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Dillon Levenque

A Derail Thread

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Reading through an active thread and see a post that triggers a memory of a favorite image, clip, quote, etc.? The item you want to reference is now several pages back and you don't want to post something that would be so far after the fact? Post it here. You can’t be called out for derailing this thread; this whole damn thread is a derail!

Because I don’t keep an eye on this Forum all the time I frequently arrive to see threads that I somehow missed earlier are now active and then when I click in I find they’ve been going on for days, I had an idea I might not be alone, so I thought I'd give all that a home. Anytime I am attracted to a new thread I always start at the OP and read a post at a time until I get current. I usually spot any derails or trolls by the third or fourth page. I tend to skip the trolls from then on. The problem is, there are frequently posts in there that click with me (often in the derails) but by the time I reach the current end of the thread they’re so far back even mentioning them would be a waste of time. I just move on.

Much less frequently but every now and then, a thread I’ve been following gets locked (happened quite recently). Sometimes there will be a derail that got IBFL that I would like to respond to but can’t.

Given all that, I decided to start a derail thread. It may or may not inspire posts; it will at least allow me to drop the two derail follow-ups I’ve been carrying around for a couple of days.

ONE RULE: It’s a Forum Rule but rest assured it’s an OP rule for this thread also. DO NOT even come close to responding to a topic that was a subject (other than a derail) under discussion in any thread that was later locked. I can’t stress that enough.

 

Edited by Dillon Levenque
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In the Five Word Story thread (thank you, Tex!) there was a fairly recent entry from Rolig Loon, whose several contributions to that thread have been not just intellectually stimulating but hilariously funny. I’m glad we get the gift of at least a few of her contributions here in People; she can’t spend all her time over in Answers helping newbies put their clothes on and stuff like that.

She dropped a post in Tex’s thread that contained the first five words of “Eddystone Light”. I was really hoping someone would run with the rest of that in some way but instead the direction changed altogether. I managed to at least honor the thought a bit later with a post that mentioned a sailor, but I’d love to have done more. Can’t in only five words, but I can in a thread created just for derails, now can’t I? First, the song. Burl Ives, "Eddystone Light":

I picked Burl Ives because of someone I know (who BTW told me I wasn’t posting enough: blame her for all this), but there are several versions on YouTube. The image for Burl’s contribution is an old photo of the current lighthouse (it’s been modded a bit since, most obviously by the addition of a helicopter landing pad on the top).  The lighthouse has a very interesting history as sketched here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eddystone_Lighthouse

I loved Louis 14’s comment after a French privateer interfered with the original construction: [During construction, a French privateer took Winstanley prisoner and destroyed the work done so far on the foundations, causing Louis XIV to order Winstanley's release with the words "France is at war with England, not with humanity"]. Gotta love that way back then someone in his position had the decency to say that. And that probably wasn’t written by an ‘adviser’ either; Quatorze was a pretty sharp dude (and, probably, should he ever decide to engage the English Fleet in their own crib a way to avoid the Eddystone Rocks would actually be helpful).

Edited by Dillon Levenque
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Ceka posted a link to Carl Sagan’s narrated animation “Pale Blue Dot” (I’m pretty sure it was in a since locked thread). The whole thing is based on a composite image taken at Sagan’s request by my beloved V'ger 1. It had completed its mission of studying Saturn and Jupiter and was on its way to leaving the Solar System back in 1994. Sagan asked NASA to have Voyager “turn around” and take a photo of Earth from space; that’s the seed of the “Pale Blue Dot” narrative.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GO5FwsblpT8

I first saw that in a thread I started on an earlier version of this forum, several years back. Someone (possibly Ceka) posted it there. My thread was also based on an image captured by NASA, one they took on purpose from the Cassini probe back in 2013. They saw there would be an orbital conjunction that would put Cassini “behind” Saturn (in that Saturn would be totally eclipsing the Sun for Cassini) giving Cassini a clear in-system view at a time she would have a line of sight to Earth. They advertised the date and time in advance and asked Earthlings to smile and wave at Saturn while Cassini took their picture. Just because someone’s a scientist doesn’t mean they don’t have a delightful sense of whimsy.

I missed seeing anything in advance but did see it mentioned the day after the fact and I was completely knocked out by the image itself: there was Earth, far in the distance and moving through space, with every single one of us on board. I had to post it, and did so. I think all I said about it was “That’s us.”, a comment I was pleased to hear Carl Sagan use in his narration. My unspoken thoughts at the time were just that, like it or not, the whole bunch of us are right there. I thought most readers would form similar thoughts. Sagan got considerably more vehement and admonishing, but he was a Hell of a lot smarter than I am. All that said, the sum of us right now is on that one little spot in a low rent district on the fringes of a Tobacco Road of a galaxy. We better figure out how to get along; ain’t nobody going to do that for us but us.

Here we all are; that's us down there in the lower right quadrant of the image.

Us.PNG

Edited by Dillon Levenque
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About V'ger  (I started a small thread once about her in this Forum, a few years back): as a manufacturing person it pleases me beyond measure that both Voyager craft are still functional as they venture into interstellar space, and still sending data back to Earth even from beyond the boundaries of our Solar System. Voyager 1 launched in late August of 1977, Voyager 2 a couple weeks later. This Summer they will have been functioning in the frigid vacuum of Space for forty years. Imagine the pride anyone still among the living who worked on that build must feel, to have been involved in making a machine that still works WITHOUT MAINTENANCE after all this time. I personally consider it the greatest manufacturing achievement of the Twentieth Century.

Edited by Dillon Levenque
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We love all things space here in this house. The weather hasn't been all that conducive to proper sky watching, so sadly our telescope isn't getting as much use as we'd like right now(we use a laptop so I can see the images too). Still, I have been in love with all things space since I was very little.  I think I've shared this here before, but I got to watch a shuttle launch when I was a kid too. It was an utterly amazing, unexpected experience for me, and even lead to extending our vacation a bit so I could go to the Kennedy Space Center :D

In 1992 we made a trip down to Florida(Disney, Universal, and to visit family), it was a long trek down, because we tend to stop to sight see, a lot, and I got distracted by caverns(another love of mine). Anyway, long story longer...we stopped at a hotel, and got the last room available. My parents thought it a bit odd, it wasn't a fancy place, and there wasn't anything really going on at the time. It wasn't until the next day when we found out why the hotel was booked...after we saw a crap ton of photographers, news stations and crowds gathering on the bank behind our hotel. My sister and I were in the pool when they blew some super loud horn telling us we had to get out. We went up to the balcony, more than slightly disappointed, not even hearing the reason WHY we had to get out. There was going to be a shuttle launch and the location of our hotel(right across the water, as absolutely close as one could get without a higher security clearance, ie..us mere peons, lol) plus the facts that the ground does tend to shake more than a bit-added in with the loud noises, meant everyone out of the water. We got to watch, and film(sadly stolen by some idiots breaking into our van that night) the Atlantis launch for the TSS-1 EURECA deploy. It.was.amazing!!!! Listening to the sound of the rumble, long after the shuttle was out of the sight of the naked eye, feeling the ground shake under our feet, it was just so cool to me(and still is). I couldn't see as much of the launch as everyone else, because at that distance things got super blurry(today I'd not even be able to see that), but it was still the coolest thing I'd seen thus far in my short life. 

I sat on the balcony, and then by the bank of the water for much longer than I think anyone would believe sane, after the launch, staring up at the sky. They decided to take us(ok, me) to Kennedy after that. I loved it more than I liked Disney and came home with arm fulls of trinkets, toys, gadgets....and rocket paraphernalia. I then spent the next six or so years building my own rockets, definitely not an easy or cheap hobby. I also got in trouble, more than once, for launching my rockets, some quite homemade and definitely not safe, where I probably shouldn't have-lost a few to some rooftops here and there and a couple small bits I couldn't retrieve from Lake Erie right away, because they wouldn't let me swim out far enough to get them, they were pretty far out there (did get someone with a boat to take me out to get them though). Thankfully, I lived in a very tiny hometown, and everyone knew what those things flying up in the air and making loud noises actually were, and who was doing it too, lol.

Long story even longer....this is the shuttle I got to see launch as a kid. One of the slightly funny bits, is that this launch was a day late ;) I would've missed it had it not been for some technical problems. Finding the only hotel room in the area that just happened to have one room left, and an unobstructed view, was just icing on that kinda funny cake. 

AtlantisSTS_46.jpg.8b5d0b21a4110415534d9366166ba2f0.jpg

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Love it,  and thanks! I've never seen a shuttle launch but I did see a landing once, at Edwards Air Force Base here in California: STS-6. It was the tragically ill-fated Challenger. This was long before the disaster; I think it was Challenger's first mission. I could go in the next room and look at the mission patch image on the big parking pass we'd gotten (useless; nobody ever even glanced at it) that's still on the door of the youngest's former bedroom. He didn't actually watch the landing, but his presence was felt: we'd just learned of the pregnancy a couple weeks before. STS-6 landed early in April of 1983; the youngest was born, an estimated six weeks premature, in late October. We went with our friends in two cars. Got there late afternoon. They just directed us all into long double rows right out there on the desert with about a driveway's worth of room between each set of double rows. After sundown that Mojave Wind got going, and of course cars kept arriving long into the night, adding even more dust to the mix. By the time we finally left the next morning I think I was dirtier than I've ever been in my life. But it was so worth it.

They had us out near the upwind end of the runway; the approach end. We had about a quarter mile gap between us and the fence that closed off the runways. As soon as it got light people started drifting down to the 'viewing fence'. Our bunch got there early enough to get some space right up against the fence; once that all was taken people just filled in behind. We heard the two sonic booms and we were all looking at the sky trying to spot her. Suddenly someone nearby yelled, "THERE SHE IS!", and sure enough, there she was: coming right at us and starting her big turn to come around for landing. She flew right over our heads and then on past us before finishing the turn and flying back over our heads once more, much lower now. It was almost dead quiet; I think we were all too tense and excited to speak. Then the main gear touched down and started to smoke, and not too long after the nose came down as she continued straight as a stick down that runway. I think we all lost it when the nose settled and we knew she was all right. The place just exploded. Yelling, laughing, crying, back slapping, hugging....it was something. You'd have thought we were Mission Control.

This clip of STS-1 (the equally ill-fated Columbia) gives a really good idea of what it all looked like except that STS-6 landed on the paved runway. The late John Young was the pilot for this one.

 

Edited by Dillon Levenque
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Carl Sagan is a hero of mine because of the things he said.. I don't know where I seen that video first,but I remember the first time seeing it..

As he started to pan out from the earth and speak,the further out the more I started to cry..It was like this huge weight of lies and hate was being pulled out me..all these things that had bothered me,made me angry or ate me and my time up thinking about,became so trivial..

I could fill the page and start another with all the things that I felt the first time I seen it and heard him..

I always felt we were just a blip on the radar of the planets life and everything else on it..He sent that feeling home on the scale of the universe, that I couldn't really visualize until he showed me..

If I had never seen that and heard him,who knows what kind of person I would be..I just know I'm grateful to whoever put it up the first time I seen it..

 

Anytime I put it up,it's usually in hopes that someone will see it and it have an impact on them in a way that is positive also..

That's why it's usually in those kinds of threads when I do it.. It just feels like a good place to share it..

 

There is nothing to fear but going back to where we came from,which is pretty awesome from what I can tell..;)

 

hope this wasn't a derail of a derail thread,but just wanted to share the why..

 

A different version

 

 

 

Edited by Ceka Cianci
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'My kids would love to see a launch, or landing. It's the one thing I've always wanted to give them but never been able to...I still hold out hope :)

They've participated in a lot of things related to space voyages and exploration though (of course, along with hundreds of thousands of others, but that doesn't make it any less cool to them, or me) Their names and pictures have gone out to space on/in a few different things we've managed to join, plus going on the trip to Mars this May. In fact as of 3 days ago the OSIRIS-REx had about 447 million miles left to get to asteroid Bennu, I believe. It's scheduled to get there December of this year (the capsule comes back in 2023, but the names remain on the craft even after the capsule comes back). They have stars too, of course, quite a few of them. It's all silly to most people, but I love that they love it, even still (especially still, since they're not little kids anymore). They religiously follow all space exploration. My son used to wave at satellites when he was little and say "see you, you see me?", then he'd have conversations with them, lol. He still watches satellites, but I don't think he talks to them much anymore. He also still insists one day he's going to build his own rocket and "fly us all off this damn planet"-yeah, he's a feisty one (and no, I don't yell at him for saying damn..he's spot on)

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I've never seen a space launch or landing, but that's on my bucket list. Before I was born, Dad and my neighbor did work together on inertial navigation hardware that was eventually used in the space program. Dad and I built quite a few model rockets when I was young, losing them all around the neighborhood because we were often too lazy to walk or drive to any of the nearby large open spaces. It was a challenge to estimate wind direction and speed to know where to fire a rocket so that it would come down on the beach or lawn rather than in the woods. We liked challenges.

We never completed the last rocket we worked on together, a huge thing, taller than me and requiring a motor so large that you needed special certification to fly it. Engineering school, grad school and marriage sucked up all my time and attention and the rocket sat partially completed in my parents home for 20 years. When Dad died, I resolved to finish the rocket and put him in it. Not having the certification, I located a nearby model rocket club and asked for help. The lovely man who answered the phone eventually loaned me a motor housing and recording altimeter, gave me a motor and inspected my rocket.

At a rocket club launch party on a warm August Saturday afternoon, I wrapped a spoonful of Dad's ashes in recovery wadding and packed him in the nosecone with the parachute. I carefully placed the rocket on the launch pad and connected the igniter to the pad's launch terminals. The fella who'd helped me this far was the only one licensed to launch such a large rocket, but he kindly overlooked the fact that it was my finger on the launch button, not his.

Unlike the little "pfffffft" rockets of my childhood, this one took off with a whoosh if not quite a roar. It accelerated slowly enough I could track it all the way until it pierced the broken cloud deck. The motor's ejection charge fired at the end of a magnificent burn, deploying the chute and ejecting a little puff of Dad into the sky above the clouds at 8300ft. He'd always wanted to go into space on a rocket. I got him as close as I could and probably closer than he ever expected. I can also say, truthfully and with a smile he'd have appreciated, that he did not survive the flight.

When I was little, Dad explained to me that it was possible that I had already, or would eventually, inhale a molecule of oxygen once exhaled by Socrates. It's similarly possible that each of you has already, or will eventually, inhale a particle of ash that was once part of my father. And, because ideas spread farther and faster than the winds and are just as penetrating, it's also possible that if someone wonders aloud to one of you about sharing an oxygen molecule with Socrates, you'll think of Dad and maybe, just maybe... smile.

Thanks for the invitation to derail, Ms. Levenque.

;-).

 

 

Edited by Madelaine McMasters
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5 minutes ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

I've never seen a space launch or landing, but that's on my bucket list.

I have always wanted to watch a night launch.

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We were fortunate enough to be stationed at one of the alternate landing sites for the shuttle and saw it fly over head a couple of times. They would have it displayed for a brief period of time on base.

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8 hours ago, Ceka Cianci said:

Carl Sagan is a hero of mine because of the things he said.. I don't know where I seen that video first,but I remember the first time seeing it..

As he started to pan out from the earth and speak,the further out the more I started to cry..It was like this huge weight of lies and hate was being pulled out me..all these things that had bothered me,made me angry or ate me and my time up thinking about,became so trivial..

I could fill the page and start another with all the things that I felt the first time I seen it and heard him..

I always felt we were just a blip on the radar of the planets life and everything else on it..He sent that feeling home on the scale of the universe, that I couldn't really visualize until he showed me..

If I had never seen that and heard him,who knows what kind of person I would be..I just know I'm grateful to whoever put it up the first time I seen it..

 

Anytime I put it up,it's usually in hopes that someone will see it and it have an impact on them in a way that is positive also..

That's why it's usually in those kinds of threads when I do it.. It just feels like a good place to share it..

 

There is nothing to fear but going back to where we came from,which is pretty awesome from what I can tell..;)

 

hope this wasn't a derail of a derail thread,but just wanted to share the why..

 

A different version

 

 

 

Great video, thanks for derailing! Weird that the still image that shows before you play the video is from "Once Upon A Time in the West."

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1 hour ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

It's also possible that if someone wonders aloud to one of you about sharing an oxygen molecule with Socrates, you'll think of Dad and maybe, just maybe... smile sneeze.

 

Edited by Snugs McMasters
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1 hour ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

I got an error message when trying to open that link. Oopsies

 

 

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9 minutes ago, Jerilynn Lemon said:

I got an error message when trying to open that link. Oopsies

Hmm, though I have a Wash Post subscription, it works even when I'm logged out. Here's another video of the same launch...

 

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1 minute ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

Hmm, though I have a Wash Post subscription, it works even when I'm logged out. Here's another video of the same launch...

Download video

 

THAT'S the launch I suspected it was going to be.

I see your launch and raise it with one viewed from Phoenix.

Download video

 

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13 hours ago, Dillon Levenque said:

ONE RULE: It’s a Forum Rule but rest assured it’s an OP rule for this thread also. DO NOT even come close to responding to a topic that was a subject (other than a derail) under discussion in any thread that was later locked. I can’t stress that enough.

Some come to mind that were so interesting too. I see your point.

famous-last-words-107__700.jpg

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2 hours ago, Rhonda Huntress said:

I have always wanted to watch a night launch.

I've seen lots. Solid fuel launches are great at night because the flame is constant all the way up; liquid fuel multi-stages like the Atlas have less visible fire, but there you get the added bonus of seeing the second stage ignite way-y-y up there.

I grew up a tic over twenty miles inland from Vandenburg Air Force Base and have seen or heard lots of launches; you could hear the rumble quite clearly even from our distance. Best launch I ever saw was from a beach party in the cliffs up near Pismo; was a cave up there just above the beach where we could all sit around, build a campfire, and hang out. One night they launched a Minuteman (SFR). Because of the curve of the coastline we had a view across open water all the way to the launch pad. Spectacular.

 

I've seen the effect shown in the SpaceX launch before as well, more than once but not often. It is a combination of things. The primary condition is that launch happens close enough after sundown from the observer's position, so the observer is in Earth's shadow but the rocket's in sunlight. As the rocket reaches higher in the atmosphere it displaces ice crystals and the sunlight makes those seem to glow. If the light is just right, you see the rainbow colors (I've seen that when the launch was just after sundown from our perspective; the sky was still light). Because the rockets were going pretty much straight away from us going downrange over the Pacific, It was a pretty spooky effect.. The ice cocoon just expands around the rocket and it looks just like something has gone horribly wrong: the rocket has reversed course and is coming right back atcha! First time I saw one I was thinking, "Uh, fellas? Isn't it about time to punch the old Self-Destruct Button?". I knew those worked; I'd seen enough times when that got used.

Edited by Dillon Levenque
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