Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Power and the Space Race

As a typical guy, I love power. Some examples that get me fired up include hearing/watching jet fighters, feeling the boom of large fireworks, the electro-static crackle of guitar amp's cranked up during a concert. This stuff makes my skin look like a topographical map with goose-pimples. I witnessed one of the most impressive displays of raw power @ 2000 while I was training a large class in Orlando. After we broke for lunch, a few of us decided to get burgers at Hop's Brewery. Sothere I was, standing outside with one of those coaster-shaped buzzers in my hand (that goes off when they are ready to seat us). The crowd outside starts looking eastward, and the buzz level grows intense. All the sudden we see this big fireball streaking across the sky. After a morning of delays, the Shuttle had finally taken off. At that moment, I felt the tingling goose-bumps, and proud to be American. That is a grand display of power that is hard to beat (unless you are in the military).

This morning I am going to say a prayer for the astronauts. CNN was doing an overview of their snazzy space suits. They are a nimble 60 lbs, but are designed for a bailout just in case. An oft overlooked fact about the earlier space race is that Kennedy actually met with the USSR a week before he was killed, and offered a joint US/USSR effort to get to the moon together. That idea obviously never came to fruition after his death.

I talked with B, who saw the launch from the beaches by his home. How cool is that!

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