Monday, August 25, 2008

Robot Twitter feeds

Just as your X-Box 360 could secretly be blogging, NASA's robots, probes, and rovers love the internet. Here are some Twitter feeds of unfeeling machines exploring space:

Phoenix Mars Lander: Maybe the first Twitter to make blog headlines with its discovery of water on Mars, the Phoenix Mars Lander is already a staaar on the internwobs.

New Horizons: The Pluto-Kuiper Belt Mission is keeping us updated on when NASA posts mission updates, but it also gives you some interesting and fun facts about its destination. Hopefully there is enough trivia to keep it updated until it reaches Pluto in 2015.

NASA SDO HMI: Here is it's own description -- "I am the HMI instrument on board NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. I am a product of Lockheed & Stanford University. Look how sleek I am!" I feel like that's all I really need to say.

Cassini-Huygens: The Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn and Titan has been gathering information and photos of Saturn's moons. The feed might be the least romanticized, but it updates with awesome fly-by pictures.

So uh, add all these dudes on Twitter! Space!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Restaurant Week

So this past wee was Restaurant Week here in the Diz. It technically ended today, but there are definitely restaurants that have extended their deals through next, so scope it out.

Against my better judgment, I ended up having two delicious RW meals, one at Ceiba & one at Georgia Brown's.

Cane grilled jumbo shrimp

Ceiba, while delicious, was just not quite worth the money. The savings incurred were about $10, but I had to have that Pisco sour. It was delicious, and the shrimp was spicy and fruity (shown with pineapple salsa, the shrimp was glazed in Chipotle BBQ sauce).

Fried chicken!Georgia Brown's was delicious, as always, but I fell again into the cocktail trap because of their delicious delicious Savannah Dew Drop drink. It's worth it, I promise. Also the fried chicken was perfection, and the portions were generous (an understatement; that is two meals right there). The appetizer I had was the Andouille sausage, which was like a tiny, spicy BBQ dish all on its own. Also, how many appetizers come with mashed potatoes? Probably not enough of them, that's what. The key lime pie dessert was alright, nothing thrilling, but at that point I was so full of delicious it was hard to power through.

Edit from Rob: K is right, a ton are continuing the week's festivities, and they can be found here.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Freaking terrifying

I've always had a strange obsession with mountain climbing, even though I've never done it myself. I suppose it's the fact that I just love the mountains. But the latest incident on K2 is just absolutely terrifying to read about. K2 is a harder mountain to climb than even Everest, and each year, groups attempting to summit are given a window of only a few days. Almost every year someone dies, but this year 11 have perished as of right night, with more possible.

Nick Rice, a climber who was keeping a blog during this year's attempt at the summit, wrote about the tragedy as it was happening. He had turned back and wasn't caught in the ice fall, but he knew some of the climbers. The part that seems most harrowing to me is this:

Cas, who downclimbed the bottleneck, and the Italian, Marco, who was rescued by Pemba after being discovered laying in the snow, with gloves off, harness half off, and unconscious are also heading down. Base camp is quite somber thanks to the enormous loss of life in such a short amount of time. The American Doctor, Eric, and a few others are working on the heli-pad and making a triage tent in preparation for the receival of the severely frostbitten climbers. As their limbs begin to thaw out, they will experience tremendous pain, and will need some very potent pain management.
It's worth reading everything from dispatch 62 until today's note. That said, I think I am going to go ahead and read the whole thing.

Here's hoping that those left are alright, and thoughts go out to the families of those who perished. Certainly, these climbers knew what they were getting themselves into, but it's always sad to see something like this happen.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Terps Football

It is now 25 days, 4 hours, and 50 minutes until the UMD Terps kick off their football season. Sure there is a QB battle, sure the running back might need some work, and sure the coach is restricting media access. But it's football! I get to go see football, I get to be a part of a college football fan base! And you know what, they might not be too bad this year. I really cannot wait, as college football is what really got me into the game (I was born and will die a UW Huskies fan) and I've never had the chance to be a part of a fanbase. Delaware, you'd best prepare to get your Blue Hen ass kicked by the Terrapins. We're more fierce than Turtle No. 72.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Dr. Horrible!

I meant to write about this earlier, but if you haven't watched Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog do it now. Take a break at work, do whatever. The songs are great, the acting is hilarious, and the whole thing is surprisingly good. It's here on Hulu, or right below. Go now, and be happy.

It doesn't suck to be this terp...

This Terp being Turtle No. 72 in Rock Creek Park, who discovered a marijuana field which then led to the arrest of some poor college kid. Way to kick some ass, take some names, and nibble on a berry or two.
You're my hero Turtle No. 72.

Monday, July 28, 2008

I hear chef Spike's cooking down the street (Bah humbug)

Well, since we seem to enjoy the ground beef patties on a delicious bun so much here at the blog, I figured this needed a post. Spike from the latest season of Top Chef has opened his own burger joint in Washington, DC. Good Stuff Eatery, on Pennsylvania Avenue SE (take the Capitol South metro stop), is a wonderful experience that ought to be had by anyone looking for a good, quick dinner or lunch. After reading about the joint in a few different places, I went there last Friday and came away suitably impressed.

We were greeted by an older gentleman at the door (who we later learned was Spike's dad) who had a big smile and made us feel quite welcome (which is key in a new restaurant... it's hard to break out of habits, so it's easier when they make it so inviting). On walking in, I noticed a fedora-adorned head standing at the front of the line delivering milkshakes and orders. It was Spike! Our very own quasi-celebrity! We got in the long, but quick-moving line, and and went past the cooking line, where everything looked and smelled delicious. The staff was friendly, though the loud music made it hard to hear (though really, I can't complain since it was Jet Airliner by The Steve Miller Band). After placing our order, we were given those little buzzer thingies to let us know when it was ready. We went to the dipping bar to grab some sauces for our fries, and didn't get what we expected. Sure there was ketchup and mustard, but we also had 4 different types of mayos. I don't remember one of them, but the other three were mango mayo, chipotle mayo, and Old Bay mayo. The mango mayo was overpowered by the fries (more on that in a second) but the Old Bay and chipotle mayos made great compliments to our side dish.

While waiting for our number (V had gotten a table outside) Spike had a milkshake either accidentally made or done for this purpose as a marketing ploy, but held it up and said "Toasted Marshmallow milkshake, free." I was a ways back, so I decided to let others clambor for it, but when no one did, I thought "hell, why not?" and grabbed the shake. It was what I had planned on getting before I opted for the root beer float. It came garnished with two toasted marshmallows and was delicious. My float was alright, though nothing spectacular, and V got a Milky Way milkshake that she raved about.

The main delight, however, was the hamburger. I had the Colletti's Smokehouse which came with a patty of beef, bacon, bbq sauce, and onion rings. It was probably the best non-homemade burger I've had in ages, and handily beats Five Guys, my previous DC fave. The bacon was tasty and the BBQ sauce didn't overwhelm the other flavors. V had the Uncle D's Chili 'N Cheddar, which from my one bite was also delicious. As to our fries, we didn't opt for normal fries, instead going for the Village Fries which come seasoned with thyme, rosemary, and cracked pepper. They were amazing, though as mentioned earlier, overwhelmed some of the dipping sauces. That said, they were so good plain that no sauce was needed.

With a large order of fries split between us and a burger apiece, V and I were far more stuffed than I had anticipated. The prices are hardly cheap ($31 for two burgers, a large fry, and two ice cream drinks) but they aren't prohibitively expensive either. I can't forget to mention that the joint has beer on tap as well, Blue Moon and Sam Adams I believe. I may have found a new favorite quick eat spot in DC, and already have plans to go back next Friday when V has a friend in town.