Category Archives: Reblog

The SpaceX Starship is a very big deal

This is deep

Casey Handmer's blog

Part of my series on common misconceptions in space journalism.

SpaceX has been working on some variant of the Big Falcon Rocket for almost a decade, with a publicly announced architecture for three years. The target performance figures are on the Starship website, endlessly dissected on Twitter, Reddit, and NASA spaceflight forums, and there’s even a livestream of construction.

Yet none of the oft-published mainstream articles seem to capture the magnitude of the vision that Starship embodies. Starship prompts superlatives, but by the end of this post the reader will understand not only how big Starship is, but also that it’s as small as it can possibly be.

Image result for starship

Since Starship was first unveiled as BFR/BFS at the IAC in 2016, the rocket has undergone a number of design changes. Together with Elon’s rather cryptic statement that the hardest part of the Starship design process was…

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Synchronized Landing

Unless you have been living under a rock, you now know that yesterday SpaceX accomplished something spectacular. That being the launch and partially successful landing of the Falcon Heavy boosters and the delivery of “Starman” in Elon Musk’s vintage cherry red Tesla Roadster. Both side boosters landed successfully back at the Cape as shown below. Unfortunately the core section failed to initiate the final landing burn and crashed next to the recovery drone ship. YouTube, Reddit, and Twitter are replete with coverage and discussion.

I have selected a few choice (short) videos below for your enjoyments.

Note that even though the bottom videos from the returning side boosters shown above are supposed to be from each individual booster, someone goofed and we see the same video stream displayed on the left and right. SpaceX corrected this with a later video, but that is not currently available on YouTube.

Below is one of the better spectator videos of the landings. (There are many)

Let the New Space Race begin!

A Blast (off) From My Past

In honor of today’s Falcon Heavy Launch

Originally published https://contrafactual.com/2017/02/19/a-blast-off-from-my-past/

The image below is a screen capture from one the videos in the previous post on today’s SpaceX CRS-10 launch.


Life comes full circle. In a much earlier post I described what it was like to be standing at the water’s edge in the foreground at the last ever Saturn V launch.

  • The Saturn V F1 engines were the most powerful rocket engines ever made. Each one produced over 1.5 million pounds of thrust. The five F1 engines on the Saturn V made it the most powerful launch vehicle ever at over 7.6 million pounds of thrust. Just over forty years ago on May 14, 1973 [almost 44 years as of this writing], I was lucky enough to be among the press and dignitaries sitting on the bleachers or standing in front of the turning basin at the Launch Complex 39 Press Site for the last ever Saturn V launch. I was 19 years old. My best friend’s aunt was a professional photographer. She got each of us a press pass for the launch of the Skylab space station. For a teenage space fan, who had watched every manned launch since Alan Shepard’s first suborbital Mercury launch, this was truly “dying and going to heaven”. For several days before the launch we got to go on exclusive tours of the launch site. We were able to see Walter Cronkite’s broadcast booth. NASA loaded us up with press packets and thick tomes of specifications. I can not begin to tell you how totally cool this was.


On launch day I was one of the throng of people standing to the left of the countdown clock in the picture above.

  • I was just three miles away from the launch pad. When the engines fired up, the sound of the F1 engines was felt as much as heard. The low base rumbling seemed to reach directly into my chest and vibrate my heart and lungs [dare I say it was nearly orgasmic?]. As the Saturn V rose into the sky, I could smell the burned kerosene of the exhaust as I felt the waves of warm air wafting over me. 
  • This was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity.

The SpaceX image inspired me to search the Internet and YouTube for Skylab launch images. I scored big time. The second image is screen shot from the video below. Back in the day I had a fetish for white jeans (probably expressing my inner John Lennon). Trust me – I am in there somewhere.

Full video from 1973

https://youtu.be/JzCXYd2v3xE

The Internet is amazing. Welcome to the future.



Links

https://contrafactual.com/2013/07/20/apollo-11-main-engines-found/

How many?

Reblogging in light of North Korea’s latest nuclear test …

Contrafactual

Can you guess?

How many nuclear devices has humanity detonated since the first one at Trinity New Mexico?

I’ll give you a hint …

1 – Trinity NM
2 – Hiroshima
3 – Nagasaki
4 – that one in the Pacific
10 – a few more in the Pacific (Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands)
50 – a bunch at the US Nevada Test Site
100? 200? 500? (All of the testing by all of the nations)
1091?

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The Nudist War 2017

I started writing this four years ago when Zombie Apocalypse stories, TV shows, and movies were all the rage. The first post was in July of 2013, titled Day 42. The final post of the Day 42 series occurred in January of 2014 titled Day 53. After some consideration, I realized that Day 42 was too vague and decided to re-post as The Nudist War which was a better, more descriptive title. I reworked each of the chapters, adding additional flourishes and expanding on the plot. Individual chapters were titled TNW – Day xx

TNW – Day 56 was originally posted in mid-2014. For various personal reasons the story has been on hiatus since the original TNW – Day 56 was published. 

I began work on TNW – Day 57 a few days ago after re-reading the entire series. I soon realized that the content I had written had actually occurred on Day 56, so I merged the old TNW – Day 56 with the new Day 57 material. I posted the new and expanded TNW – Day 56 earlier today. It is my intention to continue adding to The Nudist War on a semi-regular basis. I have already written portions of the ending chapters. Now I need to get from here to there.

If you are new to this blog and unfamiliar with The Nudist War, you can start at the beginning by simply reading on below. If you are a long time follower you might still want to start at the beginning to refresh your memories of the story line. 

Zombie Apocalypse stories aren’t for everyone, but I think you will find that this is not your typical Zombie Apocalypse story. Give it a chance. I have also written several short stories that you can find under the Fiction tab. If you like Sci-Fi with a twist, you might enjoy these as well. 

So without further ado, I give you The Nudist War…

• • •

Originally posted January 2014 …

This is the beginning of a serialized novel. I hope you like it. Portions of The Nudist War were previously published as the Day 42 series.

Copyright © 2017 by Christian Bergman, All rights reserved.

All people, places, and events are fictional … except when they aren’t.

The Nudist War

Would real Zombies wear clothes? The answer could go either way. But depending on the circumstances surrounding the Zombification, the answer could very easily be no. If the Zombification occurred to a hospitalized subject after a period of illness, the subject would be wearing at most a hospital gown. Anyone who has worn a hospital gown knows how easily they fall off. If the subject turned at home, they might be wearing little or no clothing. Either way, once an item of clothing fell off … or was ripped off … it is unlikely that it would be replaced. It is even possible that a newly turned Zombie would preferentially rip it’s clothes off because they were foreign and unnatural.

The incidents below really happened. A quick internet search will readily confirm this. Might this not give us an inkling of how the Zombie Apocalypse begins?

• • •

Miami, FL May 26, 2012

A naked man was shot and killed by police after attacking a homeless man; chewing off most of his face, his nose, and one of his eyes. Dubbed the ‘Miami Zombie’ and the ‘Causeway Cannibal’ he sparked a local concern that the Zombie Apocalypse was at hand. This prompted the CDC to release a statement downplaying the reality of any Zombie Apocalypse and any connection to the ‘Miami Cannibal’.

~ CBS News Miami, 5/26/2012

• • •

Delray Beach, FL February 4, 2014

A crazed, naked man with “superhuman strength” was shot and killed by a Palm Beach County Sheriff’s sergeant after attacking several people including a retired NYPD officer, a 16-year-old female, and an 18-year-old male. The 18-year-old male, who was protecting his 16-year-old sister, suffered bite marks on his face and a lacerated ear.

~ The Palm Beach Post, 2/4/2014

• • •

>> NEXT: TNW – Day 42

Thunderstorms

This is another Father’s Day tribute to Bob (aka Dad).

From Welcome to the Future …

Despite the fact that my parents love for me caused them to be overly protective, my dad did something equally amazing for me. I have always loved thunderstorms. I love the lightning and I love the thunder. I think that thunderstorms are one of the most exhilarating of all natural phenomenon. There is a reason for this. My dad grew up in an orphanage. It was not uncommon at the time for single mothers who could not care for their children to abandon them at an orphanage. Summertime in Florida produces severe afternoon thunderstorms. The nuns at the orphanage were afraid that lightening would hit the building and set fire to it. Rather than face the possibility of an orphanage full of trapped children burning to the ground, whenever a thunderstorm approached, the nuns would make the children go outside and lie facedown in the grass until the storm passed. Needless to say, my dad was terrified of thunderstorms; shaking, vomiting, fetal position terrified of thunderstorms. Dad swore to himself that I was never going to be afraid of lightning and thunder like he was. From my earliest days my dad would pick me up and bounce me on his knee during storms. “See the lightning,” he would say, “now wait, here it comes … BADDA BOOM.” I would giggle and laugh. He showed no fear, why should I. Of course, I remember none of this. I was too young. But I do know that I love lightning and thunder. Whenever my dad told this story he would add one more thing … by making sure that I was never afraid of thunderstorms he had cured his own fear too.

  
Trying to proof-read the above is difficult through tear filled eyes. If there are typos, cut me some slack.

 Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there and to their children!

Bob

Robert Francis (Bob) Bergman 

Circa mid 1970s

[Click the images to zoom to full size]


YOKS (Ye Olde Kid Sister) posted the photo above of our Dad to Facebook today.

I took that photo during my “Black & White” photography period. My camera bag is prominently visible in the foreground. This is a classic Bob photo – beer in hand. Note the old school disposable “pop top” beer can and Bob’s signature white cowboy hat.

Below is another picture I took on a different fishing trip. This is actually a cropped digital image of a framed picture I have hanging on my staircase. It is my favorite photo of Dad.


 

Bob loved to fish and I frequently went along with him always getting on the road before sunrise. I was heavily into photography in the 70s and would go “fishing” with him just to get out and away from everything and to spend time alone with him. I am not sure exactly when these pictures were taken – I could probably find the negatives and give you the exact dates, but that would be irrelevant – mid 1970s is close enough. 

I put “fishing” in quotes because I mostly went for the solitude, sandwiches, beer, and photography. Fishing was very “zen” for Bob. Peace, quiet, solitude … and beer. Bob loved beer. Fishing wasn’t so much about catching fish as it was the entire experience. Sure he loved actually catching fish, but not catching fish was OK too. How does that old saying go … “the worst day fishing is better than the best day of work.”

Our “worst day of fishing” was the time we were out in Florida Keys in a rented boat and sheared the propeller shear pin on a sand shoal – with no extra shear pins. After several hours of trying to row back to shore with the single oar we had – including realizing we had snagged the line of a lobster/crab pot on the outboard motor, thus going nowhere – Bob decided to fashion a shear pin out of a heavy gauge fish hook. That did the trick and we limped back to the marina. Speaking of “lobsters” I was wearing shorts, no shirt, and no hat. Although by some miracle I did not blister, I was “cooked lobster red” for many days afterwards. Still better than “the best day of work.”

Bob would have loved this song …

Bob is no longer with us. Time may heal all wounds, but we still miss him.

Bob, wherever you are, this one’s for you …


 

Happy Father’s Day

Apple Support

Apple Support Rocks

Saturday March 27 approximately 1:00 PM … sanity is restored

It may be a while before this posts, that is, between now and when I finish it.

In my previous post I commented: Arthur C. Clark once said that “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic” except when it f*ck$ up, then it is like a curse from Marie Laveau. (I added the Marie Laveau bit)

Note: My friend also updated his iPhone 6s Plus and thought it went without a hitch. HOWEVER he just discovered that his App Store app is gone. He just called Apple Support and was told that he needed wipe his iPhone and and restore from scratch. Based on my experience there may be another approach but after three days of this I told him I would help him another day. That will be another blog post. UPDATE – my friend had set up Settings > General > Restrictions to turn off access to the App Store and that is why the App Store app disappeared. Sadly he only discovered this after resetting his phone to factory default … TWICE.

Based on personal evidence I conclude that the iOS 10.3.2 upgrade is flawed. I now extremely reticent to upgrade my other devices. 

Additionally I still don’t have all of my ringtones back. I now have most of them but not all. It may be less frustrating to just buy them again if I really want them. You see ringtones are entirely different from music or apps (or iBooks?) purchased from iTunes. Perhaps they are a throwback to the early days of cellphones. Ringtones cannot re-downloaded after purchase. It is a onetime thing. Backing them up requires syncing your iPhone to iTunes on a PC or Mac. I only got back the ones I did through the effort of upper level Apple iTunes Support.

My problem with this entire debacle is that I am so spoiled when it comes to Apple. I expect these kinds of issues with Windows and Linux. With Apple I expect it to “just work”. It always has for me. This time – for me – it failed to “just work.”

Anyway … back to Apple Support … throughout this entire ordeal every Apple Support person I have dealt with from Tier One to Upper Levels has been gracious, calm, and absolutely committed to resolving my issues. I don’t expect technology to function flawlessly at all times (Apple excluded – as I said I’m spoiled), but what do appreciate are companies dedicated to having happy customers. Apple certainly qualifies in this regard. Attention Tim Cook – you should be very proud of your support team.

Papers, have your papers out and ready

Did I say “papers?” I meant “permits.”

I generally try to keep this blog as apolitical as possible … but “I’m angry as hell an not going to take it any more.” Below is but one example of a nationwide epidemic.

Armed Agents Raid Park, Destroy Food, Seize Food Carts — Over Improper Permitting

http://thefreethoughtproject.com/food-raid-armed-agents/

Excerpts below …

Government agents have again let their true colors shine, in a latest attempt to fight one of the most pernicious and brutal crimes embattling far too many communities across the nation — a lack of permit.

These fearless agents of the State, peace officers, not only seized the food supposedly so in need of a permit, they dumped punch into storm drains and confiscated coolers, tables, chairs, canned soda, and literally everything in the vendors’ possession — the entire raid, captured on Facebook Live video.

Ironically-monikered peace officers claimed without elaborating or providing specific details on the video they’d received complaints — but the outpouring of support from the public and church communities, as well as outrage over the raid, did not evince any complainants relieved to see the picnicking quashed.

From diligent street vendors offering tasty bites to kids’ offering family-recipe lemonade to parched passersby, one thing has been made abundantly clear — permitting is out of control.

Permits are the government’s way of bilking people of money under the petulant guise of public safety — but the truth about permitting is much simpler and infinitely less benign. 

‘You aren’t allowed to profit unless I get my cut,’ is what the State really says when Mexican food vendors, flood victims, little girls, and countless others receive fines and tickets — or have their possessions confiscated — due only to lack of permit.

That the Sacramento food vendors didn’t shirk legal responsibilities and had applied for the necessary permits when cops seized their wares again proves the issue has little to do with the permit, itself, and everything to do with an unreasonable government running roughshod on all of us.

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

As it always has been …

It’s all about the Benjamins

Read the entire article at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/food-raid-armed-agents/


Latest SpaceX Mission Notes

I am replaying the video for your convenience

 

Falcon 9 first stage by the numbers 

Speed of sound = 343 m/s

Max speed on ascent = 1685 m/s (Mach 4.9 @ 68 km)

Max altitude (apogee) = 166 km

Max speed on descent = 1407 m/s (Mach 4.1 @ 65km)

Stage separation (2:47) to touchdown (9:24) = 6m 37s

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

Go back and rewatch the video while paying close attention to SPEED and ALTITUDE 

The Falcon 9 first stage trajectory is quite interesting …

Is This How You’ll Be Getting To Work Soon?!!

Practically issues aside … this rocks!

THE EDITOR'S JOURNAL

Wecome to the future!

When this first came out a lot of people across the net thought it was fake. It’s very real! The flying hoverboard is designed by Franky Zapata of Zapata Racing (who makes the water based version also). It had been in development for 4 years when he took it out for it’s first test run.

It has 4 x 250 horsepower engines and the intention was to create something that could make a man fly despite being so small. He wanted it to operate without helicoptery bits or a large jet backpack that indeed people would think it was not possible and it was a hoax.

He succeeded.

Next Zapata is talking about flying for longer lengths and flying cloud high. He is musing about  government and safety clearances…so who knows??!!

You thought your car insurance was high? Imagine the insurance on this baby! 😯

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This Little Guy Dares You Not To Fall In Love With Him…

Kitten Academy

Live stream

https://youtu.be/YPv9yKC76hE?rel=0

THE EDITOR'S JOURNAL

…So I’m minding my own business surfing on the net when I came across something very special.

It contained tiny balls of fur falling about, rolling, standing in their food, wrassling and scuttling everywhere… I started watching and as time was ticking by I resized the page and stuck it in the right hand corner of the desktop 27 incher…so I could (conceivably) carry on working…that seems like weeks or months ago now…and I’m still watching!

My new addiction is called Kitten Academy. A 24 hour live streaming of a cat foster home where you can watch kittens get born and grow into fine young kitten men and women and ‘graduate’ from the Academy once adopted.
Trust me when I say no description can do it justice. You have to go there for yourself and have your tiny hearts broken by these blessed creatures.

Tell them The…

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1/26/17 Mom writes: Kicking RA’s Butt!!

This is good news …

maggiesblog0019

Hi, it’s Liz. Maggie has been kind enough to lend me her blog so I can post about my RA journey so far.

First, though, I need to tell you how much my physical activity had fallen off.

3 years ago, I was a Tae Kwon Do student, active with a personal trainer at the gym, and went horseback riding and bike riding with Jamie whenever we could.

A little at a time, I noticed it at the gym first, my ability to do the exercises diminished. Also, I had a sharp increase of pain in Tae Kwon Do. Sitting on horseback became impossible – much less mounting the horse in the first place. The bike was out of the question due to hip pain. Eventually I had to stop all these activities. Soon, I could not sit, sleep, or walk properly because of pain. The pain in my left…

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Make Money Great Again

Please reblog this

Contrafactual

Sign the petition at https://www.mmga.org/

A petition to be presented to President Donald Trump to sign an Executive Order that allows a choice in currency consistent with the spirit and intent of the Constitution. https://www.mmga.org/#choice

THE PETITION

We The People request the new administration Make Money Great Again; that gold and silver may freely be used as money alongside United States dollars.

The Constitution explicitly recognizes gold and silver as money. We therefore petition that:

  1. All tax discrimination against gold and silver must cease, including the removal of all capital gains tax on holdings of, and transactions in gold and silver, and;
  2. That all impediments to using gold and silver as constitutionally-recognized money be removed.

We Petition the Administration to sign this Executive Order to Make Money Great Again.

The full text of the proposed executive order is below and HERE(PDF)


Sign the petition at https://www.mmga.org/

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1/17/17 The “Mischief With Maggie” Series has launched!

maggiesblog0019

Dear Readers,

Maggie and I have been quiet a while. We have been busily reworking our previous manuscript. I am proud and pleased to announce that the first book in the “Mischief With Maggie” series is published in both ebook (Kindle) format and paperback. They are available at Amazon.com.

510yfBsth+L._SX384_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

The paperback edition is available for $4.00 US. This book is not illustrated because the photos I had were not high res enough for the software. A disappointment, but nonetheless, I humbly offer it to you.

This is the picture you will see for the ebook:

frontcover.jpg

The ebook sells for $1.50 US.

This first story outlines the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of adopting not just a shelter dog, but the longest-term resident of the shelter, and a dog classified as a “Pit bull” to boot.

Thank you to my WP family for all your support. It has been a very long time coming…

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Inventor of the Day: Dr. Peter Schlumbohm

More Chemex related trivia …

SuperRadNow

Doesn’t that name just roll off the tongue?!

Though you may not know his name, I can almost guarantee you know his greatest invention – the Chemex coffee maker. The creation is part chemist’s funnel, part Erlenmeyer flask, with a blond leather band in the middle corseting its hourglass curves. It is an iconic symbol of German modernism and simple, functional Bauhaus style.  Its success launched its inventor, Dr. Peter Schlumbohm (1896-1962), into the arms of the design establishment (the coffee maker has been a part of the MOMA’s design collection since 1944, just three years after Schlumbohm patented it), and in the early years of World War II, it was considered a patriotic alternative to products made from metals and plastics (which were essential to the war effort). A Time Magazine article from November 1946 quotes the ebullient inventor as saying, “with the Chemex, even a moron can make…

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Energy Density

Contrafactual

Log Scale

http://xkcd.com/1162/

The energy density of fissionable uranium in megajoules/kilogram is 1.7 million times that of gasoline. This one of the reasons for why we cannot choose to ignore nuclear power in our energy mix.

The number of deaths, injured, or sickened from the combined nuclear incidents of Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima is less than the annual deaths, injured, or sickened in the coal, oil, solar, or wind industries. The global push to decommission nuclear power plants in wake of Fukushima is driven by baseless fear and media hype.

Suggested blogs and podcasts

http://atomicinsights.com

http://www.hiroshimasyndrome.com

http://pandoraspromise.com

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Every Beach Needs to Be Clothing Optional and Here’s Why…

My old time followers will recall my serialized novel “The Nudist War” where the infected tend to be naked for a variety of reasons that should be readily apparent given any amount of thought. I have been dealing with an excess of “life” lately and it sits unfinished.

That having been said, I am not a naturist or nudist (at least not in public), yet I think that society is too hung up on body image and nudity. I found this article worth sharing.

Clothing Optional Trips

Yes this post is my opinion as to why every beach should have a clothing optional section but my reasons for this are probably not what you would think. Follow me and see if you agree. /Cover photo from PeterGreenberg.com

kardash There is nothing real about the Kardashians yet they are role models to many young women and men.

Nothing about the Kardashian family and their “reality” is real. Yet they are undeniably the hottest thing in Hollywood and are role models (dear God did I just write that?) to countless fans including many young women. Their fashion, their product endorsements and their bodies sell.

While I disagree with a lot about what the Kardashian sisters represent, it’s their bodies that I have the most trouble with and why I wrote this post. I know you’re asking, “What do the Kardashians have to do with promoting access to clothing optional/nude beaches…

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Storseisundet – The Most Fearsome Bridge Ever

The video was amazing.

ChinGum

In Norway, July 7, 1989 has been opened Atlantic road, consisting of several bridges, but one bridge is built a bit unusual, it Storseisundet Bridge. Bridge is the longest bridge of 8 “Atlantic Road”, its length is 260 meters. Bridge deviates into the sea at 23 meters. It was planned that he would be built horizontally, but for unknown reasons, has changed the original project. And now it looks like a roller coaster. Those who have not seen the bridge before, may be frightened, approaching close to him. After a certain angle, it seems that the bridge is not completed and looks like a ski jump, but do not be afraid, because the bridge is completely finished, but the architect who built this bridge explicitly humorous or loves to ride a roller coaster.

Storseisundet - The Most Fearsome Bridge Ever

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Post 1075: Happy Birthday, Andy & Dougy!

weggieboy's blog

It’s here! The kitty boys have a birthday today! You can read the whole story of how I acquired the kitty brothers, written at the time I got them, by clicking on “Andy and Dougy come Home”, just above the post headline, but today is what we celebrate. Andy and Dougy are five years old today, and doing fine!

Andy was so ugly he was cute! Andy was so ugly he was cute! (This was my first look at Andy, age six weeks.) He grew up to be a beauty, as did Dougy. 

Of course, you can see how cute Andy and Dougy were at three months by looking at the top of this blog. By then, I was totally in love with them!

"Peek-a-boo!"“Peek-a-boo!” Through the years, the kitty boys have amused me, brought joy into my life! Notice his “horns” are up!

Dougy has the same idea, but wants the same carrier as Andy. He could have the bottom one, but that's not the one Andy has. Cat logic!Sometimes they have disagreements (Andy’s in the top carrier, where Dougy decided he…

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6/29/16 A Trip to TX, part 2

maggiesblog0019

By this time, we were well on our way to eating ourselves through Texas. There were a number of restaurants near the hotel, or a short drive away, and we decided we’d get stuff to eat that we wouldn’t normally get at home. Besides smoky Texas BBQ, we had excellent Japanese Ramen (the real stuff), wonderful Thai, and discovered an eclectic little coffee shop that we fell in love with. We were having a great time! Jamie was working, attending meetings, and stressing. I don’t blame him! cb of course, was the host with the most.

The competition for the ROVs was in full swing. We wouldn’t see Jamie until much later in the evening, so Jim, cb, and I took a tour through Downtown Houston to the Museum of Natural Science. We went into a butterfly enclosure, scoped out the fabulous Gem Vault, and, since I was reading “Antony and…

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6/28/16 A Trip to Texas, part 1

maggiesblog0019

Hi, this is Liz. Before I begin, I’d like to thank everyone for hanging in there while we took a week off for Jamie to compete in the MATE International Robotics competition. I know a lot of people like posting their vacation stuff, hence announcing to the world that they are gone and their houses are unattended, but I’m not like that, being made of more suspicious stuff.

I would secondly like to say that Maggie is sleeping a lot and healing up slowly from her adventures of being boarded. She is due to get the little staple out of her snout on July 5. Maggie was nice enough to lend me her blog so I could tell all of you about our trip.

Where to begin? We flew out a day earlier than the rest of the Robotics team. I personally wasn’t up to the grueling task of awakening at…

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Shame Time

So here’s the deal – 

I am forced to lay some shame smackdown on you – yes you – I’m talking to YOU my beloved readers.

Since I first reblogged 

https://contrafactual.com/2016/05/28/help-save-dragons-leg/

closely followed by

https://contrafactual.com/2016/05/28/i-cant-do-it-all-myself/

The two posts above have gotten a total of 12 “Likes” in addition to the original post

https://electrikkiss.com/2016/05/27/help-save-dragons-leg/     

which has also gotten 12 “Likes”

That’s 24 “Likes”

Guess how many donations poor little Dragon has gotten since May 27?

Go on guess … seriously when you look at the pictures of poor little Dragon’s infected leg and read about the torment he had been through at the shelter you’ve got to figure there would be a flood of donations.

Four donations 

FOUR DONATIONS (4)

Two of them from the same person. So technically only three donations.

Most of you reading this have pets. Many of these were rescue pets. Pets you love like your children. What if something happened to one of them and they needed surgery to be whole again and you reached out to your WordPress community begging for help because you couldn’t stand to watch the suffering and no one helped.

I can’t do it all myself

https://contrafactual.com/2016/05/28/help-save-dragons-leg/
All you you pet lovers who follow this blog – please help little Dragon. I have contributed $100, but Dragon needs $2,000. I would do are more but I have been out of work since March. Please Reblog the original post or my Reblog. Please contribute anything you can afford. If everyone reading this contributed just one dollar it would make a bid difference.
Please Reblog.

5/5/16 Robotics Nationals!

maggiesblog0019

This is Elizabeth, hijacking Maggie’s blog.

Most moms brag about their kids being in football, baseball, or lacrosse. I want to brag about my brainchild, Jamie, and all the great young men and staff of the Brother Rice High School Robotics Club.

This past weekend, the guys took the number one spot in the tournament sponsored by MATE (Marine Advanced Technology Education) and now are headed to Texas – specifically, NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. Having won first place overall at MATE’s Midwest Regional Championship, scoring the most points in the pool and for the engineering presentation, the Brother Rice Robotics Club will compete against other teams from CONUS, Hawaii, Canada, Bermuda, Egypt, China, Scotland, Russia, and Turkey.

What a fantastic achievement! (I have to give credit to the teachers, Mr. Mostyn and Mr. Gamboa, for the informational packet, as I lifted my information from there.)

What’s the Robotics…

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2/24/16 Phone call from “Uncle” Doug

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Well how do you like that? Mom got a phone call from “Uncle” Doug and he said to put Maggie on the phone so he could tell me I was a good girl and give me a “Woof! Woof!”

I was so happy, I licked the phone and wagged my tail. I knew Uncle Doug would be proud of me for not having to be in the crate and he was! Even with everything he’s been going through, he found time to be proud of me! Now that’s a human!

Now for the bad part. Uncle Doug finally got some of his personal effects as he recuperates in Scottsbluff, but he also got a letter from his housing complex that his rent hadn’t been paid so they were going to put him on the street! Just like my old owners put me on the street after they stole my litter…

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READ AN EXTRAORDINARY PLACE TO LIVE -SLAB CITY COLORADO DESERT CA.

Check out the “solar horse”

BEATNIKHIWAY

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Portraits From Slab City: ‘The Last Free Place On Earth’

by JORDAN G. TEICHER

October 03, 201210:21 AM

People come to Slab City, a squatter campsite in the Colorado Desert in southeastern California, for many reasons. But one sentiment seems to unite many of them: They want to avoid people like photojournalist Jessica Lum. That is: City people. Taxpayers. Media types.

Which is a tough situation, if you happen to be Lum and you hope to document the people of this community.

  • Neil Mallick. A musician.
     
    Photos courtesy of Jessica Lum
  • Atreyu. A young traveler.
     
    Photos courtesy of Jessica Lum
  • Ryan. Makes moccasins and leather goods.
     
    Photos courtesy of Jessica Lum
  • Cookie. Snowbird landed.
     
    Photos courtesy of Jessica Lum
  • Jordan. In pursuit of an idea.
     
    Photos courtesy of Jessica Lum
  • Bobbie and Sara. Came to Slab City to start a life together.
     
    Photos courtesy of Jessica Lum
  • Wille Lane. With his dog Jack Russell.
     
    Photos courtesy of Jessica Lum
  • Allie Neill. The big sister who takes care of five younger siblings.
     
    Photos courtesy of Jessica Lum
  • Leonard Knight. An artist. Seen at his 80th birthday celebration.
     
    Photos courtesy of Jessica Lum
  • Salvation Mountain, located near the main road to Slab City, was built by Leonard Knight out of adobe clay. At the center, Knight sculpted the words "God Is Love" — what he says is a simple message he wanted to share with the world.
     
    Photos courtesy of Jessica Lum

“People feel they…

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Coming home

Email from Doug’s sister Kathy

“Good News!! Doug just called me. He finally gets to go home to Alliance on Thursday. He will not be going to the Good Samaritan Care Center, which is about 1/2 block from his apartment, but Highland (I think is the name) Care Center in Alliance. He is just happy that he will be home. He doesn’t know yet if he will have the dialysis in Alliance or Scottsbluff. He will have his glasses, cell phone and lap top, which will be nice for him. He will give us more details as he finds out himself. “

Contact Made with Doug!

I too spoke to Doug, but Maggie’s post pretty much says it all. Kathy is Doug’s sister. She replied to my reblog of Maggie’s previous post. How I tracked Doug down is a long story …

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Thanks to the tireless efforts of cb (http://www.contrafactual.com), I received Doug (Weggieboy’s) hospital phone number and was able to speak with him this afternoon.

It is my understanding that Doug’s Wegener’s Granulomatosis had been inactive for 10 years. He had a flare up, and when he didn’t show up for work, the curator of the museum he volunteers at came to his house and found him in great distress. Doug says he’s had enough of riding in ambulances! His spirits are great, but he has a long and grueling road ahead of him. The kitties, Andy & Dougy, are being cared for by kind neighbors.

Kathy, one of Doug’s relatives, gave his address at least until the end of the month, when he may be moved. If you would like to send Doug a message of support, please write to Doug Thomas, c/o Amberwood Court Care Center, 4868 E. Ashbury…

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2/5/16 Blogger down

Please reblog if you follow Doug. As soon as I have an addresss for his rehab center, I will post it for sending get well wishes.

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Friends: the blogging world is unlike any other place I’ve been. I’ve met wonderful people, exchanged stories and ideas, and, like most of you, struggle to keep up with the blogs I follow. I’ve even met some of you in person and that has been a great honor.

One regular contributor that I love to see posts and pictures from is Doug (Weggieboy’s blog; phainopepla95.com). I’d noticed that he hadn’t blogged anything since January 14.

Concerned, I asked another great blogger (cb; contrafactual.com) if he’d heard anything from Doug. cb was right on the case and in a matter of days was able to ascertain that Doug had fallen seriously ill and was in the hospital. (cb has his hands full like most of us do, yet he found a way and took the time to get people to give him info on Doug. I’m in awe of this guy.)

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TNW – Day 47

Originally published on March 23rd, 2014

Copyright © 2014 by Christian Bergman, All rights reserved.

All people, places, and events are fictional … except when they aren’t. 

The Nudist War – Day 47

‘Las Pirañas Humanos’ ran naked through the jungle, traveling in ‘schools’ where they numbered in the dozens. Male and female, they devoured everything in their path and were greatly feared by the tribes people.

~ From the report of Cristóbal de Acuña to the Royal Council of the Indies, AD 1641 concerning the stories told to him by Amazon tribesmen.

• • •

Jess awoke to the sound of someone screaming. “Not again,” she thought as she threw on a robe and ran down the hall toward Eddy’s room.

Continue reading TNW – Day 47

Cryptonomicon


Order it from Amazon


Order it from Audible

I just finished listening to Cryptonomicon for the second time. Cryptonomicon, published in 1999, is eerily prescient of the technological developments since then. Written at the dawn of the Internet it presages digital banking, digital encryption, and global telecommunications.

Cryptonomicon is a fascinating mix of historical fiction, science fiction, and techno-thriller. It follows two timelines – one in World War II, the other present day. The World War Two timeline follows the exploits and adventures of real and fictional characters involved in formulating and breaking the Nazi and Nipponese codes used to send vital wartime communications. The present day timeline follows what one quickly learns are the descendants of the WWII cast of characters who are building a data crypt and associated digital infrastructure in the Phillipines and Sultanate of Kinkuta. The past and present are woven together in a fine tapestry.

Neal Stephenson is at his best in Cryptonomicon. It is filled with action, suspense, and humor. A good read and a better listen. This is a must-read book for devotees of Stephenson, WWII, cryptology, and the Internet. I give it four thumbs up.