Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Neil Armstrong Passes away

Credit: NASA

Neil Armstrong, who became the first human being to step onto another world, passed away on Saturday, August 25, 2012 at age 82. Armstrong actually remembered the landing, where he skillfully brought the lunar lander to the surface with fuel running low, as the more challenging part of the lunar excursion. Here is the NASA page honoring Neil Armstrong with links, videos, etc.

May the Lord grant Neil eternal rest on the final Sea of Tranquility.

Monday, August 13, 2012


Mitt Romney had a field of strong candidates to chose from for his vice-presidential running mate, but he couldn't have made a better choice than Paul Ryan. Romney's VP pick is already energizing grassroots activists for his campaign and the pair drew huge crowds at rallies over the weekend.

Ryan, as chair of the House Budget Committee has demonstrated his grasp of the fiscal and economic realities facing the nation and his ability to  be "quick on his feet" to explain them to the public. This episode from President Obama's health care summit a couple of years ago is a prime example.

Ryan is a Catholic who holds strong views in support of protecting human life, religious liberty and the definition of marriage while engaging in a thoughtful dialog with Catholic bishops on the prudential application of the Church's social teaching as regards to how to help the poor in ways that avoid imposing crushing debt on future generations.
Ryan replied in a brief statement that he shared their “commitment to a preferential option for the poor” — a key element of Catholic social teaching — but added that the option “does not mean a preferential option for bigger government.”
Speaking at Georgetown, Ryan said that some Catholics “for a long time have thought they had a monopoly of sorts … not exactly on heaven, but on the social teaching of our Church. Of course there can be differences among faithful Catholics on this.”

Monday, August 06, 2012

Curiosity on Mars!

One of the first images from Curiosity after landing on Mars overnight. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech) (left); Image of curiosity descending to the Martian surface under its parachute taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona) (right)

NASA's Curiosity (Mars Science Laboratory) rover landed on the Martian surface early this morning (EDT), successfully completing a daring arrival sequence that had flight controllers and the world waiting in suspense. Curiosity contains state of the art sophisticated instruments that will add to our knowledge of Mars, including possibly clues on whether life could have existed there or could exist currently on the Red Planet.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Moving Toward Commercial Orbital Travel

NASA today officially announced that SpaceX, Boeing and Sierra Nevada Corp. have won funding awards in the final development round of its commercial crew program, now called Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap). This is a major step toward commercial transportation of people to orbit later this decade.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

A Desperate Mandate and a Quiet Revolution

Two significant events occurred yesterday. The Obama Administration's HHS mandate went into effect imposing requirements on individuals and institutions to provide contraception (including abortion inducing drugs) and sterilization in health care coverage regardless of conscientious objection. It's just the latest example of how certain powerful elements in society are so convinced that their opinions are so "enlightened" and "forward thinking" that they have the right to impose them on society. (Meanwhile, while contraception coverage is guaranteed, will Obamacare be there for people facing life threatening conditions, or will their care be rationed because the whole program is unsustainable?)
But yesterday may be remembered in history for the start of a peaceful revolution against the insanity being imposed by the cultural establishment. Who would have thought that something as ordinary as going out for a casual chicken meal could have such social and political significance? The attempt to marginalize Chick-fil-A over the owner's views and activities regarding same-sex marriage resulted in a massive hunger for the company's chicken by Americans rejecting the notion that a disagreement over that issue constituted 'hate' toward individuals or certain groups. (The trouble is that words like 'hate' are being cast so widely, would we recognize real hate when confronted with it? Think Syria, Iran, etc.) It's always difficult to predict how these things will play out politically, but just maybe that was the early rumbling of a seismic social shift being heard yesterday at lunch time.