Friday, January 11, 2013

Time Extension

  Another near-miss from a few Apollids recently between the Moon and the Earth.  Apollids or Apollo Asteroids are those that are near-Earth types, the largest is about 6.5 miles across.  There's a nice simulator here: Impact Simulator (you can put how far you are from the impact location.. Sisyphus is one of the largest Apollo Asteroids at 10km in size of likely dense rock moving nominally at 11km/sec. if you want to input that).  Anyway, a lot of folks aren't that interested in that.  There's a few space programs I'm aware of that funding has been cut (again, thanks to Obama) to solve for possible solutions to these things.  Depending on size, impact, etc., there'll be a lot of damage or at worst, Earth destruction and/or mass-extinction.  Unfortunately, the majority of our radar systems don't go much pass the geosynchronous belt (depending on object size) and certainly not to the Moon or further (it requires a lot of energy to ping back like old-fashioned Doppler-radar, I worked at a 10-story-tall, 10 MEGA-watt receiver at Cavalier, ND which made our car radios pop [yeah, we had to drive in front of it every day to work] and it could only throw raw energy out to around that far [specifics are classified]).

  Instead of focusing on world destruction, space exploration (we found a liquid river on Titan, but we ain't goin' there because all space-exploration funding has, again, been cut and/or diminished for the last 5 years so people can have 'BamaPhone) we're watching a heck of a lot of American Idol with robot-creature Nicki Minaj and talentless (but lucky) others.  Folks in Syria are shooting the frack out of each-other, and as typical, the Middle East as a whole.  Here in the Middle West, rednecks are bemoaning the potential gun control laws looming.  Both of these conflicts I have no opinion of, as it seems trivial.

  A colleague of mine traded me a pound of my Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee for a Marvel Universe encyclopedia, which is kinda cool (but yeah, I know it's not real life) and certainly a flight of fancy as is American Idol and others, but like much media such as Star Trek (TOS) has mirrors of our own civilization to consider.  Take Silver Surfer for instance.  He's dealing with Thanos and Galactus and giant cosmic forces like Chaos, Eternity, The Watchers, etc. etc.  Giant, galactic happenings where Spidey is stopping a crook from stealing a purse, or Kitty Pryde is phasing back into her bedroom from staying out too late from Professor Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters (Colossus: "You know, Kitty say..")  Sometimes things that seem so important to us are not so much, and it's important to keep that in perspective.
    I left The 719-Project local band to work on my own music, not a conflict of interests, just that it's hard to add second-guitar to the likes of Jimmi Hendrix or Stevie Ray Vaughn.  In the G3 (Satriani, Vai, Johnson) configuration, there's always a rhythm guitarist in the back, not doing much, and that would have been fine for me 10 years ago, but .. without being to brash, it's not my place now.  The band sounds fine without my additions, and I wish them well.

  One's own life can be considered epic in some way, but everyone needs a frame of reference.  45% of Americans don't realize the Sun "Sol" is a star, but Becky points out that even-so, it is not relevant information compared to how to catch and prepare a fish or plant a successful vegetable garden that will sustain you for a year in a Colorado climate.  This leads me to wonder what is relevant information?  Is it temporal or constant?  I suspect most things are temporal, like knowing the proper card-in procedure with your badge at work, or playing a PS3 game's inventory screen on X-Com: Enemy Unknown.  These things might only be for a few years relevant but eventually abandoned and, if necessary, re-learned later, however unlikely.  We have a lot of this temporal knowledge that's vital at-the-time only to be irrelevant later-on.  How many people remember how to select your flute to stop the snake on Atari 2600's Raiders of the Lost Arc, or what the line-up procedure before going into class in 3rd grade was?  Vital at-the-time, but irrelevant now, except for nostalgia's sake.

  I guess the small get big when it comes to immediate need.  I've seen it in small towns where they marvel at a high-school's football game success with great fanfare, or a County Fair's best-pie cook-off.  Of things I've done and will do, such trivialities seem irrelevant.. to me.  Matters of consequence as illustrated in Le Petit Prince.  It's important not to disvalue these that others hold dear, not to sneer at them, not to condescend, a mistake I tripped-up on my previous marriage.

  So, I suspect once an asteroid gets close enough to cause worry, a percentage of the thinking community will become concerned and step away from whatever smaller consequence of chasing out their destinies in the form of more futile endeavours.  Until then, I guess I'll watch some TV.  When in Rome.

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