Thursday, December 17, 2009
Thursday, December 03, 2009
Imagine this. 1966. You're at a dinner party, someone comes up to you and a few others, and asks you to find ways to, "master the addictive qualities of television and do something good with them". Two years of research and funding, you develop the Children's Television Workshop. A year later, after settling upon a name they like the least, Sesame Street airs on November 10th, 1969.
"Sesame Street was built around a single, breakthrough insight: that if you can hold the attention of children, you can educate them."Believe it or not, boys and girls. There was a time, and there were people in this time, whose primary focus was the betterment of our children.
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
"In the first place God made idiots. This was for practice. Then he made school boards."
- Mark Twain.I thank my parents for few things in my life. But the most important one I attribute completely to them is my education. My folks made education a priority in my life. So much so, that they worked themselves hard so that they would keep me in good schools while I was growing up.
"Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber."So I started to read Obama's speech, to see if those who oppose this speech have any leg to stand on. You remember Lieutenant Dan in Forest Gump? You remember when he got his legs blown off? And for like half the movie he had no legs, but at the end he gets "magic legs"?
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
The Viking 2 mission was part of the Viking program to Mars, and consisted of an orbiter and a lander essentially identical to that of the Viking 1 mission. The Viking 2 lander operated on the surface for 1,281 Mars days and was turned off on 11 April1980 when its batteries failed. The orbiter worked until 25 July 1978, returning almost 16,000 images in 706 orbits around Mars.
The craft was launched on September 9, 1975. Following launch using a Titan/Centaur launch vehicle and a 333 day cruise to Mars, the Viking 2 Orbiter began returning global images of Mars prior to orbit insertion. The orbiter was inserted into a 1500 x 33,000 km, 24.6 h Mars orbit on August 7, 1976 and trimmed to a 27.3 h site certification orbit with a periapsis of 1499 km and an inclination of 55.2 degrees on 9 August. Imaging of candidate sites was begun and the landing site was selected based on these pictures and the images returned by the Viking 1 Orbiter. The lander separated from the orbiter on September 3, 1976 at 22:37:50 UT and landed at Utopia Planitia.
The lander and its aeroshell separated from the orbiter on 3 September 19:39:59 UT. At the time of separation, the lander was orbiting at about 4 km/s. After separation, rockets fired to begin lander deorbit. After a few hours, at about 300 km attitude, the lander was reoriented for entry. The aeroshell with its ablative heat shield slowed the craft as it plunged through the atmosphere.
The Viking 2 Lander touched down about 200 km west of the crater Mie in Utopia Planitia at 48.269° N 225.990° W at an altitude of 4.23 km relative to a reference ellipsoid with an equatorial radius of 3397.2 km and a flattening of 0.0105 (47.967°N, 225.737° W planetographic) at 22:58:20 UT (9:49:05 a.m. local Mars time).
And it took this picture.
This rocky panoramic scene is the second picture of the Martian surface that was taken by Viking Lander 2 shortly after touchdown on September 3 at 3:58 PM PDT (Earth received time). The site is on a northern plain of Mars, at about 48 N. Lat., 226 W. Long., known as Utopia Planitia.
Also, on September 3rd @ 8:14am, I was born.
To share a day with something that has captivated me my entire life is truly an honor and humbling.
Mark Twain believed that his life was tied to Halley's Comet. He said,
It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don't go out with Halley's Comet. The Almighty has said, no doubt: "Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together."
Mr. Clemens, to take a page out of your book, and take it the one step further that I am sure you wish you could've gone were it not for being born too soon in history.I was born the day this picture was taken. The universe and all of its wonders have since inspired me my whole life in everything I do. It only stands to reason (if it only stands as reason to me) that I will make the journey to Mars, and I will come to rest on Utopia Planitia.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
A local SF blogger has taken it upon himself to go out and taste the great cuisine of our fair city. Oh, and he's brought a camera along for fun.
Well apparently he stumbled across my grandmother's deli, The Sandwich Place.
Much love to Jeff for putting out a great video, and check out the rest of this guy's voyage into local culinary delights over at his site. Food Dude SF
Monday, July 20, 2009
When the Eagle landed on the moon, I was speechless -- overwhelmed, like most of the world. Couldn't say a word. I think all I said was, "Wow! Jeez!" Not exactly immortal. Well, I was nothing if not human.
- Walter Cronkite R.I.P.
"Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed."
Forty years ago today, those words were uttered. Not here on Earth. But by a man named Neil Armstrong, about 238,857 miles away on The Moon.
Little that we do as a species can culminate in the positive column for the advancement of our species. Most everything we do if at all good is usually done as either an afterthought or as a result of a consequence that needed to be rectified.
Some say that the moon landing was a selfish act of a government trying to distract a nation from it's problems. Well, I say they're cynics and, hey look! There's a puppy you can go kick.
Us, and I do mean the human race, breaking through the pull of Earth's gravity to reach our closest celestial neighbor was at the very least an astronomical feat.
It shows what we can do if we truly come together and make a valiant effort.
As a species we can be such a destructive force when we don't put our best foot forward and utilize the albeit rare quality of humanity that we so proudly claim to have. But it's on those rarest occasions when we dust off our humanity and shine brighter than the stars we strive to reach, it's those times that keep my faith in us resolute.
Forty years later, we are on our way back to The Moon. A new mission, a renewed hope.
Before we asked the question "Can we?"
Today, thanks to our dreams and ambitions, we can answer truthfully, "Of course we should."
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Now the kicker was, that I couldn't for the life of me change my sleeping schedule, which again, is around 4am, and I tried everything short of drugs to go to sleep earlier, the best I could do was 3. So on the average, for 6 days out of the week, I got an hour's worth of sleep at night. The turn around was that I was able to come back home around 8am, and from there I slept in to about 11am if I was lucky. That precious 3 hours was all I had to keep me going through the day, that and large amounts of caffeine (which I'm currently detoxing myself from).
Needless to say, I felt like the walking dead. My brain was fried, and the little I did write drained and sickened me.
That is up until last week. When I finally got my groove back. Man, how I missed sleep, but more to the point, how I missed having my nights back for my creative juices to flow. And man are they flowing.
So stay tuned folks, the man is back, and he is full of piss and vinegar. They say it's a medical condition and I'm taking pills for it.
But I also plan to write my ass off. So stick around for that as opposed to my other juices that flow.
Saturday, July 04, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Connie always thinks there are two birds. He assumes that there must be more than one bird chirping away at the morning sun. As he opens one eye, he believes that this time he’s going to see two birds outside the window, that there can be no way in this great, wide world that one animal, as small as that bird, could possibly make that amount of noise. He opens his second eye. Connie is wrong.
Connie leans up on his front paws and stretches his hind legs. He shakes his body from head to tail, tossing off the night’s lingering sleep. The sound of his dog tags rustles up the only other living thing in the small cabin. He smacks his lips as a heavy, calloused hand lands on his head.
“Morning Connie,” says the Major. “Today’s a big day.” Connie acknowledges the Major’s sentiments as he does every morning with a nod of his head.
The Major is a small, elderly man. No one would assume that this is the man that is echoed in all the pictures around the cabin. Pictures of a tall man in uniform. Some have him holding rifles; others have him pointing away toward distant wherevers. And then there are others, very few, but definitely in places of notice, where it’s a beautiful woman that he grasps.
Connie has never seen any of these images. Connie is a dog and can’t see in two dimensions. The Major has described each one to Connie in depth throughout the years, so Connie could point out each image and describe to you in as much detail and with as much emotion as the Major could, with only the shape of the image to go by. Connie is a self-proclaimed “part wild dog”. He believes that at least one of his ancestors was a wolf. He teases the Major each day about him running off into the wild. A game they both enjoy three meals a day. This breakfast is no different.
The Major takes their breakfast to the porch. They’d eat their bacon, eggs, and toast in the kitchen, there’s plenty of room. But with the view of the lake, the sun rising in the East, and the dew simmering off the trees and cabins in the distance, why would you eat inside? The Major sets Connie’s food on the floor next to him as the Major pulls a folded wooden TV tray in front of him. As Connie licks his lips from the grease too soon gone from his plate, and the Major lights his pipe, they look out into the distance as Connie asks the Major, the question.
“Would you miss me, Major?
If I left this morn’?
Would you miss me Major?
Will you be so torn?
I could run out into the misty woods,
Follow the trail and be at play,
Take it till I think it should,
This feels like it could be the day.”
The Major smiles and replies.
“I’d miss you Connie,
I’d miss you true,
You can’t leave Connie,
There’s still much to do.
‘Sides there’s nothing really worth while,
Beyond those pesky trees,
And why tire yourself with all those miles?
You’re better off with me.”
Connie smiles and says, “Maybe later then, Major. Later will be my day.”
The day rolls along, and the next thing you know, it’s lunch time. The Major works his tongs across the outside grill as the smoke rises off the sausages he’s cooking up. Stuffed between a couple of sourdough rolls and plated, The Major and Connie sit down to lunch. They watch as the lake host’s traffic to rowboats, paddle boats, canoes, and the such. The Major waits tentatively to the pending question.
“Would you miss me, Major?
If I left you soon?
Would you miss me, Major?
If I took off this noon?
I could swim out to a boat,
I could meet a new friend.
They would no doubt, on me, dote.
They’d carry my means to my end.”
The Major puffs on his pipe.
“I’d miss you Connie,
Don’t go over there.
Why leave me Connie?
I’m sure they don’t care.
Sure they’d pet you and feed you,
You’re a dog, a cute one at that,
But at the end of the day, they’d leave you.
And that my good friend, would be that.”
Connie smiles as he sees the smoke from the Major’s pipe circle in the air, “Maybe later then, Major. Later will be my day.”
The sun begins to set, as it does every day. The stars begin to poke through the veil of the evening sky. In the distance, the lights of cabins begin to turn on sporadically. At first one, then another, at one point four turned on at the same time. Connie can still taste the smoked fish that the Major seared to perfection earlier in the evening. On cue, Connie begs, but not in the way dogs normally do.
“Would you miss me, Major?
If I stole into the night?
Would you miss me, Major?
Would you put up a fight?
The lights call to me,
And not just those of man,
The stars in heaven whisper to me,
Come visit faraway lands.”
Connie sees the smoke of the Major’s pipe, and waits for his witty reply. But Connie, to his surprise, gets a bit of ash on his nose. He shakes it off, and looks up to the Major. He notices something different in the Major’s eyes. They’re looking off into the distant, but not off into the horizon. The Major seems to have traveled off in his gaze to some place that Connie has at some time or another described to the Major with such detail and emotion that it seems the Major has beat Connie to him. Connie moves up along side of the Major, putting his head on his lap. The Major’s hand, still calloused, but now cold, on Connie’s brow. Connie stares off, trying to see where the Major may have gone off too. He smiles.
“Tomorrow then, Major. Tomorrow will be my day.”
Sunday, June 07, 2009
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Monday, May 04, 2009
Thursday, April 02, 2009
Thursday, March 05, 2009
What's great about the story is that at no time does the character ever betray himself. He's a four-year-old, and sure enough, he acts like one. You feel part of Harold's world as he creates it. You want to go where he goes, and you want it to be over when he does.