This is what an astronaut looks like in space, Sandra Bullock and George Clooney not withstanding

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astronaut_selfie

I’m sorry, but Sandra and George didn’t come close.

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#ThrowBackThursday – January 1986

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January 1986, on the top of Moro Rock, in Sequoia National Park, which is just up the road from my home in Visalia.  It may look like I have a death grip on the rail, but I don’t remember being at all nervous there.  I’m 28 here, and there are two things I notice in this picture:  how much hair I have compared to today, and how much snow on the mountains compared to today.  Both were much thicker than now.  Mother Nature can be a bitch, and Father Time a bastard!

Jim_Jan_1986_Moro_Rock

“Gravity” works, except when it doesn’t

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Gravity

They say you have to “suspend disbelief” to enjoy some movies, but when a movie is about something you’re really interested in, it becomes more difficult as the filmmakers take “artistic license” to the extreme.  The new movie “Gravity” is one such example.  Where to begin with all that’s wrong with this film?

First, let me tell you what was good.  The technical aspects were first rate.  The visuals, the micro-gravity, most of the movement were spot on.  It looked almost like it was filmed in space!  The scenes of the astronauts in orbit, the Earth, the space shuttle and space station looked incredibly real.  The story line was mostly good, but some really odd things popped in from time to time, making one wonder “what the hell was that?”  (the chinese guy talking with the barking dog and crying baby? huh?)

Now, for the bad…

[SPOILERS ALERT]

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I Love Living In the Future

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Inmarsat-3A few minutes ago, I was sitting in my living room, holding a little piece of plastic and metal to my ear, no wires connecting me to any plugs on the walls, talking to a friend in Virginia as he drove down a highway.  Space Cadet JimmieJoe was jumping up and down in my head again, amazed.

When I was 12, the Space Cadet often daydreamed about the future.  There were spaceships and incredible computers.  Meals would be selected on a screen, and be magically transported to the table by a conveyor. Communication anywhere on the planet would be simple, quick, and complete with video. Super sonic jets would whisk you to anyplace on Earth in a short time, and, of course, flying cars would be everywhere.  Think – “The Jetsons”.

Well, the future is here, but it looks a bit different than Space Cadet JimmieJoe imagined.

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