Archive | 15:34

Space: The Final Is Here

17 May
Shuttle launch of Atlantis at sunset in 2001. ...

Image via Wikipedia

Tomorrow is the last Space Shuttle mission. Does this make you, happy, sad, or indifferent? Why?

Okay, it might not be tomorrow; it might already have happened because I’m writing this yesterday but in the future of the moment the prompt was given.  So it might be tomorrow, or not: Space Shuttles are notoriously unreliable.  I guess any plane that needs a parachute to land is going to have glitches, however, so I don’t hold that against them.

I am truly sad that the era of the Shuttle has come to an end.  We should be out there in space, doing stuff.*

*Bear with me: I’m an enthusiast but not so hot on the technical details.

Stuff is what we do: search out new lives and new civilisations.  Boldly go where no split infinitives have gone before. 

It started with the bloke who thought, ‘This village is all right but there must be more than just us out there,’ and went to see for himself, dragging his missus and kids along so there was always supper on the table and someone to haul the water. 

Having found he wasn’t alone in his universe and there was, in fact, another village over yonder (with his missus sighing, ‘It’s life, Jim, but not as we know it: they eat their bread butter side down.  I blame that Seuss fella’), he felt the urge to search out more villages, maybe one with a posh hotel and a shower: ‘Clean me up, snotty.  I’ve travelled five miles to get here.’

And so he (it’s always a he because paternalistic attitudes prevail even in these enlightened times when a woman can’t get elected President because she doesn’t cry and people don’t like it because she’s hard and then she does cry and people don’t like it because who wants a cry baby as leader of the free world?) conquers the villages he visits and moves on to the next.  On to towns, cities, shires, countries, new worlds across the sea, taking care not to fall off the edge on the way.

Finally, he thinks that space might be a good idea because those pesky communists wanted it first.  Illogical, yes, but great motivation.

In 1969 he makes one giant leap for mankind (have you tried walking daintily in those huge suits?) and celebrates with a game of golf and a growth industry of conspiracy theorists who claim there was no way he got a hole in one with no shadows to prove it. 

Some of his mates follow in his moon boots then bam!  1972 passes and nothing…no more moon walks that don’t involve a single white glove.

How did that happen?  It’s like someone decided: been there, done that, got the space shirt; now we have a parking garage and huge garbage dump and we can live happily ever after.

Maybe they have a point: despite all the movies, we haven’t been invaded yet.  What self-respecting alien wants to live in a world that uses space trash instead of ozone to keep the temperature ambient?  And who doesn’t want a follow-up to velcro?

Clearly, our prime directive is to save money and stay at home, avoiding the neighbours.

Of course I’m sad.

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Stockport’s Finest

17 May

Fairytale: Cpl Mark Ward gives the cup to Carlos Tevez

As much as I love Carlos Tévez who, my son tells me, was not who they had in mind when they invented High Definition tv,  the real hero in the top picture is the man in brown. 

(You can read the whole story here.)

He is Corporal Mark Ward of the Mercian Regiment: from Stockport, lifelong Man City fan, and holder of the Military Cross for bravery in Afghanistan.  He is one of the few people to have presented the FA Cup – it’s usually royalty – and as a City fan must have been over the Blue Moon.

It is Corporal Ward and others like him who are the ones who should be earning hundreds of thousands of pounds a week.  There’s something wrong in a world that values actors and sports people above the military, police, teachers, medics, bin men and others who make our lives better and safer.

Joke 54

17 May

The hospital regulations required a wheel chair for patients being discharged. 

However, while working as a student aide, Sam found one elderly gentleman already dressed and sitting on the bed with a suitcase at his feet, who insisted he didn’t need Sam’s help to leave the hospital. 

After a chat about rules being rules, he reluctantly let Sam wheel him to the elevator. 

On the way down Sam asked him if his wife was meeting him. 

“I don’t know,” was the reply. “She’s upstairs in the bathroom changing out of her hospital gown.”

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