MISTAKES WERE MADE
Mistakes were made. Early in the 21st Century, American mistakes ran around everywhere making people look stupid, ignorant, illiterate and incompetent. Damn those nefarious mistakes. Something should be done about them.
Last week as I sat working on this blog, 50 degree temp. outside, I glanced to my right through the picture window into the backyard and, lo and behold, orange breastplates flashed everywhere as robins busily flipped and tossed the winter-packed dead leaves covering my flowerbeds. I imagined their head-tosses to be angry, at least disgusted, because where they had found soft, worm-bearing earth last summer, they were now finding a heavy coating of wet leaves. They were saying, “Damn, what’s going on here! Where’s the worms? What did this dunderhead do to my worm market?” I rushed to get my camera, but the rechargeable batteries were dead, and by the time I got a couple of regular batteries to do the deed with, the robins were gone as swiftly as they’d showed up to brighten my winter day.
Got the robin photo here.
DON’T BE A COSMIC LITTERBUG, CONFUCIUS SAYS
In future, when we go picnicking in the stars, we’ll have to take along some sort of cosmic scrapper scraper (a sort of pooper scooper for the Universe). The following information is from a New York Times article in their Space and Cosmos section. That’s right—“Space and Cosmos” section. Does that make you as jealous as it makes me as you read our lovely Spokesman Review? To read the whole thing, click here.
For decades, space experts have worried that a speeding bit of orbital debris might one day smash a large spacecraft into hundreds of pieces and start a chain reaction, a slow cascade of collisions that would expand for centuries, spreading chaos through the heavens.
In the last decade or so, as scientists came to agree that the number of objects in orbit had surpassed a critical mass — or, in their terms, the critical spatial density, the point at which a chain reaction becomes inevitable — they grew more anxious.
Early this year, after a half-century of growth, the federal list of detectable objects (four inches wide or larger) reached 10,000, including dead satellites, spent rocket stages, a camera, a hand tool and junkyards of whirling debris left over from chance explosions and destructive tests.
Now, experts say, China’s test on Jan. 11 of an anti-satellite rocket that shattered an old satellite into hundreds of large fragments means the chain reaction will most likely start sooner. If their predictions are right, the cascade could put billions of dollars’ worth of advanced satellites at risk and eventually threaten to limit humanity’s reach for the stars.
Federal and private experts say that early estimates of 800 pieces of detectable debris from the shattering of the satellite will grow to nearly 1,000 as observations continue by tracking radars and space cameras. At either number, it is the worst such episode in space history.
Today, next year or next decade, some piece of whirling debris will start the cascade, experts say.
Did you hear about the guy who found out a way to make milk into beer? He’s calling it—get this—Bilk. If I heard right. The story came on while I was driving and—get this—paying attention to my driving rather than to my cell phone, radio, shaving, changing my shirt, putting on lipstick, eating a burrito, drinking my latte or ogling the cute guy or gal in the next auto over. Damn—too bad I no longer drink!
The unmarriageable poets a few posts past were Walter Whitman and Emily Dickinson.