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Musical Theatre Fans… Here’s the best political parody I’ve heard so far this year…

If you’re a Les Mis fan like me, you’ll love this piece, “One Term More”, based on “One Day More.”

Here are the lyrics if you want to sing along:

One Term More!
A time to celebrate democracy,
Repeal Republican hypocrisy.
This man who would unseat Barack’s
A bleak choice at the ballot box.
One Term More!
A G.O.P. perdition-bound,
All sense of right & wrong eroded.
One Term More!
With laws that let ‘em stand their ground,
Republicans are locked & loaded.

Contraception’s now a sin,
Screwing G.M. in the clutch.
Incivility’s a virtue,
Homophobic. Out of touch.
Filibusters. Budget scrums.
Ultrasounds & speculums.
To the Dark Side they’ve succumbed.

Soon Election Day will dawn,
We were meant to hold this seat!
At the ballot box of freedom,
Unemployment’s in retreat!
Now the battle lines are drawn,
And Detroit’s back on its feet!
Will you take your place with me!

The time is NOW the vote is NEAR!
One Term More!
One more day to re-election,
And until the music stops,
We will fight to save the jobs of
Teachers, firemen & cops!
One Term More!
One more day to resolution,
We’ll defeat those fetid nuts,
We are fed up with pernicious
Talk of prostitutes & sluts!

Watch ‘em throwing up,
Minting malcontent,
Drinkin’ all that tea’s
Made them incontinent!

Dissembling persists,
Divisiveness prevails,
Calling colleagues Communists
Is OFF the rails!

Listen to them spew,
“Femi-Nazi” rage,
Misogynistic rants
From the Jurassic Age!

To Obama’s second inning,
He’ll drive home another run!
Norma Rae let sisters sing,
Rosa Parks let freedom ring!
For Obama’s just beginning,
Yes! The West Wing WILL be won!

AND we’ll get the Dream Act DONE!

My place is here, I vote with you!
One Term More!
Emboldened by Star-Spangled myth,
We want a JEDI…NOT a SITH!!!

Petty partisan obstruction’s
Why we’ve gridlock on the Hill!
One Term More!
Healthcare is a right,
Medicare’s a must,
Don’t let rogue Republicans
Betray that trust!

Speaking of betrayal,
Bullied by his peers,
Tackled to the ground,
Screams turned into tears.

Hunting down the queer,
Cutting off his hair,
SPIKED the ball, yet… “Can’t
Recall” if he was there???

It’s his character we question!

Mom, apple pie & Chevrolet,
Don’t let ‘em down Election Day!

That’s when we will determine
What our God in Heaven has in store!

ONE MORE TERM!

OTRA VEZ!
(One More Time!)

ONE TERM MORE!!!

 

Sally Ride, First Woman Astronaut, dies at age 61…

 

Sally Kristen Ride, American physicist and a former NASA astronaut died yesterday from pancreatic cancer. Ride joined NASA in 1978, and in 1983 became the first American woman, and the first lesbian in space.

On her first mission at age 32 she was the youngest American to enter space. In 1987 she left NASA to work at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Arms Control.

During her career, Ride served as the ground-based Capsule Communicator (CapCom) for the second and third Space Shuttle flights  and helped develop the Space Shuttle’s robot arm. She was a member of the presidential commission investigating the accident on the Space Shuttle Challenger. According to Roger Boisjoly, the engineer who warned of the technical problems that led to the Space Shuttle Challenger accident, Ms. Ride was the only public figure to show support for him when he went public with his pre-disaster warnings (after the entire workforce of Morton-Thiokol shunned him).

From 1985 until her death, Ride’s female partner was Dr. Tam E. O’Shaughnessy, a childhood friend who met Ride when both youngsters were aspiring tennis players. O’Shaughnessy became a science teacher and writer and, later, the chief operating officer and executive vice president of Ride’s company, Sally Ride Science.  Their same-sex relationship of 27 years was revealed in Ride’s obituary released by Sally Ride Science and confirmed by Ride’s sister, who stated that Ride preferred to keep this information private during her life.

 

The Newt in the Moon…

While he makes the budget balanced as President, Newt Gingrich has now promised to put a US base on the moon… by the end of his second term!

The two problems with this are 1.) the cost would blow us even deeper into debt, and 2.) we have to elect Newt for Two Terms!

Now we know he was angling for the NASA vote on the “Space Coast”, but doesn’t Newtie realize that the whole nation is watching (and laughing)?

My Superfocus Glasses are supposed to be here tomorrow! I’m excited…

It will be lovely to see well at all distances with my adjustable SuperFocus glasses that I ordered nine weeks ago. While that seems like a long time to wait, the waiting time used to be 12 weeks, but, as one of the SuperFocus employees told me (after getting tired of my weekly “Are we on schedule” calls) told me, the shipping times have shortened because response to advertising and increased sales has allowed them to put on more staff.

Anyway, according to UPS tracking, they left Van Nuys, CA, on the 22nd and as of this morning they have left Illinois and are heading toward Shepherdstown.

I’ll talk about these more when I get them.

Waiting for my Superfocus Glasses…

I’m now in the sixth week of waiting for my Superfocus glasses to be delivered… and the estimated delivery date is May 18th.

That’s right… it takes these guys 12 weeks to make a pair of these amazing, adjustable glasses.

I am so looking forward to getting rid of these bifocals and being able to focus at any distance with just a flick of a finger… however, the wait is almost unbearable.

I originally got interested in these when I saw a couple of TV ads with Penn Jillette and Joel Grey ,  then the ads started popping up all over the web… so I went to their site (www.superfocus.com) and got more information about them.

To start with, they are NOT CHEAP. Starting at around $600.00, by the time you get the extras, like scratch proof lenses (or shades) and different length and color of temples, you are easily up to $700.00 or $800.00. So I weighed the costs of getting either bifocals, or separate reading glasses and distance glasses, and the fact that these will function longer without prescription changes… and that they would just be easier to adapt to my aging eyes. Then I decided to order them. I went to my optometrist to get an eye exam and a prescription for the glasses (you have to get a little more than the usual amount of info because each pair is sized to the particular distance between your eyes only) and I called in my order.

Now I wait.

And I wait.

Has anyone else had a longer than usual waiting experience for these?

It’s the 21st! Good Morning.

It was beautiful…instead of going black the eclipsed moon turned a dark amber red. At 3:00 AM I stood at my window and watched it in all it’s glory, just off Orion’s upper right quadrant. The sky was wonderfully clear and, through my binoculars, I could see the shadowed craters in a dark red-grey surrounded by red highlights.

Today is the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year, and it’s the last day of Zappadan. Today is the 70th anniversary of Frank’s birth. So here’s some morning music to celebrate – Baby Snakes (recorded live in Munich):

Tonight is a Night of Astronomical Wonder…

Three Hundred and Seventy Two years ago was the last time that the Winter Solstice (which makes tomorrow the shortest day of the year) and a total eclipse of the Moon happened at the same time. I don’t know what you were doing then, but I wasn’t around.

I’m planning on jumping out of bed around 2:30 AM, putting my snuggies on, and going outside to see the major event (and note, there may be some leftovers from the Geminids meteor shower that peaked a couple of days ago, to catch our attention.) What a great sky gazing night!

Here’s what you need to know in order to see everything. From NASA:

The eclipse begins on Tuesday morning, Dec. 21st, at 1:33 am EST (Monday, Dec. 20th, at 10:33 pm PST). At that time, Earth’s shadow will appear as a dark-red bite at the edge of the lunar disk. It takes about an hour for the “bite” to expand and swallow the entire Moon. Totality commences at 02:41 am EST (11:41 pm PST) and lasts for 72 minutes.

If you’re planning to dash out for only one quick look -­ it is December, after all -­ choose this moment: 03:17 am EST (17 minutes past midnight PST). That’s when the Moon will be in deepest shadow, displaying the most fantastic shades of coppery red.

Geoff Chester of the US Naval Observatory inspected a list of eclipses going back 2000 years:

“Since Year 1, I can only find one previous instance of an eclipse matching the same calendar date as the solstice, and that is 1638 DEC 21. Fortunately we won’t have to wait 372 years for the next one…that will be on 2094 DEC 21.”

Here’s the “best view” map from NASA… looks like the USA has got it this time:… Click Here: OH2010-Fig04

According to the Weather Bureau, we should be mostly clear tonite in our area (with temperatures down to 20° –  Brrrr) so we should have a clear view of it.

40 Years after a truly huge achievement and we are … where?

Tomorrow is the 40th anniversary of the landing on the Moon in 1969. Neil Armstrong (“One small step for a man… one giant leap for mankind”) ad Buzz Aldrin planted the flag and put out a plaque marking the landing which, in under a decade, had been the result of spending $183 Billion Bucks and upping the confrontation with the Russians, who had achieved the original advance in space by putting up Sputnik and sending two different cosmonauts on full orbits around the Earth.

I was a Junior in college and I know I was impressed. Jack Kennedy, who kicked off the program wasn’t alive to see the results he had called for carried out by NASA. Lyndon Johnson, who pushed the budget through, was no longer in office. And Dick Nixon, who was never really a supporter of the space program, but who saw its publicity value, got to congratulate the two moonwalkers by phone as they stood looking at our planet in space.

The reason why the moon oriented space program got the push it did was the Cold War. To let the USSR get ahead of us scientifically, in a way that could have military consequences, was not going to be tolerated.  When the military threat of the USSR was gone… when the USSR itself was gone… there was no reason to put that kind of thrust into our rockets. Reagan wanted to put our military budget relating to space into missiles pointed back at our enemies from satellites. George H.W. Bush was concerned with Saddam Hussein’s actions, but there was no Iraqi space program to compete with. Clinton saw the public relations advantages of doing a minimal amount of activities with a space station and George W. Bush, well, he barely saw that,

Originally, NASA had planned to have us on Mars by 1987. People, that is. In the 21st Century we have managed to get a couple of crawling robot TV cameras on Mars, and a very old space shuttle is still flying on missions that do very little. And we are bored with it all.

That’s right… bored. We rarely know when a shuttle goes up any more (unless it blows up in space… dead people are always news wherever they are) and we don’t really seem to care. It is not as important as unemployment or health care or the recession. They talk about getting folks back on the moon by 2020… but you can bet that such a program, without some kind of real, philosophical need by Americans is unlikely to make the deadline. Or, if the Iranians gave up on nuclear power and focused their attention on a Muslim moon base, perhaps we would have a need to beat the date. That’s how we’re programmed.

The 19th Century and early 20th once had a philosophical and artistic need to get us to the moon. Jules Verne and H.G. Wells created literary works. Filmmakers from the silents to the sci-fi directors of the 1950s got us to the moon frequently (and rarely with rocket ships.) Science Fiction magazines in the 1920s made Hugo Gernsbach a rich publisher and getting us to the moon was an established need. So many youngsters in my generation grew up wanting to be involved that science programs in colleges grew faster than arts programs and that all helped us get to the 1969 landing.

And now here we are, 40 years later, watching a 72-year-old Buzz Aldrin on TV being interviewed about a future that has become the past. We are not pushing for it any more… and that is too bad.