With Mars at its closest to Earth in hundreds of years, a renewed interest in astronomy led me to Celestia, free software that lets you explore hundreds of stars, planets, asteroids, and more. My favorite feature is the "go to" button that takes you on a trip to your heavenly destination, flying at many times the speed of light to get there. My only regret is that I live in stargazing-unfriendly Manhattan, and that even if the lights were turned off again (please, no more blackouts!), there are still too many tall buildings between me and the western horizon for me to be able to see Mars. I missed Halley's Comet in 1986, so this one is no big tragedy for me. (That time, it was my own ineptness: I looked for several weeks, but either I was looking in the wrong part of the sky or the moon obscured it, because I never did see that comet. Thanks a lot, Odyssey Magazine.)
Fans of The Daily Show will recognize the characters at this web site from a recent re-airing of a Mo Rocca interview. Don't miss the "about" page with the complete display of posters in the ad campaign. My favorite is "Transmission." I can't believe these posters are actually visible around San Francisco, or that people thought that the campaign would be effective. I look forward to the cartoons featuring the characters in the posters. I'd say more but I like to keep this blog PG-13 so you'll have to click on the link to learn more.