Modest As Cake

Monday, June 23, 2008

I'm sorry he's dead

The comic who gave us the seven dirty words you can't say over public airwaves has a few new words to add to his resume - Mark Twain Prize.

George Carlin, the irascible stand-up who, along with Richard Pryor, redefined the medium in the 1970s, has been named recipient of the Kennedy Center's 11th Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

The legendary comic will [not] receive the award Nov. 10 at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. The ceremony will be shown on PBS stations in February 2009.

"In his lengthy career as a comedian, writer and actor, George Carlin has not only made us laugh, but he makes us think," said Kennedy Center Chairman Stephen A. Schwarzman in a statement Tuesday. "His influence on the next generation of comics has been far-reaching."

"Thank you, Mr. Twain," Mr. Carlin said upon being named to receive the award. "Have your people call my people."

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Hey, thanks NASA!

Sunset on Mars

On May 19, 2005, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit captured this stunning view as the Sun sank below the rim of Gusev crater on Mars. This Panoramic Camera mosaic was taken around 6:07 in the evening of the rover's 489th Martian day, or sol.

Sunset and twilight images are occasionally acquired by the science team to determine how high into the atmosphere the Martian dust extends, and to look for dust or ice clouds. Other images have shown that the twilight glow remains visible, but increasingly fainter, for up to two hours before sunrise or after sunset. The long Martian twilight (compared to Earth's) is caused by sunlight scattered around to the night side of the planet by abundant high altitude dust. Similar long twilights or extra-colorful sunrises and sunsets sometimes occur on Earth when tiny dust grains that are erupted from powerful volcanoes scatter light high in the atmosphere.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Texas A&M/Cornell