Good Afternoon Ted and Jody:
Yesterday afternoon I mismanaged my Phantom 4 PRO as it was attacked by a tree that used to grow in Charlie Brown’s playground in “Schutlz Americana,” and had to extract it from a blackberry patch. It took several implements including a garden rake, coal shovel, and pitchfork. I suspect the Phantom 4 PRO survived. I’ll clean it up, install new propellers (which remarkably did not seem to suffer damaged, but since they are one of the keys to it not getting eaten again, I will replace them), and chop the drone eating tree down (an option I always wonders why Charlie Brown never exercised with his kite eating tree). Before the tree leaped up and grabbed it, I did manage to discover Phantom 4 announces when it is at maximum height and take a photo of Nancy and me on the front steps.
When I got on my bike to nowhere this morning the news from Barcelona was flooding in. Actually, there was very sketchy news and one hell of a lot of speculation and videos run over and over again. For the 30 minutes I was on the way to nowhere, I knew nothing more when I got off than I knew when I got on. I did flick through CNN, Fox, and MSNBC and found they substantially carried the same amount of factual information and a wide variety of speculation and nuances that colored how one received the information. On balance, I think a few minutes coverage would have sufficed. I began to wonder if the amount of coverage was an ISIS recruitment tool–”Look how much attention and air time you can get if you strike a blow against the West.” A westerner watching would, of course, grow incensed at the barbaric act. However, the westerner would be incensed given a five minute or less coverage of the event and they move on to the spelling bee in Prognathous, Main where Amy Good-leaf, aged 8 spelled “sanctimonious” beating out the other competitors who could not spell “frankincense.” A mass murder has to be a terrorist to get the coverage he or she wants. It would be interesting to see a statistical analysis of the amount of coverage events labeled terrorist get and the numbers of new recruits ISIS and other terrorist groups haul in as a result of the extensive news coverage of events labeled as speculated to be terrorist inspired or directed.
Warmest regards, Ed
057 Resupply and Return
Fiction in 736 words by T. Edward Westen, 2017
[Spaceport Redemption] Special Agent Fleishman shook his head and said, “It is not clear from the limited area that the screen shows while the particle bouncing is in progress. I get the impression of space inside the alien craft, but again the screen is too small to tell me what I am seeing. Is it open space filled with vacuum or some gas, or just a different solid? However, I think you can tell me what we found by running the data and having the computer show us what we were looking at in the small pieces the screen is designed to display while the machine is running.”
Walter bent over the portable x-ray unit and plugged into it what appeared to be cables with flat head plugs and then connected the other end of the cables to a console on the long table under the computer screen. He flicked a switch and said, “We are uploading the data now and should have an image in a few minutes.”
Meanwhile, other technicians were fitting new oxygen tanks to the back packs on both Agent White and Special Agent Fleishman and had replaced the main batteries on the portable x-ray unit. One of the technicians said, “Would you mind closing your helmet so we can pressurize your suit and make sure you do not have any pinholes from the small bits that must be flying about out there? If you got hit by something big, you would have, err, noticed. But the small stuff would go unnoticed until you started to drift because the air escaping would act as a rocket engine, a little one, but provide propulsion nonetheless.”
“Was there a problem with either James’ suit or the one I wore?” asked Agent White.
“Not in the one you wore,” replied the technician, “But the one James wore had two microscopic holes large enough to leak sufficient air to move him and exhaust his oxygen supply in a ten minutes had you not brought him back so quickly.”
“How is it he didn’t feel it?” asked Agent White.
“If it only pierced the suit and not him, we would have no reason to feel it,” said the technician. “”Nerves do not cover every square centimeter of the human body. A small object could have missed an area where nerves were. Then too, it was so small and moving so fast it may have simply not registered on Jame’s central nervous system as his attention was probably directed elsewhere at the time. Anyway, he didn’t report any hits and his exam didn’t show any after we found the hole in his suit.”
Agent White looked around. “Where is James?”
The technician replied, “He is at a conference down in the cafeteria with members of the One True God, err, group. It seems he became their prophet when he knew the name of their god and claimed to be speaking to their god on his trip out to the alien craft, and they are asking him to tell them what to do. Apparently . . .”
The technician was interrupted by Walter saying, “There, you have it, a corridor about a meter below the skin of the craft. I can’t tell from this small amount if it goes anywhere or how big it is but if you take reading about a kilometer away from where you were, and you get the same readings, I would think it is big enough for a human to walking, or rather, float or swim in a gas as the stuff in that corridor comes up a mixture of mostly nitrogen, some oxygen,and a bit of argon trace amounts of a bunch of other gasses none of which are toxic. There is also traces of water vapor, but basically, it is a dry gas mixture.”
The technician holding an instrument measuring the pressure in Special Agent Fleishman’s suit nodded and indicated he could open his helmet. When Special Agent Fleishman opened his helmet, the technician said, “Your suit is fine.” He looked to his colleague who nodded his head and continued, “Her suit is fine too. Did you hear Walter?”
Special Agent Fleishman said, “NO, what did the computer come up with.”
Walter repeated what the computer had found and Special Agent Fleishman said, “Agent White, you want me to drive.”
She nodded and he pivoted them out of the Spaceport.