Posts Tagged ‘Buzz Aldrin’

Letter From New York 09 01 2016 From the Creek, thinking about space…

September 1, 2016

When I was a young boy, I was a voracious reader.  I devoured Greek myths and stories of ancient Egypt.  When night came, I would hide under my covers and read Tom Swift books by flashlight.  Finding that ineffective, I convinced my parents I was terrified of the dark so they let me keep a light on.  It made reading so much easier.

I discovered Robert Heinlein and Isaac Asimov. The first time I read the Foundation Trilogy by Asimov I loved it but didn’t quite understand it all.  The third time I reveled in his artistry in creating a universe.  I still, once and again, read Heinlein’s “Citizen of the Galaxy.”

In later years, friends and I would gather and watch “Star Trek,” at an age when we would enhance the experience with cannabis.  I have looked toward the stars.  When the Challenger exploded, I was driving down Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles and nearly rear ended the car in front of me in my shock.

Yesterday Elon Musk’s Space X rocket, during a test, exploded, destroying not just itself but also a satellite Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg had invested in to bring internet to Africa.

It is unlikely I will meet Elon Musk or Mark Zuckerberg.  And I credit them for using their wealth and technology to work to expand our efforts toward space.  It’s always been my belief that we, as a race, need to long beyond now to something more.

We have conquered this planet.  Maybe to its detriment, but there is little left undiscovered here and so much undiscovered beyond the gravitational fields of this planet.

Okay, I am a great supporter of space exploration.  I think we need it as a species.  We’re, as humans, driven to look for more.  Always been that way and hope it will always be that way.

When I was young, I was in a theater troupe and we all stopped that night in 1969 to watch the landing on the moon.

In my life, I’ve met the famous and the once famous and have never asked for an autograph.  Except when I met Buzz Aldrin, 2nd man on the moon.  It’s framed, in my study.

Okay, I have now exposed myself as a space geek.

And I admire, no matter what we think of them, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Richard Branson of Virgin everything, and Elon Musk of Tesla and Space X, for wanting to take us out there.

Since we retired the Space Shuttles we have no way of bringing personnel to the International Space Station so we use the Russians.  But Elon Musk’s company has brought supplies there for a fraction of the cost of other means.

It is my belief that we need to be looking outward because looking outward gives us, the human race, a sense of hope in the future and it is the hope of a future that has propelled us from the caves to here.

Letter From New York 03 06 15 Not Accident Prone…

March 6, 2015

It is around 4:15 in the afternoon as I begin this; the day is just beginning to fade. All day the sun has been bright and crisp, sharp shadows crossing the land. Despite the sun, it’s been cold outside though while I was in the city the ice on the creek did melt.

The trend is for warming weather here, getting up to 49 degrees on Monday, the first real break in the cold in weeks.

It’s been a busy day; finishing some numbers for the accountants and getting them and some paperwork delivered. I have waded through some other paperwork and am now sitting down to write.

While driving home from the accountants, I listened to a report on NPR about the destruction that appears to be happening at Nimrud, an ancient Assyrian city in the hands of IS. I’ve noted before they have posted pictures of them taking sledgehammers to ancient works of art. IS believes these artifacts are signs of idolatry and therefore must be destroyed. They’re taking with them the history of much of the world, including their own.

In another sad note today, Albert Maysles, the noted documentarian, passed away last night in New York City. He and his brother, David, made some of the most famous documentaries of the 20th Century, including “Gimme Shelter” about the 1969 Rolling Stone tour that included footage of a man being stabbed to death at Altamont and “Grey Gardens” about two cousins of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis. He continued to work up until his death. I met him a couple of times at events. He was, deservedly, a legend of the documentary world.

Long a fan of space exploration [the only person I have ever asked for an autograph is Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the moon], NASA’s Dawn has settled into orbit around the dwarf planet Ceres, seeking signs of life on it while testing technology that may be used to carry supplies to a manned outpost on Mars.

Also, in technology today, but somewhat more frightening, is that Lockheed-Martin successfully tested its new ATHENA laser weapon today, destroying a truck’s engine from more than a mile away. Ray guns are here.

This weekend is the 50th Anniversary of “Bloody Sunday,” the Selma march that was disrupted by violence, captured by the news, and seen as a major turning point for the national attitude toward civil rights. Obama is leading the commemoration on Saturday, extolling young people to be active. One of the leaders of the Selma to Montgomery march was John Lewis, then only 23 and now a member of Congress.

Apple is joining the Dow Jones index of stocks while that index plunged today on the good news that jobs had grown more than expected and thus raised fears of an interest rate hike.

The political scene seems dominated by two conversations today. One is the specter that Hillary Clinton cannot manage a campaign. The email snafu is an indicator, say some pundits. And if she can’t run a campaign, will she be able to manage an administration?

The second big news in the political scene is that Democratic Senator Menendez of New Jersey is facing indictment on charges of corruption, trading influence for gifts.

Andy Lack is returning to NBC News. Having built The Nightly News and Today into powerhouses, he departed NBC. They are now bringing him back to fix the mess they have. Today is trailing Good Morning America and we all know about Brian Williams.

Veteran actor Harrison Ford, of Star Wars and Indiana Jones fame, crash-landed a vintage World War II plane on a golf course in California yesterday. While he sustained injuries, he is expected to make a full recovery. He does seem accident-prone though.

Thankfully, I am not too accident-prone. The sun is slowly setting as I finish this; the world seems shades of brown outside my window. I am going online next to look at hotels in Delhi. It is only sixteen days until I leave.