Sunday, April 12, 2015

Because the Saturn V Rocket ...

"Space Bananas," Lil' OB, 2008, magic marker on paper

Just stay with me on this.

We all remember the Apollo missions. We all remember the staggering launches and subsequent visuals.

I also remember a distinct disappointment in my tiny self when I learned the giant rocket would not be torpedoing through space like in the cartoons or cheesy old movies.

"The astronauts only need the big rocket to get through the earth's atmosphere, honey," my dad explained as I blinked at the mystifying image on the black and white screen. "After the rocket does its job, they only need that little pod."


From Wiki on the Saturn V Rocket:

The second stage accelerated the Saturn V through the upper atmosphere with 1,100,000 pounds-force (4,900 kN) of thrust in vacuum. 

Friends, that is badass.

Humble hostess, circa 1970
Now then, if we needed a Saturn V Rocket to overcome the earth's atmosphere/gravity in order to get ol' John up to the moon and take that one small step, it seems to me--on a strictly intuitive basis--that the atmosphere is a pretty tight lid covering the earth.

Yes? No? Anyone? Bueller?

If the answer is yes, then could someone from the climate change denial camp please explain to me where all of our gaseous emissions are going?

Where are they going? What's happening to them? Are they turning into fairy dust? Are magical birds inhaling them and exhaling purified air? Or maybe the same atmosphere that requires 1.1 million pounds of force to overcome is making an exception with the exhaust from my VeeDubs and just letting it float through to the rest of the infinite universe. 

I'm all ears: explain it to me.

So our friends in Wisconsin can "ban" discussing climate change (so much for free speech, eh?), but I promise you: if we don't take of the earth, Mother Nature will take us out and repair it in her own sweet time.

There is no debate. She will win this fight in the end.

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Sunday, April 05, 2015

A Cleveland Saturday

Happy Birthday Cleveland Bench!

Why, yes, I'd love a cuppa joe

Hi Goat and Lil' OB

Smoochin' on da bench ...

... and one with da kid

Such a pretty pretty day

Can't wait until next time!

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Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Little Westeros

Flogo soldiers at rest

On moonless nights, when the wind goes completely still, the burlap surrounding them starts to rustle. Accompanied by a sound no man has ever heard, arms fashioned from prickly boughs tear through the sides, ever so slowly. Then root-like feet emerge from below as gnarled legs extend. The bodies rise up, up. Fully realized, a Flogo stands 18 feet tall with an arm-span of 10 feet.

In perfect formation, they march into the darkness in search of .... a leader?

I'm going to learn how to communicate with them (they already let me take their picture), and when the White Walkers show up, I'm going to be heading up these sonsabitches. To hell with that blond chick and her dragons. The O'Brien's coming out with her Flogos army (I'm going to need a really serious outfit).

Lest any portion of the readership doubt  me, these mother effers look the same whether you're coming or going.



You with us? You're either with us or against us.

So, you with us?

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Monday, March 30, 2015

Indiana dreamin'

My experience with Indiana is minimal. When I was a kid, my parents, brother and I would drive through it every year on route to my grandparents' place in St. Louis for Thanksgiving.

Indiana was just a long flat stretch of earth that I had to endure between the equally endless Ohio and Illinois in order to get to the exotic city with the giant Arch on Wednesday and again on Sunday during the less festive trip home. But there seems to be a lot of bluster whirling around Indiana these days, so let's go there.

I am straight. I like men. I like them a lot. I do not like homophobia. I dislike it a lot.

Truth: if you draw a line and designate one end as 100 percent gay and the other as 100 percent straight, we'd almost all fall somewhere between the two extremes. And the more you try to convince me you're at the 100 percent straight end, the more I think you're closer to the middle than you care to admit. After all, how many anti-gay preachers have proven this point? (And yes, I've had bi-curious moments in my life. They did not stick.)

So what the hell is going on in Indiana? The pithy memes and angry shouts don't reveal much. The Indianapolis Star, however, published a very thoughtful read on the subject by Stephanie Wang:

In Indiana, about a dozen cities, including Indianapolis, have local nondiscrimination laws that specifically protect gays and lesbians in employment, housing, education and public accommodation, which include business transactions. But in much of Indiana there is no such protection. The concern among opponents of the law is that it could embolden people to challenge those local laws, reports Wang, subsequently adding, During RFRA discussions in Indiana, state Republican leaders have dismissed statewide class protection for sexual orientation or gender identity. She goes on to note how the Christian Conservatives were the force behind this latest measure.

The underlying agenda seems clear to me. Frankly, I am so fed up with the religious right that I just don't know what. I cannot believe that in the year 2015 sexual puritanism continues to rule us. Yet, here we are.

I have no idea how the Indiana situation will play out (but according to the numbers, the good guys are winning the big game), but it will play out. It will likely dash any presidential aspirations for Mike Pence. Perhaps more significantly, now that Indiana has pushed this issue to center stage, will unconditional support for similar "religious rights" laws become a litmus test for the 2016 GOP primary? How far will the zealots push Jeb & Co. on this when the country is running so fast in the opposite direction?

Just like I had to endure the miles of Indiana as a kid in order to get to the gleaming Arch, the GOP is going to have to wade through this thorny mess in order to get to 2016.

Lumber on, elephants. The parade is simply fascinating. Disgusting, but fascinating.

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Friday, March 27, 2015

Phone cam round-up

Boob, leg and foot

Yo carhop--gimme an order o' fries and a vanilla shake

Mail call ...

"High Performance"

I'm guessing crap

Urban wildlife and sliced bacon

Road pickle

Photo that does not require a caption

Beer people

Silly sideways selfie

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