Polls show that 10% of the American people approve of the way the republicans are handling the debt crisis that they created. Who the hell are these 10%?
To show my bias here, I can understand the 40% who approve of the way Obama is handling it. I don't agree but I understand.
This crisis could go away if Obama made a speech and said, “F-you bitches, I killed Bin Laden and I'm invoking the powers of the 14th amendment to solve this. Got a problem with that?”
So to anyone who approves of the job that any one involved in the negotiations on this insane theater of the absurd is doing, I say, “Shut-up Stupid, everyone involved is showing their highest levels of incompetence.”
Lost in the reporting about the Space Shuttle retirement the Dawn mission went under reported. The Dawn spacecraft is investigating the two largest asteroids in the Solar System. Vesta and Ceres. Last week it went into orbit around Vesta. NASA is holding a press conference on August 1 to explain the findings in detail.
These two asteroids have a special place in my heart as they were the setting for my book THE SETTING EARTH which is free to download this weekend.
The real work of the Dawn Spacecraft won't begin until she settles into orbit and can start taking readings, but she has already discovered some mysteries.
Vesta is one of the shiniest objects in the Solar System. It was thought that its shininess was because it is primarily composed of Iron-Nickel, a very tough metal. However the impact craters on its surface are much shallower than one would expect if is was all Iron-Nickel, so there is something about its surface composition that we don't know that makes the impacts shallower than predicted.
It also has some huge grooves that go completely around the proto-planet. We can speculate how those were formed but until we get more information that speculation is pretty meaningless. Some of the smaller grooves were expected. Those little lines are most likely formed as giant boulders shook loose and started rolling across the surface. In the very low gravity they continue to roll for quite a long time.
Over the coming months Dawn will make more and more discoveries. As she settles into orbit we will be able to determine the exact mass and density of Vesta. We will get a much better look at her surface and find out what caused these mysterious features.
One thing I do expect from the Dawn Mission is the unexpected. Whenever we explore new worlds we always find things that fill us with awe. The Voyager probes revealed that Jupiter has a system of moons that are worlds in their own right with liquid oceans under the ice that not only will make them good places for colonization but might harbor life of their own.
Revisiting the Earth's Moon we discovered that the Apollo Missions landed on the driest parts of the lunar surface. That probably wasn't a coincidence, safety engineers like to have people land on the flattest, most boring surfaces just because landing in craters and on the sides of mountains increases the dangers exponentially.
Dawn is the first spacecraft to orbit a large asteroid and she sure to make some amazing discoveries. Soon Vesta will show herself to be a unique world with strange properties that no one imagined. As we learn about these we can figure out uses for this new world and that will lead to a fantastic future.
Now on to my Shameless Self Promotion. Some writers say that you should stop just short of grabbing people in a headlock and screaming at them, “BUY MY BOOK!”
Doing that is hard over the Internet but I will try, so I'll need some help:
You must pretend that I am grabbing you in a headlock and screaming, “BUY MY BOOK!”
Because you are pretending that it is only fair that you can use pretend money to pay for it. So go to Smashwords and pick out any or all of my books. Enter the coupon code: SSWSF and it will be free of charge. Then pretend you paid for it so I can release my pretend headlock.
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Edmund Burke (maybe)
This is like a case study of how a truly insane ranting when gone unchecked can become accepted as fact.
The religious right in this country has its own religious right, guys that the religious right is as ashamed of as much as most Americans are ashamed of the religious right. One of these guys is Douglas Wilson.
Wilson teaches history from a “Biblical Worldview”, the bible allows for slavery therefore slavery must be good. So he teaches how Blacks were better under slavery than they are now being free.
The leaders of the Religious Right used to do an embarrassed cough and turn the other way when asked about Wilson. Whenever he made the news he was rightfully laughed at.
With all the craziness in the news, people have been laughing at other things and Wilson's insane rantings went unchecked. Now the GOP Presidential front-runner Michele Bachmann and Santorum have signed a pledge that blacks were better under slavery. This should be where this craziness stops. But no, the crazy train is just gaining momentum.
Of all people, President Obama had to allow this to keep going on by advertising a talk he had with some college students where he praised President Lincoln for allowing states like Kentucky to keep slavery after the civil war. He used it as an example a the art of compromise, but rather than place it in the context of being a necessary evil, he held it up as a good thing.
Lincoln's writings seem to show he viewed it as a necessary evil as he said that he hoped to have God on his side, but he had to have Kentucky. Lincoln didn't compromise on that for the sake of compromise, he did it because he believed it was the only way to win the war.
The time as come to draw the line on this lunatic notion that slavery was anything more than a barbaric system that exploited people for the sake of a few bucks. Most sane people are rightfully appalled by the fact that it was allowed to go on for so long and consider it a dark chapter in this country's history.
I can tolerate most ideas even if I think they are insane, but to say that slavery was any but truly evil goes beyond the line.
So to everyone, from the insane people that are pro-slavery to people who even tolerate the idea and don't state that slavery was the most evil, vile economic system ever, I say, “Shut-up Stupid, once you say that slavery had any positive impact on the slave your argument is invalid.”
Last week I flashed my poll on this site. Unfortunately it was a small poll and nobody noticed so I had raise attention to my poll on Wednesday. Now the results are in:
When asked, Which of these things is the paramount contributer to human misery at the moment. 2 people said Religion 0 people said Windows Vista 2 people said Bank of America
If I remember my stats 101 correctly the margin of error on this poll is larger than the results making it invalid but I still found it interesting.
Those things are on the opposite ends of society:
Organized Religion is society's Love and Hate emotion. Bank of America is simply indifferent to the needs and concerns of people. Windows Vista is just incompetence on a grand scale.
People were split between what is worse: Emotions that can overpower rational thinking, or the total indifference to the suffering caused by materialistic actions. I guess incompetence can be tolerated.
Or maybe I'm looking at my poll to much.
So it's time to whip out a new poll for everyone to look at.
If the US Presidential Election were held today, I would...
A) Be very surprised B) Vote C) Think it was a trap and stock up on Aluminum Foil
The poll is up on the upper left side of the page.
It seems every generation has to have a stupid media whore begging for attention by claiming she she was raped. This generation has Bristol Palin making the claim so that she can get tens of people to buy her ghost written book.
In the 80s we had Jessica Hahn whose claim to fame was she said, she was raped by Jim Bakker and another preacher for about 15 minutes. According to her after they left she took a nap, showered, and waited for them to come back for another 15 minute session.
After making the news for being a victim she got a boob job, posed for Playboy, and appeared in a Sam Kinison video. As her fame started fading she said that while she and Kinison were alone for 5 minutes he raped her.
Sex in 5 minutes is possible something I know as when my wife and I were newlyweds I jokingly talked about a second round before work, she said I had to leave for work in 5 minutes. Challenge Accepted.
However, the whole Hahn/Kinison story was just absurd.
Then in the 90s we got Paula Jones who said that while Clinton was governor he had state troopers ask her if she would like to meet him in his hotel room, Clinton asked her if she'd like to have sex and she turned him down. Although it was totally inappropriate behavior for the Governor to act so crudely it was not anything illegal. So she said he then whipped out his penis. To describe it she said it leaned to the left. That would be a good guess as 85% of penises do lean that way. But Clinton was left handed and the 15% of men who are left handed have their penises lean to the right.*
This happens because men use their dominant hand to aim while using the toilet. When they finish, with one movement they can push it the opposite direction of their handedness. To make it go the other way they would have to release it and change grips. That would be awkward.
Now Bristol Palin had a book, ghost written for her, that accuses Levi Johnston, the father of her child, of getting her drunk on wine coolers and “stealing her virginity”. She liked it so much she continued to sleep with him. Levi's sister Sadie has quite a different version that she details on her blog.
Even discounting Mercede's account of the morning before, accusing Levi of raping her and that made her go out with him is absurd.
The problem I have with these Media Whores screaming rape to get attention is they demean the real victims of rape. It is a traumatic experience for a woman and when someone says it just to get attention it trivializes it for everyone.
It is bad enough that there are women who for mental reasons or because of personal circumstances falsely accuse men of rape. Authorities are pretty good at determining who these women are and getting them counseling. The media doesn't have to put a spotlight on women who claim it just for Media attention.
So to Bristol Palin when she goes on news programs and claims, “I was raped, tee hee.” I say, “Shut-up Stupid. You are trivializing a serious crime and making the lives of real victims much harder.”
*When I mentioned that lefties lean to the right, and righties lean to the left, how many guys looked down. And how many girls stopped to check their memories?
First and foremost I want to say, “You can take my porn when you pry it out of my wet, sticky hands.” Moving beyond the assault on the First Amendment the pledge gets worse. It praises slavery:
Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born in to slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African- American baby born after the election of the USA's first African-American President.
This is totally insane, under slavery the people were treated as property and constantly traded and sold at the owner's will. So the father or mother of a child might suddenly be traded to a plantation in another state. The child might be sold on reaching puberty or the owner could just get the hots for the mom start raping her and get rid of the father. Any one who thinks that living under slavery was in any form better than living now is insane.
It attacks gays:
Vigorous opposition to any redefinition of the Institution of Marriage – faithful monogamy between one man and one woman – through statutory-, bureaucratic-, or court-imposed recognition of intimate unions which are bigamous, polygamous, polyandrous, same-sex, etc.
Just a note here, besides attacking gays the language of this also attacks the traditional southern marriage style of serial polygamous, polyandrous marriage. Multiple divorce and remarrying.
Of course it wouldn't be a GOP pledge without an imaginary bogeyman:
Rejection of Sharia Islam and all other anti-woman, anti-human rights forms of totalitarian control.
There is no such thing as Sharia Islam outside the GOP's imagination.
So to Bachmann, Santorum, Vander Plaats, and anyone else who think it's okay to pledge to do racist, discriminatory, unconstitutional things, I say, “Shut-up Stupid, people should have the right to live anyway they want as long they aren't hurting another soul. Thinking anyone is better off in any way as slave rather than a free person is crazy to the point that you should have your head examined.”
Today, hopefully, Atlantis will launch and it will be the final mission for the Space Shuttle Program.
The biggest problem with the Space Shuttle was it worked good enough.
When it was originally conceived there was supposed to be 20 shuttles that would rotate through with a launch every two weeks. This would lower the cost per launch dramatically as their would always be a shuttle in space, one being prepped, one being reconditioned after the mission. So even though NASA would have a much bigger workforce, there would be no downtime.
Two things killed that plan. Budget cuts forced NASA to only have 4 shuttles. So they hoped for a launch every month.
Unfortunately, the shuttle wasn't quite reliable enough for that schedule. However it was reliable enough to ensure the space program could go on. If it were a little less reliable it would have been scrapped earlier and replaced with something more reliable. If it were reliable enough to hold the once a month schedule America could have built its own space station in the 90s and open up new markets in space. That would force congress to give space exploration a bigger budget and NASA would have to build a new space craft.
Since the Space Shuttle was “good enough” all our space missions revolved around a few launches every year.
It also wasn't the safest design. Placing the crew next to the engines, instead of on top of them, was riskier but not so risky to stop the program.
2 out of roughly 100 missions ended in disaster, 2%. That is good enough odds for most people wanting to go in space. I'd take those odds. But it meant huge redesigns to try and give better odds. If it had been less safe, a safer replacement would have been made. If it were safer there would have been more missions per year. The Space Shuttle was “Safe Enough” to keep flying.
It was also expensive, half a billion dollars per launch. If it were more expensive it would be worth going back to the drawing board and coming up with a new one. If it were less expensive there would be more launches and more things done in space giving NASA a powerful reason to build a successor.
In the end it was “Cheap Enough” to keep the program going.
The problem of having the Space Shuttle being “Good Enough” at everything is in building a replacement its hard to justify taking the next small step in improvement. If the Space Shuttle can do 4 to 8 missions a year, it's tough to justify spending billions to replace it with one that can do 8 to 12 missions a year. So any replacement had to have a two week turnaround time. That would be a remarkable feat.
Having the Space Shuttle being “Safe Enough” meant a replacement needed to be as safe as an airplane. Something that is probably impossible.
Having the Shuttle being “Cheap Enough” to fly meant it was hard to justify building a new craft that had a 20% saving or $100 million per launch. So any replacement needed to have huge cost savings.
The Space Shuttle was a remarkable machine, but it was cursed by being good enough not to justify building a replacement but not so great that a true successor could be built.
With the end of the Space Shuttle program new spacecraft can be built that are slightly better, not so much better that they are impossible.
Getting the odds of disaster down to 1 in 100 is doable and insurable. $150,000 per flight per passenger in insurance.
One launch per month is doable.
Getting launch costs down 20% per ton. Is doable.
Perfect is the enemy of good as perfect is impossible. With the end of the Space Shuttle program we can look to build a better spacecraft instead of trying the impossible and building the perfect spacecraft.
So goodbye Space Shuttle, if you were a little better or a little worse you would have been replaced years ago. If congress is willing your retirement will lead to a slightly better replacement and that will lead to a fantastic future.
What would you do if you held in your hands the power to wipe out all forms of human poverty, but doing so would place the fate of the human race in the hands of your enemies?
All his life Sam has been told the people of Ganymede were an enemy bent on destroying all the values he holds dear. Getting to know them he starts sympathizing with their idealistic goals, but he isn’t sure if he can trust them. When an interplanetary war between Earth and Ganymede breaks out, Sam finds his actions will determine the fate of humanity, however he is unsure which side to believe.
“The Setting Earth” is a tale of romance that shows that even after humanity has the technology to transform the Solar System; the most powerful force in the universe is the power of friendship.
Simon Yar has been always ashamed of his extreme Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and has gone to extreme measures to hide it, including losing the only woman he had ever loved rather than reveal his secret. When he discovers that an extra-terrestrial virus is turning the people into slaves, he must come to terms with his inner demons or lose everyone he has ever loved.
Since it both a Friday and Canada Day I thought I'd highlight the Canadian contributions to the space program.
The Canadians have managed to contribute a lot to space exploration with a comparatively small budget. The most complex tasks that the Space Shuttle did, launching the Hubble telescope and building the ISS, couldn't have been done without the Robot arm or Canadarm built in Canada to mimic the human arm on a huge scale.
They also built the MOST (Microvariability and Oscillations of Stars or Microvariabilit et Oscillations Stellaire) Telescope, not only a powerful inexpensive space telescope but they managed to get the abbreviation to work in both languages. The MOST is a tiny telescope 2' x 2' x 1' and weighs 124 lbs. It cost $7 million dollars.
The nice thing about (pronounced “Aboot”) the MOST is it can stare at one star for up to two months at a time and can detect tiny changes in the brightness.
Canada has also built science equipment that has been placed on the ISS the Phoenix Mars Lander and the James Webb Space Telescope.
So to CSA (Canadian Space Agency) I'd like to say, “Happy Canada and keep up the good work.” It the Canadians can keep adding to our understanding of the universe with innovative scientific equipment made at comparatively low cost it will lead to a fantastic future.
I am slowly combining my two personalities Project Savior, known on the internet for writing comments and posts and Darrell B. Nelson the semi-professional author who has had his work published in Ray Gun Revival, Distant Worlds, AlienSkin Magazine, Bewildering Stories, Cynic Magazine and the author of the collection of short stories “I Killed the Man That Wasn't There”.
Feel free to laugh with me, or at me, as I merge these two personalities in a whole being. Feel free to email me at project.savior (at) yahoo (period) com.