Space news

Item: NASA might try shuttle repair:
NASA managers will decide today if a space walk is necessary to remove filler material[*1] observed on the bottom of the space shuttle.

Item: Astronauts repair space station’s gyros:
Monday’s space walk[*2] , in progress at this writing and the second performed by Discovery’s crew on this mission, is to replace an attitude control gyroscope on the space station.

Animal Husbandry

Item: A Minnesota woman was severely injured by a bear attack[*1] in the woods. She’s reported to be in good condition at a Duluth hospital.

Item: Mom fights off cougar with cooler.Hayley Bazille is OK after being attacked by a cougar[*2] in British Columbia. Her mom Monique fought off the cat with a cooler containing four bottles of beer.

“I saw that cougar on her and I wasn’t the least bit afraid of it,” the Vancouver emergency-room nurse said. “I wasn’t afraid of it at all. It’s instinctive. Anyone would have done the same thing.”
. . .
Ms. Bazille said she is thankful her daughter is alive and urged parents to keep their children close when in the woods.

Joking, she said she is also thankful that she and her husband make it a habit to bring a cooler of beer to the beach.

Terry Pratchett v. J.K. Rowling

Rowling apparently has said that when she started writing the Harry Potter books she didn’t realize that she was writing fantasy.

Pratchett, in typical form, replies[*1] :

“I would have thought that the wizards, witches, trolls, unicorns, hidden worlds, jumping chocolate frogs, owl mail, magic food, ghosts, broomsticks and spells would have given her a clue?”

Over the long run, my money’s on Pratchett. The Potter books are mildly diverting at best. I have all of Pratchett’s books on my bookshelves, where they all get re-read every year or so. I sold off the first three Potter books at a garage sale, and I might someday go to the library to check out the newer ones. If you want more and better, read Pratchett’s Discworld books.