June 16, 1963: First Woman in Space – Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova

20 years before NASA decided that maybe women could do things. First woman in space – Jun 16, 1963 – HISTORY.com

On June 16, 1963, aboard Vostok 6, Soviet Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova becomes the first woman to travel into space. After 48 orbits and 71 hours, she returned to earth, having spent more time in space than all U.S. astronauts combined to that date.

She was selected, because she had made a large number of parachute jumps, and in those days cosmonauts had to parachute out the ship before it crashed. She still holds the record for the youngest woman in space – she was 26.

When journalists questioned the hardiness of Sally Ride’s body for spaceflight, Tereshkova publicly rebuked such sexist claims.

NASA had selected a class of women for the astronaut core in 1959, but decided that wasn’t a good idea. For whatever reasons they had. Even in the 1980s, people had to ask, “Can women do it?”

Tereshkova just turned 80 last year – her birthday is March 6th. She attained the rank of Major General by the time she retired from the Soviet/Russian Air Force, served as a member of the Supreme Soviet and is currently an elected member of the State Duma (legislature). She has said she would be willing to command a one-way mission to Mars.


June 9, 1018 – Consecration of Worms Cathedral

Worms CathedralWorms being a city in Germany. Worms Cathedral celebrates its 1,000th birthday

Emperors, popes, Martin Luther: Worms Cathedral has been the scene of great events. The Romanesque cathedral of St. Peter, 1,000 years after the cathedral’s consecration on June 9, 1018, has shaped the city in the Rhineland-Palatinate like no other building. Tobias Schäfer, as provost in charge of the cathedral, says its jubilee has galvanized the entire city. “The people of Worms identify with their cathedral, whether they’re Catholic, Lutheran or not religious at all.”

A couple of great photos of this cathedral, and the slide show of other cathedrals as well

June 6, 1944: The D-Day Invasion of Europe

In honor of the troops that went ashore in France.

The BBC did 1 hour segment entitled “Bloody Omaha” as part of the series BBC Timewatch. (See the link to the full BBC show below the video.) It concentrates on the American landing at Omaha Beach

I love this short (and I love the song). This first video is how 3 guys recreated the Omaha Beach landing for the camera in a couple of days. Saving Private Ryan had a few more people (and a lot more money). See below the video for a link to the full documentary. It is about an hour. (It was an episode on a BBC show.) And if you haven’t seen the 1962 movie The Longest Day, you should. It has truly an all-star cast, from John Wayne and Richard Burton to Red Buttons and Fabian.

The entire documentary is about an hour long, and can be found at this link.

If You Aren’t Paying Attention, Maybe You Shouldn’t Be in the News Business

The New York Times has noticed that nuclear weapons exist. (Well golly, a Republican is in the White House.)

Even for the NY Times, this is one-sided. It’s as if the media has just woken up to the reality of nuclear weapons – but don’t quite understand that reality. ‘This Is Not a Drill’: The Growing Threat of Nuclear Annihilation – The New York Times

Let’s start with the easy stuff. They do mention Iran as a nuclear threat (possibly). But they don’t mention Obama. And while North Korea is on their minds, they don’t mention the deal that William Jefferson Clinton (and Co.) negotiated with NK, even though a primary source is William J. Perry, onetime Secretary of Defense under William J Clinton.

It’s odd really, because I could have SWORN that the NYT covered every word uttered by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and their Doomsday Clock. At least when a Republican was in office.

Then they take the canonical cheap shot at “Duck and Cover.” But you see duck and cover was never intended to protect you from “an atomic bomb landing nearby.” If you are close enough to see the flash (don’t look at it) the next thing that will happen is that every piece of glass from every window will be turned into hundreds of bits of shrapnel and hurled through the air. If you are far enough away to survive the shock-wave, you might want to avoid being cut to shreds. Just sayin.’

But then by the 70s the US had decided that it didn’t want to try to survive a nuclear war. The Russians never came to that conclusion and they have blast and fallout shelters for a large part of their population. They are still building them. The Swiss added shelters to their building code, and so have shelters for 100% of their population. Or nearly so.

When the Cold War ended nearly three decades ago, “we believed that the danger of nuclear annihilation had gone away,” William J. Perry told Retro Report. … “We’ve never been able to re-grasp that it’s come back,” he said of the risk, adding ominously that, if anything, “the danger of some kind of a nuclear catastrophe today is actually greater than it was during the Cold War.”

Who is this “we” that he’s talking about? Does he have a mouse in his pocket?

The Swiss voted sometime in the past 15 years or so to KEEP fallout (and other) shelters in their building code. Why do you think they did that? The Russians, as I’ve said, never stopped building shelters – well maybe for a few years, but they have been building them in the past few years.

When India and Pakistan were making faces at each other, and Pakistan demonstrated that they are in fact a nuclear power, no one should have thought, the danger of nuclear weapons was passed. And I think – I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong – that the Obama administration stopped Israel from bombing Iran’s main nuclear research site, so clearly the Israelis don’t think the problem has gone away. And have the reporters (and this professor) just been completely IGNORING everything that has been going on in North Korea the past few years? If Missile tests and Nuclear Explosions don’t paint a picture for you, maybe you shouldn’t be in the news business.

The Science and Security Board of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has moved its Doomsday Clock 4 times since 2010, and each time it has moved closer to Midnight. (It currently stands at 2 minutes to midnight.)

But hey look, a Republican is in Office and suddenly they are awake the possibility of nuclear war.

Here’s a collection of my posts on Cold War 2.0, and then some basic information on thermonuclear weapons, it includes a video for those threatened by big words.

History Lesson for the Day: The WWII Bailey Bridge

From My Daily Kona: The Bailey Bridge

Lots of info, including bits of a Hollywood movie. One of the ways the engineers helped win WWII.

Today Bailey style bridges are a fixture of almost any modern military. The materials have been upgraded, but the basic design, prefabricated, interlocking sections which can be put together a myriad of ways, has not changed.

Their use has expanded to the civilian life, where they are often used for disaster relief and are permanent fixtures in some areas. Bailey might not be the best-known hero from World War 2, but his contribution to the war effort was immense, and his memory, and legacy, can not be forgotten.

“Winners win and losers make excuses.”

This is so true. Hillary, Democrats and the Blame Game : The Other McCain

Never in my memory have Democrats accepted defeat sensibly. Keep in mind that (a) I’m nearly 60, and (b) I used to be a Democrat myself. After Jimmy Carter was defeated by Ronald Reagan in 1980, Democrats and the media (but I repeat myself) created a narrative that Reagan’s success represented the Triumph of Fear, Hate and Corporate Greed. Because they were unwilling to admit the truth — i.e., liberalism doesn’t work — Democrats convinced themselves that all they needed to do was to put the same old crap into a more appealing package.

It covers Clinton’s election with only 43% of the popular vote – thanks to Ross Perot – and their monumentally unpopular programs which resulted “in the 1994 “Republican Revolution” when the GOP took control of both houses of Congress for the first time in 40 years.” That was called a “temper tantrum” by an ABC News Anchor.

There is more.