Monday, January 08, 2007

1/8/2007 - A wall in the heat

Something I passed and definitely meant to blog about is the famous "Wal-Drug" on route 90. Some 300+ miles before you reach it, you start seeing signs by the highway. Wal-drug has dinosaurs. Wal-drug has coffee. Wal-drug has museums.

Actually, I am a little disappointed in the glitziness that Wal-drug has become, complete with casinos, shows, etc. But its story is what is so cool, and that it can't help but keep.

My understanding is that Wal-drug was quiet little store somewhere on the route to Mount Rushmore. During the summer, the occasional tourist would stop by in desperate need of water. So the owners put out some signs saying "free ice water" and the tourists just flocked in. From there, they built this glorious empire I now see before me.

At rest

I recently got a new pedometer -- I think I may have blogged that already. I can't help but notice that my footage has been way down since I did. This may be coincidence as much has been going on in my life over the last week (what with birthdays, grandparents and happy kiwis). But it might also be because my old pedometer was counting extra steps.

I hope not.

Astronomy

I've mentioned before that the infamous IAU planetary definition does a better job casting out small planets than big ones. Here's a fun fact for today: Jupiter casts more light than can be explained by reflecting the sun's light. Current theory suspects that some of the light is caused by Jupiter's ball of gas gradually contracting (ye olde PV=nRT, or to make that more authentically old fashioned, be PV=nRTe). But even that can't explain all the light we're getting. It's possible that Jupiter is burning its deuterium (heavy hydrogen), much as the sun burns hydrogen. Apparantly that's not such a hard trick, but I can't help but be struck by the fact that Jupiter is behaving like a poor-man's star.

A whopping 7,400 steps today. Cheers,

8 Comments:

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