Saturday, June 23, 2018
Friday, June 22, 2018
It was not the sort of vacation I would have picked, not now or at 11 years old, but for the most part I enjoyed the experience. I especially liked horseback riding, something I had not done before or since.
To make a long story short, I mounted on a horse outside a barn on the campgrounds when, for some reason, it spooked and went off at a full gallop. This enough was disconcerting, but then the saddle gave way and I started to slide down the side of the horse as it was going hell bent for leather across a field. I’m not sure how I did not panic, but during that moment it occurred to me that being dragged across a field by a galloping horse or, worse, being trampled was not a good thing. So I kicked myself free from the stirrups and fell, head first, onto the field. I had seen cartoons in which characters see stars when taking a head shot and I assure you that it is a real thing.
The upshot was that I got up, dusted myself up, and raised my arms yelling that I was alright to the crowd of people who ran toward me. Thinking back I probably concussed and should have been seen by a doctor. However, the incident, while exciting, was not important enough for me to make that big a deal about it, until I learned how Dr. Krauthammer came to become paralyzed.
The then medical student and future sage dove accidentally into the shallow end of the pool and hit his head on the bottom, snapping his neck. It occurs to me that a slightly different angle, a harder surface than a grassy field, and a harder impact might have put me into a wheel chair.
There but for the grace of God doesn’t quite describe it.
Thursday, June 21, 2018
The one pity about Charles Krauthammer passing now is that he will not be around to witness Americans returning to the Moon.
I guess great minds think alike. What would the mission of the United States Space Force be?
Finally, a United States Space Force could provide the ultimate defense against a threat that could arrive from deep space that could end civilization, if not the human species. Sixty-five million years ago, an asteroid hit the Earth in the region of the Yucatan, ending the reign of the dinosaurs and ensuring the rise of mammals as the dominant species on Earth. A similar event would destroy the human race, putting an end in one blow to thousands of years of achievement and progress.
Movies such as Deep Impact depict desperate efforts to ward off such a killer from the heavens. If an organization is in place already that has developed and tested the tools to ward off or destroy a world-killer from the heavens, then the human species would be better prepared to avoid the fate of the dinosaurs. To paraphrase the statement made by the Roman author Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus, if we want to continue to live, prepare for our annihilation.
Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Personally, I don’t see any purpose for getting the now elderly crew of the Enterprise-D back together, except maybe as an animated show. Instead, what about “Star Trek: The Third Generation” with a new Enterprise and a new crew? If we really need Jean-Luc Picard back he can be trotted out for the pilot episode to see the new folks off as a retired admiral or something.
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
President Trump’s recent directive to the Defense Department to create a new branch of the military, a United States Space Force, was not an idle musing. Trump’s proposal derives from a growing debate inside military and political circles about how to best meet the threat posed to American space assets by potential enemies: Russia and China, to be precise.
Monday, June 18, 2018
And then there is the soon to be former Senator Bill Nelson's take"The president told a US general to create a new Space Force as 6th branch of military today, which generals tell me they don’t want. Thankfully the president can’t do it without Congress because now is NOT the time to rip the Air Force apart. Too many important missions at stake."
Sunday, June 17, 2018
Saturday, June 16, 2018
As part of the return to the moon program, NASA is planning to build a human-tended space station in lunar orbit dubbed the Lunar Orbiting Platform-Gateway (LOP-G.) The lunar space station would accommodate crews of four for 60 to 90 days. According to the space agency, the LOP-G crew “will also participate in a variety of deep-space exploration and commercial activities in the vicinity of the Moon, including possible missions to the lunar surface. NASA also wants to leverage the gateway for scientific investigations near and on the Moon.