the People’s Space Program

It has been a while since I’ve talked about space programs, especially those non-American ones. Some of you may recall that I’m a huge fan of the space programs belonging to the European Union, India, Japan, Brazil, and of course – China. This because NASA has proven over the last decades that they’re basically the bitches of the military industrial complex and not interested in exploration and science. (not including the science of killing or spying)

So of course I must express excitement at the fact that yesterday the second Chinese space mission ever was launched. Two Chinese “taikonauts” are now in Orbit, and will remain there for a few days.

Naturally all these countries I listed might also use their space programs for military purposes, like the US. But at the very least, my hope is that the more nations that go into space – especially old wise ones – the greater the chance we will finally make some faster and larger advances in exploring the universe.

Oh and of course, a great source for space info and one my favorite left coast bloggers – the space tramp – is also a good read.

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Asian Life Versus North American Life

Somebody let me know if they’re holding a telethon on NBC or CBS or QVC or whatever. Drop me a line if every website and its mother has a banner to help the victims of the earthquake in Kashmir. Inform me if your preferred news station immediately flew Anderson Cooper or some other khaki-clad gumshoe to the scene and he got emotional about the world sending help. Cause honestly, I don’t think they’re doing it, and I will never stop finding the lack of value for human life in non western countries, by the wealthy western international community, disgusting.

Whats the toll in NOLA at… 1,000? Fugetaboutit… I see your grand and I raise you 30,000 minimum. Where the hell are all the dedicated movie stars and their money donations? Maybe they’re on the way, let me know.

PS — I bet the Pakistani and Indian military got there faster. If so, they should send instructors to the US to help teach the so-called emergency management experts.

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Até logo Lisboa

Last night was my last night in Lisbon. For this vacation anyway. Like so many nights when I did live there, I took myself to dinner, chose a little table in the corner at my favorite Indian restaurant, and ate very slowly while listening to the cornocopia of conversations going on in the room.

Lisbon is such a strange town for me, on so many levels. I’ve never fit in because I’m a Luso-American, born into a Portuguese family in New Jersey. Though I tried for years to act the part, saying good morning, good afternoon, and good evening to every old person in my neighborhood. I guess I hoped they’d start to see me as one of them. But they never did and now more then ever, they still don’t.

But one thing has changed. My desire to gain their approval. I stopped giving a shit and realized who I am as a Portuguese person, does not depend on their judgement. Beyond that, I’ve come to realize, regardless of the little money and property I actually own, class and education seperate me from these people. They look at me, they hear my accent, they observe my strangely polite mannerisms, and they decide that I’m somehow wealthy. Or maybe, I look at them and I realize that somehow I exist in some completely seperate privledged class.

Maybe its none of these. Rather- it goes back to my own insecurities. Whatever the cause, I still love the old neighborhood in Lisbon. Lots of things have changed of course, since my days working there. I do so miss the group of friends from those days, I miss the little restaurants and pubs that have since changed name and ownership. But still, there are things that never change in wonderous Lisbon, and people who I love that are still there. Those are the people and things I will forever come back to visit.

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AudioComm #45 – Dad Remembers Dictatorship

AudioCommunique #45(mp3)

25min+, 64kbps, 12Mb+

Notes:

1 AudioCommunique #45 – Dad Remembers Dictatorship
1.1 Today’s Show features my father’s experience immigrating from Portugal to the US in the 60’s, and more specifically; what it was like to live under a dictatorship.
1.2 First I have to mention listener mail; Brandon in China, Lotte in Amsterdam, Frank of the Overnightscape, its so cool to get email from other shows.
1.3 I miss VivaPodcast… come back Greg and Lisa!
2 On the Skype with Dad
2.1 Portugal and the fascist regime in the 1950’s.
2.2 Clandestine Behavior by doctors, students, etc.
2.3 Poor but happy
2.4 The decision to move to the US
2.4.1 The draft for the colonial wars in Africa and India. (Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, and what was almost a war in Goa, India.
2.5 Newark. NJ over the decades
2.6 Familiar ingredients of fascism in the US.

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