The End of an Era?
The lights are going out for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) program.
All American space shuttles are grounded.
President Obama has declared trips to the moon useless.
Is the classic dream that inspired countless fiction and childhood dreams over?
It's been many years since we haven't seen major debates over their so called "Black hole" budgets.
Don't get me wrong, I'm glad I'm not footing the bill but I am down over the thought of no American astronauts heading up in American ships.
It's clear we have some things to deal with right here on Earth that may outweigh the potential benefits of space exploration but I fully expected to have a pre-retirement party in the relative comfort of at least a dome on the Moon.
This is not a doom and gloom post. I have firm belief that someone will continue our efforts in space exploration. China, India, Russia, they all have growing space programs, including and not limited to manned flights. In fact, American astronauts will be hitching rides with cosmonauts for the foreseeable future.
In my opinion, the real advancements will come from private enterprise. Most likely from Virgin Galactic or someone similar. Beginning with low orbital flights, I really do hope to see full fledged adventures in space. I can think of no where else I would rather spend my aging years rather than a gentle low gravity colony with a garden to tend.
Richard Branson, you have begun. Don't let anything or anyone hold you back. If necessary, follow the lead of D.D. Harriman, the main character in "The Man Who Sold the Moon".
It can be done. And it can be done to the benefit of all humanity, not their detriment. Do you agree? Are we entering a new era with new approaches to space or is this the beginning of a soft and slow decline of looking outward with hope?
The moon image is from The Woggle Bug book, by L. Frank Baum, illustrated by Ike Morgan
The eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org
Newfoundland and Labrador's provincial used tire stockpile is to be eliminated, the Telegram reported this morning. The Multi-Materials Stewardship Board (MMSB) has decided to ship the provincial stockpile of 1.9 million used tires to Quebec. What will Quebec do with our old tires? Burn them for fuel!
Being from Corner Brook, this reminded me of the protest that took place in November against the Pulp & Paper mill burning tires for fuel. Sure enough, these are the same tires.
So, let me get the facts straight:
- We've decided that burning tires as fuel here is bad.
- We need to unload our existing tire stockpile.
- The MMSB will pay $4.3 million to ship these tires to Quebec.
- Cement plants Holcim (Canada) and Lafarge Canada will burn these tires for fuel.
Instead of burning the tires here under the supervision of our provincial regulatory boards, we will pay to make them disappear? And where do the pollutants from this process end up?
Junior high science reminds me of this little phenomenon called the Jet Stream:
For clarity, here's an overhead view:
Does anyone else question the logic here?
I'm seeing a lot of talk about the proposal for a dog park in Curling being rejected.
I understand why that particular site was turned down but is this the end of the question?
Why do we need a dog park at all? As someone on Twitter pointed out, everyone in Corner Brook and area live ten minutes from the woods.
To my mind, a dog park serves several purposes:
- Gives the dogs some leash free time. Leash laws are there for a reason but leash free time is good for the dog.
- Also the woods have other animals and people to contend with. Would we rather see dogs running around leash-less on the street?
- Allows dogs to socialize. Really important for their behavior and development, especially with younger dogs.
- Allows owners to socialize. Not just for chit-chat. Also for breeding, learning about different types of dogs and their quirks.
One of the major issues is cost. Who will pay for this park and the upkeep? To answer a question with a question, what is done with dog licensing fees now? If these aren't available then perhaps a small membership fee? And I'm certain volunteers would be available from the dog owning community.
What do you think? Are you pro-dog park? Are there other solutions?
This one is pretty tech specific. Ignore if you don't know or care what SQL, SSMS, or Intellisense are.
When working with Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio, you will often find yourself making changes to table structures in one window and writing queries in another. Very useful ability but schema changes are not automatically reflected by Intellisense in all open query windows.
You create table myTable with 2 columns:
CREATE TABLE [dbo].[myTable](
[Zone] [int] NULL,
[Item] [nchar](6) NULL
) ON [PRIMARY]
And then in another window you have this simple select:
select zone, item from myTable
Then you decide to add a new column to myTable, [iName] nchar(8) NULL
Not a big deal in this context. YOU know the column is there. But in more complex queries Intellisense will do all sorts of nasty things to you as you bang out your queries. Like autocompleting your table names or columns with crazy replacements.
How to fix this without closing the query window and opening a new one? Easy!
CTRL + SHIFT + R
Edit -> Intellisense -> Refresh
Handy shortcut I thought. Thanks to @scottstonehouse for bringing this problem to mind.
Spring is a great time for renewal even if you are just a blog.
Added a photo gallery this week. About time some of my mobile photos lived somewhere besides the import folder. In the process I discovered my old WordPress theme had some conflicts with the latest jQuery CSS for slideshows and lightboxes and such. Rather than waste a lot of time figuring out the specific issue I copped out and took the opportunity to update the entire theme and my install version all at once! Amazingly the site is still alive and posting.
I also added a new plugin that should theoretically send new posts to my sadly neglected Facebook account. we'll see shortly.
If you do see this on Facebook, come on over and check out the site. Comments always welcome
For fun here's a single image from my new image gallery. Stickbugs on a garbage can in DC I noticed while waiting to get into work one morning.
This weekend was all about the snow. I'm sure we won't have many more like it. The conditions were perfect for building fun. My three year old and myself spent a lovely couple of hours sliding, tossing snow, and finally, building our sea serpent.
I rolled the larger pieces and he filled int he gaps with his shovel. I can't believe I'm typing this but I think I'm going to miss winter. We have a ton of fun and he goes to sleep easier than ever. Heh, so do I.
As you can see his scarf ended up taking residence on Nessie's neck. The afternoon ended abruptly when I noticed he was stomping around with one boot missing...
Do you have any freaky snow creations to share?