Saturday, August 25, 2012

Death of a Hero

Neil Armstrong has died at age 82, due to complications with the cardiovascular surgery he had earlier this month. A brave man, and a humble man. He climbed aboard a spacecraft as big as a small closet with Buzz Aldrin, a spacecraft that they didn't even know was going to work, and landed on the moon for the first time, with only 17 seconds of propellant left. So it almost didn't work.

Neil and Edwin "Buzz" spent  21 hours on the surface of the moon, three of which were spent outside, then climbed back aboard the Eagle lander and shot back into lunar orbit, to join back up with Michael Collins to head back to Earth.

And then Neil said no more about it. He didn't seek fame, and turned fame away when it sought him. To have done such a thing, to have said the famously botched words, become such an important historical figure, and then to go back to your life... the very definition of humility. We need more like him. On this world, and on others.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

My wife has been drawing again...

Monday, August 06, 2012

At 8:30 PM yesterday, a rover as heavy as a small car landed on Mars. The Mars Curiosity Rover also known as the Mars Science Laboratory sent back a picture of it's wheel on the Martian surface. The landing went in multiple stages, you couldn't just surround it with balloons like the Spirit and Opportunity rovers and let it hit the ground - it was too big! A rocket-powered crane hovered 20 feet in the air to lower the rover safely to the ground. This feat cost a whopping 2.5 billion dollars. That seems like a lot, until you consider the fact that the ENTIRE MISSION cost a little less than two and a half B-2 stealth bombers. So really it's pretty cheap. That rocket-crane trick WILL come in useful in the future, for carefully lowering heavy things where there is no atmosphere. It was a worthwhile investment, especially compared to the expenditure of killing people.

Of course, the local newspaper was FULL of online comments about this "Boondoggle" costing "so much money" and someone actually asked "What has the space program done directly for you, ever?"

So I think I will come up with a short list. But before that, I would like to mention, that the amount of money spent in 2011 on the military (JUST 2011) is more than NASA has ever spent. Ever. From the very beginning. In addition, a few years back we gave even MORE money to a bunch of bankers to reward them for crashing the economy, and that amount of money is about $150 Billion more than the entire budget of NASA, from the very beginning. And I can promise you that NASA has done more for each of you, directly, than a banker ever has or will.

So, on to a short list of what NASA has done for you:

Disposable diapers (Don't sit there and tell me you've never used or worn one)
Miniature Electronics (Cell phones that do more than a computer did ten years ago.)
Good rechargeable batteries
Good computers
Accurate maps
Weather tracking (hurricanes and thunderstorms)
Flat panel screens
SMALL flat panel screens
Fuel cells
Global Positioning Satellites
The ability to watch the Oympics, no matter where they are and where you are.
All these 18" Directv dishes on people's roof
Heat resistant ceramics
Memory Foam


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Six Reasons to Have an Old Truck

  1. They're cheap.
    They are sometimes 1/20 or 1/30 the price of a new one. They are so much cheaper, that the bad gas mileage really doesn't make much of an impact. People who have made car payments every month of their adult life cannot conceive that two tanks of gas per month is less money than pretty much any new car payment. In addition to the purchase price being less, you will find that insurance is cheaper. Parts are cheaper as well, since there are so MANY of the old fullsize trucks running around.
  2. They're durable.
    If you've never owned one, you may not realize how indestructible these old trucks are. But you see them. You see them on the road, with a shallow dent in the fender. A deep scratch on the door. A scraped bumper. What you don't realize is that these seemingly minor blemishes very likely sent another, lesser car to a scrapyard.
  3. Other drivers steer clear
    Ever notice how owners of certain automobile brands have a tendency to do stupid things? Lexus, Acura, and Infiniti owners are among the worst. They tailgate. They cut you off. They suddenly realize that their exit is on the other side of the highway. They run red lights, and don't notice when the light turns green. Well, enter the Ugly Old Truck, and suddenly, those luxury car drivers aren't so high and mighty. They want to try to squirt through that red light? Go ahead, drive through the green and watch them panic. They have learned that their car will end up just as ugly as yours if they don't watch it. And as an added bonus, when someone hits your vehicle that you purchased for $1,000, typically the repair bills for minor dents are enough to total it – so you end up getting more money from their insurance company than you paid for the truck in the first place. Drive carefully, don't cause any accidents that are your fault, and the red light runners, tailgaters, stop sign runners of the world will pay for your truck.
  4. They are environmentally friendly.
    While the gas mileage may not be as good as some of the newest and silliest looking hybrid cars available today, there is more to the environment than gas mileage. One popular environment-saving activity is recycling. Lets talk recycling, shall we? Lets look past the obvious, the fact that simply driving an old truck around is keeping 4,000-5,000 pounds of steel, aluminum, rubber, plastic, and other material out of a scrapyard. If you buy replacement parts, the auto parts store will want your old part. Buy an alternator, starter, battery, water pump, or a host of other parts, and you have to turn in your old part – or pay a core charge. The old part is shipped to a facility and remanufactured – bearings are replaced, electrical parts are refurbished, everything is cleaned, and then that part ends up right back on the shelf.
  5. They are useful.
    Every had to borrow a truck? Or rent a truck? If you already have it of course you won't have to. You can do everything from hauling furniture home to put in your house, to pulling a car out of a snow-covered ditch in a blizzard. Almost any trailer you're likely to pull is going to be no problem for the old fullsize truck.
  6. They go forever.
    Ford 300. Chevrolet 350. Dodge Slant Six. Ford 302. Chevrolet 305. Dodge 318. These are the names of engines that are, by and large, too simple to break. Simple maintenance such as oil changes, replacing some worn out parts when it's time, will allow one of these engines to run easily past 300,000 miles. In many cases, the truck will fall apart around a perfectly good engine. If your truck has a manual transmission, it's even better, there really isn't much that can happen. There have been reports of Chevy and Ford trucks, with 5 speeds, running over a million miles.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Random thought...

I think I've noticed something. People who want flying cars, are never motorcycle riders.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Little Hint, for the Incredibly Unobservant

It seems that there is a bit of a misunderstanding between those who read books for fun, and those who won't even read them when they need to. So I'm going to just put it out there, since apparently, nobody else has:

If someone is reading a book, they are not bored. Them reading that book is just a more interactive version of watching TV. The reader of that book does not need you to rescue them from the boredom of their book. The book is not boring. Talking to your uncultured TV watching sorry self IS boring. This includes also asking the reader about the book they are reading. Books are more complex than movies and TV shows. It cannot really be explained "what the book is about", if it's a good book. In fact, if you can explain in detail what the book is about in one or two short sentences, it's not a good book.  If you want to know more about it, for crying out loud, it's 2012. Pull your sticky fast-food-grease-smudged phone out of your pocket and look it up.

And don't think that the bookworm feels that they are better than you. I mean, honestly they are, but they don't feel that way. They just want to read. So get lost.

Friday, July 06, 2012

12 problems that only busty girls have

My poor wife. She has lived all of these, except for the one on the airplane.

Look Here