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Showing posts with the label America

Mars 2020 Mission Launched

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I watched NASA's Perseverance rover and Ingenuity helicopter take off at 6:50 this morning, 11:50 UTC. (July 30, 2020)

If I heard coverage of the launch correctly, it wasn't perfect.

The Atlas V took off a few milliseconds early....

...The folks who anchored the NASA/JPL online video coverage explained why peanuts are on the snack menu for JPL missions...

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Executed: Daniel Lewis Lee

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Daniel Lewis Lee died this morning.

That's unremarkable, by itself. Roughly 150,000 people die every day.

Cause of death varies. Diseases kill some of us. Others die in accidents. Civil authorities kill those who deserve death. In their government's opinion....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Storms, COVID-19 and Politics

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Several decades back, while I was living with my parents in Moorhead, Minnesota, a radio announcer read the day's weather forecast....

After finishing the official forecast, the announcer paused before rhetorically asking "what? No burning hail?" Or maybe it was "fiery hail." Something like that....

...Maybe it's the sudden and temporary sunshine, but I'm even almost upbeat about the COVID-19 pandemic. Folks here in Minnesota aren't dying of the disease nearly as fast as we were a month or two ago....

...The politics thing is pretty much inevitable. There's a presidential election on, so sound and fury is the order of the day....
'
More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Fourth of July and Virtual Fireworks

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My Fourth of July plans include watching an episode or two of Marvel Ultimate Spider-Man, contemplating the whichness of what while sitting on the front stoop, relaxing and getting a few chores done.

And enjoying a virtual fireworks show. Probably one of these....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Celebrating during a Pandemic

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This Saturday is the Fourth of July: America's Independence Day.

It's a day for picnics and parades, barbecues and ice cream. We celebrate with fireworks and carnivals, picnics and concerts, fairs and baseball games.

Usually.

This year will be different. Plans and Parade PermitsBlow Hot, Blow ColdFireworksParade Permit PerplexityStreet Legal Vehicles and Skimmed NewsVanilla Ice and Common SensePatriotic? Me?!DefinitionsViewpoints and ObligationsBig Country, Small WorldLiving in Small Town Minnesota, and Loving It"...My Family Celebrating!"RememberingAnd In Conclusion More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Floyd, Signs and Statues

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Christmas, Octaves and History

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The American holiday and Christmas seasons overlap, with fuzzy terminuses. Termini. Beginnings and endings.

For some, Christmas starts with the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

That fine old American tradition has been joined by Cyber Monday.

Oddly enough, I haven't noticed anguished laments over that newfangled technology and Macy's inflated cartoon characters....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Death Came to Dayton

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Saturday night had been Sunday morning for just over an hour when death came to a street in Dayton, Ohio.

A young man killed eight folks who had been outside a bar.

He's dead. too. Probably killed by police.

One of the killer's victims was his sister.

Maybe she was an intended victim.

Maybe she'd just been in the wrong place at the wrong time....

...We know who, how, where and how many were killed. The crime's "why" is another matter. The killer is dead, so investigators can't ask him.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

"One Small Step" in a Long Journey

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"A journey of a thousand li starts with a single step."
(Tao Te Ching," Laozi)

"That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind."
(Neil Armstrong) I figure the journey to Earth's moon began when someone looked up and wondered what this world's "lesser light" might be. Uncounted ages, most likely, before folks like Laozi and Thales of Miletus added their thoughts to humanity's storehouse of knowledge.

Thales of Miletus gets credit for figuring out that Earth's moon is roughly spherical. So does Anaximander, depending on who's talking. Those two lived about two and a half millennia back.

A century later, Anaxagoras said Earth's moon was earthy, made of the same sort of stuff we stand on. He was right about that. Other details in his cosmology, not so much....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Apollo 11, 50 Years Later

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Apollo 11's Lunar Module reached Mare Tranquillitatis fifty years ago this month. I remember hearing Neil A. Armstrong announce the landing site's name: "Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed."

A few hours later, Armstrong opened the Lunar Module's MESA — a storage locker built into the lander's side.

A television camera in the MESA showed us Armstrong's, and humanity's, first step onto another world.

Back on Earth, one out of every five people were watching: at home, in pubs, at cafes, in New York's Central Park and at shop windows. Pope St. Paul VI watched at the Castle Gandolfo observatory....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Rules, Principles, and a Defrocked Cardinal

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I'm not sure how the 'defrocked Cardinal' story will play out in America's news.

Assorted presidential campaigns will be building up steam, and there's no shortage of other newsworthy angst.

Maybe the McCarrick case will be a nine day wonder, maybe not. Either way, I did a little checking, and shared what I found....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Spiritualism, Attitudes

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I've read that spiritualism and spiritism started in the 18th or 19th centuries. Folks who take one or both seriously seem to think spiritism isn't spiritualism. How the 'isms' are different depends on who's talking.

Some say spiritualism is a religion, while spiritism is a social movement. Or spiritism is a science and spiritualism isn't.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Homer, Hegel, History and Hope

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Folks who saw virtue in unquestioning devotion to established values didn't like the 1960s. No institution, custom or belief seemed safe from scrutiny.

Even the idea of progress — a cherished heirloom from the Age of Enlightenment — was challenged disputed, and ultimately rejected.

Visions of a technotopia, where our greatest challenge was deciding how to spend our leisure time, were fading.

Hopes for nuclear power's abundant clean energy were giving way to fears of an atomic holocaust and reactor meltdowns. Assuming that pollution didn't kill us first. (July 28, 2017; February 17, 2017)

Perhaps even more disturbing for social Luddites, the nation's youth seemed ill-suited for their assigned role as torchbearers for liberty, conformity and suburban living.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

"Imagine All the People"

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Someone's 'Tweet' about sin and how someone responded showed up in my Twitter feed Sunday. I noticed an unusually goofy item in my Google news feed that evening.

Instead of expressing outrage and (self?)-righteous indignation over either or both, I made a few notes and went on with my day.

That's no great virtue on my part. I'm no fan of emotional outbursts. I like them even less when I'm the one melting down. Avoiding that sort of eruption is much easier now....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Off the Rails

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About 78 folks were on Amtrak Cascades passenger train 501 Monday morning. They'll be late. At best.

I'll be looking at what happened, new and old technology. Also how I see change and progress....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

California Fires, 2017

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The good news is that only a small fraction of California is on fire or incinerated.

The bad news is that this year's California wildfires have been big, destructive, and aren't over yet.

I'll be talking about a few of the fires, why I think troubles aren't over for folks living in California, a little about wildfires in general. Also how I see disasters, God, nature and beliefs: sensible and otherwise.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Is Christ your King or Genie?

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Yesterday’s celebration of Christ the King is such a perfect way to end out the liturgical year. It’s one of the better changes made in the new missal; I think it seems out of place in the Old Rite, stuck in October. So here we are, at the end of the year, and we get to meditate on the Kingship of Christ. The homily I heard mentioned that God isn’t a genie that we can call up when we need Him, He is a King that we owe our allegiance to. Father also mentioned that we Americans tend to take issue with the idea of being subject to anyone and specifically to a King, but that there is no better monarch to swear our fealty to. Pretty basic thoughts, but I want to go a little more in depth on them. A genie is a fairly simple creature. Rub the lamp, get your wish, genie goes back in the bottle. Notwithstanding an evil sorcerer and a deranged parrot, you could carry the lamp around with you and call up phenomenal cosmic power every time you get in a pinch. That’s all there is to it. A King is so m…

Happy Thanksgiving!

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("A Holiday Haven," another installment in a tale of two turkeys.)

If you are in or from the United States, I hope you are having a good Thanksgiving Day. If not, I trust that you're having a good November 24th.

Some folks write sober monographs for this holiday, thoroughly discussing the myriad reasons we have for being thankful.

Others present schmaltzy pieces on the same topic: about as deep as a rain puddle....

More, but not much more, at A Catholic Citizen in America.

California Murders: and Remembering

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(From Getty Images, via BBC News, used w/o permission.)
("Police say a number of students had to be medically evacuated from the school"
(BBC News))

I hadn't planned on writing about murder and getting a grip this week. Or next. But another multiple murder is international news....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Murder — Again — Still

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That's Devin Patrick Kelley, and First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

We're still not sure why he opened fire on the folks gathered for worship yesterday morning. At the moment, it looks like he was in a snit because he’d been arguing with his former wife and in-laws.

That doesn’t mean I think we should ban marriage because it leads to mass murder. That makes about as much sense as my SADIST proposal. (November 6, 2017

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.