You couldn't be here if stars hadn't exploded.
To the question, “Why me?” the cosmos barely bothers to return the reply, “Why not?”
Atheist: Natural Morals, Real Meaning, Credible Truth

25 August, 2012

Neil Armstrong

“I am, and ever will be, a white-socks, pocket-protector, nerdy engineer, born under the second law of thermodynamics, steeped in steam tables, in love with free-body diagrams, transformed by Laplace and propelled by compressible flow.”

I watched Armstrong step on the moon with my family in San Rafael CA, 13 at the time. We had missed all the Apollo flights before because we had lived in East Pakistan for the previous two years. But I followed space news actively since and after getting an aerospace degree in 1980, I joined Lockheed and have been doing space operations ever since. Armstrong and Huston Mission Control have been heroes to my coworkers and I for all this time. The cool professionalism as they landed. Tempered with a light touch of humor for sure, but cool, level headed awesomeness. Us old timers sure cringe at the new NASA celebrations… but then they aren’t really in real-time operations, they were cheering something that had happened 14 minutes before and had no real way to affect the outcome of. Not like the Apollo crews and mission control. Or all of the NASA manned spaceflight crews.

Michael Fisher
Posted August 25, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Permalink
A quick look at the net…
I notice that “passed away” is the phrase rather than “dead”. Why do we still do that?

  • fly44d
    Posted August 25, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Permalink
    Dead is harsher and doesn’t convey sadness over the fact. To me “passed away” doesn’t imply heaven or anything mystical, just a loss of someone who was liked. When Rush Limbaugh dies, I’ll use the word “dead”.

24 August, 2012

The lying shit-heads.

Facebook ranting:

The Romney/GOP plan since November 2008. Lie big, lie often. Repeated often enough the lies become truth in those who can't see past the lying. Romney winning in November will be the worst day in American politics. I thought that was the day Bush got re-elected, but this will eclipse that 1000 times.

Response to some blather about "mainstream media" lying:
And what evidence do you have for that? Really? Do you really think that? I have demonstrated over and over the GOP/FOX Noise/Romney lying. Where is the "mainstream" lying? What specifically? They are not great, they leave out a lot of stuff, but what LYING? The FOX lying is outright compulsive and clear. If Obama said the sky is blue they'd twist it somehow into some fear mongering ludicrous fantasy of what he said. The Romney PACs are even worse. Romney hasn't an original thought in his head so he just parrots what he hears. I have absolutely NO respect for the current GOP. They are in the pockets of their corporate masters who are pandering to the idiots of the Tea Party to ensure their capture of the Presidency and Senate. If Obama is the "puppet master" do you think I am a puppet? I am not. I have researched the FACTS for myself. I am NOT deceived, the GOP is lying to regain power and have NO OTHER INTEREST. Restore the country? What bullshit! The GOP drove this country into the ditch as much (especially Reagan!) than anyone! We want them back in control? Insanity! I am so angry at this I am not sure I'd want to stay in this GOP controlled country, living under the racist, misogynistic, anti-science, isolationist, fearful GOP is absolutely revolting. The American people are being bought and lied to and are too lazy to realize it. Maybe they deserve backward movement with backward thinking. Maybe this is the end of the American empire, less than 100 300 years, sad compared to the hundreds of years of the Egyptian, Roman, Chinese or British empires. Am I taking this too seriously? I seriously fear for my daughters' futures.

20 August, 2012

Atheism definition

I saw a new, concise definition of Atheism.
Atheism is not the absence of belief, it's the freedom to believe in what is true.
No matter what any scripture says, I can believe that evolution is how we came to be, that we live in a 13.7 billion year old universe, that women are equal to men, that it is ok to be gay, that meaningful life does not begin at conception, and many other things that can be shown to exist or be true.  It means that our morality is of our own doing and responsibility.  Purpose and meaning in life is what we make of it for ourselves and again we are responsible for it.

06 August, 2012

Sikh Temple Killer

I don't want to know the killer's name.  I don't want to see his face.  I'm not interested in his motive.  I don't care.

I  Don't  Care

I don't care because who he was and why he did it is irrelevant.  Unimportant.  Meaningless.  He removed his relevancy when he chose to commit this act.  He removed himself from our society and attacked it without provocation.  His actions are probably a symptom of our our society's failure to educate but that doesn't mean he needs to be glorified (even negatively) by the media.  The best way to fight against this form of terrorism is to ignore the killer.  Don't give him relevancy since he has none.

I only care about the innocent people who were murdered and their families and community.  They are relevant.  Who were they?  What did they do?  What will they do now?

04 August, 2012

Aug 2012 Young Eagles

Foggy day at WVI. We scrubbed the Young Eagles flights due to the low clouds and the risk of a bunch of planes flying around the same place in them. I killed my battery trying to start anyway so spent the rest of the afternoon servicing it and then taking an quick scud running flight.

Over 40 kids showed up to fly.  Kind of hard to tell them we weren't flying today.

Battery out, serviced and charging.  This battery problem is pissing me off.

60 year old battery and engine compartment, could stand some refurbishment.

Nice for VW to place a power outlet in the trunk. Inverter to charger to battery.

I don't think I went over 1000' the whole flight. It was clearer over the water.

It was fun zooming around the Pajaro Valley. Good thing I took this flight... I came back down in a much better frame of mind.

03 August, 2012

Free Speech and Feminism

Speaking Out Against Hate Directed at Women: Matt Dillahunty

"When someone expresses a concern that something is making them feel unwelcome, we need to address it. Period."

"When someone expresses a concern that something is making them feel unwelcome, we need to address it. Period."

"When you hear a complaint that someone has raised, you might think that they’re expressing an irrational, emotional, over-reaction to the situation. You might even be correct – but it doesn’t matter, and here’s why:
You don’t get to decide what someone else finds offensive.
You don’t get to decide what someone else finds uncomfortable, unwelcoming, disconcerting, stressful, harassing, troubling or painful."

I fully support Dillahunty's position here.  How to reconcile this with the value that no one has the right to not be offended?  (I'm just trying to process his words here)
  • Women are being excluded from the skeptical/atheist community by some ingrained and outdated attitudes that get expressed.  Mostly there is no intent to exclude but because of a lack of empathy, there is insensitivity to what is offensive, excluding, and threatening.
  • The community wants women involved and active.  Any who don't aren't really part of the community.
  • If I offend someone in the community who I want to ally with, then I need to understand why.  Not take offense that they took offense.
  • This doesn't mean my free speech rights are curtailed or have limits. 
  • It doesn't mean women have the right to not be offended.  
  • It means I need to re-look at what and how I say things.  Or reassess my membership in the community.
  • Is this censorship?  Not if it is an increase in understanding and knowledge.