31 December 2018
SETI League
PriUPS Project

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Meet Ms. Puss

I had intended my blog yesterday to be the last of the year. It almost was, until I realized that ending the year with babble is inferior to ending it with a picture of a cute puppy.

Here's Winston the Puppy with Miss Puss. WtP is the cute puppy, who isn't really a puppy any more, but that is his name. Miss Puss is a new addition and represents, in my opinion, a lost opportunity for her manufacturer. She is an 11-squeaker toy!

Each of the seams conceals a squeaker; if she had one more, Winston could play a full octave. Even with seven tuned squeakers, the Marine Corps Hymn wouldn't be out of reach.

Unfortunately, Zippy Paws has failed to note this opportunity, and all the leg and body squeakers have the same pitch, subject to manufacturing tolerances. Only by squeezing Ms. Puss's nose can you elicit a slightly lower tone.

Not to put too fine a point on it, WtP isn't accomplished at playing cat, either.

Krasnoyarsk in the News

Long-tme readers of this blog will surely recall my 2006 comment about Krasnoyarsk (on the Yenisei river) not being a big vacation destination.*

Should you find yourself tempted to visit there this winter, first scrutinize this Reuters photo that I appropriated from today's Wall Street Journal.

Be Still My Spleen!

As I was about to wind up this blogitem, my calendar program providentially reminded me that 2019 is the International Year of the Periodic Table. As an element geek, I will now have to decide how to celebrate.

  • Element of the Day? No, that won't work. I'll exhaust the table around the end of April.
  • Element of the Week? No, not enough weeks.
  • Isotope of the Day? Perhaps! There are certainly enough of them, but perhaps insufficient details.

One thing is for sure. I will not live long enough to experience another such year, and I can't let 2019 pass without some elemental celebration. Suggestions are welcome. If they're radioactive, so much the better.

*Sure you will.

Richard Factor

"The Boy I Left Behind"

True Blue Facts




This is a Saratoga Springs T-Shirt

Now you know as much as I do about it, albeit in lower resolution.

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