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Burning Ring of Fire

Friends,

This week finds me spaced-out. SpaceX’s first manned commercial flight to the ISS was conveniently pushed to Saturday at 1:22 PM. A perfect time to grab a beer while we blame the weird hour on planetary alignment. You know, that precision exercise that is hurling a highly explosive device from a rotating sphere towards a small moving object. Then if you’re in the mood for a little detective work, Sherloc and Watson are going to Mars in July. Sound like the plot for a bad B-movie exploiting Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s characters? Actually, it’s just two instruments aboard the Perseverance rover. Christened in the space agency’s geeky tradition of reverse-engineering acronyms to fit clever names, SHERLOC (Scanning for Habitable Environments with Raman and Luminescence for Organics and Chemicals) will be accompanied by WATSON (Wide Angle Topographic Sensor for Operations and eNgineering). As an aside, who capitalizes the second letter of a word in an acronym? (NASA, that’s who). Together, Watson will take ultra-close-up pictures of the rocks Sherloc vaporizes –all in the name of life (searching for it, that is). On second thought that might make for a decent movie. Perhaps that’s the plot for Tom Cruise’s new project to be filmed in space –so much for pretending to be in space (i.e. acting). To top it all off, “scientists discover giant fiery doughnut-shaped galaxy” (I couldn’t have said it better than CNN if I tried).  Unfortunately, the 11 billion light years trip would be a tad long for a donut run. We might just need to get our ring of fire fix by spacing-out to Johnny Cash.

Happy Friday!

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