Friday, November 29, 2013

Did Comet ISON survive?

As of 10:30PM ET tonight Nov. 29th, it looks like "something" remains of the comet. But the news is a bit disjointed and contradictory, so we'll probably have to wait another 12-24 hours before we hear if the comet has been destroyed by its close pass by the Sun, or if it will give us a few days of viewing as it swings closer to Earth.

Stay tuned...

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Wallops Island launch

Great time lapse shot of the launch of the Minotaur I rocket carrying the DOD's Operationally Responsive Space-3 mission successfully launched at 8:15 p.m. EST, Nov. 19, from Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad 0B at Wallops Island, VA.

Joyce and I watched it from Silver Sands in Milford, CT and we picked it up less than a minute after launch. We observed a staging event between the 2nd and 3rd stage, and then the 3rd stage shutdown in advance of the coasting period before the stage 4 ignition. The flame was reddish-orange, and left a faintly visible smoke track for most of the flight that we saw.

Photo by Lon Seidman via Facebook.

Senate passes the "nuclear option"

Or, as George W. Bush was fond of saying, "nu-ku-lar" option.

(This guy graduated from Yale? Jeez, they'll let any moron with a senator for a dad granddaddy get a diploma!)

Anyway, today history was made when the Senate, exasperated at the Republicans filibustering every single judicial appointment, passed with a simple majority vote to remove the filibuster from being invoked in the cases of judicial and executive nominees.

They way I understand it, the filibuster is still available for other issues.

What I want to know is, why didn't they do this back in 2009, and why didn't they make it comprehensive to all the areas of Senate debate? We'd have gotten single payer healthcare, immigration reform, a more realistic stimulus package, and possibly some movement on climate change.

Instead, we have a terrible compromise for healthcare, no immigration reform, a stimulus that probably was 30% effective at best, and more carbon going into the atmosphere than ever!

This would have been useful four years ago.

Now, it's just a distraction, and a worry should the Republicans ever regain a majority in the Senate.

Because if that happens...I don't even want to think about it!

Friday, November 01, 2013

CT Post endorses Blake for Mayor

Here in Milford we are pleased to see the Connecticut Post endorse Milford Mayor Ben
Blake for another 2-year term:
Milford has a tendency to hold onto its mayors. For a span of 30 years starting in 1981, only three people held the position -- Alberta Jagoe, Fred Lisman and James Richetelli. A changing of the guard at the top of Milford politics is a big deal.

So it was two years ago when Benjamin Blake took office, and it looks like Milford again has someone suited to a long term in the position, should he so choose. Blake has been a steady hand at the helm for the past two years and earns the Connecticut Post's endorsement for a second two-year term.

It hasn't been an easy two years. But no mayor can control the weather, and Hurricane Sandy brought havoc up and down the East Coast. With a longer shoreline than any other community in the state, Milford took a serious hit.

Where a mayor can help is the aftermath. And few public officials are better versed than Blake in the maze of agencies and acronyms that can provide some assistance to people whose homes suffered serious damage. His familiarity with the intricacies of governing is a boon for city residents.

Milford has challenges like any community, but it also has amenities that are the envy of its neighbors. Blake has moved to shore up an already well-functioning city government, opening up new revenue streams for City Hall and keeping costs under control.

His opponent, Republican Peter Spalthoff, is an intriguing candidate in his own right, with a long record of distinguished service in the public and private sector. In general, though, his criticisms of Blake are more stylistic than substantive, and city residents have not been presented with a sufficient rationale to change leadership.

Blake has a solid record, and deserves another two-year term.