America is officially back in the space industry lead. SpaceX launched two American astronauts to the International Space Station this weekend from historic Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39, ending a 9-year drought for America’s ability to send humans into space. This is the Crew Demo-2 mission by SpaceX and NASA, using a new Falcon 9 rocket and the Dragon 2 capsule. The Dragon successfully docked at the International Space Station on Sunday morning.

Above is a zero-g tour of the Dragon capsule, now named Endeavor, by astronauts Bob Hurley and Doug Behnken.

Dragon 2 01

DM-2 Mission Patch

This is an interesting look at how modern rockets expend their fuel and jettison their stages. Saturn V. Space Shuttle. Falcon Heavy. SLS.

Better late than never!

Deer Tick – Mayonnaise

J.S. Ondara – Tales of America

Anders Osborne – Alone

Ian Noe – Between the Country

Of Monsters and Men – Fever Dream

Brittney Howard – Jamie

The Highwomen

Yola – Walk Through Fire

Khruangbin – Hasta El Cielo

Tool – Fear Inoculum

Steve Earle & The Dukes – GUY

Hiss Golden Messenger – Terms of Surrender

The DeToffol’s are sheltered at home in Minnesota and plan to stay isolated for the foreseeable future. We are very privileged in that we are currently healthy, are able to shelter in our wonderful home in a safe community, and that I am able to continue to work from home.

This detailed and well-sourced article makes the case that we need to hammer coronavirus with isolation and extensive testing to buy ourselves time. Each of us has a major role to play. We need to stay home.

Coronavirus and Covid-19 information sites:

Comic courtesy of XKCD

We got the Simmons SD600 electronic drum kit for Christmas and it has been a lot of fun. I’ve been watching a bunch of drumming videos and this isolated footage of Danny Carey playing on “Pneuma” is my current favorite. Danny is a true master, who obviously loves his art. And this is a great song.

This video gives a decent introduction into why you should secure your devices and digital accounts. Pay special attention to your personal email account. It is the most crucial account to secure as tightly as possible because it is the gateway to all your other accounts.

  • Buy products with security built-in. Make sure your software is updated regularly.
  • Use a password manager. I recommend Bitwarden, which is free and works across Windows, Mac, iPhone and Android.
  • Use Second Factor Authentication (2FA). Turn this on for all your important accounts, especially email and financial services. And don’t use SMS to receive the codes if you can help it.

It has been 50 years since the Apollo missions launched humans to the moon. In celebration, there are a multitude of events, documentaries and retrospectives and websites marking the anniversary. I’ll update this list as I find more.

The Lego NASA Apollo Saturn V 21309 kit is excellent! The set has amazing details and build quality. The boys and I had a great time building and learning about the most powerful rocket ever made.

 

How the Earth rides around the Sun, and how that impacts our clocks and calendars.

Uncle Tupelo played their last show on May 1, 1994, captured for posterity (and with a decent board recording!) in this video. This seminal band, the progenitor of alt-country, had a huge influence on my musical tastes.

Rolling Stone recently published this fantastic¬†oral history documenting the 25th anniversary of ‘Anodyne’, Uncle Tupelo’s final album.