Archive - Dec 18, 2003


Justice in the news...

Seems as though the criminal justice system has been under more scrutiny than usual the past few weeks.

In response to the Dru Sjodin case, Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty issued a call for the death penalty in Minnesota. Today, Pawlenty announced that he wants to discipline the doctors who allowed Alfonso Rodriguez, Jr., Sjodin's likely murderer, back on the street. In addition, Republicans in the Minnesota House of Representatives want to lock up level 3 sex offenders for good.

Astronomical clarifications

I asked astronomer Ron Fevig to look over the account I wrote below of our conversation about the solar system, since no doubt I lost some of it in translation. I will let Ron do the talking:
(1) The largest main-belt asteroid, 1 Ceres, is a little over 900 km in
diameter or almost 600 miles across (not 200 miles).

(2) Long ago it was thought that the asteroid main-belt might have been
the result of a single planet that disintegrated. It is now believed
that numerous "protoplanets", small bodies that never formed one big

Tucson weather update:

Clear, sunny, 79 degrees today in Tucson. The stores had their doors thrown open. Windows down on the cars.

Tucson is my annual time of trying to get my act together. In other words, I try to get in a little better shape and develop better habits. So this afternoon I ran around the block and jumped some rope, and followed that with a very healthy Greek salad.

Now I can barely move. And I am hungry for something substantial.

Something's Gotta Give

Attended the above movie last night. I think it is the first movie I have seen in a theater in four years. It was a sweet, harmless, feel-good movie starring Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton. There was no violence. That is important to me, as I get nightmares when they have blood spattering all over.