Three Thing Friday

1. Reminders that I am getting old – It’s bad enough that I wake up with aches and pains, watch TV shows that have been on the air for more than half of my life (Simpsons), and reminisce about the good old days, but yesterday the ride home from work really hit it home. I am getting old. I was listening to “Amazing” by Aerosmith when it hit me, that song was released when I was still in High School, over twenty years ago.

I remember thinking that the members of Aerosmith were old back then. They were, after all, in their forties, and they are now in their sixties!

But as I find myself knocking on “my forties” I realize that either they were not that old way back then, or I am that damn old now.

I also realize that “Amazing” is still a damn good song.

2. Going to the movies – I rarely go see a movie in the theater anymore. Very rarely. It’s just a little rule of mine. Plus, most of the time it just does not seem worth the money to see a film in the theater when I can wait a few months, buy the movie, and watch the movie on my 60-inch TV in the comfort of my own home with no one else around.

I will make exceptions to this rule of mine. There are certain films I will go to see in the theater. Godzilla, because, well it is Godzilla. Fast and the Furious, because of an agreement I made with a friend. The Bond films, because it is James Bond and has become a ritual. Other than those few, I usually skip the theater and wait for the Blu-ray.

However, this week I went and saw the film “Interstellar” because it was a movie that a friend wanted to go and see. And the movie was amazing. I would recommend seeing this film in the theater if only for the amazing views you get on the big screen. And the movie itself is a great movie. They tried to make it as realistic as possible, so when the rocket engines fire in space, there is no sound. The story line was good. The acting was good. The special effects were good. It was a good solid film.

While this film may not be for everyone, I do think it is a film that is worth watching. It caused all of my friend to discuss time paradoxes for a good portion of the next day. How many films do that?

3. A shot in the dark – As everyone should know by now, the European Space agency landed a small probe onto a comet this week. Think about that, a man-made object made a soft(ish) landing on an object that is hurdling through space. It was a trip of 3.75 billion miles that took 10 years. But those 10 years doesn’t even cover the full extent of this mission. This flight was approved in the 1990’s, so with design, construction, and planning, on top of the flight, this mission is 20+ years old.

So sure, not everything went according to plan. The probes harpoons meant to secure it to the surface didn’t fire. The battery on the probe is losing its charge faster than expected. The probe may have even bounced on landing three times.

But we, humanity, have landed an object on a comet. That gives us a 100% success rate. Our attempts to land on Mars have only about a 50% success rate. I’ll grant that landing on a planet is a little harder than landing on a comet that has no atmosphere and low gravity.

So, while I get lost trying to get to the airport even with a GPS, some people much smarter than I am landed a probe on a comet after a 10 year trip. Wow.

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