Future History

Nazi AstronautHaving read a few historical space exploration books, you have to wonder what it would be like now if the Germans had won World War 2. Once Hitler had won the war (I assume by means of atomic and rocket technology) he may have let Von Braun and co off the leash to explore the universe. The first moon landing, possibly in the late 50s or early 60s may have looked something like this.

Man of the Year

Time Magazine Person of the YearFrom the “You have got to be joking” department, Time chose Mr Bush “for sticking to his guns (literally and figuratively), for reshaping the rules of politics to fit his 10-gallon-hat leadership style and for persuading a majority of voters this time around that he deserved to be in the White House for another four years,” managing editor Jim Kelly said today.

I guess Time also chose Hitler as man of they year in 1937 and Josef Stalin in 1939 and 1942. Also in 1950 was the “American Fighting Man” and in 2003, the “American Soldier’. In 1979 it was Ayatullah Khomeini.

Vittori

vittoriSo Roberto Vittori is getting another ride to the International Space Station as part of the TMA-6 crew alongside the Soyuz Commander and Roskosmos cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev and NASA astronaut John Phillips. This is scheduled for a April 2005 liftoff. Vittori will remain on the ISS for 10 or so days and will accompany the current crew in the TMA-5 vehicle as they land in Russia.

The mission is called ENEIDE and takes its name from the epic tale written by the Latin poet Virgil in the 1st century BC. This story tells of the journey of Aeneas from Troy to Italy and the foundation of Rome.

ENEIDE, an ESA mission, is co-sponsored by the Italian Ministry of Defence and the Lazio Region, with the support of Finmeccanica, FILAS and the Rome Chamber of Commerce (CCIAA). Many of the experiments are being developed by Italian researchers and built by Italian industry and research institutions.

Survivor

So, Chris won Survivor Vanuatu. This is good because he is a most deserving winner. He played it pretty well in the end. Making it to the final four, he sent home Eliza leaving him with the drugged out hippy Scout, and the loud-mouthed butch Twila. How could he lose. He did the right thing in sending Scout home, because during the final voting Twila proved herself to be hopelessly inept at gaining favour with the jury. Where Twila refused to give apologies when asked and in fact gave derision and abuse, Chris at least appeared to be humble. This gained him enough sympathy to get the two needed votes from the girls to add the the guys votes to win the million bux.

David Hicks

PrisonersThe Geneva Convention

Article 3, Section 1

1. Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria.

To this end the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:

(a) Violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;

(b) Taking of hostages;

(c) Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment;

(d) The passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.

Hicks has been held at the US detention centre in Cuba since January 2002, after being detained while fighting with the Taliban in Afghanistan a few months earlier.

He has told of being tortured for 8 hours at a time, being forced to run in shackles which ripped the skin from his ankles, having his head smashed into the concret while blindfolded, being struck while under the influence of sedatives which were forcibly injected into him, being brutalised with the aid of an attack dog, and being sent to solitary confinement for 8 consecutive months.

Unfortunately for Hicks, the Australian government is doing nothing for him. Gutless Attorney-General Philip Ruddock today cast doubt on the validity of Hicks’ claims and said it was at odds with earlier statements by Hicks’ lawyers that he was humanely treated.

Mr Ruddock said Hicks’ abuse allegations were documented at the Australian government’s request but the allegations would be investigated by US authorities with no separate probe by Australia.

Suspected

“GUNMEN suspected of links to al-Qaeda…” So begins the lead story at news.com.au. Well of course they are suspected of having links to al-Qaeda. These are bad guys, and al-Qaeda are the biggest baddest bunch of boogie men the world has ever known! If anything bad happens, it has to be al-Qaeda!

Reading

I need to find a way to encourage Ashton to read. She needs to be able to read, to find information out about the world by herself. If she can get to the stage where she is reading before she gets to pre-primary school, she will have so much more the advantage when she gets to primary school. And it will follow on to high school and after that, if she is so inclined, to University. But the first few years are the key, I think. If you enjoy learning and doing when you are young, you will enjoy it later and you will have so much more knowledge and experience to build upon.

Air Conditioner

We are going to get an air conditioner soon. It is going to cost a lot of money. I hope that this doesn’t come and bite us in the bum. I can see Suzannes point that she is going to be hot being at home, but I don’t think she can see my point of keeping the doors and windows closed during the day to keep the cool air in and the hot air out. She says you need “air flow”. I will admit, I don’t understand how flowing hot air through the house will help. The house was designed using passive solar priciples with the idea that you would not need an air conditioner. Indeed, there are neighbours of ours that do not have an aircon and they seem quite happy.