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Somewhere down the line a glitch happened and a lot of these posts from 2010 and 2011 were placed in the "draft" file where they didn't get published. I've taken them out of the "draft" file and re-published them. So, now everything should be back to normal, whatever that means, and you can now read all the gibberish and ramblings for the past two years. Enjoy...or not.
Originally posted July 17, 2011I saw "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II" this morning and while I know it received five stars and great reviews I'm not ready to say I liked it.
That's not unusual. Some of these films I've had to see a number of times to really appreciate them. "Hallows, Part I" I saw last night to bring myself up to date and I realize it was a really s l o w film.
I've enjoyed both the books and the movies and most of the films were great, it's just taken me a little longer to appreciate them.
Now that the franchise is over I'd like to see the Rick Riordon books come to the screen. Only one was made, "Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief." It's time to make the rest of them. Hey, Rick, Logan Lerman, are you listening?
Originally posted July 9, 2011"Atlantis" blasted into the sky from Cape Canaveral on the final flight of the space shuttle program. How sad!
I remember President John Kennedy appearing on national television challenging us to go to the moon.
October 12, 1957. The United States was stunned to learn the Soviet Union, our adversaries in what presidential advisor Bernard Baruch of S. C. called "the cold war," had sent a small satellite into Earth orbit. The constant beeping of "Sputnick" from outer space sent a chilling reminder to President Kennedy and others that the Russians had a viable program underway to explore space.
To add to America's woes, the Soviets put a man into space, Yuri Gagarin, on April 12, 1961.
A few weeks later, the 35th president challenged the nation to, "Commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to Earth."
Eight years, 1 month and 26 days later, Neil Armstrong put his bootprints in the surface dust of the moon.
Now, after 50 years of dominance in space, the United States is abandoning its preeminence and leaving future challenges to the very nation President Kennedy exhorted us to defeat, Russia.
Other nations have also sent satellites into space but America was the pioneer, the country with the resources to succeed.
What is the future mission of NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration? Many former astronauts want to go to Mars. Others want to return to the moon. On what spacecraft? Under whose national flag?
When Atlantis lands for the final time any further space flight will originate from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. Russian spacecraft will be supplying and servicing the International Space Station. How sad.
The Mercury Program featured seven astronauts, former test pilots and other heroes with "the right stuff," who rode a rocket into the air housed in a container with enough room for only one person. I remember seeing Alan Shepard ride "Friendship 7" on a suborbital flight, our first man in space. Then John Glenn taking a ride in orbit around the Earth in Friendship 7.
I remember Donald "Deke" Slayton, Gus Grissom, Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper Jr., Wally Schirra Jr., Shepard and Glenn.
Then came the Gemini Program. Two men at a time leaving Earth's gravity. It took a different space capsule and a different rocket to get them into space. More American ingenuity. More American genius.
Then the crowning achievement. The Apollo Program. Three men riding a flaming cylinder into history. The tragedy of Apollo One. The beauty of an Earthrise on Christmas Eve from Apollo 8. The triumph of Apollo 11. The anxiety of Apollo 13. The last Apollo mission, Apollo 17.
The Mutual Broadcasting System was the pool feed for all radio networks. Every network: NBC, CBS, ABC and independents, were fed the reports of the spacecraft recoveries from one reporter on board an aircraft carrier. I remember, as an audio engineer, looking through the glass into the studio where Mutual's chief engineer was coordinating everything with the satellite, land lines and member networks. We watched it all on television and it was the most exciting thing we ever witnessed, and it never grew old.
The shuttle missions became so routine we rarely noticed them unless something went horribly wrong. We lost more than a few heroes during our age of space exploration. They knew the risks and all of them looked to the heavens with anticipation and excitement because they, astronauts or civilians, saw the importance of taking that leap forward, of going where no man, or woman, has gone before.
But now it's over! Will we ever return to space? Will "Captain Midnight," "Buck Rogers," "Lost in Space," "Star Trek," "Star Wars" and the rest of that genre be the only way we leave our atmosphere?
On September 12, 1962, President Kennedy said, "We choose to go to the moon in this decade...because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills...."
Have we, like turtles, tucked our heads and hands into our shells and shut out the drive, innovation, curiosity and sense of pride which took us to the moon?
Congress can find money to fund bridges to nowhere, unnecessary highways, studies in stupidity and earmarks galore but they can't find the funds necessary to send men and women with vision and daring to places we only dream about.