Friday, April 30, 2021
Wednesday, April 28, 2021
Tuesday, April 27, 2021
Monday, April 26, 2021
Friday, April 23, 2021
Monday, April 19, 2021
Saturday, April 17, 2021
I'm not against a change of government in the great Canadian province of Ontario, but....
Here we go: A government built of slogans; just what this large and complicated province needs.
* "The taxpayers of Ontario!"
* "Lower taxes!"
* "Stop the gravy train!"
... and possibly my favourite:
"Make this province great again!"
Friday, April 16, 2021
Wednesday, April 14, 2021
"Simon, wake up....Apollo Thirteen's in trouble; they're coming back."
Quickly I awoke and began to process startling data inputted before my internal processors were at peak efficiency.
Over the course of getting ready for school I learned exactly what was known at that point from listening to the CFB Baden-Soellingen radio news. There had been an explosion on-board the Apollo 13 spacecraft's Service Module nullifying any chance of carrying out the latest mission to land two men on the moon. Now it was a matter of survival as electrical and environmental systems were quickly depleting. The third manned moon landing would have to wait.
When I arrived at the base's elementary school the talk on the playground was, no surprise, about the top news story. We were all space-race/moonshot kids so any developments of importance, especially those regarding the now troubled Apollo 13 mission, were a big deal.
Into Mrs. Quance's classroom: Through some process of elimination I was picked to stand before the class and update eager and smiling kids on the morning's most current affair. For valid reasons, I'm sure, I was considered to be the resident Jules Bergman: The red cue light came on and the floor director gave me the big signal. ("This is fun.")
The following few days were tense. We all 'prayed' for the safe return of American astronauts James Lovell, John "Jack" Swigert, and Fred Haise to the protective wrap of Earth.
In an age when the moniker of "hero" is thrown about constantly and unconsciously, for me real heroes are guys like the above. (Yuri Gagarin and Alan Shepard would be at the top of my space-traveller-as-hero list.)
Success came after much difficult work, which included constant calculations and recalculations, by the brilliant men and women at NASA and beyond, and by the astronauts themselves. The Apollo 13 Command Module (the capsule) splashed down onto the South Pacific Ocean on April 17th, 1970.
A couple of months ago I watched a documentary that did a fine job of retelling the tale, and after being refreshed by details and personal reminiscences from those involved with the near-tragic flight, I was moved by archival footage of the space capsule hanging from its cluster of three parachutes. Maybe part of the effect was from being taken back to a memorable moment of my childhood.
Monday, April 12, 2021
Sunday, April 11, 2021
Saturday, April 10, 2021
... It allows one to watch it but still get a lot of work done.
Friday, April 9, 2021
Thursday, April 8, 2021
Don't listen to them. Just do it to them.
Produce. Produce something. From this springs accomplishment.
Wednesday, April 7, 2021
Tuesday, April 6, 2021
Monday, April 5, 2021
Sunday, April 4, 2021
It’ll be an ‘unexpected’ failure. While heavily armoured, the Trump will have undersized tracks, and, even more disappointing, it’ll pack a small punch with its disproportionately undersized cannon.
The Trump is such a failure that the type is quickly passed down to National Guard units, some of which elect to paint the tanks' turrets a bright orange. But the worst indignation is this: The Trump is referred to by its crews as “The Peashooter”.
Saturday, April 3, 2021
"I've often wondered about the 2 distinct philosophies to space tech between the two superpowers. The US always seemed to be gunning for more and more complex systems of tech and machinery and the USSR seemed to be more leaning towards "good enough". I think they still use rocket tech that's over 40 years old. Hmmmm...."
Thursday, April 1, 2021
That great race to the island in the sky was won clearly by the USA, leaving the USSR in Earth orbit.
The contest itself was not only of note but of one note.
The Soviets were never serious about the affair. I won't go into a political history lesson here, but suffice to say, where the Americans hit the moon several times their opposition stayed in town, so to speak, establishing an outpost around Earth in the form of the Salyut (and later, Mir) space stations. On these platforms they learned about human physiology in weightlessness and conducted numerous scientific experiments.
From the Soviet Union's "feigned" moon attempt sprouted the outstanding Soyuz spacecraft, modified versions of which ferry men/women and supplies to the International Space Station today. (This space cadet considers the Soyuz "system" to be one of the great man-made machines.)
Throughout the 1960s the game became the moon: the ice hockey net; the basketball hoop; the goal line and the uprights. Easy to say in hindsight, yes, but there was a whole field to be played.
There's so much more to the story.
Cosmonauts: How Russia Won the Space Race
Tonight at 10 p.m. on TVOntario