Monday, December 31, 2007

Megan Fox.

BABE OF THE YEAR... As stated in this entry, all the random babe blogs that I posted over the past month-and-a-half would lead to a nonrandom babe blog before 2008. And here it is. If you constantly visited this page, you wouldn't really be surprised, haha. Though some people would pick Megan Fox's older, United Nations-serving lookalike, Angelina Jolie, as this year's notable hottie. I'll just stick with "The Foxy One", thank you.

Megan Fox montage.

If you’re a regular reader on this page, you’d know that I posted tons of entries on Transformers. So you should also not be surprised that I’d post this pic of her and exonerated Walgreens trespasser, Shia LaBeouf, pretending to smooch at an awards ceremony earlier this year. It’s kinda, um, girlie to post this kinda pic...but whatever. You’d be please to know that this particular photo had the most hits of all the images on the Megan Fox fansite I found it on. So who said there was no chemistry between Sam Witwicky and Mikaela Banes? Of course, here’s hoping Michael Bay and the screenwriters for Transformers 2 don’t screw up the romance between Sam and Mikaela like the Wachowski brothers did for Neo and Trinity in The Matrix Reloaded and Revolutions. That’s assuming, of course, that Megan Fox will return for the sequel. *Prays.*

Megan Fox and Shia LaBeouf pretend to liplock at an awards ceremony earlier this year.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

The flight helmet for the F-35 fighter pilot.  Like something you would see in a Japanese anime series like MACROSS.

JUST THOUGHT I’d share these cool images of the next generation fighter jet, the F-35 Lightning II...formerly known as the Joint Strike Fighter. The F-35, which is being built by Lockheed Martin, is similar to the F-22 Raptor (also built by Lockheed) in terms of design and technology. Both aircraft have stealth capability and state-of-the-art engines. The F-35, which will also be used by other nations such as the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands and Australia, will come in different configurations for three of the major branches of the U.S. military (the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps).

- The F-35A, which will be used by the USAF, will replace the F-16 Fighting Falcon and A-10 Warthog starting in 2011.

- The F-35B (shown in two of the images below), will have the ability to conduct short takeoffs and vertical landings—or STOVL—much like the aircraft it will start to replace in 2012: The AV-8B Harrier II. In case you still don’t know what STOVL means, the F-35 will be able to hover off the surface like a helicopter during takeoffs and landings, as opposed to using a runway to get off the ground. The F-35B will be used by the U.S. Marine Corps and will also replace the F/A-18 Hornet.

- The F-35C, which will have larger, foldable wings and stronger landing gear to cope with the stresses of carrier landings, will be used by the U.S. Navy and pretty much replace all variants of the F/A-18 except the Super Hornet. Like the F-35B, the F-35C will also become operational by 2012.

The images above are of the flight helmet that F-35 pilots will wear once the jet becomes operational. Despite its size, the helmet only weighs 4 pounds. Totally awesome. Kinda like something you would see in Japanese anime like Macross Plus.

F-35 Lightning II montage.
F-35 Lightning II montage.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

PATRIOTS: 38, GIANTS: 35... Good job, New England! I was rooting for them to win against New York tonight and go 16-0 this regular season. The last undefeated team, for those of you who don't know (or care, haha), were the 1972 Miami Dolphins...who went 17-0 that season and beat the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl VII. Of course, I'm still rooting for the Indianapolis Colts (or maybe the Green Bay Packers) to win in February. If, however, Tom Brady and Co. are able to run the table, well, more power to them. At least I just watched history in the making.

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is lifted in the air by his teammates Logan Mankins (70) and Russ Hochstein, left, after Brady threw a 65-yard touchdown to Randy Moss in the third quarter of an NFL football game against the New York Giants at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., on Saturday, Dec. 29, 2007. Brady broke the single-season record with his 50th touchdown pass and Moss broke the single season-record with his 23rd touchdown reception on the play.
AP / Julie Jacobson

Friday, December 28, 2007

Lacey Chabert.

RANDOM BABE BLOG #7... Today’s entry goes to Lacey Chabert, best known for her role as Claudia Salinger on the former FOX TV show Party of Five and Gretchen Wieners in the film Mean Girls. She also briefly voiced the role of Meg Griffin on FOX’s Family Guy (That 70’s Show Mila Kunis now does the voice for Peter’s oft-ridiculed daughter), and will do the voice for Gwen Stacy in next year’s The Spectacular Spider-Man animated series. Oh, and she’s also doing the voice for Jeanna in 2009’s Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey (don’t ask), and show’s up in next year’s Sherman’s Way. Um, don’t ask again. But she’s best known for looking extremely hot in the January 2007 issue of Maxim magazine. The photo of her in white (bottom-right pic) is from the Maxim spread. Nice.

'America's Sweetheart' the words of MAXIM Magazine (January 2007 issue).

In case you’re wondering, all these random babe blogs (which weren’t really random to begin with) will lead to an Official Babe Blog sometime before New Year’s Day. Wouldn’t you like to know who I’m gonna type about next?


How Lacey first caught my attention:

How Lacey first caught my attention...

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Cool artwork depicting Optimus Prime and his entourage.

SOUNDWAVE REDUX... After posting this entry about him (and his tape cassettes) being out of place in the 21st Century, I thought I’d share these cool images I found online of Soundwave and Megatron’s other right-hand man, err, Decepticon; Shockwave. A fan updated the design of the two Waves and gave them the look of the robots you see in the live-action Transformers film. These are NOT actual movie concepts. Soundwave was suppose to have been in Michael Bay’s blockbuster, but fans were unsatisfied with his initial design (Soundwave was suppose to have transformed into a helicopter...but the role of evil chopper was given to Blackout instead), and Frenzy ended up becoming the Decepticon tape player in this year’s film. Soundwave is currently the top fan favorite to show up in the sequel...whenever that gets made. Damn WGA strike.

Fan-made artwork of the Decepticons, Soundwave and Shockwave.
Courtesy of Transformers Live Action Movie Blog

Another fan-made artwork of Soundwave.
Courtesy of timshinn73

Soundwave in his original design (from the 1980's cartoon)...

Soundwave in his original design (from the 1980's cartoon).

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

This image marks the path traveled by the Dawn spacecraft as of 11:00 AM, Pacific Standard Time, on December 26, 2007.

ABOVE: This image marks the path traveled by the Dawn spacecraft as of 11:00 AM, Pacific Standard Time, on December 26, 2007. Click here to view the official webpage showing where Dawn is in space.

DAWN: Last Update for 2007... On December 18, after a 3-month checkout period following launch, the Dawn spacecraft begun its interplanetary cruise phase. What that means is that from now on, any of the three thrusters of its ion propulsion system will be firing continuously for weeks...not as a test but to finally propel the probe towards the first of its two destinations: the asteroid Vesta. Dawn will reach Vesta in 2011, and then use its ion engines to push the spacecraft to its second target: the dwarf planet Ceres—which it will reach in 2015. Above is an image that shows Dawn’s position in space as of 11:00 AM today, while all the pics below were calibration shots taken with the probe’s two onboard Framing Cameras.

An image of a star field that was taken by Dawn's Framing Camera on October 18, 2007.

What makes these shots so significant—to me, at least—is that they are, in a way, tangible proof that Dawn is indeed in space. A microchip bearing my name, as well as 360,000 others, is onboard the probe and sailing amongst the stars. So to speak. I could, um, sound more ‘dramatic’ than this, but I’ll spare you additional sappy sentences. According to this Planetary Society blog, Dawn was 17 million miles from Earth as of December 18. Radio signals, traveling at the speed of light, took 3 minutes to make the round trip between the spacecraft and Earth. There are no significant events for Dawn in 2008...but it will fly past Mars for a gravitational assist to Vesta in 2009. Here’s hoping things go smooth for the mission till then. And 2011. And 2015. That is all.

FIRST PIC: An image of the star cluster NGC 3532 and the Eta Carina Nebula, taken by Dawn on December 13, 2007.  SECOND PIC: A starfield in the constellation Cepheus, taken by Dawn on December 3, 2007.
NASA JPL / The Planetary Society

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Vanessa Hudgens.

RANDOM BABE BLOG #6... Today’s banter is about the gorgeous High School Musical starlet, Vanessa Hudgens. I’ve never watched High School Musical, and in terms of her infamous nude photos, Ms. Hudgens could've like, done a little mowing of the lawn below her equator...if she hasn't done so already. Of course, this is assuming she does more ‘nudesy’ (to quote McBain from The Simpsons) in the future. Well hell, she’s legal now. Though I might want to stop talking like this, haha. That is all.

Is it just me but Vanessa Hudgens looks a little like Megan Fox in this pic?

By the way, MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!! Didn't think I would post this kind of entry on this special day, eh?


Monday, December 24, 2007

The ALTAIR logo that will be used by NASA on future lunar expedition missions by astronauts...hopefully starting in 2020.

"Houston, the Altair has landed." Not as catchy as Neil Armstrong’s "Houston, the Eagle has landed" quote back in 1969, but oh well. I think any space aficionado will be grateful if U.S. astronauts are even in the position in 2020 (when Americans are suppose to return to the Moon via the Orion spacecraft) to do a newer take on Armstrong’s memorable line. Almost two weeks ago, NASA announced the new name for its next generation lunar lander: the Altair. Altair is the brightest star in Aquila, the constellation, and is the twelfth brightest celestial object in the night sky...according to NASA folks who work on the Altair project. The logo for Altair was also unveiled (shown above), and pays homage to the patch for the Apollo 11 mission (click here for more info on that). Below is an art concept for the lunar lander itself. The original title for Altair was the Lunar Surface Access Module (LSAM), but here’s hoping Altair becomes a household name faster than LSAM does. That is all.

An artist's concept for the ALTAIR lunar lander.

Images courtesy of NASA

Sunday, December 23, 2007

ABOUT AN HOUR AGO, I was just browsing through my MySpace buddy list, and discovered some big news. And I mean really big news. For me, that is... Unless she was just posing with someone else’s baby in the photo she uploaded to her page, Denise has a kid. That’s right. I don’t know what to feel right now. If I saw this photo 6 or 7 years ago, I’d most likely be pretty stunned ("Devastated" is a more accurate term...but I don’t want to sound all melodramatic right now. Though this situation definitely warrants it). Don’t know when it will hit me like a locomotive that I might want to spend less time posting up all these awesome journal entries that y’all just enjoy reading, and to really start being serious in getting a better job, finding a girlfriend and eventually start a family of my own (My God, I can’t believe I actually typed that). As it stands, the only legacy I’m currently leaving behind is my name onboard space probes that are orbiting the Moon, or heading for Mars and the Asteroid Belt. Oh, and photos of me skydiving. Wow.

Yup— Wow. I definitely need to make some drastic changes in my life. But for right now, I'm gonna watch Spider-Man 2 on TV (it's airing on FOX). The Patriots won again today. They're now 15-0 in the NFL. If they beat the New York Giants next week, they will have complete a perfect season this year. Damn you, Dolphins. They're 1-14 in the league.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

On the PLUS SIDE, it’s not a rotator cuff tear... This morning, I went to see my doctor to go over the results of the MRI exam I took of my right shoulder on December 7. Here’s what the report said:

"1. Mild shoulder impingement, secondary to lateral downsloping of the acromion, abutting on the superior aspect of the supraspinatus tendon. Small amount of fluid is noted at the subacromial-subdeltoid bursa.

2. Slight increase signal of the distal supraspinatus tendon, representing tendinosis. No evidence of rotator cuff tear.

3. The biceps tendons subscapularis tendon and the infraspinatus tendon is unremarkable. No evidence of labral tear."

To put it in layman’s terms, the edge of my right shoulder blade bone is pinching the tendon between it and the top of my humerus (the upper arm bone, if you haven’t taken a Human Anatomy or Biology class yet). Which is what I expected to hear after doing lots of research about shoulder injuries on the Internet. What I DIDN’T expect to hear was that this was something I was born with. Apparently, my acromion is shaped differently from other people. Acromions should have somewhat of a round form, but mine is shaped in a way where it naturally comes in contact with the top of my upper arm bone. Sorry, I just repeated myself, haha.

I originally injured my left shoulder 7 months ago, but chances are if I take an MRI for this side (Why didn’t I get an MRI for this side sooner? NO health insurance. Yep), the results will obviously be the same as the one for my right shoulder. And now my doctor is recommending me to go see an orthopedist for additional examination. BEST-CASE SCENARIO: The orthopedist will just recommend physical therapy that will allow me to work out despite the impingement. WORST-CASE SCENARIO: The orthopedist will recommend arthroscopy (a type of incision...not really surgery) on my shoulders. Knowing my luck, guess which scenario will probably happen? I’ve been dealing with not being able to work out heavily because of shoulder issues since May, what’s another 6 months as I recover from arthroscopy?

Thank you God, for the genetics.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The 'Unsinkable Ship' sails off into its final sunset in the Oscar-winning film TITANIC.
Twentieth Century Fox / Paramount Pictures

TEN YEARS AGO TODAY, the movie Titanic came out in theaters. The reason why I’m bringing this up is because the film was pretty popular during my senior year in high school. Even dudes who looked like gangmembers in my class say they saw the film at least 4 times at the multiplex, haha. No BSing. James Horner's orchestral score for the film was sold out for weeks at music stores everywhere (at least the compact disc version), and so was the "James Cameron’s Titanic" movie book (um, published by HarperPerennial) at major stores like Borders and Barnes & Noble. Also, Celine Dion’s hit song "My Heart Will Go On" was freakin’ being played on the L.A. radio station KIIS FM every other hour (okay, maybe I’m exaggerating with that part). The reason why I watched the flick in the first place was because my British Literature teacher (who worked at a Barnes & Noble bookstore and was able to hook me up with a copy of "James Cameron’s Titanic") was giving extra credit if my class showed him our ticket stubs. So how many times did I watch the 3-hour epic, you ask? Well let’s just say...the only other movies that I saw more than the 1998 Best Picture winner was The Phantom Menace (Hey, it was the first Star Wars film in 16 years. In fact, many Star Wars fans thought that Episode 1 was gonna surpass Titanic’s $600 million domestic box office gross. They were off by around $170 million), Revenge of the Sith and Transformers. How many times did I watch these three films, you ask? No comments.

Next year marks 10 years since I graduated from high school. I have no idea who’s planning the class reunion. Of course, in the Age of MySpace, Friendster and Facebook, are reunions even practical now? We may not see old classmates in person ever again, but at least we know what they’re up to by visiting their profiles on these websites (assuming they haven’t made their pages private, of course). Anyways, just felt like being nostalgic. That is all.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

THE DARK KNIGHT Teaser Trailer... The preview is currently being shown in front of I Am Legend at regular movie theaters everywhere, and was made available online in High Definition Sunday night. Here are a couple of screenshots from the trailer...

Batman stands atop the ledge of a skyscraper in Hong Kong.

I might watch I Am Legend again...but this time in IMAX. The reason being that I want to see the 6-minute preview to The Dark Knight that is shown in front of Legend. Heath Ledger is gonna be crazy as The Joker. "Why SO serious?"

Theatrical posters for THE DARK KNIGHT.

All images courtesy of Warner Bros. Studios

Monday, December 17, 2007

Alicia Keys.

RANDOM BABE BLOG #5... This latest entry goes to the one-and-only Alicia Keys. Have you seen that one Target commercial where she was singing her hit song "No One" while playing that piano with only one hand? Now that’s skills...

Alicia Keys in the 2006 action flick SMOKIN' ACES.

Just being facetious with that last sentence.

Alicia is one hot cowgirl...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

In I AM LEGEND, scientist Robert Neville (Will Smith) walks around the abandoned streets of New York City with his companion dog, Sam.

I AM LEGEND... I saw the film last night, and it was pretty good. Kinda slow in some parts, but still pretty suspenseful. I’d have to say the movie reminded me of 2000’s Cast Away and this year’s 28 Weeks Later. It reminded me of Cast Away in that for much of the film, we see Will Smith just milling about...going about his everyday life while traveling with his companion dog Samantha around Manhattan. In Cast Away, we see Tom Hanks milling about for much of the movie while traveling with his companion volleyball Wilson around that uncharted island. I Am Legend reminded me of 28 Weeks Later in that at the beginning of 28 Weeks, we see Robert Carlyle (of The Full Monty fame) hiding with a group of strangers inside a house in the middle of a rural area...with all windows and doors boarded up with wooden planks so the folks will go undetected by zombies lurking outside. Also, Great Britain was quarantined by the U.S. military so that the virus that was unleashed there won’t spread to other countries (which it does...starting with France). In I Am Legend, Will Smith’s house (or should I say, mansion) has all of its windows and doors protected by giant metal shields at night, since the mutants (they’re never referred to as zombies in the film, but they pretty much have the same characteristics as the infected folks in 28 Weeks, and countless of first-person shooter games like Resident Evil) can only go out at night since they’re sensitive to the Sun’s UV rays during the day. They’re "vampire zombies", haha. Also, New York City was "ground zero" for the virus...and was suppose to be quarantined by the U.S. military. But much like in 28 Weeks, the effort in NYC failed. And well... I don’t want to spoil the rest of the movie for ya, but let’s just say that much of Earth’s 6 billion people were infected and killed. This is what I call a holiday film...

Robert Neville comes face to face with an infected New Yorker.

Images courtesy of Warner Bros. Studios

Thursday, December 13, 2007

MYSPACE: A Barometer for Friendships? As stupid and moronic as that sounds, this website is somewhat of an interesting indicator of who your close friends are...assuming they're also on MySpace. The reason why I say this is because you can be cool with someone whenever you see them in person, but when you try to add them to your buddy list, they leave you hangin’. Fortunately, in 98% of the time, people who I think I was cool with actually added me to their buddy list (click here for 1% that didn’t. The other 1% will go unmentioned). Of course, the official and most obvious way of finding out if you’re considered a close pal is if you’re on their Top 8 list (or Top 40, the current maximum) on their profile. Even if you’re not, you can tell if you’re cool with someone if they at least left one comment (whether it’s an image or a profile comment) on your page. If a person has never posted even one comment, and they’ve been on my list for the past, um, 2 years...then that’s a good way of deciding whether or not I’m gonna delete them in the future. And I’ve already deleted a person or two based on that merit. You’re expendable, buddy! Of course, I’d also point out that I considered deleting someone if they didn’t approve a comment that I tried to post on their page in the past, but I myself have been guilty of deleting or denying a comment or two if it was awkward, made me look bad, or was slowing down the download time of my profile (because of some lame image or video that person was trying to send). Or I'm probably just being anal about all this, haha.

Back to the Top 8 thing, I actually hid my list because quite frankly, it’s a jinx since sooner or later I’m gonna remove someone from there ‘cause they pissed me off. I also hid my buddy list count—the reason being that the more people you have on your buddy list, the more often you’re gonna see your count shrink because people removed you...since they think all you’re doing is trying to rack up the number of "friends" you have on your page. It’s true. Of course, I just might be overanalyzing a bit. For the record, I currently have 218 friends... Most of them hot import models, haha.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Jessica Alba is expecting.

THERE IS NO GOD!! Otherwise, Jessica Alba wouldn’t have gotten knocked up...till she was 30. Which will be 4 years from now. Anyways, life won’t truly suck till she and the gal below both have little runts running around in their million-dollar homes. Which would be soon. I’ll get over it, I guess. Haha, just kidding. I’m not that despondent. On the outside.

Here's a bet to place in Vegas: Will Megan Fox get knocked up at the BEGINNING or END of her honeymoon?

Monday, December 10, 2007

Robert Downey Jr. as scientist Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man.

IRON MAN... I’m kinda surprised that it took me this long to write a Blog about next May’s film debut of this Marvel Comics superhero, what with the teaser trailer looking awesome and all (Robert Downey Jr. as scientist Tony Stark is hilarious...especially in this scene where a U.S. Army soldier is trying to take a photo with him inside a military Humvee: "I don’t want to see this up on your MySpace page. Please no gang signs. No throw it up, I’m kidding."), but oh well. The bottom-right image is a new photo of the armor-clad hero that was released by Paramount this week.

Iron Man.

Iron Man will be released on May 2, 2008, and along with Downey Jr. stars a formidable cast consisting of Terrence Howard, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeff Bridges and Samuel L. Jackson.

Iron Man outruns a pair of F-22 fighter jets.

Images courtesy of Marvel Characters, Inc. / Paramount

Sunday, December 09, 2007

PATRIOTS: 34, STEELERS: 13... All the sportswriters who said last week that New England's 12-0 parade was gonna get rained on by Pittsburgh today are a bunch of morons. Not that I'm rooting for New England to win it all or anything (Go Colts!). Either they'll run the table to the Super Bowl, or they'll end up like last season's Dallas Mavericks...who had the best regular season record in the NBA but ended up getting eliminated by the Golden State Warriors in the first round of the playoffs. That is all.

Tom Brady threw for four touchdowns in the New England Patriots 34-13 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers today.  The Pats are now 13-0 this season.
AP / Winslow Townson

Friday, December 07, 2007


ARCEE... I’m pretty sure there are a lot of other fanboys (and fangirls?) out there picturing this scene in the movie, but what would be cooler and hotter than seeing Megan Fox ride a motorcycle through the thick of battle in Transformers 2? Not only a motorcyle...but one that transforms into an Autobot that’s just as agile in, um, robot mode as it is vehicle mode? Not only an Autobot...but a female Autobot? Yep, that would be awesome. I’m actually referring to Arcee, who was suppose to appear in this year’s Transformers but was dropped from the script due to a lack of screentime that would explain why there’s a chick who’s a member of the robotic race. Arcee was replaced by Ironhide for the film, and a motorcyle was still the scene where (in case you forgot already) Josh Duhamel’s Captain Lennox rides an Aprilia RSV1000R down the street while taking on Blackout.

Art concepts of Arcee in robot and vehicle mode.

Hopefully Arcee will be in the sequel, and knowing Michael Bay and his inclination to feature hot chicks and hot chick moments in his movies, the Megan-Fox-as-a-sexy-motorcyclist idea isn’t so farfetched. Just get the WGA strike over with so the screenwriters can finish the script ASAP (but still make sure it's a kick-ass screenplay) and Ms. Fox (I dread the day I have to call her Mrs. Green. Do research on Google if you don’t know what I’m talking about) begins motorcyle driving lessons. Have her practice enough that she doesn’t have to wear a helmet during filming...since covering up her sexy face and hair with plastic and fiberglass kinda defeats the purpose of having Megan ride a motorcyle in the first place (To hell with her going slow during filming and then altering the appearance of her driving speed in postproduction... I wanna see Megan GO FAST!! Haha). Hey, Carrie-Anne Moss did it The Matrix Reloaded. I think. Haven’t seen that bloated mess of a film in a long time.

More art concepts of Arcee.

FYI, I wasn’t the one who altered this Foxy pic below. Though I’m pretty sure Sam Witwicky would be even more aroused if Mikaela showed up on that purple cycle as Sam was getting chased through that parking lot by Barricade. Hell, maybe even Barricade would’ve been distracted by Arcee’s presence. Do Transformers mate? Just kidding.

Best Film Scene of 2009: Megan Fox going 90 MPH on a transforming motorcycle.

All images courtesy of Dreamworks / Paramount

Thursday, December 06, 2007

NASA Merges With NASCAR... This satirical article by The Onion is more than 10 years old, but it’s still funny anyway. And for the record, the shuttle’s name is spelled Endeavour, not Endeavor. Oh well. Blame the British (Endeavour was the name of a British ship, commanded by James Cook, more than 200 years ago. Hey, this Blog was nerdy already) for adding a ‘u’ after ‘o’ in words like that, as well as flavour and labour. And spelling theater ‘theatre’ and kilometer ‘kilometre’. Okay, I’m veering waaay off-topic here. Just check out that article.

Space shuttle Endeavour takes part in Tennessee's Purolator 500.
Courtesy of The Onion

UPDATE (December 9): The reason why the Onion article is relevant right now is because space shuttle Atlantis, which is now scheduled to launch on flight STS-122 in January, is carrying onboard three green starting flags from the Daytona 500. Both NASA and NASCAR's "Great American Race" are celebrating their 50th anniversary next year. Once Atlantis lands after STS-122, one of the green flags will be waved at the beginning of the race in Florida next year, the second flag will be given to the winning Daytona driver, and NASA will keep the third.

The three Daytona 500 racing flags that will ride into space onboard the shuttle Atlantis, on flight STS-122.