Snoopy – First Beagle in Space

After a tragic fire killed three astronauts in 1967, the employee moral at NASA was devastated.  The nation also began to question the validity of America’s space program.

Al Chop was the Deputy of Public Affairs at the time.  He decided to use Snoopy as NASA’s safety mascot.  The goal was to get workers and the public to feel connected to the space program.  This would improve safety compliance among the workers and develop a renewed interest among the population. 

Charles Schulz’s agreed to allow NASA to use his character and “Snoopy, the Astronaut” program was born in 1968.

Forced Childhood Vaccination

With the current measles outbreak in our country, I started to wonder if the government should force parents to vaccinate their children for the safety of the child and the general public.

While it may sound radical, forcing medical treatments against the parent’s wishes is not without precedent.

In 2015, a Hartford, Connecticut, teenager was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.  With treatment her chances of recovery would be 85%; however, without treatment the condition is 100% lethal within two years.

Her parents rejected conventional treatments, so the state stepped in and forced the child to receive chemotherapy.  She survived and is now in remission (1).

Members of the Jehovah’s Witness church will refuse blood transfusions for religious reasons.  However, the state has forced the parents to allow their children to receive transfusions in emergency situations.

What about the parent’s rights to raise their children as they wish?  The courts have already made a determination on this issue.

  • Courts throughout the western world recognize that parents have rights but additionally recognize that these rights are not absolute and exist only to promote the welfare of children.  Prince v Massachusetts12 set out the reigning legal principle:  Parents may be free to become martyrs themselves. But it does not follow that they are free, in identical circumstances, to make martyrs of their children (2).

What are your thoughts on this matter?  Should parents be forced to have their children vaccinated?

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Thunderstorm Basics

The Ingredients Needed for a Thunderstorm:

  • Moisture to form in the clouds
  • Atmospheric instability
  • Lift allowing the air to rise

Severe Thunderstorm Requirements:

  • Hail that is at least one inch in size
  • Wind gust of at least 58 mph

A microburst is a localized column of air that comes down to the ground by a collapsing downdraft/thunderstorm.  It has strong to damaging straight line winds, with heavy rain, and is short lived.


Source:  Weather Spotter’s Field Guide, US Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration , National Weather Service , June 2011

Clean Air Controversy


Humans are capable of turning anything into a controversy.

I don’t understand why clean air is a controversial topic.  I think we can all agree that breathing fresh air is preferable to breathing smog.

However, that doesn’t seem to be the case.  We spend countless hours arguing over environmental issues.  I find this concept hard to comprehend.