Now here is a nifty little bit of video.

Video from a camera mounted on one of the Solid Rocket Boosters. First it goes up, then it comes all the way back down.

There is also audio, which is sorta neat. Cleaned up and enhanced right here at home in Marin at Skywalker Sound.

If you want to see what happens to the boosters, and get some idea of their size, you can watch this video.



Here is an interesting artifact over on Slate:



The US banned the importation of Slaves in 1807, but they were still being bought and sold internally.  The Deep South needed raw labor in its fields, and many slaves from northern states were “Sold Down the River” to feed the industry.

A simple business document behind which lies a lifetime of anguish and torment.

Read the story here:



I picked this out of the news a few weeks ago and wanted to address it, but what with one thing and another, just couldn’t get in the right mind frame to lay it out.

This is a pretty hideous clip of an execution in Syria.  It horrified folks when it came out (with good reason) and due to the timing of it, while we publicly debate what involvement is appropriate for this country, it was fairly widely distributed.

The government forces gassing of children in Syria galvanized many in this country into self-righteous indignation and the public call for intervention on the behalf of the rebel forces.  No-one loves the underdog like the USA.

Not to denigrate the emotions dredged up by those heinous acts.  As a parent myself, I couldn’t bring myself to watch the various videos out there.  I can’t imagine living through that, and I myself feel the swell of self-righteous indignation too.  I want to strike back at the people who did that, I want to hurt them.

But then hard on the heels of those videos, comes one like this.  A summary execution by the rebels that we felt such a sudden kinship for after the gassing ordeal.

For anyone paying attention, it does sort of rip the bandaid off.

We want to believe in black and white.  We want to believe in right and wrong.  We want to believe in Good and Evil.  But those are silly, childish, conceits.

We are all of us capable of the full spectrum, and it is only our self-control; our adherence to the civilizing influences of society, culture, or religion, that keep us from descending into madness and purely animal behavior.

These influences are all over-run by war; trampled into dust, left in pieces in the treads of a tank, the rubble of a church, the shallow grave of a friend.

Sometimes War is necessary. Sometimes War has to be.

But don’t ever forget, there is no honor in war.  There is no dignity in war.  There is always atrocity in war.  For all involved.

Thus it ever was, and thus it ever shall be, for ever and ever, amen.

English: T. S. Eliot, photographed one Sunday ...

English: T. S. Eliot, photographed one Sunday afternoon in 1923 by Lady Ottoline Morrell (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Found a neat old audio clip over at Brain Pickings website, which is a fantastic site, I must say.

Well worth a visit to the site just to peruse things.

Listen to some interesting old audio here:

I’m not a huge fan of late-night comedy shows. First of all, they usually aren’t funny, and secondly, I’m usually not awake.

I have to say though, Jimmy Fallon always seems to impress me, whatever he is doing, singing, dancing, or just goofing off.

This clip covers all three and he has recruited a couple other miscreants to help him out.

It is pure silliness and pure fun and has no edifying value whatsoever.

Watch it:


To continue on my current course of being depressing, thought I would post this little tidbit of info that I first ran across a while ago.

This is a timeline of what you do to yourself when you chug that soft drink.

As usual,  I always knew in my heart that if I loved something this much, there must certainly be something wrong with it (I’m not going to discuss any other things love, thank you).


  • In the first 10 minutes: 10 teaspoons of sugar hit your system. (100% of your recommended daily intake.) You don’t immediately vomit from the overwhelming sweetness because phosphoric acid cuts the flavor, allowing you to keep it down.
  • 20 minutes: Your blood sugar spikes, causing an insulin burst. Your liver responds to this by turning any sugar it can get its hands on into fat. (And there’s plenty of that at this particular moment.)
  • 40 minutes: Caffeine absorption is complete. Your pupils dilate; your blood pressure rises; as a response, your liver dumps more sugar into your bloodstream. The adenosine receptors in your brain are now blocked, preventing drowsiness.
  • 45 minutes: Your body ups your dopamine production, stimulating the pleasure centers of your brain. This is physically the same way heroin works, by the way.
  • > 60 minutes: The phosphoric acid binds calcium, magnesium, and zinc in your lower intestine, providing a further boost in metabolism. This is compounded by high doses of sugar and artificial sweeteners also increasing the urinary excretion of calcium.
  • > 60 minutes: The caffeine’s diuretic properties come into play. (It makes you have to pee.) It is now assured that you’ll evacuate the bonded calcium, magnesium, and zinc that was headed to your bones as well as sodium, electrolytes, and water.

> 60 minutes: As the rave inside you dies down, you’ll start to have a sugar crash. You may become irritable and/or sluggish. You’ve also now, literally, pissed away all the water that was in the Coke. But not before infusing it with valuable nutrients your body could have used for things like hydrating your system, or building strong bones and teeth.

You can read the full article, and several other helpful articles full of rotten news here:



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