Five developments of interest to fans:
(1) The official Hugo Awards website (http://www.thehugoawards.org/) now boasts a handsome specification sheet containing all the dimensions of the Hugo rocket. Kevin Standlee has added this note to the site:
We thank Deb Kosiba, designer of the 2005 and 2006 Hugo Award trophy bases, for preparing this specification sheet. The design of the trophy rocket is the property of the World Science Fiction Society and may not be used without permission; however, you are welcome to use this document for legitimate purposes such as describing the Hugo Award and preparing designs for trophies.
(2) Laurraine Tutihasi and Mike Weasner have picked up their building permit and expect progress on their house to move along pretty quickly now. Follow the work on their blog.
(3) Francis Hamit sends along this Heinlein-related “ found object.” It is an earlier version of a form letter I once received from the author, his standard answer to fan mail and requests from strangers. Having read about Jubal Harshaw’s system for dealing with correspondence, I sent something to Heinlein’s address angling for my own sample of this very response, and was pleased to get it.
(4) The 1400-lb “Early Ammonia Servicer” (EAS) thrown overboard by International Space Station astronauts in 2007 has been in a decaying orbit around the Earth ever since, and is now a naked-eye object that grows brighter as it descends.
Space Weather News says the EAS is expected to burn up in Earth’s atmosphere in late 2008 or early 2009. ‘Til then, you can see it with your own eyes. Check the Simple Satellite Tracker for flyby times.
(5) When a dad and his autistic son were swept out to sea near Daytona Beach, the dad repeatedly shouted Buzz Lightyear’s motto “To infinity…and beyond!” to encourage his 12-year-old:
Lost at sea with nothing to hold onto amid a dreadful darkness, Florida resident Walter Marino continually called out some of the few words his 12-year-old autistic son Christopher responds to. The pair, swept out in a late-afternoon current near Daytona Beach, had been treading water in shark- and jellyfish-infested waters throughout the night, slowly floating apart.
“I’d be screaming, ‘To infinity … and beyond!'” Marino said, referring to the Disney character Buzz Lightyear’s catchphrase in Toy Story, one of Christopher’s favorite movies.
[Includes links from David Klaus, used with thanks.]