Quotes From Around Yon Blogosphere
Kansas-- Steve Arnold is driving the yellow Hummer in circles around a wheat field, towing an 18-foot-wide metal detector. For an hour, nothing but silence. Kiowa County
Finally, the detector whines and
slams the brakes. "That is so good," he says. Arnold
jumps out, pinpoints the location with a smaller detector and starts digging. The world-renowned meteorite hunter is hoping for a big score. He has had three false hits today, unearthing a bit of barbed wire, a fragment of a plow, a squashed Dr Pepper can. Arnold
"What's the definition of insanity?"
asks. "Doing the same thing over and over again." Arnold
All over the world.
He has dodged police in
Oman, had his truck break down in a desert in Chile, and bicycled the streets of suburban holding a broomstick with a magnet tied to its end -- searching for space rock. Chicago
But it was here in
that he found the meteorite that would make him famous. Kansas
Two of the world's most famous meteorites failed to attract buyers at an auction Sunday, while an ordinary metal mailbox zapped by a falling space rock in 1984 was sold for the unearthly price of almost $83,000.
A 30-pound chunk of the Willamette Meteorite, which was found in
in 1902 and has been steeped in ownership controversies for more than a century, was offered by Bonhams auction house at an estimated value of $1.3 million but was withdrawn from sale after bidding ended at $300,000. Oregon
Similarly, the 1,410-pound Brenham Main Mass, dug out of a
farm field in 2005, was withdrawn by Bonhams CEO and auctioneer Malcolm Barber after it drew a top bid of only $200,000 -- well short of the pre-sale estimate of $630,000 to $700,000. Kansas
The entire 15.5-ton Willamette Meteorite has been owned by the
of Natural History since 1908, with pieces loaned or given to other collectors from time to time. American Museum-- THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
A panel of the National Academy of Sciences urged President George W. Bush on Monday to abandon a plan to resume nuclear waste reprocessing that is the heart of the administration's push to expand civilian use of nuclear power.
The 17-member panel said the proposed Global Nuclear Energy Partnership, or GNEP, hasn't been adequately reviewed and is banking on reprocessing technology that hasn't been proved, or isn't expected to be ready in the time the administration envisions.
Whether it turns out to be He-3, solar energy, or some as yet unknown technology that draws humanity back to the moon, there's an irony here. In 1968, Apollo 8 brought back the first shimmering image of an "Earthrise" as seen from the moon. Four years later, Apollo 17 came home with the famous whole Earth picture. These new views of our fragile, heartbreakingly isolated planet are often credited with having helped to kickstart the environmental movement - even with having changed the way we see ourselves as a species.
At present, nations are forbidden under international treaty from making territorial claims to the moon, but the same has hitherto been true of
Antarctica, of which the government is trying to claim a chunk. Earth's sister has played a role in teaching us to value our environment: how extraordinary to think that the next giant leap for the environmental movement might be a campaign to stop state-sponsored mining companies chomping her up in glorious privacy, a quarter of a million miles from our ravaged home. UK
-- ANDREW SMITH