The Watering Hole, November 29 – The Next Step

I think we have had the possibility of living in democracies. What does it mean? It means places where the privileged are not the one to make the decisions, but that the underprivileged are going to rise to a status where they are normal human beings and human citizens with their freedoms and their rights. Stéphane Hessel

I am following the actions of the world wide Occupy Movement as much as I can. Their activism is a necessary and valuable contribution to spotlight  the inequality that is rampant in most industrialized countries. An inequality which is, by all standards, a huge threat for Democracy itself.

Increasingly there are voices that want to take things one step further. How to introduce the ideas and actions of a movement into the political process in order to bring about the necessary legislation to reinstitute the rule by the people as opposed to the rule of a chosen few?

Well, if you want to go places, you have to define the place to go. The Occupy movement is a rather amorphous entity. Students are protesting fees, OWS is protesting the power of Wall Street and the lack of regulation, OccupyParadeplatz in Zurich is voicing a general discomfort with things as they are, but can’t bring themselves to go for any kind of specific political demands.

So what exactly needs to be done? Can we change the legislation through existing political channels? Who could we support? How do we avoid being sucked into the machinery of a totally corrupted political class? Do we have to run for office ourselves? What would our platform be? What’s the starting point?

Stéphane Hessel  in the interview quoted above has called for the youth to voice their outrage. They are doing it. But he calls for political action, too. How can we help ?

Tell me in the comments section.

This is our open thread, let us know your thoughts on this and don’t hesitate to comment, if you have other things on your mind.


Picture of The Day – Queue

Women queueing to vote in Egypt


The writing on the wall says “We build Egypt together” They had to act twice, once to get rid of Mubarak and now again, when the military tried to introduce their concept of Democracy. I am afraid their struggle is not over yet. Democracy is hard to come by, let’s not ours go to waste.

The Watering Hole: November 26 – Herman Potočnik(Noordung)


At the end of 1928 the Austro-Hungarian rocket engineer Herman Potočnik(Pseudonym -Hermann Noordung) (Here’s more.) set out a plan for the establishment of a permanent human presence in Earth orbit. He conceived of a space station and was the first to calculate the geostationary orbit at which the station would orbit the Earth and remain in constant contact with the country of origin.

Author Arthur C. Clarke is credited with proposing the notion of using geostationary orbits for communications satellites in 1945. The orbit was coined as the Clarke (But neither Noordung nor Potočnik) Orbit. Together, a collection of artificial satellites in these orbits is called the Clarke Belt. At that time, Clarke believed that human technology was at least 50 years away. He missed by 32 years.

Syncom 2 was the first communications satellite placed in a geosynchronous orbit in 1963. However, it was in an inclined orbit which caused it to wobble north and south, still requiring the use of moving antennas.

Syncom 3 was the first true geostationary communication satellite. It was launched from Cape Canaveral on August 19, 1964 using a Delta D. The satellite in orbit near the International Date Line was used to telecast the 1964 Summer Olympics from Tokyo to the United States.

Geostationary orbits have been in common use ever since, mainly for satellite television.

This is your Open Thread. Please feel free to add to the discussion.

November 25, 2011 Music Night

I’ve probably posted video of Lissie before, and honestly, I’ll do it again. I love this girl. This video was shot in someone’s back yard in Brooklyn. Someone needs to give the video operator a knock on the head or give ’em a tripod, but I still get a kick out of it. Lissie and her band are so good at what they do they need almost nothing in the way of equipment, just raw talent.