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Posted on 06/01/2006 1:08:49 PM PDT by Buck Ninety-Nine
WASHINGTON, May 31 After vowing to steer a greater share of antiterrorism money to the highest-risk communities, Department of Homeland Security officials on Wednesday announced 2006 grants that slashed money for New York and Washington 40 percent, while other cities including Omaha and Louisville, Ky., got a surge of new dollars.
Homeland security officials said the grants were a result of a more sophisticated evaluation process
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
I'm trying to remember which one of those is the interesting one.. the one with the icy surface. I'm thinking either Europa or Callisto.
More like a week or two...;o]
All of them have icy surfaces.
Europa is the one that looks like a shattered cue ball...
Pub crawling in the Castle!!
The thin Martian winds keen softly in the stillness.
The great dome of the Flying Castle sits securely in its ancient meteoric cradle. Dust, powdery red dust, has settled on the multiple panes of strong glazing like a cinnamon snowstorm.
Within the enormous chamber, activity can be detected, but outside, all is deathly still.
In the nearby dome, several miles away by tunnel, curious faces line the viewing windows. The tension mounts.
Suddenly, with a startling simultaneity, the brilliant torches of the harnessed shuttles blaze into incandescence. The incredibly huge structure shudders, and seems to disengage from the planet.
The insane energy of the thrusters increases a hundredfold, and the structure separates and begins to rise.
Majestically, irresistably, it soars up into the pale sky, accelerating as it goes.
Soon it is gone from sight. Silence returns to the Martian desert. The faces at the windows turn away. For them, there is work to be done.
Aboard the Flying Castle, all seems orderly. The acceleration can be felt. Everything and everyone is now at least twice their accustomed Mars weight, but the violence of the multiple thrusts from the multitude of shuttle/thrusters is dissipated into the incredibly massive ship.
Even the animals in the fields resume grazing, stepping carefully about.
The sky has turned dark around them, and stars are dimly visible through the thick canopy glass. They rise.
The Habitats, and the crew aboard the Thrust Ring, are making preparations to receive them. Soon the Thrust Ring will live up to its name again, as the tethered shuttles on its periphery fire, and the Habitats slowly move back to a dangling position under this huge chandelier.
* * *
The Flying Castle, still accelerating slowly, moves into position for the securing arms of the Thrust Ring to grasp it. Once that has happened, the Habitats begin moving back into their trinary positions, and the whole structure begins spinning up again.
It is a delicate dance of massive structures, and enormous forces, but they have done this sort of thing before, and there are no complications.
As the spin-up is completed, the shuttle rockets power down. Finally, with an almost unexpected suddenness, they are extinguished.
The Flying Castle has again launched itself from a planet, and it is now doing its stately dance of joy and brotherhood with the Habitats A and B.
Things settle down to an ordinary pace. The tubular elevator system, with its spherical elevator cars, begins a brisk pace of operation, as people rush to visit with friends they have not seen for months, and spaces their feet have not trod for long weeks.
Surprisingly, in just a matter of hours, the old routine of the long journey from Earth seems to re-establish itself, as the twenty-four hour pace, which is divided between the three habitats, reasserts itself.
The lights aboard the Flying Castle go into their familiar dimming, as night comes again. But Habitat A is doing a brisk pace of business, as a mood of celebration takes over.
Maybe that's the one I'm thinking of - I'll be more specific; is that the one that's believed to have oceans under the ice?
I think something lives under that cracked ice.
Maybe a martini lake...
Oh that is just his biological defense system.
Yeah--and in search of the Castle's biggest burger...
A Europan Bunnitty? ;)
I'm looking for the juiciest steak and kidney pie...
There isn't much of an atmosphere, so there wouldn't be any large lifeforms...
No, a bunnitty - you heard of the Bunnitty, right?
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