Tag: Group Writing

The Response to the Launch of Sputnik 1

 

Monday was the 65th anniversary of the launch of the first satellite, Sputnik 1.

It has been called the “shock of the century.” This shock grew over the next few days and was a major crisis for the Eisenhower Administration. For the people working on the Minitrack tracking system of Project Vanguard, there was the problem that it was set up to track satellite signals at the International Geophysical Year approved frequency of 108 MHz. Sputnik sent out signals at 20 and 40 MHz. Thus, the Mintrack system needed to be modified ASAP. Marty Votaw worked for my father on this. He recalled in 2008:

The Vanguard program was run on paid overtime from the beginning of the program. On Wednesday [October 2nd, 1957] at work, a memo came out that said there will be no paid overtime after Friday. And I thought “Phew!” we are going to get some time off.  And Friday came, I went home from work tired, and, we had company that night, I sat down to dinner and the phone rang.  And Roger [Easton] says, “They launched Sputnik.” And I said, “Good, now we know what can be done.” He said, “You don’t understand; we’ve got to track it.”  And I said, “Can I eat supper first?”  He said, “Well, yeah, but come back right afterwards.”

Member Post

 

This October’s theme is “Exploration and Discovery.” This month includes a day celebrating a great Italian explorer and the discovery of the New World, or not. Pick a day and write a short or long post on exploration, explorers, or discovery, large or small. Go with art, science, society or self. Ricochet members, founding or […]

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Justice Thomas dealt a terrible blow to the pro-life movement with his concurring opinion in Dobbs. He had clearly been cautioned by the other members of the majority opinion, in which he joined, yet he recklessly rode his constitutional doctrine hobby horse to the aid of the abortion death cult. The opinion of the Court […]

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Quote of the Day: Taking Aimless

 

“Sometimes being aimless helps you discover where to aim.” — Russ Roberts

All the talk these days about frivolous college studies has me remembering some of my endeavors at the University of California, Santa Barbara, 1977-1981, that would make me question the academic and career seriousness of a kid doing so today.

Neighborhood Constitutional

 

Every day, my husband and I go for a walk around our neighborhood. We’ve been walking arm and arm since I fell and sprained my ankle a couple of years ago. I imagine the people we pass think of us as a nice old couple taking their daily constitutional.

But maybe they overhear us talking about what he’s watched on Fox or what I’ve read on Ricochet and narrow their eyes and think, ENEMIES OF THE STATE!

Member Post

 

We would love for you to join in our long-standing monthly theme and Quote of the Day projects this September. The theme is “Constitutional.” Take the meaning as you will, but stroll on over and pick a day to post. There has been a great deal of good writing over the years, inspired by monthly […]

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After a quick start of volunteers for this month’s group writing theme, we have hit a lull. So, I offer a short playlist playing off the theme “constitutional,” hoping to get fingers tapping on keyboards as a song gets your toes tapping. “Constitutional” mostly refers to fundational law, yet there is another meaning that has […]

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Raid Rant: Short, Sweet or Sour — Maybe Spicy

 

Bark Scorpion, Alan Rockefeller, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

I could go on at some length, but of course I have. So, to fill an empty space and take a writing stub off my draft spindle, I offer the short version, each sentence a summary of paragraphs, indeed of multiple articles and videos that may come to your mind. Hereafter a raid rant: short sour, sweet or sour — maybe spicy.

Trump owns this. His long silence on the J6 political prisoners led to the American Stasi’s raid on Mar-a-Lago, and to his almost certain fraudulent indictment, show trial, and false conviction by a jury of his haters. He shoulda known. The McConnell and McCarthy congressional cabals also own this, along with the weaponized IRS poised to crush the coalition of working-class citizens Trump first led, as surely as the IRS crushed the Tea Party, to the benefit of the Congressional GOPe. Sorry to say, but your favorite conservative senators and representatives have been no more real opposition than the Washington Generals. They will do no more in the next two years than their team did to actually stop Obama. All these fools or knaves are endangering our constitutional republic as surely and imminently as the feckless Kerensky government led to the Bolsheviks’ victory and 70 years of Soviet socialist tyranny. They all shoulda known. Finally, we have been in similar peril before: Alien and Sedition Acts, anyone? We are not foredoomed to darkness.

Member Post

 

This September’s theme is “Constitutional.” This month includes a day celebrating the ratification of the original United States Constitution. “Constitutional” is both an adjective and a noun, with three meanings, each or all of which you might play off in composing a post of any length. You might rant, reflect or recollect. Consider the various […]

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Member Post

 

I’m new to Battlebots, the competition show of killer robots destroying each other for fame and glory.  Apparently this has been going on for decades, but I only became aware of it sometime during the last year when I was over a friend’s and they had multiple taped episodes playing in the background.  It was, […]

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The Fine Art of Snacking

 

I love snacking. Love. It. Of course, I adore eating in all its forms, but there is something special about snacking. Watching a movie, reading, playing with my phone, working on the computer, or chatting with family and friends: all of these delightful activities are made even more sublime with the addition of snacks.

So herewith, my nominations for the best snacks in each of the theme’s categories (plus one: savory). It’s important to note that a snack is different from a meal course: that is, my favorite dessert (chocolate chip cookies with milk or mint chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches) will be different from my favorite sweet snack.

Sweet
Post Honey Ohs cereal, dry, straight out of the box. This snack can’t be beat for crunchiness, sweetness, and sheer shove-it-in-your-face-like-there’s-no-tomorrow snackability. I’m (not really) ashamed to admit that one box contains approximately one serving. Best consumed while playing with your phone. Suggested beverage: fizzy water.

Member Post

 

I mostly consume books in audiobook form these days—combination of being able to listen to audio sometimes while working and having tired eyes when my work’s done. My Audible wish list and library are full of weighty books on important topics that yeah, absolutely, I’m going to get to, for sure, but … the idea […]

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Member Post

 

As is my wont, here following is a brief playlist to set the mood for the monthly theme. As it is a very abbreviated, belated, theme, you get a short playlist with short, sweet, sour, or spicy songs. You want short songs? The Dead Kennedys, a punk band, have a 29 second “Short Song.” The […]

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Member Post

 

This August’s theme is “Short and Sweet or Sour, Maybe Spicy.” Yes, it is late in the month, so let’s keep this short and sweet (or sour). In the final third of the month, the third period if you are a hockey fan, drop a short post on the topic of your choice. Make it […]

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Sounds of Liberty: Bicentennial Memories

 

In the mid-1970s, when it was still acceptable for public school students to love their country, I was in a small singing group called Sounds of Liberty formed by my high-school choir director. It was, of course, organized for the occasion of the nation’s bicentennial. My audition to be included in the troupe featured not only singing but flute-playing and tap-dancing. All talents were on call. We were putting on a show.

As I recall, we performed locally and on school-break tours for a year and a half or so, ending on 7/4/1976. We had three costume changes for the three segments: one on religious music (I sang a solo of “Ave Maria”), one on regional songs (I did a tap dance to “The Sidewalks of New York”), and one on patriotic tunes (or so I think it must have been; can’t remember what I played the flute to).

Member Post

 

Hereafter a few tunes to tickle your creative senses, hopefully prompting you to sign up to offer a short or long post on this month’s theme: “Liberty or Freedom.” Trust me, you can play off one or both of those words however loosely you like. That is part of the fun of this long-running project. […]

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Member Post

 

“Abortion isn’t a “reproductive right” – it’s a parent choosing to kill their child.”- Lila Rose, Founder of Live Action. “Reproductive rights” is a phrase invoked just as mendaciously as habitually by the anti-life left in the U.S. and elsewhere. But taken prima facie, the term should mean something good, i.e. “the right to reproduce.” […]

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Boxing Clever

 

Free to Good Home. That’s what the sign read, in a curious, somewhat loopy antique scrawl.

A pair of eyes looked up appealingly. That the eyes happened to belong to an unknown creature in a dark box was neither here nor there.

Member Post

 

This July’s theme is “Liberty or Freedom.” You might post about liberty, freedom, or both, however loosely construed. You might talk about statues, ships, or something else. I was surprised to find we had not explored either as a theme. Ricochet members, founding or first time subscribers, AND especially the reticent or keyboard shy, are […]

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