January 27th, 2004 - 1:25 pm
Will Collier — who I might have to make a guest-blogger while I’m under the weather — sent in this Newsday story on the last minutes of the Space Shuttle Columbia. As Will noted, it’s tough reading, especially the part describing exactly what NASA thinks happened during re-entry.
Excuse the lengthy extract:
. . .even as the Columbia astronauts chatted about the light show outside, the hole in Columbia’s left wing was disrupting that boundary layer. Ever more air molecules were shooting into the inside of the wing at RCC panel 8 and slamming into the insulation protecting the panel attachment fittings, swirling through the cavity and spreading out to either side. At that altitude, the effect was small. But the shuttle was descending, and the air was getting thicker with each passing second. With Columbia in a 40-degree nose-up orientation, the plume entering the breach in RCC panel 8 was aimed at the upper attachment fittings and insulation. The insulation began melting, and the front face of the left wing’s aluminum honeycomb forward spar — the only barrier between the plume and the interior of the wing — began heating up.
At 8:48:39 a.m., just four minutes and 30 seconds after Columbia had dipped into the atmosphere, a sensor mounted behind the forward spar, near the point where RCC panel 9 was bolted to the other side, measured an unusual increase in stress. The spar was softening.
About a minute later — five and a half minutes after entry interface — the shuttle’s flight computers ordered a turn to the right. Up until this point, the shuttle had simply been falling into the atmosphere, wings level, nose up and pointed straight ahead. Now, the ship’s flight computers began actively guiding the shuttle toward Kennedy’s runway. The shuttle’s nose smoothly swung 80 degrees to the right.
Less than 20 seconds after the maneuver, sensors mounted on Columbia’s left rear rocket pod measured an unusual change in temperature. Wind tunnel testing would later show some of the hot air blasting into the RCC cavity was exiting through the vents on the upper surface of the wing, carrying thin clouds of metallic vapor from melted insulation.
The firestorm inside the RCC cavity was rapidly increasing in intensity. The boundary layer around the leading edge breach was severely disrupted, and the flow of super-heated air over the lower surface of the wing exposed the protective tiles there to much higher temperatures than they were designed to withstand. Insulation and RCC panel support fittings behind the breach continued to burn away.
Within a few seconds of 8:52:16 a.m. — the exact time is unknown — the deadly plume burned its way through the forward wing spar and into the interior of the wing.
The shuttle was still 300 miles from the coast of California. The crew still had no idea anything was wrong.
But with the boundary layer disrupted, the temperature of the atoms and molecules blasting into the wing probably exceeded 8,000 degrees near the leading edge breach itself. Hot gas began flowing into the wheel well through vents around landing gear door hinges. At 8:52:17 a.m., the first unusual sensor reading flashed on a computer screen in mission control: a slight increase in temperature in the hydraulic fluid running through a brake line leading to the left main landing gear.
Columbia’s left wing was burning up from the inside out.
Now go read the whole thing.
January 26th, 2004 - 10:56 pm
Dixville Notch’s 11 independent voters (the city has no registered Democrats) went overwhelmingly for Wes Clark:
Clark won Dixville with 8 votes. Sen. John Kerry had 3, Sen. John Edwards 2 and Howard Dean and Sen. Joe Lieberman 1 each.
So what’s it all mean? First, let’s look at the results from Hart’s Location:
Clark received 6 votes in Hart’s Location. Kerry had 5, Dean 3 and Edwards 2.
OK — what’s it all mean? Nothing. I just like saying Dixville Notch and Hart’s Location.
January 26th, 2004 - 8:14 pm
Yet another angry letter, this time to Mr. Nemo Azamian, vice president in charge of Gateway Customer Service.
Dear Mr. Azamian,
Since you serve as head of Gateway Customer Service, I assume you
January 26th, 2004 - 5:26 pm
Will Collier sent this story, which is. . . well, you’ll just have to read the whole thing. But here’s a taste:
Last month, a Republican lawyer in Mississippi who previously lived here in Washington, infiltrated a Howard Dean for President “meet-up” in Jackson. He took charge of more than the meeting.
“I’m basically now head of Central Mississippians for Dean,” J. Kevin Broughton tells Inside the Beltway.
The handful of Dean supporters on hand included a political consultant who was state chairman of Al Gore’s 1988 presidential campaign, a retired Army colonel, a local broadcaster and a pair of middle-aged women.
Honest lawyer he is, and feeling a bit guilty, Mr. Broughton decided to come clean.
To find out how a Republican was “crowned chairman of the Dean club” in Mississippi, you’ll have to click over to the Washington Times.
January 26th, 2004 - 5:13 pm
The latest from Steven Den Beste is the finest essay on American greatness I’ve read outside of a major publication — and better than most of those, too.
And the stir it created speaks volumes more.
January 26th, 2004 - 12:50 am
. . . before the cough medicine really kicks in.
Way back when, a buddy of mine who followed politics a little more closely than your average voter, told me from then on, he was going to pay attention whenever I made some wild-ass political guess.
Because I told him, before he’d ever even heard of the guy, “Just watch — Bill Clinton is gonna be the next President.”
Right now I have a similar feeling about John Edwards. Similar — but not as strong. My gut tells me the nomination is his, if he doesn’t screw it up.
Dean is scary. Kerry is boring and tougher to pin down than a water balloon on an oiled trampoline (If you have a water balloon on an oiled trampoline, for Whomever’s sake, please please please don’t tell me why). Lieberman is the Democrat’s John McCain, but without the fire. Clark is the worst of Kerry combined with the worst of Dean.
Edwards is Clinton without the bimbo eruptions.
That’s what my gut tells me.
UPDATE: Maybe I’m just crabby because of this sore throat, but to some of you in the comments section — pay attention to what I wrote, not to what you think I wrote.
I did not say Edwards is a shoe-in next November. I said my gut tells me he might be the strongest guy for the nomination. I’d also described a prior gut reaction as a “wild-ass political guess,” and nothing more.
(I’m talking to you, Arvin. Wipe the spittle from your chin.)
January 26th, 2004 - 12:29 am
Whatever the crud is that’s going around, it’s going around my head. I’ll be back in plenty of time for the New Hampshire primary tomorrow.
Meantime, may I interest you in a shot of Robitussin?
January 23rd, 2004 - 10:12 am
Complete computer meltdown. Spent last night backing up 40 or 50 gig of files. Will spend today reformatting and reinstalling everything.
January 22nd, 2004 - 7:43 pm
Got back from the eye doc over four hours ago — and I’m only now able to read the computer screen.
Pupils are still slightly dilated. It’s just like doing drugs, only without any of the fun.
Be back after dinner.
January 22nd, 2004 - 9:22 am
Taking the day off from blogging to catch up on chores.
Back late this afternoon.
January 21st, 2004 - 6:51 pm
The latest Zogby tracking poll figures from New Hampshire:
The most interesting number here is the undecideds, which at 16% is only about half of what it was in Iowa going into Monday’s caucus. So, there seems to be less room for another come-from-behind surprise for John Edwards.
Unless. Dean’s negatives are going to go nowhere but up over the next week, as he continues to be more an object of ridicule than worry. At which point, the media will decide they’ve gone too far, and will build him back up the four or five days before the primary.
I won’t predict who will win, place, or show — but seeing which way the media herd will turn isn’t a hard art to master.
January 21st, 2004 - 3:56 pm
More silliness from the headquarters of the would-be Fourth Reich (aka the New Continental System, aka Greater Belgium):
British use of cluster bombs in the Iraq war could count as a war crime and justifies further investigation by the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor in the Hague, a group of international lawyers say.
Seven academics from Britain, Ireland, France and Canada interviewed eyewitnesses and examined evidence to see if there was a case for referring British conduct to the court, said the pressure group Peacerights, which organised the review.
Also under review are such heinous acts as shooting back, putting on a “military looking” cap, and late-night dorm sessions spent playing Axis & Allies.
January 21st, 2004 - 11:47 am
Still interested in that plan for a Free Iran?
Roger Simon was kind enough to forward me a link to the transcript, which he called, “Not as big a deal as I had hoped.” After reading it, I agree.
January 21st, 2004 - 11:12 am
An alternate Fletch-inspired explanation for Dean’s howl: “Got the whole hand in there, doc?”
But if Dean breaks out with “Moon River,” I’m leaving the country.
January 21st, 2004 - 11:03 am
From the man who eschewed matching funds, so that he could buy his way to a third-place finish in Iowa, comes this:
Dean said for every $100 that someone donates to a presidential campaign, the government should match it with $500 and give the donor a $100 tax credit. He said the government should raise spending limits in the primary elections and increase the incentive for candidates to stay within the public financing system.
The way I read this is, Dean now wants you to buy him a third-place finish in Iowa.
January 21st, 2004 - 10:49 am
With a hat tip to Chief Wiggles, today’s new-to-me blog is Budaechigae — written by an American soldier in South Korea.
Check it out.
January 21st, 2004 - 10:46 am
Some 18th Century wag once defined Prussia as “an army with a country attached to it.” The same could be said — only more so — about North Korea:
The food and fuel situation up north is pretty grim, and it’s making the security forces up there nervous. Lots more North Koreans are openly expressing a “I don’t give a damn” attitude. Just like Eastern Europe in 1989. The current food crises is a result of foreign donors refusing to contribute food for North Korea because the government has not allowed foreigners to observe where the donated food goes. Other witnesses have consistently reported that the donated food goes to the armed forces and is not sent to areas where there has been unrest, or where the government suspects there might be unrest (because a number of locals have fled to China or Russia.) Currently, some twelve percent of North Korea’s population, that was getting food aid, has been cut off. New supplies will not arrive for several months. But after that, the food aid could dry up again if the North Korean government does not become more cooperative. The government is showing signs of easing up on building nuclear weapons and controlling foreign aid. But signs are not the same as a done deal, so the people still starve.
At a bare minimum, 12 percent of the country is hungry today — and if this StrategyPage report is accurate, many more no longer “give a damn.”
Now think back to the late summer of 1989, and the unrest in East Germany. By November, the Wall came down.
How much longer can North Korea survive?
January 21st, 2004 - 10:34 am
Roger Simon on the New (Old) Anti-Semitism.
January 21st, 2004 - 10:16 am
Top Ten Howard Dean Excuses
10. “The Iowans turned it into a popularity contest”
9. “People don’t seem to find shouting ‘Presidential’”
8. “Weekend before the caucus, wasted 55 crucial hours marrying Britney Spears”
7. “By mistake, campaigned in Ohio”
6. “Due to fatigue on campaign trail, kissed hands and shook babies”
5. “Dennis Kucinich stole one percent of my vote”
4. “Saddam Hussein endorsement didn’t help”
3. “In retrospect, shouldn’t have opened speeches with ‘Yo Mama’ jokes”
2. “Bad idea to keep asking self, ‘What would Dukakis do?’”
1. “Majority of voter base stayed home to watch ‘My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance’”
January 21st, 2004 - 9:54 am
Will Collier asks:
Isn’t anybody going to note that Howie Dean blatantly ripped off the movie “Fletch” when he launched into the national anthem at that rally yesterday?
Since you beat me to that one, Will, let me be the first to say that in Iowa, Dean hit a water buffalo. Won’t someone lend him a towel?
January 21st, 2004 - 2:07 am
Donald Lambro notes that
Early projections indicate passage of Mr. Bush’s proposals will increase non-defense spending well beyond the 4 percent to 5 percent the administration has budgeted for the current fiscal year, nearly double the average annual increases of about 2.5 percent by President Clinton during his two terms.
Did no one go over the numbers in his speech before he gave it, or did they think no one would notice?
January 21st, 2004 - 1:15 am
The meltdown continues:
Democratic presidential contender Howard Dean on Tuesday unleashed an unlikely weapon to disarm hecklers — the U.S. national anthem.
When a rally at the New Hampshire Technical Institute in Concord was interrupted for a second time, the former Vermont governor led his supporters in a rousing rendition of the Star Spangled Banner to drown them out.
The last time I remember seeing something this odd from a Presidential contender, it was Dennis Kucinich singing “America the Beautiful” in a lovely falsetto.
January 21st, 2004 - 12:54 am
Regarding the SOTU and gay marriage, it seems I read too much into what Bush said — he did not, in fact, endorse a Constitutional amendment. But then there is what he did say, and a reader here summed it up nicely:
Regardless of the legal reality, he just used the bully pulpit to paint my relationship as a threat to America.
Guess the big tent isn’t so big, after all.
January 20th, 2004 - 8:23 pm
James Joyner was live-blogging, too — and was probably a lot more together than I was.
Glenn Reynolds: “I guess you have to do some of this [spending] if you’re President. But I don’t have to like it.
Then go to the Poliblogger, and just read and scroll.
January 20th, 2004 - 8:17 pm
Nancy Pelosi doesn’t look like she’s got enough something to be delivering the Democratic response. She looks barely serious enough to sell me real estate.
And even then I’d be shopping for a different agent.
UPDATE: Tom Daschle would never make it as a salesman in the private sector, and he’s too much of a priss to make it as a factory worker, or even a manager. Keep him off welfare and in the Senate!
January 20th, 2004 - 8:09 pm
33 posts in 50 minutes — I need a break.
Back in a few.
January 20th, 2004 - 8:07 pm
“…it is the cause of all mankind.”
He’s talking about liberty, and he’s right.
That’s what Bush gets about foreign policy, and it’s what none of the major Democratic presidential hopefuls don’t — or won’t — understand.
And it’s why I’ll almost certainly vote for him next fall. We live in dangerous times, and it looks (so far) like he’s the only serious candidate.
Now if only he were as serious — and less “Clintonian” as one MSNBC commenter just said — about domestic issues.