Chapter 11 Bankruptcy on Internet “Business”, Pacific Webworks.
Following several knock-downs by disgruntled, ripped-off individuals and hefty wallops from Google, it appears that running legal is difficult for Utah based business Pacific Webworks (PWW) …. They’ve just filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Announcement here.
PWW, formerly a tarmac company, now has time to figure out what to do. If they stay legal I wish them well and hope they prosper. If not, there’s always karmic retribution. Reducing this makes us and the world, better.
…when mankind left the gravitational confines of our Earth.
A poor boy from the steppes, Yuri Gagarin, simultaneously became the first man in space and the first man to leave Earth and orbit it completely. (This is something that took NASA several steps before John Glenn finally emulated the feat).
While of humble background (like Jesus), his father was a carpenter (like Jesus) and his mother read voraciously (as Jesus knew the scriptures). Obviously, Gagarin wasn’t Jesus, but he did die in his mid-thirties which parallels Jesus’s early death.
I was alive when Gagarin stunned the world by being shot into space. I remember very few photos of the man or the event. The West was naturally very embarrassed by being overshadowed by a dictator-led communist state. Most scientists were just astonished. Most politicians and the mainstream media were extremely alarmist in public (and fully actioned in private) because the inter-continental aspect of chucking a nuclear weapon sized piece of machinery aloft at the height of the cold war was paramount in their minds.
What struck me then and since was the fact that Gagarin always seemed to have a happy cheeriness about him. When we now see his pre-flight pictures, his confidence is astounding, because remember, before the voyage, mankind had conflicting ideas about the very survivability for a man in the entirely hostile and unforgiving environment of space. Some said that a man would die within half and hour from radiation….
Of course, the Soviet scientists had tested these theories with mammals (dogs & ape) and knew that even though the animals died on their space-flights (and were destined to die, by design), they knew that a man could survive the flight and if a return to Earth could be made, he’d live to see another day. They’d also done a small step-by-step approach to their rocketry so even though the rocket was made primarily as an ICBM, its designer was actually more interested in getting men into space and had designed accordingly. (see this article on Sergei Korolev and his space-flight dreams).
This, Gagarin duly did, by re-entering the atmosphere in his capsule and then, when the speed had sufficiently reduced, by opening his capsule and leaping from it to then descend on a conventional parachute.
Amazingly, this all worked, perfectly.
International Space Station
We now see the benefits of this early Soviet work because for the next few years, transport of people to the International Space Station (ISS) will be done by the Russian Soyuz spacecraft alone now that the NASA Space Shuttle is grounded for good.
The Soyuz is a direct descendant of Gagarin’s early capsule and the subsequent work and deaths of Soviet cosmonauts. Later joint work with NASA and their own accidents and astronaut deaths have made the Soyuz platform very reliable, in space flight terms. See this Wikipedia article for a full introduction to space-flight of all kinds.
Google, characteristically, have celebrated Gagarin’s achievement (and that it was, make no mistake, he was a very, very, brave man), with a decorated main page which I’ve copied for posterity above.
Hooray For Gagarin.
So it was 50 years ago today. An event that changed the world and our perception of it and ourselves in the universe.
It’s only people some years older than myself who actually remember the previous world where people remained fixed to the planet and could only dream and wonder about the reality beyond. For myself and folks younger than me, we can only to imagine what that world was like because we are part of the world that Gagarin’s bravery opened up for us..
…if the minds of living beings are impure, their land is also impure, but if their minds are pure, so is their land. There are not two lands, pure or impure in themselves. The difference lies solely in the good or evil of our minds. – Nichiren Daishonin, from his writings, page 4. Written in 1255.
On being woken today by my clock radio, I heard that one of the two soldiers killed by the ‘Real’ IRA attack threw his unarmed body on top of the 19 year old Domino Pizza delivery boy, Anthony Watson, to shield him from the bullets. This was initially reported here in The Belfast Telegraph. Almost to no avail, though. The gunmen advanced towards them and shot them all as they lay prone on the ground.
We’ll soon determine which of the two young men it was, but I’m reminded of the words of the prophet Jesus, someone whose sayings have been an excuse for much of Irish and the World’s troubles.
“Friend” refers to a fellow human being, and the act is one of those continuing, astonishing acts by ordinary people that remind us that there is “good” as a concept, in humanity.
Following this act, another bunch of hoodlums called the ‘Continuity’ IRA have killed a policeman, as if to validate the justice of their cause and make a point of their own power. The timing is no co-incidence. The real reason is that were being left out of the show and shown to be ineffectual. Their twisted logic meant that they had to do the same.
But what is really heartening, is to see the large public response of disgust to the killings and worry about the consequences. With the obvious exception of the Omagh atrocity (also the rira), the people of Ireland as a whole have had nearly 15 years of peace and a buoyant growing economy. They don’t want to return to the bad old days of thuggery and protection rackets. Many children now don’t have an actual memory of those times, only the stories from others.
But the response is mainly verbal, from vox-pop interviews on the street and phone-ins, say. We need more than a few flowers.
What I’d like is a nice big symbolic gesture from these people to show that the few thuggish families behind all this stuff won’t be tolerated.
Can I suggest, that en-masse, thousands gather and clean up the crap graffiti slogans that litter the walls of Northern Ireland. Call it Direct action for freedom from fear! I’m thinking particularly of the blood-red one pictured left. The symbolic demonstration that ‘this is too much’ to the people nearby (who are the ones doing it, make no mistake) will demonstrate that the people won’t tolerate this stuff, and if they don’t stop, they’ll be outed. Leaving it to the council isn’t good enough if you really, really want peace.
The painted walls as tokenised history should be next to go, but the reality of this red crapis that it legitimises the evil ideas and actions of a few thuggish types. If you really want peace you should be prepared to assert your right to it. Like the young soldier who threw himself onto the pizza boy.
I thought we’d got rid of all the stupid flagellant stuff from the Middle Ages when people were primitive and bestial, trusting in a primordial god-figure to save themselves from the wrath of hell.
But no. So called civilised people are getting themselves crucified as a form of penance, but, being the modern world, it’s now a great tourist attraction, satisfying the basal instincts of the mob that gets bigger every year. It’s all here on this news link for today. No doubt the YouTube videos are being passed around the playgrounds as we speak, chipping away at people’s disgust threshold and increasing the population’s tolerance for all things dastardly and horrible with the world. It’s in the Philippines. Basingstoke next then?
The Catholic Church has come all out against it (as if!) and says it “frowns upon it“. This is the same bunch that gets seriously upset if anyone says that Jesus might’ve been gay or didn’t exist or Mary Magdalene was a hooker or anything.
I think it’s time they got their priorities sorted mate, don’t you? Christ’s commandment at the Last Supper was supposedly to “love one another”…
There’s something here that doesn’t quite add up. (sarcasm alert!)
Mind you. It could be worse. If it was a Muslim lot doing it and anyone commented on it then you’d get blown up or something, like in that Danish cartoon thing. There, a Danish dude drew a picture depicting the irony of someone hiding behind a peaceful religion going around bombing ordinary people. It’s in the news again today….Bin Laden is rabble-rousing the uneducated masses to bomb anyone who suggests that he’s a bomber….again…. You work it out…
I’ll see if I can find the picture again and put it out. It shows a truth I guess, but is designed to offend those whose offence thresholds are markedly skewed to mine.
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