Read With The Gringa “Two Narrow Escapes”, Chapt 8’s Conclusion

We close another chapter from “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” of “The Chronicles of Narnia” by C.S. Lewis. Whether you call it Goldwater Island or Deathwater Island, either way the crew was lucky to escape with their lives.

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You Lost What?!!


Tell me it ain’t so, NASA. Tell me that you didn’t really lose the original tapes of the Moon landing. I mean, what were you thinking? The one time in ALL of human history that a human being sets foot on a patch of ground that IS NOT Earth and you don’t have the best proof that it really happened in some sort of Fort Knox type security vault? Really? You lost them?

The gringa is torn between being hopping mad and curiously perplexed. Since I recently discovered just how bad being mad is, I will try to cultivate stronger feelings of perplexity.  But NASA didn’t just “lose” the tapes. No, they ERASED THEM! They recorded over the original footage. Anything we see today is a “restored version of the original”. In other words, a copy, a cheap imitation, something that ain’t quite true.

Again, the gringa has to ask NASA, “Who in their right mind ERASES and TAPES OVER the original footage of the most historical moment of mankind’s modern history? Who, NASA? Who?” I mean, the gringa hasn’t even taped over my oldest son’s ballet recital when he was 3-years-old and thought dressing up in a pink sequin outfit with bunny ears and a cottontail and performing on stage was the coolest thing ever. I still have that tape. I don’t even own a VCR anymore but I STILL HAVE THE TAPE! Are you kidding me NASA?

You know what this does for the gringa? It calls into question all the validity of the Moon landing altogether. The gringa clings tenaciously to the hope that the Moon landing was not staged. The gringa wants to believe in the noble cause and purpose of America’s space agency. The gringa does not want to believe that her government was willing to stage a bit of Cold War propaganda with NASA when it was a fledgling organization. But stuff just keeps coming up that makes the gringa continue to scratch her head and think that Moon landing conspiracy theorists may have gotten this sordid tale right.

Why in the world would the original footage ever be considered unimportant enough to tape over? Unless it was footage of a staged event that modern videography experts can now pick apart detail by detail with sophisticated technology and techniques to expose it as a fraud. The gringa is trying so hard not to feel anger.

So, basically, way back when, on July 16, 1969 President Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ) and his wife, our First Lady affectionately called Lady Bird, watched Apollo 11 launch from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, hurtling Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins toward the Moon, maybe. Four days later what we have always believed the world has seen, a grainy video of Neil Armstrong “Moon walking” and saying those famous words, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” was the next big event after the launch. And the next big event after that? In 2006, nearly 40 years later, NASA fesses up that the original video cannot be located.

After an investigation, led by Rich Nafzger, NASA discovered that the original footage had been part of a batch of videos that had been magnetically erased and re-used. My, how convenient. Their excuse was that the original video had only been intended for live broadcast, never for re-airing. Why? All throughout television history live broadcasts have been re-aired. And wouldn’t scientists want to preserve the true video feed of the one and only FIRST time a human has walked around on another surface other than Earth? I mean, apart from historical value, isn’t there other scientific, safety and training value to such video?

So now what we see are copies originally furnished by CBS News that were restored by Lowry Digital. The new versions have cleaned up the images to be more clear. So what of the footage of following Moon landings, five more that occurred between 1969-1972? Does NASA have original video footage of astronauts gallivanting on the surface of the moon for those? And who was this Lowry Digital? What kind of reputation did this Lowry production company have?

Here are all the Moon missions when an astronaut walked on the Moon’s surface:

Apollo 11 – Neil Armstrong & Buzz Aldrin walk on the Moon:

Apollo 12 – Pete Conrad & Alan Bean walked on the Moon.

Apollo 14 – Alan Shepard and Edgar Mitchell walked on the Moon.

Apollo 15 – David Scott & James Irwin walked on the Moon.

Apollo 16 – John Young & Charles Duke walked on the Moon.

Apollo 17 – Eugene (Gene ) Cernan & Harrison (Jack) Schmitt walked on the Moon.

(Apollo 13 – Uncompleted mission with a harrowing crisis and narrow escape and recovery)

Lowry Digital has restored all sorts of movies like Bambi, The Robe and Star Wars. Considering the quality of science fiction productions during 2009 when the original Moon landing tapes were restored, sure, it’s possible to have faked the production. But then there’s the reality that the original footage of five other Moon walking missions are in existence. So, the gringa believes that where conspiracy theorists are concerned, the status of the first Moon landing’s original footage does, indeed, make for good fodder for the conspiracy gristmill. However, when you weigh it against the other videos NASA has that proves that astronauts actually did land and walk around on the Moon throughout the following decade, the balance tips in favor of NASA credibility.

Whew. That was close. The gringa is sure glad she followed that little trail to a happy conclusion!

Sources:  NASA



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Read With The Gringa “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader”, Chapt 8, Part 1

We begin “Two Narrow Escapes”, another chapter from book 5 of “The Chronicles of Narnia” by C S Lewis. The crew sets sail from Dragon Island only to discover another monster that tries to destroy them!

Let’s read all the “Chronicles of Narnia” together!

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Thanks & Shares

Dear readers, the gringa would like to share the news that my dear reader, Xena, of the blog “We Hold These Truths To Be Self Evident” has nominated the gringa for a peer award known as the Versatile Blogger Award. The gringa is very honored by this touching acknowledgement of my blogging efforts. Thank you so much, Xena, you have no idea what this means to me and the incredible timeliness of your generosity.

As a peer award it is designed to inspire reciprocal support among bloggers. Sometimes writing for the sheer joy of writing or to promote a worthy cause is a labor of love that goes financially uncompensated. However, the gringa feels that the compensation of recognition to be of greater value and significance. I am incredibly grateful. Such a thing couldn’t have come at a more critical moment in my life as a blogger.

The gringa’s dear caveman has been recovering from surgery. It will be some time before he can go back to work and even then it will be light duty only. This has meant the gringa has had to devote more time to earning dollars with words. In moments of weakness the demands on my time have made me consider the possibility of skipping a post from time to time. I would stiffen my spine and stay the course. Now I know I made the right decision.

When the gringa checked her notifications and saw the message from Xena, the caveman and I were at a family function after a particularly difficult 2-3 days during his recovery. We were both terribly drained. The gringa burst into tears, too exhausted to care about composure, when I read the message. Glasses of wine and beer were raised all round when everyone realized they were tears of joy!

The conditions of the award require that I share some personal things about myself as well as nominate 15 other bloggers. So, although the gringa’s dear readers know plenty of personal stuff about me because I am quite the blabber mouth, here are 7 more gems:

  1. While camping with my grandparents when I was 5 years old, I caught my face on fire  with a flaming marshmallow, an omen of the mishaps and mayhem which would be my personal trademark in life.
  2. 5 years later I broke my arm, my nose and my chin (yes, my chin) when I escaped solitary confinement at my grandparent’s house one summer by stealing a bike and going off on adventures, not knowing the bike had no brakes and getting back home to grandma’s house was all downhill.
  3. I had a boulder the size of an old Selectric II typewriter kicked off a cliff that landed on my head & knocked me unconscious when I was rock-climbing with friends. Luckily I had adhered to other safety measures & was lowered to safety by my trusty harness (too bad about the helmet I opted out of because of my ponytail). I was lucky to survive the resulting concussion as I threw up on and off for the 3 days it took to hike back to civilization.
  4. I broke my breastbone playing paintball when I fell in a 3-4’ deep ditch hidden by tall prairie grasses, landing with the butt of my gun’s air bottle rammed into my chest. I lay there for about an hour thinking I was going to die until my teammates finally found me.
  5. I got a black eye flipping the mattress when it bounced up and the corner caught me in the eye. No one at work believed me and thought the caveman had socked me one.
  6. I decided to give my oldest son a lesson in responsibility by teaching him to change the oil in his car despite the fact that I had never done it (we were trusting YouTube). I had a claustrophobic freak-out under his truck and he had to drag me out by my heels. Who knew staring at the undercarriage of a vehicle could be so scary? Mechanics are freakin’ superheroes!
  7. Twice I traveled outside the country on a whim when invited by people I hardly knew. Contrary to popular opinion formed by popular crime shows about such a thing, the gringa didn’t end up murdered. Instead I had life-changing experiences that changed me for the better through the amazing people I met and the incredible things I learned. So, despite traditional wisdom, I have always talked to strangers and sometimes travel to strange places with them. And if there are such things as Guardian Angels, mine should get an award as well for all the demands my shenanigans must create.

The nominees I have selected have all been dear to the gringa in one way or another. Although all the gringa’s dear readers are loyal and supportive, there are those who offer curious comments that amuse me or pique my interest. Some I admire for their own unique talents. Then there are those whose words tend to describe something I feel or have experienced, creating a strong personal connection. I especially find joy in bloggers who have a passion for a cause that touches my heart. The gringa hates to leave anyone out and wishes it were allowed to nominate every blogger I appreciate. So, I am so sorry if your name is not on the list. Please don’t feel bad. You are still appreciated. Anyone who gives the gringa the time of day by perusing my words is a person I am truly grateful for.

  1. Writings From My 14th Country
  2. Barsetshire Diaries
  3. Flying Solo: Confessions of a self-published author
  4. Opher’s World
  5. Random Life Thoughts
  6. Susan on the Soapbox
  7. Philatelie et Collections du Jacquemard
  8. Leonard Durso
  9. First Night Design
  10. Croatia, the War, and the Future
  11. Believe in Yourself
  12. Paul Militaru
  13. Send Sunshine
  14. Read Between the Minds
  15. I didn’t have my glasses on

Click on the link for more info on the VBA


Read With The Gringa “Fiver Beyond”, Chapt 26

We read another chapter of “Watership Down” by Richard Adams. Will Fiver find Hazel alive?

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Whip It & Whip It Good

Japan has created a solution for space litterbugs: an electric whip. No, we are not going to be subjecting engineers, scientists and astronauts to high voltage public floggings. Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is going to become the garbage collectors of outer space with their newly deployed trash collecting tether system. Sounds cool, huh? Yeah, the gringa thought her dear readers would get a kick out of this technology.

Guess how long this baby is? Six football fields… 600 yards and about the size of a clothesline. Incredible. But how does it work? Well, we’ll find out once it gets unpacked from the goodie package onboard the Kounotori 6 spacecraft that was scheduled to deliver its payload December 14 to the International Space Station (ISS).  Called EDT (for electrodynamic tether), its mission is to lasso about 20,000 pieces of space debris that are classified as hazardous on Earth-bound tracking systems.

What makes space junk dangerous? Well, in and of itself a single piece may eventually fall to Earth. Depending on its size and the materials it is made of, it could cause serious damage and possibly even fatal injuries once it impacts Earth. In addition, multiple pieces of debris could collide. That might cause space garbage to change trajectory and possibly collide with the ISS. Such an event could kill our astronaut crews. So, JAXA’s space garbage collection mission is a noble cause. But why the electricity?

The electricity is not for zapping space junk into submission. It is how the tether is directed and guided. Astronauts will use the tether to guide garbage into a trajectory that will destroy it before impact by traveling through the fieriest (is that a word?) path possible.

What kind of stuff is out there that we should be worried about? Well, there is space junk the size of a school bus. Something that big could become very problematic. Coolest of all is that the whip has cameras mounted so we will eventually get to see it in action. But you can see it get launched on its way to the ISS in the video below:

The next video below was posted on JAXA’s YouTube channel in anticipation of the live use of the EDT. At the time that the gringa penned this post there was no video available. However, by the time the scheduled post is on the blog, hopefully you will get to see some live feed of astronauts whipping outer space clean!

Sources:  JAXA

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Read With The Gringa “The Raid”, Chapt 25’s Conclusion

We finish one more chapter from “Watership Down” by Richard Adams. Will Fiver’s ominous vision come true?

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