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Milestones

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Barbaria1

Rebel Leader
Staff member

Marcius

Governor
Thirty-five years ago today, on 28 January 1986, 'a vast white, orange and red cloud billowed outwards from where Challenger had been, and the two boosters unexpectedly emerged from the conflagration, still firing wildly. The cheers of the spectators were quickly choked back amid the confusion, and silence soon fell as the reality of what the massive fireball above them meant hit home.' (Shayler, David J.; Burgess, Colin (2020). NASA's First Space Shuttle Astronaut selection: Redefining the Right Stuff, p. 356).
 

Praefectus Praetorio

Brother of the Quill
Thirty-five years ago today, on 28 January 1986, 'a vast white, orange and red cloud billowed outwards from where Challenger had been, and the two boosters unexpectedly emerged from the conflagration, still firing wildly. The cheers of the spectators were quickly choked back amid the confusion, and silence soon fell as the reality of what the massive fireball above them meant hit home.' (Shayler, David J.; Burgess, Colin (2020). NASA's First Space Shuttle Astronaut selection: Redefining the Right Stuff, p. 356).
I remember at work in the bank. We watched it live only to gaze in shock and despair at the deaths. President Reagan reached one of the high points of his term in his speech later that day:
 

poem21045

Tribune
I remember at work in the bank. We watched it live only to gaze in shock and despair at the deaths. President Reagan reached one of the high points of his term in his speech later that day:

I was teaching at the time. Since Christa McAuliffe, a teacher, was on board, we gathered several classes together to watch the launch in the library. It was devastating. One might think high school kids would not be as affected (that age tries to be blasé sometimes), but almost every one of them was crying. It took the rest of the day and much counseling to get through it.
The only worse time akin to that one was 9/11. Since I taught close to DC, we went on lockdown and tried to comfort the kids who were close to hysterical until their parents could come pick them up.
I miss teaching, but not those times.
 

Naraku

Draconarius
Thirty-five years ago today, on 28 January 1986, 'a vast white, orange and red cloud billowed outwards from where Challenger had been, and the two boosters unexpectedly emerged from the conflagration, still firing wildly. The cheers of the spectators were quickly choked back amid the confusion, and silence soon fell as the reality of what the massive fireball above them meant hit home.' (Shayler, David J.; Burgess, Colin (2020). NASA's First Space Shuttle Astronaut selection: Redefining the Right Stuff, p. 356).
I was working at an insurance company call center ( not the one I work at now). One of the reps stood up and said "The Shuttle just blew up!". Because he was an immigrant, we all assumed he missunderstood. "You mean it went up." someone said. He said that no, the women on the phone with him was watching TV and said that it had blown up. This was before the internet, so we couldn't log on to a news site from our desk, like we did at my current company on 9/11, so someone wheeled a TV in from a conference room and we spent most of the rest of the day watching the news reports. Selling car insurance didn't seem so important at that point.

Tampa is about 140 miles west of the Cape. We got to see lots of launches, from Mercury to Space X. My brother was driving to work at the time. He said he looked to the east and saw a strange cloud. Then he heard the announcement on the radio. I don't know exactly where this picture was taken, but it's pretty much what my brother saw.
challenger.jpg
 

Apostate

Administrator
Staff member
I was at one of a fairly useless series of training meetings at a Texas library when word came through. The department head running the session said something like "oh that’s sad but no reason to stop." One of my colleagues was from a NASA family, knew several people aboard Challenger, and was in tears for the rest of the meeting.

Never have forgiven that department head.
 

Gibbs505

SERVORUM DOMITOR
A little late but I just became aware of it, the Dunedin longitudinal study in New Zealand.



The Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Research Study (often referred to as the Dunedin Study) is a long-running cohort study of 1037 people born between 1 April 1972 and 31 March 1973 in Dunedin, New Zealand.
The original pool of study members was selected from children born at the Queen Mary Maternity Centre in Dunedin who were still living in the wider Otago region three years later. In early years the study was not well funded and the local community helped collect data.[1] The study members include 535 males and 503 females, 1013 singletons and 12 sets of twins. At the age 38 assessment, only one-third of members still resided in Dunedin, while most of the remainder lived elsewhere in New Zealand and Australia.[2] Study members were assessed at age three, and then at ages 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 18, 21, 26, 32 and, most recently, at age 38 (2010–2012). Future assessments are scheduled for ages 44 and 50. "Phase 45" will start in April 2017.[3] Since 2000, Professor Richie Poulton has been the study's director.[4]

The next assessment will be in 2022 and 96% of the original group is still being interviewed!
The study is so groundbreaking and the results so accurate that both the USA and the UK are now helping to fund the study.
 

Eulalia

Poet Laureate
Staff member
On this date the first volume A-Ant of the Oxford English Dictionary was published in 1884.
Indeed, what was titled 'A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles: fascicle 1' finally appeared, after a long and stressful year in which, after all the weighty figures in High Victorian Oxford muscled in with their opinions, wrangling as only academics can, poor James Murray was finally granted a salary so he could give up schoolmastering and work full-time on the Dictionary. It's good that you've posted this, @Gibbs505 - one of Murray's strongest supporters, a valued friend and adviser, was Henry Hucks Gibbs,1st baron Aldenham - from a wealthy banking family, he generously helped with funding, and in diplomacy and pulling strings in the webs of intrigue in Oxford to get the project launched.
 
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Gibbs505

SERVORUM DOMITOR
Indeed, what was titled 'A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles: fascicle 1' finally appeared, after a long and stressful year in which, after all the weighty figures in High Victorian Oxford muscled in with their opinions, wrangling as only academics can, and poor James Murray was finally granted a salary so he could give up schoolmastering and work full-time on the Dictionary. It's good that you've posted this, @Gibbs505 - one of Murray's strongest supporters, a valued friend and adviser, was Henry Hucks Gibbs,1st baron Aldenham - from a wealthy banking family, he generously helped with funding, and in diplomacy and pulling strings in the webs of intrigue in Oxford to get the project launched.
Thank you for that piece of history Eul!!
 

Loxuru

Graf von Kreuzigung
For the golf players here (e.g. @Praefectus Praetorio is one, I believe), February 5th 1971, today fifty years ago, was a memorable day. That day, someone played golf for the first time… on the Moon. It was astronaut Alan Shepard, who had smuggled a few golf balls with him, and made a few drives with a makeshift club. Holes enough on the cratered Lunar surface.

With Apollo 14, launched on January 31th 1971, NASA returned to the Moon, after the nearly disastrous flight of Apollo 13 in April 1970. The crew of Apollo 14 : Commander Alan Shepard, Lunar Module pilot Edgar Mitchell and Command Module Pilot Stu Roosa. From Apollo 13 (Lovell, Haise and Mattingly/Swigert) on, the crews were composed of one experienced astronaut, the Commander, and two rookies. This would continue to the end of the program, with space veterans Scott, Young and Cernan respectively commanding the next three flights.

But with Apollo 14, the ‘experience’ of the commander, Alan Shepard, was a bit flattered. Shepard was a veteran from the original Mercury Seven. He (and not John Glenn) had been America’s first astronaut, but his flight on May 5th 1961 was just a suborbital trajectory of only fifteen minutes. Shepard then missed the Gemini program, grounded by Menière disease. After surgery, he got his flight status back, but he had never made an orbital space flight. The crew of Apollo 14 is ‘rooted’ in the back-up crew of Apollo 10, which conducted tests of the Lunar Module over the Moon itself in May 1969. Yet, from the members of the Apollo 14 crew, only Mitchell was assigned to the back-up crew of Apollo 10 at the time. The others were Gordon Cooper, another Mercury Seven veteran and having flown with Mercury and Gemini, and Donn Eisele, previously on the Apollo 7 flight. However, in the course of time, Cooper was bumped because of lack of commitment, and Eisele for his part in the ‘Apollo 7 mutiny’ and because of his marital problems, affecting his commitment too. He was replaced by Roosa, and Cooper by Shepard.

Following the rotation system applied by NASA for the Apollo program, the back-up crew of Apollo 10 would have become the prime crew of Apollo 13. But the limited flight experience of Shepard took its toll. A few months before the scheduled launch date of Apollo 13, NASA decided to swap the crews of Apollo 13 and 14, to give Shepard more time. So, it would not be Shepard who would bring back the crippled Apollo 13 module, but Lovell.

Apollo 14 was a successful flight. Shepard became the only astronaut of the original Mercury Seven to walk on the Moon, and, being 47 years old at the time, also the oldest person who did so as yet.

None of the three crew members would return to space. Roosa died at an early age of 61,in 1994, Shepard passed away in the summer of 1998. With the death of Edgar Mitchell in 2016, Apollo 14 became the first Apollo flight of which all members had deceased.

And the Fra Mauro highland is still the most remote golf course in the universe. No one want went back there as yet.
 

Marcius

Governor
One hundred years ago today, on 8 February 1921, Lana Turner, the blonde goddess of Hollywood's Golden Age, a true femme fatale on- and off-screen, was born in the most unglamorous northern Idaho.

As Hollywood stars used to back in the day.

Fifty years later, the guerrilla era of Iran began on 8 February 1971, when a group of left-wing fighters assaulted a gendarmerie post in Siyahkal. The shahdom muddled through this brutal struggle with shrill propaganda, deadly tortures and firing squads, at a great loss of international cachet and goodwill.

Only to fall before this present darkness.
 

Migoz2

Senator
One hundred years ago today, on 8 February 1921, Lana Turner, the blonde goddess of Hollywood's Golden Age, a true femme fatale on- and off-screen, was born
[...]
Fifty years later, the guerrilla era of Iran began on 8 February 1971, when a group of left-wing fighters assaulted a gendarmerie post in Siyahkal. The shahdom muddled through this brutal struggle with shrill propaganda, deadly tortures and firing squads, at a great loss of international cachet and goodwill.

Only to fall before this present darkness.
Coincidence, or...........?
 

Loxuru

Graf von Kreuzigung
The anniversary of a sad milestone today.

Sixty years ago, on February 15th 1961, Sabena Flight 548, en route from New York to Brussels, crashed near its destination.

All 72 crew and passengers perished. One man on the ground was killed too, another one was wounded. Among the passengers were the 34 members, coaches, referees, judges,…, of the US figure skating team. They were on their way to the world championship in Prague (which was subsequently cancelled). Among them were a lot of upcoming talents, like 16 year old Laurence Owen and 17 years old Steffi Westerfeld.

The airplane was a Boeing 707, a jet aircraft model that had come recently into service. Sabena 548 was the first crash of the model in passenger service. The cause has never been exactly determined. Before landing, the plane had started flying erratically, making circles near the airport, with an increasing bank. Finally, it dropped, nose down, into a field, where it burst into flames. There has been no more contact with the crew after the crisis had begun.

Probably, there had been a mechanical failure in one of the flight control surface mechanisms, most likely in the tail. The horizontal stabilizers were found in a ‘nose up’ position, unusual for the landing configuration, but it could not be determined if this had been due to a mechanical failure, or due to counteracting inputs by the crew, attempting to solve another problem (for which no clues have been found).

The loss of the entire figure skating team was not only a severe human tragedy, it took the US years to rebuild a team that could compete at the highest world level. The crash of Sabena flight 584 is still the worst on Belgian territory, and the worst of a US sports team.
 

old slave

FELIS RESPICIENS
Didn't want to interfere with @Loxuru sad post above, but February 15th, this time 1971, 50 years ago, Britain formally introduced decimal currency.

I hope plenty of the Old Brits (you know who you are) can still work out the change from a pound for four articles costing ten bob, half a crown, a florin and a tanner.
 
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