Friday, January 1, 2016

crescent moon hires


  1. This picture must have been taken when the moon was waxing. Right now it is waning.

    1. You are speaking with the most brand-spankin'-newest member of the East Bay Astronomical Association.

      Woot! Woot!

      I have no idea what I am doing, but I am looking forward to taking my little 3.5" Cassegrain up there so they can help me align the finder scope with the main scope. I need a damn tripod for the thing, as well, but I will take care of that in relatively short order.

      The goal for the moment is to simply become more acquainted with the moon and reacquainting myself with the history of NASA. Y'know, Gene Kranz was pitching his book, Failure is Not an Option, the summer that I was there for the oral history project in 2000. On the inside flap of my copy Kranz wrote, "Michael and Laurie. AIM HIGH!" And there are the signatures of about 6 other guys in the program at the time, mainly mission control guys.

      It's so hokey... yet Apollo 13 remains among my favorite films.

    2. Yes, Apollo 13 is a favorite of mine too! I feel very lucky to have grown up in the '60's when the manned space flight program was happening. It captured my imagination from an early age, Mercury, Gemini, and then Apollo. I remember when one of the earlier Apollo flights was orbiting the moon and I and kept looking up at the moon like I was going to see this little capsule a quarter millions miles away! Duh! But I was hooked, and it was such a source of pride for the nation even though at that time NASA wasn't doing self-esteem programs for the Muslim world. Can you believe it! :0)

    3. One thing that I do not understand is why the space program was not more popular with counterculture kids.

      This was before my time, but I definitely know a thing or two about the American counterculture and "human potential movement" of the 60s and 70s.

      One would think that these would be the people most interested in exploring the cosmos.

      But, not so much.

      I understand, of course, that they also associated NASA with the military, despite the fact that it is a civilian organization and many - including Senator Walter Mondale who I voted for in 1984 - felt that the ear-marked money was better spent on domestic programs, during and just after LBJ and the "Great Society."

      Nonetheless, what a terrible failure of the imagination among young people who saw themselves as on the cutting edge of cultural evolution.

      I love the American counterculture from that time and I love the space program, but neither loved one another.

    4. "One thing I do not understand is why the space program was not more popular with counterculture kids."

      Some of the reasons you mentioned are undeniably true.
      Also: Being entranced by space travel and exploration is dependent on having a sense of vision about what humanity is capable of that has nothing to do with partisan politics. It transcends everything. It is connected to a pure sense of wonder at who we are and what we can discover about the biggest questions that surround us.
      I think it requires you to have a basic love and appreciation for the human race. Much of the counterculture was too politically and culturally self-obsessed to look outwards enough to be awestruck by what Mankind could do. We should be awestruck. There's plenty of reason to be. And it's good for us.

    5. You know, I always found the old "the money could be spent on domestic programs" to be a lazy, ignorant political cop out (now there's an expression you don't hear much these days!), not so much a real argument but rather a feel-good-look-at-me-I-care slogan that required people to do nothing. There were lots of things we could have cut for "domestic programs. " In truth, I believe that if we had had the will to "spend more on domestic programs" we would have done so irrespective of the space program. In fact, we did do a quite a lot of social spending, but the results weren't always so great. It's not as if we could have cured the sick, fed the hungry, and educated a society of Einsteins if that darned NASA wasn't sucking up the whole budget.

  2. OT
    That guy in the "Welcome to Sweden" video is very upset about something. What could it be?

    1. He is a bit too right-wing for my taste, frankly, but he still has every reason to be very pissed-off. I don't know how long I will leave him up. Maybe a few days, but he definitely represents the mood of many Europeans. The hard, racist right is going to make political gains because of this immigration stupidity, but I am convinced that most Europeans who want to see the immigration slowed or halted do so not out of racism, but out of a practical view of what this vast immigration out of the Middle East and North Africa may do to their countries. They are the native population, after all, and I am certain that very many do feel invaded.

      You don't have to be a genius to realize that if you simply kick open the floodgates chaos will result, which is precisely what is happening.

      Sweden is literally destroying itself out of obediance to multiculturalism.

      The great irony, of course, is that the migrants are generally as conservatie as one can possibly get. Big numbers of these folk, according to the polling, favor the death penalty for apostasy and the hacking off of body parts in various creative ways for certain crimes. And, needless to say, I do not need to tell you how much they love the Jews.

      This is like watching a surreal train wreck in slow motion.

    2. Oh, and btw, how does he conclude it?

      Something like, "Sweden is what Tumblr would like if Tumlbr were a country!"


    3. He is certainly very passionate. :0)

  3. Space program? Spaced out program....

    "In an interview with New Hampshire’s The Conway Daily Sun, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said that she would investigate Area 51 and UFOs if she were elected."

    1. "“Yes, I’m going to get to the bottom of it,” she told Steer enthusiastically."

      I think she's already gotten to the bottom.


      Proof she knows more than she's letting on, Jeff.