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One Small Step

Apollo 11

Apollo 11


Neil A. Armstrong

Pilot: Columbia Command Module

Michael Collins, Lieutenant Colonel, USAF

Pilot: Eagle Lunar Module

Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin, Jr., Colonel, USAF

Launched: 16 July 1969 UT 13:32:00 (08:32:00 CDT)

Landed on Moon: 20 July 1969 UT 20:17:40 (15:17:40 CDT)

Landing Site: Mare Tranquillitatis – Sea of Tranquility (0.67 N, 23.47 E)

Returned to Earth: 24 July 1969 UT 16:50:35 (11:50:35 CDT)

July 16, 2015   No Comments


Steve Bates featured Paul Krugman’s analysis of the EU’s demands for Greece, but I was more amazed by this: the IMF attacks EU over bailout.

The International Monetary Fund [IMF] is one of Greece’s creditors, and Greece has already missed a payment to the IMF, so they have ‘a dog in this fight’. They are part of the ‘troika’ that is supposed to be formulating the resolution to Greece’s economic problems. The prime minister of Greece is going to have a hell of a time trying to get parliament to go along with the EU demands when the IMF believes the demands will make things worse.

The economics columnists at the CBC and the ABC are saying much the same as Krugman and the IMF – the EU demands are pointless, as they won’t work and were designed as punishment, not a solution.

July 15, 2015   No Comments

The Iran Agreement

There is apparently an agreement on the Iran nuclear program that the negotiators are presenting to their governments for approval. There are several outright lies being spread in the media coverage.

The first lie is that the people making comments about the agreement, politicians mostly, have actually read the entire agreement. These statements were prepared long ago and have nothing to do with the actual agreement.

Bibi Netanyahu was the first politician to condemn the agreement, but Bibi has been warning that Iran was building a nuke since 1992, and has rather obviously been wrong for decades. Part of his status is the lie that Israel is an ally of the US. The only actual ally that the US has in the Middle East is Turkey, which is a member of NATO, and has fought along side US troops in multiple conflicts. Israel has made no commitment to defend the interests of the US, despite all of the assistance that the US has provided.

The US is responsible for encouraging Iran to have a nuclear program, and Iran has signed and is in compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The areas that Iran has denied inspectors access to are the result of exceptions to the inspection protocols inserted in the Treaty at the insistence of the US and the USSR.

While it is totally unscientific, an Internet poll by one of the US media conglomerates [MSNBC, I think] showed that more than 85% of Americans believe that Iran can be trusted to abide by the agreement. That’s about the same percentage of Americans who don’t trust Congress.

Finally, this agreement has the potential to bring down the cost of gas to under $2/gallon. The sanctions against Iran have beem keeping the price elevated by reducing the supply of crude oil on the market.

July 14, 2015   2 Comments

Happy Bastille Day

La Fête Nationale
Bastille Day


Thank you for the help with the Revolution.

Some background.

July 14, 2015   2 Comments

Pluto Fly-by

Nasa’s New Horizons probe is scheduled to make its closest approach to Pluto tomorrow. This completes the visits by probes of the nine classical planets of the solar system.

This is the most interesting news today.

Update: After 9½ years in flight New Horizons has successfully accomplished its primary goal.

July 13, 2015   4 Comments

More Pain

The EU has decided that Greece must agree to more beatings before they will agree to give the Greek government anything.

The Iran nuclear deal is closer than ever, but everyone seems hesitant to actually finish it.

As for me, I’m trying to do things with thunderstorms interrupting the 105°+ heat index and not making a lot of progress.

July 12, 2015   8 Comments

Lack of News

The most news-worthy thing that has occurred recently is the removal of the flag of the Army of Northern Virginia in South Carolina. Apparently this qualifies Nimrata Nikki Randhawa Haley [she is an East Indian American], the current governor of South Carolina, to be a major contender for the position of Vice President on the Republican ticket.

The Greeks and EU are still dancing around, as are the Iranians and US.

The cats are not coming outside because of the changeable weather.

I really need to fix a couple of things and start posting on the Tour.

July 11, 2015   No Comments


The Office of Personnel Management is the human relations/personnel department of the Federal government. Katherine Archuleta, who has been the director of the OPM since 2013, has resigned effective today. She announced last month that the department’s computer system had been hacked and the personnel records of 4.2 million current and former federal workers have been compromised. Yesterday she announced that the records of 21.5 million people who had applied for government background checks since 2000 were probably also taken.

Of course, Congresscritters immediately started demanding her resignation. What no one seems interested in discussing is the reality that the only reason we know about the hack is because Ms Archuleta has been upgrading the software since she took over the department, and the upgraded software discovered the break-in.

No good deed goes unpunished in politics.

July 10, 2015   10 Comments

Not Hacked

Apparently United Airlines lost an important router on the same day that the New York Stock Exchange decided to do a major software update and when they both crashed all sorts of government agencies got involved to find out if it was a ‘cyber-attack’.

United went down because their system lacks the redundancy to withstand a router failure, and the NYSE updated software without updating the configuration files to allow users to access their system after the update.

July 9, 2015   3 Comments

As Expected

Having already failed to provide the state with an budget, the Republican leadership of the Florida legislature has been informed that they have redraw the election districts because the Florida Supreme Court has just ruled that the last map they created is too political to pass the standards that were put in the Florida constitution by a referendum. This means calling one or more special sessions to get this done, and those sessions cost Florida taxpayers a lot of money.

July 9, 2015   No Comments

Le Tour 2015

As always, here are the Tour basics if you want to follow along. The Tour started on July 4th, but I’ve been tied up with other things and it will be a bit before I can handle the daily updates.

Tour jerseys

The cartoon characters from my header are wearing the various colored jerseys that indicate the leader in the different classifications in the race.

The Maillot Jaune, Yellow Jersey is worn by the rider with the lowest time overall in the race. The eventual winner of the race may never have come in first in any stage, but was near the lead throughout the race and achieved the lowest time over the entire course of the event. The winner is normally an “all-arounder”, someone who is very good at the sprints and the hill climbing, even if they aren’t the best. Chris Froome, Alberto Contador, and Fabian Cancellara are “all-arounders”, showing up on the lists of the sprinters and the climbers, while staying in the top ten for overall time.

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July 8, 2015   No Comments

In Memoriam

July 7th, 2005, London

Arms of London

BBC In Depth and the Wikipedia articles on the bombing.

July 7, 2015   No Comments

The Flight Continues

After being diverted to Japan and an extended stay waiting for the weather to cooperate, Solar Impulse completes epic flight to Hawaii.

Obviously this aircraft is not suited for scheduled transport, but it uses nothing but sunlight to fly.

July 6, 2015   No Comments

Greeks say No!

Actually they said “Οχι” because they are Greek.

Greek voters reject bailout offer by 61% and the Euro bankers say there is no point in negotiating with people who won’t agree with them.

The voters have gone along with the Euro bankers for 5 years and things just kept getting worse.

July 5, 2015   8 Comments