding new ways to be outrageous, has hit upon an idea of making Mars a meat-free planet. Toward that end, it has sent a plea to SpaceX CEO Elon Musk to make sure this happens, reports Mogulite. How Musk would have that power is an open question.

Hello, London

Organizers of the 2012 Olympic Games in London have dusted off The Clash's "London Calling" for use as a "come-see us" promo, which some are calling the most clueless use of a song since Ronald Reagan appropriated "Born in the USA."

Virtually free

Say so long to the travel and convention business:

If Jim Blascovich and Jeremy Bailenson are right, here is what's in store for you and your avatar very soon, probably within the next five years:

1) Without leaving your living room or office, you'll sit at three-dimensional virtual meetings and classes, looking around the table or the lecture hall at your colleagues' avatars.

First of the last

Space shot

Even revered former astronauts get caught up in the partisan divide:

When President Barack Obama finally details (and defends) his plan for the future of manned spaceflight in Florida this Thursday, he will face opposition from a slew of Apollo-era astronauts who are disappointed that the budget cuts near-term plans for a moonshot. But one lunar-walking astronaut will be in the president's corner—Buzz Aldrin.

Close to home

Central Indiana libraries have recently reported surges in patronage. Indiana's summer festivals, including the Three Rivers Festival, have had spikes in attendance. And now the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore says it had 27 percent more visitors last month than during June 2008:

Posted in: Hoosier lore, Travel

Can't afford Paris?

If you're looking for a day trip to tell the grandkids about, a mere $55 will let you board a bus in Chicago and travel to beautiful downtown Gary to see all the influences that turned Michael Jackson into the unique human being he was. You can see his boyhood home that, though "modest" has a kitchen and even indoor plumbing. You can see the now-defunct Mr. Lucky's lounge, where the Jackson 5 held one of their first performances.

Being there

Here's a site where you can vote on the "100 greatest places to stand in the USA" and watch the results change until the vote is closed on Dec. 1.

Posted in: All about me, Travel


This should be the most interesting juxtaposition you encounter this month. First up, a production of "The Vagina Monologue" is generating controversy and even a little fear in Kyrgyzstan:

Central Asia is not known as a region where women have tried to assert their rights.

[. . .]

Welcome to green hell

Posted in: Travel