Saturday, June 07, 2008

Bears on Mars to be Baked in Ovens

Its true! The Phoenix Mars lander has identified three bears on Mars. The team at JPL plans to scoop them up and bake them in ovens.

If this sounds like some mixed up and terrible extra-terrestrial Brothers Grimm fairy tale, you're right. Papa Bear, Momma Bear, and Baby Bear are just the names for the first three sample sites for the Mars probe to dig. The soil will then be placed in a tiny on-board oven and slowly baked to analyze vapors that come off at different temperatures.

One of the most fun things to do with this lander is to follow its activities via Twitter ( That way you can get answers to your questions or just follow all the excitement, step by step.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Terrance Update

We spotted Terrance this weekend after three weeks and he's put on 15 gm. With his discriminating tastes, of course he turned up in the Hidden Garden, the very moist and lush courtyard garden that Caro has created on the west side of the house. Its shaded by the high fence on the south and a 20-year old stubby spruce. My four old cats, Oreo, Yoda, Tigger, and Paco are buried there. After all, it was there private yard when we first moved into the house.

Terrance immediately scarfed down some strawberries we set out for him and he has spent most of the weekend comfortably nestled in among the cedar bark mulch behind the lupines. This evening as the shadows grew long, he ambled off towards the other side of the yard. Eventually he reached the big Rosemary by the Bodhisattva Fountain and seems to have settled in there.