July 21st, 2009


Forty years since we landed on the moon....

I remember being stuck to our old "Murphy" valve radio, listening with all my being, as the words from the first man on the moon came through...with an important word deleted.


Neil Armstrong

wanted to say, apparently, was,

"That's one small step for *a* man, a giant leap for mankind."

The "man" would have referred to one particular man, the "mankind" would have meant the entire human race.

But a technical glitch swallowed up that "a"...and without it, both "man" and "mankind" become generic terms.

Well, anyway, it was certainly an epoch-making event, and when I read that there was going to be a

simulast from many science centres with NASA

I decided to go to the St Louis Science Center.

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Aldrin has recently written

"Magnificient Desolation", a book about the epic journey

(That's a review of the book, not terribly flattering, I'm afraid!) Buzz Aldrin seems to have been a victim of depression and alchoholism, and divorced twice....well, that doesn't take away from the feat!

But what saddened me was two things. One, why is Buzz Aldrin the only one of the Apollo 11 astronauts in the limelight? Why do we never hear from Armstrong or Michael Collins?

And why are the hundreds of scientists and technicians, who worked tirelessly and around the clock to put men on the Moon, never remembered?

In all, the "simulcast" was a bit of a letdown, but when the compere in Washington said, "The next question comes from the St Louis Science Center", I cheered as hard as anyone else in the audience!

A Leaf Is A Calendar, But Sometimes....

I have always found it interesting that in India, leaves are red and lack chlorphyll when they are young and new; whereas in the US, it is the dying leaves that turn glorious colours. But whichever way it is, leaves act as calendars...if you see a picture of your American friend, with multi-coloured leaf-filled trees in the background, you know it is the fall season there.

But today, one of the leaves on DnA's maple tree seems to have got totally confused...Spring is over, Summer is in full swing, Fall is far away as yet, and winter, when there will be no leaves on most trees, is further away still.... but look at this leaf!

200709 coloured leaf home

Do you know someone who can't make up her mind who or what she is? This leaf is like that...it lay there on the pathway, as if to say, "Well, I'm off the tree, but didn't I make a splash of colour, enough to get you to notice me and take my photograph?"