Saturday, April 29, 2017

Happy birthday, Capt. Janeway!

Beautiful and talented Kate Mulgrew who won the hearts of many Trekkies as Captain Katheryn Janeway on Star Trek: Voyager, was born April 29, 1955 in Dubuque, Iowa.  In 1998, she won a Saturn Award (Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films) and a Golden Satellite for her work on Star Trek: Voyager.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Emergency! Save Oklahoma from science!

The congress of babboons in power in Oklahoma - oops, I apologize for that reference.  Babboons are far more intelligent than those morons - have passed Bill No. 393, which allows "teachers to help students analyze certain scientific strengths and weaknesses".  The bill goes on to say that it wants to encourage students to "develop critical thinking skills and respond appropriately and respectfully to differences of opinion about controversial issues."

According to Doc Hoc, previous versions of this bill listed evolution and global warming as controversial.  Despite this watered down revision, it is a thinly disguised effort to weaken the importance of teaching science and scientific facts.  Teachers are to "help students understand, analyze, critique and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories covered in the course being taught." (The emphasis is mine.)  Global warming and evolution aren't theories, folks.  They have been proven.

By dumbing down Oklahoma's education, which is in serious trouble anyway, industries and businesses will look elsewhere to find an educated workforce.  Oklahoma has a lower-than-national-average college graduation rate.

But Gov. Scary Failing will most likely sign this bill into law.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

My favorite movies 1979

My favorite movies from 1979, another year with some great films, too many to choose just one so I picked several favorites and one guilty pleasure.

Alien starring Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt and Veronica Cartwright.  It was the first horror movie that I sat through and enjoyed.  It created a monster (no pun intended) as now I enjoy horror films.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture starring everybody from the original series.  We had waited so long for a movie version of our favorite television show and finally got this.  Not bad but it wasn't good.  I often suspect they got someone who didn't like Star Trek to write the script.

1941 starring everybody.  I love this movie even though it's generally considered to be not funny.  And it's the only non-science fiction movie on this list!  Wow!

Walt Disney's The Black Hole starring Maximillian Schell, Yvette Mimieux, Tony Perkins and Ernest Borgnine.  I think Disney tried to capitalize on the whole Star Wars trend, and this was the result.  However, I like the non-Roddenberry, non-Lucas approach to space travel/exploration.

Guilty pleasure: Meteor starring Sean Connery and Natalie Wood.  I know it was a huge star-studded flop but I'm a sucker for disaster movies.  Now it's campy fun!

Columbia (STS-55) launches for 14th Mission 1993

First row (L-R): Pilot Terence T. Henricks, Commander Steven R. Nagel, Mission Specialist 2 Charles J. Precourt
Second row (L-R): Mission Specialist 3 Bernard A. Harris, Jr., Payload Specialist 2 Hans Schlegel, Mission Specialist 1 Jerry Ross, Payload Specialist 1 Ulrich Walter

Space Shuttle Columbia blasted off April 26, 1993 on its 14th mission and the 55th overall mission for NASA's Space Shuttle program.  She carried 5 Americans and 2 Germans.  The mission conducted 88 experiments, ranging from biology to observations of Earth, sponsored by 11 different nations, only 4 of which were NASA's.

The mission surpassed the 365th day in space of the Space Shuttle Program and the 100th day in space for Columbia.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Happy birthday, Bjorn!

Bjorn Ulvaeus, born April 25, 1945, is probably best known for the Swedish 70's super-group ABBA.  He began his music career with the Hootenanny Singers.  Later he met Benny Anderson and soon the two formed ABBA.  The band lasted about 10 years but made history in such a short time with hits like Dancing Queen, Waterloo and Take a Chance on Me.

After ABBA, Bjorn has continued to collaborate with best friend Benny, writing musicals such as Chess and producing the movie Mamma Mia!

Monday, April 24, 2017

"Godzilla Raids Again" released in 1955

Only 6 months after the original Godzilla aired, Toho Company released its sequel Godzilla Raids Again April 24, 1955.  Riding on the wave of success of the first, Toho rushed the production of the second movie to capitalize on the popularity.

It was originally released in the U.S. as Gigantis: The Fire Monster to give American audiences the illusion they were seeing another monster, but that antic failed.  Still, Godzilla Raids Again was another success.  It pitted the G-Man against Anguirus and destroyed Osaka.

It was also George Takei's first film as he provided voice-over work for the American release.  He also did work for Toho's Rodan.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Soyuz 1 launched 1967

Soyuz 1, launched April 23, 1967, carried cosmonaut Colonel Vldaimir Komarov.  He became the first in-flight fatality in any space program.  Komarov knew the Soyuz 1 capsule had many flaws but decided to fly it anyway, because if he refused, his best friend Yuri Gagarin would be assigned to it.

Komarov was killed when the capsule became tangled in its parachutes and he plummeted several miles to Earth.  His last words were cursing the men who built the Soyuz capsule.