See theAwakening bees on: http://almanach-6440.blogspot.be/
I open wide the portals of the Spring
To welcome the procession of the flowers,
With their gay banners, and the birds that sing
Their song of songs from their aerial towers.
I soften with my sunshine and my showers
The heart of earth; with thoughts of love
I glide Into the hearts of men;
and with the Hours Upon the Bull
with wreathed horns I ride.
...Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
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Two Raging Grannies is, in fact, a bit of a misnomer. The two grandmothers in the film, Hinda and Shirley, are more concerned than angry, and more curious than anything else. Even at the film’s climax, where Shirley storms the podium at a “Wall Street Dinner” event, she simply wants to ask a question about the economy: “Why do we have to keep growing?”
This is the central dilemma that the grandmothers tackle: In a world of finite resources, how can we live within an economy that must constantly expand? Their mobility-scooter-powered journey leads them from homeless communities to big box stores to an economics classroom (from which they are ejected for asking too many questions), and eventually to New York City and Wall Street.
At the movie’s opening, Hinda and Shirley are doing little more than pondering. By its end, they are wielding megaphones and handing out fliers on the campus of the University of Washington.
There’s a moral here, certainly, but Two Raging Grannies is more than just social commentary. The slow, beautifully shot film juxtaposes the women’s journey into activism with a profound meditation on aging. The most affecting moments occur when Hinda and Shirley are discussing not the implications of a constantly expanding economy, but rather the daily trials and tribulations of getting old. “I think the main things I go to socially now are memorials,” Shirley mentions wryly at one point. It’s a poignant juxtaposition—a societal and economic system of constant evolution and growth, as viewed by those left in its wake.
Such heavy themes could make for a somber film, but Two Raging Grannies remains enjoyable, thanks largely to the chemistry between Hinda and Shirley. Their conversations are funny and relatable, their friendship heartwarming without being saccharine.
Adding to Hinda and Shirley’s charm is their almost childlike manner. After being kicked out of the economics class, the two women pose their question to a UW student. “I keep hearing about ‘we have to grow the economy,’” Shirley asks, frowning up from her scooter. “But why is [that]?”
At one point in the film, the grandmothers visit Albert Bartlett, a retired professor of physics who has been lecturing on the impossibility of endless economic growth since 1969.
“We’re just actually beginning to think about this situation,” admits Hinda.
“Better late than never,” Bartlett reassures them.
Yes Magazine – 27 March 2015
BamaBlog Note: By clicking on Professor Bartlett's name, you can watch the first segment (of eight) on the exponential function and the impossibility of endless growth of anything. These videos have been featured before in BamaBlog several times... If you missed them, now's your chance to watch them... as Professor Barlett says, 'better late than never').
53 years in space!
(Reprinted from the March 2011 BamaBlog Magazine)
Mission Control Houston:
'Who's navigating now?”
Reply from Apollo 11 -
just before landing on the moon:
Today, while volunteering at the hospital, I watched the final landing of the space shuttle Discovery from the window of a patient's room. Amazingly, I found I was cheering and noticed that the patient and his wife were also cheering. Now, there will be only two more Shuttle flights before the end of America's manned space flight.
I was there at the beginning of orbiting unmanned spacecraft and now will see the end of the manned flight. 53 years of total wonder.
Discovery Rolls Out for the last time – Flight STS133 – 24 February 2011
(Click on image for final touchdown video - 9 March 2011)
First Launch of Space Shuttle Discovery – 30 August 1984 (STS-41-D)
Click on image to watch launch
The mission lasted six days, 56 minutes, with landing on Runway 17 at Edwards AFB, at 8:37 a.m. PDT, on September 5, 1984. It traveled 2,490,000 miles (4,010,000 km) and made 97 orbits. It was transported back to KSC on September 10, 1984.
The primary cargo consisted of three communications satellites, SBS-D for Satellite Business Systems, Telstar 3-C for Telesat of Canada and SYNCOM IV-2, or Leasat-2, a Hughes-built satellite leased to the Navy. Leasat-2 was the first large communications satellite designed specifically to be deployed from the Space Shuttle. All three satellites were deployed successfully and became operational. (Wiki)
Space Shuttle Discovery – Flight STS 31– 24 April 1990
Click on image to watch launch
Discovery STS 31 Crew
Click on image for video crew and deploying the Hubbel
STS-31 was the tenth launch of the shuttle Discovery. On board were Loren Shriver, Charles Bolden, Bruce McCandless, Steven Hawley, and Kathryn Sullivan. The main purpose of this mission was to deploy the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) astronomical observatory.
My 53 Years of Traveling with Space -
without Leaving Earth
I started work for Cal Tech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena in 1958 where I began by digitizing hypersonic wind tunnel data – before NASA was founded and JPL was eventually placed under the patronage of the the US government (however, it was and is still managed by Cal Tech). The statute that defined JPL's role read, "An act to pioneer research in space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautical fields".
JPL was early to offer employment opportunities to women mathematicians (but no women engineers until the early 1960's) – and it was there that I met my first wife, who had a math degree.
JPL worked on several of the early unmanned space missions: notably Explorer (Van Allan Belts) Ranger (lunar orbits), Mariner (Mars, Venus, Mercury) and Surveyor (soft lunar landings) – and I was assigned as a technical writer to interview the engineers and scientists and write development scripts and timelines for various projects. I was a 'natural' for the job – I loved it.
Toward the end of the 1960's, NASA decided that there were too many people at JPL and some of us were moved to the Bendix Field Engineering Corporation as contractors – although we performed the same jobs in JPL's Deep Space Network program. I worked in both Real Time and Off Line Operations and managed about 50 people. In 1970, JPL lost a contract and Bendix reassigned me to the Goddard Space Flight Center in Columbia, Maryland, to work on the computer remote tracking systems that control space flights and satellites. At one point, I made a 7-week round-the-world trip visiting the tracking stations. What a thrill!
Then in the spring of 1978, I transferred back to California – this time to Sunnyvale – to work for Lockheed at the beginning of the Hubbel Space Telescope project. Then back to Goddard in 1982 – still on the HST, managing the Bendix contractors . Besides traveling to Florida and the Kennedy Space Center, I often traveled to the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, and the Johnson Space Center in Houston. At the time of the launch of the HST in 1990, my group numbered about 200 contractors.
When I retired in 1991, I moved to Titusville, Florida – close to the Kennedy Space Center which had been moved from the Cape to Merritt Island, where I could easily witness shuttle launches and stay close to a lifetime of exciting, satisfying and challenging work. As I pound away on my whizzy new Apple Mac, I often smile when I remember that I have more computing power on my own desk today than existed in the computer room at JPL in the early1960's - with its Univac 1107a (a fine machine, by the way), 5-foot tall magnetic drum storage devices, tape drives, card key punch and sorting equipment, multiple form printers, etc, etc, etc, all of which had to be installed in a noisy, cold air conditioned room.
Magnetic Drum Storage
Card Punch and Sorters
Multiple form printer and collator
Now - in March 2011 - All of the above..... have shrunk to this:
Which fit nicely on my desk...thank you very much –
However – there is one thing my iMac can't do – here's the story:
Between 1966 and 1967 NASA sent five Lunar Orbiter spacecraft to the Moon. Images from these spacecraft were used by mission planners to select the Apollo landing sites on the moon. In the late 1960s, after the Apollo era, Lunar Orbiter analog tapes were placed in storage in Maryland. The Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project, located at NASA's Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, California, is taking analog data from original recorders used to store on tape and 1,500 of the original tapes, converting the data into digital form, and reconstructing the images. The restored image released confirms data from the original tapes can be retrieved from the newly-restored tape drives from the 1960s when combined with software from 2008. (Wiki)
That's right – there was no way for the new stuff to read the old stuff – they had to restore the old tape drives first then convert the photos digitally.
Here's one photo from the Orbiter – we saw our earth for the first time from space....
What an amazing journey, these 53 years!