C Stands For Couch

What a cool design for a recreational space.

C stands for Couch.

And a big red one one it is.

Some blue chairs on the periphery.

And a little dot coffee table in the center.

The fake greenery on the wall is kludgy, but we know what they were trying to say.

Overall, a nice welcoming space.¬† ūüėČ

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Pay Attention To Space Force

We’re not paying close enough attention to the new U.S. Space Force.


It was signed into law by President Trump on December 20.


Space Force is the U.S. military’s 6th service branch (separate from the Air Force).


While it is currently the smallest branch with 16,000 personnel and just a $40 million budget, I would look to this branch to move over time to one of the largest (if not the largest) branch of the military.


Let’s face it, Earth is small potatoes in the realm of the Universe.


We will be expanding into outer space and colonizing it–we have to!


In addition, the weapons in space will be high-tech and costly relative to their earthly counterparts, and  our dominance in space will not come cheap either in terms of aerospace and engineering talent or in terms of the systems and weapons that will assure our superiority.


In January, the new Star Trek aired on CBS, and as is long said on that preminiscent science fiction show, “Space is the final frontier” and the U.S. Space Force will become front and center in our defense.


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Interplanetary Travel – Coming Soon

Awesome presentation on Interplanetary Travel by Charlie Kuehmann, VP Materials Engineering at SpaceX and Tesla. 


Interplanetary travel and colonization is one of the most exciting possibilities for mankind.  

 

It’s all just beginning (we’ve only been in orbit for about 50 years).¬†


One of the keys Charlie mentioned at SpaceX and Telsa is how quickly we learn. 


It’s okay to fail, as long as we learn quickly and progress from it.¬†¬†


The progress with reusable rockets at SpaceX is impressive. 


Can’t wait for more to come soon.¬† ūüėČ


(Credit Video: Andy Blumenthal)

The Apollo 11 Mission: 50 Year Anniversary

Remembering the Apollo mission that landed a man on the moon on July 20, 1969 (50 years and 1 month ago yesterday…sorry, I’m late on this post).¬†


Thought this model (scale 1:48) of the command ship and lunar lander in the NASA store was perfect. 


It truly is miraculous that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldin made this journey.


In just 8 days, they made the round trip between the earth and the moon, traveling about 240,000 miles each way. 


And they walked on the moon for about 3 hours–I want to try that!


Even until today, the U.S. remains the only country to have actually put men on the moon (total of 12). 


“One small step for a man; one giant leap for mankind.”


Now it’s high time that we get ourselves to Mars already and colonize it!¬† ūüėČ


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Israel 4th Nation To Reach the Moon Surface – Mazel Tov!

What an unbelievable achievement for Israel. 



Even without a soft landing, Israel is the 4th country in the world to reach the moon surface.



The Moon Club of Just Four:

USA – The Most Powerful
Russia – The Largest by Landmass
China – The Largest by Number of People
Israel – The Holy Land!

 

Mazel Tov on this truly great accomplishment.



We are all so proud of you!¬† ūüėČ

Black Hole–What’s Really Important?

Amazing beautiful photos of a black hole from 55 million light years (311 million trillion miles) away. 


It measures about 25 billion miles across–about the size of 29,000 suns.¬†


If this doesn’t make you (with all the money, smarts, good looks, and ego to match) feel small, nothing will.¬†


We are but a speck of dust in this vast universe (maybe not even that). 


Perspective is in order for your life and what it means. 


Forget the money-grubbing and honor-seeking.


Realize what’s really important is what you do in terms of choosing right from wrong and good over evil in every small thing you do.¬† ūüėČ


(Photo Credit: Event Horizon Telescope)

Why Isn’t The U.S. Keeping Up Militarily?

The United States is ranked as the most powerful country in the world:


But the U.S. spends more than the next 7-8 countries COMBINED!(See below chart from Forbes 2016)


In fact, military spending is more than half of all U.S. federal discretionary spending. 


So the question is why are we spending so much more than everybody else, is the United States getting its money’s worth, and most importantly are we able to defend ourselves?¬†


The U.S. defense budget is going up and has been approved at $717B for 2019. 


All the other 28 NATO countries together spend less than half ($296B) as much as the U.S. alone. 


If you add NATO spending as a complement to the U.S. then the total spend on our mutual defense approaches $1 trillion!


Russia ($69B) China ($146B), North Korea ($6B), and Iran’s ($16B) military spending in total pales in comparison at just $237B.


NATO as a whole is outspending Russia + China + North Korea + Iran by a factor of 4 times yet these countries are still considered major threats to us!
Despite all the truly incredible brave, hard working, and excellent men and women that serve with distinction in our military, 


Therefore, again why is it that the U.S. is spending more on what others seem to get for cheaper?  Is there significant fraud, waste, and abuse in the system?  Are we as a rich capitalistic nation simply getting fat, lazy, and stupid?  


Notwithstanding the outsized spending by the United States, incredibly from¬†today’s¬†Wall Street Journal, there is¬†another article about our inability to defend ourselves:

“These are admissions that the¬†U.S. cannot proportionally and equally defend itself in space, cyber, and response to tactical and nuclear weapons¬†except through the threat of escalation and intrusion into other domains.”

Some poignant examples given:

– Our stationary land-based nuclear missiles are no match for Russia and China’s mobile-based ICBMs.

– Our ten busiest U.S. ports do not have an adequate defense against an underwater nuclear missile launch.


China and Russia variously are beating us out in:

  • Quantum Communications
  • Anti-Satellite Weapons
  • Directed Energy¬†
  • Hypersonics¬†

In fact, it was just reported that China conducted its 8th hypersonic test of a plane–with this one said to capable of Mach 10–and that it is capable of carrying nukes!¬†

Further, our carrier group fleet and land forces are at risk with respect to Russia and China’s hypersonic weapons.


Of course, EMP weapons can fry our electrical grid and a large cyber attack could disable our critical infrastructure.


Let’s not even talk bioweapons–think Black Plague from the Middle Ages that wiped out 30-60% of Europe.¬†


Yes, some of these are asymmetric warfare, but why are we still thinking and fighting so kinetic and conventionally. 


If we are fighting the wars of yesteryear instead of the battles of today and the threats of tomorrow then what good is our military investments and assets.


To become a more capable fighting force that is less vulnerable, more capable of defending this country, and making better use of our large investment dollars here are 10-steps we need to take to transform our military; we need to transition as follows:

  1. From static land-based nuclear missiles to a fully mobile platform.
  2. From vulnerable fleets of large ships and planes to “unstoppable”¬†swarms¬†of miniaturized lethal drones.¬†
  3. From a preponderance of earth-based kinetic weapons to space-based energy directed weapons. 
  4. From having to generally choose between speed or power to using the¬†power of speed¬†as an “unstoppable” force of nature.¬†
  5. From projecting a time and space bound visible presence to a persistent invisible existence.
  6. From attempting to defend limited points of presence to establishing a “impenetrable”¬†umbrella¬†shield¬†of multi-layered defenses.
  7. From reactively identifying and stopping cyber threats to proactively hunting and destroying them. 
  8. From knee-jerk instinctive putting of human lives in harm’s way to matter-of-factly sending¬†milbots¬†(military robots)¬†to the front lines.¬†
  9. From relying on the heroics and genius of individual human brainpower to harnessing in realtime¬†“the collective”¬†augmented by artificial intelligence into a hive.
  10. From relying on escalation of a “bigger, badder gun” to being able to fight capably in every battle arena, win in each and dominate holistically.¬†

Over $700B per year should buy us a lot of defense, hopefully in the future we can really use it to defend ourselves. ūüėČ

Those Were The Days

Karate 2.jpeg

Wow, this was incredible.


Check out this photo of me (right) and my teacher and mentor Robert doing martial arts back in the day. 


This was at the Jewish street fair on Johnson Avenue in Riverdale, New York. 


Recently, in the last few weeks, I reconnected with Robert after almost 27 years.  


He made Aliyah to Israel and I got married, but I always remembered how much I learned from him and the fun times growing up. 


It was great to catch up on the phone with him for about 2 1/2 hours and I think we could’ve gone on schmoozing all evening.¬†


Then just this weekend, I received 3 large wall photos in the mail from a friend from Riverdale–out of the blue–just like my reconnecting with Robert.¬†


Both events came almost simultaneously after 3 decades!


Time and space are just fabrications, as G-d Almighty is eternal, and for me I am essentially the same person that I was back then. 


My body is getting (a little) older, but my inner self is still me. 


And the people who mean so much to me in my life, after G-d, that is everything to me. ūüėČ


(Source Photo and with gratitude to Sura Jeselsohn)