Humans have been sending stuff into orbit around the Earth for a little bit longer than two decades. In fact, one of my favorite Internet news sites estimates that there are close to 30,000 pieces of now-unused debris measuring at least 4 inches long out there just floating around and waiting to slam into some useful spacecraft.
So, an outfit called the European Space Agency is looking into bringing a big piece of its own debris down low and slow enough so that it will fall out of orbit and burn up harmlessly.
It’ll make a fine shooting star. It would be just my luck that it doesn’t burn up harmlessly, but instead, falls on and destroys the M&M Peanuts factory.
However, we will have to wait awhile for the fireworks. ESA says it may be 2023 before they try to do this. You know how Europeans fiddle around before actually getting anything done.
Rome wasn’t built in day, you know (that’s another clever saying I just made up).
One space piece down; 29,999 pieces to go.
If I didn’t know better I’d think that the European Space Agency was in charge of ending J-Turns in downtown Nashville.
HOW HOT? How dry? I suppose that in the depths of the summers of each of my ____ (insert secret number here) summers I have whined: “This is the hottest and driest yet.”
Of course that was wrong. Except for once. Get it?
But this year has been bad. Since the middle of June our temps have climbed into the mid-90s or higher every day. That’s more than a month of days. The temp hasn’t hit 100 yet, but it has sure felt like it. Many, many times the heat index has been over 100.
And dry. Since mid-June we’ve had less than an inch of rain in Nashville.
Some trees have already begun giving up their leaves. There was a time when I was sooooo proud of my lush centipede lawn. Now I just let it crunch underfoot — unwatered and threatening to die.
As soon as I wrote this last week I knew that a rain would be coming. Sure enough, Thursday night I heard water splattering on the patio concrete.
My friend from up Nathan way said she got a nice inch of rain. At my place, however, there was just enough to settle the dust. Now THERE’S a Southern expression: Settle the dust.
I have a pretty good understanding of the forces of the cosmos. As soon as we print a story about the county judge declaring a ‘burn ban,’ we get a real good rain.
ANIMAL CRACKERS. After all of my whining in last week’s column about hitting a giant rabbit, the service guru at the Chevrolet place says that a few days later a fullsized rat fell out of the bottom of a truck which was up above the service tech’s noggin on a hydraulic lift. The rat scampered away; no report on what the service tech did.
And I recall how Jim Carlton said a large snake once fell onto his employee from a police car which was up on a lift. And as you know, Jim Carlton would never lie or exaggerate.
My priceless advice to guys who service vehicles is that it is safer to take care of them at ground level. For safety’s sake, leave the hydraulic lifts alone.
HARD TO BELIEVE. Maybe you missed this news article last week. The world’s largest printer of the Bible is …… in China. Yep. The company has a Western-sounding name — Amity Printing Company, LTD, and in July they announced they had printed their 100 millionth Bible. Their Good Book comes in 90 different languages, according to the article.
China insists that it respects and protects religions, but …..
Western Christians still smuggle Bibles into the country. And Christians worship in state-approved churches.
Reminds me of a few years ago when someone working in a church ‘gift’ shop in Arkansas discovered that all of the porcelain statuettes of the Holy Family, angels, etc., were made in China. Naturally, orders for products from China have halted.
THINGS I LEARNED from opening email: It’s a whole lot easier to get older than it is to get wiser.
HE SAID: “In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.” Albert Schweitzer, musician, theologian, physician
SHE SAID: “Sometimes being a friend means mastering the art of timing. There is a time for silence. A time to let go and allow people to hurl themselves into their own destiny. And a time to prepare to pick up the pieces when it’s all over.” Octavia Butler, science fiction writer
SWEET DREAMS, Baby