Yet Another Falcon 9 Landing Video
(No sound, aerial view)
Yet Another Falcon 9 Landing Video
(No sound, aerial view)
Remember Adult Swim?
No, not the one from Cartoon Network. The original adult swim of 10 minutes every hour at your local Home Owner’s Association (HOA) community pool. It was originally used to give the lifeguards a break and give adults the ability to swim laps without interference from the kids.
Today at my local pool, which I began attending to walk laps for exercise (32 laps = 1 mile*), we were told at 10 minutes before the hour that it was Safety Break and EVERYONE had to get out of the pool for 10 minutes. Apparently there was an age discrimination lawsuit filed (and won) in California against Adult Swim. Now HOAs across the country are avoiding Adult Swim for fear of lawsuit.
I suggest they play Safety Dance during the Safety Break.
* the swim lane section of our pool is 25 metres long … one lap is 50 metres, one mile is 1609 metres … do the math
June 3rd landing close up
Via a tweet from Elon Musk
Yet another Falcon 9 landing (from yesterday June 3rd) at LZ-1. Note the arrival of the sonic boom just before landing. Starting to get routine (as it should). This was also the first re-use of a Dragon capsule (Woo Hoo).
For more info on LZ-1 see:
For more on the CRS-11 mission see:
Feels like the 60s again.
[ I began writing this about the time that iOS 10.3.2 Trashed My iPhone … just now getting back to it ]
In a previous post I told you briefly of my time living at the Cecil H. Green Geophysical Observatory a mile or so west of Bergen Park Colorado in the mountains west of Denver.
I lived at the Cecil H. Green Geophysical Observatory in Bergen Park from 1976 to 1981 with my newlywed bride, two dogs, and (very briefly) a cat. They were perhaps the happiest days of my life and I still have what I have come to call “Bergen Park Dreams”.
“Bergen Park Dreams” are essentially what they sound like, dreams about living in Bergen Park … but they have evolved subtly over the years. Initially they were simple reminiscences of actual events at the time, but as time passed they became stranger and stranger. This maybe due to the fact that I had revisited Bergen Park in the mid-90s and more recently in 2015 – boy had things changed.
My first drive to Bergen Park and the Observatory was in 1975. It was little more than a crossroads with a Conoco station, a mini mart, liquor store, bowling alley, and a few restaurants. Depending on which road out of Bergen Park you chose, you would be on your way to the more populous Evergreen to the south, or on the road to Squaw Mountain and Mount Evans to the southwest, or heading west back to connect to I-70 via Colorado 65.
The area west of Bergen Park on Colorado 65 was pristine. It was a Colorado mountain paradise. The Observatory was just off of 65 to the north up a dirt road. Back then, as I said, it was truly a pristine paradise. Elk would graze within a stone’s throw of the upper balcony. Little did I know that it would all change in just a few short years with the development of the Soda Creek community on the south side of 65 and it’s million dollar mini-ranchettes. From 1976 to 1981 I lived in a Colorado paradise worth millions of dollars because I could not afford to live anywhere else.
In the summer of 1976 the future Mrs flew out to visit me for a week during the summer. We had been dating since 1973 when we had met in fencing class at Broward Junior College near Davie, Florida west of Fort Lauderdale where I lived with my folks. Ok I actually lived in Wilton Manors, an island bounded by natural rivers and man-made canals within Fort Lauderdale, but whatever.
I met my wife-to-be in Junior College while attending a fencing class. She was my partner during field camp for the “barbed-wire stretching” section. We had five miles of barbed-wire to stretch along a section of canal that bordered the Everglades. She cut her hand and I cleaned and bandaged it tenderly with love and care. So gentle were my attentions that she soon fell under the spell of my gentle but manly manner and soon we were lying under the shade of a mangrove tree making sweet, sweet …
Oh wait that was last night’s dream … It was fencing class as in touché, sabers, etc. …
My wife-to-be in fencing class:
Ok not my wife … and besides in 1973 the world had not yet been introduced to light-sabers. We used foils, épées, old-school sabers. Her sweet smile and school girl laugh pierced my heart as did the unshielded tip of her épée. When I finally got out of the hospital … OK that was lie. It was fencing class nothing more. But it was the beginning of a 40 year love affair.
For a picture of my wife-to-be back in 1973, click HERE.
Where was I? Oh yes, 1976, so this was the first time I had not gone home over summer break and had moved into the Observatory full-time only a few months before in order to establish in-state residency. My wife-to-be was flying out from Miami to visit me. I had gone to the former Stapleton International airport in Denver to pick her up only to find out that her flight was “delayed”. I was unable to get any information regarding the delay. I began thinking … what if the plane had crashed? Would the Arrival Display calmly announce “Hull Loss” or “Plane Crashed”? Of course not. It would announce FLIGHT DELAYED. I finally gave up and drove back to Bergen Park with the weight of uncertainty heavily upon me. Later that night she called from the hotel in which the airline had put them up in Dallas due to engine trouble. She arrived the next day telling me the story of the woman dressed in her wedding gown flying to her wedding which she obviously missed. Not like you could call someone on your cell phone to explain the situation back then – THEY DIDN’T EXIST.
My wife-to-be spent the week with me in Bergen Park the summer of 1976. It was a wonderful week. I asked her to marry me and, fool that she was, she accepted. We set the date for December 30th, 1976 when I planned to be home for Christmas break. We chose December 30th because we did not want to be driving anywhere on New Year’s Eve. Before and after her visit and until we were married, life was pretty lonely in Bergen Park. I could drive the old International Harvester back and forth to Golden and stop at any points along the way, but I was broke and spent most of my time studying. Since no mail was delivered to the Observatory (I didn’t even know the address at that time), I had gotten a post office box in Golden that served as my official address. There was also a land line to the Observatory, but I tried to keep the long distance calls to a minimum. My wife-to-be was in nursing school in Miami and was quite busy herself.
Over the summer of 1976 I had a lot of time to myself. I hiked around the 75 acres of Coors land that the Observatory sat on. I walked or drove into Bergen Park for groceries. I read a lot. I changed and developed the seismic records every night and once a week drive them down to Golden. Life was peaceful and idyllic, when not outright boring. I caught wolf spiders in jars and kept them as pets feeding them moths. OK – that was creepy, but I was desperate for companionship. Introvert that I was – and still am – I treasure my alone time, but there is alone and then there is lonely. I would talk out loud to the spiders, the walls, myself just to hear a voice.
There was a well on the property that provided all of the water (via an electric downhole pump) and two drain fields. The well was located just to the east of the building and the sanitary septic tank and drain field was located on the other side to the west. There was also a secondary drain field in the front of the building (to the south) near the dirt road up from the main road. This was for the photographic chemicals and rinse water. I had to be careful not to use too much rinse water during the development process or when cleaning the tanks or I would get a spring that ran down the dirt road. Not a problem in the summer, but it would form an ice slick in the winter … which my wife discovered when she slid under her car while getting into it to head to work one frozen morning. It was several minutes before I noticed her screaming for me … an event she tells others to this day.
I didn’t trust the well, so I would fill jugs of water up from a water spigot at the back of the Green Center building back at the School of Mines in Golden and lug them up to Bergen Park. Cecil H. Green (founder of Texas Instruments) was quite the philanthropist and many buildings are in his (and his wife’s) name. Eventually I had the well water tested and it came back with coliform bacteria at “TNTC” (Too Numerous To Count). My fears were justified. Contaminated ground water had gotten into the well. I would fix this. I found the well head and opened it up. Then I ran a hose from the spigot into the well and turned on the water. Finally came the chlorine bleach, I forget how many jugs of bleach. I let the water circulate – I forget for how long – but long enough to circulate the bleach to every part of the system. Then I let it sit and soak. Then circulate. Then soak. Finally I let the water run and flushed out the bleach until I could smell chlorine no more. Then waited to let the well recharge and flushed it again. Eventually I had the water tested again and it was safe to drink. But for how long? I think I waited a month to get the well water tested again before I felt safe to drink it. With the second test passed, I could stop lugging water. The well water at Bergen Park was perhaps the best water I have ever had. It was delicious … and had the bizarre ability to keep our teeth free of plaque. To this day, only Ozarka Spring Water comes close.
Anyway, not long after moving to Houston with my first employer out of college I began to have the “Bergen Park Dreams”. As I said above, they were originally just remembrances of the past, but slowly began to morph into something stranger, an alternate reality. I am back in Bergen Park present day and move back into the Observatory for no apparent reason. Sometimes the Mrs is with me, sometimes not. We are usually our younger selves. Often the area around the Observatory is highly built up, even more than in reality. The dreams are often quite vivid and colorful. Sometimes I also dream about an alternate reality version of Golden and the School of Mines, usually an ultra high-tech version, with many new ultra modern buildings.
Dreams are curious things. Mine are often quite interesting. Some folks have the occasional nightmare (scary dreams), me not so much. I tend to think of dreams as the “screen saver” our brain provides while it “defrags.” Sleep is the time our brain sorts and stores our daily memories and our nervous system is flushed of toxins. Sleep is when our muscles are repaired from the damage incurred during our daily workouts. Sleep is also when youngsters grow – and why adequate sleep is so critical for the young. So between nervous system and muscle repair, body growth, and memory fixation we learn that adequate sleep is very, very important to the human condition.
My occasional “Bergen Park Dreams” are just another aspect of my sleep.
Links in this post:
Watching the PBS documentary Command and Control on NETFLIX as I type.
This is truly scary. If the Hydrogen Bomb warhead had detonated all of Little Rock would have been incinerated and millions of additional people downwind would have died from the fallout.
WATCH THIS DOCUMENTARY (Full YouTube version below)
Thankfully an incident similar to this could never* happen today …
* where is that sarcasm tag
SCRUBBED DUE TO WEATHER
New milestones for SpaceX
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.
Oh for the good olde days
Maybe Jim Stafford had it right …
Well, I think of that girl from time to time
I call her up when I got a dime
Or maybe a cocoanut telegraph?
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.
• • • • •
Re-configuration continues slowly and methodically. Now I need to call Apple to figure out how to get all of my ring tones back. Mañana. I’m going to bed early tonight.
And so it goes
In order for my iPhone to see my Apple Watch I had to reset it to factory settings and now begin the task of reconfiguring it back to the way I liked it. I was on phone with Apple until 2 AM last night.
Now I begin the task of remembering, downloading, and reconfiguring every <expletive deleted> app on my iPhone and Apple Watch. Setting up email and remembering or changing passwords. Not how I had planned my day.
One thing is certain … my iPhone and watch will be leaner and meaner.
UPDATE – I am installing the latest Apple Watch version now (might as well there is no reason not too)
WARNING – RANT ALERT
The latest iOS 10.3.2 update has completely trashed my iPhone 6s Plus and by “trashed” I mean blasted it back to factory settings. I spent over five hours in online chat and phone calls with Apple support working between my iPad, MacBook, and iPhone. Only now do I have a semi working iPhone.
Here’s what happened – I set my iPhone up to upgrade to iOS 10.3.2 at about 6 PM before walking next door to have a beer (or two) with the neighbors as we often do. When I got back expecting all to be OK, my iPhone was in continuous reboot mode. It would briefly display the logon screen then immediately flash to the spinning wheel icon before re-displaying the logon screen, over and over and over again. The only way to break the cycle was to connect it to my MacBook and follow the instructions in the links below (provided by support).
I finally got it to the point of restoring from a backup and after going through all of the steps and waiting for everything to restore, it eventually went back into continuous reboot mode again. I ended up starting over from scratch several times and even attempting a restore from a backup made two days ago. I eventually got all the way to the end and … continuous reboot mode … again.
So start over again, but this time set it up as new iPhone without doing a restore. Luckily all of my contacts, photos, iTunes, and notes are safely in iCloud and available on my other Apple devices. They also appear to be mostly available on my iPhone, but I still need to reconfigure my email settings, selectively download and reconfigure apps (most of which require logon ID and password configuration), reset and reconfigure my alarms, and set my icons back to where I like them. I had also saved many web pages as icons so I will need to reconstruct these as well.
I also need to reconnect my Apple Watch, Fitbit Scale, and on and on and on.
UPDATE – can not get my Apple Watch to connect
Note: please click on the highlighted links included in the text for more information.
“This is radio station WWV, Fort Collins, Colorado, broadcasting on internationally allocated standard carrier frequencies of 2.5, 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 megahertz, providing time of day, standard time interval, and other related information. Inquires regarding these transmissions may be directed to the National Bureau of Standards, Time and Frequency Services Section, Boulder, Colorado 80524.”
At least this is how I remember it from over 40 years when I lived at the Cecil H. Green Geophysical Observatory in the mountains west of Denver just outside of Bergen Park. Compare this to the current version as shown in the previous post.
From 1974 to 1981, I was enrolled at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden Colorado (home of the legendary Coors beer re: Smokey and the Bandit). I lived in the dorms from 1974 to 1976. In a move to establish in-state tuition and a SIGNIFICANT cost savings I needed to 1) have my parents stop claiming me on their income tax, 2) establish year-round residence in Colorado, and (most important) 3) fill out the forms and get in-state status (probably easier to do then than now). As luck would have it during my second year at Mines, my undergraduate advisor Maurice W. (Maury) Major needed someone to change the records at the Cecil H. Green Geophysical Observatory on the weekends. This provided me with some extra money. When I eventually told him of my desire to establish in-state tuition and that I needed a place to live over the summer, he suggested that I could live at the observatory and change the records every night as part of the deal … and what a deal it was. I got totally free accommodations on 75 acres of Colorado mountain land owned by Coors, continued to get paid a small stipend for changing the records, and the use of an old International Harvester to travel back and forth from Bergen Park to Golden. The Cecil H. Green Geophysical Observatory was part of the World Wide Standardized Seismograph Network, ostensibly set up to study the internal structure of the earth via earthquake signatures, but actually set up to monitor Soviet underground nuclear tests. For 82 pages of mind numbing detail be sure to read the World-Wide Standardized Seismograph Network: A Data Users Guide. The Cecil H. Green Geophysical Observatory was instrumental in proving that that the earthquakes Denver was experiencing during the 1960s were in fact caused by the pumping of chemical waste into a disposal well at the Rocky Moutain Arsenal just north of Denver.
I took the above photo in 2015 while in Denver attending the wedding of Jess and Brian (a story for another time). As near as I could tell, the land and structure had been sold and someone was converting it to an actual home. When I lived there the first floor contained the seismological recording equipment and the second floor (two-thirds the size of of the first floor) had room for a large “class room”, a small toilet/sink/shower room, and two small “offices” (one of which, next to the bathroom, I used as a bedroom). The other third of the upstairs area was a tar paper and gravel “sun deck” enclosed by a wooden railing.
Every evening I would go downstairs (note that the stairs were outside) and turn on the short wave radio tuned to WWV. It was part of the vertical cabinet pictured in the image below. The actual seismometers (the x-y-z pendulums), the triangular boxes, were located in a tunnel excavated into the hill behind and to the north of the building. The actual recording equipment … the drums (and galvanometers pictured below the drums) were located in room 103* as indicated in the schematic pictured above. Room 101* contained the radio and time coding equipment. Room 102*/ 102A* contained the photographic developing tanks and the drier.
Since each seismogram was recorded by light bouncing off of a mirror attached to a galvanometer, I had to work “by touch” in total darkness to change the paper on the drum and develop the paper with the seismic recordings. While working I usually left the radio tuned to WWV as it told me how long to leave the photographic paper in each stage of the development process. Night after night after night after night I heard “This is radio station WWV, Fort Collins, Colorado, broadcasting on internationally allocated standard carrier frequencies of … ” yada, yada, yada until it was burned into my memory as surely has the lyrics to Happy Birthday to You or Back in the USSR.
One night I even tried tuning into other stations specifically trying to locate Radio Moscow. I finally gave up trying after tuning into a station where a man and a woman with obvious mid-west accents were reading questions from that week’s “mailbag”. Imagine my surprise when they proceeded to answer the question “What is the weather like there in Moscow?”
I lived at the Cecil H. Green Geophysical Observatory in Bergen Park from 1976 to 1981 with my newlywed bride, two dogs, and (very briefly) a cat. They were perhaps the happiest days of my life and I still have what I have come to call “Bergen Park Dreams”.
Don’t forget to click on the highlighted links for more information.
Alternatively, dial (303) 499-7111 or tune your shortwave radio to two-point-five, five, ten, fifteen, twenty, and twenty-five megahertz.
My newest diversion … watching Death in Paradise on NETFLIX. British TV. Murder mystery. Crime solving. Humor.
A British inspector is transferred to Saint-Marie’s police department, but he hates the sun, sea, and sand. The series follow his investigations into murders on the island.
Actually the reviews below aren’t that favorable and include spoilers … but I am only on the second episode and I am enjoying it so far. I guess all shows eventually run their course.
Watch it if you can … (or not)
Now that I have a professional quality portrait, I have decided to add a new menu item to the blog.
For those of you curious about the other me, check out the new Professional menu option.
In a previous post (Left? … or Right?) I asked your opinion regarding which on my new professional portraits you preferred. Sadly only maggie0019 formally responded with a comment. I would have preferred more data points before reaching a decision, but it is what it is. It is not too late to voice your opinion. I will update the results if I get more feedback.
As you can guess from the title of the post and the “FEATURED IMAGE” at the top, the Left portrait appears to be the “right” one.
The break down was interesting. My wife, oldest son, and his wife all preferred the portrait on the right. My sister, the photographer, and everyone* else chose the portrait on the left.
The Mrs thought that the Right image made me look slimmer. She also thought that my cheek in the Left image looked “bulbous”, to which I must agree.
Those who preferred the Left image thought I looked friendlier and more approachable. Maggie’s humans both preferred the Left image. Her young human Jamie cracked me up with “He looks like Teddy Roosevelt. We can call him The Square Deal now! Actually, he looks like a military person. I’m kind of intimidated right now. He doesn’t look like the guy who’d tell you to do 20 pushups…he looks like the guy who tells the guy who tells you to do 20 pushups!” Teddy Roosevelt? Hmm. I did think that some of the images I rejected in the screening session looked more like Wilford Brimley.
I have decided to use the Left image for now as my LinkedIn portrait and for other business related content, but I can mix and match as the spirit moves me.
* almost everyone else
Five years in the making – from PALETTE-SWAP NINJA
Love Star Wars? Love the Beatles?
You’re gonna LOVE this …
Tracks 1 & 2 “Princess Leia’s Stolen Death Star Plans” / “With Illicit Help From Your Friends”
Track 3 “Luke is in the Desert”
Track 4 “Never Better”
Track 5 “Imperial Holes”
Track 6 “He’s Leaving Home”
Track 7 “Being From the Spaceport of Mos Eisle”
Track 8 “The Force Within You”
Track 9 “AA Twenty-Three”
Track 10 “Dianoga”
Track 11 “Keep Moving Keep Moving”
Tracks 12 & 13 “Reprise/A Day in the Life of Red Five”
If you liked it, PLEASE consider tipping them at the link below
A? … or B?
This? … or This?
We’ve all been to the optometrist (or ophthalmologist) and had to look through the phoropter. Bet you didn’t know what it was called until now. Just another extra that you get but never pay for at Contrafactual.com. Wikipedia has an article on it HERE.
Anyway, back to phoropter … you look at one image of letters and numbers, then another whilst being asked “Which looks better … this? or this?” Eventually you reach a point where, try as you may, you can’t tell the difference.
Getting a professional portrait made is a lot like that. The photographer has you sitting or standing (or both, just not at the same time) and tells to move your head a little to the left or the right. Maybe he says something to make you smile. “Move your chin down just a bit … there!” Snap! Over and over and over. OK this part isn’t like looking through the phoropter, but the next part is.
Once the photographer is satisfied that he has enough shots (maybe a few dozen), you look at a display with an image on the left and one on the right. Left? … or Right? Left? … or Right? Left … or Right? Over and over and over until you can’t make up your mind.
Yesterday I had my first ever professional portrait session. My LinkedIn photo was years out of date and every selfie I have ever taken looks horrible. I had just completed a job interview and since I had a new suit on anyway I decided to stop by the portrait studio to schedule a sitting. He was available then and there and the price was fair, so I did it. Normally you get three sizes of the same image: high resolution for printing, medium resolution for webpages, and a square-cropped image for LinkedIn (or Gravatar, etc.) all for a flat fee. In my case I got down to the final two and could not decide. The photographer was nice enough to give me the three sizes of the two images for the price of one. If you live in the Houston Texas area be sure to check out Country Park Portraits.
So which one do you like best … Left? … or Right? *
* note – should they display one above the other, the one on “the Left” will be above the one on “the Right”
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.
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/
Or Blue Origin vs SpaceX*
Note the dates of the quotes and video clips
Props to Jeff Besos and Blue Origin for effort … but seriously?
* compare to Soapbox Derby vs NASCAR
From another view
I can’t get enough of this stuff …
The video below does an excellent job of explaining exactly how the Falcon 9 survives re-entry
The heat of re-entry is due to the compression of the atmosphere ahead of the re-entering vehicle, NOT air friction. Think of a diesel engine that works by highly compressing the air in the cylinder above the ignition temperature of the diesel fuel which is then injected at maximum compression and temperature.
As in NROL-76 (NRO Launch-76), the recent SpaceX launch and SpaceX’s first classified mission.
Develop. Acquire. Launch. Operate.
When the United States needs eyes and ears in critical places where no human can reach – be it over the most rugged terrain or through the most hostile territory – it turns to the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). The NRO is the U.S. Government agency in charge of designing, building, launching, and maintaining America’s intelligence satellites. Whether creating the latest innovations in satellite technology, contracting with the most cost-efficient industrial supplier, conducting rigorous launch schedules, or providing the highest-quality products to our customers, we never lose focus on who we are working to protect: our Nation and its citizens.
From our inception in 1961 to our declassification to the public in 1992, we have worked tirelessly to provide the best reconnaissance support possible to the Intelligence Community (IC) and Department of Defense (DoD). We are unwavering in our dedication to fulfilling our vision:
Supra Et Ultra: Above and Beyond.
Check this out …
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 …
SpaceX – today’s launch and landing. Fourth return to Landing Zone 1 at Cape Canaveral. SpaceX makes this look easy!
Today I reached a new milestone … below 280.
I hope that this isn’t a stock-like “double bottom“.
Next target is 270 …
Practically issues aside … this rocks!
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.
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! 😯
View original post 32 more words
This looks promising* …
“Titan Note: Change The Way You Take Notes”
* if it works as advertised (I have ordered one and will report back when it arrives)
I really should have commented on this sooner
If you have been following this blog for some time you know that I have made numerous posts and have been an avid supporter of a company called Goldmoney Inc. (formerly BitGold). The following search links should provide some background:
Goldmoney is a game changing FinTech (Financial Technology) company with the goal of making gold useful as money again. Unlike all of the world’s paper (aka fiat) currencies, gold has held its value as money for over 5000 years. Goldmoney gives the average person the ability to save in gold with extremely low and reasonable fees. All gold held in Goldmoney is 100% allocated to users which means that every gram owned by every account user is physically stored in one of several vaults around the globe (you select which ones) and associated with each user. This is not “paper gold”, gold contracts, or gold ETFs. This is real gold. You can take delivery of your gold in a variety of forms (cubes, bars, coins, etc.) if desired. Buying and selling gold and transferring funds to and from your bank is quick and painless. The features and functionality provided by Goldmoney have expanded significantly in the two years or so since the company IPOed, as has its user base and assets under management. As a publicly traded company it is open to the highest levels of oversight and transparency.
The reason I am writing this today is that the co-founder and major share holder, Roy Sebag, has posted a request to the Goldmoney forum asking the forum members to combat the misinformation about Goldmoney Inc. that exists on the web. Much of this mis-information is merely ignorance of Goldmoney Inc. The rest is put forward by people with their own agendas.
All I ask of you, my good readers, is to keep an open mind and read Roy’s post below.
Many money, currency, and precious metals expects are predicting that gold could go to $10,000 an ounce in the near future as global currency wars, real wars (Syria, North Korea), and Trump policies (or failure thereof) come into play.
Ignorance is most certainly NOT bliss.
Information is power.
As John Pierpont Morgan said before congress in 1912 … Money is gold, and nothing else.
cb (aka @79Au197 on the Goldmoney forum and @d4t4wr4ngl3r on Twitter)
If you are a conni-sewer of really bad and clever puns, be sure to check out Little Fears at http://littlefears.co.uk/ (maybe even follow and support)
Day after day the pun-ishment continues …
My t-shirt arrived
Last year I made a sizable donation to the Brother Rice Robotics team. This was after meeting Maggie’s family when they were here for the MATE ROV competition at the NASA “swimming pool” in Houston. With great pride I point out that Contrafactual.com is a listed sponsor.
Kids graduating from high school today have never known a world without cell phones … or the instant gratification of digital photography. I remember once reading an article a long time ago that said that cameras were becoming so small and cheap that there was no reason not to put them in everything. Cell phones were the logical beneficiary. Now everyone has a camera on them at all times. If Big Foot were real, someone would have gotten an HD video of her by now.
Photographers … professional and amateur … had to wait for film to be chemically developed in order to see the results. It could takes days before you saw the results. Film often had had to be sent out for processing. The arrival of onsite same-day processing was a big deal.
From my post Welcome to the Future
My favorite was a slide film call Kodachrome made by Eastman Kodak. So popular and high quality was this film that Paul Simon (formerly of Simon & Garfunkle) released a song about it. Kodachrome processing involved a variety of toxic chemicals and was discontinued in 2009, but its color saturation and time stability are legendary. I still have Kodachrome slides that are gorgeous even as other slides and prints have faded to red (and the lubricants in my slide projector have turned to glue rendering it useless). I keep planning to get these digitally scanned, but it’s not cheap for high quality scans and something always comes up that diverts the funds. I would like to get them scanned and begin posting then here someday.
When not shooting Kodachrome slides I (like most everyone else) shot print film. This involved a roll of film with a “negative” image that was developed and then used to create enlarged color prints. One dropped off the film for processing and the came back to pick up the prints and negatives.
Never knowing if any of my photos had turned out, I would take my roll of film down to the local photomat or camera store to have it developed. Invariably on the way out I would begin humming the first few bars of …
Bonus track …
Apple has deployed iOS 10.3. All I can say is … WOW. OK … I can and will say more. Still … WOW.
Off course iOS 10.3 supplies all of the security features I mentioned earlier, but more importantly it is the first deployment of the new Apple File System (APFS). I will try to summarize below, but the following links do more justice to an explanation than I ever could.
To put things in perspective the HFS+ file system currently in use on Macs and iOS 10.2.x iDevices is over 30 years old*. HFS+ is more than one and a half human generations old. Most people using iDevices aren’t that old. In the computer world 30 years is OLD. Think about it … what level of technology were you using 30 years ago?
From the Apple document …
HFS+ and its predecessor HFS are more than 30 years old. These file systems were developed in an era of floppy disks and spinning hard drives, when file sizes were calculated in kilobytes or megabytes.
Today, people commonly store hundreds of gigabytes and access millions of files on high-speed, low-latency flash drives. People carry their data with them, and they demand that sensitive information be secure.
Apple File System is a new, modern file system for iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS. It is optimized for Flash/SSD storage and features strong encryption, copy-on-write metadata, space sharing, cloning for files and directories, snapshots, fast directory sizing, atomic safe-save primitives, and improved file system fundamentals.
Apple File System is a 64-bit file system supporting over 9 quintillion files on a single volume. This state-of-the-art file system features cloning for files and directories, snapshots, space sharing, fast directory sizing, atomic safe-save primitives, and improved filesystem fundamentals, as well as a unique copy-on-write design that uses I/O coalescing to deliver maximum performance while ensuring data reliability.
Apple File System is uniquely designed to meet the needs of Apple’s products and ecosystem. Apple File System provides strong encryption, ultra-low latencies and limited memory overhead. It is optimized for Flash/SSD storage and can be used on everything from an Apple Watch to a Mac Pro.
As I said, the links provided above explain the benefits of APFS much better and in more detail than I can. I am in fact still digesting much of it. Suffice it to say that AFPS is a file system for the twenty-first century and beyond, a world of mobile devices and solid state storage.
And it all starts with iOS 10.3. Download and install it now.
One of the first apps I got for my iPad (and iPhone) was ArtStudio by Lucky Clan (http://www.luckyclan.com/) from the Apple App Store. Not being familiar with Photo Shop, I can’t make a feature by feature comparison, but I can state that ArtStudio does everything I have ever needed it to do. The price is right at $4.99. Below are screen shots from the App Store. As you can see it is rated quite highly.
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Anyway the Mrs wanted to put pictures of son number two on the wall of “the office”. We had many pictures of him as a child, but none as an adult. Then I realized that I had pictures of him I had taken at the wedding of son number one a few years ago. One of them is the picture below. Unfortunately it appears that a dwarf in a hat is growing out of his shoulder.
So using Layers, surgically trimming of the edges (digitally), and applying Gaussian blur to the background I was able to clean up the image. I include a screen shot below of the layers.
The final image is below. I used the native iOS photo app to tweak the rotation and cropping of the edited image.
What do you think?
I love technology.
Did I mention I have been eating again (as opposed to the bone broth fast)?
Maybe I shouldn’t have had the blackberry cobbler at Threadgill’s (???)
Captain, captain … we need a course correction!
“All hands – DIVE DIVE DIVE”*
* and I don’t mean dive into that plate of pasta …
Timing is everything …
The Mrs and I decided to take a road trip from Catbeard Manor in West Houston to Threadgill’s Armadillo World Headquarters restaurant in Austin. http://www.threadgills.com/
Little did we know it was the final weekend of SXSW. http://schedule.sxsw.com/
Miraculously we just pulled into the parking lot, found the one remaining handicapped parking spot (the Mrs MS grants us tags), and immediately got a table.
The Mrs had a top shelf margarita “Herradura”. I had coffee (designated driver). She had fried catfish with “corn off the cob” and sweet potato fries. I had meat loaf with mashed potatoes and gravy (after having meatloaf at home for the past two nights*).
Life is good …
* the definition of a meat loaf fetish
…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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