From:         Bob Rankin 
Subject:      TOURBUS - 02 Jul 2005 - Comet / Google Maps


The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved

Howdy, y'all, and greetings once again from deep behind the orange curtain in beautiful Irvine, California, home of the third most decisive battle of the English Civil War.

TOURBUS is made possible by the kind support of our sponsors. Please take a moment to visit today's sponsors and thank them for keeping our little bus of Internet happiness on the road week after week.

I have some exciting news: I'm now a librarian! Well, actually, when I am not driving our little bus of internet happiness I am still the Faculty Training and Support Coordinator for the California State University, Long Beach. But my department, the Faculty Technology Center, is now part of the University Library. So I guess that makes me a librarian. And, as a newly minted librarian, let me be the first to say "SHHHHH!" :)

Update: Send Your Name to a Comet

Back on November 18th, 2003, I mentioned that NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory was

offering you the opportunity to add your name to a CD-ROM destined for spaceflight... [T]he CD-ROM will be onboard a spacecraft that will crash into Comet Temple 1 on July 4th, 2005. And, no, that "crash" line isn't a jab at NASA. The goal of JPL's Deep Impact project is to crash a 370 kg (820 pound) mass -- including the CD-ROM -- into the Comet Temple 1 in order to

1. Make a really, really big hole.
2. Observe how that hole forms
3. Measure the hole's depth and diameter
4. Measure the composition of the interior of the crater and
the stuff that gets blown out into space. 5. Determine how the hole changes the comet's tail.

About 625,000 people signed up for the opportunity to have their name blown into space smithereens. And with July 4th, 2005, just a few days away, it's impact time, baby!

For those of you who are night owls, the impact is scheduled for 5:52 AM GMT [1:52 AM EDT] on Monday, July 4th. NASA plans to offer a webcast of the impact in both RealPlayer and Windows Media Player formats at

and will be offering their own webcast at

To learn more about the mission, including instructions on how to view the comet in the nighttime sky, check out JPL's Deep Impact page at

As I said back in 2003, the greatest part about this whole project is that my name [and yours too, if you signed up] will forever be associated with "a spectacular, football field-sized crater, seven to 15 stories deep." That's just too cool for words.

Related News:

Related News:

Update: Google Maps

When we last visited Google Maps [ ], I mentioned that you can only use the site to search for locations in the United States and Canada.

That's starting to change. If you go to, click and hold your mouse button, and then drag in any direction, you'll see that Google Maps now cover the world. Sort of.

Google Maps now shows a global political map but street-level maps are only available for the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. [I think.] For example, if you search for "San Diego, CA" and then drag the map up a bit, you'll see that south of the city is ... nothing. On the plus side, though, the newest version of Google Maps shows darker road lines as well one-way direction arrows [see ] when appropriate.

Oh, while we're talking about Google Maps, I should also tell you that James Turnbull's Google Sightseeing blog has a new URL:

Turnbull and his buddies have spent the last three months digging through Google Maps looking for cool stuff like pictures of airplanes in flight [ ], an example of how Missouri and Illinois highway engineers don't play well together [ ], and something that is best filed under the title "I want to believe" [ ]

None of those images are as exciting as seeing my old high school from space [ ], but I'm not the most impartial observer.

Immi Heap's "Hide and Seek" Audience: Everyone [I hope]

So do you remember the music they had on the season finale of the television show "The OC?" Neither do I, but this track [which you can't find on any CD I know about] is so hot it must be responsible for half the traffic on the net: Imogen Heap's "Hide and Seek". You can find it in the iTunes Music Store--the song is currently #4 on iTunes Electronic music charts--for 99 cents.

If you don't want to pay 99 cents, and if you live in the United States, there's another way to get the song. 7 Eleven is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Slurpee by giving away 8 million iTunes songs. Buy a 32 ounce Slurpee [which normally costs about $1.50 with tax] in a specially-marked cup [you can't miss them] and on the side of the cup you'll find a 12-digit alphanumeric code redeemable for one song from the iTunes Music Store. For more information, including a link to where you can key in your special code, check out

If you'd rather not pay $1.50 to get a 99 cent song-- don't forget, though, that that buck fifty gets you not only a song but also a Slurpee--you can try your chance at winning three free iTunes songs at

Colgate is giving 30,000 lucky winners three free iTunes songs. Just fill out the online form and see if you're a winner.

Better still, if you want to avoid iTunes altogether, you can buy Imogen Heap's "Hide and Seek" from the download store on her website at

And read her blog [ ]. She's an indie artist and deserves our support. Her homebrew label is going to print 5,000 CDs in mid-July. I expect blood to be flowing in the streets as angry mobs charge the record stores.

What's it like? Old, old friends of my dad will remember how enthsiastic he was about Todd Rundgren's A Cappella. OK, imagine the voice plus synth technology he used on that album (especially in "Something to Fall Back On") got married to Peter Frampton's "talking guitar" and the offspring was bitten by a radioactive spider. And now imagine it put into everybody's hands.

Grab some of that stuff and follow Immi Heap. She's leading the way, and the music is going to be incredible!

[Special thanks go to my dad, the Rev. Bob "Bob" Crispen, for contributing to this next section of today's post.]

The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved

That's it for today. Have a safe and happy week, and we'll talk again soon.

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