Off-topic: October 2005

Saturday, October 29, 2005 - Skywatchers await Mars close-up - Oct 28, 2005

LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- Mars is ready for another close-up as the Red Planet will swing unusually close to Earth this weekend.

Mars' latest rendezvous will not match its record-breaking approach to Earth in 2003, when it hovered from 35 million miles away. But more skygazers this time around can glimpse the fourth rock from the sun because it will glow above the horizon.

'This is the best we're going to see Mars, so we should strike the iron while it is hot...

Friday, October 14, 2005

McDonald's In Japan Offers Shrimp Burger - News - McDonald's In Japan Offers Shrimp Burger: "McDonald's In Japan Offers Shrimp Burger

TOKYO -- Struggling to lure customers back amid increased competition, McDonald's is adding a new item to its menu in Japan: the shrimp burger.

The $2.40 burger, shown to reporters Friday and set to go on sale this month, is the latest effort by the Japan unit of the U.S. fast-food chain to win over Japanese palates -- and spark sales."Chips

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Universe Today - Vivid View of Spongy Hyperion

Cassini made its first flyby of Saturn's moon Hyperion last week, and took this amazing photograph. The spacecraft got within 500 km (310 miles), and you can clearly see how unusual this spongy-looking moon is. Scientists think that Hyperion is little more than a pile of rubble, loosely held together by its own gravity because much of its mass is just empty space. Hyperion is only 266 kilometers (165 miles) across, has an irregular shape, and spins in a chaotic rotation."

Emergency call has dispatchers scratching their head

Rattlesnakes hanging from trees, striking at people. Huh, what. St. Francois County dispatchers were scratching their heads when they dispatched that message out on Friday afternoon. Strange enough, the dispatch proved valid as St. Francois County deputies took 14 rattlesnakes into custody.

'A landowner on Whittaker Road was clearing some brush and noticed an unusual amount of rattlesnakes in the trees and called dispatch,' said St. Francois County Sheriff Dan Bullock. 'Upon closer investigation, the snakes appeared to young. There had to be some older ones around though, if there were that many younger ones.'

Bullock said deputies captured the snakes and put them into a glass jar.

'We are in the process of contacting the Missouri Department of Conservation to come and get the snakes,' Bullock said. 'Under Missouri law it is illegal to kill a snake. Even a poisonous snake.'

Bullock said he wasn't sure how the deputies captured the snakes, but he did say that no one was bitten or injured during the incident.

'The whole thing is strange,' Bullock said. 'I've never seen rattlesnakes get up in trees before.'