Explanation for Part of Dr. Strange Movie

On Tuesday I finally say Dr. Strange (the 2016 one).

Wednesday night, I got to see the story of how the man ended up with a bullet against the cerebral spinal fluid at the bottom of his brain and why his generic wife and 2 kid family was waiting at the hospital with him. I saw this story while I slept.

It involved a highly intelligent bear (thought not quite high enough) provoking the man by individually threatening the members of man’s family while they were out on a family trip, that therefore had to turn into a hunting trip, and the bear being painfully patient (and seemingly annoyed) but also taunting in a droll way while the man loaded, assembled (yes, in that order), and then un-secured his gun. Now that I think of it, reminds me of Pa prepping his gun in the Little House on the Prairie books. Anyway, the bullet in the man’s neck / head was his own, somehow deflected and reflected by a contraption the bear apparently had set up beforehand (which explains why the bear was willing to extend and draw out the perceived threatening attacks on the family members in a very specific location), so that the man accidentally shot himself in the back of the head. And while that shot moved too fast for me to see how the contraption worked, it was also slow enough that the man got off another shot to save his family from the bear.

It was a very delusional dream. It didn’t even seem like a solid story line while it’s going on, thought it was very creative and mildly entertaining. It became ludicrous once I woke up and the laws of reality were back in play. Still, I was pleased to have an answer to that ridiculous, clearly not thought through, set up for making Dr. Strange awesome for a second and third time at the beginning of the movie.

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Sleep Shape

One night this past weekend I noticed that Aurora sometimes still sleeps in the same shape she did as a baby: a crescent. Aw, it was a cute reminiscence.

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I know I have broken my policy of not posting current political events issues.


I have been so angry the last 3 days and nights, I haven’t been able to sleep. This is destroying me, I’m so tired it’s affecting my daily life. I can’t stay quiet anymore.

Monday, I had a sudden realization that “children” also means Toddlers and Babies. Young children, toddlers, babies, those under 6, under 8, have been taken away from their parents – even their siblings. They have been placed with strangers. They have no ability to know why. All they know is their safety net is gone. Even those who may be very social, will eventually want, look for, and emotionally need their family. But no family member will be there. The children will be confused, scared, and eventually cry in fear. Only to be surrounded by other children too young to console them and adults who won’t (or can’t).

Last night Aurora woke up scared. She started to make her way to my room, but her calling for me had woke me up so I met her part way. I hugged her and escorted her back to bed, assuring her everything was okay. She laid back down in bed, and after I put her blanket over her legs she calmed down and fell right back to sleep.

I, however, could not fall back asleep. I lay in bed trying to find a way to dreamland, but could only think about those children – awake in the dark of night, crying for their mom or dad… who never come…

Because of our current government.

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NASAs Opportunity Rover is fighting for its life in a Martian dust storm

NASAs Opportunity Rover is fighting for its life in a Martian dust storm

It’s true. NASA’s Opportunity rover (aka “Oppy”) is hunkered down under the heaviest part of the worst Martian dust storm seen since before the rovers landed.

I learned a lot yesterday about what’s going on and wanted to share the important highlights:

Oppy is solar powered – the rover’s batteries are recharged using the Sun – and dust storms block out some to all of the Sun’s light. To save power, NASA instructed Oppy to go into low power mode, stop all scientific operations, and only attempt contact with Earth on a defined schedule. Unfortunately, Oppy has missed checking in twice now. The last we heard from the rover was Sunday (6/10/18).

NASA believes Oppy has entered “low-power fault mode”. This is when the charge in the rover’s batteries dip below 24 volts. The only thing that is able to function at that level is the mission clock. Even the rover’s heaters stop working. Essentially the rover is in hibernation mode. The mission clock is programmed to attempt to wake Oppy up every two (Earth) days. If the batteries have enough power, Oppy will wake up and attempt to make contact with Earth. If there isn’t enough power. Oppy will continue to “sleep”.

Eventually one of 2 things will happen. After the storm ends (not expect for weeks or perhaps months) and before all the dust kicked up by the storm settles back to the ground – and on top of Oppy – Sunlight will be able to charge Oppy’s batteries. Assuming they charge enough, Oppy will wake up and be able to communicate with us again. At which point NASA will furious work to recover this rover.

The other possibility is Oppy enters “mission clock fault mode.” This is when the mission clock fails to maintain time. However, NASA engineers and designers are amazing people. Even if the mission clock enters fault mode, it’s not the end of Opportunity. What this means is that the mission clock can’t keep track of “two days” anymore, so it will start randomly attempting to wake Oppy to make contact. The reason mission clock fault is a problem is that without a known schedule of attempted contact, NASA will not know when to be listening for Oppy reaching out to us. If we miss replying, Oppy won’t know what to do with itself.

NASA remains hopeful about Opportunity’s survival. There are 3 strong reasons for this:

1) Oppy has survived a global dust storm before, back in 2007. However, this dust storm is significantly stronger, and Oppy got close but didn’t actually fall into low power fault mode then. As with earthquakes here on Earth, the scale of relating their strength (the Richter scale) is exponential. A level 4 magnitude earthquake is not twice as strong as a 2, it’s 4 times as strong. The same with ratings for Martian dust storms. The 2007 global storm had an opacity level, or tau, somewhere above 5.5. The current storm had an estimated tau of 10.8 on Sunday when we last heard from Oppy, which again is not twice as thick, it’s 4 times.

2) NASA isn’t worried about Opportunity freezing, despite the loss of use of the rover’s heaters. Mars is moving into Summer time which, like on Earth, is significantly warmer than Winter time. And it is well established that Martian dust storms also increase the temperature of the air. NASA has done modelling and testing here on Earth this last week, and strongly believes that the temperature around Oppy will stay well within the rover’s tolerance limits.

3) Spirit – Opportunity’s twin rover, whom we lost in 2010 – survived and recovered from a fault mode back in 2004. So we know it’s possible.

But the one thing that is keeping our hope in check is Oppy’s age. Opportunity is now 14 1/2 Earth years old. Spirit lasted 6 years. Both rovers were designed to last 90 days (roughly 3 months). NASA is likening this to humans by describing Oppy as your 90-something year old grandparent. There’s a whole lot more stress a human teenager can survive compared to a 90-year-old human. The rovers are no different.

For now, Oppy is in a protective “coma”. All we can do is wait.


Reference links:

  • https://solarsystem1.jpl.nasa.gov/nnw/telecon-display.cfm?TeleconID=4058 (ONLY AVAILABLE TO LOGGED IN SSAs)
  • https://mars.nasa.gov/news/8348/opportunity-hunkers-down-during-dust-storm/
  • https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2018/06/14/nasas-opportunity-rover-is-fighting-for-its-life-in-a-martian-dust-storm/?utm_term=.9dc85256bf9a
  • https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2007-080
  • https://www.space.com/18289-opportunity-rover.html
  • https://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/mer/mission/status_spiritAll_2004.html
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I am no longer a land owner! Only one home for my children and I!

I have also (finally) given notice at work. 3 weeks from tomorrow should be my last day.

It’s time to get excited!!! School, I’m a-comin’!

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Closing Date

Did I mention yet that I have a closing date on the house? This Thursday.

This past Thursday my realtor let me know. I was very happy!

On Friday I started to feel excitement for school bubble in the bottom of my stomach, and for the first time in a month and a half I didn’t squash it. I let myself feel it just a little – not too much! This still isn’t a given certainty going to happen. But, it’s as close to certain as we can get! Against my better judgement as defined by the last two months, I even started looking at making plans. Only 1 plan is made, only 1 setting of a possible date. And as with everything else about Plan D – Revised, it’s contingent on the house ACTUALLY being sold on Thursday. Here’s hoping.

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Mars: Did You Know? #4

The U.S. just launched a new mission to Mars. As in JUST launched. It successfully took off shortly after 7 am (EDT) on Saturday, May 5th from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California!

It’s a lander (not a rover) called Insight. And is expected to land on Mars on November, 26, 2018 Earth calendar.

BONUS: This is the first interplanetary launch from the West coast of North America.


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Mars: Did You Know? #3

While the USA was first to successfully fly by and image Mars (Mariner 4) in 1964, the former USSR was the first to both successfully orbit Mars and successfully land on Mars (Mars 3 Orbiter/Lander) in 1971!

I bet you didn’t know Earth has been successfully sending visitors to Mars for 47 years.

And of the 44 attempted missions to Mars by various countries on Earth, 23 have failed. That’s more than half! Granted the failure rate is heavier in the 1960s and 70s than it is now. But the most recent failure was 2011. (The most recent failure for the USA was 1999.)

The point being: It’s hard to get to Mars! Even after 47 years of trying and succeeding! That’s why we still celebrate every time there’s a success.

Mars Exploration Historical Log

Extra Credit:
1) The ESA – European Space Agency on its own, the ESA together with Russia, and India on its own, have all successfully orbited Mars.
2) Japan, Russia (post USSR), and Russia together with China, have tried to reach Mars but failed.

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Timeline of the demise of my future

- 2018 -
March 12: Close on new condo. Drywall repairers at house.
March 13: Drywall repairers spot paint with attempt (and spectacular fail) to color match, and attempt (and again fail) to cleanup. Move all currently boxed and binned up items from house to condo
March 14: House cleaners. Carpet cleaners are supposed to come late today, insist on coming early when I keep telling them we’re not ready. Show up, see we’re not ready, and postpone to next morning. Supposed to have photos taken today. House is supposed to go on the market today. (Neither happens because realtor’s Mom goes into hospice)
March 15: Carpet cleaners. Photos taken. House goes on market late this night.
March 17: Prep new condo
March 18: Finish prep condo, MOVE from house to condo!

March 18: Need an offer on the house if I’m going to start school for Spring term.

March 19: I start being unable to sleep though the night. And it’s not because of living in a new place.
March 23: Need to be through inspection on the house if I’m going to start school for Spring term.

March 24: Yard cleanup at house.
March 25: Open House.
Weekend of March 24 / 25: I work out a Plan B and a Plan C in case (since) the house has failed to sell like everyone expected it would. I am now able to start sleeping through the night again.

March 27: I finally summon enough courage to write a letter to school saying I can’t start as planned and can I PLEASE delay my start until Summer session? Thus initiating Plan B. The answer is yes, and my application and acceptance letters are updated correspondingly within 24 hours. WHEW!
Week of March 26: House interior painting quotes #1 and #2

April 2: Dad has a contractor come to refinish the hard wood floors of my old house.
April 3: Contractor finishes hard wood floors.
April 4: Class registration opens. Except the system isn’t letting me register.
April 5: Frantic attempt to redo my class schedule plan for Summer and Fall based on the fact that I’m going to miss the Spring term. Get Summer set. Fall is a disaster waiting to happen.
April 6: Receive word that I (and 3 other MEDPREP students) now have access to register for classes. One more round of redoing my schedule for Fall, and I make it work very nicely! (by giving up on working into my schedule the Spring pre-req class I’m missing. I’m just going to have to catch up at the start of the second class in the sequence.) Registered for classes!

April 8: Carpet installation estimator misses the 2 hour appointment window by almost an 1hour late. I’m already gone to put Aurora down for nap.
April 9: Carpet installation estimator missed appointment AGAIN, by 30 minutes. I’m literally locking the door to the house on my way out to my car when he shows up.
April 11: House painters quote #3.
April 13: Carpet installation.
April 16: Inside of house painted.
April 17: New photos taken.
April 18: Remove house listing. Relist house with new photos and $1,000 price drop (after spending $8,000+ on carpeting and paint, and Dad spending more on wood floors).
April 20: I get that horrible stomach sank to the bottom of the pit and got eaten feeling telling me the house will not sell in time. I start looking for a new job. The start of Plan C (where I don’t get to go to school.)

April 22: Open house.
April 23: Drop price of house $15,000.
April 27: School Orientation.
April 27: Need an offer on the house if I’m going to start school for Summer term.

May 4: Need to be through inspection on the house if I’m going to start school for Summer term.

Week of April 30 – May 4: At some point in here I will have to summon the strength to tell school I can’t come….

There is no path I know of for starting school in the Fall term and getting in the 3 class Chemistry sequence I need in time to take the MCATs. Which probably means not being able to go to school (this year).

Thus will end the month (and a half) of emotional Hell. I hope.

Week of April 30 – May 4: I start applying for a new job.

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I So Want to Be Here

Yesterday I went to orientation for MEDPREP. I *SO* want to be here. :(

Last night I had normal (for me) dreams. I like my dreams. If only I could get back to this everyday.

Side Note (because I keep forgetting to post it):
During the so hard physically month, one of the things that helped keep me going was Aurora climbing into bed with me each morning and either playing “go sleep, wake up!” with me or cuddling with me. Aww, Loved it.

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