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The Sciences Sing a Lullabye
By Albert Goldbarth


Physics says: go to sleep. Of course
you're tired. Every atom in you
has been dancing the shimmy in silver shoes
nonstop from mitosis to now.
Quit tapping your feet. They'll dance
inside themselves without you. Go to sleep.

Geology says: it will be all right. Slow inch
by inch America is giving itself
to the ocean. Go to sleep. Let darkness
lap at your sides. Give darkness an inch.
You aren't alone. All of the continents used to be
one body. You aren't alone. Go to sleep.

Astronomy says: the sun will rise tomorrow,
Zoology says: on rainbow-fish and lithe gazelle,
Psychology says: but first it has to be night, so
Biology says: the body-clocks are stopped all over town
and
History says: here are the blankets, layer on layer, down and down.

--------

Sort of a weird quiet day. Younger son had middle school orientation in the morning, so while he was gone, older son and I started watching Cinderella Man which believe it or not is on the list of recommended US historical movies for future ninth graders -- they are supposed to pick one to watch over the summer and write a short report on it. He's seen that and Seabiscuit but they were the two that interested him the most (Some Like It Hot was on the list, but I could not convince him, hee!). Younger son came home partway through the movie, watched a bit, went downstairs to play a game saying he wasn't hungry for lunch, then came upstairs a bit later complaining of a terrible headache which I assumed at first was probably from being hungry, but now I think it has more to do with the fact that he got his retainer tightened yesterday -- he has been complaining about how his mouth feels, too. Do I give it another day before calling the orthodontist to ask whether this much pain is normal?

Since he was feeling so rotten, he took an afternoon nap and I stayed in, writing up an absolutely endless Star Trek convention report of which this is only part 47 (tomorrow I have to do parts 48-93 or so), plus I watched a Next Gen episode to review, the one where Worf first meets other Klingons which is actually really good by first season standards. Younger son just wanted to lie around on the couch when he was awake, and we ended up putting on Space Cowboys, a movie which has held up really well; when I first saw it I thought it was too long or maybe too unfocused, a geezers-in-space dramedy that abruptly turns into a post-Cold War thriller, but this time it was entirely enjoyable and the kids liked it too. I never even made it to CVS, let alone to buy school supplies, and Friday I will not have a van, as it needs to go in for servicing!


At NASA's Wallops Flight Center a couple of miles from Chincoteague, a modified Beechcraft C-23 Sundowner flown throughout the 1980s to obtain data on aircraft stalls and spins.


A lunar sample from Apollo 17, mare basalt that is approximately 3,750,000,000 years old -- older than nearly all the rock on Earth.


Part of an exhibit on the current space shuttle mission and the International Space Station. Apparently this mission was intended to be flown by Discovery, not Endeavour, at one point after the Columbia tragedy.


Here is a display on Wallops, where more than 15,000 rockets have been launched since 1945.


And here is a souvenir of one of those earlier launch tests.


Adam and Daniel pose with some of the smaller rockets...


...and test one of the simulations.
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June 2017

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