Posts Tagged ‘spirit’

OMG, Yosemite is 150 Years Old – See “YOSEMITE, A GATHERING OF SPIRIT” Film at the Cal Academy Feb 15-16

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

All the deets below.

Join us on Saturday, Feb. 15 and Sunday, Feb. 16, for the Spirit of Yosemite Festival and catch a special screening of Ken Burns’ Yosemite: A Gathering of Spirit. Screenings at 11:30 am, 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm and 2:30 pm in the Forum Theater. The California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park is home to an aquarium, planetarium, natural history museum and four-story rainforest, all under one living roof. New and ongoing exhibits and programs offer visitors of all ages fun, engaging opportunities to explore the natural world. All exhibits are included with Academy admission. For tickets visit

Yosemite: A Gathering of Spirit, a documentary film by Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan to honor the 150th anniversary of the landmark federal act signed by Abraham Lincoln that preserved Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. This act, the first time a government set aside land for public use and enjoyment, gave birth to the national park idea. Yosemite Conservancy partnered with renowned filmmakers, Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan to bring this amazing time in America’s conservation history to life.

For Shame: Costco Has to Mark Down These Lovely UC Berkeley Paper Plate / Napkin Sets to Just $2.97

Friday, December 7th, 2012

Costco #144 (America’s First Urban Costco) in SoMA chose to sell some Cal-branded  stuff but that turned out to be a mistake.

These lovely paper plate / paper napkin sets originally sold for over $10, at first. But not many people wanted them so  managers were forced to mark these things down to just $2.97, just to get them out of there.

For shame, Cal Alum, for shame. Have you no Spirit?

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I’ll bet the bright red Stanfurd sets stocked at more southerly Costcos sold out at full price.

A: “Hey babe, you used to be a Lecturer at Cal, right? Don’t you want one of these sets, you know, for a party or something?”

B: “Meh”

Tomorrow’s Mission to Mars Will be a Lot Bigger Than NASA’s Previous Efforts – Meet the Mars Science Laboratory’s Curiosity Rover

Friday, November 25th, 2011

When you’re on a mission to M/A/R/R/S, you gots to pump up the volume, like how NASA is doing with tomorrow’s launch of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL).

Check out this shot showing the size of the new rover’s wheels, via our California Academy of Sciences.

Three rover wheels at #NASAtweetup show the relative sizes for Curiosity, Spirit/Opportunity, and Pathfinder:

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Check it:

Curiosity will be five times as large, and carry more than ten times the mass of scientific instruments as the Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit or Opportunity.”

Here’s a family portrait:


Bon Courage, NASA

NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission is preparing to set down a large, mobile laboratory — the rover Curiosity — using precision landing technology that makes many of Mars’ most intriguing regions viable destinations for the first time. During the 23 months after landing, Curiosity will analyze dozens of samples drilled from rocks or scooped from the ground as it explores with greater range than any previous Mars rover.

Curiosity will carry the most advanced payload of scientific gear ever used on Mars’ surface, a payload more than 10 times as massive as those of earlier Mars rovers. Its assignment: Investigate whether conditions have been favorable for microbial life and for preserving clues in the rocks about possible past life.

Plans for the Mars Science Laboratory call for launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, between Nov. 25 and Dec.18, 2011, and arrival at Mars in August 2012.

The spacecraft has been designed to steer itself during descent through Mars’ atmosphere with a series of S-curve maneuvers similar to those used by astronauts piloting NASA space shuttles. During the three minutes before touchdown, the spacecraft slows its descent with a parachute, then uses retro rockets mounted around the rim of an upper stage. In the final seconds, the upper stage acts as a sky crane, lowering the upright rover on a tether to the surface.

Curiosity is about twice as long (about 3 meters or 10 feet) and five times as heavy as NASA’s twin Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, launched in 2003. It inherited many design elements from them, including six-wheel drive, a rocker-bogie suspension system and cameras mounted on a mast to help the mission’s team on Earth select exploration targets and driving routes. Unlike earlier rovers, Curiosity carries equipment to gather samples of rocks and soil, process them and distribute them to onboard test chambers inside analytical instruments”

The ARCO Gas Station at Fell and Divisdero is Back to Causing Problems

Monday, February 9th, 2009

Remember back in the day, when the “rage-inducing” ARCO gas station at 1175 Fell was making the news for blocking traffic, particularly bikes on Fell Street? Take a gander all the way back to 2007:

The 76 you can see on the right became a Spirit gas station and that basically solved the bulk of the traffic problem because Spirit, unlike pricey 76, had copycat pricing and would generally match the ARCO within a penny or so. The salutary effect was no more lines of idling cars on the dedicated bike lane.

But the Spirit stopped selling gas a few days ago so we’re back to “normal.” See?

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Such are the travails of the purveyors of the cheapest gas in San Francisco – too many customers. This will all get solved if and when the Spirit starts selling gas again.

The Vanishing C-17 Cargo Planes of Northern California

Sunday, January 11th, 2009

It looks like we won’t be seeing any more new C-17 Globemaster III‘s making their debuts above the Bay Area. The Spirit of Travis arrived in Fairfield’s Travis Air Force Base a few months back and that makes a complete baker’s dozen, so it looks like that is that.

Of course Boeing would be happy to keep churning them out, and Senator Diane Feinstein would approve, and the U.S. Air Force could probably make use of them, but there’s been a push for a while to end production.   

From Washington state with love, a C-17 from McChord AFB seen above San Francisco, for some reason. [cough joyride, cough] Click to expand:

These aren’t the best of times for Boeing of course and it can use all the help it can get these days. The General Accounting Office is still mulling things over about the C-17. Only time will tell.

San Francisco’s Busiest ARCO Station Runs Out of Gas

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

This was the scene last night at the Atlantic Richfield on Fell and Divisadero last night. “No Gas.” Why’s that? Who knows. Maybe it’s a temporary shutdown at this particular station for an innocuous reason. Maybe.

Or, maybe it’s a signal to go out and buy all that you can lay your hands on. That was such a good strategy a few months back when we had that “rice shortage“. Wasn’t it?


These days, it’s not just Peak Oil or Peak Rice, it’s Peak Everything. Oh noes! Panic, panic panic!

Oh well. The upside to all this is that the Fell Street bike lane, formerly crowded with cars sitting in line for ARCO gas (check the photo from MapJack at “1160 Fell St, San Francisco, CA 94117“), is now free for bikes to use 24/7. So  the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition can count another victory. Plus the owner of the Spirit station across the street must be happy.


The Ice Age is coming, the sun zooming in
Meltdown expected, the wheat is growing thin
Engines stop running, but I have no fear…