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One small step…


Couldn’t let yesterday’s anniversary pass unblogged. I think the Onion captured the wondrous spirit of that first moon landing better than I could hope to:

Man Walks On Fucking Moon

July 21, 1969—The distant, lonely, mysterious satellite that has fascinated mankind since the dawn of time is distant and lonely no more. At 4:17 p.m. on July 20, 1969, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin E. Aldrin Jr. touched down on the Sea of Tranquility in the lunar module Eagle and radioed back to Earth the historic report: “Jesus fucking Christ, Houston. We’re on the fucking moon.”

Yeah. It felt exactly like that.

The latest version of Google Earth includes the moon, with all kinds of special features, hi-res and video clips relating to the Apollo missions. If you love the fucking moon as much as I do, I totally recommend it.

I remember watching the landing with my dad, who also completely loved the fucking moon. I was nine. He let out a breath and said, “by the time you’re in your twenties, you’ll vacation up there.” I am still inexpressibly pissed that he was wrong and we blew the whole species escaping into outer space thing.

On the other hand, I never guessed I’d have my own personal supercomputer that fits on a tv tray and lets me explore the fucking moon and demonstrate my potty mouth for strangers all over the world in realtime. So, you know, that’s pretty sweet.


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 21, 2009, 7:04 pm

At 33°18’14.53″N, 44°24’46.43″E on the moon — in the middle of a gray expanse of nothingness — there’s a label indicating “Former Republican Palace, Iraq.” Um-hm.

Y’all can keep going on the Dead Pool thread right up until we have a winner. I’ll put up a sidebar link to it before it disappears off the page.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: July 21, 2009, 7:14 pm

That’s where it wound-up, yer Stoatliness.

After a direct hit.

Comment from scubafreak
Time: July 21, 2009, 9:09 pm

Kinda like the French Embassy in Libya, eh UB? 😉

Comment from David Gillies
Time: July 21, 2009, 9:30 pm

I was -6 weeks old when Apollo XI landed, which I am still a bit annoyed about. The problem with going back was that once we’d showed the Russkies who was boss, there wasn’t much point. If there’s money to be made up there, I’d back Richard Branson before I’d back a bloated rent-seeking government behemoth like NASA.

Comment from Gromulin
Time: July 21, 2009, 10:02 pm

A-fuggin-men to that. I was almost 5 when it landed, it’s one of my earliest menories.

My Dad, who was 69 at the time (If you do the maths, he was 64 when I was born. I was #7), filmed it on the black/white TV with his new “Super 8” camera, and I still have the film.

He grew up on a farm in North Dakota, and remembered seeing the very first Aeroplane anyone in his world had ever seen, and lived long enough to see a man walk on the moon. What an amazing century.

Comment from apotheosis
Time: July 21, 2009, 10:08 pm

To the day he died, my dad got that far-away, misty-eyed look every time he talked about seeing the Apollo 11 launch, and what it was like to watch and hear and feel a Saturn V go up.

I wish I could’ve seen that. I wish I could believe there’d be any equivalent achievement in our nation’s future that I might experience, and tell my son about.

Incidentally, I wonder how Google, darling of the left, is handling accusations that they’re “in on the MOON LANDING HOAXENZOMG!11!!!!”

Comment from scubafreak
Time: July 21, 2009, 10:49 pm

Well, I did find this….. 😉


Comment from Can\’t hark my cry
Time: July 21, 2009, 11:51 pm

I was in my early teens, and believed myself to be supremely unimpressed by the whole thing; my imgination has grown in both scope and grace since those days, and I am now astonished by what we accomplished–and what we didn’t accomplish.

As a side note, though, did everyone see the story about the loss of the original tapes? NASA apparently recorded over them:
That really does flabbergast me–good lord, they knew it was an unrepeatable historic event, and they taped over the original record of it? (Fortunately, as the story explains, they were able to obtain copies which they are using to, um, restore an original. . .all the same!)

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: July 21, 2009, 11:53 pm

Um. Akismet seems to have eaten my post–and all I did was criticize NASA for one itty bitty bureaucratic stupidity. . .but I guess the included link was pretty long. . .

Comment from iamfelix
Time: July 22, 2009, 4:55 am

Heh, our moonwalk posts resemble each other. complete with Onion Link and dad reference. 🙂

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 22, 2009, 6:37 am

It was the link wot done it, Can’t Hark. Also, this is angle-bracket (not square bracket) territory. Weezl feex.

You were in there with a penis enlargement dude, I’m afraid. But he seemed reasonably well-behaved.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 22, 2009, 7:00 am

Gosh, Felix — you’ve got a lot of new stuff up.

I’ve always loved that Onion page. Just perfect. I used to have the t-shirt. I don’t suppose anyone who grew up with the moonwalk as a fact can quite grasp the feeling of, “holy fucking shit, there’s a man on the fucking moon!” that we got watching them walk around up there.

There was a LOT that could’ve gone wrong (seriously, watch some of the Google Earth thing if you get a chance). The one I remember being most worried about was the very real possibility that the surface of the moon might be covered in…well, who knows how many feet of powdery dust from old meteorite strikes. I half expected the lander to sink out of sight. Not that we’d’ve seen that, of course.

Less scientifically — I was nine, after all — I secretly hoped the fucking thing would turn out to be made of green cheese, after all. I don’t suppose people say that any more.

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: July 22, 2009, 8:14 am

Reasonably well behaved, but not terribly interested in talking about moonwalk tapes or anything else of a refined and cultural nature. I’ll try not to transgress again, with links or brackets.

Comment from Oldcat
Time: July 22, 2009, 12:16 pm

They had already sent unmanned probes and landers in the 60s (Rangers) so they knew that the surface dust was only loose at the very top.

Of course, some other Kind of accident is always possible — like Apollo 13

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 22, 2009, 12:43 pm

Big ol’ surface, though, and the probes couldn’t land everywhere. In the event, the first lander didn’t go exactly where planned.

Comment from Enas Yorl
Time: July 22, 2009, 2:30 pm

I’ve always wondered what green cheese tasted like. You never find it in any grocery store. Hell, not even Whole foods carries it. Is it the cheese they have before they stick it in a cave to get all moldy and turn it blue? Darn it! If only there was some easy way to look up random bits of information.

Comment from dfbaskwill
Time: July 22, 2009, 2:50 pm

And STILL no flying car, dammit.

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: July 22, 2009, 3:05 pm

I’ve always wondered what green cheese tasted like. You never find it in any grocery store. Hell, not even Whole foods carries it. Is it the cheese they have before they stick it in a cave to get all moldy and turn it blue? Darn it! If only there was some easy way to look up random bits of information.

Oh, man, I have this really bad feeling I’m about to play straight-man, um, straight-person. But in case you were serious: go to http://www.straightdope.com/ and enter “green cheese” in the search box. (I’d give you the entire link, but I don’t want to try Weasel’s patience by making her fish me out of the spam trap two days running).

Comment from Mike C.
Time: July 23, 2009, 7:07 am

I read Clark’s “Exploration of Space” a couple of years after it was published (still have it, too), and that evening 40 years ago, it actually seemed as if it all might come true. But we frittered it all away.

How many Americans, asked the day after, would have believed a prediction that in 40 years, not only would they not have the capability to repeat that feat, but in fact would be almost to the point where they had no manned space capability at all, and would be reduced to hitching rides on Russian spacecraft, and just to LEO at that ? And yet here we are. Not for any technical reason, not for any serious budgetary reason, just for a simple loss of will.

I’ll stop now, before I start saying what I really think, which would likely get me both deleted and banned. This whole subject makes me very angry.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 23, 2009, 7:23 am

Heh. Now you’ve done it. I can’t help wondering what on EARTH anyone could say that would get me to do that.

If it had anything to do with the trillions of dollars we’ve pissed away on social programs that have actually made people’s lives measurably worse, while simultaneously flushing our space program down the shitter…I’d be more likely to award you a medal.

Comment from Войска ПВО
Time: July 24, 2009, 7:50 am

I don’t know about you folks, but I am going to make a road trip of it one long weekend and pick up all of the expensive detritus they left up there..

..I could pay for the trip by eBaying all the Hasselblads lying around and, not to mention that there being no need to bring food because of the tins of stuff (and the Tang) not brought back.

Green cheese? Didn’t Wallace and Grommit get that? Besides, it looked more like cheddar.

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: July 25, 2009, 3:32 pm

I know this is a relatively serious thread about a serious subject, and forgive me if posting this is a hijack of sorts, but at lunch with friends today I was reminded of the website below, and it just seemed like it might appeal to some here–and this is the only recent thread that it seemed even marginally related to. . .

Adult Children of Alien Abductees

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: July 25, 2009, 3:33 pm

Rats. I screwed up the link. OK, here’s the naked link:


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