Sunday, July 19, 2009

Apollo 11: Man on the moon

40 years ago this week. I’m not old enough to remember Apollo 11, but its impact is certainly felt. I recall listening to recordings of the astronauts & watching video from various documentaries and TV specials. So the moon landing has always been a “rerun” for me, albeit an exciting one. Even at the close of the "Space Shuttle era," the moon landings seem incredibly amazing. Perhaps it’s because we haven’t been there for so long. And we very rarely even see spacewalks covered moment-by-moment on TV. So to watch spacemen on the moon still brings a thrill.

Some of you lucky (?) friends may recall when my brother and I created our own trip to the moon. We used footage from the Disney “moon flight” cartoon combined with recordings of the flight. And we even let you touch the moon! Yes, I know it felt a little bit like Johnson’s baby powder, but that’s what Neil Armstrong said too, if you recall! That recording, by the way, featured Walter Cronkite, who recently passed away. His influence was great as well, and I hope he’s looking down at the moon right now and remembering that day when the lunar module landed.

Here’s another post about space travel which you may find quite relevant to today:


LOST FOOTAGE: I feel a lot better about myself upon hearing that the original master tape of the moon landing has apparently been recorded over. I don’t feel nearly so bad about all the stuff I’ve taped over! If NASA can screw up, so can I! But you can’t help but wonder what on Earth (or on the moon) was recorded over the master tapes. One friend at work thought it might be porn. Since home video recording wasn’t really available at that time, I tend to disagree, unless it somehow involved the girlfriend of one of the NASA scientists. This is something we’d better stop trying to think about right now.

However, something we can think about is how many OTHER classic moments have been lost to time. It’s kind of sad, but here are the ones that come to mind:

1. TONIGHT SHOW CLASSICS. Johnny Carson often lamented the fact that so many early episodes of the Tonight Show were basically thrown out. They included footage of some incredible entertainers, including Groucho Marx, and Johnny’s first appearance as host!

2. LITTLE RASCALS DEBUT: According to film historian Leonard Maltin in his book “Our Gang: The life and times of the Little Rascals”, the original silent film of Hal Roach’s “Our Gang” is a lost film. This was before Alfalfa & Spanky and the gang made the series the classic we know it as today. But even so, it’s such a historic item that it’s sad that it no longer seems to exist.

3. D-DAY FOOTAGE: On June 6, 1944, when the allied forces invaded France, there were people with cameras trying to capture all the devastation. But there’s not much actual footage of the event. Why not? As one of the photographers handed the film to someone else, it dropped into the waters off Normandy beach! The historic footage was lost, and we are dependant on a few short clips and some photographs to document the Longest Day.

So the next time you make a mistake while recording something (which happened to me this week as well), just remember that you’re in good company. You’re right in there with NASA and “The Greatest Generation.” Everyone makes mistaykes. Uh, mistakes.


I DON'T WANT TO LIVE ON THE MOON: There are plenty of bloggers who will talk about the moon landing this week, but how many, I ask you, will also include the lyrics to "I don't want to live on the moon?" I claim to be the only one! This is one of my favorite songs. It was written by Jeff Moss, who also wrote "Rubber Duckie:" And the video will be available in my "favorites" list on my YouTube page.

Well I'd like to visit the moon on a rocketship high in the air.

Yes I'd like to visit the moon, but I don't think I'd like to live there.

Though I'd like to look down at the Earth from above, I would miss all the places and people I love

So although I might like it for one afternoon, I don't want to live on the moon.

I'd like to travel under the sea, I could meet all the fish everywhere.

Yes I'd travel under the sea, but I don't think I'd like to live there.

I might stay for a day there if I had my wish, but there's not much to do when your friends are all fish

And an oyster and clam aren't real family, so I don't want to live in the sea.

I'd like to visit the jungle, hear the lions roar, go back in time and meet a dinosaur

There's so many strange places I'd like to be, but none of them permanently.

So if I should visit the moon, well I'll dance on a moonbeam and then,

I will make a wish on a star, and I'll wish I was home once again.

Though I'd like to look down at the Earth from above, I would miss all the places and people I love

So although I may go, I'll be coming home soon, 'cause I don't want to live on the moon.

No I don't want to live on the moon.


MISSING LINKS FOUND, NOW NEED READERS: The problem with the links was simply solved by upgrading my page to the new blogger design. Looks pretty good. And there’s even a space to list the followers of my blog. Let’s see how many thousands of people have signed on to be followers of my blog. . .hmmm. Argh. Uh, I wonder if I could possibly follow my own blog? Is that within the realm of possibility? And maybe I can bribe a few friends to pretend to read the blog. I’ll have to look into this carefully, as I’m sure you’re as concerned as I am about this issue. :) See you next time!