Blue Origin has done it again. The private spaceflight company has launched its privately built New Shepard rocket into space and landed it back on Earth. And the company used the same rocket from an earlier test flight as an added bonus.
Pawling Public Radio releases my story “A SECOND DATE” after playing it this last month for its listening Audience. Its now available worldwide on Mixcloud and below for your enjoyment.
One Egyptian man on Facebook started the Arab Spring in Egypt. It looked good but went terribly wrong. This short Ted Talk, by the man who started the revolution, explains how it started, why it failed and how there is hope for the modem democracy H Ross Perot dreamed of.
The first thing I can recall was lying in my bed and thinking about the interesting things I could see around me, now that I could turn my head. My happy visitors all shared funny pictures with me and each other and made warm and varied sounds. I liked them, their sounds and their pictures but they made no sense to me, yet. I wanted to understand it so I closed my eyes and experimented with pictures of my new world. After a time when I opened my eyes, I noted that my eyes were growing dim and realized it was happening again. My new world started to fade and vanish as it seemed to do in regular cycles.
When my world had vanished, I started re-creating it by creating a bright dot to fill the darkness and then two dots and then lots more. It was fun and it reminded me that when I looked way back over where the cool air came from, I could see a bunch of bright dots that I did not even have to imagine. In the dark I liked to make lots of dots and stick them together and watch them grow. Then I noticed that they looked like one of the happy visitors! It dawned on me that I could assemble my little dots into almost anything. Maybe everything was made of dots. I tried to copy the now invisible room that was around from time to time. In my head I re-created it all built out of little dots and suddenly it occurred to me; my happy visitors were sharing pictures of rooms I had never seen, all made of little dots all bunched together like mine! I got excited and spent most of the night building little pictures of what they had shared. I built it out of my new erector set of bright lines, rectangles, circles, squares and some that just melted into shapes I could not even now name, all made of dots. Soon something was hurting in the dark and to my cry in the dark, the warm sweet drink thing came and put out the fire. I felt happy and then soon after the room was back.
When the room came back again in this next cycle, all the things in it now were 3d like my erector set. It was a fun game, discovering this new place. When the happy visitors came back and made sounds to each other, I could see the pictures they were painting, many were rooms like mine. It was an exciting new day! Maybe the sounds even had something to do with the pictures because I noticed the same sounds being made when they shared the same pictures! Later I learned the sounds they made was called speech and I learned to make those sounds too.
My next dramatic memory was of when my mom sister and I sat on cushions on the floor in the finished basement play room of our brick home in Brooklyn NY. On the plastic table was teal blue box trimmed with brass edging and held together by a small “C” shaped brass fastener. My mom turned the fastener free of its pin and the box unfolded into a flat surface etched with a faint gray outline of the USA. From a little drawstring bag she emptied odd shaped puzzle pieces onto the surface. She then told my sister to assemble the map. I was just barely two years old as I watched my 4 ½ year old sister assemble a map of the usa’s 50 states upside down, and earn my mom’s applause. A photographic memory was not uncommon in my family (though my mom did not have one, she was gifted with intermittent telepathy which she was oddly not aware of). On that date, I who was far more telepathic than my mom, but just beginning to walk really well, could not begin to do this puzzle trick, to my personal consternation!
I could see the puzzle being put together on the ornate desktop, which was itself unfolded from the puzzle box being opened like a blossoming flower. Because of telepathy, I could see the map being assembled in my sister’s mind, but I could not duplicate it! My mom, seeing me (seeking her applause) struggling with a much smaller puzzle with lots of frustration on my little face, said “Let’s find you something simpler to do that will be fun!” I could sense her emotional disappointment and see the images of my inferiority in her head. Unfortunately my mind was that of a 2 year old and I could not understand that not being able to solve the puzzle was age related (I did not know or understand about age and maturation). I also did not understand that she was disappointed at my frustration and not in me. I should not have been telepathic at that age, it usually started with sexual maturation. Things do go wrong at times.
This experience was the first dent in my ego that I could recall, with lots of effort years later. It was a child’s misunderstanding and the first of many “collisions” with my mom that would alienate me from her forever. With or without telepathy and empathy, a child’s brain cannot understand what an adults can. Telepathy made it more painfully confusing too! All it told me was that she was proud of my sister and not me. I could even see her mental plot to give me some of my favorite dessert to take my mind off the competition! When she gave it to me, I spit it out!
My sister too was telepathic but uncontrollably so. When she had occasional “imaginary” playmates that were not there, it was cute to my parents. As she got older it became something my parents worried about and eventually my sister’s early demise. For me telepathy was kind of like my mom’s experience. It only really happened when I was clearing my mind in concentration or asleep. Otherwise the noise from my 5 senses drowned out any conscious input from the sixth senses ephemeral emanations to my childlike mind. It did nevertheless however have significant effects on my maturation.
When I was 3 or nearly 4, my parents had a “party” for adults who came over and got to sit in the living room, from which we were normally banned. This was the mahogany, leather and soft cushions reserved for special occasions only. Some of the adults brought other children and we were told to go out back to play. This was the first time I realized that children were in some ways, at least to me, insane. They were out of control externally and internally! They hit each other, pulled toys out of each other’s hands and their minds were a flow of emotions with images of self gratification. I could not stand them! I could not stand their thoughts! I came back into the parlour and I begged my mom to let me hang out with the adults, to which she finally conceded. This was much better. I got to talk with and mostly listen to some of the “old” people about the government, the past war’s they remembered and even the president. They did look oddly at me now and then and I could sense their thoughts drift to the question of how a little toddler could converse, even as poorly as I did, on these topics. The answer was beyond me and them at the time, but now, that I am older, I know.
What I thought was my thoughts, was their thoughts (drifting in like smoke signals to my open mind) on any topic they focused on. As a result my occasional comment always affirmed their beliefs and my questions and interest in their opinions and stories of life kept them talking on and on. At least their minds were rational, for the most part, unlike the savage children they had brought to my home. Not only was the conversation interesting, but they would reach into big bowls of hard shelled nuts and crack them for me with hinged silver nut crackers. A worthy reward for my efforts at listening to them attentively.
Then when it was not so busy around me, I had my ghostly friends. You might have called them imaginary playmates, though I did not play with them or know even if they had names. I recall swinging on the swings my dad had hung from the big beam crossing the roof of the garage. It was always fun to swing inside and it was even possible when it rained outside, which gave it a special feeling. I loved the way the world rushed by me forward and backward. I found it fascinating to note how some loud long sounds from the street stretched out as my swing moved in its magical path. I had heard that too as those vehicles with sirens rushed by on occasion. Today as I paid attention to just such a sound, I noted that someone was also listening to the changing sound but using my ears! They were also looking through my eyes at the changing panorama. Then it occurred to me, I could also look at them but not through their eyes or their ears as they had none. I could only look at their thoughts as they got excited about sharing in my experience. I tried to see what they were seeing where they seemed to be but I could not do so as their world was bizarrely unstable when I tried to see it. Years later I would understand that their world was so different from ours that there was nothing in common that I could comprehend from whatever sort of sensory organs they had.
Instead of seeing their world, my mind took their sensory energy impulses and tried to interpret it as my world. That turned out to be confusing to say the least! Image upon image painted itself in a tangled maze that I could only describe as confusion. At my age it was frightening. I quickly stopped trying this approach to knowing them. Then I tried ignoring them, but it was not possible, it seemed. I could tell that they were there even when they tried to not be noticeable. There was this feeling of someone or something looking over my shoulders.
One day, when I was older, I had a curious insight into what was happening when my ghostly visitors came unbidden. My family and I had just returned from a two day weekend vacation in Hode’s Acres, upstate NY. My sister and I had walked through the woods listening to strange animal and insect sounds. We had crossed through rushing streams on slippery rocks covered with green carpets of algae. We had smelled the strong scents of blossoming flowers and the less pleasant smell of hidden death and decay. It was like a trip to another planet considering that we lived on Troy Avenue in the bustling brick and tar town of Brooklyn NY.
My enlightening insight was that the visitors in my head where also on “vacation.” They however left their physical bodies and traveled the universe to see other worlds. They could travel as far as they chose in zero time because without physical form they were not confined to time or space in the usual sense. However, in order to experience the distant world, they had to mentally join with a being whose sensory organs they could learn to use and comprehend. This was, for them, far better than anything Disney World could create! I did not however like them looking through my eyes as I felt naked and exposed. I thought I could understand their reaction and it felt as if they sometimes laughed at me, were revolted my my normal life or in some perverse way stimulated by me. I felt like a freak in a freak show. I began to plan how to end this unwanted connection.
…………………………….. more to come (and possibly the beginnings of a story that needs be told)
Here below is a great discussion of the question so well ignited by Dostoevsky’s comment, “Without God, everything is permitted.”
At first glance, this statement may not make sense. Everything is permitted? Can’t there be a morality without an infinite God?
If you are a person or analytical mind, you will likely enjoy this thought provoking though brief discussion as it begins below. ……………………
Perhaps some of the confusion is due to a murky definition of morality we owe to moral relativism. Moral relativism maintains that there is no objective standard of right and wrong existing separate and independent from humanity. The creation of moral principles stems only from within a person, not as a distinct, detached reality. Each
person is the source and definer of his or her subjective ethical code, and each has equal power and authority to define morality the way he or she sees fit. Read more below…………
We need a contest to see who can match the most scenes from the “New” Star Wars movie 2015 to the old star war movies. I will start first and you see how many you can recall, if you are not a millennial child who has never seen the old star wars that this one, with all its great action scenes and 3-d, is really a clone of! By the way, I am not saying this movie was not entertaining and worth seeing. It was a lot of fun; however, it a lacks seriously in creativity that I think could have made it a whole new adventure. Here is my very quick list of clones concepts / scenes:
- The evil “Darth Vader” hooded villain, is a son of Hans Solo. Luke was the son of Darth Vader.
- When escaping from villain’s in the Millennium Falcon, they hid under the deck (oh yes they revived the Millennium Falcon)
- The Empires great weapon is a Planet turned into a death star, but yes it is just a bigger Death Star.
- To destroy the “new” death star, they have to target one spot that is weak and blow it up (Gee does that sound familiar?)
- To do this our heroes have to go down on the planet (which is the death star in this case) and yet go through the long tunnel fighting off storm troopers to disable a power source so the incoming Jedi Pilots can blow the weak spot! How creative!
- The Secret Map to the location of Luke Skywalker, is hidden oddly enough in the new version of R2D2 just as Lea did it 20 years ago.
- The bar scene where “scoundrels” go and our heros go, just as in the old star wars, has almost the identical musicians.
- Instead of of the wise old Jedi, Yoda, we now have the bar owner who is short and wrinkled like Yoda, but looks like an old Japanese lady wearing welding goggles.
- The final scenes where Ray (the new Lea) defeats Ben the new Darth Vader, ends with them being separated by an earthquake like chasm of fire as the planet is collapsing. Ray is rescued in the Falcon by the Wookie but you know that Ben did not die and will rise again, just like Darth Vader did.
I am sure I have missed tons of stuff that was copied from the old Star Wars movies that you can show are cloned. This is why the movie’s secret name is “The Clone Wars.” It is a clone with lack of creativity. All that said it is entertaining and well done; however, for creativity, I give it a zero. For 3-d, colorful action and good characters, I give it an 8 out of 10. It was fun! I just hope they are more creative in the next release.
NOW: add the scenes I have missed and lets see how much more was cloned…………….. come on! Its fun!
LISTEN TO THIS SHORT VIDEO BY A PROMINENT AMERICAN MUSLIM WOMEN, WHO IS AN AUTHOR, SPEAKER AND RESEARCHER. SHE IS NOT SUFFERING FROM ISLAMAPHOBIA. SHE IS TRYING TO SHOW US HOW BIG THE PROBLEM IS IN HOPES OF PROTECTING ONE OF THE WORLDS GREAT RELIGIONS, ISLAM, FROM A POISON THAT IS KILLING IT AND AT THE SAME TIME PROTECT OUR COUNTRY!
Displayed below are graphs from the video above. These are well researched documents that prove how foolish people like, Ben Afflec, Hillary Clinton and President Obama may be! Note its speaker and author is a well educated Islamic American!