around the world – part 36.2 (kennedy space center)

piloting the 'whale'

piloting the 'whale'

March 29 2009:

Hard on the heels of Human Achievement Hour, and with Edward the Corgi at the wheel, Junior and colleagues piled into the ‘whale’ and headed east into a light rain towards the Kennedy Space Centre.   Armed with one dollar bills and a small ransom in coin we bolted from toll plaza to plaza, inefficiently adding our highway ‘rent’ to the Florida state treasury in terrifically short intervals and, arriving eventually at our destination, home to the spaceport and not coincidentally a quite entertaining tour experience.

I can state categorically that NASA has built a first class destination, simultaneously aimed at both youth and adults alike.   For those of you with small children – given the considerable amount of time spent queuing for tour buses, I would recommend waiting to visit until kids are in the 10 – 13 age range, as the centre is not optimised for little kids.  However, most kids should find the Shuttle Launch Experience to meet the  ‘son et lumiere’ quotient necessary to qualify for the cool factor.  Already planning for the two fierce creatures.

....light this candle....

....light this candle....

I think, though (unless you are present for an actual launch), the Apollo/Saturn V Centre must be considered the main attraction.  Complete with a Saturn Rocket, slick multimedia presentations, Apollo 11 control room and much more, this center captures in one place the complete history of mankind’s greatest achievement.  You can’t leave here without being impressed and just a little bit in awe at the audacity of those who to hurtled into space on top of a rocket guided by computers with less capability than exists in your cellphone.


Next:  Warbird Museum

how fast can you get your meter to spin?

The Final Word:

north korea, its earth hour friendly - every day of the year!

north korea, its earth hour friendly - every day of the year!


Oops…..….evil candle – next in line to be banned once we have gotten rid of electricity



Diversity includes celebrating those with ‘unique’ cultural points of view – mine just happens to include enjoying electricity and heat……


Earth Hour is on us again – except in North Korea where it seems it is always earth hour, every day, every week, every year.

Mind you, if you plan to emit CO2 in an environmentally friendlyTMeco dancing sort of way, then you get a pass from the star…..

Me?  I plan to celebrate earth hour in Orlando FLA, with the AC maxed and an extra chilled beer or three…

re-education in three, two, one……

signs of the apocalypse

Via Marginal Revolution:  your helpful government (US) offering tax tips for nearly every eventuality….

Tax information for Parents of Kidnapped Children

Topic 357 – Tax Information for Parents of Kidnapped Children

You may claim a kidnapped child as your dependent if the following requirements are met:

  1. The child must be presumed by law enforcement to have been kidnapped by someone who is not a member of your family or a member of the child’s family, and
  2. The child had, for the taxable year in which the kidnapping occurred, the same principal place of abode as the taxpayer for more than one-half of the portion of such year before the date of kidnapping.
If both of these requirements are met, the child may meet the requirements for purposes of determining:
  • The dependency exemption
  • The child tax credit, and
  • Head of household or qualifying widow(er) with dependent child filing status.

This tax treatment will cease to apply as of your first tax year beginning after the calendar year in which either there is a determination that the child is dead or the child would have reached age 18, whichever occurs first. 

For more information, refer to Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction, and Filing Information

junior goes (virtually) sailing

if junior sailed in meatspace he might look like this?

if junior sailed in meatspace he might look like this?

Being by nature a landlubber –  perhaps reinforced by being employed as ballast whist the parental unit’s enjoyed their sailing excursions back in the day –  I hadn’t considered sailing as an entertaining on-line game until Edward the Corgi sorted me out in this department.

It’s fun, it’s mildly addicting (and goodness knows junior needs no excuse) and you can go get your boat and join the round the world race here…..

nah, nah, nah-nah – hey hey – goodbye……

cbcWhile I don’t wish ill to the several hundred CBC employees to be axed, the sooner this dinosaur meets its asteroid, the better.   The mother corp has long since ceased to represent Canadians, rather forcing a vision of Canada which panders to a particular set of voters matched with barely disguised contempt for any political party other than the Liberals.   This coupled with amateurish and frankly embarrassing television content, is it any wonder that advertisers abandoned them in droves?    I for one can’t wait for the corpse to give its last shudder and expire.  Jay Currie summarises my feelings much better than I can write:

A billion a year to bring Canadians Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune.

10,000 employees (less today’s 800)…what could they possibly be doing. I mean if you are going to buy syndicated crap you pick up a phone and call the syndicator. Then you write a cheque. Even at government staffing levels that’s a five person job.

Bloated and stupid.

From time to time I’ve written about a clerisy – in the Arnold/Elliot sense. These are irritating people, convinced of their own literary and cultural superiority, the certain truth of AGW, the vileness of America (at least under Bush) and the virtue of Canada. While I may not like them very much, they were the bedrock base of a) CBC-2, b) the CBC in general. Not that they watched television you understand. While plenty other people listened to CBC-2 the clerisy actually saw it as important and, to a degree, went to bat to try to save it. They failed and, in their failure, eliminated the articulate defence of the CBC in general.