Friday, April 15, 2011

White hair chronicles LXII: 50 years of human in space

This week marks the 50th anniversary of man in space. On April 12, 1961, Russia's Yuri Gagarin made a 108-minute orbital flight aboard the Vostok 1. Gagarin's short stature (5'2" or  1.57m), on top of his outstanding training and intellect, made him the prime candidate for the post, considering the space challenged (pun intended) cockpit of the spacecraft.

Today, commercial space tour flights are just around the corner. Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic accepts booking for a place in their future space flights. Tickets are at a hefty $200,000 (8.7 million piso) or about the price of two second hand luxury cars of Pnoy, or half of Mikey's purported share in the SFO house that he sold. Come to think of it, Mikey and wife can go buy tickets to space with their earnings from the sale.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Summer's here! Fire prevention reminders should stay.

After saying last month that summer will be delayed, Pag-asa finally declared that summer is here. The weather agency advised that summer has officially started. It further said that summer will be cooler this year, and boldly predicted that a wet Holy Week looms. How's that again? Is Pag-asa back to its hopeless ways?

The weather really seemed fickle in the first quarter. Not that we're complaining. The cold spell lasted a bit longer early this year. Then some parts of the country got flooded due to heavy rains. Then summer got late. Pagasa attributes all these to climate change.

But through it all, Pagasa sustained the credibility it got after a change in management early in Pnoy's term.

With summer delayed, I think the government should sustain or reiterate this April the fire prevention consciousness efforts traditionally made during March. The light material in many houses are tinder dry by now. I noticed that there are more fires this month than in March.

I hope the prediction of a wet cuaresma holds true. Until then, how about running those fire prevention reminders again?

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