Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Sometimes it really is rocket science

So Yang Liwei joins Yuri Gagarin and Alan Shepard as his country's first man launched into space. Yeah, they're Godless Commies but it's still cool that everything went OK. They used a modified Russian Soyuz so the technology wasn't completely home-grown, but then again, it took Germans to put the pieces together for the Soviet and American programs in the 1950s-60s. Astronauts and Cosmonauts have a new counterpart for the first time since 1961 - Taikonauts.

In stark contrast with the Chinese ascent, the Chicago Cubs had a dizzying yet ultimately predictable collapse in the NLCS. Leave it to the Cubs to pull defeat out of the jaws of victory - "what happened Wednesday made perfect sense in a upside-down-is-rightside-up-and-crazy-is-sane-and-pigs-are-flying-through-a-frozen-Hell kind of way". Up 3 games to 1 in a best of 7 series, they lost 3 straight. Up 3-0 in Game 6 in the 8th inning, an unbelievable incident along the left field foul wall where a fan prevented a sure out combined with an unlikely shortstop error to spark an 8-run Marlins run and eventual win. Eight runs in the inning. The Cubs had it in their grasp and choked just like we all somehow knew they would - they wouldn't be the Cubs if they didn't find a way to lose.

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