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RIP Jacques Piccard 1922-2008

Before there was Jean-Luc there was the amazing Piccard family.

Swiss Info reports on Jacques passing

Swiss oceanologist Jacques Piccard, one of the 20th century’s last great adventurers, has died at the age of 86 at his home on Lake Geneva.

Credited with designing submarines that could withstand the planet’s most uninhabitable environments and one of two men to reach the deepest point in any ocean, Piccard died on Saturday.

In 1960, along with United States Navy Lieutenant Don Walsh, Piccard descended 10,916 metres secured inside the submarine Trieste, to the bottom of the Mariana Trench off the South Pacific island of Guam.

Jacques’s father, Auguste, was the first person to reach the stratosphere in a balloon, and his son, Bertrand, was the commander of the first team to circumnavigate the world in a balloon. Bertrand will be attempting to circumnavigate the world in a solar powered aircraft in 2011.

Piccard’s deep sea efforts were used in the development of the US space program.

November 1, 2008   6 Comments

Nightmare On My Street

So another Halloween passes with not a child approaching the door.  They walked by on the street, going to the “Harvest Festival”, but not one stopped.  My neighbor’s kids apparently hit up their grandparents’ neighborhood, knowing full well that anything I have is theirs by default as I’m not going to eat this junk.

In the days of yore when you made caramel apples and popcorn balls, those suckers would be in ‘fridge.  But this mandated, individually wrapped, commercial garbage – bleah.

So it gets towards 3AM and there is a hell of racket coming from the kitchen.  I roll out to see what on earth is going on and discover a team effort to tear into the 20 pounds of kibble by the back door.  Apparently some time after 5PM when I last checked the boys’ kibble bowl, it was emptied and they were acting like half-starved savages attacking the bag to get some food to sustain them during the 4 hours before I got up and re-filled the bowl.

I filled the bowl.  They each ate a few pieces, and went off to sleep.  I had to locate some tape to cover the damage to the bag to avoid attracting bugs.  Cats!

November 1, 2008   9 Comments

Time To Mess With Your Clocks

Daylight Savings Time ends in the US Sunday morning, November 2nd at 2AM.  It becomes 1AM and you get an extra hour of sleep, unless you work the “graveyard shift”.

Most devices make the change automatically, although many, like my clock radio, change under the old system and have to be ignored for a couple of weeks.

“Fall back – Spring ahead”

November 1, 2008   4 Comments