Tuesday, August 15, 2006

5-4-3-2-1: (moon)walk!

Daniel is almost walking! It’s very, very exciting! He stands on his own now - unsupported- for a few seconds and is making the motions of wanting to take a step all the time. He has also just started to get into a “head stand” position from lying down or sitting. I think we’re very close to him walking, but I’ve heard that sometimes this in-between stage lasts a long time. My two wishes: 1) If walking is indeed just around the corner, I hope he holds off until D. Sr. is back from California 2) If it’s not right around the corner, then he better not walk for the first time at the baby depot (AKA daycare). Watch Momily have a nervous breakdown as she misses major milestones. Fun everyone can enjoy!

In other walking news . . . This story shocks me for several reasons (bear with me and read the thing):

Search on for Moon landing film: A search has begun to locate the original film footage of man's first steps on the Moon.

The footage of the Apollo 11 crew's landing on the Moon is one of 20th Century's most important artefacts. The tapes are believed to be stored somewhere in the archive at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Centre, Maryland. But as many of those involved in the archiving of the original tapes moved on, retired or passed away their location has been lost.

The footage seen by people around the world has been compared to a photocopy of a photocopy, according to the Daily Telegraph newspaper. It came from a camera that had been pointed at a black-and-white monitor. The astronauts actually beamed higher-quality footage back to Earth -seen by a small number of people at three tracking stations. But this had already been stripped of much of its detail. To make sure the transmission would make it back to Earth, the images sent back by the astronauts were recorded at 10 frames per second (fps), and had to be converted to 60fps in order to be broadcast.

In the process, much of the detail was lost.

Eighty one-year-old Stan Lebar was in charge of the images from Apollo 11. He said what he saw was so blurred he initially thought something had gone wrong.
"We thought there had been a problem getting the converter to work properly," he said. "What was broadcast to the world was nowhere near as good as what was received," said John Sarkissian, of the CSIRO Parkes Observatory in Australia, one of the three tracking stations that taped the original footage before sending it on to Houston in converted form.

Although these tapes did not match the standard of normal TV transmissions, they would still be better than the video we have today, especially if processed using digital technology. A coalition of scientists and Nasa veterans - including Mr Lebar and Mr Sarkissian - is now hunting through Nasa's archives.
The tapes appear to have been sent to the US National Archives, before being returned to Nasa, which stored them at its Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland.

"I just think this is what happens when you have a large government bureaucracy that functions for decade after decade," said Keith Cowing, editor of the website NASA Watch. "It's not malicious or intentional, but I think it's unfortunate that Nasa doesn't have maybe just one more person whose job it is to look back at its history."

A Nasa spokesman said: "We're trying to track them down through the paperwork created at the time - but it's 35 years ago, so it's a challenge."

~Above story from BBC NEWS

1. First, I have recently almost become converted to the idea that the moon walk (of the outer space variety not the Michael Jackson variety) never actually happened and it was all a propaganda-hoax “rah, rah America” type thing at a time when they really needed it. Now that they have lost the tapes, well . . . I mean, how the crap do you lose one of the most important pieces of documented history ever? Do you "lose" them because you don't want them to be scrutinized under the technology that exists today? Anyway, I’m not sure I’m 100% on board with the “moon walk never happened” theory, but I’m pretty damn close. For those of you that either think I’m crazy or have had doubts yourself, you must watch the brilliant documentary, Dark Side of the Moon: Find a video store that rents it and see it ASAP!!! The documentary deconstructs the moon footage and hones in on the fact that at one point the US flag is flapping on the wind – even though those us with only a basic science understanding know that there is no wind on the moon! (Wikipedia explains it well:

2. If the moon landing is real, then who the hell is the worst librarian-archivist EVER that allowed the tapes to go missing. I am in shock! If I lost a reference book I’d be in major shit at work, and some fu$%ing joker lost the seminal piece of 20th century science footage. Unbelievable! Can we say U-N-I-O-N job?

3. Recently Canadian astronaut,
Chris Hadfield, visited our far north and had an impromptu Q + A session with some of our northern Canadians. The media, especially the American media, had a field day with this as some of the remarks made by the "group of aboriginals who still sometimes use spears" included:

  • "Since there are so many holes in the ozone layer already, maybe you should stop launching rockets so you don't tear any more."

  • "So, in space, everything is free?"

  • "Has anybody reached the moon yet?"

I think our friends WAY north of 60 might just be on to something, don't you?

Image is a mash-up of what I am 99% sure is a public domain moon picture and my own picture.


At 10:40 AM , Blogger Cynto said...

Ummm, I believe that the brilliant documentary "Dark Side of the Moon" was in fact a mockumentary.

At 11:20 AM , Blogger Momily said...

Are you maybe thinking of "This is Spinal Tap?"

Dark Side of the Moon is very funny and spoofs the whole conspiracy thing, but it is serious and tongue-in-cheek, too - the wind thing and the whole Stanley Kubrick connection are cited often by the "serious" conpiracists. As the CBC link i provided says, "A subtle blend of facts, fiction and hypothesis around the first landing on the moon, Dark Side Of The Moon illustrates how the truth can be twisted by the manipulation of images."
And now the true source of those images are officially missing . . . more than a bit curious, no?

At 11:37 AM , Blogger Cynto said...

From what I remember about the mockumentary (and no it wasn't Spinal Tap) it was all in jest and was made to show how you can distort what people say to fit any message you want to portray to the viewer. The comments that people made were completely made up or taken horribly out of context. It was a joke - and should not be used to support any conspiracy argument.

Do you also believe in that other great and brilliant documentary "Alien Autopsy" which was hosted by the actor from Star Trek: The Next Generation? It had facts too.

At 11:48 AM , Blogger Momily said...

Of course I did not believe the whole thing! They tell you at the end that most of it is a joke . . . however, I did not know about the Kubrick connection and the "wind on the moon" thing until I saw Dark Side of the Moon. Those things were not fabricated and are "fact." Were they exagerrated and embellished? Put out of context? Probably. Gee - if only we had the original footage to look at and analyze. I'm just saying . . .

And to add to the conspiracy fun - Stanley Kubrick's brother's name is Raul and he's a Communist - just like a certain soemone else's brother Raul!!

At 11:50 AM , Blogger Momily said...

PS - I find it amazing that the same people who believe that there is a possibility that 9-11 was entirely government orchestrated to boost Bush Jr.'s profile or believe everything that Michael Moore puts on to film, have a hard time supposing that maybe, just maybe, the US moon stuff isn't real.

At 12:06 PM , Blogger Momily said...

PSS Alien Autopsy was brilliant

At 12:23 PM , Blogger Cynto said...

For the record I am marrying the one of the ultimate believers in the Moon Landing Conspiracy (the reason I was forced to watch "Dark Side of the Moon" in the first place) and I don't believe any September 11 conspiracy and I have always maintained that while I enjoy Michael Moore I think he is extremely biased and unprofessional and that the films he makes are not actually documentaries. I know you weren't saying those things about me but I just wanted to clear it up.

Anyway, I do agree with your original blog posting (we have kind of got off topic here) that the moon landing is highly suspect and the disappearance of the original tapes is somewhat suspicious. However, I also think that sometimes we can read more into something than we should. Even though NASA is a huge organization that should have better record keeping standards the landing was almost 40 years ago shit does go missing and get lost. They probably have many copies of the different footage that was broadcast, re-filmed in whatever format etc. Being such a huge bureaucracy only makes things easier to lose.

Parting comment about the moon landing - our former high school teacher (now the Principal) told the class that the moon landing occurred in the early 1980s. I corrected him and he did the old "Well maybe." Hmm, maybe Mr. W. knew something we did not - he was formerly in the military.


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