Tuesday, April 13, 2004  [!]
I'm reading it again, and yes, I really *did* hear him say that. Aaack.

QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. President.

In the last campaign, you were asked a question about the biggest mistake you'd made in your life, and you used to like to joke that it was trading Sammy Sosa.

You've looked back before 9-11 for what mistakes might have been made. After 9-11, what would your biggest mistake be, would you say, and what lessons have learned from it?

BUSH: I wish you'd have given me this written question ahead of time so I could plan for it.

John, I'm sure historians will look back and say, gosh, he could've done it better this way or that way. You know, I just -- I'm sure something will pop into my head here in the midst of this press conference, with all the pressure of trying to come up with answer, but it hadn't yet. ....

I hope -- I don't want to sound like I have made no mistakes. I'm confident I have. I just haven't -- you just put me under the spot here, and maybe I'm not as quick on my feet as I should be in coming up with one. (emphasis mine)

WTF?

and... this one

QUESTION: Mr. President, why are you and the vice president insisting on appearing together before the 9-11 commission? And, Mr. President, who will we be handing the Iraqi government over to on June 30th?

BUSH: We'll find that out soon. That's what Mr. Brahimi is doing. He's figuring out the nature of the entity we'll be handing sovereignty over.

And, secondly, because the 9-11 commission wants to ask us questions, that's why we're meeting. And I look forward to meeting with them and answering their questions.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) I was asking why you're appearing together, rather than separately, which was their request.

BUSH: Because it's a good chance for both of us to answer questions that the 9-11 commission is looking forward to asking us. And I'm looking forward to answering them.

Let's see. Hold on for a minute. Let's see. Oh, Jim. [next question]

4/13/04; 8:04:38 PM | Current Events | Discuss (12 responses) | # | |

Looking at scientist engineers are breaking the straight-A white/male mold.

Gone are the days when space geeks were (only) poker-faced pocket-protector guys with narrow ties and crew cuts. The rocket scientists at the JPL are surfer dudes, sky divers, rock climbers � even "Survivor" survivors. Far from the seemingly bloodless clones of the Apollo era, the young faces on the screen were as sunny, as animated, as varied, as So Cal itself.

4/13/04; 5:16:49 PM | Science | Discuss (1 response) | # | |

My comments yesterday about staying in Mars time were off; the scientists have moved back to Earth Time. The local paper, Pasadena Star News, tells the story... The mission has been extended, and they're re-calibrating the earthling scientists' body clocks back to earth time.

Ray Arvidson, deputy principal investigator for the mission from Washington University in St. Louis, said it took him about four days to adjust back to Earth time, a process he compared to getting over a bad case of jet-lag from a trip to Europe.

"We're just tootin' glad to be on Earth time,' he said.

Working normal hours is not the only thing changing for the team as the rovers enter their extended missions. The operations will be working with a decreased budget. NASA granted $15 million for the extended mission, less than 2 percent of the initial investment in the mission. As a result, the teams are downsizing, streamlining and accepting some loss of productivity.

Other stories, from Universe Today

Naderi noted that the switch of mission personnel back to Earth time has been a welcome transition. For future missions, he said, the consensus for long-term operations will likely move away from following Mars' sunrise and sunset times. One problem other than the late and early on-site shifts at JPL has been the inability to sleep at consistent times because the approximately 39 minute longer martian day continues always to push and rotate schedules.

4/13/04; 3:00:09 PM | Space | Discuss | # | |