George Carlin’s Views on Aging

Do you realize that the only time in our lives when we like to get old is when we’re kids? If you’re less than 10 years old, you’re so excited about aging that you think in fractions.

‘How old are you?’ ‘I’m four and a half!’ You’re never thirty-six and a half. You’re four and a half, going on five! That’s the key

You get into your teens, now they can’t hold you back. You jump to the next number, or even a few ahead.

‘How old are you?’ ‘I’m gonna be 16!’ You could be 13, but hey, you’re gonna be 16! And then the greatest day of your life .. . You become 21. Even the words sound like a ceremony YOU BECOME 21. YESSSS!!!

But then you turn 30. Oooohh, what happened there? Makes you sound like bad milk! He TURNED; we had to throw him out. There’s no fun now, you’re Just a sour-dumpling. What’s wrong? What’s changed?

You BECOME 21, you TURN 30, then you’re PUSHING 40. Whoa! Put on the brakes, it’s all slipping away. Before you know it, you REACH 50 and your dreams are gone.

But wait!!! You MAKE it to 60. You didn’t think you would!

So you BECOME 21, TURN 30, PUSH 40, REACH 50 and MAKE it to 60.

You’ve built up so much speed that you HIT 70! After that it’s a day-by-day thing; you HIT Wednesday!

You get into your 80’s and every day is a complete cycle; you HIT lunch; you TURN 4:30 ; you REACH bedtime. And it doesn’t end there. Into the 90s, you start going backwards; ‘I Was JUST 92.’

Then a strange thing happens. If you make it over 100, you become a little kid again. ‘I’m 100 and a half!’
May you all make it to a healthy 100 and a half!!

HOW TO STAY YOUNG

  1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctors worry about them. That is why you pay ‘them.’
  2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.
  3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain idle. ‘An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.’ And the devil’s name is Alzheimer’s.
  4. Enjoy the simple things.
  5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.
  6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person, who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive.
  7. Surround yourself with what you love, whether it’s family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.
  8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.
  9. Don’t take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county; to a foreign country but NOT to where the guilt is.
  10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.

AND ALWAYS REMEMBER:

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take,but by the moments that take our breath away.

 

A VETERAN DIED TODAY

He was getting old and paunchy
And his hair was falling fast,
And he sat around the Legion,
Telling stories of the past.

Of a war that he once fought in
And the deeds that he had done,
In his exploits with his buddies;
They were heroes, every one.

And ‘tho sometimes to his neighbors
His tales became a joke,
All his buddies listened quietly
For they knew where of he spoke.

But we’ll hear his tales no longer,
For ol’ Joe has passed away,
And the world’s a little poorer
For a Veteran died today.

He won’t be mourned by many,
Just his children and his wife.
For he lived an ordinary,
Very quiet sort of life.

He held a job and raised a family,
Going quietly on his way;
And the world won’t note his passing,
‘Tho a Veteran died today.

When politicians leave this earth,
Their bodies lie in state,
While thousands note their passing,
And proclaim that they were great.

Papers tell of their life stories
From the time that they were young,
But the passing of a Veteran
Goes unnoticed, and unsung.

Is the greatest contribution
To the welfare of our land,
Some jerk who breaks his promise
And cons his fellow man?

Or the ordinary fellow
Who in times of war and strife,
Goes off to serve his country
And offers up his life?

The politician’s stipend
And the style in which he lives,
Are often disproportionate,
To the service that he gives.

While the ordinary Veteran,
Who offered up his all,
Is paid off with a medal
And perhaps a pension, small.

It is not the politicians
With their compromise and ploys,
Who won for us the freedom
That our country now enjoys.

Should you find yourself in danger,
With your enemies at hand,
Would you really want some cop-out,
With his ever-waffling stand?

Or would you want a Veteran
His home, his country, his kin,
Just a common Veteran,
Who would fight until the end.

He was just a common Veteran,
And his ranks are growing thin,
But his presence should remind us
We may need his likes again.

For when countries are in conflict,
We find the Veteran’s part,
Is to clean up all the troubles
That the politicians start.

If we cannot do him honor
While he’s here to hear the praise,
Then at least let’s give him homage
At the ending of his days.

Perhaps just a simple headline
In the paper that might say:
“OUR COUNTRY IS IN MOURNING,
A VETERAN DIED TODAY.”

The Demanding X-15 Rocket Plane

The X-15 was not the first rocket-powered aircraft, but it is probably the best one ever built and flown. Before the first X-15 took flight in the late 1950s, the fastest speed airplanes had reached was Mach 3. The X-15 doubled that and also went on to fly into space more than a dozen times.

The US Air Force and NASA developed the X-15 to better understand flight under extreme conditions, including reentry through the Earth’s atmosphere. Yet more than half a century later, the exceptional plane still holds the world record for speed by a piloted, powered aircraft after William Knight flew the vehicle at Mach 6.70 in 1967.

The X-15 program also boasts an exclusive club of pilots—only a dozen aviators can claim to have flown the aircraft, which made 199 flights in total. Before he landed on the Moon, Neil Armstrong flew seven X-15 missions between 1960 and 1962. The movie First Man vividly depicts one of these flights.

On the night before a flight, technicians would mate the X-15 to the B-52 aircraft, pressurizing the plane’s fuel tanks and preparing it for flight. The pilot would arrive shortly after sunrise to don a pressure suit and ensure the integrity of its seals. About 45 minutes before the carrier aircraft took off, he would climb into the X-15 cockpit and connect to life support.

Then, the wheels would roll, and the B-52 would take off for its ride up to the launch location and an altitude of about 46,000 feet. This would take a little more than an hour.

At the drop-off point, the pilot would hit the launch button to release the X-15 from its carrier aircraft. As soon as it was clear of the B-52, he would grab the throttle as quickly as possible to open the propellant lines.

The liquid-fueled XLR99-RM-2 rocket engine, built by Reaction Motors, had 70,400 pounds of thrust. This was a powerful engine six decades ago, and even today it has about two-thirds of the thrust that Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket uses to send a six-person capsule into space. At the time of launch, the engine was in “igniter idle” status, with enough propellant mixture in the engine chamber to immediately ignite when propellant began flowing from the main fuel tanks. Because the X-15 weighed about 30,000 pounds fully loaded with fuel, the initial acceleration was about 2Gs.

The engine would burn for about 90 seconds, and the force pushing against the pilot would build to about 4Gs, making it more difficult to reach upward, toward the engine panel. This initial part of the flight required absolute attention, because any course corrections had to be made early, before the X-15 climbed out of the lower atmosphere. Once on a ballistic trajectory, there wasn’t much that could be done to alter the flight.

The X-15 didn’t have brakes or the landing gear of a traditional airplane, rather it had a front wheel and skids at the back. For nominal flights, the landing took place at a large, dry lake bed, 21km long. Pilots flying the X-15 had practiced landing here and other similar, flat lake beds, which had the consistency of a clay tennis court, hundreds of times in an F-104 airplane.

The X-15 Rocket Plane – NASA Aerospace Documentary

I saw it at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC.

Click here for detailed information in this Rocket Plane