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  Saturday, June 04, 2005

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First U.S. Spacewalk

Gemini 4 Mission, NASA


In 1965, forty years ago on June 3rd, astronaut Edward White made the first U.S. spacewalk.

Tethered to his Gemini IV capsule, White is pictured above holding a compressed gas "zip gun" for maneuvers in his right hand.

His spacewalk began over the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii and ended 23 minutes later above the Gulf of Mexico.

Of course, the term spacewalk is a bit deceiving as White was falling freely in low earth orbit alongside his capsule manned by fellow astronaut James McDivitt.

In free-fall, White was able to control his motions by firing bursts from his gun until its supply of compressed gas ran out.

He ultimately returned, exhausted, to the two-man Gemini capsule.

(Via Astronomy Picture of the Day.)

I love this picture. I was in the 6th grade, I think, or going into it, that summer. This seemed to me the most romantic, exciting thing that could be imagined. Of course, those Gemini trips were pretty brutal in a very very small spaceship. Still, I was with them every minute. And Ed White, with Gus Grissom and Roger Chaffee, was brutally murdered by the NASA n January of 1967.

4:39:13 PM    comment []

A conservative gathering defending Tom DeLay. "You never hear about the laws Tom DeLay doesn't break.", says Jon Stewart. "Was incest on that list?" Click on Picture to Play Quicktime Video 2.14 MB 2'36 Quicktime Required (free download) The Daily Show Fake News that delivers the Truth...

(Via onegoodmove.)

4:16:39 PM    comment []

A picture named Dick Cheney3.jpgA picture named Bushie2.jpgA picture named awaken-logo.gifThe Downing Street Memo disproves these statements

Audio-MP3 Dick Cheney, National Convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Nashville, TN, 26 August 2002:

Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction; there is no doubt that he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us.

Video-QT Dick Cheney, NBC, "Meet the Press," March 16, 2003: “We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons.”

Video-WMP- Bush making assorted false claims against Suddam and WMD's

These sites hold the truth:

Downing Street Memo....Awaken the MSM....Big Brass Blog Alliance....Brad Blog

reader mcmanus says :"star tribune editor:"Thank you for the positive feedback! Since several readers inquired about the memo, we are actually planning to publish it on our op-ed page later this week."

They posted the article here-reg req.

(Via Crooks and Liars.)

2:31:09 PM    comment []

12,000 Dead in Iraqi Guerrilla War

Juan Cole gives a detailed account of what's going on.

(Via Crooks and Liars.)

2:30:35 PM    comment []

This is some amazing review of the new Lucinda Williams live album. I only given the album one listening, but have heard other live stuff of hers, and seen her twice and am a fan. The review is worth reading, I think, even if you don't know her.

Live at the Fillmore is the latest recorded evidence of how age and experience--along with smoking, drinking, and God knows what else--can eviscerate the larynx while deepening the soul. Billie Holiday's 1958 Lady in Satin remains the ur-text of cathartic vocal disintegration. Joni Mitchell's Travelogue, George Harrison's Brainwashed, Bob Dylan's Time Out of Mind and Love and Theft, and Johnny Cash's American Recordings IV (with its devastating, moribund cover of Nine Inch Nails' "Hurt") also reveal how debilitated vocal chords can actually enhance the listener's experience. To vocal students everywhere: Don't try this at home. Williams did more than try it, she lived it, and must realize how much her current live recording fits into this venerable, raspy tradition. Jaded, scratchy intonations can be affected--usually unconvincingly--by the young, but it usually takes years to gargle the phlegm just right. For a songwriter who hit her stride in her mid-forties and who, in her early fifties, is now is perfecting her southern-tinged invectives against various lowlifes who did her wrong, Williams is hardly faking it. Over the years, her snarl has become coarser, more withering, and it stings. She can't do that pretty melisma like she used to, but her growl is fiercer, and you know more than ever that it would be best not to mess with her. Among noteworthy singer-songwriters who made it after 30, only Leonard Cohen comes to mind, and he did most of his best work in his first decade of recording. Williams may sing like she's lived many lives, but, at 52, she also sounds like she's just getting started.

2:19:44 PM    comment []

A new candidate for the stupidest thing I've ever read.

Don't believe it when you hear the government ranting about how raising the minimum wages to a respectable amount would cripple the economy. It's you they want walking around on crutches — instead, so they can control your lives to the point of no return.

Let's look at the price of milk. Almost five bucks for a gallon! Do you realize you are paying nearly one hour of minimum wages, so you and your children can get nourishing milk to drink? This says a lot when God created cows for us to have milk free. Of course, the government had to come up with a way to control and profit from free milk didn't they? After all, it is their duty to see that nothing in life is free — but trouble. So, after long intense studies they claimed the milk had to be pasturized to purify the milk, and now milk has so many chemicals from cows being fed high-tech grain — you are lucky if you survive after drinking a glass. How much trouble would boiling our own milk be?

2:09:36 PM    comment []

Smithsonian Institution Statement:
Statement by the Director, National Museum of Natural History

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History recently approved a request by the Discovery Institute to hold a private, invitation-only screening and reception at the Museum on June 23 for the film “The Privileged Planet.” Upon further review we have determined that the content of the film is not consistent with the mission of the Smithsonian Institution’s scientific research. Neither the Smithsonian Institution nor the National Museum of Natural History supports or endorses the Discovery Institute or the film “The Privileged Planet.” However, since Smithsonian policy states that all events held at any museum be “co-sponsored” by the director and the outside organization, and we have signed an agreement with this organization, we will honor the commitment made to provide space for the event.

Whatever that means.

Politically, this may be the best outcome. Had the film been pulled, DI would claim it was censorship. As it is, the Smithsonian has stopped claiming this was an apolitical and areligious event, and has withdrawn its support, leaving DI without $16,000 and no gain in credibility.

(Via Thoughts from Kansas.)

1:09:41 PM    comment []

The only surprising thing about this story is that it has come out (at least in the UK; I'll be surprised if the US coverage even gets the Downing Street memo treatment):
"Two Israeli soldiers have come forward to describe how they took part [in February, 2002] in what they say was an officially ordered 'revenge' operation to kill Palestinian police officers among them several unarmed men.

"In graphic testimony, one soldier has confessed that he 'really enjoyed' a chase in which he shot an unarmed Palestinian in the head who was trying to escape during a series of reprisal raids ordered the day after the killing of six Israeli soldiers in an ambush by militant gunmen three years ago.

"In what may be the first inside account of such an operation, the soldiers from two reconnaissance units say they were among troops ordered by their commanders to 'liquidate' the police officers at a series of Palestinian West Bank checkpoints even though they were given no evidence they had been involved in the killing of the Israelis.

"The raids were among a series of ground and air attacks which, in all, killed 15 Palestinians, 12 of them policemen in and around Nablus and Ramallah, 24 hours after the six Israeli soldiers were killed at a military post in the village of Ein Arik, west of Ramallah, at the height of the intifada."
(Hat tip to WIIIAI)

(Via Left I on the News.)

1:04:28 PM    comment []

Don't make Republican Jesus Christ cry. That's what will happen if you sign Rep. Conyer's letter asking Our Leader to come clean on the Downing Street Memo.

Republican Jesus mugs and shirts available here

Republican Jesus Archives.

(Via Jesus' General.)

10:16:03 AM    comment []

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