Posts Tagged ‘Space’

Trump’s Gone – it was a Good Visit

June 8, 2019

He’s gone.  Trump came to UK and was supposed to cause problems. Apart from voting for Boris when he should be voting for Jeremy, he got the politics right. He was supposed to crowd the Royals who supposedly don’t care for him. They got on fine. Ninety minutes nattering with the Queen is more than most make.

And his family? His wife looked grim.  The rest? Missed them all together. Duchess of Sussex.  She was doing the 4 o’clock feed. Didn’t see her. Prince Harry stopped by, said Hi, and that was that.

So what about the eye-balling and grump stuff?  Not there.  Why did we think it would be?  Because our newspaper and broadcasting pundits told us that it would be a bit of a farce with every one waiting for the President to cause.  But they were wrong, just as they have been wrong about most Brexit things.

When Trump says fake news, what he should be saying is that far too many of the correspondents don’t make it up, they just get it wrong.

So trump with Piers Morgan was the best bit of the visit. The fact that the BBC devoted so much coverage to him with commentators saying nothing because they had nothing and didn’t know the rest.

We should be glad he came. Trump has sharpened up. He’s learned how to act the part of President and can play the humour game. His aside when he publicly asked Jeremy Hunt if he thought Michael Gove would make a good Prime Minister was beautiful timing and worthy of Jack Benny.

Mind you, the US election is to come. It may be that he returns to being the grotesque and nasty guy that he was last time.  For now, Trump’s fine and a lot better than the thirteen Tories lining up to do what Mrs May couldn’t do because it cannot be done. Trump told them so. They smiled smugly and waved him farewell. Hunt was the only one who showed respect rather than sycophancy – could be Hunt learned that from his father Nick, one of the finest and shrewdest admirals the Royal Navy had. Trump will remember that.

Mars, Elvis & Reality

August 13, 2012

NASA has put a robot called Curiosity on Mars.  Thy say it’s there to tell us if life once existed on the red planet. The whole exercise cost a few $billion dollars.  A few $billion to tell us what might have been there?

Don’t they know I could have done that for $40 a day plus expenses?  Maybe no one would have cared a bucket of rocks what I think, but tell me how many people are going to get wet under the arms about Mars zillions of years back – which no one will believe anyway.

Now I happen to know (because I read it in the Inquirer, I think) that Elvis lives in an abandoned B52 on the dark side of the moon (a great rock title there for someone?).  I also happen to know (because I’m told on average authority that Spielberg was thinking of making a film about it) that Marilyn did not die but leads a quiet life learning a little Serbo Croat and doing marshmallow recipes just in the next crater to The King.

You see where we are?  These are credibles.  We all do credibles.  NASA spends $billions and maybe no one says why? Now me, I’m exicited by the imagery sent back from Curiosity via the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.  I loved the black and white picture of Curiosity’s from off-side wheel.  Truthfully, I have never seen a robot’s front off-side anywhere, never mind on Mars.  Did you know that NASA control at the JPL in Pasdadena Ca. had to upload computer commands to the spacecraft about three days prior to pressing the camera button.  Well did you? I guess they must be using the same broadband provider as me.

Anyway, how do these guys plan to get evidence of any life? They say it could take two years? I got a nephew whose mother says he’s a genius who for the past two years has not shown any sign of life other than constant texting.  So I’m sure waiting to get patched into the technique.

But there is an upside to all this. I’m not sure that that bit isn’t done. Did you know that Mars is sometimes 250 million kilometers from earth?  I say it’s sometimes that because at other times it’s on;y around 60 million kilometers.  Why you ask?  Because they are in elliptical orbits so they get close and then they go away again – or something similar.  My point I suppose is that Mars is a really long way away and this little robot about the size of a family automobile weighing a ton has travelled millions of kilometers and taken months to get there and then is neatly parked some place called Gale Crater within a two centimeters of where the Pasadena guys said it would be.

No that makes me tingle. That’s not only clever.  We are, as is broadly agreed, fouling up this planet earth.  Maybe out children’s, children’s children are going to have to do what the founding fathers did: get out to some place new.  Curiosity and the NASA folk say that’s doable.

All highly unlikely.  Easier to clean up this place instead.  But just suppose Elvis got it right.  I trust his instinct.  Maybe he knew all along that Kyoto wouldn’t work.  Yes, I think he may just have done that.  The Moon? Easy compared with Mars.  The Dark Side? Pink Floyd said it was possible.  Stay with it Pasadena.  Keep sending the signals, but take a tip from one who knows: best switch your ISP. Okay?