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Monthly Archives: July 2011

Apparently the whole world is all about the end of the current space era. Nine years out and the AFP is already writing about how the International Space Station is going to meet its end.

Image via NASA

If you know what Mir was, you can already venture a guess. If you don’t, well let’s just say the ISS will go from a virtual vacuum to having the pressure of the world’s oceans crushing it. That’s right, their going to sink the thing. 

If the downing of the Russian Mir was any indicator, at least the ISS will going out in a ball of glory. And by glory I mean flames. 

Image via Wired.

That will be a great day for those with telescopes. I’m definitely going to be mooching on my dad to watch that piece of history die.

My question is who is ballsy and savvy enough to find out where the ISS will hit water at and be there to gather scraps to sell? Me? No, I don’t have the technology. 

Like most of the nerds I know, I’m a fan of some of the Gawker Media websites. That’s a lie. I’m a fan of all the Gawker sites, but I’m especially obsessed with Lifehacker and io9. 

As I got my first dose of Lifehacker this morning over breakfast, I actually took time, defied my ADHD-riddled brain, and read a whole 100 word post. I’ll give you the link here, but if you don’t have time to ingest all eight sentences, here’s the gist. Don’t make a to-do list, make a to-stop list. If you stop doing the things that stop you from being productive, you’ll be more productive. 

It seems like a simple enough concept, and one I’m a fan of for two reasons. First, I like lists, as obvious from the fact that this is itself a list. Second, I’ve been doing this, just not in list form. An example is a post from earlier about avoiding the rabbit hole of Reddit to make me more productive, and less prone to losing my attention (1). 

Today, instead of being productive for 10 or 15 minutes, I’m going to sit down and think of things that I need to stop doing to be more productive, and tackle one a week. We’ll see how that goes. 

1) AN UPDATE. From a strict interpretative of the Reddit post and subsequent weeks, I failed. I’ve checked out the mind-numbing pictures and memes while at work. From my own, warped view, it’s been a success. I’ve avoided the website a great deal. Maybe I should stop writing this during the day to, it’d save me at least 10 minutes. 

I was fortunate enough to see the end of an era recently. I trekked from Champaign, Ill. to Titusville, Fla. to watch the Space Shuttle Atlantis make its final flight out of earth’s atmosphere. The eight hours spent sitting in by the sea wall were completely worth the 32 seconds of flight. It was one of the most awe-inspiring things I’ve seen (see footnotes). 

It was also a moment of great sorrow, yes sorrow. I’ve been dragged to air shows and museums all of my life. My father’s father was an air force firefighter and WWII vet. They lived near a bombing range. My dad, therefore, had been obsessed with planes and flight his whole life. He has every issue of the magazine Air & Space. 

This is him being goofy:

This is one of his smaller telescopes. 

One of my favorite pictures of him and me when I was a kid is us standing by an SR-71 Blackbird at the Air and Space Museum in Dayton, Ohio. It’s one badass plane. It was featured in the most recent X-Men movie, though they did a hack job of representing it’s abilities. Anyway, my dad’s a big air and space nerd, and some of that trickeld down to me. Especially the space part of things.

The idea of giving a big middle finger to gravity and heading for the stars thrills me. It makes me so proud to be a human to think that we saw something floating in the sky, decided to strap a few dudes on top what is essentially a bomb, and go there just to poke around and pick up a few rocks. The nerve that took is the same that makes people look at tall mountains and think, wouldn’t it be neat if I could climb that? What a curious, wonderful species. 

That’s why I’m so glad I got to see the space shuttle launch before the program was K.Oed. And that’s why I can’t wait to see what else we, America, have in store for exploring the great beyond. I mean, look at this puny thing the Ruskies have been using to get to space.

It’s a damn toothpick! Holy hell, we can do better than that. Sure, we’ll use it while we HAVE to, but soon, we’ll be traveling to space in glorious, large and almost opulent American style again, and I can’t wait.

Author’s Footnotes:

NONE OF THIS BLOG POST CONTAINS ANY SARCASM.*

SERIOUSLY, NOT EVEN THAT STATEMENT, OR THIS ONE. 

So … it’s been a while, I know. But I’m not neglecting you, I swear. Things have been really hectic. I even got married. Her name is Jamey and she is one of the most beautiful and intelligent people you will ever come across. Our offspring will obviously be the next stage in human evolution. In fact, the comic book and subsequent animated television show and franchise of movies, X-men, was based on her and my offspring. You see, the writer had a time machine and saw it all. yes, time machines exists, and duh, who else but the nerds would have have one?

Long way of saying I’m back to irregularly posting updates here on a more regular basis, so bookmark this page, it will improve your life.