August 1st, 2006


Excessive Heat Warning

For those of us in southern New England, the National Weather Service has issued a Severe Weather Alert for today and tomorrow. I've copied it below, but the parts of particular interest include the possibility that the heat indices will hit 112 degrees in Hartford, CT and perhaps 115 degrees elsewhere.

Stay cool, people.

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MooTour 2006 Reminder!

A reminder about MooTour!

CowParade has finally come to Boston! The Bursteins have decided that we must see and photograph each and every cow before they disappear into the stockyard in the sky.

You are cordially invited to join us for MooTour 2006!

When: Sunday, August 6th, 11 AM until whenever. The weather prediction is for partly cloudy, so it looks like we will no longer need to worry about a rain date.

Where: All over Boston, but starting in Copley Square (SE corner of Boylston and Dartmouth)

What: Join the Bursteins as we pursue our quixotic quest to photograph every single cow in the 2006 Boston CowParade!

Details: Starting in Copley Square, we will use the map of the CowParade to try to see and photograph every cow statue we can. We'll be doing a lot of walking, so wear comfortable shoes. If it's hot and sunny, you might want to wear sunglasses and bring a water bottle. We also might be jumping onto the T a few times, so if you have a T-pass that will be a big help. (Remember that on Sundays, a T-pass holder is allowed to bring a guest.) And if you want your own pictures of the cows, make sure to bring a camera as well.

Special bonus: In order to fortify ourselves before going on the MooTour, we'll be enjoying brunch at Rubin's Kosher Deli. If you wish to join us for brunch, please let us know when you RSVP, so we can make an appropriate reservation.


Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been...

Michael Cassutt is a science fiction writer who has written novels and stories, but who also toils away in Hollywood working in television. He has a regular column at SCI FI Weekly called "The Cassutt Files." The July 31 column, titled "You May Be a Sci-Fi Writer," gives a ten-question, 100-point quiz to determine what kind of science fiction writer you are. (The higher you score, the more likely you write "hard" science fiction.) On a whim, I went through the questions, and I was amused to come across this question for #6:

"Are you nostalgic about the Apollo program? 5 points. Add 5 points if you ever seriously considered applying to become an astronaut."

Why am I amused? As anyone who was reading my blog in 2003 knows, back then I applied for the Educator Astronaut program. I made the first cut, and then was grounded due to my eyesight.

So when I came across the question, I couldn't help but smile. I didn't just seriously consider applying to become an astronaut; I actually did it.

Oh, and just for the record, I scored an 80. And according to the quiz, a score of 66 or higher yields the following: "You're a E.E. 'Doc' Smith, Larry Niven, Greg Bear, Vernor Vinge, Charles Stross or Nancy Kress. Ideas come first for you, the stranger or more innovative the better. If you are a television series, you are Max Headroom, Star Trek: Voyager or Enterprise. This sort of storytelling, by the way, used to be known as science fiction, or 'hard' science fiction."

Copyright © Michael Burstein