The Watering Hole: October 4 – Space

Test pilot, Brian Binnie flew SpaceShipOne to win the Ansari X Prize for private spaceflight, by being the first private craft to fly into space on October 4, 2004.

Mothership White Knight One Carrying SpaceShip One for Launch into Space

SpaceShip One is now on permanent exhibit at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.

With the success of Tier One meeting its project goals, a successor project started in 2004 was Tier 1b. The successor ship names SpaceShipTwo and White Knight Two. The name of the joint venture between Virgin Group and Scaled Composites is called The Spaceship Company, with a goal of carrying passengers under the name Virgin Galactic spaceliner with an initial target of a commercial fleet of five spacecraft.

Want a ride? Be prepared to fork out $200,000.

This is our Open Thread. Please feel free to present your thoughts.


93 thoughts on “The Watering Hole: October 4 – Space

      • Yeah, I find it works pretty good for tithing to the church too. I periodically throw some money up into the air, and however much God wants, he keeps.

  1. A year or so ago, I heard a blurb about this on the radio. The program made it sound like the price was only $20,000 (not 200K). I was excited. 20-grand is something I could conceivably save for, and I really want to go see earth from orbit.

    Well, much to my dismay, the 20-grand was only the required 10% deposit. There goes that dream…

  2. Today is also the anniversary of the launch of Sputnik 1; the first man made object put into orbit. This was the day that made the MAD policy, Mutually Assured Destruction, inevitable. The day that an entire generation went mad with the fear that nuclear bombs would start dropping from the sky at any moment.

    • Not only did we have to ‘duck and cover’ and the city sirens drills – if I recall one teacher said we’d need to learn Russian.
      My Mum, a very wise woman, explained it wouldn’t be necessary — if they bombed us we’d not be around to use any language!

      • I remember the drills too and always realized that they were useless. I also recall the bomb shelter craze. The house that Dad built in ’62 had one. That was also the year that Grandma moved into the basement apartment. Years later we would joke that everyone probably wold have been happier if they had put Grandma in the bomb shelter.

  3. I would love to go. I would even consider finding a sugar daddy to pay my way. But not too many sugar daddies want a middle aged woman with children these days (if they ever did), so I guess I’m outta luck.

    • What scares me? Snakes, people who choose to remain narrow-minded and ignorant, and food and appliances imported from China.

    • I don’t scare easily anymore. At my age, why worry? I am afraid for the young people in this country, though — I don’t think most have a clue as to what they may well be in for if the GOP ever again manages to grab all the reins at once.

    • Scary things: Politicians who honestly Believe they are on a mission from God, the overwhelming majority of people who drive (with special attention for those who habitually use their cell phones behind the wheel), the words “natural and artificial colors and flavors” on a package of food.

      I mean, really, have you ever given any thought to the kinds of things that could be construed as “natural and artificial colors and flavors”? It covers all forms of known matter except a few inert gases.

    • I don’t like scary movies as a rule. Never have. I didn’t see the movie Halloween until after I knew everything that was going to happen. I don’t understand people who go to slasher movies. Who wants those images in your head?

      What scares me now is having enough money put away for retirement. And whether my kids will find meaningful work/career when it comes time for them to do so.

      • I have trouble suspending disbelief so I usually find “scary” movies to be hilarious. I can’t see them in theaters though. During the inevitable scene where the “last girl” knocks the killer out, only to run out of the well-lit kitchen into the dark of night while leaving the knife on the floor, I just can’t help but yell; “pick up the damned knife you silly (bleep!)”.

        • I never understand why NO ONE ever turns on a flippin’ light in a scary movie… they go creeping around in the dark with a candlestick peeping around dark corners and never, ever reach for the light switch. Turning on the light is the FIRST thing I would do.

          • You’re supposed to believe all the fuses have blown! (yes I’m dating myself using the ‘f’ word – I do know how circuit breakers work, though).

          • Heck! I’d be happy if they just refrained from walking backwards into the dark cellar. Sigh… It’s obvious that the characters in “scary” movies have never watched a “scary” movie. Though I do admit it would make the scripts a bit short.

            Scene two: Strapping football player who had the sense to grab an axe peers around the corner and sees the mutant killer gnawing on Mary Jane’s severed leg. Strapping football player rushes up and buries the axe in the mutant killer 8 or 9 times to ensure said mutant killer is really dead. All the non mutants live happily ever after.

            It would be a bit hard to pad that out to 90 minutes.

      • One more thing scares me more than any other: Mitt Romney (or any other REpublican) being elected President in 2012. (With all of the voter suppression out there, it’s a real possibility)

        • Brings to mind a movie I saw at a drive-in in south Phoenix a hundred years ago when I was in college called “10,000 Maniacs”. Today that would cover only the Republican candidates, their staffs, and maybe some of their hidden corporate “Citizens United” donors, but still, Maniacs all the way!

    • Not a bit surprising. It’s been apparent for years that those who still identify as Republicans don’t really know anything about anything.

    • The poll in the article links to this:

      Americans cling to their political stripes on every issue: asked to choose their proudest iconic brand, Republicans rally behind Ford—while Democrats celebrate Disney.

      • Then I must be ‘lost at sea’ – don’t drive a Ford and Disney gives me the willies.

  4. The air lines are hopping mad

    Obama proposes additional tax on airline tickets

    which of course brings out the crying towels:

    Proposed Airline Taxes Will Eliminate Jobs, Force Higher Fares and Reduce Service

    Then what was the reasoning for all the ‘fees’ previously enacted by the airlines?

    Tacking on ‘fees’: pillows, ‘meals’, luggage, etc that increase the air fare.
    Now they cry foul. What goes around does come around – airlines!

  5. Oh dear! Bill0 and Juan Williams discuss the Occupy Wall Street protests. I think my favorite bit is Bill0’s assertion that the protests are “organized by outside groups” but the protestors are “wandering aimlessly”. If his worshipers were smarter than the average gerbil they would note the irony. It’s also notable that the NYC police department herding people with nets and spraying random people with mace has forced the “librul media” to pay a little attention while causing an exponential rise in support for the protestors.

  6. The reverse edge on the sword of free speech.

    I believe in free speech. I also think it imposes a profound responsibility. A responsibility to tell the truth and be held accountable.

    One has a right to lie but then we should be able to call liars “liars”. Bill0 has the right to call George Tiller a “baby killer” but he should be sharing a cell with the freak who followed Bill0’s fatwa. Beckyboy has the right to say that “Obama is comming for your guns” but he should be sharing a cell with the maniac who blew away three cops.

    Now we have another one. This creep just may have crossed the fine line between free speech and inciting civil war. If he had been a Muslim saying these things would he be the next target for a drone strike? He won’t be because he’s anti-Muslim. In fact, he won’t even be sent a “strongly worded letter” by the DOJ or any other federal organization.

    (NOTE: Pam Geller has certainly said her fair share of really vile things but I don’t think she should be judged by the words of this guy until and unless she repeats and supports his positions.)

      • There is a difference. When the Twin Towers fell OBL took credit. When one of this creep’s followers blows up a mosque he will say that he “never could have guessed that someone would actually do what I told them”.

        • The video wherein Bin Laden supposedly takes credit for destroying the twin towers is highly suspect.

      • Well? I’m not sure. I tend to think that she has confused the Constitution and the Bible and I’m absolutely certain that she doesn’t understand either even if she has made an attempt at reading them. It seems like the best explanation for her bizarre beliefs is that she just repeats whatever her current favorite male authority figure says on any given day.

    • Whenever I hear Batscat issuing an opinion on anything, I get the feeling that she is auditioning for a role on Laughin.

      • Considering what has become of Victoria Jackson i would say that Crazy Shelly would be a better match for one of the, many, bad lineups on SNL.

    • Well, yeah…that whole bit about not having a religious test for holding public office clearly is unconstitutional. Everyone knows our Constitution is part of God’s Holy Word, right after them ten or so Commandments…or were they really more like guidelines….?


      • There seems to be some dispute about that. As nearly as I can tell; those who spend their lives claiming that the commandments rule their lives don’t have to follow them. Those who claim that the commandments are unimportant are supposed to follow them to the letter.

  7. … asked by Joy Behar this morning how he could think being gay is a choice when so many people are vilified for it.
    Said Cain: “You show me the science that says that it’s not. Could be persuaded. Right now it’s my opinion against the opinion of others who feel differently. That’s just a difference of opinion.”

    Cain went on to add that he wouldn’t allow his personal opinions to get in the way of running the country, and also repeated his intention to reinstate ‘DADT’.

  8. Just in case there was any doubt; the GOoPers will do ANYTHING to gain and retain power.

    Which leads me to a comment I heard on the Thom Hartmann show last week. They were discussing how the Diebold voting machines can be hacked and one of his guests brought up the clown, Al Greene, who ended up being the Democratic challenger against Jim Demint. For those who don’t recall Mr. Greene was nominated despite: having no campaign funds, making no appearances at debates or other functions, being barely literate at best, and having a criminal record. The part that I had not previously heard is that the primary was conducted using Diebold machines in over 80% of districts.

    • From the article on Pearce and Cortes:

      Obviously, Pearce and his operatives think we’re all stupid. Or at least, that the voters of Mesa are.

      I left AZ three years ago last month, but I can pretty much say without a lot of hesitation that during the forty-plus years I lived there, there was general agreement that yes, the majority of the voters from Mesa were, indeed, “stupid” (a theory confirmed in the recent past by the steady election and reelection of Russell Pearce).

      Some things are very slow to change, apparently.

      • Living just a couple blocks outside Batscat Bachmann’s District; I’m not sure that “stupid” is quite the right word. When I’m asked “what’s in the water in Minnesota” I usually use the phrase that the people who elect Bachmann are “unsophisticated people who don’t have enough curiosity to look beyond what their preachers tell them”. They are people who get their “news” from FOX or not at all. They get their morality from said preachers and most of their information about candidates from TV ads. They can’t be expected to make informed decisions because they don’t seek out information that might require effort to process or, even worse, disagree with their preconceptions.

        Another way to look at it is that there are two kinds of stupidity. There’s “functional stupidity” where, for whatever reason, people don’t have sufficient information. Then there’s “pathological stupidity” where someone has access to sufficient information and then makes a stupid decision. Considering the state of our press/media it’s no surprise that there’s an epidemic of “functional stupidity”.

        • “functional stupidity”

          Yep, that describes the majority of Mesa AZ voters pretty well. Describes tons of voters in jurisdictions all across the country as well. Basically, in fact, it describes the Republican Party as it stands today.

          How did that happen?

          • Why it happened is nigh impossible to figure out but I can take a stab at how it happened.

            Believing and learning are often confused. A great many people are taught to believe things rather than learning things. What’s more; those who control the Beliefs in a society even manage to teach that knowledge from the “wrong” source is not worth learning at all or that such knowledge is taboo. Politics and religion are particularly severe cases of this phenomena but there are many others.

            Since I was raised by intellectuals I clashed with this mindset from a very young age.

  9. Teabagger email alert… just received this email from my brother. It’s probably been passed around for the past year and he just got it. I researched the information and sent him the facts and the truth and thanked him for keeping me aware of this spam email trash.

    Subject: Direct Deposit for SS Checks

    > THIS HAS GOT TO BE STOPPED! Forward this to everyone you know.
    > 1% tax on all bank transactions HR4646
    > Watch for this AFTER November elections; remember this BEFORE you VOTE in case you think Obama’s looking out for your best interest.
    > 1% tax on all bank transactions HR 4646
    > This government just cannot think of enough ways to hurt the American people! I sure hope this dies!!!!!
    > 1% tax on all bank transactions HR 4646 – ANOTHER NEW OBAMA TAX SLIPPED IN WHILE WE WERE ASLEEP. Checked this on snopes, it’s true! Check out HR 4646.
    > President Obama’s finance team is recommending a one percent (1%) transaction fee (TAX). Obama’s plan is to sneak it in after the November elections to keep it under the radar.
    > This is a 1% tax on all transactions at any financial institution – banks, credit unions, savings and loans, etc. Any deposit you make, or even a transfer within your account, will have a 1% tax charged. ~If your paycheck or your social security or whatever is direct deposit, it will get a 1% tax charged for the transaction. ~If your paycheck is $1000, then you will pay Obama $10 just for the privilege of depositing your paycheck in your bank. Even if you hand carry your paycheck or any check into your bank for a deposit, 1% tax will be charged. ~You receive a $5,000 stock dividend from your broker, Obama takes $50 just to allow you to deposit that check in the bank.. ~If you take $1,000 cash to deposit at your bank, 1% tax will be charged.
    > Mind you, this is from the man who promised that, if you make under $250,000 per year, you will not see one penny of new tax. Keep your eyes and ears open, you will be amazed at what you learn about this guy’s under-the-table moves to increase the number of ways you are taxed.
    > Oh, and by the way, if you receive a refund from the IRS next year and you have it direct deposited or you walk in to deposit that check, you guessed it. You will pay a 1% charge of that money just for putting it in your bank. Remember, any money, cash, check or whatever, no matter where it came from, you will pay a 1% fee if you put it in the bank.
    > Some will say, oh well, it’s just 1%. Are you kidding me? It’s a 1% tax increase across the board. Remember, once the tax is there, they can also raise it at will. And if anyone protests, they will just say, “Oh,that’s not really a tax, it’s a user fee”! Think this is no big deal? Go back and look at the transactions you made on one year’s banking statements. Then add the total of all those transactions and deduct 1%. Still think it’s no big deal?

    Here’s a link to the facts.

    • It seems to follow the same “logic” as the goof ball from the NRA who tried to claim that “the fact that Obama hasn’t taken our guns yet proves that he’s going to take our guns in the future”.

        • Yep, I caught that too. Of course, the mistake can be forgiven because the right-wingers are steeped in the myth that “Obama’s spending is out of control” despite the very simple fact that Congress is responsible for appropriations while the President can’t spend a freakin’ nickel on his/her own authority.

        • Hmmmh. You’d think that would make them happy, not mad. I mean handing taxpayer money to the rich rather than letting the government have it is sorta like, you know, the only way to fly, init?

          Oh. Wait. Obama’s a n……r. Never mind. Shhh. Now I get it.

  10. The difference between Democrats and Republicans.

    Democrats say “you should have helped us fix things”.
    Republicans say “you should have stopped us from wrecking things”.

  11. Exhausted Sam the albatross in rehab

    The large sea bird was picked up by Tauranga SPCA from Mount Maunganui’s Main Beach on Monday night after people initially mistook him for an injured seagull, albeit a very large one.

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