Spirit Sol 26

Just as I was going to sleep, a coyote attacked a neighborhood cat. I ran outside to try to save the cat, scared off the coyote, ran inside to call Animal Control to come help the cat -- and when I got back outside, the cat was gone. It seemed too badly wounded to get away by itself -- it was barely able to raise its head to croak sadly at me when I tried to comfort it -- and I couldn't find it anywhere when I looked around for it. So I think the coyote came back and got it while I was inside. Which might be just as well.

So when I wake up a couple of hours later to call the wacky morning show, I'm in a really good mood. I'm upset about the cat, and not focused on the bit, and when they ask me whom I favor in the Super Bowl, I don't even know who's playing. Turns out the right answer is: Carolina Panthers. A Raleigh station is interviewing me because I grew up in Rocky Mount. The local team is in the Super Bowl. It's the kind of thing I'm supposed to know.

I go back to bed.

The day's other interviews go better, though maybe it would be stretching things to say they go well. One is with the Pasadena Star-News, the next with the New York Times. I joke with the Star-News reporter that she's scooping the New York Times, and she laughs at that. I get along with her OK, but otherwise the interview is not especially memorable. The New York Times guy doesn't seem to be terribly interested in me; I almost get the sense that he's interviewing me as a way to get rid of me. Which seems like a strange thing to do, since he asked for the interview. Maybe I misread him.

I also have phone interviews with the Silicon Valley News, whose reporter has way too much energy for me, and with Yediot Ahronot[1], an Israeli newspaper. That one goes well, I think, except that at one point I use the phrase "exploding with joy," which is not a smart phrase to use around people who deal with suicide bombers every day. (Not that I think he cared or even noticed, but I cringe when I think about it.) He's interested in what is, for him, the local angle -- the Columbia memorial plaque on the rovers. So I make sure to mention Ilian Ramon, the first Israeli astronaut, who was one of the astronauts who died on that mission.

Come to think of it, today kind of sucked.

Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech. Sol-2 NAVCAM image showing the Columbia memorial plaque on the back of the HGA. There's one of these on both rovers, as well as one on our testbed rover.

[1] My Israeli friend, Rafi, was highly impressed by this. Driving a rover on Mars, not so much. But being interviewed by Yediot Ahronot, that made him look at me with respect.

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