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Tuesday,  03/01/05  07:33 AM

I woke up this morning and thought, wow, March, crap.  Why crap?  I don't know, it can't really be March already, can it?  I mean, the year just started...

So, do you know Ellen MacArthur?  I didn't think so.  She's kind of a secret here in the U.S., but she recently did something pretty amazing; she sailed singlehanded around the world, and broke the record for doing so.  It took her 71 days.  Now sailing singlehanded means you basically have to be paying attention all the time, there isn't much time for sleeping or eating or anything, no matter how good your equipment.  And she was sailing a trimaran, they're fast, but they tip over.  So this was 71 days of paying attention.  Pretty amazing.  The picture was taken during a doublehanded race she competed in during 2003, and it captures the flavor of what it is like to sail one of these things.  Anyway my hat's off to her.  [ This article captures the essence of her accomplishment, which has been much more celebrated in Europe than America. ] 

In other sailing news, I came across this article about Ragtime, one of the greatest racing yachts of all time.  I had the pleasure of sailing on her several times, and man is this a fast boat.  She was built specifically as a "sled", a boat which is fast downwind for competing in the Transpac race from Los Angeles to Honolulu, but she ended up being just fast period and graceful under all conditions.  Basically just a 62-foot dinghy. 

John H. Marburger III, director of the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, stated point blank “Intelligent Design is not a scientific theory.”  He got that right.  [ via Panda's Thumb

FuturePundit wonders Do Hydroelectric Dams Cause Global Warming?  I've often wondering the same thing; one of the knocks on nuclear power has always been the excess heat they generate which has to be siphoned off into the environment.  But dams generate more heat and far more environmental disruption, of course.  I'm still waiting for greens to get on the right side of the nuclear power debate... 

Halley notes the Toyota Prius was one of the celebrities at the Acadamy Awards.  In this as in many things, Ottmar Liebert was leading the way :) 

Saturn has three new moons.  Or at least, we've discovered three more.  One of them, "Polydeuces", is a so-called Trojan moon - it is twinned with a larger moon (Dione) in orbit around Saturn.  Dione already has another Trojan moon called Helene.  Quite the planetary ecosystem out there, and I can't wait to visit :) 

If you have some free time, you may enjoy this game
Pretty cool, but by all means turn off the piano.
  [ via Tom Coates

Bigwig made me smile; his daughter Ngnat read her first book.  Yippee.