At a Loss 4 Words…

Where do I begin?  This has been such a big news week…  I had a topic that I was planning on discussing, and I will get to that shortly (look out Floyd Mayweather and Connor McGreggor), but first… I want to give my prayers and best wishes to Senator John McCain after his cancer diagnosis last night.

One of my uncles died from this same tumor a few years ago, and I saw first hand how it effected him and the rest of the family over about 15 months.  As a former Republican (I converted to an Independent three years into the Obama administration), I want to send my prayers to Senator McCain and his family as they come to terms with this.

One thing I always respected about Senator McCain was his NDCQ (not dead, can’t quit) attitude.  Here is a man who served on an aircraft carrier, was a POW for five years, and is probably one of the last senators that I believe really has the best interests of the people at heart, rather than just blindly following party lines.

As former President Obama said, fight hard John.  “Cancer doesn’t know what it is up against”!

Now onto other much less important things, I was talking to friend a few days ago, and the topic of Mayweather v. Connor McGreggor came up…  They told me that this was the biggest sporting event of the year.  My reaction to that?  

Ugh…  😦

I can’t believe people are getting so excited about this… Let’s face it: this fight is a farce!  

It is essentially an overpriced and overpackaged exhibition match since Mayweather holds no titles since he retired, and a UFC fighter in the right frame of mind would never surrender 2/3rds of his fight plan (kicks & ground game) and rely only on fists (and larger than normal gloves that take away some of the sting of your punches…)

This has no business being on PPV, and I wouldn’t even watch it if it aired for free on Fox…

This day in history, July 20, 1969 AD: “one small step for a man” was a “giant leap” forward for mankind as we left the boundaries of Earth and set foot on the Moon for the first time.  

Neil Armstrong always knew that this was not just an accomplishment for him and Buzz Aldrin, but that they made it to the Moon on the backs of thousands of engineers at NASA and all the astronauts who came before them, laying the groundwork for Apollo through the Gemini program that preceded it…

And then there was some other news about some guy who was arrested for armed robbery getting paroled.  Sounds like he got away with murder there…

What a day…

Best wishes,

Bryan

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Bummed About Baseball…

Well…  this is unusual…  my Yankees are having a decent year, and Judge KILLED IT in the All-Star game and HR Derby!

So why am I bummed out?  I also follow the Somerset Patriots in the Atlantic League.  The league had their All-Star game last night.  I wasn’t planning on going initially, but then I heard that John Sterling, the radio voice of my NY Yankees would be announcing the game at TD Bank Ballpark!!!  When in my life will something that cool ever happen again???!!!?!?!?

Life had other plans for me however…

I’ve been dealing with Bronchitis for the last two weeks and thought it was treated, but yesterday it came back with a vengeance.  I suppose I shouldn’t be too surprised.  This happened to me last year around this time, and it took me a month to recover.

Needless to say, I missed the game…

I saw pictures of it on Facebook this morning, and it looks like I missed a great night.  Sparky Lyle and Willie Randolph were both there, and took pictures with John Sterling on the field.  They apparently had every mascot in the league…

I missed a once in a lifetime game, and you wouldn’t usually think that about Minor League baseball.

Oh well… unused ticket night is toward the end of the season in September so at least I’ll still get my money worth out of the ticket price.

Best wishes,

Bryan

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The Red Planet

I posted this on my Facebook feed earlier:

I’m sorry, but Mike Pence saying “we will put American boots on the face of Mars…” is really ill-informed wishful thinking!

I’m not just saying that because I am anti-Trump.

I’m not just saying that because Mike Pence’s views on “religious history” of the age of the Universe are at odds with the scientific fact that the Big Bang occurred 13.8 billion years ago.

I’ll admit: I complain A LOT about the aura of “anti-science” surrounding the Trump administration…

…but this is something that I have been saying since before Trump even considered running, so this is not an anti-Trump rant. I want to clear the air on this right off the bat…

This is a long, LONG… rant about how sending astronauts to Mars is basically a slow, horrifying death sentence.

I believe that landing on the Moon was the greatest achievement in the history of mankind. Back in the days of the Apollo Program and the shuttle era after that, America was the leader in manned space flight.

Since President Obama cancelled funding for the shuttle replacement (Constellation Program if my memory serves), America has taken a back seat — literally… hitch-hiking at very high cost on Russian rockets.

Now… consider for a moment that the Saturn V rocket is currently the most powerful rocket ever made and that only had enough thrust to launch three astronauts and two weeks worth of provisions (food and water) to the Moon and back.

To send astronauts to Mars is a much larger endeavor. Given orbital alignments, at their closest points, our best estimates are that it would take between 4-6 months to reach Mars from Earth.

You would need to design a rocket that could launch (say for example…):

-Three people,

-Enough fuel to make the trip and return journey — with reserves for course corrections,

-Enough food and water for a year-long round-trip plus reserves,

-Rowing machines and the room to allow the astronauts to exercise in order to prevent muscle deterioration due to long-term exposure to zero gravity,

-Enough entertainment to keep their minds occupied during a year-long round-trip since “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy…”,

-Backup components in case systems on the vessel fail…

-And other supplies I probably haven’t even considered, but you get the point…

Even if you “Science the shit out of this” to (appropriately) quote The Martian, and grow food and make water inside vessel, what are you going to do? Ask three people to eat potatoes for a year? The novel was very clear on the math for space requirements (no pun intended) to farm enough food to survive, and IT IS A LOT!

Either way: any rocket powerful enough to get three people to Mars and back would be too big to be feasible.

If we did send people to Mars, to keep the weight down, it would probably be a one way trip, and it is morally wrong to order astronauts to die in the name of “progress”.  

A slow death due to starvation and dehydration (not to mention probable radiation poisoning, more on that in a bit) is one of the most drawn out ways to depart this life that I can imagine. It’s really scary to me that we could conceivably ask people to accept this fate.

I get that the only limits that exist are the ones that we accept for ourselves. But at our current level of technology, this is too big of an ask.  

At least President Kennedy set a timetable when he committed that we would set foot on the Moon and return safely to Earth.

In the case of Mars, it seems to me like we are blindly pushing forward with no real understanding of just how large of an endeavor this really is.

We are developing the SLS (Space Launch System) rocket with “the intention of manned missions reaching Mars” and capsules…
seriously, CAPSULES? We built the space shuttle, and we are taking a step back 40+ years to the days of Gemini and Apollo… Capsules? I’m sorry but HOW CAN YOU FIT ENOUGH SUPPLIES TO SURVIVE THE TRIP INTO SOMETHING THAT IS PLANNED TO BE ONLY SLIGHTLY LARGER THAN THE APOLLO COMMAND MODULE??? Seriously? The idea that we are planning on using a capsule to reach Mars seems really poorly planned out.

Let’s say that you store the provisions for the trip to Mars in a separate module attached to the capsule, you would require astronauts to make daily spacewalks to get supplies in an area where they have none of the protection from radiation that Earth’s magnetic field provides. That’s that horrible radiation poisoning I mentioned earlier…

What we really need to do BEFORE we commit to Mars is to build and properly test a new reliable Shuttle with large cargo capacity and fuel cells sufficient to make the trip. That’s a tough challenge in and of itself considering that the retired shuttles used up half of their fuel just during the initial ascent to reach the altitude of the Hubble Space Telescope approximately 380 miles above the Earth.

But let’s say we figured out a way to solve THAT problem. Then, you could launch the supplies to make a year-long round-trip into orbit. Pick them up in the new shuttle… and then head to Mars and back.

The success of Apollo 11 was achieved with baby steps from all the preceding Apollo and Gemini missions. Each one tested a vital component of getting to the Moon and back. The Gemini and Apollo missions are actually really interesting as far as how each mission detailed a different procedure leading to our first steps on the Moon, and I encourage you to check out the series “When We Left Earth: the NASA Missions” to understand those small steps in the process.
I just don’t hear a plan like that when we discuss the potential for going to Mars now. And THAT is why I say the statement that we will land “American Boots” on the Red Planet is ill-informed wishful thinking.

Sorry for the long rant…

Best wishes,

Bryan

http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/06/politics/mike-pence-mars-nasa/index.html

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Happy 4th of July!!! 

I’ll keep it short and sweet today.  Happy Birthday USA!!!

May everyone continue to enjoy our freedom, good food, friends, family, and fireworks today!!!

Gotta run…  CC just threw the first pitch!

Best Wishes,

Bryan

Note regarding the photo: I took this a few years ago at TD Bank Ballpark, and I bet there are no other pictures of fireworks like it (can you see it?)

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I’m Back Again.

I want to start off with an apology.  I’ve been away for away for a while since things got too hectic for me to keep up on organizing my thoughts here.  Recent events however have encouraged me to get back on, and keep a forum where I can write my ideas in long form (sometimes very very very long…).

If I still have any readers left, thanks for sticking around.  I know it’s been about theee years since my last post, and I don’t know if I will write regularly… still trying to figure that out.  

I can say I will try to approach everything as I always have… discussing Pop Culture, and culture in general with my usual common sense approach that in reality only really represents my own opinion, and a dash of humor.  🙂
I’m going to vent…

I’m going to rant…

I’m going to talk at length about my frustrations, and the things in life that give me joy…
Ah… it’s good to be back…

Sincerely,

Bryan

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Not-So-Random Thought

I have to ask myself: I wonder if baseball players who have returned this season after the Biogenesis scandal are back on the ‘roids again?

Is that a fair question to ask when one of the players on my team has several home runs this spring? (Including a monster shot over the other green monster in “Fenway South” and out of the park…)?

Do we really live in a generation where achievements no longer stand on their own?

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Olympic Snow Shoveling?

Why not? Ice sweeping is a featured sport in the games… LOL!!! Seriously though… our Curling team got spanked HARD by Great Brittain.

Seriously… I don’t know how much more I (or my roof) can take of this!!! 14 inches of snow…

I cleaned my car this morning only to have to clean 8 new inches off of it again just now…

Spring Training starts tomorrow –Wait!!! What? Where are the warmer temps? I digress. I was shocked and saddened to hear that Derek Jeter will retire after this season. It’s hard to imagine the Yankees without their Captain.

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone out there. 🙂

Best Wishes,

Bryan

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