The launch countdown was peppered with tributes to the shuttle's launch team. The "closeout crew" who locked the commander and his crew safely into the cockpit emerged from the white room – the environmentally controlled chamber that docks with the cockpit door – holding signs with the message: "On behalf of all who have designed and built, serviced and loaded, launched and controlled, operated and flown these magnificent space vehicles … Thank you for 30 years with our nation's space shuttles! Godspeed Atlantis! God bless America!"
But with just 31 seconds to go, the clock was stopped after a sensor falsely reported the shuttle's "beanie cap" covering the external fuel tank had not retracted, but it was a minor issue that delayed the launch by only three minutes. Despite the hitch, Nasa officials described the launch as "flawless".
Atlantis then climbed through cloud on its nine-minute journey into orbit, leaving a thick plume of smoke in the air and shaking the ground with the rumble from its three powerful engines.
"I'm sat here with a tear in my eye," said Bill Nelson, a retired astronaut who flew a mission aboard the shuttle Columbia in 1986 and who is now a staunch defender of Nasa as US Senator for Florida.
"There's a lot of emotion here because an era is passing, and jobs are going with that passing. But in 30 years of space shuttle activity, look at what we've learned, look at the technologies we've developed."
When I realized today was the last space shuttle launch, I was upset and dissappointed. I immediately reacted like the president and tried to point my finger at someone on whome I could place blame. Why would we close NASA?
Well, we aren't closing NASA.
I say again, we are not closing NASA, we just are not using government innovation to build space shuttles and the shuttles we have are old enough to retire. Instead, the future of America's travels into space will rely on vessels manufactured by private companies. I am sure that is no comfort to those who are losing their jobs building space shuttles. Hopefully, private industry has a desire for space travel and they can pick up some of the folks who used to build space shuttles.
Other than the layoffs, I thing this is a good thing. In an economic environment such as the one we are in now, we need to reduce government spending by cutting unneccesarry programs. Space travel, while compelling, is not necessary now. We could also cut funding to programs like PBS, NPR, and the National Endowment for the Arts--all nice projects, of course, but not necessary during a bad economy.
By cutting uneccessary spending, we don't have to threaten to raise taxes. When people pay fewer taxes, they have more money to spend and to give to charitable organizations of their choice. This leads to greater consumer confidence that will drive our economy back into a positive direction.
I found this infographic by the Photoshoplady through a link on facebook. There are some pretty cool facts buried in here.
Among the not so cool facts are the ones about piracy. I am glad to be part of the 42% of people who use legitimately licensed photoshop. I am a little irritated that 58% of photoshop users are able to do so because I, and others like me, pay for the product when they don't.
1. Cappuccino cowboy/cowgirl The first of our funny words was coined by attorney Robert Freilich. “Cappuccino cowboys” are people who desire a suburban/rural lifestyle but can’t let go of urban amenities, such as Starbucks or drive-thrus. Picture John Wayne in his 10-gallon hat with a Frappachino in one hand, scrolling through a text message on his cell with the other.
2. Double Geeking This refers to using two computers at the same time. It is similar to, but not to be confused with, “geeking out”, which is watching t.v. with a computer nearby in order to surf during commercials; it also covers watching an NFL game on t.v. while simultaneously watching it on NFL.com. In both cases, technology is awesome.
3. Eating your own dog food Sometimes a company that produces a product decides to use its product. Sometimes the employees are not happy about this decision, so these employees devised the term “eating your own dog food”. An example: “I work for a company that makes lousy pencils. I never have anything to write with, because we eat our own dog food.” Software companies often do this.
4. Fat Finger This is an error in typing due to fingers much larger than the buttons, such as “I accidently texted ‘lets meeeet for dinner’–I fat fingered”.
5. Fram When a relative/friend sends fifteen emails a day with titles like “The funniest joke”, “Take my survey”, or “Cutest kitties”, this is “fram”. Similar to spam, fram comes from a friendly source, but an inbox fills just as quickly from friendly fire.
6. Plonk “Plonk” is a Usenet term for adding a poster to one’s kill file so that future posts are ignored; it is considered to be the sound of that blocked person hitting the bottom of the kill file: “plonk”!
The first known use:
>>Please refrain from posting to talk.bizarre until such time as you >>cease to be an %$&^ and become at least one of: bizarre, creative, >>or entertaining. You are welcome to dump your rotting ordure in rec.humor >>or some similar group where your fellow mental defectives congregate.
7. Salmon Day “Salmon Day” is a day of swimming upstream, only to die on the beach in the end. It can apply to many occupations–from farming to dentistry–though it was probably “spawned” in office settings.
8. Shareware Girl Everyone’s favorite female at the office–someone who everyone gets along with. “Shareware Girl brought donuts today.”
9. Seagull Manager This writer’s personal favorite, a “seagull manager” is a boss who flies in, makes a lot of pointless noise, craps all over everything, then flies away.
10. Zen-mail Email with nothing in the body of the message is “zen-mail”. Much zen-mail is most likely caused by fat fingering the “enter” button.
New internet terms spring up every day, and they are often just as useful as they are funny, so why not share your favorite new words?
After 10 days of stonewalling, waffling, and outright lying, Rep. Anthony Weiner finally came clean today, admitting that he had inappropriate online relationships with at least six women.
Choking back tears and his eyes rimmed with red, the Democratic New York congressman admitted sending a lewd picture of himself to Seattle co-ed Gennette Cordova and acknowledged that there could be even more graphic X-rated photos of him out there.
But he said he would not resign his House seat, saying he had done nothing to violate his oath of office or the Constitution.
Today is my nephew's birthday. Happy Birthday, Josh.
For Josh's birthday, I wanted to e-mail him an iTunes gift certificate. I found out this is possible on Apple's website. Yesterday, I tried to purchase the gift certificate, but when I clicked on the link, it told me I had to download iTunes (for FREE, YAY!). I don't use iTunes and I didn't want iTunes, but I went ahead and downloaded it.
I did not see an obvious way to buy the gift certificate in iTunes so I went back to the apple website and clicked the link there. It opened the iTunes store and I started my purchase. I entered my information, Josh's information, and a gift message. I clicked "continue" and it asked me if I had an apple ID. I had to create one. Once I created the ID and verified it, I had to re-start my iTunes gift certificate purchase. I re-entered my information, submitted my order, and got this:
click above image to see full size
It is as if Apple was determined NOT to take my money. After wrestling with iTunes store, I went to Amazon.com and sent him a gift certificate in 2 easy steps. Happy Birthday, Josh. I hate Apple.