Monthly Archives: February 2010

Space Shuttle Retires and 23,000 Jobs will Disappear

Sadly, NASA is going to have the budget cut for manned space flight and this coincides with the retirement of the current space shuttle program which will end this year 2010. This in and of itself is a shame because NASA has led the way in technology for sending people into space, but it looks as if the private sector may begin to work on space craft capable of sending people into space as well as the European Space Agency. Another consequence to this budget cut will be the loss of 23,000 jobs, yes, 23,000 jobs!
From the article:

Revised projections now show that about 23,000 workers at and around Kennedy Space Center will lose their jobs because of the shuttles’ retirement and the new proposal to cancel the development of new rockets and spacecraft.
IN-DEPTH SPECIAL REPORT: Shuttle ShutdownThat sum includes 9,000 “direct” space jobs and — conservatively speaking — 14,000 “indirect” jobs at hotels, restaurants, retail stores and others that depend on activity at the space center, said Lisa Rice, Brevard Workforce president.
“Our unemployment rate is going to skyrocket,” she warned Thursday during a five-hour Brevard County Commission space workshop. Much conversation centered on the future of human space launches from KSC, and attendees heaped criticism on Obama’s strategy.

I do not see the economy turning around to the positive side for many years or maybe ever, so I do not know what will happen to space travel. Since I am a science fiction lover and I dream of space travel, meeting alien life, and traveling the Universe, this seems like a big setback, for a while anyways.
Here is the article about the 23,000 jobs to be lost.

Would You Live in a Sanctuary District?

Past Tense (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)

Past Tense (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)

I have discussed in many posts that the economic depression we are in is not being fully or truthfully reported in the mainstream press and if you want the truth you have to rely on bloggers. I also found a great website that lists all of the jobs being cut on a daily basis,
We were discussing a few posts back about two episodes in Star Trek: Deep Space 9 entitled Past Tense parts one and two, in which Sisko, Bashir, and Dax get beamed back in time to the year 2024. Capt. Sisko and Dr. Bashir get picked up by the police and placed in what was called a Sanctuary District for those who have no home, no work, or are mentally ill. These people are walled in, have ID papers, and are not allowed to leave but are going to receive help in finding work, which of course does not happen. Sound familiar? We have so many unemployed in the USA what will happen when there are no more social nets like unemployment insurance? Bernanke and company cannot keep printing money forever, and soon hyperinflation will come and food will be expensive. The writers of these two episodes had great insight into what could happen if too many people were without work and how the government would handle it: put them out of sight, in over crowded conditions, supply very little food, while those on the outside who do have jobs need to work with the government and follow all of their rules and ignore those in the Districts. Wow, this is a great story and a scary one at that. What is going to happen to all of the unemployed, will they get “put away” somewhere?

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An Epidemic is Coming to a Theatre Near You!

Yes, I love horror movies as much as I do science fiction films and add the element of some medical virus gone awry, pass me the popcorn because I am so there and ready to be scared!
From an article I read:

Bird flu, SARS, H1N1 — even vampires are coughing into their sleeves.After all, is there anything scarier these days than a virus-packed sneeze on a plane? What about the water we drink? One unfiltered sip may kill you. Or infect you.And Hollywood is spreading the fear.Coming to theatres on Friday is The Crazies,about a peaceful Iowa community where a mysterious epidemic rewires residents into rampaging, pitchfork-wielding maniacs.

Yay! I love to watch maniacs or zombies chase the usual suspects around town while they try to escape their inevitable demise. This movie has the added ingredient of a biological weapon that ends up accidentally in this small town.

Meanwhile Oscar-winning director Steven Soderbergh has announced his own epic virus thriller,Contagion.Germs are the new suicide bombers, with hand sanitizers as coveted as holy water, silver bullets and airport body scanners. Maybe movies such as The Crazies are far-fetched. But what if they’re not?

Well, horror movies are supposed to be far-fetched, to be taken lightly (at least for me), and to have a lot of fun snuggling with a date or spouse.

Here is the article and a trailer of The Crazies.

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Star Trek Convention Film Courtesy Trek Today

This is very cool video from a 1975 Star Trek Convention. From the article:

Back in August of 1975, Star Trek fan Rich Portnoy shot almost four minutes worth of 8mm movie film showing original series cast members at a Chicago Star Trek convention.The 1975 Star Trek convention, attended by over 14,000 people, was held from August 22-24 at the Conrad Hilton Hotel in Chicago.In attendance were the original series actors, younger and with classic 1970s hairstyles. They included: Leonard Nimoy, William Shatner, DeForest Kelley, Walter Koenig, James Doohan, Nichelle Nichols and George Takei.Also in attendance was Arlene Martel (T’Pring from Amok time,) wearing a scarf over her dark hair.The cast was “guarded” by security personnel dressed up as (old style) Klingons. Before Doohan’s entrance, a female Klingon came out with bagpipes.

Here is the link.

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No Video Games for the Space Station

I read an interesting article at the website io9 about how the International Space Station has internet capability but when a visitor wanted to play a multiplayer video game and bring his ipod, he was not allowed.

Richard Garriott, the first video game designer to ride a rocket to outer space wanted to play a massively multiplayer video game from the International Space Station. And he wanted to bring his iPod. Neither happened.Garriott’s gaming plan was to play his then-still-active computer game Tabula Rasa from the International Space Station, logging onto a computer and playing with people down on Earth. He traveled to the space station in 2008 as one of the world’s only self-funded space tourists.”I looked into taking Tabula Rasa into space,” he told Kotaku during an interview at the DICE gaming summit just outside of Las Vegas last week. “There’s Internet on the space station. We actually originally were pursuing trying to play live, from space, but it turns out that even though there is an IP (Internet protocol) pathway, they were so worried about people tunneling backwards to the ISS and wreaking havoc that it became a non-starter.”That’s right, gamers. According to Garriott, the powers that be in some space agency thought that you would try to cheat your way into taking control of the space station. We all know you’d never do that.

Oh well, maybe in the future the private companies that will begin space travel will work on problem hackers and allow more freedom for the people who travel in space, only if governments get their beaks out of the picture.

Here is the story.

Actor Andrew Koenig Missing

The son of the famous actor from Star Trek: The Original Series has been missing since the 14th of Feb 2010. While I am not too familiar with the work of Andrew Koenig, 41 years of age, it is sad that he has gone missing. From the article:

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The actor son of “Star Trek” veteran Walter Koenig has disappeared while visiting friends in Canada, and family pleaded on Sunday for information on his whereabouts to be given to the Vancouver police.
Andrew Koenig, 41, who co-starred as “Boner” on the 1980s sitcom “Growing Pains,” was last seen in Vancouver on February 14 after neighbors said he sold all his possessions in Los Angeles.
“He’s been depressed,” his father, who has a degree in psychology, told local ABC television station KABC. “He’s trying to get ahead in this business and he’s been working at it a long time.”
Koenig, 73, who played Starfleet officer Pavel Chekov on the original “Star Trek” series and the first seven feature spin-offs, said drugs were not an issue.

I would like to point out, and I am not in any way inferring this is the case here, that many people are getting depressed during these very difficult economic times we are living in, hence the name Depression. I wish governments, the mainstream media, and people in general would start talking openly about how hard things are financially and how hard it is to find work. I guess people are scared, ashamed, or feel like failures and would rather pretend to others things are fine, but the truth is, things are not fine! Please read this link and read the comments, people are getting desperate about where their next paycheck is coming from and how they will eat!
I realize this seems way off topic from an actor gone missing but the bottom line is, when we feel down and out, we need to be honest with each other and support each other in the best way we can. I hope Andrew shows up and I am sure his family would support him with open arms.
Here is a link to the article.

UPDATE: Sadly, Andrew Koenig was found dead, RIP.

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Coast To Coast Review

Back in the 1990s, I used to listen to the radio program called Coast to Coast on the AM dial, only then it was hosted by Art Bell. Art Bell has an entrancing voice and could talk about the most esoteric topics you would ever imagine and listening to the callers was also great fun. An article in the Los Angeles Times is talking about the show which is now hosted by George Noory who also has a lot of patience and open-mindedness about topics ranging from evil spirits to aliens spying on us, alien abduction, time travel, etc., I guess like listening because I like a variety of sci fi topics. The Times article is focusing more on Noory but I preferred Art Bell because he had a certain style and wit that made the show very fun to listen to. It may also be that I listened more because it was before the internet and now I spend more time on the net vs. listening to the radio. Once in a while I will stay up late, turn off the lights and listen to the show, especially if they are talking about ghosts to give myself a good scare!
Anyway, here is a link to the STORY.

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Space Shuttle Endeavour May Land in California

Californians may get the chance to hear the famous double sonic boom if the space shuttle needs to land in California tonight. From the article:

NASA says it might be forced to land the space shuttle Endeavour at Edwards Air Force Base in the Mojave Desert on Sunday night due to sketchy weather at Kennedy Space Center, Florida. If that happens, it is possible that people in Orange County will hear the double sonic boom the shuttle makes minutes before it lands. Whether we hear the boom depends on the shuttle’s final flight path. If it reaches the California coast in the Santa Barbara area, we probably wouldn’t hear it. But if it tacks farther south, there’s a good chance we would.

NASA would prefer to land Endeavour in Florida. If the weather clears, the shuttle, which is carrying a crew of six, will touch down in Florida at 10:16 .m. or 11:51 p.m., eastern time, Sunday. If the shuttle comes here, says NASA, it would land at Edwards at either 10:20 p.m. or 11:55 p.m., Pacific time, Sunday. Check back for updates.

12 chances to see International Space Station fly over Southern California

Here is a link to the story and I love hearing that special sonic boom!

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Wil Wheaton Vids

I found two funny Wil Wheaton videos, funny that is if you are a nerd like myself and love Star Trek, The Big Bang Theory, and the Family Guy television shows. Wil also has a very cool BLOG that is fun to read as well, and he loves twitter and you can catch him tweeting quite regularly.
Enjoy the videos!

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Classic Star Trek Crew Photo

I found a great story about the Star Trek crew taking a photo with Gene Roddenberry and the Space Shuttle Enterprise. From the article:

Thirty-three years ago today, the U.S.S. Enterprise made its maiden voyage after receiving its blessing from the original Star Trek crew.No, not that Enterprise. We’re talking about the first space shuttle orbiter, which was named after the most famous ship in Starfleet and which made its first flight test on Feb. 18, 1977, mounted to a Boeing 747, according to a report in the Orlando Sentinel.Here’s part of the Sentinel’s story:

NASA’s first step into the Space Shuttle program was an orbiter named Enterprise, which served as a model for future orbiters Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour. (Though they are often referred to as “space shuttles,” an orbiter must be mated to a bright orange external tank and two skinny solid rocket boosters to merit the name.)
I love memories like these, to me, it seems like yesterday the shuttle took off. I guess we will have a lot more memories and old photos to look at throughout this year due to the fact that the space shuttle program ends this year, thus ending the manned space program for NASA..
You can read the entire story HERE:

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