October 29th, 2008

krazy koati

Swirling ions from the stars

A Reuters article gave the headline, heartwarming to any Space True Believer or at least Romantic (and I do count myself among that set despite the snarking I do about it), ``Space Tourism Will Weather Market Crisis: Astronaut''. Really, it's hard to see why the space-tourism field would be imperiled by the current total collapse of capitalism. It's surprising this was ever a question. Why would the economic problems threaten a business model based on making a single-digit number of sales per year, each sale requiring multiple years to complete, of a purely luxury service at a price four times what the Erie Canal cost to build? But Richard Garriot, son of astronaut Owen K Garriot, is confident. I admit I'd like to think so.

MillerCoors, which I didn't know was an actual company name, is shutting down production of Zima. Its production was discontinued as of the 10th of October, due to ``declining'' consumer interest, although inventories will probably be available through December. I still didn't know Zima still existed; I thought it was forced to live on the Island of 1993. I guess this means we're all going to have to dust off our jokes about what looked at the time like an exceedingly temporary beverage and use them before some new obvious deadmeat slinks in.

Oh, incidentally, the Ottawa Senators I mentioned yesterday who were the only team not to get into the 1917-18 National Hockey League playoffs were not the team currently known as the Ottawa Senators. The name in common was coincidence.

Trivia: About ten billion dollars in share value was lost from the New York Stock Exchange during the crash of 29 October 1929. This was about twice the amount of currency in circulation within the United States at the time. Source: The Day The Bubble Burst: A Social History Of The Wall Street Crash Of 1929, Gordon Thomas, Max Morgan-Witts.

Currently Reading: The Civil War In The American West, Alvin M Josephy, Jr. Josephy wants to make the point that standard Civil War histories describe it as all this action in Virginia, the Mississippi, and Sherman's March, with a footnote about some skirmishing in New Mexico and footnotes to footnotes like that town in Vermont. However, all he's really talked about is that little campaign in New Mexico, and some skirmishes with Indian tribes egged on by Confederates. It really hasn't changed my impression that it was pretty much footnotes west of the Mississippi.