Monday, March 28, 2011

17th Street DC Gay Tsunami -OR- The Waters of March (Part 2)

** Updated 11:42PM 6/8/2014: Sufficient content has been removed from this entry that the post title has been rendered problematic, but I think it's for the best.**

A lovely aerial image of the powerful, rugged beauty of RĂ©union (island) in the Indian Ocean that I found on the internet.

It's not really related to this entry but I just like the image a lot.

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Today I had a crown -- on tooth #14 -- replaced.

No, not this kind of crown.

This is the tooth that needed the root canal last fall and while the crown (originally put in place by a different dentist in 2002) was still holding, it was in bad shape. (All that drilling through the porcelain to be able to do the root canal took at least an hour and it made for a ghastly sound.)


Since the root canal, the crown was weakening (as the dentist said it would) and needed to be replaced. Worst / grossest of all, it had become a severe food trap ("a garbage can," in my dentist's descriptive words) requiring multiple flossing per day and even that wasn't working.

Anyway, I now have a temporary crown on it and it feels weird, too large and a tad uncomfortable. The new crown should be ready in one to two weeks.

There were some complications regarding paying for it, too, but it's too convoluted to explain and in the end it's not a huge deal.

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** Updated 11:42PM 6/8/2014: Content removed**

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Political Images ...

Ha ha

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This is about right. I guess this is how any entrenched ruling oligarchy maintains its power -- by getting those who should be opposed to it to defend it by being distracted with lies, misinformation, assorted bullshit and other nonsense.

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Quotable Quote:


Alex Pareene on new "birther" and possible GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump:

"Garish television personality Donald Trump, a monstrous parody of entitled American wealth masquerading as skillful entrepreneurship, has lately decided to drum up interest in his various moneymaking schemes by pretending to be a political figure of some kind. His potential candidacy for anything is transparent hokum, which means everyone on television is treating it very, very seriously."

-- Full article here.

I also highly recommend Glenn Greenwald's "Billionaire self-pity and the Koch brothers" piece linked here.

At least Trump is a flamboyant and mostly non-ideological entertainer, not a truly evil active presence such as the Brothers Koch.

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A squirrel does some acrobatic maneuvers to get the bird seed in a bird feeder in the front of the building that houses the Rwandan embassy along New Hampshire Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C., 1:46PM, March 26, 2011.

Now I hope the squirrels and birds don't get involved in some genocidal frenzy -- a mother squirrel with her baby on her back killing a mother bird with her baby on her back.

Say, GOD, how's that human creation thing workin' out for Ya??

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** Updated 11:42PM 6/8/2014: Content removed**

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Other pictures I took this past weekend ...

The inside of the spacious, multi-roomed Matchbox Pizza restaurant at Congressional Plaza, Rockville, Md., 4:38PM, March 26, 2011. I went there to meet Sandie (my long ago landlord when I lived in Rockville that long ago summer of 1992) and Quill for lunch.

We had a very nice time. And they wanted to be with me.

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Flowering D.C. Cherry Trees ...

A few "Japanese cherry tree" in floral bloom along 19th Street, NW, in the Adams Morgan section of Washington, D.C., 3:57PM, March 27, 2011.

Yes, these are the signature trees of Washington, D.C., in springtime are in bloom, the Japanese cherry trees, though more properly known as the Yoshino. I prefer another type sometimes known as the double-flowering Kanzan or "Kwanzan".

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Monday Night Nesting (and More Weekend Photos)

I'm home tonight -- rather than being out drinking again -- and watching TV while I write this entry. Specifically, tonight (Monday night) is We TV's line up of The Golden Girls.

The Northumberland, the more ornate-looking building located next to my building (at right), 2000 block of New Hampshire Ave., NW, Washington, D.C., 5:06PM, March 27, 2011. I think the Northumberland has been used in an exterior shot for at least one major movie.

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Blue sky fleeced with cirrus clouds over Congressional Plaza, Rockville, Md., 5:53PM, March 26, 2011.

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OK, I think that's all for now. I'm going to try to finish up my electric vehicle write up for Japan. I also have a major editing project on Federal agency geothermal energy activities.

My next update probably won't be until Thursday or Friday.

--Regulus

Friday, March 25, 2011

Simply Not Being Loved -OR- What Would Tillich Say?

** Updated 11:52PM 6/8/2014: See below. **

The window display outside Janus et Cie, 3304 M Street, NW, at the edge of Georgetown (near the Key Bridge), Washington, D.C., 9:43PM, March 24, 2011

I actually went out to Clarendon after work on a Metrorail Orange Line evening rush hour cattle car and met a former co-worker and close friend for dinner at Harry's Tap Room. She is returning to Japan, possibly for good.

I ended up walking the entire way back to D.C. via Arlington and Georgetown into the Dupont Circle area. I must have walked 5 miles. I don't think I had been in Virginia isnat least 6 months, maybe a year. It feels like alien territory now. The crummy blurry cellphone camera pictures in this entry were taken on that walk and are posted in no particular order.

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This was earlier when I got out at Clarendon Metro in Arlington, Va., 6:09PM, March 24, 2011. It was so crowded on the orange line train that the driver skipped Clarendon station and I couldn't get off until Ballston (two stops later) and had to backtrack.

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**Updated 11:52PM 6/8/2014: Content removed.**

A place called "Miracles in the City (of Arlington)" hair salon that I passed while walking along Wilson Blvd. last night in Arlington.

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But the other situation involves the extent to which I am now an unwelcome pariah among people who were once my friends, in particular S. & P. The particulars are too long to go into right now -- and the main incident happened precisely because I was trying to help another friend (G.) get an invitation and it so blew up on me -- and upon arrival I was pretty viciously verbally attacked, ("you gays, you gays!") and I (being me) responded explosively in kind (as she knew and was probably hoping I would, since that was the goal) and used that as a pretext to "ban" me from their house.

And, OF COURSE, I was the bad guy from EVERYONE'S perspective. That was the whole point.

The straight bartender at Harry's Tap Room, Arlington, Va., 8:25PM, March 24, 2011 ... quite attractive. To quote Sophia on The Golden Girls, I was picturing him naked and I wasn't laughing ...

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The upshot is you have nights like tonight where EVERYONE is invited to a big dinner party except me.

Anyone care to know how that feels?

And, no, I don't think it is all my fault but I think this is how it necessarily was always going to be.

The large office building at the corner of 19th Street N and Lynn Street in the nighttime-deserted / downtown urban "Potemkin Village" that is Rosslyn in Arlington (County), Virginia, 9:23PM, March 24, 2011.

The north-south streets in Arlington are alphabetized -- from one-syllable B ("Ball") near National Airport to four-syllable A ("Arizona") at the West Cornerstone of the original Federal Territory of Columbia. The east-west streets are numbered on either side of Arlington Blvd. But the "grid" itself is a hopelessly convoluted and zig-zag confused one.

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A blurry cellphone picture of an actually melancholy scene as I was walking down Wilson Blvd. (east) toward Rosslyn, Arlington, Va., 9:14PM, March 24, 2011.

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None of them has any idea what a nightmare those years spent broke were and it was increasingly difficult to be around my ever-wealthier friends. This is partly what drove in me such a massive increase in not just joylessness but even fear, loathing and being hunkered down even as my 30s gave way to my 40s and I lost my youth. Yes, the situation has changed now, somewhat, but it is all tentative and my life is very unpleasant and spiritually deeply traumatized.

1101 Wilson Blvd. in "downtown" Rosslyn, Arlington, 9:19PM, March 24, 2011. I was almost to the Key Bridge.

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In any event, it is pretty shocking how badly all of this turned out and I have to say that I really think there is no friendship left with a number of those people. We have grown so far apart and there are no commonalities at all.

Didn't Tillich say: "Therefore love cannot be described as the union of the strange but as the reunion of the estranged ..." ??

Something like that applies here and now and I'm better off not knowing this people. As for Gary and Kristof, what can I really say? I guess it is mostly just a type of companionship and habit.

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I think that song "Somnambulist (Simply Being Loved)" by Brian Transeau ("BT") is appropriate, as are the frenetic nighttime urban scenes in video, not to mention the whole "post-modernistic" spatially and temporally disjointed and even "schizophrenic" flow.

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I will admit, though, that I have a devil of a time getting along with people and much of the time I prefer to be myself. I'm argumentative, suffer from depression, have anger issues, and cannot focus on things beyond myself. I'm not the best person to be around, and unlike some, I can't bullshit anything.

A lone figure eats in the California Tortilla, Wilson Blvd, Arlington, Va., 8:59PM, March 24, 2011.

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Anyway, I guess I really am just alone and I guess this is all my fault that everything turned so badly. Long story short, after nearly 19 years, Washington, D.C. and I are done, except I can't quite leave here yet, or rather haven't figured out how to do it.

Some kind of antique shop at 2601 P Street, NW, at the other edge of Georgetown (near the P Street bridge connecting it to Dupont Circle), Washington, D.C., 10:04PM, March 24, 2011.

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As for tonight, I need to get out of this apt. and get a decent dinner before I go to Larry's Lounge or Nellie's.

Sigh.


--Regulus

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Thoughts on Elizabeth Taylor, Virginia Woolf, and a Mr. Sirius Brave New World

**Updated 10:11PM 7/29/2014: See below.**

Elizabeth Taylor has died at age 79 ...

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OK, my plan for a lengthy entry got nixed. I will update this blog probably on Friday or Saturday.

Here is Elizabeth Taylor with Paul Newman in the movie version of Tennessee Williams' Cat On A Hot Tin Roof.

She played "Maggie the Cat," husband of "Brick," who was "probably gay..."

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Elizabeth Taylor in BUtterfield 8 (yes, the "U" is capitalized -- it refers to an old phone exchange for the Upper East Side in Manhattan).

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I intended to write about Elizabeth Taylor who died today and post some nice and/or political-themed images. I can't do any justice to the obits that have been written -- such as here (the original obit writer died BEFORE Taylor!) and here -- or the truly good works she did or many movies she starred in over the years.

My favorite movie she starred in is one that few have heard -- because I have such a powerful memory watching the movie with my grandma back on April 4, 1982 in New Jersey. The movie was the 1973 one called Night Watch.

We were at my dad's house in the woods in Upper Freehold Township on a stormy night. After the movie, we turned out the lights (my dad was out and my grandpa was asleep in the other room) and opened the curtains and in the very dim gray-blackness of night we could see the still-bare, slender-tall oak trees slowly swaying against the soft, wet, charcoal gray sky.

I wrote about it here in my trip back to New Jersey in Sept. 2008.

But it's much too late tonight for me to write such an entry. I'm much too tired.

Among her many famous and not-so-famous movies was Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? THAT was the movie I was supposed to see in (I think) 2005 as part of the Screen on the Green summertime Monday night film series shown on the National Mall.

Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor in the 1966 version of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

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That was when a giant, drenching thunderstorm came up under a greenish gray sky -- and I found myself standing next to Mr. Sirius under the portico of the steps of the ornate neo-Classical west wing of the National Gallery of Art.

Sigh.

**Updated 10:11PM 7/29/2014: Content removed.**


** Updated 10:11PM 7/29/2014: Content removed**

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However, I went to Larry's Lounge where I had a nice night even as a drenching t-storm passed over D.C. But I'm too old and tired and exhausted and I'll update my blog -- minus the vitriol -- over the weekend.

The LWX (Sterling) National Weather Service radar in standard composite mode, 8:30PM EDT (1230AM GMT), March 23, 2011 (March 24, 2011). This looked a lot more threatening than it really was.

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Some political images ...

"NOM! NOM! NOM! NOM! NOM!"

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Ha ha ... Have any of you watched Jerseylicious??

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Jackpot.

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This is about right. Click on image for larger version.

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OK, I think that's all for now. Tomorrow I'm going to frickin' VIRGINIA -- Clarendon / Arlington -- to meet my friend S. She is going back to Japan in a couple of weeks and tomorrow is the last time I'll get to see her. Trouble is, I'm nearly broke until Friday (when I can finally buy some GOOD NEW CLOTHES).

Hippos.

--Regulus

Monday, March 21, 2011

"What My World Needs Now Is ..."

**Updated 11:32PM 6/8/2014: Sufficient content has been removed from this entry that the post title has been rendered problematic, but I think it's for the best.**

The sunlight-dappled sidewalk next to the Valley Vista along Belmont Road heading up to Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C., 3:51PM, March 20, 2011 (on the first day of spring).

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My weekend was OK -- although lunch at the Washington Harbour with my mom got pushed back until next Sunday due to car trouble on her part.

The highlight, if you can call it that, was my solo (none of my friends were around on Saturday) one-drink-at-each Georgetown-back-to-Dupont "bar crawl" walk from The Tombs to Martin's Tavern (more of a restaurant than a bar but I sat at the bar) to Mr. Smith's to the Black Rooster, and thence (after stopping home) to Nellie's and Larry's Lounge. I walked maybe 5 miles.

Above: Here is a picture of the bar at Martin's Tavern in a 2007 image that I found from the online Washingtonian magazine review. It was rather crowded when I was there.

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The large house -- a Georgetown mansion, really -- at the corner of Q and 31st Streets, NW, Washington, D.C., 6:57PM, March 19, 2011. I would love to have the room in that top corner turret.

This is actually 1601 31st Street and the house next to it is 1607.

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I'm severely depressed and angry. I'm not sure which is more. I want to be out of D.C. within 2 years ... preferably with a great new job in a better city. My short list: San Francisco, Chicago, Fort Lauderdale, Minneapolis, Seattle, Portland, or Boston. Internationally, I would like Sydney, Auckland (heck, even Christchurch), Toronto, and Vancouver.

The view walking sort of west on Ashmead Place (which is actually the city's two-syllable "A" street, sort of), Washington, D.C., on the first day of spring, 3:55PM, March 20, 2011.

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The backyard gate of the house at the corner of 34th Street and Volta Place, NW, Washington, D.C., 7:06PM, March 19, 2011.

This was as I was walking toward Georgetown University -- where everyone was shockingly young -- by sunset and then to the The Tombs, where it was so crowded I actually didn't stay long.

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I was busy at work today and the day went fast. I had to copy edit 16 scientist and industry executives bios and I prepared for my new assignment writing monthly progress reports.

I also finished my write-up on the Norwegian electric vehicle market, which, interestingly, is mostly all-electric rather than, as in the U.S., PHEVs.

Above: THE NORWEGIAN BUDDY!
Eco-friendly, yes, but I don't fancy its chances against a giant SUV.


But now I'm home with nothing but time and misery on my hands. I won't go out drinking tonight at Nellie's or Larry's Lounge. Actually, I might go to LL anyway for a drink.

It was a mild evening and I walked home from work -- near Elephant L'Enfant Plaza -- across downtown to my place near the U and 16th Streets, NW, intersection.

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** Updated 11:32PM 6/8/2014: Content removed**

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Monday night and We TV shows its rerun marathon of The Golden Girls.

It's hard to watch the news tonight (although Lawrence O'Donnell and Rachel Maddow were good on the topic) because the Empire has decided to launch with barely three days notice ANOTHER war on ANOTHER Arab / Islamic country, even if it is one run by deranged thug. And it's on the silly pretext that Gabon and Lebanon but not Germany, China, Russia, India, or even Brazil want it.


But once again, as Glenn Greenwald would say, the U.S. is dropping FREEDOM BOMBS in some morally confused idea intended somehow to make Democracy to Flower while getting rid of evildoers. And, of course, the arm chair D.C. neocons can't get enough war while the religiously insane think it means Jesus is returning.

A young Afghan girl badly injured in a May 2009 U.S. air strike, source here.

And this time in the context of an Arab country's internal civil war. WOW! WHAT A GREAT IDEA!

Now let's wait until another one of our Freedom Bombs causes "regrettable collateral damage" and kills 23 people at a wedding party. And then the American media will wonder aloud, "Why don't they love us??"

For an Empire, we really are kind of nutty and schizophrenic in how we think and act.

Michael Lind's take on it is very good.

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Anyway, did I mention I'm severely depressed? I'm going to go to bed early tonight. The good news is it is supposed to be wet and cooler for the upcoming week.

NAO trend since Nov. 2010 and forecast for late March / early April 2011.

In fact, the NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation / AO (Arctic Oscillation) -- they are basically the same thing and their are studies linking their positive versus negative phase to a global warming signal -- is supposed to go negative again for the remainder of March into early April.

** Updated 11:32PM 6/8/2014: Content removed**

A newborn lamb jumps about somewhere in Benthuizen, the Netherlands, March 03, 2011.

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My apartment in all its 5th floor cave-like tininess. As usual, I have the window a/c turned on. I'm in for the night and will go to bed by midnight. I'm feeling better after having spent so much time on this entry and it is now just after 10PM and things are much more peaceful for me as they tend to be late at night.

Well, I guess that's all for now. My next planned update will be mid-to-late week. Let's see if I can make this the 5th entry with zero comments.

--Regulus

Friday, March 18, 2011

Springtime in the Capital of the Empire

** Updated 12:07AM 6/9/2014: See below.**

A traffic light located across the street from L'Enfant Plaza (and right near where I work), Washington, D.C., as seen against a deepening evening blue sky filled with a delicate jumble of high clouds, 6:39PM, March 17, 2011.

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Just a quick update ... not much to say right now ... I plan to update this blog over the weekend including any big news or developments on the Japan nuclear reactor crisis situation. Things seem to be stabilizing now and that's good.

The corner of 19th and S Streets, NW, Washington, D.C., 3:04PM, March 16, 2011. Yes, I took that day (Wednesday) off from work.

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Today (Friday) it was disgustingly warm for mid-March -- almost 80F for a high -- just two days before the start of spring proper, and to quote myself in a quote I said last summer during a particularly hot and sunny day that my work colleague and friend David from Rockville REGULARLY repeats) "[look at] all this hideous sunshine."

David said that should be the title of my life story if it is ever turned into a book.

And frickin' D.C. -- Capital of the Late Stage Empire such as it is -- is already overrun with annoying and overweight tourists from Anywhere, U.S.A. Many Americans are an increasingly strange and silly looking lot.

And I say that as someone who is hardly pretty anymore and a bit overweight (see image below).

The tourists (not to mention some locals) are all atwitter (no pun intended) with tremendous anticipation for the annual damn Japanese cherry blossom festival when the Yoshinos blossom in a blizzard of Pepto-Bismol pinkish white.

I actually prefer the double flowering Kwanzan (yes, that's also a Japanese flowering cherry tree, not an African festival) that bloom a couple of weeks later.

The trees, esp. the flowering ones, are beginning to show signs of blooming.

Speaking of the Capital of the Empire ...

... living here (in D.C.), you occasionally see The Emperor himself whizzing by -- as happened here with the passing of the Obama presidential motorcade up Connecticut Avenue just above Dupont Circle, 4:51PM, March 16, 2011** -- in the middle of a medium-sized Secret Service army supplemented by the regular MPD, the Park Police, and any other of the 20 or so police forces that exist in the District of Columbia.

This particular current Emperor with the funny "un-Roman" name is a smart, well-intentioned, but ultimately rather ineffectual one as he is so terrified of the GOP corporate fascist party and its shock troops -- the Visigoth Teabaggers and religiously insane -- that are always so whipped up into a Fox News / Hate Radio frenzy even as The WaHoPo court scribes churn out their usual Empire-worshiping drivel.

**I'm actually not sure if Obama was in his car or the identical-looking one next to it. I was so busy taking the cellphone picture that I didn't actually see and, heaven knows, the resolution on this camera is so shitty I couldn't see when I sent i to one of my email accounts.

Chris T., with whom I was walking that late afternoon (I took Wednesday off outright), said he thought it was Obama in that car.

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** Updated 12:07AM 6/9/2014: Content removed.**

Which is what I guess I had all along.

OK, that's all for now. I plan to update this blog over the weekend. Oh, yes, my mom and Ray are supposed to come into the District of Crap-umbia for lunch at the Washington Harbour complex on Sunday (yes, it is spelled the British way there).

Here is a picture of my mom and me taken at Union Station here in D.C. on Nov. 27, 2010 on one of the other times she and Ray came into the city to meet me for lunch.

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I'll probably go to Nellie's and Larry's Lounge tonight. I never go to 17th Street anymore. Ever. Except that one time I was drunk at Fox & Hound and peeked around. Maybe I'll dress in drag. Yeah, that'll work.

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OK, yes, this was the March 15, 2011 APOD ...


... it is an actual animation of the Cassini-Huygens probe as it approached Saturn in 2004. The animation is based on thousands of digitized images compiled into a video for an IMAX movie project. The video is 2min 25 sec. The last minute and a half is the best. And the music is delightful.

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OK, this entry turned out to be longer than I anticipated so I may not update again until Monday.

--Regulus