10/12/2000: Back at the Dawn of the Space Age...
    Tonight, I'm going to invite you to join me in a stroll down memory lane to the birthing days of the Space Age. We won't be going back as far as Calvin and Hobbes, but we'll visit a time when space flight was little more than a dim dream, and a gleam in the dreamers' eyes. Perhaps we aren't yet far enough removed in time to appreciate the breathless wonder of putting something up that wouldn't necessarily ever come down. In my day, space flight had seemed absurdly impossible to laymen and engineers alike...
    "Once rockets get into space, what are they gonna' have to push against? Besides, it's so hot up there that anything would just burn up. Besides that, every time anyone tries to make a large rocket, it explodes. And you can't put enough fuel in a rocket to escape from the earth. And how can a rocket go faster than its own exhaust? Besides, who needs it? There's no way the American public is going to pay for a rocket to the moon. What good would it do you if you got there? Nobody's going to want to pay for that kind of foolishness. That's just Buck Rogers tripe. Mark my words, young man, it's never gonna' happen."
    I remember reading one Sunday as a stars-in-his-eyes child in the American Weekly about "Looney Goddard"'s plans to build a New-York-to-San-Francisco rocket plane that could make the trip in one hour. (Actually, that hasn't happened yet.)
    But now, don your spacesuits, strap yourselves into your acceleration couches, say your goodbyes, and prepare to blast off into the faded pa-a-a-a-st.
agnate

    Tonight will, perhaps, be the last night of the Year 2000 Harvest Moon. (The moon will be out for two more weeks before the next new moon, but it will be rising later an later and will enter its gibbous phase.) There will be many full moons in our lives, but only one Harvest Moon per year, with an all-too-limited number of years (until someone is smart enough to figure out how Nature totally rejuvenates old germ cells to produce error-free genomes for her spanking-new zygotes that produce unaged offspring).(See Interested in Aging Slower? How About in Total Rejuvenation and Perpetual Youth? (Ponce de Leon, Move Over!). Aging Breakthrough? Cloning Super-Juvenates Cells, Mitotic Errors Found to Be the Primary Cause of Aging, Could Weird Life Hold Key to Greatly Extended Longevity?, On Living Forever - Interview with Dr. Michael West).
    Thinking this sobering thought, one night in 1985, walking beneath the dreaming moon, I 'ginned up a couple of couplets that go,
    "Sometimes, when I go rambling amid the blaze of noon
        Or when I go a-gamboling beneath a burnished moon,
     Surrounded by life's ecstasies, I count with deep regret,
       How many moons are left to me before my sun must set."

    One excellent website, particularly for children, is the Discovery site.

    Come step aboard a magic carpet, and ride "Dreamtime" across the High Frontier!
condign