Posted tagged ‘satire’

Rich Guys in Space

December 12, 2021

(Almost) space, the (almost) final frontier.  These are the brief trips of the (almost) starship New Shepard.  It’s continuing mission: to stoke the egos of billionaires; to explore absolutely nothing except new ways to waste money; to briefly go where quite a few men have gone before (and they had a genuine scientific purpose!)

blue originOnce again this week the news is punctuated with the latest flight of Rich Guys in Space.  This time it’s Blue Origin’s ship, the New Shepard, that carried six passengers, including football player Micheal Strahan and the daughter of (real) astronaut, Alan Shepard, on a sub-orbital joyride.  According to Insider, the six space tourists experienced a few minutes of weightlessness 62 miles above Earth, widely considered the edge of space, before floating back to Earth in a pressurized capsule that detaches from the rocket.  The reports on the flight are filled with exclamations about exploration and missions and the crew but for the most part, these are paying passengers and invited guests … and the flight is a mini-vacation.   What says exploration more than a football player and the offspring of a real astronaut.  What says mission more than one seat on a future flight selling at $28 million dollars in auction or science more than bringing along (on a previous flight) the guy who played a captain of the Starship Enterprise on Star Trek. (more…)

Grokking the News

May 11, 2020

Just in case you are not a science fiction nerd, the term grokking came from Robert Heinlen’s sci-fi classic, Stranger in a Strange Land.   It means to understand, profoundly and intuitively.

My Dad used to come home from work, sit down in his chair and read the New Haven Register every evening.  Dad liked to be informed as to what was going on in the world.   I have never subscribed to a newspaper, although for many years I picked up the Los Angeles Time Sundays.  I read Newsweek and Time (although not religiously) and watched the evening news until it became so biased and banal that it interfered with my sleep rhythms.  For some years now, I’ve made a habit of reading a number of news sites on my tablet over my morning coffee.   I read a number of sites because while it is possible to find pages that aren’t banal, they are ALL biased to some degree so I hop across a variety of sites to try to counteract my own confirmation bias and get an unbiased picture of what’s going on in the world.  Since the election of Donald Trump as president, the partisanship of the media has made it harder and harder to read enough to really grok what’s going on …. and the media’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic has turned me into a news skimmer for the sake of my own sanity.  Here are some of the headlines I skimmed today: (more…)

Balls, Too

January 27, 2015

deflatedSo, tell me, is it reality or is it a Saturday Night Live skit?

As the #DeflateGate controversy continues to overtake Super Bowl XLIX, the first tangible evidence other than footballs being underinflated (which the NFL has acknowledged) emerged Monday, when Jay Glazer of FOX Sports reported that a Patriots employee took a bag of football that had been inspected and approved by officials into a separate area. That individual has become, per Glazer’s report, a “serious person of interest” as to the question of how the footballs came to be underinflated. As PFT reported last night, adding to Glazer’s bombshell, the separate area was a bathroom in which the employee spent approximately 90 seconds. (more…)

Life in the Slow Lane

June 5, 2014

old fartI was driving to the office yesterday listening to the Sirius XM  seventies station.  When The Eagles Life in the Fast lane came on, naturally, I turned it up to window rattling volume.  But it also occurred to me that I’m not exactly in the fast lane any more, so I changed the lyrics a bit, to be sung to the tune of  The Eagles 1976 hit, Life in the Fast Lane.  Older Eyes apologies to Joe Walsh, Glenn Frey and Don Henley.  You can find the real lyrics here.

He was a bald-headed man,
He was usually sleeping and she was his elderly spouse.
She woke him up and made him go dancing in the hall
of the old folks house.
He had a nasty reputation as an old fart
She said he was lazy and not very smart.
They had nothing in common, he liked
to sleep late
She’d say, “Let’s go dancing, Harry. This is our monthly date.”
Life in the slow lane
Surely help you get some sleep, mm
Are you with me so far? (more…)

Dumb Guy Syndrome

September 24, 2013

TSTMy posts on Top Sites Tuesday have tended to be humorous, but this week there’s a serious matter on my mind.  One of my most important posts ever was Dumb Guy Chic, in which I complained that modern media tends to portray being dumb as essential to being a Man’s Man. This is especially true of sports programming and male-oriented commercials. Attitudes that wives are simply pests who keep men away from watching football, beer is more important than family and doing anything cultural is for sissies are part of the regular fare radiating from our TVs and radios.   And just as I did back in 2011, when I posted Dumb Guy Chic, I’d contend that … Thought Number One: Even when it’s done humorously, such attitudes send entirely the wrong message to impressionable boys and adolescents. (more…)

A Benefit of Being Old

June 6, 2013

newsThe New York Daily News recently reported that on March 1, Josh Welch … seven years old at the time … was suspended for chewing his pop tart into the shape of a gun in the cafeteria of a Maryland Elementary School.  Josh said that he was really trying to duplicate the shape of a mountain, which figured prominently in a recent drawing he made.   School officials said, The fact that he wasn’t trying to make a gun doesn’t reduce the danger (I made that up).  Wednesday, May 29th, Josh received a lifetime membership to the National Rifle Association and a standing ovation at a Republican fundraiser (I didn’t make that up).  A few days ago, the New York Post reported that 100 high school students on a field trip to Atlanta were thrown off an Airtrans flight because they wouldn’t sit down and turn off their cellphones after repeated requests and a warning from the pilot.  I’d be applauding except that the airline also got them seats on later flights and gave them travel vouchers for their inconvenience.  And Rabbi Seth Linfield, executive director at school, defended his students, saying they weren’t behaving that badly then playing the religion card by saying they were treated like terrorists because they were Jewish.  And according to Yahoo News in Calgary, Briar MacLean went to the aid of a classmate being bullied when he heard a knife open, pushing away the knife-wielding student.  Briar was reprimanded by the school, which said, the school doesn’t “condone heroics” and a teacher should always be called in such situations.  By the way, according to the federal website Stop Bullying, There are a few simple, safe ways children can help the person being bullied get away from the situation. However they do it, make sure the child knows not to put themselves in harm’s way.   It recommends that a child create a distraction.   Bullies, you see, are actually just seeking attention.  They only appear to want to kick the crap out of little Johnny. (more…)