We will be fine…Apollo 11

So fine, thats not the flight number in the song tonight, but hey, who’s counting?

50 years ago today, a child saw a space rocket take off, complete with lunar module, and a 2 couple of now famous astronauts who were going to be famous for being the first to walk on the moon, but lets pass a thought for the poor man left behind in the rocket while they grabbed all the glory.

They had been building up to it, with the previous flight circling the moon, but not sending anyone down to the surface. I missed the actual first step live seemingly, because accordingly to the internet, it happens in the middle of the night my time, and good 11 year old girls with school the next day would have been asleep. Well, I assume I had school the next day, but given that term would be nearly over, and I would have already sat the exams to go to Grammar School that autumn, I cant be 100% sure. But even so, at about 3.30 am, I was in bed asleep!

Of course there are those who say it was all faked, in a studio, somewhere in the US. But given their rivals like the USSR acknowledged the event, I’m of the group who believe it was real. Of course there are some who believe no one has ever been in, or sent anything into space, but how we watch live events, from the other side of the world, without satellites, dont ask me?

But hey, I might have readers that genuinely believe I’m a robot, or an alien, so besides all that…?

It must be strange, standing on the Moon, looking back at Earth, but I doubt I will ever find out for myself. But a few men know, at least.

Oh, one piece of trivia before I finish. This was the first time that the command centre wasnt an entirely male affair. Yes, shock horror, one woman was allowed in for the first time. Oh my, hasnt the world moving on in that sense in the last 50 years. for sure?

OK, video time. Strictly this is credited to Adam Ant, but the backing group are all the Ants, so regardless…

Oh, fine, we need something relating to the actual flight, but fortunately, OMD to the rescue. Though given this is from Sugar Tax, its not the famous classic lineup

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A dangerous creation?

A few years ago, a novel was written by Laura Moriarty, called ‘The Chaperone’ relating to the very early teenage (pre-fame) years of an actress named Louise Brooks. Yes, I might have mentioned her before, a few films made in Europe made her ‘famous’ to some degree, even if her attitude to work didnt always meet with the approval of Hollywood studios, primarily Paramount. This novel actually related to her life before the movies, primarily around the time she went to New York, to try and make it with the Denishawn Dance Company. No, they eventually lost patience with her, dismissed her, and the rest was history, all well known.

The thing is, this novel wasnt principally about Louise, but obviously her name probably helped with more than a few sales. I mean, I bought it, only for that connection. In truth, the book was pretty good, there was interest in making it into a movie, which has in fact just been released nationally. I thought someone said it was today, Wikipedia says it was a week ago, but who can be sure? Not me, definitely.

There is one snag with a movie, that there isnt with a book, the need for someone to actually portray said famous actress. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you view that opportunity), Haley Lu Richardson got chosen to play the role of the young, teenage Brooks. Luckily, seemingly for me, I’ve never had to portray a real life person, known to thousands, to be compared to. The little bit I’ve seen, she seems to have made a decent job of playing the wilful, teenage Brooks, and is a passable lookalike, though in truth, it would be hard for anyone of modern build to look exactly like Brooks, given the difference in diet, and her fairly unique bone structure, but she makes a good effort.

However, for some, this is not enough. And please remember, Brooks is just a side character in this story, not the main star! As per the title, its about her Chaperone! Some of the comments from ‘fan groups’ have been downright rude about the poor woman, in fact. No, she’s not a perfect Brooks lookalike, but who could be? In truth, I suspect if Brooks was secretly miraculously resurrected, and took the part, without them knowing, that some would still say she wasnt enough of a match for their blessed Louise!

I cant yet trace a release date in the UK, but it might tempt me to the cinema when it does, health permitting. And yes, I’m certain she wont be a perfect match for Louise Brooks, but unlike seemingly so many, I wouldnt expect her to be. Its called acting for a reason, darlings!

Mind, its not just Brooks fans that infuriate people in the acting industry. In the ‘adult industry’ world, people portray fembots for the satisfaction of some men. Thing is, some of those men demand plenty of material, but only seem to either criticise, or leave no reviews at all! The criticism is often for the tiniest things, or for the impossible wishes, because these are actually organic human actresses, playing robots, not the real thing. Then they wonder why the actresses get frustrated with them, and stop making fembot movies!

As I joked to someone, if someone actually created a female robot, got her to perform in a movie, they’d probably still find something to complain about in her performance, ah well… I’m sure in a few decades, it will be possible to transform actors, and actresses so dramatically for roles, you wont be able to tell if its an actor, or the real thing (even if she died decades before), but for now… OK, rant over.

Its not often I’m a fan of a remix of a song, but this is one of those exceptions. In fact, there used to be a remix of this, which I loved even more, but its disappeared off You Tube for a while now. So we’ll settle for this.

 

Artificial body, artificial mind?

OK, let me say that in terms of what I’m considering, this is purely in the realms of fantasy at this time. Maybe it will be possible in decades to come, but for now…

When you mention artificial intelligence (AI) to people, it seems to be a love, or hate issue. Some people see it as a massive benefit for all the good it will be able to do, both in a practical, and assistance sense. Others see it as something sinister, controlling, and big brother like. Oh fine, a robot wannabee submissive like me might (alright, would) enjoy being controlled by technology, but lets consider other matters.

The other artificial thing that people are busily trying to create, currently with limited success, is artificial bodies. For disabled people like myself, where it gets interesting would be some combination of both items. Just imagine if people could literally be given a new artificial body, rather than their disabled human one, wouldnt it be tempting to do a swap? I know, for me, a nice chrome robot body would be heaven, but lets assume that in the future, its possible for people to transfer to a human looking, but artificial body, how many disabled people would be tempted? I guess not all, but some would, I’m sure.

As to the AI side of things, I suspect how far that went would make people decide how far to go. If its a literal download of your own mind, into an artificial body, its going to be preferable to one that is purely AI, even if the ‘personality’ is based on yourself? But lets say its a combination thing, it is you, but you need an element of AI, for the artificial body to function, hmm?

I know, me, I’d love the full robot life, but I’m probably in a class of one on that, lol!

But just think, OK, its only a replica of yourself, but no pain issues, full mobility, and all that brings, well? Yes, I know, if only I could, even more so as my body continues to fail of its own accord.

So yes, AI has good points, it has bad points, but overall, what do you think?

Right, video time. Have you ever wondered what a sound check is like, at a pop concert. Well, this is your chance. It does mean you dont get the full song, but you get to see behind the scenes stuff. Besides which, its Seattle, its black and white, so…

Should have stayed home yesterday?

Well, if I mention this is the 77th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbour, and the video relates to the climax of said event, you might have worked out what it is already?

No, I’m not going to bore you, or otherwise by going through the events of that fateful day, I could only copy large chunks of Wikipedia and the like if I did that anyway. So yes, if you want that, go visit Wikipedia. What I’m going to tell you is a side story to the event, which I only know about thanks to ESPN.

In those days, when the college football regular season ended, that was pretty much it, get on with the awards, and wait for the next season. There were a few bowls of history, like the Rose Bowl, but nothing like the 39 we are having this year! Part of that was down to the fact that whereas now, a team from California can get to the East Coast in a few hours, back then you were talking several days, by train!

So, in those days, the selection of, and awarding of the Heisman Trophy, to the best player of the year wasnt some massively hyped TV event, because most people didnt have TV! So, by the beginning of December 1941, it was already announced that the winner of said award was Bruce Smith, a running back from Minnesota. Therefore on the 5th December 1941, he set out for New York, to receive the award, 2 days later. He had his acceptance speech prepared before he reached New York, on the morning of the 7th December, when he heard the news about Pearl Harbour, and the inevitability that the US was going to war with Japan.

So basically, the speech got a total rewrite, and was squeezed into a radio presentation on the 9th December, shortly before Roosevelt made it official, that America was now at war with Japan. The rest, as they say, for the next 4 years or so, is written in history. Bruce Smith clearly was one of the fortunate ones who survived the war, given that the short documentary included his 2 sons. Sadly, many millions didnt, on all sides.

Of course, this war ended with a first. Not necessarily a good first, but a first, all the same. Yes, thats right, the 2 nuclear warheads dropped on Hiroshima, and Nagasaki, that finally forced Japan into surrender.

Smith finally did get to play in the NFL after the war, for Green Bay, and the Los Angeles Rams, but much of his career was lost to the war. Also sadly, he didnt have a long life, dying at the age of 47 from cancer, in the days long before all the modern treatments for that ghastly disease.

So yes, on this day, let us remember all those brave people that died at Pearl Harbour on that fateful day, in the war that followed, but lets also remember the guy whose life was changed while travelling on a train.

OK, the video is the one I hope you’ve worked out. A live version from 2016, rather than the regular video, which I’ve probably used before

Human, or machine?

I gather that at work, what must be the mind numbing task of recording each benefit, and the amount, for each customer, up to now, has had to be typed in by someone individually. It seems now that humans are going to be rescued from this boring task, by something called ‘Robot Automated Processing’ (or something similar), which will do all this very repetitive stuff, and not get bored in the process.

Sadly for me, though probably not for anyone else, this doesnt involve turning humans into robots, or anything interesting like that, it just simply enables people to be freed up to do something more worthwhile, and hopefully more interesting.

As you can imagine, discussion of this process, and my warped science fiction author mind, came up with a much more interesting concept for this.

Of course, if it was genuinely practical, and possible to turn humans into robots (oh, I wish), then I suspect some employers might be more interested in developing things in that direction, but anyway… For now, morals, and technology say no!

But, I wonder, if this sort of thing could be done, would I be the only person who would enjoy being transformed in this way, or are there others? Would others volunteer, or apart from me, would all have to be dragged to the robot transformation pods? Might be a few others, I guess?

No, this wont be affecting my line of work just yet, and probably by the time its capable of that level of AI, I will be retired, given I have at most, about 5 and a half years to go before then! Even that assumes my back holds out that long, or an opportunity arises to do something else, well…? Mind, I do wonder if I would feel the same way if the opportunity arose, or I’m only so keen on it because its not currently practical, who knows? I’m pretty sure that yes, I would be, but unless it happens…?

OK, video time. No, I know this sounds like OMD, but it isnt. Yes, its the lead singer, and they did record this, many years later, but this is the original Elektric Music version of the song. Kraftwerk meets OMD, quite literally!

Running out of time?!

No, dont panic, or celebrate, if so inclined, no seriously bad news for me, just another fine example of how old age, and physical health is beginning to run me down. Yes, mainly my back!

As regular readers from the past know, one of the outcomes of my back issues which first showed up around this time last year (though it was September before I knew just what it was), was that I eventually had to cut back from a 5 day working week, to a carefully balanced 4 day working week. Monday to Thursday works fine, one day on, one day off, helps with the pain issues, on top of all the lovely meds I need. Snag is, to financially survive, I have to work 2 days in a row, Friday, and Saturday, which only sort of works, even with Sunday off afterwards. Fortunately, up to now, with flexi time build up at work, and holidays, every couple of months or so, I’ve been able to charge the batteries (I wish, for real) by having the odd Saturday off, to give me extra recovery time. Snag is, I dont take time off in height of summer, most people do, and I’m getting older, so…

To be fair to work, most of my issues arent related to there, its the bus journeys to, and from work that are the killers for me. Bumpy roads, less than well padded seats, and even with a brace on, the back aches because of it. Even more so, when, as of late, buses that are supposed to turn up, dont!

Normally, on a non working day, I’m able to cut back the level of meds I need (still not baby stuff), but the last 2, nope, too much pain, even with the brace on. I know, getting older, and it shows. Now, if anyone knows of any form of transport they can provide me with, that could give me some nice, smooth journeys to and from work? (Yes, aliens, a space craft/flying saucer would be wonderful, just saying…Yes, I wish!) Going to be even more ‘fun’ this weekend, as I’m working Friday, Saturday, Monday and Wednesday as per normal, and going to a meeting in Sheffield on Tuesday! Yes, think I might be aching a lot after all of that, just hope I get through! No, not enough in Saturday to at least get a break then, unfortunately. Its Summer holidays, lol…

But yes, believe me folks, getting old is just no fun! And this is all when the weather is lovely and hot! So when it gets cold, and wet, I dread to think? Another term you could use, as well as no fun, is a one word answer, a shame. Which is a very corny lead in to tonight’s video!

How long would you like to dream?

One of the known issues with long distance space travel, is the length of time its going to take to get anywhere. Currently the ETA for a flight to Mars is about 6 months, and beyond the Moon, thats about as close as we can get in terms of space travel. So anything further than that is going to take considerably longer to get to, and people are going to need to be able to sleep comfortably en route. Lets face it, those poor Moon Astronauts couldnt have got that comfortable in sleep terms, given the size of their craft, but clearly those craft in the future, heading for Mars, and who knows where beyond (in decades to come) need to be able to get plenty of sleep en route.

The thing is, of course that a lot of those brave colonists probably wont have a lot to do on the actual flight there, aboard the craft, because their mission will be post arrival, not for the journey there. So, just suppose, instead of being bored of just seeing space passing by for 6 months, they could sleep throughout most of the journey, and be fine on arrival, and hopefully raring to go. Well…?

https://futurism.com/a-real-life-hibernation-chamber-is-being-made-deep-space-travel/

I gather the theory has been used medically for a few days, but for this purpose, for some, we’re talking months, let alone days, or even weeks. Would I get in one of those pods, and ‘hibernate’ for a while, you bet I would. Might actually do my back some good, as I assume the lack of daily stresses on it could only be beneficial to it? But no, I have no desire to go to Mars, or anywhere else, at my age! My time might not be quite that nigh, but I havent got that many years left, so I’ll leave the crazy stuff to the younger ones, thanks.

But equally, if they ever asked for volunteers, here on Earth, to test the system out, I would jump at the chance to do so. Hey, I say I’m suffering from a lack of sleep at the moment, that could certainly solve the problem, for a fortnight or so, or maybe more. Of course I’d hate the use of electrical stimulation to keep me physically fit, not! But yes, as long as they dont forget me, and I dont only wake up in 2070, or something, I’d love to do it, but doubt I’ll get the chance, ah well…

Oh, and one other amusing piece of more fictional science stuff, I saw this on MSN this morning

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/entertainment/movies/downeys-original-iron-man-costume-is-stolen/ar-AAx2Vm9?li=BBoPWjQ&ocid=U352DHP

No, it wasnt me, though I would so love to wear something like that, I must say! That or the Metropolis robot would be my dream looks for a Convention, or something. But no, sorry, Robert, not me!

Fine, video time. A corny play on the whole hibernation thing. All I can say watching Andy McCluskey doing this, is think he’s about my age, and doing stuff like this, yes, I’m jealous. Amazingly fit, clearly!