The Brick Moon

If from the surface of the earth, by a gigantic peashooter, you could shoot a pea upward from Greenwich, aimed northward as well as upward; if you drove it so fast and far that when its power of ascent was exhausted, and it began to fall, it should clear the earth, and pass outside the North Pole; if you had given it sufficient power to get it half round the earth without touching, that pea would clear the earth forever. It would continue to rotate above the North Pole, above the Feejee Island place, above the South Pole and Greenwich, forever, with the impulse with which it had first cleared our atmosphere and attraction. If only we could see that pea as it revolved in that convenient orbit, then we could measure the longitude from that, as soon as we knew how high the orbit was, as well as if it were the ring of Saturn.

"But a pea is so small!"

"Yes," said Q., "but we must make a large pea." Then we fell to work on plans for making the pea very large and very light. Large, -- that it might be seen far away by storm-tossed navigators: light, -- that it might be the easier blown four thousand and odd miles into the air; lest it should fall on the heads of the Greenlanders or the Patagonians; lest they should be injured and the world lose its new moon. But, of course, all this lath-and-plaster had to be given up. For the motion through the air would set fire to this moon just as it does to other aerolites, and all your lath-and-plaster would gather into a few white drops, which no Rosse telescope even could discern. "No," said Q. bravely, "at the least it must be very substantial. It must stand fire well, very well. Iron will not answer. It must be brick; we must have a Brick Moon."

-- The Brick Moon and Other Stories, by Everett Edward Hale

The Current State of Things

The current time and date. The current phase of the moon. The current financial cost of the Iraq invasion. The current US national debt. How things look in Moose Lake, Minnesota, Mt. St. Helens, Washington, Davis Station, Antarctica,
Nuuk, Greenland, New York, New York, the Falkland Islands An estimate of the number of people in U.S. prisons right now. The International Space Station: where is it now? Baby names (to 1900, too).

Endeavors

Watch a baseball game. Cy Brown’s hole. Make silver nitrate without dying. Bush/Zombie Reagan in 2004. Three articles about cooking pizza for Kim Jong-il (1) (2) (3). Kevin and Dave visited a decommissioned nuclear missile silo for you. Patrick Combs deposits a junk mail check. Jeannine deals with her Chiari 1 malformation. A visual catalog of the McClintock household. Rebecca Caldwell’s carthedral. Spiderman reviews crayons. NASA’s Mars Rover home page. An explanation of cricket. An effort to find a lost frog. A traveling Gorn. A campaign against lip balm. Job hunting: JobStar Job Search Guide. Interviewing: The twenty-five most difficult questions you’ll ask or answer. Resumes: advice from Texas A&M University, Colorado State University, and The Rockport Institute. Communicating with budgies. Kid of Speed documents The Serpent’s Wall. “Right now, 30 percent of all hermit crabs on our shorelines are living in shells that are too small for them”: an effort to help. Heart ‘n Soul, a music theater group for young people with learning disabilities. Projects at spurse.org.