News Of The Weird by Judy @ 12:15 PM

Where does Denmark get off in claiming the North Pole?

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – Denmark aims to claim the North Pole and hunt for oil in high Arctic regions that may become more accessible because of global warming, the Science Ministry said Monday.

It said Denmark would send an expedition to try to prove the seabed beneath the Pole was a natural continuation of Greenland, the world’s biggest island and a Danish territory whose northern tip is just 450 miles from the Pole.

Denmark expects that this will give it access to new resources of oil and natural gas outweighing the $25 million that they have earmarked for the search.

I didn’t think that anybody could own the North Pole. Apparently Denmark’s claim rests on a U.N. convention allowing coastal nations to claim rights to offshore seabed resources. Countries that ratify it have 10 years to prove they have a fair claim to the offshore territory and its resources.

But they have to prove that it’s a valid claim, first. Other claimants include Russia, Canada, Norway, and of course the USA. Samantha Smith, director of the WWF environmental group’s Arctic Program, suggests that it would be a good idea for nations around the Arctic to sign a treaty to regulate access to oil, fisheries and possible new shipping lanes through the Arctic as the ice retreats because of global warming.

All of this begs the questions: Doesn’t Santa Claus have a prior claim to the North Pole? Where will Santa go if Denmark builds a drilling platform on top of his workshop? Will toy production and shipping be disrupted? There might be a pretty sad Christmas if Denmarks claim is upheld as valid. 🙄

Miscellaneous Musing by Judy @ 11:48 AM

SpaceShipOne has won the Ansari $10,000,000 X-Prize for the first commercially viable manned spacecraft!

MOJAVE, Calif. (Reuters) – SpaceShipOne, the world’s first privately funded manned spacecraft, on Monday reached space for the second time in less than a week to win a $10 million prize designed to spur commercial space travel.

The stubby, three-seat rocket plane hurtled to a height of 368,000 feet traveling at more than three times the speed of sound to reach space on the last of two flights required to win the Ansari X Prize.

“We are proud to announce that SpaceShipOne has made two flights to 100 kilometers (62 miles) and has won the Ansari X Prize,” Peter Diamandis, founder of the X Prize announced to reporters at Mojave airport.

Congratulations to Paul Allen, Burt Rutan, Brian Binnie, everyone at Mojave Aerospace Ventures, and anyone else who was involved in this historic flight. Welcome to the real space age!

Now, where’s the starstarstarstarstar hotel that Richard Branson promised? He better get a move on if he plans to open in 2007!

Miscellaneous Musing by Judy @ 6:37 AM

Psycho actress Janet Leigh passed away last night at the age of 77. She died peacefully, with her daughters Jamie Lee Curtis and Kelly Curtis and her husband Robert Brandt by her side.

Mostly remembered for the shower scene in Psycho, Leigh also appeared in films such as The Manchurian Candidate (that’s the original version, not the remake), Bye, Bye Birdy and A Touch Of Evil.

I mostly remember her for that shower scene, also. After seeing that as an impessionable child, it was years before I would take a shower without the bathroom door firmly locked.

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