The Golden State:  Not So Golden For Some Students

Of all the sad situations in our world – and there are many – I think one of the saddest is of students who want to go to college, are qualified to go to college, and would make the most of college, but can’t…money

Because they can’t afford college.

When a lack of money stops someone from becoming an outstanding teacher, a brilliant doctor, an amazing technology expert, or whatever career they aspire to, not only do they lose out, but so does our society and our world.

So it especially saddened me when I saw this story:

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SDSU – San Diego State University – is part of the California State University (CSU) system, which is comprised of 23 campuses offering higher education to almost a half-million students.

And according to this story, over the past 10 years SDSU has failed to award $20 million in available scholarships to deserving students – who want to go to college, are qualified to go to college, and would make the most of college, but can’t…

No SDSU (2) fixed fixed
For some, no becoming leaders…

Because they can’t afford college.

Let’s do the math.  According to the article, the current annual cost of tuition and fees at SDSU is $7,488.

So four years of tuition and fees would run about $30,000.

If we take that $20 million and divide it by $30,000, it equals 666.

By my reckoning, 666 students could have attended SDSU for four years, their tuition and fees paid with that $20 million.

That’s 666 people on their way to becoming teaches, doctors, tech wizards and more – SDSU offers 95 bachelor’s degrees in everything from Accounting to Japanese to Women’s Studies.

No campus (2) walking to class…

But that didn’t happen, and that’s an incalculable loss.

Why did SDSU fail to give away all that scholarship money?

According to the article,

“Campus officials said SDSU has been hobbled by an outdated scholarship management system that can make it difficult for students to find and apply for the awards.”

It’s clear that SDSU has known about this system failure for a long time.

The article goes on to say,

“Until the early 2000s, SDSU students typically had to visit an office on campus and thumb through large binders to see which scholarships were available.  They would file a paper application if they located one.

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…no experiencing life on campus…

“SDSU later developed its own scholarship management software, which worked for a while.  But school officials say the current version can be confusing, time consuming and incomplete.”

And to this day, students are still required to file an application for every award they seek.

So the school officials knew their system sucked.

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…no posing for graduation pictures.

But wait – it gets worse:

SDSU is adopting the Blackbaud Award Management System, which is used by 19 other CSU campuses.

If 19 of the 23 campuses in the California State University system were already using this system – what was SDSU waiting for?

A hand-written invitation from those 19 other campuses?

SDSU President Adela de la Torre says she’s been working on the problem with faculty and staff, noting that, “We all agreed that the fund distribution sitting below 70 percent for several years was not acceptable.”

“Not acceptable”?  How about careless?  Negligent?  Egregiously negligent?

Madam President, do you know the difference between “we will endeavor”  and “we COMMIT”?

Madam President also said that “the university will endeavor to award at least 90 percent of its scholarship money each year.”

“Endeavor”?  Is that like “try”?

How about “The university will award…”

How about “The university commits to awarding…”

How about “As president, please must hold me accountable for awarding…”

no degree croppedAnd sadly, Madam Pres, you’re too late for those 666 future teachers, doctors and tech wizards.

Perhaps they went to another college.

Perhaps they didn’t go to any college.

The California State University system’s lengthy mission statement includes the following:

  • To provide opportunities for individuals to develop intellectually, personally, and professionally.
  • To encourage and provide access to an excellent education to all who are prepared for and wish to participate in collegiate study.

To that – for SDSU – I would add:

  • To maximize those opportunities and access, we award scholarships to eligible students, but it’s too bad our system is confusing, time consuming and incomplete.

SDSU’s fall semester starts in August.

How many students won’t be going there because…

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Book Review:  You May Need Wine To Go With All This Whining

Publication date:  April 2019book cropped

Review, short version:  Two roses out of four for the wisdom; two skunks out of four for the whining.

Review, long version:

Even the title is whiny:  Fifty Things That Aren’t My Fault.

“Aren’t my fault!”

“Aren’t my fault!”

Can’t you just hear a four-year-old whining that?

On the other hand, as author/cartoonist Cathy Guisewite lists those fifty things in chapter one, I had to admit I agreed with some of them:

“It’s not my fault I was raised to think everything is my fault!”

Cartoonist Cathy Guisewite
Cathy and alter ego “Cathy” – the early days.

“It not my fault that women’s magazines have covers declaring we should embrace our beautiful natural curves, but 16 articles inside on how to get skinny!”

“It’s not my fault that things that shouldn’t matter – still matter.”

Whiny or otherwise – she’s right.

So Guisewite has some good things, and wise things, and funny things to say.

But still, in between chapters one and 48 it seemed like there was a whole lot of…


About her life then, when she was so busy with her comic strip, and her life now, which whine cropped fixedhas gotten even busier:

“I thought than when I quit my job, the pace of all the change would slow down.  But it didn’t.  It sped up.”

About her weight, which involves a lot of body self-shaming:

“I remember the morning of a big meeting when I couldn’t get my ‘fat’ skirt buttoned.  Couldn’t get anything buttoned.  Nothing fit except for  my bathrobe.”

About her relationships with her mother, father, friends, the husband who became her ex, other men, and this, to her daughter: whine cropped fixed

“Is it too much to ask you to spend five minutes brushing your hair before you leave the house?”

About life in general, which isn’t fair to women, and the women’s movement, which didn’t deliver as promised:

“My days are too short, my lists are too long.  People aren’t where they’re supposed to be.  Everything’s changing without my permission.”

Then again, maybe it isn’t all whining.  Sometimes Cathy even sounds like me.

The reason Cathy sounds like me and many other women is that her comic strip, Cathy, was the first to speak humorously and directly to a female audience.  On everything from trying on bathing suits to boyfriends, she spoke the truth in a funny, relatable way.  She let women know they weren’t alone in their struggle in a world that was radically changing – ready or not.

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Guisewite was born in 1950, which means she was coming of age at the same time as the women’s movement.  She got a degree in English from U of M, then worked in various advertising agencies, and drew funny pictures about her work and life and relationships “in which to dump all my aggravations,” as she says on her website.

Her doodlings led to a comic strip, Cathy, in 1976, eventually appearing daily in 1400 newspapers, before she retired the strip in 2010.  That’s a remarkable 34 years, a long life for a comic strip, and even more remarkable because this was – and is – a field where men far outnumber the women.

comic strip -- facebook
Guisewite started her “Cathy” comic strip in 1976, and as technology evolved, so did “Cathy.”

Tackling a book project sounds like a bad idea for someone whose life has already “sped up,” but Guisewite says Fifty Things was a chance to reconnect with her comic strip readers, now “in our grown-up years.”

So grab a glass of wine, skim the whining, and enjoy the wisdom.

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How Does He Lie To Thee?

As a public service, the Washington Post provides “The Fact Checker,” a “running list of the false or misleading claims Trump says most regularly.”

fact checkerAccording to the Post website, the “column first started on September 19, 2007 as a feature during the 2008 presidential campaign,” and was revived as a permanent feature on January 11, 2011.

On January 20, 2017 The Fact Checkers got very busy, and they’ve busy ever since.

That’s the day Trump was inaugurated, and told his biggest lie of all:

“I, Donald John Trump, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, so help me God.”

The Post periodically publishes Fact Checker updates, the latest on June 10:

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But The Fact Checker website pages provide much more than periodic updates of the ever-increasing number of Trump’s false or misleading claims.

There’s this handy graph, an excellent aid for visual learners like me:

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Then they go deeper – when I scroll down the page I can “Search the database,” filtering by “topic” or “source.”  I chose “Biographical record” and up came 354 matching results:

Image 3 (2) Final

A little further on was this Trump lie – excuse me, false or misleading statement – one of my favorites:

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Going back to the “Search the database” image, you’ll see a small image that looks like this:

pinocchio 4 cropped

This is the “Fact Checker rating” and here’s how it works:


A little more exploring brought me to “Bottomless Pinocchios”:

download larger cropped


In December 2018 The Fact Checker introduced the Bottomless Pinocchio.  The bar for the Bottomless Pinocchio is high:  Claims must have received Three or Four Pinocchios from The Fact Checker, and they must have been repeated at least 20 times.  Twenty is a sufficiently robust number that there can be no question the politician is aware that his or her facts are wrong.

The Bottomless Pinocchios are maintained on their own landing page, so of course I immediately went there:

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Now we’re really going deep.  I can “Jump to a claim,” and then, when I “Hover over Pinocchio to read a claim,” we go interactive:

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It’s going to take me awhile to explore all this.

I can imagine how exhausted The Fact Checkers must be – they’re the ones doing all researching and checking and compiling.

So it’s understandable that their last published update was back on June 7.  There’s so much material to work with, because Trump’s lies – I mean, his false and misleading claims – never stop.

And because I know they’re so busy and exhausted, I thought I’d pitch in and help The Fact Checkers with some fact checking of my own.

This from a Trump Twitter storm on July 11:

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What Is A “Poll Tax” And Why Is It In The News?

The term “poll tax” has been in the news recently.

And while I’ve heard the term many times, I had only a vague idea of what it was.

Research time.

“Poll,” which – appropriately – rhymes with “stole” – appears to be an old English word that meant “head.”  If you wanted to know how many people lived in your town, you did a “poll” count, or head count.

In the American colonies, governments implemented a “poll tax” by taking a head count, and charging a fixed sum on every liable individual.  In other words, if you were alive, you were taxed for it, and the poll tax became a major source of government revenue.

poll tax_1900

Poll taxes fell out of favor in some states as populations grew, settled land, land values grew, and governments realized they’d make more money charging a property tax.

But poll taxes still hung around, sometimes in the form of hunting or fishing license fees and later, driver license fees.  And we still pay those fees; they just go by a different name.

If you didn’t like it, the various local governments simply shrugged and said, “Hunting and fishing and driving are optional.  Just – don’t pay it, and don’t hunt or fish or drive.”

Where it got ugly was in locations in which, if you wanted to vote, you paid a poll tax.

Again, voting?  Optional.  Can’t afford the poll tax?  Then don’t vote.

24thamendment01 largerAfter losing the Civil War (1861-1865), former Confederate states set up poll taxes of $1 or $2 per year between 1889 and 1966 as a prerequisite to voting.  This Jim Crow-era tool was used to disenfranchise those who couldn’t pay – first, African Americans and then, poor white Americans.

The end of the voting poll tax was the 24th Amendment, which passed in 1964.

But we still use the word “poll” in several different ways:

  • A record of the number of votes cast in an election: “Apathy might cause the poll to be unduly low.”
  • The places where votes are cast in an election: “The polls have only just closed.”
  • To take a sampling of attitudes or opinions: “The latest Gallup poll indicates…”

Which brings us current and using “poll” in news headlines.

First, Florida voters passed Amendment 4 in November 2018:

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Which led to headlines like this:

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Which has now led to headlines like this:

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Let’s start with:

Why are felons deprived of their right to vote?

Depriving someone of their right to vote when they’ve been convicted of a serious crime is a tradition that goes back to ancient Greek and Roman times, transitioned to Europe in the Middle Ages, and survives right up to our current day.

It was a form of “civil death,” the reasoning being that people who commit what we now call “felonies” have “broken” the social contract, thereby giving up their right to participate in a civil society.

poll tax_1918

As Europeans emigrated to the American colonies, they brought the tradition with them, and as the colonies became states, they began to formalize “civil death.”  In 1792 – nine years after the end of the American Revolution – Kentucky became the first state to establish criminal disenfranchisement when it ratified its constitution, which included this language:

“Laws shall be made to exclude from…suffrage those who thereafter be convicted of bribery, perjury, forgery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

In one form or another, other states did likewise.

Then, over the last few decades, the trend turned toward ending – in various degrees – felony disenfranchisement.  It’s a state-by-state policy choice, which eventually created a morass of rules that look like this:

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The Brennan Center for Justice, a non-partisan law and public policy institute, put it this way:

“Navigating this patchwork of state laws can be exceedingly difficult, especially because election officials often misunderstand their own states’ laws.”

Now let’s talk about former felons in Florida.

In November 2018 the people of Florida approved Amendment 4, which restored voting rights to former felons who had served their sentence, excluding those convicted of murder and sex felonies.

poll tax_1933

The amendment passed by a 30-point margin – 64% of voters – which made the will of the people of Florida very clear.

In June 2019 the Florida legislature passed, and Governor DeSantis signed, SB7066, which requires people who are eligible to vote under Amendment 4 to complete “all terms of sentence” before they can vote.

The legislature and governor’s SB7066 defined “all terms of sentence” as including payment of all restitution, fines, fees, or outstanding costs associated with the conviction.

It’s estimated Amendment 4 would affect 1.4 million felons.  Reports show that about 500,000 of them have unpaid fees or fines that could prevent them from registering to vote, due to the amended amendment.

poll tax_1945

Just hours after DeSantis signed the bill, the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Florida, the Brennan Center for Justice, and NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund filed a federal lawsuit.

The lawsuit claims that SB7066 creates two classes of returning citizens:  a group wealthy enough to afford their voting rights, and another group who cannot afford to vote.

Other civil rights groups suggest that SB7066 violates the prohibition against poll taxes enshrined in the 24th Amendment – the amendment that ended the pay-to-vote system.

And many people point out that those 64% of Florida voters passed Amendment 4, which never made any mention of court fines, fees or restitution.

poll tax_1960

The voters of Florida didn’t ask for court fines, fees or restitution, but the Florida legislature and governor did.

Why did the legislature and governor do this?

Just doing our jobs, says Republican State Senator Jeff Brandes:

“I think via this legislation, we are doing our constitutional obligation to define those undefined terms in the amendment.”

Anti-poll tax button, 1940s.

The ACLU and many others disagree:

“The right to vote should not come with a price tag.  Florida’s new law is un-American and unconstitutional.”

And many see it as blatant racism, given the disproportionate number of African Americans in prison.

Amendment 4 could have enfranchised thousands of African Americans, who tend to vote Democrat.

Florida has a Republican governor and a Republican majority in its legislature.

It’s a critical “swing” state in presidential elections.

So – “just doing their job,” or implementing a poll tax?

“Unamerican,” or sadly, very American, considering today’s bipolar politics?

All those 1.4 million former felons can do…

Is wait:

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When It Comes To Privacy, In This Country It’s Either…

We have a rather skewed sense of what to keep private and what to reveal.

Two recent news stories brought this thought to mind.

In one story we reveal more than we should, and in the other we reveal less than we should.

Revealing More Than We Should:

In early June, someone bought a lottery ticket in California and won the $530 million megaMega-Millions jackpot.

That person has a year to claim their prize, and if they do, her or his name will be online, on TV, on everything and everywhere.

In California, as in many other states, rules decree that the names of lottery winners must be made public.

The reason given by lottery officials has to do with transparency.

They say things like lottery spokeswoman Patty Mayers told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in April 2019 – that the agency favors a policy which “protects the integrity of the lottery” and is “rooted in a tradition of transparency.”

Public figures love talking about transparency.  Usually when they’re demanding it from someone else, but not of themselves.

The rational is that showing an actual winner demonstrates that the game is fair:  “Look!winner cropped  My neighbor won the lottery!”  And that everything is above board:  “See that big check?  They’re really getting all that money!”  But most importantly, it boosts sales:  “I never bought a lottery ticket, but now I will!”

Unfortunately, along with the money, winning a lottery can also bring heartache, financial ruin, and even death.

We’ve all heard the horror stories – the Internet abounds with them:

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The guy who make bad financial decisions, and end up broke and living in a storage unit.  The woman whose windfall allows her to invest in the wrong thing, like heroin or meth, until an overdose kills her.  The people who make good decisions, even charitable decisions, but die at the hands of a greedy family member or friend or someone they don’t even know.

It’s easy to say, “Anonymity won’t protect people from the greedy if the winner tells them about winning,” and that’s true.

But if the winner is anonymous, then telling is the winner’s choice.

And it should be their choice, not the state’s.

Happily, I’m not the only one who thinks so:

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Revealing Less Than We Should:

Even if you haven’t participated, you’ve probably seen the commercials for and other companies – they’re called “direct-to-consumer DNA 23andmetechnology.”  You submit a saliva sample and get results about your genetic information.

If you want to take your results further – do deeper genealogy research – you can upload your results to and compare your results with others who have done the direct-to-consumer test and added their results to GEDmatch.

I’d never heard of GEDmatch until April 2018, when California law enforcement announced the arrest of a man suspected committing at least 13 murders, more than 50 rapes, and over 100 burglaries in California between 1974 and 1986.  Dubbed the “Golden State Killer,” 72-year-old Joseph DeAngelo was arrested with the help of GEDmatch and genetic genealogy:

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At the time I thought, “What a great use of technology!  Here’s a new tool to help law enforcement catch criminals.”

And in fact, it has.  According to a June 7 Associated Press (AP) article, picked up by other media, since DeAngelo’s arrest at least 50 other killings and rapes have been solved nationwide by using this strategy:

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And each time I heard about one of these cases, I thought, “Good!  One less criminal on the streets, one more person and/or family with some measure of resolution.”

But the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and other critics started making waves.  According to that AP article, “They believe broad genetic searches violate suspects’ constitutional rights.”

And ACLU attorney Vera Eidelman wrote, “Blockbuster investigations, as gratifying as they are, shouldn’t obscure the very real dangers of government access to sensitive information”:

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So GEDmatch has updated its policy to establish that law enforcement only gets matches from the DNA profiles of users who have given permission.  Users have to opt-in:

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The AP article described this as a “95% reduction in GEDmatch profiles available to police.”

Leading investigative genetic genealogist CeCe Moore said, “We can be sure there are hundreds of cases that would have been solved in the coming months or years that very well won’t be now.”

I think this is crazy.No privacy

Thanks to social media, we’ve become a society – a world – where we give away our privacy, much of it “sensitive information,” on a daily basis.

In many public places, security cameras follow our every move.  Satellites in space track you through your phone.  We talk to our Alexa and other virtual assistants.

Our data is collected, sold to third parties – think Facebook and Cambridge Analytica – and used for all sorts of purposes.

Our data is stolen, as in this recent story:

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Privacy, schmivacy.

We’re so busy giving away our privacy that we barely think about it anymore.

So the ACLU is concerned about “suspects’ rights”?

How about the victims’ rights?

This one story says it better than I ever could:

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In April 2018 in southern Utah, 79-year-old Carla Brooks was sleeping when a man she didn’t know came into her house and woke her up, put a cloth in her mouth and sexually assaulted her.

carla cropped
Son Barton, Mom Carla.

It was genetic genealogy that identified Spencer Glen Monnett, 31, who faces first-degree felony counts of rape and object rape, along with a second-degree felony burglary charge and misdemeanor charges of sexual battery and simple assault.

Carla’s son Barton Brooks, 47, said he’s shocked by the DNA privacy debate.

“If my fourth cousin gets caught because of my DNA, that’s his problem.  He shouldn’t have committed a crime,’’ Barton Brooks said.

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In spite of the ACLU and others, this important work continues:

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So You Want To Go To The International Space Station?

Are you excited about NASA opening up the International Space Station (ISS) to tourists?

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Because I care about you, there are just a few teensy-weensy things I’d like to mention before you start packing:

Part 1:  Before You Go To The International Space Station

According to AP News, “private astronauts will have to meet the same medical standards, training and certification procedures as regular crew members.”

I wondered what “medical standards” the private astronauts will have to meet, so I went looking and found this:

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It’s an 83-page document that includes topics such as “Fitness-for-Duty Orthostatic Hypotension Standard” and “Permissible Outcome Limit for Microgravity-Induced Bone Mineral Loss,” but I decided to start with this section on page 26, subtitled “Pre-flight”:

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Do you know what the hell the “JSC FMC” is?  How about “MORD”?

Apparently you’ve forgotten how much our government loves acronyms.

Before you read anything in this manual, you need to go to pages 12-14 and memorize the list of 83 acronyms.  Here’s a sample:

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Then, and only then, you’ll know that JSC is “Johnson Space Center,” FMC is “flight medicine clinic” and MORD is “Medical Operations Requirements Document.”

Got that?

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Oh, no!  What’s a “CMO?”

It’s crucial that you know your acronyms and their meanings.  What if there’s an emergency on your spaceship and the captain orders you to “Get the CMO, bring me the AED, and stand by for ACLS/ATLS!”

You can’t very well say, “Dude, I’ll have to go get my acronym list to understand what you just said.”

A response like that will get you bounced from ISS training faster than you can say, “STD,” which in NASA-speak means “standard,” and not “sexually transmitted disease.”


You will be tested in the morning.

Part 2:  Before You Go To The International Space Station

Brace yourself:  I have some bad news, and some bad news.

The AP article says that NASA “has contracted with Boeing and SpaceX to fly future crewed missions to the space station.”

You’re certainly aware that Boeing is the maker of the 737 Max, and that all 737 Max aircraft have been grounded since March – all 394 of them.  Here are just a few:

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737 Max jets parked in Seattle.

In mid-June Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg conceded the company’s “mistake”:

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Muilenburg expressed confidence that the Boeing 737 Max would be cleared to fly again later this year.

What’s “later this year”?  August?  Halloween?  Bartender Appreciation Day?

(The latter being December 1, in case you have a bartender you’d like to appreciate.)

So suppose your flight to the space station is on a Boeing spacecraft, and it gets you there…

And then Boeing realizes they made a “mistake”:

They don’t know how to bring their spacecraft back to Earth.

The launch was great fun and went really well, but then, when it’s time for the return trip…

you_01cropped final fixed

Will CEO Muilenburg once again express confidence that Boeing will have your return trip figured out “later this year”?  Next year?  Some day?

Hope you had travel insurance.

The other bad news:  SpaceX is also the builder of spacecraft for ISS trips.

SpaceX is owned by Elon Musk.

I googled “Elon Musk crazy” and got 10,900,000 hits:

Image 5 (2)

I’ve never considered “Elon Musk” and “rocket scientist” as synonymous.

Do you really want to go to the ISS – or anywhere – on a spacecraft built by a company whose owner has said,

“I don’t love the idea of being a house cat, but what’s the solution?  I think one of the solutions that seems maybe the best is to add an AI layer.  A third, digital layer that could work well and symbiotically with the rest of your body.”


“I would like to allocate more time to dating, though.  I need to find a girlfriend.

Elon Musk cropped
Sure, Elon.  Whatever.

“That’s why I need to carve out just a little more time.  I think maybe even another five to 10 – how much time does a woman want a week?  Maybe 10 hours?  That’s kind of the minimum?  I don’t know.”


“I’m not an alien…but I used to be one.”

Still not convinced?

Then read on:

spacex explosion

SpaceX Update (2)

Looks like your ride to the Space Station isn’t going anywhere soon.

Part 3:  Before You Go To The International Space Station

Here’s the last thing I’ll mention about your trip to the International Space Station:

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As of today – and we know this will increase – the cost of your round trip is $58 million.

And once you get to the ISS, you’ll be paying for your own life support, food and water.

As of today – and we know this will increase – it’s estimated that will cost you $35,000 a night.

Your stay on the ISS can be up to 30 days, and because you’re a take-it-to-the-limit kind of person, you’ll go for that 30 days.

So, 30 X $35,000 = $1,050,000.

But here comes the really expensive part:

That $35,000 per day does not include Internet, which will cost $50 per gigabyte.


Wow, that science experiment looks…um…interesting.

Now, according to NASA’s website, here’s what astronauts do on the space station:

“The station crew spends their day working on science experiments that require their input, as well as monitoring those that are controlled from the ground.  They also take part in medical experiments to determine how well their bodies are adjusting to living in microgravity for long periods of time.

“Working on the space station also means ensuring the maintenance and health of the orbiting platform.  Crew members are constantly checking support systems, cleaning filters, and updating computer equipment.”

Boring, boring, boring.

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Wow, that food looks…um…interesting.

And the food?

“An astronaut can choose from many types of foods such as fruits, nuts, peanut butter, chicken, beef, seafood, candy, brownies, mac and cheese, and spaghetti.  Available drinks include coffee, tea, orange juice, fruit punches and lemonade.”

Talk about boring!  No burgers, no beer, no marijuana-laced muffins?

And because it’s so boring, you’ll want to spend time on the Internet, posting pictures of yourself floating around in that microgravity, working on those experiments, eating that yummy spaghetti.

Want to post this picture of you floating in microgravity?  That will be $50, please.

But at $50 GB, you’ll get only 51 hours on Facebook!

And you’ll want to show all your friends how you’re cleaning those filters, but one GB gets you only a measly four hours on Skype.

As for watching TV – $50 is only 10 episodes of your fav show, hardly enough to qualify you as binge watching.

This may be the deal breaker.

But don’t get discouraged.

NASA plans to return to the moon by 2024.

You can save up more money to pay for more GB…

And you can practice your moonwalk:

moonwalk cropped