Ever since, it’s been my mission to definitively settle on a song or video clip to summarize how I feel about Trump and his catatonic cult. After considerable deliberation, I’ve settled on “Please Move The Deer Crossing Sign”. Can’t think anymore, my head hurts. Sigh and over to you….
On Sunday October 25, Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told CNN – “We’re not going to control the pandemic”. “We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigations”. Asked why the U.S. can’t make an effort to control the virus, Meadows answered “because it is a contagious virus just like the flu”. Adding, “What we need to do is make sure that we have proper mitigation factors, whether it’s therapies or vaccines or treatments to make sure that people don’t die from this”.
Meadows comments coincide with several consecutive days of highest new daily infections since 77,300 in mid July – 83,757 on Friday October 23rd, 83,718 on Saturday October 24th. Since the start of the pandemic close to a quarter million Americans have died, research estimates the number will rise to 500,000 by February 2021. Medical experts insist 130,000 of those lives would be spared if mask wearing protocols were law. But hey, why start now? Let “sleepy Joe” whine about masks, the simpering fool. Trump stands for freedom to spread COVID as you damn well please. MAGA patriots unite! Trump has a plan to “mitigate” coronavirus with mythical cures, not one near promising effectiveness, let alone available to the masses.
I call British Columbia, Canada home. Under 300 people have died in B.C. (population roughly 6 million) since the start of the pandemic. In mid March health officials ordered all bars and restaurants closed, banned all events and gatherings, closed schools, beaches, parks, community centres and libraries. Everyone stayed home, government guaranteed $2,000 a month to all citizens, gradually we flattened the curve. Enough so that by end of May restaurants could open at 50% capacity provided safe distance guidelines were followed between guest tables and all staff wore face masks. A few weeks later new daily infections were so low government allowed 50 people to gather outdoors for weddings and special occasions.
Alas, fair weather and human nature got the better of us, infection rates took an upward spike. Government response – immediate ban on all liquor sales past 10 pm, ban on music played above conversation level in restaurants (loud music promotes leaning in to be heard ), closure of all banquet halls. Masks became mandatory on public transportation. Heavy fines for hosts or organizers of parties/events in violation of safe distancing/maximum capacity rules.
Despite best efforts cooler autumn air facilitates the march of a second wave. Today, Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s chief medical officer mandated a maximum of six people in the same “bubble” allowed to be in a private residence. Depending on official new infection stats following the Halloween weekend, I fully expect further restrictions by next week.
Are citizens upset, frothing rabid condemnation over government restrictions? No, we’re not. Wearing a mask is the least we can do to control COVID, but for collective observance of common good, we’d face staggering mortality rates akin to the United States. Freedom demands more than selfish “you can’t tell me what to do” blithering. Freedom comes with imperative to take responsibility for the welfare of our neighbors. Canadians understand the importance of controlling coronavirus, reason why Canada has less than 10,000 deaths.
Trump and his merry band of goonies are diabolical puppeteers. Propagandists extraordinaire. Brazen self serving opportunists who delight in selling snake oil to catatonic followers. “We’re not going to control the pandemic, we’ll mitigate it with vaccine”. Yeah right.
This photo accompanied a question on Quora posted by a member of Trumpnation. Query read – ” Does Joe Biden still make his teenage granddaughter kiss him on the lips during this coronavirus?” STILL? MAKE? News flash Trumpsters – all I see is a tender family moment, nothing creepy about it. By what stretch of imagination did you extrapolate “still make”?
Looking for inappropriately creepy? Ponder a gallery of Trump with his daughter –
I don’t know whether to laugh or cry, perhaps both. Laugh for the enormity of flagrant disregard toward decades of documented smarmy Trump conduct, cry for realization this represents the desperation of catatonic MAGA zombies. Sweet mercy!
Comet Halley is a prolific parent, matriarch responsible for the Eta-Aquarid meteors in May and October’s Orionid meteor shower. Every year between October 2 and November 7, Earth orbit encounters a elongated debris trail cast off by Halley – we know it as the Orionid meteor shower. This year Orionids peak the morning of October 21st.
Composite photo of Orionid meteors over Montana in 2018, via John Ashley.
Orionid abhors flamboyance, preferring to stay the course with 10 -20 exclamations an hour radiating from constellation Orion. Orionid makes up for paltry frequency with dizzying speed ( 66 kilometers per second ) and roughly half the meteors leaving characteristic ionized trails lingering for several seconds in night skies.
The Orionids radiate from a point near the upraised Club of the constellation Orion the Hunter. The bright star near the radiant point is Betelgeuse.
Constellation Orion is the radiant point, but meteors can appear over a wide angle view of dark skies. This year a waxing crescent moon delivers dark skies, ideal for Orionid watching. Best viewed between midnight and dawn.
On October 31, 2020 a blue moon and red Mars will dominate night skies. This Halloween boasts the second full moon in a calendar month and closest approach of Mars to Earth in two years. Despite “once in a blue moon” folklore, blue moons aren’t that rare. The Moon completes a phase every 29.5 days, a hair shy of our calendar month. As such, every two to three years a 13th full moon occurs. We call it a blue moon. There won’t be another blue moon until August 31, 2023. Not another full moon on Halloween until October 31, 2039.
Astronomers regard Halloween as one of four annual cross quarter days. Cross quarter days fall midway between an equinox and solstice. Halloween being the midway point between the fall equinox and winter solstice. Halloween joins Groundhog Day (February 2), May Day (May 1) and Lammas (August 1) to complete cross quarter day’s roster. Cross quarter day blue moons are significantly rarer than run of the mill blue moons.
No matter how long the work day, disheartening the news or lousy the weather, Adrien Mauduit at Night Lights Films never fails to put things right. Treat yourself to real time aurora majesty coupled with Mauduit’s innate instinct to nail the perfect musical accompaniment.
Calling all citizen scientists, Planet Patrol wants you. NASA, SETI, the Space Science Telescope Institute and Zooniverse collaborated to launch Planet Patrol, a website urging citizen scientists to help find exoplanets. Planet Patrol site explains –
“NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission will take pictures of more than a million stars to search for planets orbiting them, called ‘transiting exoplanets.’ We expect this mission will see thousands of these transiting exoplanets when they pass in front of nearby stars and periodically block some of the starlight.
But sometimes when a star dims like that, it’s not because of a planet. Variable stars, eclipsing binary stars, blended stars, glitches in the data, etc., can cause a similar effect. We need your help to spot these imposters!
At Planet Patrol, you’ll help us check the data from the TESS mission, one image at a time, to make sure that objects we suspect are planets REALLY are planets.”
In a nutshell – anyone with a little spare time, set of fresh eyes and impetus to participate in cosmic discovery can be a citizen scientist. How cool would it be to identify a exoplanet? Check out the link below –
On Sunday September 27, 2020 the New York Times gave readers a glimpse into Trump tax shenanigans. Media sources worldwide ran with revelations Trump avoided paying taxes for much of the past 20 years, paying only $750 in both 2016 and 2017. Bombshell? Not really. Taxation isn’t fair, scores of tax lawyers exist for the sole purpose of billing $1,000 an hour to keep wealthy client money out of federal coffers.
Rather than cluck over Trump paying a mere $750 in 2016 and 2017, ponder this deduction – while working on “The Apprentice” Trump claimed to have spent $70,000 on “hair styling” , writing it off as a business expense. Daughter Ivanka claimed $100,000 in hair and make-up expenses paid to Trump “entities” during the same time period.
Never mind Trump telling Playboy in a 2014 interview that he wouldn’t let anyone other than Melania cut his hair, I digress. Great link from Town & Country below…..
Why should hard working school teachers, nurses, bus drivers or municipal employees subsidize Trump’s follicle farce by paying their fair share of taxes? Who decides outrageous “celebrity” vanity is a justifiable tax credit? Who audits this crap? Concurs Trump’s asinine comb-over worthy of a $70,000 business expense? Sweet mercy. Enough!
Ponder this image – Earth is the blue dot, white circle is the Moon’s orbit, red squiggle is space object 2020 SO. Using the Pan-STARRS1 telescope in Maui, Hawaii astronomers sighted the object September 17, 2020 on approach to Earth, classifying it as an asteroid.
From https://earthsky.org/space/2020-so-mini-moon-asteroid-or-space-junk -“Asteroid or space junk? Strange space object 2020 SO was discovered on September 17, 2020 on approach to Earth. It’ll likely be captured by Earth, briefly becoming a mini-moon. In this image, the Earth is the blue dot in the center. The moon’s orbit is the white circle. Image via Tony Dunn (@tony873004 on Twitter”
From October 2020 until May 2021 approaching space object 2020 SO will briefly become a “mini” Earth orbiting Moon, courtesy low speed and trajectory being no match for Earth’s gravitational pull. Measuring 6 – 14 meters, 2020 SO will soon pass between Earth and the Moon at a speed of 3,025 km/h – in cosmic terms that’s remarkably slow. Slow enough to raise eyebrows when coupled with calculation of a 387 day Earth-like orbit of the Sun. Peculiarities suggesting a man made object launched from our planet.
Astronomers suspect asteroid 2020 SO could be the Surveyor 2 rocket booster launched on September 20, 1966. Surveyor 2 was a un-manned mission sending a second lunar lander to the Moon. Surveyor 2 left Cape Kennedy, Florida atop a Atlas Centaur rocket. Three days later a course correction failure caused mission control to lose contact. Unable to recover, Surveyor 2 lander crashed near the Moon’s Copernicus Crater.
Before the modern era of reusable rockets losing sight of one wasn’t unusual. Space archeologist Alice Gorman of Flinders University in Australia said –
“There are so many factors in the space environment, like gravitational factors and other things that affect movement, that it can sometimes be quite unpredictable.
You have to keep tracking these things, or you can just sort of lose sight of them really easily. And if they do something a little bit unpredictable, and you look the wrong way, then you don’t know where it’s gone. It is quite astonishing, the number of things that have gone missing.”
Space is a busy place chock full of small asteroids and man made junk. Gravity isn’t shy about capturing temporary mini moons. Most recently – 2006 RH120 caught in Earth orbit between 2006 – 2007 and 2020 CD3, 2018 – 2020. Time will tell whether 2020 SO is asteroid or space junk. I’m hoping for space junk. Strikes me as very satisfying to welcome a mini moon launched in 1966.