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Sapphires & Chocolate

Oct. 21st, 2004 09:55 pm New Journal

You can find me here now http://www.thesniper.net/mt/

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Aug. 20th, 2004 06:26 pm Stunt Pilots are gonna catch some Sun :)

(Link: http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99996305)

"Stunt pilots to hook falling stardust sample

12:00 20 August 04

NewScientist.com news service

A piece of the Sun is set to fall to Earth and be captured by Hollywood stunt pilots in a tricky mid-air manoeuvre, NASA announced on Thursday.

A capsule filled with stardust will be dropped into the atmosphere from NASA's Genesis spacecraft on 8 September.

Genesis has collected charged particles from the Sun's outermost layer for about 27 months since its launch in 2001. Scientists believe its quarry will reveal the chemical composition of the cloud from which the Sun and planets condensed 4.5 billion years ago.

"We believe the solar nebula was a fairly homogeneous environment, but out of this all the diverse materials of planets formed," says Don Burnett of the California Institute of Technology, and principal investigator.

He hopes to track the Solar System's evolution by comparing the chemical makeup of meteorites to the original solar nebula.

The first science results may come in the spring of 2005, but the project hinges on getting the precious cargo - equivalent to the mass of a few grains of salt - back to Earth safely.

So NASA hired two professional helicopter stunt pilots to capture the 190-kilogramme sample return capsule as it parachutes into the sky above the US Air Force's Utah Test and Training Range southwest of Salt Lake City, Utah.

Radar and GPS

At 1253 BST on 8 September, the Genesis spacecraft, which will be hovering above the Earth's atmosphere, will release its sample return capsule. About four hours later, the capsule will hurtle into the atmosphere at 11 kilometres per second.

Two minutes after entering the atmosphere, it will fire a mortar to release its first parachute. This will then be jettisoned from the capsule, pulling out the main chute, called a parafoil, in the process.

The parafoil will slow the capsule to a leisurely 4 metres per second, and the capsule will drift for about 10 minutes before reaching an altitude of 3000 metres.

At that height, the pilots and their two-person crews will be hovering, having earlier received radar and GPS data on the capsule's whereabouts. They will fly in formation behind the parafoil, watching how it moves, before one of them overtakes it, staying just 2.5 metres above the chute.

At an altitude of 2750 m, the lead crew will try to snag the chute's fabric with a hooked pole 5.6 metres long. If successful, the capsule's weight will trigger a piston that secures the parafoil to the hook, and the pilot will pitch the helicopter's nose upward to prevent the parafoil from reinflating.

Contaminating gas

If that attempt fails, the pilots have five more chances until they reach a height of 150 m, at which point they will have to give up, leaving the capsule's fate up to the type of surface it lands on.

But even if the hook is successful, the pilots will still be under pressure. Within two hours of capture, scientists want to flush out any gas that might have entered the capsule during its atmospheric entry.

So the pilots will have to set the helicopters down gently and quickly strip off the parafoil so they can fly unhindered to an army air field several kilometres away. That is where scientists will be able to use nitrogen to purge the capsule of any contaminating gas.

"As soon as we get the purge on, I'll be very happy," Burnett said.

Pilot Dan Rudert, who flies stunts in movies but also does "bucket drops" above fires, says he expects the mission to go smoothly, having done more than 10 successful practice runs.

But he says the mission will be difficult, citing the lack of visual cues such as trees and houses at the hover height of 3000 metres.

Roy Haggard, the helicopter operations chief, agrees, saying most helicopter pilots never fly above 300 metres.

Maggie McKee"


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Aug. 20th, 2004 05:22 pm Canadian Idol

(Link: http://www.ctv.ca/idol/gen/Competitor.html)

Yes I watch this show every week, we tape it on the PVR but we usually watch it in time to vote. We usually vote for Teresa & Elena and then whichever one of the boys did the best that night. Last 2 weeks it's been Shane. My favorite performances this year so far are:

Elena Juatco: Mary Jane (I'd never heard the song before and her version kicked ass. I listened to the original after and I still liked Elena's version better)

Shane Wiebe: The Way I Feel (Again, never heard it before but it was so very powerful and heartfelt I loved it)

Shane Wiebe: Angel (Again x2, never heard it before.. This performance finally helped me convince Ken that we should give our third vote to Shane. He seems to get more confident each time and his voice kicks ass)

That doesn't mean I don't have other favorites:
Teresa Sokyrka: I love her voice and she's such a nice sweet girl. I call her "Canada's little sister" and joked that all of Canada will be doing background checks on anyone she gets involved with in the future.

Kalan Porter: I agree with what Judge Jake Gold said in the last show.. "there's no reason a voice like that should come out of someone who looks like you" Love his song choices which include, Paint it Black, House of the Rising Sun and Born to be Wild.

Danielle Falco: She was in the "Top 32" and I thought she did well. I don't remember what she sang but I thought she would be in the "Top 10"

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Aug. 20th, 2004 05:08 pm Singer/Actress Beyonce and her $4.7 million hair

(Link: http://entertainment.msn.com/celebs/article.aspx?news=166963)

"Mane Event
Beyonce's precious locks. Plus, Cruise's touchy topics

by Kat Giantis
MSN Entertainment
August 19, 300

Beyonce might want to consider insuring her long, luscious mane from unforeseen coif catastrophes, because it's worth about $47 a strand. The good folks at the Smoking Gun reveal the Grammy-winning star will pocket $4.7 million from her five-year contract with L'Oreal, which obliges her to toil less than two weeks per year.

According to the terms of the endorsement deal, Beyonce, 22, must report to work 10 days annually for photo shoots, promotional stops, and personal appearances (though none that requires her to rub shoulders with the riff-raff -- the contract specifically nixes gigs at stores "open to the public").

The company also has an option for two additional days of Beyonce's valuable time, but it must cough up $25,000 daily for the privilege.

Sure, it sounds like easy money, but the cosmetic giant has a few follicle conditions that Beyonce must follow. In addition to maintaining the "same physical appearance and health," Jay-Z's better half must keep her hair in "excellent condition" and notify the company of "any radical change" to her locks. So, extra poundage, split ends, and a blonde mullet are all major don'ts. Beyonce must also avoid going anywhere near products bearing the name Revlon or Clairol.

The most humiliating stipulation: L'Oreal has the right to "periodically monitor the condition" of the singer's hair, though it will generously give her two weeks notice before conducting the strand inspection.

The contract recently came to light in connection with a lawsuit filed against Beyonce by Wilhelmina Artist Management over allegedly unpaid commissions."

--I think Beyonce is one of the prettiest, honest and hard-working women in the spotlight, but I've never thought her hair was that great. I've seen her ads for L'Oreal and in them her hair looks shiny and smooth, usually.. but all too often it looks over-done and poofy.. dried-out.. I just don't think it's worth $4.7 million. I'd be scared silly to sign a contract like that, my hair can get crazy just by changing my diet. I can't imagine what it would look like with all that stress she must go through every day and all the styling.

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Aug. 20th, 2004 04:43 pm Today's Horoscope (Cancer)

"If there is something you need to go out and fight for, this is the time to do it, dear Cancer. For a while now, you have been collecting data and doing research on the best way to proceed. The time has come to take action. You have an extra boost of physical vitality, and your warrior instinct is strong. You feel like a volcano ready to spit out the hot and boiling lava. Trust and follow your instincts."

--I do indeed have quite a few things I've been collecting data on and time's running out to get'er done
--I really wonder about the psychology behind horoscope writing that makes them always apply to some part of everyone's life. I doubt that many horoscope writers took classes or something..

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