Memorial Day 2011 – America’s Finest Hours

See below for what this is

On this Memorial Day, 2011 we of course honor and remember the men and women who gave so much to preserve our freedoms in this country. That path is the most common theme that people follow, and it is most certainly a correct one. But, I’d like to take it a step further, a bit “out of the box”, to honor and remember what those men and women through their sacrifices made possible for us to achieve as a nation. America’s finest hours in my opinion, were made possible by those very people who we honor this Memorial Day. They made it possible to learn, to dream, to build, to adapt, and to work through the darkness to see the light when the situation seemed hopeless.

I can think of no better way to honor our veterans, than to thank them for enabling the environment that gave birth to what you can watch and experience below. This, is science, engineering, mathematics, and uniquely American can-do ingenuity, all combined, and made possible by the sacrifice and the dreams of many whom we honor today.

Please set aside 90 minutes of your time to watch these series of  Failure is Not an Option. Few people today know who Gene Kranz is. I’ll tell you who he is, he’s an unsung hero with a remarkable clarity of purpose. In reflecting after watching this documentary, I find it amazing that Gene Kranz and James Hansen were part of the same organization, NASA. The NASA then and that of today, are worlds apart.

This is the NASA I looked up to in my youth. I hope you’ll find this as moving as I did.

Image above: A photo of the vest and pin worn by Gene Kranz during the Apollo 13 mission, by Matthew G. Bisanz.

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51 Responses to Memorial Day 2011 – America’s Finest Hours

  1. Sera says:

    Hear hear!

  2. NASA boy says:

    Why do you feel the need to cheapen every good sentiment with some lame jab at GISS? GISS was never involved with Apollo – read about Jastrow’s contributions here.

    REPLY: Dr. Jastrow was the first chairman of NASA’s Lunar Exploration Committee, which established the scientific goals for the exploration of the Moon during the Apollo lunar landings. In 1961, Dr. Jastrow set up NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, a U.S. Government laboratory charged with carrying out research in astronomy and planetary science. http://www.nss.org/about/bios/jastrow.html

  3. Jessie says:

    Anthony, thank you so much for putting this on view. I am still viewing.

    I worked near near Pine Gap, Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Maralinga in South Australia and also the Gove Peninsula, Northern Territory (now labelled East Arnhemland) and also Cape York, Queensland
    Over-the-horizon radars were a feature of northern Australia some 50 years ago.

    It is incredulous that peoples of the islands and foreshores of northern Australia would forget the bombing, destruction and deaths in WW2. And that children and others were evacuated to the south to be saved from death prior to these air-raids. Broome in Western Australia has a reasonable account of the bombings and deaths, as does Darwin in Northern Territory recently.

    Thank God, these engineering men and women and other unsung heroes and heroines stood up and out and did this work. We will be , and are, forever grateful, as we will always be, to our soldiers, that take on the vocation of defence.

    These are truly courageous men and women.

    For non-Australians, a book recommended to read is A Fortunate Life AB Facey which details the life of a man in the early 1900s, here in Australia.

  4. Hector Pascal says:

    My father put on the uniform in 1939. In 1940 he left his wife and child and shipped off to North Africa. He came home in 1946, after 5 years of artillery duels across North Africa, Sicily and Italy. Thank you USA for coming to the help of the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India and various European refugees. Eventually.

  5. Westerner says:

    Like many of us in Britain I was just as thrilled and moved by the Apollo missions as our American cousins. Thank you, Anthony, for posting these clips and bringing back such wonderful memories.

    However, the films evoke sadness, too. Can anyone watch these moments without feeling that something has been lost in America? Can anyone doubt that the spirit of courage, adventure and self-reliance that defined the country and made it great is inexorably fading away?

    I do not know why the United States has lost its self confidence. Perhaps it is the knowledge that it is soon to be overtaken by China as the world’s leading industrial, scientific and military power. Perhaps it has something to do with the changes that are taking place so rapidly in American society.

    Those of us in other countries who admire the US take no pleasure in watching its decline. China may soon be the world’s leading nation. But will it ever capture the sense of adventure, excitement and sheer fun that characterized America at its best? Somehow, I doubt it.

  6. wayne Job says:

    As an Australian I have noted in my rather long life that America rises when a nation wide goal or challenge is placed in its path. The demise of the moon programme was only because the challenge had been met. Been there and done that. The progress and spin offs were enormous. I have been waiting in vain for a new President to challenge your country with a new goal that is beyond politics and engages your true wealth, your thinkers and engineers. Manned missions to Mars by 2020 , a permanent manned base on the moon, also by 2020 and a permanent base on Mars by 2025. The economic activity created by these endeavours and the scientific and engineering advances would give back a thousand fold to what it would cost. This is Americas wasted strength, it will soon be half a century since the big rockets propelled the world into a new reality.
    Please elect the next time around as president a man or woman of vision to give your country a goal that many will think impossible , that makes it more likely to happen faster. The world needs America to have a goal, for it is a cradle of invention.

  7. omnologos says:

    I recommend reading Kranz’s book too.

    As for American war dead … a special prayer to those betrayed and sent to die from the 1890s onwards by politicians convinced that the preservation of American freedom passed through preventing other people from achieving freedom themselves.

    Every generation suffers from leaders who believe their bastard friend dictators abroad are still theirs. Hopefully we’ll soon learn to stop falling for that.

  8. mkelly says:

    Westerner says:
    May 30, 2011 at 3:37 am

    “I do not know why the United States has lost its self confidence. ”

    Politcal Correctness, wanting to be liked, and worrying about self esteem rather than actual accomplishment. Sissiphication of a country.

  9. Frank K. says:

    NASA boy says:
    May 30, 2011 at 2:01 am

    It appears Dr. Jastrow was also a climate skeptic…

    Dr. Robert Jastrow (1925-2008) received his A.B., A.M. and Ph.D. (1948) degrees in theoretical physics from Columbia University. This retired NASA scientist was a strong supporter of Ronald Reagan’s “Star Wars” missile defense initiative. In 1984 he co-founded the George C. Marshall Institute (GMI), a think tank which disputes global warming and promotes the missile defense shield. He was emeritus of the institute until his death at the age of 82 in February 2008.

  10. Bill Yarber says:

    NASA boy

    As an aero engr (PSU – 69 & 71), I have always held NASA in high regard, With the exception of James Hansen and his department within GISS! Please note that the comments in the post above were directed at Hansen, who is a disgrace to NASA and science. His actions and far out comments would never have been tolerated in Gene Kranz’s day. I don’t believe they should be tolerated today, either. Hansen should have been fired two years ago when he took the stand in England to justify the action of Eco-terrorists who attacked a British coal fired power plant.

    Bill

  11. Taipan says:

    3 nights ago, i sat down and watched Apollo 13 with my 9 year old son. He is learning about space and planets at school. Totally unrelated to your post.

    How do you strap yourself into a massive explosive device and trust in engineers and scientists to get you there and back? This was a time when being a scientist and engineer meant something!

    In 1969 i was 10 years old. I sat on a dirty wooden floor, in a school in country NSW, Australia and watched Armstrong and Aldrin, backed up by Collins, walk on the moon.

    I remember Apollo 11,12,13,14 in particular. I remember wishing the astronauts of Apollo 13 home. As a 10 year old that was something unusual. They were up there somewhere, but we wanted them home, and safe.

    The Apollo missions represented hope and a future for the world. It was a massive test, which was met and exceeded.

    To do what is right, is dangerous. To lead others where most fear to tread takes courage.

    I watched a movie, about Apollo 13 and tried to explain to a 9 year old how brave and courageous the astronauts were to do what they did. The USA was visionary to do what it did.

    I had an engineer recently say to me. When engineers stuff up, people die.

    If we relied on the leading climate scientists, then we would have lost a dozen crews in the car park, and they would look elsewhere apart from their own failings to explain the loss.

  12. Jessie says:

    FANTASTIC
    Thank you so much Anthony and team for putting up the great work of these great men (and later women) for us all to view.

    I still remember as a kid on the farm when my dad made us kids come and watch, on the ol’ black n white TV, the ‘man landing on the moon’. And sadly for the past 30-odd years I have not watched television.

    Just FANTASTIC viewing these posts!! And even better, the men that pursued their MISSION.

  13. TrueNorthist says:

    Thanks for this Anthony. I grew up watching with the space program, and Gene Kranz was a personal hero to me. Actually, all of the folks working at NASA at the time are personal heroes to me. Gene set the bar very high for all the flight directors to follow. He was indeed a man for the task. Still is.

    Cheers!

    BTW, I recognised the vest immediately!

  14. TomRude says:

    NASA at their finest indeed.

  15. Hide the decline! says:

    Remember

  16. Hide the decline! says:

    I pledge allegiance

  17. Jeff Wiita says:

    Westerner says:
    May 30, 2011 at 3:37 am

    “I do not know why the United States has lost its self confidence. ”

    Politcal Correctness, wanting to be liked, and worrying about self esteem rather than actual accomplishment. Sissiphication of a country.

    Your comment can be answered with a simple question. “Can they still smoke cigarettes and cigars in mission control?”

    The space race was America’s finest hour. Today, there is only one shuttle flight left. Next hour, America will hitchhiking a ride with the Russians to the international space station. Something better change soon. We are running out of time.

  18. Westerner says:
    May 30, 2011 at 3:37 am

    “I do not know why the United States has lost its self confidence. ”

    Not all of the United States has lost their self confidence, but enough have been too busy trying to make life risk free that people worry too much.

    Back during the 1976 Montreal Olympic games a comment made by U.S. high jumper capsulized it all for me. There had been rain and the jumping area was wet, one of the TV commentators asked Dwight Stones if he was worried about slipping. Dwight looked at the commentator with an icy stare and said something to the effect.

    “Losers worry about what they are afraid will happen, Winners see what they want to happen!”

    In that single sentence he captured what NASA did right during the Apollo 13 era, and what too many of our population is doing wrong now. Mentally too many folks have become losers who spend all their energy worrying about some boogyman, and not spending their energy working toward a worth while goal.

    I was school age during the early space age and clearly remember the excitement of it all. How the school teachers would bring into school their personal television sets so the class could watch important launches, and how sometimes that meant learning moments as we watched Vangard explode on the pad.

    Note the mind set, these were not failures but “failed experiments”, that was a healthy view of science and exploration, but today we are tainted by the specter of Challenger and many are not willing to take risks to succeed.

    We now build children’s play grounds with rubber padded jungle gyms so Johnny and Susie will never get a bruise (or learn about paying attention to what they are doing and the consequence of their actions).

    Larry

  19. Gary Krause says:

    Great post.

    I have great admiration for those who met the challenges and demands necessary for the achievements and successes of the Apollo mission(s). The book “Moon Shot” by Alan Shepard and Deke Slayton has a great description of the actions and effort to bring Apollo 13 home.

    A stark contrast to the NASA of today, an agency of spineless puppets who have no path of vision, nor the leadership required to meet the challenges their predecessors achieved with slide rules and sharp pencils. The NASA of today offers the careless waste of life, resources, and corrupted science.

  20. OK S. says:

    Thanks Anthony. That was a short 90 minutes. And thanks for the memories. I was in grade school when Sputnik was launched and within weeks of getting out of the Army during the first moon landing.

    They were indeed heroes.

    OK S.

  21. Noelene says:

    Some great stories here
    http://www.ihatethemedia.com/you-could-have-heard-a-pin-drop
    My favourite
    Robert Whiting, an elderly gentleman of 83, arrived in Paris by plane. At French Customs, he took a few minutes to locate his passport in his carry on.
    “You have been to France before, monsieur?” the customs officer asked sarcastically.
    Mr. Whiting admitted that he had been to France previously.
    “Then you should know enough to have your passport ready.”
    The American said, “The last time I was here, I didn’t have to show it.”
    “Impossible. Americans always have to show their passports upon arrival in France!”
    The American senior gave the Frenchman a long hard look. Then he quietly explained, ”Well, when I came ashore at Omaha Beach on D-Day in 1944 to help liberate this country, I couldn’t find a single Frenchmen to show a passport to.”
    You could have heard a pin drop.

  22. Lady in Red says:

    You write well, Anthony. You are moving, bring tears…..

    Beyond NASA’s “finest hours” you remind us about truth, “real” science, the
    fundamental necessary building blocks upon which to build a great nation — and
    without which no nation will be great.

    America may be stumbling now, confused, worn down by pseudo-science and political
    correctness. Corruption, too. But, somewhere, there is a compass held by some.
    You are one. Leading in the right direction — Real science! What a silly idea!
    Pshaw!

    This blanket of pseudo-everything is temporary. America is, truly, better than all this.

    Best. ….Lady in Red

    PS: BTW, it has turned out that my beautiful Great Pyrenees didn’t have a sprained leg after all. It is “aggressive,” fast-acting, highly painful bone cancer. The vet offered to put him down. Right then. With a couple of mind-fogging bottles of pain
    killers for him I took a couple of days. Nope: no amputation; no chemo; no death, yet.

    I gave the vet research and videos (mostly from The Riordan Clinic) about IV Vitamin C, which kills cancer cells — only! — and is life enhancing.

    She’d never done it before, but was willing and researched it herself within the vet community. We are winging it, with no one with experience and a protocol, carved
    in stone.

    After only two IVC treatments though, my wondrous pup has turned into quite a song
    and dance man, longing to walk, run, in the park, meet new people…. kill a coyote!

    Surely, big pharma is right…. surely, there are no simple, easy solutions — yep, solutions! — for cancer. Except pain, suffering and spending gobs of money for
    big pharma.

    It’s the same story as “climate change,” Anthony. I could go on about Wall Street, as well.

    But, truth *will* out! Know that many very good, very smart people respect you
    and your dedication very much. Keep chipping to truth. ….smile. LR

  23. Douglas DC says:

    Thank you for the Post, Anthony. Thank you to all Vets everywhere. I remember my
    Late Father in Law in particular. Don’t drink anymore, but here’s a Shot of E-whiskey
    in your honor sir. (Good Kaintuck sippin’ whiskey BTW..)
    Normandy, the Relief of Bastonge, The Bulge, Remagen Bridge, Aachen, then on to
    Berlin, then home….
    Gene Kranz is a national treasure…

  24. wayne says:

    Anthony, great series of videos for this Memorial Day. Enjoyable!

  25. tom T says:

    @Hide the decline! says:
    May 30, 2011 at 6:51 am

    What is the point you are trying to make?

  26. It’s hard to believe we got to the moon safely and back using nothing more than our nerve, brains and slide rules. If it wasn’t for Neil Armstrong flying manually the LEM would have never landed. So much for computers.

    Let us remember the astronauts, scientists, engineers, technicians, assemblers, machinists, chemists, and the hundreds of thousands of dedicated people that made the lunar landing a reality.

    Most importantly, let us remember the dedication and sacrifice of our members of the armed forces which made all our accomplishments possible.

  27. Zeke the Sneak says:

    Thanks for this Memorial Day post. My kids are looking forward to watching this for class (homeschool) today.

    “Gentlemen, it’s been a priviledge flying with you.”

  28. Crispin in Waterloo says:

    Wayne Job:
    “Please elect the next time around as president a man or woman of vision to give your country a goal that many will think impossible , that makes it more likely to happen faster. The world needs America to have a goal, for it is a cradle of invention.”

    Instead of inventing smart bombs, I look forward to Americans inventing of smart food.

    The decline and inevitable fall of American materialism is promoted by the increasing moral lassitude that pervades daily life, and what seems to be the almost inevitable takeover of the levers of power by the military-industrial complex, personified for all time by Dick Cheny and Donald Rumsfeld.

    Your comment is essentially a moral one and the questions about ‘what happened’ are moral. A nation that has no morally-based sense of self-worth cannot achieve greatness. As the movements of the far left and right have found in the last century, you cannot kill your way to peace no matter what the cover story. The world cries out for peace and unity. It groans and pleads for an end to structured conflict promoted by self-serving power centers intent on plunder.

    The moon landings harnessed a pre-existing social condition of unity of purpose, it did not create it. Tasking the US to some great achievement of a material nature will not imbue the necessary social conditions and unity that are its pre-requisite, not its consequence.

    Unity in the face of a common threat is an illusion, mere survival, and fleeting. We all want more than that. Strong families and moral vision are not created by engineering projects, rather they are the foundation of such projects.

    Witness the fleeting unity of purpose created by hyperventilating about ‘climate change’. It is fear-mongering of the basest kind, asking people to believe a priestly class of scientists who garner their grants and fame through effective PR management. Inject a ‘higher purpose’ now and then about saving people from their ignorant, uninformed selves so the believers can look down on the un-annointed fools. How edifying! How superior! How fake.

    The USA has many internal and external challenges to face. Internally the most challenging question is that of race unity – overcoming will be as difficult as the Brits overcoming the class prejudice that pervades its daily life, and the tribal disunity that is the toxic lifeblood of Africa. None of these problems will be solved by material constructions/diversions.

    The public face of the lunar program was of course a screen for the real objective: building launch vehicles for military payloads and to make a reality out of the MAD policy (Mutually Assured Destruction). The Space Shuttle size was dictated by military payloads (KH11 satellites, for example) not Buck Rogers. What did you get for your money? There is a 10 foot mirror pointing out to space (Hubble) and more than one, costlier, 11 foot mirror looking down towards earth.

    If mankind wants to joint the unknown company of civilisations that travel to other planets, we should grow up first.

  29. Judy F. says:

    My Dad did not work for NASA, but he worked for some of the big companies in California associated with the space industry. He was an electrical engineer and rarely talked about what he did at work. After he died, we found out that he had a pretty high security clearance, so probably couldn’t talk about it. One day we were watching a rocket take off, and as the rocket gained altitude the first stage fell off, then the whole rocket rotated and the second stage fell off. At that point my Dad very quietly said, ” Oh good, it worked”. I was a young teen at the time and didn’t ask any questions, but I am proud of the fact that “whatever” it was worked, and my Dad played a part in a successful mission.

    The day of the Moon Landing was during our county fair. I had just finished high school and we had brought a portable TV to the fairgrounds to watch the landing. The TV was set up outside on a picnic table and several of us were standing around, watching Neil Armstrong step out of the capsule. Just as his foot hit the lunar surface, a group of horseback riders rode past. I was struck at the time, how far mankind had come in a short time. My grandfather was born during the horse and buggy days, yet he had lived long enough to watch something that had seemed impossible just a few years prior, that a human would be on the moon.

    Growing up in the 50′s and 60′s, with my Dad in the industry, I suppose as a family we were more aware of the space program than many. It seemed to me that people in space and men on the moon were normal. Looking back, I realize how large the strides were in how short a time, to accomplish those goals. It was truly an amazing thing.

  30. Pompous Git says:

    I’ll second Jessie’s recommendation to read AB Facey’s “A Fortunate Life”.

    My boyhood hero was Douglas Bader, the WW2 fighter pilot who lost both of his legs when his bird caught fire. He learnt to walk on “tin” legs and was shot down by the Germans and captured. To prevent him escaping the Germans had to confiscate his legs!

    Bader came to Hobart some decades ago. He was a keen golfer and boasted the best golfing stance on the planet. He had a special pair of “tin” legs, one shorter than the other.

    While playing the Bellerive golf course, he was recognised by a golfer who was driving a golf buggy. The driver of the buggy asked Bader if he would like a lift up the hill. Bader gave him a withering look and said: “What hill?”

    For those too young to recall Bader, Paul Brickhill wrote a biography “Reach for the Sky”. For the illiterate, Lewis Gilbert made a movie of the same name when The Git was five years old. Memories…

  31. jorgekafkazar says:

    I performed advanced materials testing for the Saturn SIV-B, a very small, basic part of the space effort. The job was frustrating in many respects, but it was cutting-edge technology, and I’m glad I was there. I could sit and watch these videos all day.

    Westerner says: “…I do not know why the United States has lost its self confidence…”

    There is no simple answer, of course, but I think the seed is shown in the videos. While disciplined men in ties and pocket protectors were cooperating in mankind’s most challenging endeavour, others in Haight-Ashbury (and many other places) were taking drugs, disrespecting the United States and its flag, pushing leftists agendas, preaching disloyalty, breaking laws, and spouting Red slogans as if they were great wisdom.

    The media not only gave large amounts of time and space to these parasites, they idealized them. We saw “peace loving,” idealistic, Anti-American young people on the cover of Life Magazine. We didn’t see the pathetic, diseased victims that were the reality, some of them institutionalized for life by brain-destroying drugs. The media continue to spread anti-American, anti-scientific disinformation even today.

    In 2009, I watched the videos of the Tea Party march on Washington–hundreds of thousands of people, up to a million and a half, who had a lot more in common with the old NASA staff than with the freaks of 1960′s (and 2011) San Francisco. The next day, the headline in my local paper read: “Thousands March in Washington.” It’s the media, Westerner.

  32. David, UK says:

    Really enjoyable documentary, thanks for the links.

  33. Shona says:

    Magic Times, miss them.

    Shucks, we’re even going to miss the shuttle :(

  34. Pompous Git says:

    jorgekafkazar said @ May 30, 2011 at 11:42 am

    “There is no simple answer, of course, but I think the seed is shown in the videos. While disciplined men in ties and pocket protectors were cooperating in mankind’s most challenging endeavour, others in Haight-Ashbury (and many other places) were taking drugs, disrespecting the United States and its flag, pushing leftists agendas, preaching disloyalty, breaking laws, and spouting Red slogans as if they were great wisdom.

    The media not only gave large amounts of time and space to these parasites, they idealized them. We saw “peace loving,” idealistic, Anti-American young people on the cover of Life Magazine. We didn’t see the pathetic, diseased victims that were the reality, some of them institutionalized for life by brain-destroying drugs. The media continue to spread anti-American, anti-scientific disinformation even today.

    In 2009, I watched the videos of the Tea Party march on Washington–hundreds of thousands of people, up to a million and a half, who had a lot more in common with the old NASA staff than with the freaks of 1960′s (and 2011) San Francisco. The next day, the headline in my local paper read: “Thousands March in Washington.” It’s the media, Westerner.”

    Speaking as one of those “freaks of the 1960s”, we believed, and I still do, that the parasites are the government. The “pathetic, diseased victims” I see are those who are “loyal” and believe the bullshit that Big Government and Big Pharma et al. are pushing. Yes, we break the law. For example I have a picture of my son at the age of six wearing no clothes apart from my gumboots while helping to prepare the family meal. I am sure you are horrified by this, but many of my friends have similar photographs of their offspring.

    This “parasite” as you call me happens to grow his own food and fuel (firewood), built his own world-famous house and utterly rejects the concept that the government should be allowed to tell me what to do and what to think providing what I do harms no-one. A pox on your nannyism!

  35. Douglas DC says:

    Well Pompus Git, my Father-in-Law Drove a Sherman Tank, -had five shot out from
    underneath him- pushed into Nazi Germany, liberated one of Dachau’s Satellite Camps,
    then went on to build cars in Detroit for 38 years.
    He did that just so you could “Do your own thing.”
    Your right.
    Defended by the people you think “work for the man”…
    If they didn’t win, we’d be going:

  36. Jeff Alberts says:

    Lady in Red says:
    May 30, 2011 at 7:56 am

    Lady in Red, I understand your pain and reticence to believe “big pharma” but if you’re a firm believer in science (and I assume you are if you’re here), please don’t let your pet suffer unnecessarily.

    There is no evidence that Vitamin C kills cancer cells: http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/Cancer/c.html

    And interesting note from the third study by the Mayo Clinic:

    The data did show something that was somewhat intriguing. At two weeks after the onset of therapy, some patients receiving vitamin C experienced substantial improvement in appetite, strength, and pain relief. However, these advantages quickly dissipated so that by 4-6 weeks, no meaningful advantage from vitamin C remained.

  37. I’ll put in a small plug for the Non profit I’m starting with some dear friends.

    http://veteransfreedomfarm.org/

  38. Pompous Git says:

    Douglas DC said @ May 30, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    “Well Pompus Git, my Father-in-Law Drove a Sherman Tank, -had five shot out from
    underneath him- pushed into Nazi Germany, liberated one of Dachau’s Satellite Camps,
    then went on to build cars in Detroit for 38 years.
    He did that just so you could “Do your own thing.”
    Your right.
    Defended by the people you think “work for the man”…”

    Well Douglas DC, my father was interned in Dachau, though he escaped rather early in the War with no assistance from your father-in-law. However, your father-in-law may have been the American who late in the war shot my father “because he spoke German”. Nasty stuff wars.

    Most of my life I have been a self-employed small businessman. I provided employment to people who needed it. My business folded when the government introduced a new tax designed to put, I was told, 40% of people working in my area, out of business. The conservative Prime Miniature who introduced the tax (John Howard) had pledged to never introduce such a tax prior to the election. Sound familiar?

    Of course, if I was “loyal” to the government, I would fervently believe that Catastrophic Global Warming (Climate Change, Climate Disruption) can only be stopped by yet another tax, just like they tediously and continually tell me. But I don’t; I’d rather think for myself thank you.

    So go ahead, believe what the government tells you to believe. I won’t stop you, or even attempt to. Just leave me out of it.

  39. Lady in Red says:

    Jeff Alberts….. Thank you for your kind wishes, but know I will NEVER tolerate pain for my lovely Great Pyrenees! This is off-topic, I understand, so let me keep it brief:

    Quackwatch IS big pharma! Yesh!
    Mayo’s research was badly flawed: only oral, not IV. Big difference!

    (Think getting all your AGW info from Real Climate and Joe Romm.)

    Google “Riordan IVC protocol” or just “Intravenous Vitamin C”

    Below is a stunning intro to the subject by “Dr. Ron,” one of the most amazing, modest, brilliant doctors I have ever known. (Think Anthony Watts and Steve McIntyre.) ….smile.

    I’m a long time, proud owner of “Final Exit” myself and, no, Hippomenes will never suffer. …….Lady in Red

  40. Matt says:

    I have a question that I hope the engineers, scientists and history buffs can answer or point me in the right direction. I’ve done some searching but couldn’t find the answer.

    Why did mission control underestimate the blackout time during Apollo 13 re-entry?

    The answer I found was that re-entry angle was shallower, than previous missions causing a longer period of radio disruption (by ~1.5 minutes). That makes sense, but surely mission control knew this and would have compensated, right?

    Thanks Anthony for this post and the video links. I wasn’t alive during Gemini and Apollo and I found these video’s of mission control’s work and dedication inspirational, to say the least. I’d love to hear John Aaron, Gene Kranz, or Chris Kraft speak about their experiences, or heck, anything they’d like to talk about. They make me proud to be an American.

    Thanks!

  41. Jeff Alberts says:

    Lady in Red

    I think the best that can be said about IV C is that it is inconclusive. It doesn’t seem that there have been any proper studies done.

    The Mayo studies weren’t flawed, they just tested one aspect, oral C. Pauling’s studies WERE flawed because they were not double-blind placebo controlled, etc. His studies also used oral in addition to IV.

    That’s all I have to say on the subject here.

    All the best for you and your pet!

  42. OK S. says:

    Pompous Git says @ 4:36 pm

    Well Douglas DC, my father was interned in Dachau, though he escaped rather early in the War with no assistance from your father-in-law. However, your father-in-law may have been the American who late in the war shot my father “because he spoke German”. Nasty stuff wars.

    Instead of my own poorly written thoughts, I offer the words of John Stuart Mills, who said what I think better than I can. A couple of sentences from the last paragraph of his 1862 treatise, The Contest in America:

    War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war is worse. … A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature, who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.

    I will only paraphrase Samuel Adams (by replacing “slavery” with “government”): I believe that no people ever yet groaned under the heavy yoke of government, but when they deserved it. The truth is, All might be free if they valued freedom, and defended it as they ought.

    Unfortunately, the detested “government” might not be some evil ugly monstrous beast, it might be just our neighbors, our fellow citizens, and ourselves.

    OK S.

  43. Blade says:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/05/30/memorial-day-2011-americas-finest-hours/

    Thanks for this thread Anthony.

    There was something that got lost in the publicity of the OBL killing but should be noted on this Memorial Day. Less than one month ago the very last World War I combat vet passed away …

    Claude Stanley Choules, the last know WWI combat veteran, dies aged 110. Also see FreeRepublic which has more photos.

    A quick look at wiki shows that 65 million soldiers were mobilized. Can you imagine being among the last of 65 million combatants! Absolutely stunning.

    Note: there are still two surviving non-combatant veterans remaining alive.

    Farewell sailor.

    :-(
    \____

  44. Jessie says:

    Pompous Git says: May 30, 2011 at 11:35 am

    Thank you for Bader reference, I will read this, looks to be a fine reading.

    My girlhood hero[ine] was, and remains, Madame Marie Sklowodska-Curie. Her curiousity, humility, approach to science and perserverance did it for me.

  45. Dario says:

    My grand father, an Italian soldier, was a POW in Germany from october, 1943, to april 1945, in a prison camp somewhere near Lipsia.
    He was liberated by American soldiers, and returned home in july 1945, bringing home some C rations the GI’s had given to him: that corned beef was the first meat my mother (born in september, 1941) was able to eat, after years of famine during the war.
    I just wish to say “THANKS” to all the Americans.

  46. Noelene says:

    Lady in Red
    I watched a 4 year old die of Leukemia when I was 15.Thanks to big pharma,not so many 4 year olds die of leukemia now.
    I love big pharma,They are the reason I am able to walk and sit here on my laptop.
    Pharma and big oil,love them both.
    I sincerely hope you will have the courage to do the right thing by your companion if he regresses.
    My little dog will be put down on Saturday morning.Arthritis.Painful as any bone cancer in some cases.
    Big pharma has kept him going,for a couple of years,but I’ve promised him no more suffering.
    He will have the mind fogging drugs before the needle,aren’t I cruel to want him to be unaware of most of what is happening?

  47. K-Man says:

    “Uniquely American can-do ingenuity”… really, only American? I wish the US would share some of it’s unique grey matter with us foreigners over here in the global dunces corner.

    Good on all of the Allied soldiers everywhere – and their families.

  48. Pull My Finger says:

    I don’t think we’ve lost anything guys, we just have so much information and so many distractions (and options) we don’t have that group experience we used to have when there were three TV stations and everyone watched the same shows and news broadcasts, no internet, no video games, YouTube, digital cameras, and only a couple new movies a month, etc. You got your social networking by talking to an actual person.

    Think about the magic box you are looking at right now and how absolutely mind boggling that would have been in 1969. Or even 1989. Think about how much information you have access too RIGHT NOW. Think about how amazing Google is. The abilty to search hundreds of millions of pieces of information in a fraction of a second. Think about how much more we know about our Universe than we did in 1969 due to Hubble, Chandra, Swift, and the hundreds of other projects undertaken by gov’t agencies and private universities and the masses of data that can be processed becuase of the magic box. ;)

    It’s not as glamourous, or daring, for sure, but the first set of photos from Hubble told us more about our world/universe than all the probes and manned missions up to that point. Technology has made science if not risk-free, pretty close. Really think about the technology the average person can afford and have access too in 2011 compared to even 1991. Then 1981. Then 1941. The last 100 years has had mind boggling progress, the last 20 has been blinding. The technology I had growing up in the 1970s was closer to 1911 than 2011.

  49. Pull My Finger says:

    I think we also need to realize that barring some totally unforseen and earth shattering revelations, interplanetary travel is limited to Mars, and even that is looking near suicidal (although I’m sure volunteers would be no problem). Interstellar travel just ain’t going to happen in a single lifetime. Multi-generational colonization mission… maybe… but man it’s hard to imagine a ship that big and powerful.

  50. Pompous Git says:

    K-Man said @ May 31, 2011 at 7:40 am

    “Uniquely American can-do ingenuity”… really, only American? I wish the US would share some of it’s unique grey matter with us foreigners over here in the global dunces corner.
    ————————————————
    Here’s a few Australian dunces’ inventions:

    Boomerang
    Didgeridoo
    Woomera (the fastest weapon in the world until the invention of the self-loading rifle in the 19th century)
    Pre-paid postage
    1843 – Grain stripper
    1856 – Refrigerator
    1858 – Australian rules football
    1874 – Underwater torpedo
    1876 – Stump jump plough
    1877 – Mechanical clippers
    1889 – Electric drill
    1892 – Coolgardie safe
    1894 – Powered flight
    1902 – Notepad
    1903 – Froth flotation
    1906 – Feature films
    1906 – Surf life-saving reel
    1907 – Thrust bearing
    1910 – Humespun pipe-making process
    1910 – Dethridge wheel
    1912 – Surf ski
    1912 – Tank
    1912 – Self-Propelled Rotary Hoe
    1913 – Automatic totalisator
    1928 – Electronic Pacemaker
    1930 – Clapperboard
    1934 – Coupé utility
    1938 – Polocrosse
    1940 – Zinc Cream
    1943 – Splayd
    1948 – Rotary Clothes Line
    1952 – Lagerphone
    1952 – Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer
    1953 – Solar hot water heater
    1955 – Distance Measuring Equipment (DME – electronic)
    1956 – Pneumatic broadacre air seeder
    1957 – Flame ionisation detector
    1957 – Wool clothing with a permanent crease
    1958 – Black box flight recorder
    1960 – Plastic spectacle lenses
    1961 – Ultrasound in medicine
    1965 – Inflatable aircraft escape slide
    1965 – Wine cask
    1970 – Staysharp knife
    1971 – Variable rack and pinion steering
    1972 – Orbital engine
    1972 – Instream analysis
    1974 – Super Sopper
    1978 – Synroc
    1979 – Digital sampler
    1979 – RaceCam
    1979 – Bionic ear
    1980 – Dual flush toilet
    1980 – Wave-piercing catamaran
    1981 – CPAP mask
    1983 – Winged Keel
    1984 – Frozen embryo baby
    1984 – Baby Safety Capsule
    1986 – Gene shears
    1989 – Polilight forensic lamp
    1991 – Buffalo fly trap
    1992 – Multi-focal contact lens
    1992 – Spray-on skin
    1993 – Underwater PC
    1995 – EXELGRAM
    1995 – Jindalee Radar System
    1996 – Anti-flu Medication
    2000 – Wi-Fi
    2002 – Scramjet
    2003 – Blast Glass

    Maybe “Uniquely American can-do ingenuity” just sorta, kinda forgot to invent all this stuff ;-)

  51. Jessie says:

    Pompous Git says: May 31, 2011 at 12:55 pm
    Too neat!

    Remember to include the line and harpoon set-up developed and used to skewer a sea turtle (shell and muscle) from a dugout canoe using physics of traction in the open seas though!

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