X Prize Cup Preview

Sunday 9 October 2005 the X Prize foundation will be showing off the the ships for the next X Cup. Tickets are $6 for adults and $2 for kids. I will be there, will you?

Come meet the astronauts who will fly them and imagine yourself inside them, watching the earth turn below you. The future is closer than you think. We’re not talking about models. We’re talking about the real thing.

Last year the X PRIZE Foundation gave away $10 million for the first private spaceflight a history-making achievement that blanketed the front pages of newspapers across the globe. This year we’re unveiling a new generation of private spaceships at the X PRIZE CUP in New Mexico.

Bring your friends and family to the Las Cruces Airport on Sunday Oct 9th See six different spaceships currently in testing. Watch them fly. Meet the pioneers, pilots and astronauts who conceived them.

Rita Evacuees Camp Free At NM State Parks

This is a great idea. All the states should do this.

Evacuees of Hurricane Rita will not be charged a fee to stay at any of New Mexico’s 32 state parks. New Mexico State Parks Director Dave Simon says the usual 14-day limit on stays, electrical fees and charges for campgrounds will be waived for as long as neccesary.

Strange Searches

Why do you suppose someone was searching for these things on my site?

Tue Sep 06 18:03:47 2005 "broadcast-ownership"
Tue Sep 06 18:03:37 2005 "cross-ownership"
Tue Sep 06 18:03:26 2005 "diversity index"
Tue Sep 06 18:03:12 2005 "media monopoly"
Tue Sep 06 18:03:05 2005 "media convergence"
Tue Sep 06 18:02:58 2005 "media diversity"
Tue Sep 06 18:02:45 2005 "media consolidation"
Tue Sep 06 18:02:35 2005 "media concentration"
Tue Sep 06 18:02:24 2005 "media ownership"
Tue Sep 06 18:02:17 2005 "media ownership"
Tue Sep 06 18:02:04 2005 media ownership

Gruesome Grizzly Attack

“I felt her tooth go into my scalp,” he said. “I thought, ‘Oh, this is no good.’ ” Then he felt his scalp rip clean away.

The scary story of Johan Otter, who lured a bear away from his daughter. Besides the loss of his scalp he also had five broken vertebrae, three shattered ribs and other various injuries. The bear attacked his daughter anyways but didn’t do nearly the that it did to him.

Mysterious Lights On Sandia Peak Are UFOs, Not Alien

I have the worst view from my apartment and the view is not of the Sandia’s. I missed some lights up there last night that weren’t suppose to be there. These UFOs (unidentified flying objects) are not aliens. they are humans either military or civilian.

Here’s a Albuquerque Journal article on it. I’m copying the entire thing here because the ABQJ will take it away in a few days.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Sandia Lights Mystery Solved … Maybe

By Bruce Daniels/
Journal Staff Writer
Will the Sandia Lights &#151 a string of stationary lights seen along Sandia Crest Tuesday night &#151 join the Taos Hum and the UFO Crash near Roswell as part of New Mexico’s permanent museum of weirdness?
Apparently not. Just as the state’s newest mystery was deepening, eyewitnesses told U.S. Forest Service officials Wednesday they had seen people on the crest Monday carrying large boxes with photographic equipment and again on Tuesday people setting up large “can-shaped lights” along the crest for some kind of photo shoot or photo experiment.
Phones were ringing off the hook at news media outlets and official agencies Tuesday night and Wednesday morning as a string of lights &#151 some said five or six placed at regular intervals along or just below the Sandia Peak ridge &#151 appeared between just after sundown until around 10 p.m. Tuesday.
Officials were just as baffled as the general public until people came forward Wednesday and told the Forest Service what they had seen.
“Someone saw a group of three people Monday afternoon carrying large boxes with photo equipment,” District Ranger Jackie Andrew of the Sandia Ranger District said Wednesday. “They were told it was kind of a photography experiment.”
Then, a person living at Sandia Peak’s Crest House with Forest Service authorization told officials he had seen some seven or eight battery-operated lights, similar to those found at construction sites, lined up along the crest, Andrew said.
Whoever lined up the lights “took the photos and left,” said Forest Service spokeswoman Karen Takai.
The explanation “wasn’t terribly exciting,” said Andrew, who earlier Wednesday had joked, “There were no reports of aliens on the crest this morning.”
More likely, Andrew said before the Forest Service had the witnesses come forward, the lights had been caused by nighttime hikers placing lights at regular intervals along the trail, “a see-the-woods-at-night kind of thing.”
Mark Chavez, spokesman for the Cibola National Forest, said the same thing. “We suspected it was a group of hikers hiking at night.”
But, he added, “we’re just as curious to find out what it was as everybody else.”
A Bernalillo County sheriff’s deputy was dispatched to the crest Tuesday night and found nothing, said BCSO spokeswoman Erin Kinnard. “The deputy cleared the call around 10:15 (p.m.) and said it was nothing.”
In fact, the whole public uproar about the lights was much ado about nothing, Kinnard said.
“We got lots of calls,” she said. “But we didn’t spend a lot of time on it.”
Sandia Peak Tramway manager George Boyden said the tram got “all kinds of phone calls” from newspapers, radio and television stations and the general public. “We still don’t have any idea what it was,” Boyden said.
The first light appeared shortly after sunset, around 7:30 p.m., Boyden said. Then five or six lights appeared at regular intervals, “all right along the ridge” between the Crest House and the tramway terminal, he said.
Boyden said the lights were visible from below the crest as he was driving home around 9 p.m. and were still visible around 10 p.m.
Boyden said he thought when the first light was reported was that somebody had gotten lost, but when more lights appeared he said he joked to coworkers that “maybe the UFOs had landed.”
More likely, Boyden said, the lights could have been part of a promotional stunt &#151 one that could well backfire if it was an organized activity that had failed to get a permit from the U.S. Forest Service.
District Ranger Andrew said that a check of the trail where the lights were set up didn’t even find a footprint. But whoever engaged in the photo experiment or photo shoot should have checked in with the Forest Service to see whether a permit was needed.

NM Spaceports First Launch

I drove by the New Mexico Space Port a few years ago, it was a sign with a dirt field behind it. Apparently they are going to launch their first rocket into space next year. I will have to check it out again.

The first launch from New Mexico’s Southwest Regional Spaceport is on — and set for March 27, according to Gov. Bill Richardson. Richardson’s office announced Tuesday that UP Aerospace, of Connecticut, will launch its SpaceLoft rocket on a sub-orbital flight from the New Mexico Spaceport on that date. The flight will carry seven experimental and commercial payloads for a variety of scholastic and business entities and, after traveling into space, the rocket and its payloads will land in the downrange area of the Spaceport, Richardson’s office announced.

NM Governor To Draft Anti-Price Gouging Law

Gov. Bill Richardson and New Mexico Attorney General Patricia Madrid said Friday they will work to draft legislation to investigate and punish companies that engage in gas price gouging after natural disasters.

Richardson said in a news release about the proposal that most people will accept temporary gasoline price hikes in the aftermath of a natural disaster like Hurricane Katrina. But, he added, “it’s getting more and more difficult to justify 20-cent, 30-cent, and in some cases, 40-cent increases practically over night.

I’m all for anti-price gouging, which should be illegal, but trying to prevent the free market forces from working is quite another thing.

The way the free market works, is if there is high demand for a product, then the seller can charge more because people are willing to pay more. Sometimes it works to our advantage, sometimes it does not. If we try to artificially keep gas prices down, we will become fat, lazy and complacent with our cheap gas. Then one day it will be gone.

The other thing a free market does is when something gets high in price, it gives alternatives a chance to compete. Hydrogen, fuel cells, vegetable oil-powered diesel hybrids all have a better chance at competing in this sort of market. Alternatives are always good, and competition keeps prices down overall.

I’m no economist, but I believe this to be basically how things work. I’m willing to take some pain now knowing that it’s not the end of the world. It will require some adjustments but in the end we will be better for it.