Tag Archives: NASA

Boy you check out of life for a bit and…

It’s been a few weeks since I have been able to look outside myself for any period of time due to health issues.  Nothing with deadly consequences mind you, but enough to make me wonder if it was time to get ready to pay the piper.  As horrible as it sounds it was a cold.  Just a cold.  Except it wouldn’t go away.  Dec 18, 2012 I finally went to the doctor rather embarrassed to walk in and say, “I have a cold.”

Doc says, “I hear chest sounds lower right quadrant (he knows I am a nurse) so let’s do an x-ray and depending on results I may have to order medication.”  I was impressed that in this day of madly writing prescription physicians who are overburdened by our health system and who just need to push on to the next patient, this man sat back and said what he did.  I thought this quality kind of health care was long gone.  AND he was a younger doctor!

Long story short I get a call I have right lower lobe pneumonia (something I have never had before) and can pick up a prescription at my pharmacy.  The ten day supply seemed to go on forever but by the end I was all ‘Yeahhhh I am healed’.

That is until two days later when I awoke coughing and sneezing.  I couldn’t, wouldn’t, believe I had a cold so spent another two weeks convincing myself it was a figment of my imagination before relenting and heading back to the clinic.  This time definitely bronchitis, also something I have never experienced.  More antibiotics.  Ten more days.  Yesterday I returned to the clinic on my last day of this round of meds.   Chest clear but my cough sounds, as someone said, like it comes from the soles of my feet.  Follow up x-ray to ensure all is clear and puffers to take for a few days.  Good grief.  These were meds I gave out for years to patients, mostly the elderly.  Was it possible I was now ‘elderly’?  Yikes!

But none of this is the point of my post.  Now that I am securely back in the land of the living, and I am not sure if that is something that is ever ‘secure’ I started looking around at the world around me.  What is going on?

http://weather.aol.com/2013/02/11/photo-lightning-strikes-the-vatican/
http://weather.aol.com/2013/02/11/photo-lightning-strikes-the-vatican/

The Pope resigns – unusual since it is the first time it has happened in 600 years, but later that night lightening is photographed striking the Vatican not once but twice.  To paraphrase one comedian who said, “It looks like his Boss is not happy with his resignation.”

Asteroid2012 DA14 – buzzed earth then continued its cosmic cruise.  It came a little too close for comfort I think at 27,600 km away.  I consider our moon pretty close at 239,000 odd miles so this asteroid flew closer than some of our satellites.  This guy weighed 143,000 tons. How do they know that?  Are there interstellar weigh stations these objects but stop at, much like truckers on our highways?  That baby may be much smaller than the one that supposedly ended life for the dinosaurs but it could still have done considerable damage wiping out about 2,000 square km *Associated Press.  But while everyone was watching this spectacular show the cosmos had a bigger surprise for us.

Photobucket meteor
Photobucket meteor

Meteor Explodes – While all eyes were turned to our expected cosmic company a meteor speculated to be about the size of a bus but weighing 7,000 tons blazes across the Siberian sky exploding before hitting our little blue marble, but the resounding explosion which equals about 20 Hiroshima bombs caused incredible damage to buildings and people.  Had it not exploded prior to actually hitting the earth, the press (and we all know we can trust what they say) said that the result would have been similar to the destruction shown in some fiction movies.  I don’t doubt it.  We never knew this meteor was coming, and the only reason we had any warning on the asteroid is that it was discovered not too long ago by a dentist whose hobby is looking ‘out there’.

I am surprised that all the folk who forecast the end of life December 21, 2012 have not come forward saying, “This is the beginning of the end.”  Of course there is always someone out there making forecasts, and while some may not believe, you just never know.

There is nothing mankind can do to change the way the universe functions.  We don’t control space.  Heck, half the time we can’t control our own immediate inner space.  I figure that the best we can do is to live well remembering the Golden Rule, accept the miracle of our existence, whether Science or Creation based, and get on with it.

Except of course for those days when micro bugs take over and force us to have a ‘Benylin Day’ or two, or three.

Consequences UARS Style

Consequences UARS Style


 
Tomorrow, September 23rd confirms that old adage, ‘what goes up must come down’. The predictions for it’s return vary from nothing to worry about, to, it’s a monster and it’s going to get you.
 
I love how space.com describes the coming event.
 
“Although most of the spacecraft will be destroyed during re-entry, some will survive. These pieces of debris could pose a small risk of damaging property or endangering people when they fall. “The risk to public safety or property is extremely small, and safety is NASA’s top priority,” NASA said in a statement.”
 
“The spacecraft will break into pieces as it plummets through the atmosphere, but not all of it will burn up in the heat of re-entry. One analysis of the spacecraft suggests that of its total 6 1/2-ton bulk, only 1,170 pounds (532 kilograms) will survive when it reaches the ground”
 
What part of that is supposed to be reassuring?  There is a small risk?  Endangering people or damaging property? And…safety may be NASA’s top priority but they have no control over where it will fall or even able to predict with accuracy. It’s true scientists have pinpointed it to between 57 degrees north of the equator and 57 degrees south of the equator which pretty much covers the populated world.
 
Only 1170 pounds will survive reentry to teach earth. Now wouldn’t that weight from 10 feet be disastrous if it fell on..well me…? Never mind hurtling through space.
 
Another article says the pieces will miss North America. With friends and family around the world that’s not very consoling. In it’s entirety the school bus sized satellite weighs about six and a half tons the same as the asteroid which reportedly ended the dinosaur rulers of earth. We are consoled by the fact that most of it will burn in the atmosphere.
 
Apparently human-created orbital debris has reached a critical point so it looks like we can expect a lot more…not exactly raindrops falling on your head. You know there may be something to that Chicken Little Story.
 
Stay safe my friends and either duck or run whenever appropriate.