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I read them,
and then I threw them in the trash,
but make no mistake, I read them.

I swallowed them whole.
I filled my eyes with every word,
I sewed them in patterns
into my flesh of my body,
at night I wake to entertain the ghosts
lounging in my bedroom
with impromptu recitations
of your letters, of your thoughts,
of the shape of you in words

but I could not keep your letters.

I could not let them languish
in a dusty box, fermenting
into poisons in the closet dark.
I could not let them lie in wait,
like coiled paper vipers
ready to strike the hand that strays
too far and stirs the den.

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Anywho, the NYTimes has two very good articles on the intentions and landing of The Curiosity, the car-sized explorer which landed on Mars yesterday.  If everything was as complicated as this first article says it was, and as well-thought-out, I am incredibly impressed with how far NASA's come from just a few short years ago, when the new lens of the Hubble telescope didn't fit because someone measured in centimeters, not inches.  (Or was it inches, not centimeters?  I always forget.)

Of the two articles, I'm most impressed by the first one because it actually gives us all the information we could want about The Curiosity.  (Though I do want to know what happens to that ship that just goes off to crash a third of a mile away.  What if *that* ship crashes exactly where something incredibly cool is?  Shouldn't it be equipped with rock-destroying lasers, too?

If all goes as planned, the friction of Mars’ thin air rushing past the heat shield will have slowed the spacecraft to 1,000 miles per hour. A 51-foot-wide parachute will pop out, generating up to 65,000 pounds of drag force. Then the heat shield will pop off so that the radar can find the landing site in Gale Crater.

Even with the parachute drag, the spacecraft will be barreling toward the surface at 200 miles per hour. Next it will cut away the parachute and ignite its descent engines to slow down further.

The last three NASA rovers — Sojourner in 1997 and Spirit and Opportunity in 2004 — had similar landing systems, except for the final step. For those three, a cocoon of air bags inflated around the rover, which was then dropped the last 50 feet or so, bouncing and rolling until it came to a stop.

But Curiosity, about the size of a Mini Cooper, is five times as heavy as Spirit or Opportunity, making air bags impractical. It would be equivalent of trying to cushion a car hitting a brick wall at highway speed without any damage to the car.

Instead, Curiosity will be lowered by cable all the way to the ground from the hovering rocket stage in what NASA calls a sky crane maneuver. Once Curiosity bumps into Mars at a gentle 1.7 miles per hour, the cable will be cut, and the rocket stage will fly off to crash about a third of a mile away.


and the follow-up article:

Curiosity Rover Lands Safely on Mars

The success validates a $2.5 billion bet that NASA took in embarking on this ambitious mission. While the spacecraft has performed flawlessly since its launching last November, that is only after NASA overcame technical problems, delayed launching by more than two years and poured in hundreds of millions of dollars as the price tag rose from $1.6 billion.

The landing, involving a seemingly impossible sequence of complex maneuvers, proceeded like clockwork: the capsule containing Curiosity entered the Martian atmosphere, the parachute deployed, the rocket engines fired, the rover was lowered and, finally, the Curiosity was on the ground.

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-I'm translating a court case (for money!  Wheeee!!) set in Colombia and I'm at the point where I have maaaybe 10 hours left to go and all I can do is stare at these pages and go "noooooo you cannot make me.  Pleeeeeeease don't make me, pleeeeeeeeeease" and then I go watch Person of Interest and have feelings.  Since Reese cannot, I am making up for them with plenty to spare.  Apparently.  

-Also while I was screwing around I watched the last couple episodes of Community.  Which - I nearly died with glee at what I want to call Digital Get-Down but was really Digital Estate Planning.  Spoilers for month-old episodes. I guess.Collapse ) And those costumes were supremely rad. 

So, I'm prepared to treat this last episode as the series finale.  It wrapped up everything nicely, and was adorable and funny and, frankly, FUCK YOU, SONY.  You have lost my trust.  

-HUNGER GAMES.  HUNGER GAMES.  I HAVE SO MANY FEELINGS ABOUT HUNGER GAMES.  I am halfway through the second book and currently on a forced break because it lets me think and digest the book so much better.  Even though it feels like I will die if I don't read the next part.  I really strongly feel that there's some message in these books that compare our society with the one displayed via Panem, but that I'm just too stupid to see it.  I keep saying "it's an allegory for...for...for..." and NEVER REACH A CONCLUSION.  But, wow, do I want to talk for hours about every little thing in this book.  

-Hmm.  I'm overdramatic about the word die. 

-Laurie was here, visiting me, which was both lovely and money-draining because despite her attempt at planning, she didn't really have enough money for food.  So...most of that came from me.  Which, okay, she'd do the same for me...but she's got a job and I really, really don't.  But, to be fair, she bought food for the first 3 days.  So that was good, I guess.  And also, she's the one who hooked me up with the translation job, so money will be coming from there in a few months.  

-I have this bird, which looks kind of like a jackdaw, come to my balcony every day and dig through my plants to see if there are worms there.  There are not, bird.  Go away.  I cannot communicate this more clearly than I already do, by charging you and yelling every time we see each other.  YOU ARE KILLING MY PLANTS.  I DO NOT LIKE IT.

-I'm sticking with Once Upon a Time because my family loves it and it gives us something to talk about, but it's pretty consistently been disappointing since they hit double-digit episodes.  I still love the female characters, but I don't love their development of Mary Margaret.  I don't think these even count as spoilers anymore, but...just in case.Collapse )

-Okay, well, now I have to get some work done.  Time to put my big girl boots on and finish at least one more page.

-I HEART KATNISS.  KATNISS 4-EVA.  etc, etc.  (But, boy, can she be dense sometimes.  Come on, girl!  Get it together!)  Also: the third book ends in a threesome, yes?  DON'T TELL ME IF THAT'S NOT THE CASE.  I KNOW IN MY HEART OF HEARTS THAT IT ENDS THAT WAY, JUST AS ABED AND TROY MARRY AND HAVE LOTS OF DREAMATORIAM FUN TIMES.

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10 May 2012 @ 11:49 pm
I think I'll go pass out, now.

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10 May 2012 @ 12:21 pm
I have a lot to say about a certain lacrosse game last night, but I'll save that for when I'm pissed again.  In, like, an hour.  (And don't have a 15-page paper due later in the day.  Which will be, like.  Tomorrow.  FUCK THIS SHIT, I'M READING SPOOF ARTICLES.)

Mitt Romney vs. Paul Rudd as Bobby Newport:  WHO WILL WIN THE RACE FOR POTUS?

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01 May 2012 @ 05:21 pm

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By Robert Frost

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

("I hold with those who favor fire."  This line just kills me.)
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22 April 2012 @ 10:42 pm
And whoever else might enjoy it.  :-)

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And, well.  It's a bangin' song.  :-D

Here for those who cannot see the embed.

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