Reflections on Countdown to the Moon a year ago- 1799 – Ejaz

Ejaz is a dear friend of mine. I knew him since the early 2000s at HP. He has invited us over for a number of his celebrations. And I also attended his mosque on the nights that his family was hosting the Ramadan dinner. When I was living in New Hampshire but trying to work here in Houston and needed a place to stay, he let me stay with him.

Ejaz is the type of person that you want to know. That I would like to strive to be. He is infinitely talented, patience, and generous. I do not think there is anything that Ejaz could not do.

It was late on a Monday and I hadn’t found anyone to interview. What to do? I called Ejaz, explained to him my project and he was more than willing to be interviewed. If I remember right, it was late at night. Probably after 9.

The biggest question that Ejaz had was why did we stop and why are we going back. NASA needs to do a better job at relating its activities to everyday people. I think the North Houston Space Society can help with this as well.

GadgetNate’s Week in Review and Preview February 14, 02021

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Reflections on Countdown to the Moon a year ago – 1800 – Rama

Another day. Need another person to interview. It was late in the day. A Sunday. Who to interview?

I had interviewed Mr. Rama Reddy’s grandson Karthik who had gone to school with my oldest son Stephen. They lived a couple of doors down. So we thought of going over to interview them.

Rama was willing.

What do you think about going to the moon?

“I’m not political.” “How will going to the moon increase our prosperity?” “Our technology is growing faster than our culture” these were the parts that stood out in my mind. And those are good questions that we need to answer.

Reflections on Countdown to the Moon a year ago – 1801 – Ouze

Sonia and I had gone to tennis on Saturday morning. I believe Sharon had met us there as well. We had been going for several saturdays. Ouze was a new student. There are a few new people each week.

He agreed to do the interview and it was great to get his perspective. He suggests that more people will become aware of the return to the moon as we get closer. No doubt he is correct.

I’m looking forward to the days when I can interview a fellow tennis student. I hope that this is in the next 6 months.

Reflections on Countdown to the Moon a year ago – 1802 Christa

Christa is my sister. She was coming over to see James, her son that was visiting us. Complicated story. It was late in the day. I had not found someone to interview. (What a reoccurring story)

Christa agreed. I appreciated her help. She was so happy and cheerful during the interview. She had several good points. About us returning to the moon. And I know that I probably try everyone around me with the constant space talk 24×7. Sometimes I feel like Don Quixote. His family was just as tired by the talk of chivalry.

But we will all persevere.

GadgetNate’s Week in Review and Preview February 7, 02021

The Long Now Foundation – Fostering Long-Term Thinking

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Science & Engineering Fair of Houston (

Reflections on Countdown to the Moon a year ago – 1803 – Rebekah, Destiny, Devonte

I had neglected to send in the car registration before the end of the month. I had to go to the county clerk’s office to do it in person. These three were outside getting people to sign petitions. And I have found that the easiest group to approach is the group that is trying to approach you.

The problem is that the expectation of trade. Give me what you want for want I want. This has lead me to buying fruit for a person on the street in Minneapolis, giving to a man on the street in Houston, buying girl scout cookies, and of course, signing the petition.

They were a cool group to run into. And they made for a very fun interview.

Glad to have met them and hope they are doing well.

Reflecting on Countdown to the Moon Interview from last year – 1804 – Ritu

It was late at night. I did not have anyone to interview and I thought of Ritu. I called up. Dropped over and did the interview.

The airline passenger statistic is an interesting one. Can you believe that in less than 100 years we went from 0 airline passengers to over a billion per year? And that rate has quadruple since then (well before covid).

When the technology is there, the world can change quickly. Technology will ultimate change more than any politics.

Some thoughts on Politics

I’ve been trying to put my finger on why I find many of the political discussions so upsetting. And I think I might have a thought that will get me to an answer. (This is just a half baked thought… Really just the beginning of a thought.)

We are valuing our politics over our relationships with people. We are willing to discard anyone that does not agree with what we think, attack them, dismiss them, demonify them, ignore them, make jokes about them or worse. We have split up into warring tribes who have no higher aim than to score cheap points off of other tribes. People get expelled from their tribe for any thought of trying to bridge the gaps. No one is looking for common cause and common purpose. It is extremism all the time from all quarters.
If anything is getting in the way of us having respectful, positive relationships with our fellow human, I think it is worthwhile asking ourselves if it is really worth it. Especially if those things divide families and neighbors and citizens.

We should be valuing people over politics.

And it is most disturbing to see this from people who identify as Christian. While I didn’t attend every Sunday school as a child. And I have missed many Sundays since. I do remember some of my most cherished passages from the Bible, the ones that spoke truth to me and still rattle around my brain. And I wonder if all the people who profess to be Christians have actually read and taken to heart the same quotes from Jesus that I treasure?

(Mark 5: 21-24): “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell. Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.”

(Mark 5:43-48): “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
But was is love? St. Paul I think gives a convincing description in 1 Corinthians 13:

“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

Does our political discourse reflect the love we have for our fellow human? Is our politics more sacred to us than our faith? Is the next election (or probably more to the point) the last election more on our minds than eternity?

What should we do with this politics of ours? Surely the sabbath was more sacred to the people at the time than our politics are to us?! And what did Jesus say about about the sabbath?

(Mark 2: 23-27) One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain. The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?” He answered, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need? In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.” Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”

Our politics were made for us. If it is not serving us, maybe, just maybe the politics need to go.

Be blessed my brothers and sisters.

Reflections on Countdown to the Moon – 1805 – Hyunmee

It was a Tuesday. Yoga day in the library. Hyunmee was one of the other students. She had heard that we were going to the moon, because a Korean-American astronaut had recently graduated from the astronaut program. She was a geologist and thought there might be some value to sending a geologist to the moon. But also pointed out that field geology takes time. And that we have so far not spent that much time on the moon.

One aspect of this interview is the need for everyone to be able to relate to people that are astronauts. They need astronauts that look and sound like them. People that they can go and say “That could be me!” And it could be!