Get Your News?


Well, it’s been a while, but look out world, I’m BACK!!!

Yes, we’ve completed our return cross-country trip from Georgia back to California, fifth-wheel in tow.  A very uneventful trip (thankfully) as far as problems are concerned.  We did have a couple of weather deluges in the eastern part of the country on our first day out, but other than that, it was SO MUCH BETTER than when we drove to Georgia in December of 2013!!!  (Never again will we do it in that time of year!)

We didn’t let a lot of grass grow under our feet on our way home, but on Saturday, we did take a detour to Petrified Forest National Park as it was right off I-40.  Neither my wife nor I had ever been there before (though she thinks she may have gone there with her folks as a very young girl) so we decided to check it out as we were going to arrive at our destination for the evening too early.

As it turns out, we’re glad we did.  The Painted Desert National Monument is also there (north of I-40) and it joins immediately with the Petrified Forest National Park on the south side of I-40.  As one enters into the Petrified Forest part, there are places you can stop to see ruins of native American dwellings…and petroglyphs.

How do you get your news?  Dogs get it through their noses.  We used to get it through newspapers and TV newscasts (think Walter Cronkite and others of his ilk).  Now, most of us get it through the Internet, I suspect.

Well, the Native Americans had no such amenities.  Today’s photo was taken in the Petrified National Forest area and is a rock known as “Newspaper Rock”.  Double-click the image to see it in a larger format and you’ll see lots of petroglyphs (drawnings and symbols) on the lower faces of the rock.  Don’t you wish you could read the story?  I wonder if it’s a love story about young Indian lovers, or about the mighty exploits of braves or regales the reader with great hunting exploits.

This is a large rock, by the way….not small by any measure!  (It should be noted that there is also a “Newspaper Rock” in Utah…not to be confused with this one.)  The people who made these drawings lived there between 650-2000 years ago, yet their work is still visible today.

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY:  in 1956, the United States conducted the first airborne test of an improved hydrogen bomb, dropping it over a tiny island in the Bikini Atoll in the Pacific. The successful test indicated that hydrogen bombs were viable airborne weapons and that the arms race had taken another giant leap forward.

The United States first detonated a hydrogen bomb in 1952 in the Marshall Islands, also in the Pacific. However, that bomb–and the others tests that followed–were large and were exploded from the ground. The idea of dropping the weapon over an enemy had been a mere theoretical possibility until the successful test in May 1956. The hydrogen bomb was carried by a B-52 bomber and released at an altitude of more than 50,000 feet. The device exploded at about 15,000 feet. This bomb was far more powerful than those previously tested and was estimated to be 15 megatons or larger. Observers said that the fireball caused by the explosion measured at least four miles in diameter and was brighter than the light from 500 suns.

The successful U.S. test meant that the nuclear arms race had been dramatically upped. The Soviets had tested their own hydrogen bomb in 1953. In November 1955, the Soviets had dropped a hydrogen bomb from an airplane in remote Siberia. Though much smaller and far less powerful (estimated at about 1.6 megatons), the Russian success spurred the Americans to rush ahead with the Bikini test.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY:  On August 28, 1991, the first true email message from space was sent by the crew of the space shuttle STS-43 Atlantis using a Mac Portable and specifically configured AppleLink software.


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