Sunday, October 31, 2010

Alaska Reporters Plot to Sabotage the Joe Miller for Senate Campaign (Video)
A New Superman for the Age of Obama
Out: 'Truth, Justice, and the American Way'; In 'Brooding, Alienated, America-skepticism'

One of the great cultural icons of popular culture is about to receive a makeover. Superman, the immigrant from the planet Krypton, was always the personification of "Truth, Justice, and the American Way." No longer.

Addendum: Stacey Bartley points out that this is an alternate world Superman. The original is alive and well, apparently.
Just to be fair... the J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5) written Superman Earth One is an ALTERNATE take on Superman not a reboot of the existing series. For that ongoing continuity Geoff Johns has done more to restore Superman to his original glory (and continuity) than any writer since John Byrne rebooted him in the 1980's(And made a royal mess of it). And I highly recommend checking it out

Straczynski is also writing the ongoing Superman arc where he wishing to reconnect with average Americans is walking across the United States. Which is actually pretty good.

From what I can see so far, Superman Earth One is kind of building off of Smallville the TV show.

There are scheduled to be other Earth One stories. These are not unlike the Marvel Ultimate series (Ultimate Avengers, Ultimate Spider-Man etc) which basically have nothing to do with the ongoing continuity (and suck as far as I'm concerned).
'The Rally to Restore Sanity And/or Fear' - the Fun, the Silly, and the Off Putting
"The Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear" was a fake political rally that seemed awfully much like an outdoor music concert with live comedy acts interspersed. It was fun
to watch, but there are an undercurrent of politics that was occasionally cringe worthy.

Yusef Islam, the Artist Formally Known as Cat Stevens, Performs at 'The Rally to Restore Sanity And/or Fear' (Video)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

'Hereafter' is Clint Eastwood's Film on the Afterlife and How People View It
"Hereafter" a film directed by Clint Eastwood is a sweet, meditative study on not so much the afterlife, but how people view it. Considering that its subject is one of the prime considerations of organized religion, it remains relentlessly secular.
What is the '100 Year Starship' Study?
Recently NASA and DARPA initiated a year-long study called the "100 Year Starship," designed to ascertain what would be needed to develop long duration space flight and even permanent space settlements on other worlds.
Clark Lindsey reports on the conclusions arrived by a panel on the topic "Moon, Mars, Asteroids: Where to Go First for Resources?"
However, there seemed to be a rough consensus that the Moon is the best place to start to obtain resources, especially with the findings over the past year of abundant water ice and volatiles in the craters at the lunar poles. While there was certainly interest and lots of suggestions on how to use the near earth asteroids, it was clear that the Moon has many advantages, e.g. is relatively easy to get to on a regular basis, not so far away, its water can supply a space fuel network, etc.

This is something that has been recognized by everyone except for the Obama administration and the Obamaspace koolaid drinkers at the Internet Rocketeer Club.

Addendum: More on lunar mining.

This water is so valuable not just for its potential to keep future moon dwellers hydrated. It can also be separated into its constituent hydrogen and oxygen, the chief components of rocket fuel. Propellant could be produced from moon water and sold at refueling stations in low-Earth orbit, allowing spaceships and satellites to top up their tanks in space.

Such an arrangement could revolutionize how humanity uses space, spurring a huge wave of trade, travel and discovery, scientists and entrepreneurs alike have argued. According to that argument, it makes economic sense to supply the filling stations from the moon because its gravity is one-sixth that of the Earth, and thus launching from there is much cheaper.

Indeed, some companies are already drawing up plans to mine moon water for this very purpose. Shackleton Energy Company, for example, hopes to be selling rocket fuel in orbit by 2020, according to its founder Bill Stone, who was not a member of the conference panel.

Such a timeline may seem ambitious, but the technology to start up a primarily robotic lunar mining operation exists today, panel members said. Mining robots could be controlled from Earth.
Apparently the "Rally to Restore Sanity" (or something) is trying to bar "unauthorized" filming on the National Mall.

Friday, October 29, 2010

So how is President McCain doing almost midway through his first term?
Is Liberalism a Genetic Disorder?
Reasons to Doubt Conclusions of Researchers

Some researchers at the University of California and Harvard University suggest that they have found the genetic source of liberalism. Despite the temptation to conclude that being a lefty is a genetic disorder, there are many reasons for skepticism.
Gawker Anonymous Christine O'Donnell Hit Piece Condemned Across Political Spectrum
A piece published by the Internet gossip site Gawker that goes by the byline of "Anonymous" alleging a sordid, sort-of-sexual encounter with Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell has been condemned across the political spectrum.
Jeff Foust is skeptical of the idea of the new GOP majority making deep cuts in NASA.
Bill Clinton's Scheme to Ease Kendrick Meek Out of the Florida Senate Race
The bombshell political news coming out of Florida concerns a secret effort conducted by former President Bill Clinton, apparently with the knowledge and approval of the White House, to push Democrat Kendrick Meek out of the Senate race.
Attack Ads from the Election of 1800 (Video)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Rand Simberg has an upbeat piece about Bigelow's private space station.
Is Barack Obama Doomed to Be a One-Term President?
Is Barack Obama already doomed to become a one-term President? If a poll conducted by Doug Schoen is any indication, President Obama will have a lot of work to do convincing the American people that he deserves a second term.
China's Militarization of Space a Long Term Threat
The Moon as the Ultimate High Ground

Is the United States on the path to being supplanted by China as the planet's preeminent space power? Some analysts are of the opinion that a combination of President Obama's space policy
and China's drive to militarize space presents that danger.

Addendum: Greg Easterbrook denies that China is a threat. Which, considering his track record, means that it likely is.
Why Former Houston Mayor Bill White is Losing to Governor Rick Perry
It looks like former Houston Mayor Bill White's quest to unseat Rick Perry as Governor of Texas will meet with defeat this Tuesday, November 2nd. Bill White was swimming against an anti Democratic tide, so his campaign was likely doomed from the start.
Barack Obama and Jon Stewart Kvetch on 'The Daily Show'
President Barack Obama appeared on Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show." If one were going for the cheap shot, as Stewart is want to do, then one would say that a person pretending to be a journalist had a person pretending to be a president as a guest.
'South Park' Season 14 Episode 11 'Coon 2: Hindsight'
In "South Park" Season 14 Episode 11 "Coon 2: Hindsight," we examine the fantasy world of children, the megalomania of one particular child, and how adults deal with catastrophes like the BP oil leak disaster.
Rick Perry Invites Microsoft, Amazon, Starbucks, Et Al to Move to Texas
Governor Rick Perry of Texas, besides having to defeat former Houston Mayor Bill White to be reelected, has another problem. He has a large state budget deficit to close without raising taxes. This entails some painful budget cuts.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Caprica has been canceled, which is too bad because it was a rare intelligent science fiction series, especially considering that it was on television.
Will 'President Palin!' Turn Out the Liberal Base?
Jeffrey Feldman, referring to the Olivia Wilde video recently posted by, thinks he has found the perfect slogan to motivate Democrats and perhaps save Barack Obama from the "refudiation" he is about to get at the polls.
The Charlie Chaplin Cell Phone Footage - Real, Hoax, or Something Else (Video)
Israeli Tea Party to Oppose Obama Middle East Policy
The State of Israel is about to see its own home-grown Tea Party movement. Unlike other international Tea Parties, the Israeli Tea Party is focused less on local, domestic concerns, but rather on US President Barack Obama's Middle East policy.
'Hobbit' Deal Hammered Out by New Zealand Government Between Unions and Production Company
The final hurtle has been removed so that the two "Hobbit" films can begin filming in New Zealand starting in February. A labor dispute had threatened to cause the production to move to another country, perhaps Great Britain or Ireland.
'Stargate Universe' Season 2 Episode 5 'Cloverdale'
"Stargate Universe" Season 2 Episode 5 "Cloverdale" uses the device of a hallucination being experienced by Scott to flesh out an episode and to also do a little shuffling of the characters to provide whatever insights such a thing can bring.
'Caprica' Season 1 Episode 13 'False Labor'
In "Caprica" Season 1 Episode 13 "False Labor," Daniel Graystone struggles to build up the avatar industry while finding out how frustrating it can be. Amanda tries to gain the trust of the Willow family. Sam Adama branches out.

Title of link fixed.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Moveon.Org Talks to Us from the Future (Video)
Barack Obama and the 'Car in the Ditch' Story
While campaigning for whichever Democratic candidates who wants him to campaign for them and raising money for those who don't, President Barack Obama has been using the car in the
ditch metaphor to describe the stakes of the election.
Carly Fiorina, GOP Senate Candidate, Hospitalized
Republican Carly Fiorina, who is locked in a tight race with incumbent California Senator Barbara Boxer, was admitted to the hospital due to an infection related to reconstructive surgery she received after her battle with breast cancer.
Ballot Machine Malfunctions Reported in Nevada, North Carolina
With early voting occurring in many states, stories of malfunctioning voting machines are beginning to come to light, raising suspicions of voter fraud. Local election officials are ascribing the incidents to technical faults or voter error.
Change Diaz and the quest for the plasma rocket.
2030: A Chinese Professor Explains the Fall of American Civilization (Video)
Rumor: George Lucas to Develop New 'Star Wars' Trilogy
Gizmodo is reporting that George Lucas, once he has converted the first six Star Wars films to 3-D, will be returning to that time long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away to create a new trilogy in the long-running epic that made him rich and famous.
'The Event' Season 1 Episode 6 'Loyalty'
"The Event" Season 1 Episode 6 "Loyalty" starts with Sophia still riding the metro train. When Thomas contacts her, she is very cross at the methods she used to get her sprung. Not to worry, Thomas replies, no one died—this time.
Constellation to the Moon is dead (at least until the next "change in direction.") Constellation to an asteroid is on. And then there is this:
“These objects are actually excellent stepping-stones for long-duration missions in space,” Cooke says. “The capabilities that we need to implement it will help us get to cislunar space, Lagrange points, the Moon, Mars’ moons, as well as Mars itself.”

That suggests that NASA is attempting to be nimble enough, in accordance to the language in the bill, so that we can return to a return to the Moon when sanity returns to space policy.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Democrat Gene Taylor: I Voted for McCain
Blue Dog Democratic Congressman Gene Taylor of Mississippi, who is running a tight race with GOP challenger state Rep. Steven Palazzo, admitted recently that he voted for
John McCain rather than Barack Obama during the 2008 election.
Clint Eastwood 'No Fan' of Barack Obama
Recently, famous actor/director Clint Eastwood sat down with CBS News' Katie Couric to discuss his new film, "Hereafter." During the course of the interview, Eastwood
had something shocking (for Couric) to say about President Obama.
League of Women Voters Get a Lesson in the Pledge of Allegiance
Rhode Island's Frank Caprio to Obama: 'He Can Take His Endorsement and Really Shove It'
The Democratic candidate for Governor of Rhode Island, Frank Caprio, is very cross with President Barack Obama. Obama, who will be visiting Rhode Island on a campaign swing soon, has declined to endorse a candidate.
'Sherlock' Season 1 Episode 1 'A Study in Pink'
"Sherlock" Season 1 Episode 1 "A Study in Pink" has the premise that Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson live in 21st Century London. This is not the result of time travel or any other science fiction premise. There was no Victorian Holmes and Watson.
'Dexter' Season 5 Episode 5 'First Blood'
In "Dexter" Season 5 Episode 5 "First Blood," Dexter's anxiety over whether his infant son Harrison will follow in his father's footsteps is exceeded only by his fear that Lumen, the traumatized woman, will do something stupid.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Keith Cowing drops the hammer on Bill Nye the Former Science Guy for trashing Apollo astronauts.
Kathleen Edward, Jennifer Petkov, and the Worse and Best of Humanity
Kathleen Edward is a seven year old girl dying of late stage Huntington's Disease. If that is not bad enough, she was the target of vicious taunts by a neighboring family, Jennifer and Scott Petkov, who have had a long standing dispute with her family.
West Virginia's John Raese Proposes Space Based Laser Defense System
Recently West Virginia US Senate candidate John Raese proposed building a space based missile defense system using lasers to deter missile attacks from enemy countries such as Iran or North Korea.
Will Fears of Climate Change Keep Space Tourism on the Launch Pad?
The nascent space tourism industry may have a new obstacle before it even gets off the ground. A new study published in the journal "Nature" suggests that space tourism may cause pollution that would in turn create climate change.

Addendum: Clark Lindsey thinks it's much to do about nothing which ought to be true, but I think he is underestimating the irrationality of environmentalists, not to mention politicians.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

It looks like that the space tourism industry has something else to worry about: attacks from environmentalists.
George Clooney Sets Bill Maher Straight on Conservative Empathy (Video)
Bill Nye has always irritated with his smarmy, know it all attitude and his condescension. In this interview he relates how Obamaspace is cool, global warming is real, and Neil Armstrong and Gene Cernan are--well--old.

Of course Nye started his career in sketch comedy, so that explains a great deal.

Addendum: Bill Nye Slimes Neil Armstrong (Video)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Paul Spudis: Strange Lunar Brew

Addendum: Rand Simberg is just amazing.
One of the many travesties of Constellation is that, in attempting to redo Apollo, it ate up all the funding for serious preparatory exploration of the moon that would have provided a lot better guidance to requirements for human lunar activities.

One doesn't know where to start.

First, despite Mike Griffin's unfortunate "Apollo on steroids" remark (unfortunate not because Apollo was evil, but because so many people like Rand think it is), Constellation was not so much an attempt to "redo Apollo" but to pick up where it left off. I'm not sure what he means by "it ate up all the funding for serious preparatory exploration of the moon." Between the Bush OBM and the Democratic Congress, Constellation was never adequately funded. So priorities have to be set. In any case, enough has been left over to know what we know now.

Of course, under the plan Rand is championing, Americans are not going back to the Moon. Unless that gets changed, one supposes that the Indians and the Chinese will benefit from what we have discovered.
Syfy Greenlights Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome. The adventures of young Adama in the First Cylon War.
Stagehand Fired by His Union for Wearing Bush Shirt, Hat (Video)
Jim DeMint: Time to Defund NPR, PBS
The drive to defund NPR and PBS in the wake of the Juan Williams firing has reached a crescendo as Senator Jim DeMint vowed to introduce legislation to do just that. Congressman Doug Lamborn will introduce similar legislation in the House.
Latest Enemy of the People: The Potato
The United States government, under President Obama, seems to have declared war on the potato, under the theory that too much starch is bad for people. There are proposals to limit the use of potatoes for the WIC and school lunch programs.
NPR Vs Fox News: Which Audience is More Tolerant?
As the fallout of the firing of Juan Williams by NPR for his Muslim remarks on Fox News continues to boil, Michael Barone asks an interesting question. Who are more
tolerant of differing views, NPR listeners or Fox News viewers?
The Moon Has More Water Than Previously Imagined; Time for a Lunar Settlement
Obama Space Policy Bypassing the Moon Seems More Ill Advised Than Ever

In a press conference conducted on Oct. 21, 2010, scientists announced new findings from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and the LCROSS lunar impacter. It seems that there is even far more water on the Moon than previously thought.

Addendum: The Moon: 'A Long Way from Green Cheese'

Looks like even the mainstream media is picking up the theme, Obama was an ass for wanting to bypass the Moon.

Addendum 2: Who owns the lunar water? Until a legal regime is set up which had better be business friendly, no one.
The Moon Has More Water Than Previously Imagined; Time for a Lunar Settlement
Obama Space Policy Bypassing the Moon Seems More Ill Advised Than Ever

In a press conference conducted on Oct. 21, 2010, scientists announced new findings from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and the LCROSS lunar impacter. It seems that there is even far more water on the Moon than previously thought.
Who will play Bilbo and teh dwarfs in the upcoming Hobbit movies.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Juan Williams and Bill O'Reilly Discusses the NPR Firing (Video)
George W. Bush Introduces 'Decision Points' His Presidential Memoirs
Fox's Bill O'Reilly on Juan Williams Being Fired by NPR

Meanwhile Juan Williams says JUAN WILLIAMS: I Was Fired for Telling the Truth
Daniel Schorr, my fellow NPR commentator who died earlier this year, used to talk about the initial shock of finding himself on President Nixon’s enemies list. I can only imagine Dan’s revulsion to realize that today NPR treats a journalist who has worked for them for ten years with less regard, less respect for the value of independence of thought and embrace of real debate across political lines, than Nixon ever displayed.

Woosh! Crack!
Bill Maher on Why the Voters Are Turning on Obama (Video)
It looks like the Moon has lots of water. That's not all it has.
The existence of mostly pure water ice could mean future human explorers won't have to retrieve the water out of the soil in order to use it for valuable life support resources. In addition, an abundant presence of hydrogen gas, ammonia and methane could be exploited to produce fuel.

But, of course, Buzz Aldrin has already been to the Moon, so why bother going there?

Addendum: More from Wired.
Given the total amount of soil blown out of the crater, astronomers estimate that 5.6 percent of the soil in the LCROSS impact site is water ice. Earlier studies suggested that soils containing just 1 percent water would be useful for any future space explorers trying to build a permanent lunar base.

“The number of 1 percent was generally agreed to as what was needed to be a net profit, a net return on the effort to extract it out of the dark shadows,” said NASA planetary scientist Anthony Colaprete in a press conference Oct. 21. “We saw 5 percent, which means that indeed where we impacted would be a net benefit to somebody looking for that resource.”

New York Times: Moon Oasis wetter than the Sahara.

But after all, as Lori Garver says, we have to let go of past and going to the Moon is part of all that.
'South Park' Season 14 Episode 10 'Insheeption'
"South Park" Season 14 Episode 10 "Insheeption" concerns the growing problem of hoarding, bullying, child molestation, the problems of modern sheep herding, and the film "Inception." So how did they guys do this week?
Juan Williams Fired by NPR for Something He Said on Fox News' 'O'Reilly Factor'
'Muslim Dilemma' Comment Rouses Ire of Tax-Payer Funded Radio News Network

Juan Williams, the longtime news analyst for NPR as well as a Fox New contributor, has been fired by NPR for something he said on "The O'Reilly Factor." It seems Williams, a principled liberal, is a victim of political correctness.

Addendum: Juan Williams Tells How He was Fired by NPR for the 'Muslim' Comment on Fox (Video)

Addendum 2: Sarah Palin: Juan Williams: Going Rogue. How is it that all those intolerant, bigoted righties are rallying to Juan Williams while the left remains silent?

Addendum 3: NPR's Nina Totenberg: Jesse Helms or His Grandkids Should Get AIDS (Video)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Johnny Depp as Nick Charles in a remake of The Thin Man.
Obama May Bypass Sikh Shrine 'The Golden Temple' to Avoid Looking like a Muslim During India Trip
As Presidents are wont to do when receiving an electoral shelacking, Barack Obama is planning a foreign trip shortly after the 2010 midterm elections. Obama's first stop in India and, according to Jake Tappert at ABC News, has run into another controversy.
Will the Google Lunar X Prize lead to a commercial return to the Moon? More likely a revised NASA plan would include commercial partnerships, which would be a good thing.
Anita Hill Declines to Apologize to Clarence Thomas
A rather sordid scandal from 19 years ago was revived when Victoria Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, left a voice mail message with Anita Hill, currently a law professor at Brandeis University.
Why 'Wearing Purple' is a Useless, Symbolic Gesture; Some Practical Ways to Deal with Bullying
The latest symbolic and thoroughly useless way to deal with a societal problem is the effort of GLAAD, a gay rights organization, to get people to wear purple to "raise awareness" about bullying of LGBT youth.
'Stargate Universe' Season 2 Episode 4 'Pathogen'
In "Stargate Universe" Season 2 Episode 4 "Pathogen," Chloe is starting to act stranger than usual. She is finding herself in odd parts of the ship without any recollection about how she got there. This may be a result of her captivity by the aliens.
'Caprica' Season 1 Episode 12 'Things We Lock Away'
"Caprica" Season 1 Episode 12 "Things We Lock Away" begins with Daniel seizing back control of his company, much to the disconcertion of Vergis, who is learning about the maxim of when you strike at the king, make sure you kill him.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Left Wing History Illiterates Miss Sarah Palin 1773 Allusion (Video)
Buzz Aldrin fleshes out his vision of a lunar base as a means to get to Mars in a sustainable manner.
Aldrin endorses the formation of an International Lunar Development Corporation to begin commercial enterprises on the moon. And a broad collation of governments -- Russia, China, India, the U.S., and others -- should form this quasigovernmental organization, which would help private enterprises capitalize on the lunar resources. Together, these nations can build that lunar gas station.

And international consortium is an interesting idea. But I have a big problem including human rights abusers like China and aggressive rivals like Russia in this scheme.
'House' Season 7 Episode 5 'Unplanned Parenthood'
"House" Season 7 Episode 5 "Unplanned Parenthood" begins with Abbey, played by a surprisingly mature Jennifer Grey ("Dirty Dancing," "Ferrris Bueller's Day Off") giving birth to Kayla while her adult daughter Justine looks on.
'The Event' Season 1 Episode 5 'Casualties of War'
In "The Event" Season 1 Episode 5 "Casualties of War," the airline passengers in the quarantine facility are starting to exhibit alarming symptoms. It seems if they are left untreated, they are all going to die messily.

Monday, October 18, 2010

An interesting return to the Moon story is being developed for film.
Warner Bros. has picked up the spec script Dark Moon from The Fourth Kind helmer Olatunde Osunsanmi, who will also direct the film. Akiva Goldsman will produce via his Weed Road.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the project "takes on the idea that manned moon missions did not stop with Apollo 17 and follows a black ops post-Apollo mission sent to the moon to explore previously classified discoveries and its unintended and disturbing consequences." The film will tell the story in the "found footage" format.

Osunsanmi is attached to direct The Commuter and he adapted The Orphanage (based on the novel by Robert Buettner) for Davis Entertainment.
It's Not Charlie's Fault
According to the Chronicle, Rep. Gene Green, D-Houston, and other Washington veterans, say talk of replacing Bolden as NASA Administrator derives partly from some White House officials’ suspicions that Bolden did not fully support Obama’s decision to end NASA’s return to the moon in favor of developing commercial spacecraft to service the space station and deep-space technology to reach an asteroid by 2025. Bolden became NASA Administrator months after the “new” human space flight policy had been gestated by White House Science Advisor John Holdren, Lori Garver, Jim Kohlenberger, Office of Science and Technology Policy Chief of Staff, and Paul Shawcross, Chief of the Science and Space Branch at the Office of Management and Budget, the so-called “Gang of Four”. Curiously, none thought it important to re-evaluate this policy with the NASA Administrator before its roll-out nor after it became clear that it was dead-on-arrival in Congress. According to Rep. Green, “Charlie was put into a situation where he had to do what the White House wanted. I don’t blame Charlie – I blame the White House for failing to understand there was not support in Congress for what they wanted to do with NASA.”

The treatment of Administrator Bolden by the White House has even past supporters of the Administration bothered. Said former George Washington University Space Policy head John Logsdon, “I don’t think Charlie has been treated very well by the White House. He has been faithful in his defense of the Obama strategy for space, but some seem to believe he has not been totally convincing.”

Of course Bolden has not helped himself either, especially with the "mission to the Muslims" gaffe and the freelancing in China. Still, I suspect he is being set up to be the fall guy for the failure of Obamaspace.
Houston Area Tea Party Begins Get Out the Vote Effort
Dana Loesch describes the frustrations on being on a panel with buffoons on the Bill Maher One Hour Hate Show on HBO. I rather like her description of the Obama administration as a "Pinky and the Brain" episode gone horribly wrong.
Is Dennis Kucinich Menaced?
The Weekly Standard is reporting that the latest long-serving uber-liberal Democratic member of Congress to become imperiled is none other than Dennis Kucinich, representing the 10th District of Ohio.
Fireworks at Rand Paul/Jack Conway Senate Debate Over 'Aqua Buddah' Ad
The Kentucky Senate debate between Republican Rand Paul and Democrat Jack Conway got a little heated when Paul called Conway on an attack ad that Conway is running about a college prank committed by Paul 30 years ago.
Barack Obama to Appear on 'Mythbusters' Episode
President Barack Obama is going to appear on the hit Discovery Channel series "Mythbusters" to redo a test of a story about how the Greek engineer Archimedes used mirrors
to concentrate heat to burn down a Roman fleet at the Battle of Syracuse.

Addendum: Allahpundit had his own take.
In which a show devoted to careful testing of dangerous hypotheses hosts a guy who secured hundreds of billions of dollars for “shovel-ready projects” before first finding out whether they exist. Perfect.

My proposed experiment: See if it’s possible to completely explode a once-in-a-lifetime Democratic congressional majority. By December 8, I’m guessing that one will be confirmed.
Jeff Foust examines nternational partners and NASA’s new direction

In Moonbuzz Dwyane Day tries to cast doubt on the story that Buzz Aldrin has changed his mind and now favors a return to the Moon. His premise is that the original story was on Fox News and Fox News hates Obama and is evil and so on or something like that. Also Day says that Buzz Aldrin is "erratic" (i.e. crazy.) Of course that would tend to cast doubt on his original support of Obamaspace...

Mind, Buzz Aldrin has not refuted the story or suggested that it was inaccurate. Indeed, Day does not even go through the motions of calling up Aldrin to ask for comment. The piece demonstrates a certain liberal bias against Fox rather than any kind of serious journalism. It is shoddy writing at its worse.
'Dexter' Season 5 Episode 4 'Beauty and the Beast'
In "Dexter" Season 5 Episode 4 "Beauty and the Beast," Dexter finds himself in a conflict between the Code of Harry rule that states do not kill an innocent and the rule that states one should not get caught.
'Mad Men' Season 4 Episode 13 'Tomorrowland' Season Finale
In "Mad Men" Season 4 Episode 13 "Tomorrowland," it has been 10 weeks since new business has been signed up at the firm, and things are getting a little dicey. And Don Draper is having his usual problems with Betty.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

George Will Schools Meghan McCain on This Week (Video)
Barbara Billingsley, of 'Leave it to Beaver', Dies at 94
Barbara Billingsley, best known for her role in the late 50s, early 60s sitcom "Leave it to Beaver" as June Cleaver, has died at the age of 94. Thus passed the actress who played the ideal American mom of that era.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Final Death of the Outpost Tavern Astronaut Bar (Video)
'Red', Starring Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker, Helen Mirren, Brian Cox, and Karl Urban
"Red", a movie starring Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker, Helen Mirren, Brian Cox, and Karl Urban, among others, is not a great movie. But for what it attempts to be, it is a fun movie.
Sherlock Holmes in the 21st Century (Video)
The Houston Chronicle has a story about Charlie Bolden that has a passage that is very enlightening indeed.
When asked, administration officials decline direct comment on the future of Bolden, who came on board months after White House science adviser John Holdren and transition policy czar Lori Garver charted the space agency's new direction.

"There's always speculation about people's tenure in Washington," says Garver, now NASA's deputy administrator. "We've gotten used to it. We don't even consider it a distraction at NASA because we're so excited about the future."

Rep. Gene Green, D-Houston, and other Washington veterans say talk of replacing the longtime Clear Lake resident stems in part from some White House officials' suspicions that Bolden did not fully support Obama's decision to end NASA's return to the moon in favor of developing commercial spacecraft to service the space station and deep-space technology to reach an asteroid by 2025.

"Charlie was put into a situation where he had to do what the White House wanted," says Green, first elected to Congress in 1992. "I don't blame Charlie - I blame the White House for failing to understand there was not support in Congress for what they wanted to do with NASA."

What is interesting about this has to be seen in the context of claims by the Obama administration that the Obama space policy, which canceled the Constellation space exploration program, was made in response to findings by the Augustine Committee. The Chronicle seems to be suggesting that the Obama space plan was pretty much formulated before Bolden became administrator and before the Augustine Committee even convened.

In other words, Obama always wanted to cancel Constellation, even when he was promising crowds in Florida that he would supported. Another lie.
The Five Myths about Sarah Palin.

There are far more than five, I think.
It looks like the two Hobbit films will roll starting in February with Peter Jackson directing. Whether they will roll in New Zealand or--say--Ireland is entirely up to the union thugs who are trying to hold up Jackson.
Frank Morring discusses NASA's road map to nowhere. But that is the plan, to go nowhere.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Buzz Aldrin Changes His Mind; Now Favors NASA Return to the Moon
When President Obama rolled out his vision for space exploration at the Kennedy Space Center, Apollo astronaut Buzz Aldrin was in the audience, nodding with approval. Aldrin, at that time, did not see any purpose for a lunar return.

Addendum: Keith Cowing's headline is just a little bit snarky: Buzz Was Against a Moon Base Before He Was For It

Addendum 2: After some incoherent blather, Rand Simberg claims (perhaps tongue in cheek) that he was responsible for Buzz's change of heart.
'How to Train Your Dragon' to Get Sequel, TV Series
"How to Train Your Dragon," one of the top box office draws of 2010, is not only going to get a sequel, but also a TV series on the Cartoon Network. This development could be very great fun indeed for fantasy fans.
'Top Gun 2' Movie to Be Developed; Will Tom Cruise Fly into the Danger Zone Again?
The New York Daily News is reporting that "Top Gun 2," the sequel to the wildly successful 1980s movie about a group of F-14 aviators training how to dog fight, is in development. The original "Top Gun" made Tom Cruise a Hollywood super star.
Not surprising, Rand Simberg is unimpressed by the explanation of hos Obamaspace is "anti-colonial."
I don’t know whether Barack Obama is an anticolonialist or not, but it’s quite ignorant to think that this would be an explanation for ending Constellation, which was not an “ambitious” project. An ambitious project would have been one to make it possible for us to actually colonize the moon, not redo Apollo. NASA is not being “converted” to improving Muslim self esteem, and anyone who actually understands the new policy knows that, but very few people seem to.

Rand, as is his MO, does not explain the following.

How is it "ignorant" to suggest that Obamaspace is anticolonial?

How does one "make it possible for us" to actually colonize the Moon without first going there and explore?

How as Constellation "redoing Apollo?"

How does Obamaspace do any of the things Rand says he is in favor of?

How is it that he "understands" Obamaspace and "very few people" seem to?
Sharron Angle Trounces Harry Reid in Nevada Senate Debate
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid met his Republican opponent Sharron Angle in single combat in a televised debate. It seems to be the consensus of the media that Reid lost.
'Bones' Season 6 Episode 4 'Body and the Bounty'
"Bones" Season 6 Episode 4 "The Body and the Bounty" starts with a couple of scruffy "Freegans" deciding to have a nice romantic dinner inside a dumpster overflowing with a lot of free rotting food.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sarah Palin's Alaska - the Trailer (Video)
James Cameron's Cleopatra starring Angelina Jolie.

Joy Behar, Whoopi Goldberg Walk Off the Set of 'The View'
Along with the usual yelling, screaming, and arm waving that so makes "The View" an entertaining display, a new drama was inserted as Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg, the far left-wingers of the Ladies of "The View," walked off the set.
Barack Obama's Anti-Colonial Space Program
Dinesh D'Souza, the author of the controversial book "The Roots of Obama's Rage", posits an interesting explanation for President Obama's cancellation of the Constellation space exploration program that would have returned astronauts to the Moon.
O'Donnell and Coons Debate (Video)
Is Obama trying to 'decolonize' space?
'South Park' Season 14 Episode 9 'It's a Jersey Thing'
"South Park" Season 14 Episode 9 "It's a Jersey Thing," aka "It Came from Jersey," is the latest show to poke fun at the Guidos and Guidettes from the "Jersey Shore." "South Park" does it in the way only it can.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Ten Inventions from "Back to the Future" that Came True
Barney Frank: More Signs the End May Be Near
Conservatives are starting to pinch themselves. Could Barney Frank, the arrogant, twerpy congressman from Massachusetts, be among the casualties of Election 2010? Some are beginning to dream the impossible dream.
Michelle Rhee Resigns as Chancellor of D.C. Public Schools
Michelle Rhee, the reformist chancellor of D.C. public schools, has announced her resignation effective at the end of October. Thus ends a study in how the muscle of the Teachers' Unions squelches school reform.
The Chilean Miners Emerge from the Bowels of the Earth
As of this day, the trapped Chilean miners are being brought forth from the bowels of the Earth one by one, hoisted through an escape tunnel in a tiny, cramped capsule to finally see the sky for the first time in about 70 days.
It looks like Marco Rubio is ready to do battle for NASA when he gets to the Senate. All this quibbling over who is responsible for the space flight gap is beside the point, by the way. Obama is now commander in chief. The buck stops in his Oval Office and not down in Crawford, Texas.
'Caprica' Season 1 Episode 11 'Retribution'
In "Caprica" Season 1 Episode 11 "Retribution," we see the lengths to which some people will go in pursuit of money, power, and the fulfillment of faith. The body count in this episode is enormous for retail murder.
'Stargate Universe' Season 2 Episode 3 'Awakenings'
At the start of "Stargate Universe" Season 2 Episode 3 "Awakenings," the Destiny finds itself on a collision course with another ancients' ship. But, mysteriously, the two ships slow and dock, then begin to share stored data.
'South Park: It's a Jersey Thing' Preview (Video)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

'Back to the Future' Starring Eric Stoltz (Video)
Is the Moon only the first stop for the Chang'e 2?
Rick Tumlinson, who once had pretensions of being the Bill Ayers of space advocacy (albeit with the bomb throwing only being rhetorical) has a triumphalist piece in the Huffington Post. Two things stand out:
Rather than the old way of having to pick a single program, destination or set of technologies as a national goal and have that goal reached (or not) by government employees and then abandoned for the next one, the Frontier movement is about being able to reach any destination, develop new and amazing technologies that will let us not only explore them, but travel to them, stay where we go, harvest the resources we discover there, and make of many of them new homes for humanity, using a shared set of capabilities and infrastructure with each element of our society contributing to the whole by doing what it does best.

Here we have the fallacy of developing capability without any focus of where to go with it. It's a prescription for drift and waste; the Internet Rocketeer Club has never heard of the old military maxim of the objective driving the operation.

I am reminded of one of my favorite historical figures, Prince Henry the Navigator. Back in the early 15th Century, Prince Henry had the idea of finding a route around the horn of Africa to find a way to the East Indies that would avoid Muslim controlled countries. He set up a program, the NASA of its time, to develop the technology, techniques, and knowledge to do just that. Decades later, Vasco da Gama reached India using the ocean going caravel and the navigational knowledge won by Prince Henry and his men.

And a few years later, a Genovese sea Captain and map maker named Christopher Columbus used the same caravels and the same navigation to try to find a route west to the East Indies. Of course, he ran into the Americas on the way without ever knowing it.

The point of course is that Prince Henry was driven by a singular goal, not by some amorphous program of going "everywhere." But other men used what he built to do just that.

Then there is this:
From the edge of the bubble inwards, or shall we say from the Moon inwards today, we have the "Near Frontier". This is where human explorers have already "been," and in the most general sense where their work is "done". In other words, the closer one gets to home, the more often are one's paths traveled, the more well known is the terrain, the lower the risk and the more routine one's activities become.

The whole calumny of the Moon representing some place we have already been is misleading at best. People have been at six isolated sites on the lunar near side. There is much of the Moon left to explore and, more importantly, to exploit.

The discovery of water on the Moon means that it is a perfect source for rocket fuel for ships proceeding further out on what Tumlinson calls the "far frontier." Going to the Moon first means that going beyond will be on a greater scale, a more sustainable effort that would make places such as Earth approaching asteroids and Mars not just brief stops for Barack Obama's Apollo on Crack, but rather places where people will work and even live.

But of course Barack Obama is abandoning the Moon. And Rick Tumlinson, sadly, is one of his enablers.
Christine O'Donnell's First Attack Ad: Chris Coons the Tax Man
Soldiers' Ballots Not Mailed in a Timely Fashion as Required by Law
An election scandal is brewing in a number of states, though especially in New York, as local officials have failed to mail ballots to service men and women overseas in a timely fashion as required by the 2009 federal MOVE Act.
'The Event' Season 1 Episode 4 'A Matter of Life or Death'
In "The Event" Season 1 Episode 4 "A Matter of Life or Death," Sean and Agent Collier are on the run in a stolen black SUV, now on the hunt for Vicki and, hence, Sean's beloved Leigh. They are meanwhile hunted by well-armed people.
'House' Season 7 Episode 4 'Massage Therapy'
In "House" Season 7 Episode 4 "Massage Therapy," the patient is one Margaret McPherson, who has been hearing things and then collapses with intense stomach pains and projectile vomiting, which alarms her husband Billy.

Monday, October 11, 2010

An Engineer's Guide to Cats (Video)
Embryonic Stem Cell Treatment of Spinal Cord Injuries Begins Human Trial
Geron Corporation, a biotech firm, has started the first human trials using embryonic stem cells to treat people with recent spinal cord injuries. The patient is at the Shepherd Center, a spinal cord and brain injury rehab center in Atlanta.
Fixing Entitlements by Curing Alzheimer's, Other Diseases
n the midst of rancorous debate on entitlement reform, including Social Security and Medicare, Jim Pinkerton has a rather neat outside-the-box proposal. Cure Alzheimer's, and a lot of health care and other costs go away.
Obama Names Chamber of Commerce as Latest 'Enemy of the People'
The Obama administration has discovered yet another Enemy of the People: the United States Chamber of Commerce. President Obama and his cronies are accusing the Chamber of using foreign money to influence elections.
VSS Enterprise, SpaceShipTwo, Conducts First Free Flight (Video)
Reviving the SSI Space Manufacturing Conference

It will include a Moon vs. asteroids debate.
'Dexter' Season 5 Episode 3 'Practically Perfect'
In "Dexter" Season 5 Episode 3 "Practically Perfect," Dexter and Debra are interviewing candidates for a nanny for Harrison. Bereft of a wife, Dexter will need professional help for his child while he goes to work.
'Mad Men' Season 4 Episode 12 'Blowing Smoke'
In "Mad Men" Season 4 Episode 12 "Blowing Smoke," Don Draper and the rest of the firm are still dealing with the blowback from losing the Lucky Strike account. The very fact that the firm is vulnerable is inhibiting getting new business.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Google Developing Cars that Don't Need Drivers
The New York Times is reporting that Google is developing cars that don't need drivers. Tests using seven cars outfitted with GPS navigation systems and sensors have successfully driven 1000 miles without human intervention.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

While Obama abandons the Moon, India is the latest country to plan a follow up mission to Earth's nearest neighbor.
The latest from comic book master Stan Lee. Romeo and Juliet: The War
In it, two groups of superhuman soldiers turn the Empire of Verona into the most powerful territory on earth. The Montagues (powerful cyborgs made of artificial DNA) team with the Capulets (genetically enhanced humans with super speed and agility) to destroy all threats to Verona. When they succeed, they turn on one another in a race for total dominance. In this volatile backdrop, a young Monague boy and Capulet girl fall in love and plan to marry in secret.

The mind boggles.
Is Sarah Palin the Second Coming of Ronald Reagan?
At a reception and dinner attended by fifty conservative movers and shakers, Sarah Palin implicitly compared herself to President Ronald Reagan. At the same time she suggested that she is mulling a Presidential run in 2012.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader International Trailer (Video)

Friday, October 08, 2010

Wayne Hale, like a growing number of adults, is saying that we have a tendency to not want to pay for the space program we want. It was like that for Constellation. I is apparently like that for Obamaspace.
Christine O'Donnell Talks to CNN (Video)
Is Obama's EPA Going After the Livestock Industry?
If Tamara Thies, the chief environmental counsel at the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, suggests the Obama administration is going after the livestock industry with crippling EPA regulations concerning dust in the wind.
George Allen is looking for a rematch against James Webb.
New Polls Show Patty Murray, John Dingell Trailing Challengers
A number of poll shockers were released recently. Two show challenger Dino Rossi ahead of Senator Patty Murray, one by six points, the other by three points. The third poll, though, shows Congressman John Dingell behind by four points.
Paul Spudis does not like the new direction in space.
NASA’s new authorization bill (S.3729) was passed by Congress before they cleared out of town and will soon be signed by the President, codifying into law the federal government’s formal abandonment of the Vision for Space Exploration. In its place is a mish-mosh of platitudes, entitlement programs, pontificating blither about “unique” missions, commercial aerospace welfare and most significantly, an utter lack of direction for our national space program.

I’ve already heard the reaction to the sentiments above, as the space blogosphere has hashed and rehashed space access, space direction and space pork and now is left with – what? Defensively, we’re told, “The new bill does too have direction!! We’re going to Mars! We’re going to a near-Earth asteroid!! We’ll develop new, “game-changing, leap-ahead” technologies to make spaceflight easier and cheaper – that will take us there sooner! The commercial sector will develop new, ultra-affordable launch vehicles to allow the movement of humanity into space!” They will just … “Make it so.”

And yet there is a glimmer of hope.
The bill’s wording about human access to “cislunar space,” as well as the mention of “in situ resource utilization” indicates that some in Congress are not blind to the wealth of knowledge recently acquired showing that the poles of the Moon contain abundant water – material useful to those countries willing to go after it in order to achieve affordable space faring capability and routine access to cislunar space, where all advanced countries’ satellite assets reside.

In short, I detect in the new authorization bill the hand of someone in the bowels of the committees – a staffer perhaps – who has perceptively salvaged a slender thread of capability for the use of some future national leader, one that supports a robust American space program. I note that the authorization calls for a report in 90 days on how the agency proposes to implement the new plan. Somebody will be watching them.


Addendum: Clark Lindsey is following the delusional talking point that Obama never proposed bypassing the Moon. What is it about "Buzz has already been there" do these people not understand?
New Clint Howard Video: The Tax Hike Strategy Session
'Bones' Season 6 Episode 3 'The Maggots in the Meathead'
In the start of "Bones" Season 6 Episode 3 "The Maggots in the Meathead," an older gentleman is looking for buried treasure on the beach. After finding a coin, he finds a cross attached to a chain. Unfortunately, the chain is attached to a body.
Chinese Dissident Liu Xiaobo Awarded Nobel Peace Prize for Human Rights Struggle
Liu Xiaobo, a Chinese dissident and prisoner of conscience, is the 2010 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. The award will thrill lovers of freedom the world over almost as much as it will infuriate the Beijing regime.
Jerry Brown Associate: Meg Whitman a 'Whore'
According to the LA Times, an associate of California gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown has been recorded referring to Brown's Republican opponent Meg Whitman as a "whore." Brown was apparently present when the remark took place.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Ridley Scott is doing a TV miniseries version of The Man in the High Castle, an alternate history novel set in a world where the Axis powers won the Second World War.
Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Snyder vs. Phelps
Wednesday, October 6th, the Supreme Court heard arguments in the Snyder v. Phelps case, concerning the father of a dead Marine suing the Westboro Baptist Church for picketing his son's funeral.
Companies Granted Waivers to Opt Out of Obamacare
The Obama administration has granted at least thirty large companies waivers to allow them to avoid the requirements of Obamacare to maintain certain levels of coverage. Thus is laid bare one of the great problems with the health care reform law.
Rasmussen: 52 Percent of Americans Believe Space Shuttle Program Worth the Cost
Rasmussen has published its latest poll on public support for the space program, and has found some encouraging news and some not-so-encouraging news for space advocates. Some of the results may be skewed by the nature of the questions, however.
Could SpaceX conduct its own return to the Moon program? Maybe.
Mario Vargas Llosa has won the Nobel Prize for Literature. Remarkably he is a writer I have actually heard of and is not an anti American communist.

More on Mario Vargas Llosa Wins Nobel Prize for Literature
Mario Vargas Llosa, a prolific Peruvian writer, has won the 2010 Nobel Prize for literature. The awarding of the Nobel to Vargas Llosa is remarkable for a number of reasons. First, he has been mentioned as a candidate for decades.
'South Park' Season 14 Episode 8 'Poor and Stupid'
"South Park" Season 14 Episode 8 "Poor and Stupid" is a somewhat lame, for "South Park," satire on Nascar, Nascar fans, and about how other people regard both Nascar and Nascar fans. Naturally, Eric Cartman is at the center of things.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

The Chinese appear to be contemplating four robotic lunar landing missions.
Pete Olson is vowing that when the Republicans take back the House, more money will be allocated to NASA as a means to repair the damage done by Obamaspace.

Addendum: Rand Simberg provides some snark in response to Pete Olson's assessment of Obamaspace.
What Pete Olson doesn’t understand about space space policy and technology would fill a middling-big library. No mention of the budget problems and schedule delays. No mention of the new technologies that will finally be funded. Nope, it’s the standard kindergarten treatment — George Bush had a wonderful plan for exploring the galaxy, bold and ambitious, and going along just swimmingly, and then that mean commie Barack Obama came along and Ended Our Space Program. It just makes you want to cry.

One would have to have a heart of stone not to laugh at this haughty silliness. My only comment is that it is fortunate that Olson will shortly have far more influence in how space policy proceeds than Rand.
The Politics of Space Rocket Design at NASA
Robert Braun, the chief technologist for NASA, took note of some of the requirements for the Shuttle Derived Heavy Lift Vehicle in the recently passed NASA authorization bill, and had a brave and true thing to say.
Coming soon:

Democrats to Go After the Stoner Vote
Democratic strategists have hit upon a new and hitherto untapped voter demographic. The demographic tends to be young, more liberal, and has a tendency to get stoned a lot. The idea is not quite as silly as it sounds.

Addendum: An emailer points out that a certain number of people who would vote to legalize pot are libertarians who are not likely to cotton to liberal Democrats.
What do the environmentalists have against kids anyway?
'Stargate: Universe' Season 2 Episode 2 'Aftermath'
In "Stargate: Universe" Season 2 Episode 2 "Aftermath," the crew of the Destiny has to deal with two vexing problems. The first is the periodic shortage of food and other supplies. The second is what to do about the Lucian prisoners.
'Caprica' Season 1 Episode 10 'Unvanquished'
In "Caprica" Season 1 Episode 10 "Unvanquished," Daniel Graystone is still dealing with both the loss of his company and his wife. In the meantime, the monotheistic terrorist Clarice has some startling plans of her own.
A Barack Obama/Hillary Clinton Ticket in 2012? Joe Biden to the State Department?
Bob Woodward is suggesting that a strange scenario is being contemplated in which Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would run as President's Obama's running mate in 2012, while Vice President Joe Biden becomes Secretary of State.
A remake of 'The Wild, Wild West', courtesy of Ron Moore of 'Battlestar Galactica' fame.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Obamaspace is just as underfunded as Constellation.
Rand Simberg examines ways to get into space without a rocket, both practical and not.
Blumenthal Mangles the Answer to 'How Are Jobs Created?' Question
Shakespeare's 'The Tempest' Starring Helen Mirren
'South Park - Poor and Stupid' Preview (Video)
Christine O'Donnell 'I'm Not a Witch. I'm You'
Poll Results in Nevada, West Virgina Favor Republicans in Senate Races
A recent Fox Opinion Dynamics Poll suggests that the Republicans are poised to pick up Senate seats hitherto owned by Democrats. These are the ones held by Harry Reid in Nevada and the one once held by Robert Byrd in West Virginia.
US Military developing renewable energy systems to lessen dependence on diesel
'The Event' Season 1 Episode 3 'Protect Them from the Truth'
In the beginning of "The Event" Season 1 Episode 3 "Protect them from the Truth," Sean is dragging Special Agent Collier, who has been injured, into a motel room. Sean starts to treat the wounds.
'House' Season 7 Episode 3 'Unwritten'
In "House" Season 7 Episode 3 "Unwritten," an author named Alice Tanner is writing, on a manual typewriter no less, her last Jack Cannon: Boy Detective novel. Shortly after she writes "The End," she puts a gun in her mouth.
President Obama to install solar panels at the White House

Monday, October 04, 2010

JK Rowling is now teasing about three more Harry Potter books.
Rahm Emanuel May Not Be a Legal Resident of Chicago
Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel's campaign to become Mayor of Chicago may be derailed before he it even begins. It seems that strictly speaking Emanuel is not a legal resident of Chicago for the purpose of running for office.
'One Nation Rally' Turns Washington Mall into a Landfill
If imitation is the best form of flattery, then the Union/Liberal "One Nation" rally attempted to flatter Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin by occurring on the Washington Mall last Saturday. There were, however, significant differences.
This explains everything.
Life imitates the Simpsons
Glasses free 3D tvs
Jim Oberstar may be toasters. This is heart warming, seeing as Oberstar has advocated regulating commercial space to death.
Is the Moon a repository of rare Earth minerals? It seems possible which makes the Obama abandonment of the Moon all that more galling.
Sometimes Your Humble Correspondent is astonished at the number of brains in which he lives rent free. Consider this post from the ever mercurial Rand Simberg.
In Whittingtonworld, not going someplace first is an “exclusion” of it. No one familiar with logic would draw such a conclusion. No one in the administration has said that we are not going back to the moon. All that the new policy does is remove it as the first target (as the Augustine panel suggested last year, for good reason).

There is one rather patent falsehood in this statement. The Augustine Committee offered two sets of options, one Moon first, the other "Flexible Path."

Second, I would defy Rand to point to any statement by any administration official that has stated where the lunar surface fits in the new Obamaspace plan. President Obama's speech mentioned three destinations; an asteroid, Mars orbit, and Mars itself. The HEFT study suggests visits to High Earth Orbit, and some of the Lagrange Points before the NEO asteroid mission. The Moon is not in any of the time lines presented. There is a mention of lunar hardware in a section called "Systems Extensibility/Evolution for Other Destinations", but no dates. If we accept Lori Garver's speech about her vision for the next fifty years in space, 2060 will come and go without any Americans on the Moon.

So I would ask, who is being obtuse? Rand Simberg seems to be reading things into Obamaspace that simply are not there.

Still, Rand does offer this:
And of course, Mark continues to delude himself that what any president (particularly a likely one termer) states as a goal in space is going to matter a decade later, and doesn’t realize that Americans are no better at ten-year plans than Lenin was.

Rand posts his second falsehood, a blatant, flat out lie in fact. I have been stating in a number of venues that this whole travesty is going to be revisited as early as next year with the new Congress. Certainly the next President is going to have to fix the damage. Indeed, I state as such in the very article Rand has referenced, though he has apparently not read it very carefully or to the end.
The irony is that change in NASA policy is all but inevitable. The new Congress that will convene in 2011 will be far different than the one that held its nose and passed the NASA Authorization bill with such a lack of enthusiasm. A Republican run Congress is going to revisit NASA space policy, mindful of the casual and destructive nature of how President Obama dealt with the Bush era policy.

The betting among political insiders is that Obama is on course to become a one term President. That means in January 2013, along with quite a few other items, another change of direction at NASA is likely to occur. And so, buffeted by the winds of political whim, the American space program charts an uncertain and hazardous course into the future.

It is interesting that Rand suggests (perhaps the proper word is imply) that Obamaspace is Leninist. I thought it was going to herald a brave new era of commercial space travel (heavily funded by government subsidies.) Until the inevitable denial by Rand that he has said what he has said, I congratulate him on this insight.
'Dexter' Season 5 Episode 2 'Hello, Bandit'
In "Dexter" Season 5 Episode 2 "Hello, Bandit," the aftermath of Rita's murder still roils the Morgan household. Astor, Dexter's sullen teenage stepdaughter, still hates him and blames him for everything. Dexter is not in a state to defend himself.
'Family Guy' Season 9 Episode 2 'Excellence in Broadcasting'
How did Rush Limbaugh do in his starring role as himself on "Family Guy" Season 9 Episode 2 "Excellence in Broadcasting?" For the most part, Rush did very well. He was erudite, calm (except when whupping gangsta butt), and not scary at all.
'Mad Men' Season 4 Episode 11 'Chinese Wall'
At the beginning of "Mad Men" Season 4 Episode 11 "Chinese Wall," the fact that Lucky Strike is yanking the account leaks out, even though Roger knew for weeks this was happening. Chaos and recriminations ensue.
The Last Moonwalker and Other Stories, Children of Apollo, and Nocturne are now available for the Barnes and Noble Nook Ebook reader.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Rush Limbaugh on Family Guy--Why?
Rush Limbaugh is due to appear on "Family Guy" as himself on Sunday, October 3rd. Considering the reputation that Seth MacFarlane's show has for childish, gross out, far left humor, Rush's fans are asking why.
NASA's Lori Garver: We're Going Back to the Moon After All
With the passage of the NASA Authorization Bill, a new, albeit unsteady, course correction has been set for NASA. Besides resorting to commercial spacecraft to fly astronauts into space, NASA is now no longer going back to the Moon.

Or is it?

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Some Favorite Stephen J. Cannell Television
Stephen J. Cannell has died at the far too young age of 69, and mores the pity as he either created, produced, or wrote for some of the most entertaining, light action TY shows of the 1970s and 1980s.
Rick Sanchez Fired from CNN for 'Unforgivable Gaffe' About John Stewart and Jews in the Media
If the Harry Potter universe has the "unforgivable curses", the media has the "unforgivable gaffes." Friday, October 1st, former CNN on air personality Rick Sanchez committed one of those gaffes while venting against Jon Stewart.
1010 Says We Should Blow Children Up for the Environment (Video)
Rush Limbaugh to Star on 'Family Guy' (Video)

Friday, October 01, 2010

'Bones' Season 6 Episode 2 'The Couple in the Cave'
The mystery in "Bones" Season 6 Episode 2 "The Couple in the Cave" concerns, as the title suggests, two skeletal remains in a cave at a national park, hence the involvement of Booth and Bones.
'True the Vote' Uncovers Voter Registration Fraud in Houston
Lori Garver, the Deputy Director of NASA, seems not to be on same page as her boss where going back to the Moon is concerned.
"I just won't agree that this ends the moon as a destination," Garver said. "We look up in the night sky and see the moon and it is an inspiration to us all. My first son's first word was 'moon.'"

In the nearly 49 years of human spaceflight, only a handful of missions – the six successful Apollo moon landings – have sent humans to walk on the moon's surface.

"Of course, we have been there with 12 humans. We will be going back with humans. We will be going back with robots," Garver said. "And the fact that we are charting the next destination as an asteroid is nothing against the moon."

One wonders what it is about "Buzz has already been there" that Ms. Garver does not understand. Mind, she was quite vague as to how and when this is all going to take place.

In any case, I remain a skeptic. The President of the United States was very specific when he ruled out the Moon as a destination. I do not see Obama changing his mind any time soon.

Addendum: Rand Simberg seems to have the quaint notion that the President of the United States is not the final arbiter of American space policy.

People are making too big a deal of Lori’s statement yesterday that we are not abandoning the moon. This is not any different than NASA has been saying since February, though the message has been badly garbled, and the president didn’t help with his flip and foolish comment about how “Buzz has already been there.”

Flexible Path always meant just that — flexible, and that flexibility included the ability, eventually, to go to the lunar surface, just not as a first destination.

Except that President Obama specifically excluded the Moon in his April 15th, listing instead three destinations, an asteroid, Mars orbit, then Mars. The comment about Buzz Aldrin was flip, but it illustrated the President's total disdain for going back to the Moon ever.

The Moon ought to be the first destination because of its store of water. Instead of launching fuel from Earth to the Lagrange points, it would be far cheaper to refine rocket fuel at a lunar settlement, launch tanks to the L points, possibly via a mass driver, and then have a really sustainable program of deep space exploration.

The problem is that the President is not really serious about his exploration scheme. The milestones are already shifting to the right, receding every farther into the future.

Which brings us to Lori Garver's comments. Either she is free lancing, which is an interesting idea in itself, or she is spinning to try to tamp down on discontent over Obama's bogus space exploration plan.
The Chinese have launched their second lunar probe. It looks like there is at least one country that is not prepared to abandon the Moon.