Freedom 7 + 55 years

Freedom 7 + 55 years

As I am writing this, it is the 55th anniversary of the launch of the Mercury Spacecraft, Freedom 7, our first manned spaceflight. It’s hard to underestimate how important it was to the national psyche after being upstaged by the Russians (RUSSIANS!) several times from first satellite, first spacecraft to the moon, first spacecraft to use solar-cells, first to photograph another body up close, and so on and so on. It was especially difficult,...

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Ed Mitchell and Apollo 14

Ed Mitchell and Apollo 14

The passing of Apollo 14 astronaut, Ed Mitchell, recently marks in a way, “the beginning of the end” of the Apollo era. As I write the I am listening to the air-to-ground audio of their mission, that occurred 45 years ago in February, 1971. Mitchell’s colleagues, commander and first American in space, Alan B. Shepard, and command-module pilot, Stu Roosa both passed away some time ago, leaving Ed as the sole representative of the third landing...

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Ms. Astronaut

Ms. Astronaut

Not too long ago I attended a talk by Stephan Pastis the creator of one of my favorite comic strips: Pearls Before Swine. Of course he described the process of getting a strip selected for syndication (a process ultimately aided by Scott Adams), how many times he had to submit and so on. This reminded me of my own experience in that arena. Being a “child” of the 60’s…uh, not the bead wearing “peace, man!” slacker types, my sister filled that...

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Weird Crap in Mike’s Place: Twentieth Anniversary Mac

Weird Crap in Mike’s Place: Twentieth Anniversary Mac

It’s no secret that Apple has produced a number of oddball machines: the spasm-inducing Mac Portable, the original Color Mac, the eMate, and so on. Toss into this hodge-and-or-podge is the Twentieth Anniversary Mac, otherwise referred to as the “TAM.” The TAM was a boutique computer, designed by Sir Jony himself, and celebrated the 20th anniversary of Apple. Released in the spring of 1997, the TAM was initially priced at $7499, and was the...

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Confessions of a Global Warming Skeptic

Confessions of a Global Warming Skeptic

The predictions were dire. Scientists warned of crop losses that were sure to doom billions to starvation, entire countries would be wiped out and the seasons as we know them would all but vanish. As familiar as these headlines sound, they are not from Al Gore’s latest “documentary” but come from febrile writings scattered across 1890s on through the early 1930s. The enemy in this case was not global warm..I mean, climate change, but was...

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Wheels of Clay – Stephen Hawking

Wheels of Clay – Stephen Hawking

It’s no secret that Prof. Stephen Hawking is a “rock-star scientist”, as much as Einstein was in his day. Both have the reputation of being considered about the smartest people who’ve ever trod this veil of tears, even if only a few people can actually understand the substance of their contributions to science. Contributions which are substantial, whether understood or not by the public. Hawking’s reputation is naturally enhanced by his tragic...

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