Making good Mondays is like making coffee -

The week is before us - like the coffee pot - waiting to brew. Making it good is a matter of choice, luck, creativity, patience and acceptance of the outcome.

Currently at Making Good Mondays

Active elements on this page: Occasionally I will publish a new blog post, but I write mostly at other sites.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

ISS, boys and girls --

The ISS Expedition 15 crew members, Flight Engineer Clay Anderson, Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin, and Flight Engineer Oleg Kotov have been working together for a considerable period of time. But a new crew, Expedition 16 is headed for docking at the International Space Station on Friday. Yuri Malenchenko will command the Soyuz as it ferries the replacement crew members to the ISS, and serve as Flight Engineer aboard the ISS. Peggy Whitson will become the first female Commander of the International Space Station. [To learn more about these remarkable people check out each of their names, that are linked to Astronaut/cosmonaut biographies].

The crew was launched yesterday morning from Russia in Soyuz three-person spacecraft. Russia's RIA Novosti had an interesting conclusion to its launch story. It concerns the third member of the crew, a Malaysian doctor. To quote:
The head of the Russian Space Agency, Anatoly Perminov, said he is sure Whitson will cope with her duties as well as a man would.
"I think you will cope with your responsibilities no worse than your male colleagues. Although there are some prejudices in Russia regarding female commanders of astronaut crews, I think after your flight this negative attitude will vanish," he told the NASA astronaut shortly before liftoff.
. . . Russia and Malaysia concluded a $900 million deal in 2003, stipulating that Malaysia would buy 18 Russian Su-30MKM Flanker fighters and that Russia will prepare and launch a Malaysian astronaut toward the ISS.
"New space station skipper is bringing a whip; Outpost’s first woman commander jokes around during launch preparations," was the MSNBC headline Tuesday. Quoting from the pre-launch story,

The rocket is set to blast off Wednesday with Whitson, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko and Malaysia’s first astronaut, Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, on board.

“The world is one place, and it’s very beautiful” when viewed from space, she said during a news conference at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, which Russia rents from Kazakhstan.

Shukor, who will be the ninth Muslim in space, said he hoped his 12-day trip will be an inspiration to his Southeast Asian nation and Muslims around the world.

“It’s a small step for me but a great leap for the Malaysian people,” he said, rephrasing Neil Armstrong’s legendary words following the Apollo landing on the moon. “I feel a responsibility for all the Muslims in the world.”

Watching the launch in Russia on NASA TV, was a great pleasure. We heard that the crew also received a traditional Russian Orthodox blessing before leaving their hotel for the launch pad. The space crew participant from Malaysia, Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, will observe Ramadan while he is in space for 9 days, according to To quote,
A Malaysian doctor who will spend the last days of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in space has vowed to follow the rituals of his faith even as he hurtles around Earth at 17,000 mph.

. . . Still, the mission initially presented a dilemma about fulfilling religious duties such as fasting, kneeling for prayers in zero gravity or facing Mecca to pray.

. . . To get around these problems, 150 Malaysian scholars, scientists, and astronauts brainstormed and published an 18-page booklet of guidelines for Muslim astronauts.
Later - Oct. 12 - according to a NASA alert - their TV coverage will include these events. Be sure and watch more of the excitement tomorrow:
10 a.m. - Live coverage begins of Soyuz docking to the station with the Expedition 16 crew and spaceflight participant, and the post-docking news conference from Moscow (docking is scheduled at 10:47 a.m.).

12 p.m. - Live coverage begins from Moscow of the Expedition 16 crew and spaceflight participant hatch opening to enter the station (hatch opening is scheduled at 12:30 p.m.).

1:30 p.m. - Video file of the docking and hatch opening for the Expedition 16 crew and spaceflight participant.
Update - 10/12/07: Marcia Dunn for the AP reports on MSNBC that "NASA considers delaying shuttle launch - Managers assessing whether three heat shield panels need replacement."
References: International Space Station Special Report coverage from
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My topical post today at South by Southwest and The Reaction is about domestic surveillance.

Cross-posted at Southwest Blogger

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References on Spirituality -- Favorites from my old collection

  • "A Return To Love: Reflections On the Principles Of a Course In Miracles" by Marianne Williamson. Harper Collins, 1992
  • "A World Waiting To Be Born: Civility Rediscovered" by M. Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1993
  • "Chicken Soup For the Unsinkable Soul" by Canfield, Hansen and McNamara. Health Communications, 1999
  • "Compassion in Action: Setting Out On the Path of Service" by Ram Dass and Mirabai Bush. Bell Tower Pub., 1992
  • "Creative Visualization" by Shakti Gawain. MIF Books, 1978
  • "Finding Values That Work: The Search For Fulfillment" by Brian O'Connell. Walker & Co., 1978
  • "Fire in the Soul" by Joan Borysenko. Warner Books, 1993
  • "Further Along the Road Less Traveled" by M. Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1993
  • "Guilt Is the Teacher, Love Is the Lesson" by Joan Borysenko. Warner Books, 1990
  • "Inner Simplicity: 100 Ways To Regain Peace and Nourish the Soul" by Elaine St. James. Hyperion, 1995
  • "Insearch:Psychology and Religion" by James Hillman. Spring Pub. 1994
  • "Man's Search For Himself" by Rollo May. Signet Books, 1953
  • "Mythologies" by William Butler Yeats. Macmillan, 1959
  • "Myths, Dreams and Religion" by Joseph Campbell. Spring Pub. 1988
  • "Passion for Life: Psychology and the Human Spirit" by John and Muriel James. Penguin Books, 1991
  • "Peace Is Every Step" by Thich Nhat Hahn. Bantam Books , 1991
  • "The Heroine's Journey" by Mureen Murdock. Random House, 1990
  • "The Hope For Healing Human Evil" by M. Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1983
  • "The House of Belonging" poems by David Whyte. Many Rivers Press, 2004
  • "The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth" by M.Scott Peck. Simon and Schuster, 1978
  • "The Soul's Code: In Search Of Character and Calling" by James Hillman. Random House, 1996
  • "The World Treasury of Modern Religious Thought" by Jaroslav Pelikan. Little, Brown & Co., 1990
  • "Unconditional Life" by Deepak Chopra. Bantam Books, 1992
  • "Wherever You Go There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation" by Jon Kabat-Zinn. Hyperion, 1994
  • "Zen Keys: A Guide to Zen Practice" by Thich Nhat Hahn. Doubleday Dell Pub. Group, 1974

About Me

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A retired counselor, I am equal parts Techie and Artist. I am a Democrat who came to the Southwest to attend college. I married, had kids and have lived here all my adult life.