Tag Archives: 50

Very Good Pope, Bl. John XXIII (#262): 50 Year Anniversary Of His Death. Now That Was ‘A Pope’.



 ..by Anura Guruge

Last two ‘pope’ posts:
Pope Francis latex face masks — Apr. 21, 2013.
>> Benedict portrait from condoms — Apr. 14, 2013.
++++ Do SEARCH on ‘pope’ for other  related posts >>>>

Click to access a nice video and write up from my friend at 'Rome Reports'.

Click to access a nice video and write up from my friend at ‘Rome Reports’.

The current pope, Francis (#267), does bear some personality resemblances but in some ways they are also poles apart, a very pivotal Pole having much to do with this (unfortunate) division. Yes, they both come across as very genuine, caring, people-oriented men, though John XXIII was inescapably more avuncular (and jollier) than the Jesuit. I am very fussy about my uncles and I was blessed to have six amazing uncles (all from my mother’s side) — and one I really never got to know because he died when I was young. Of all the popes, John XXIII is the ONLY one that I would not have minded as an uncle — and that I am not Catholic is immaterial, because one of my uncles, my surrogate father, was white, and a Baptist.

Though John was a traditionalists in his own way, he was not dogmatic about it and was more than willing to be pragmatic. Hence his bold, shock-wave inducing call for Vatican II in an effort to ‘modernize’ the Church and make it more people-friendly. Vatican II is what gave Catholics the vernacular Mass — something that the ‘Tea Party’ equivalent of the Church rails against even today; believing that the Latin Mass, that even most priest don’t understand, as being what God wanted.

John is basically the Clinton or Obama of popes. The conservatives, though they have to begrudgingly confess that the man was selfless at his core, still hate what they reckon is the damage that he did to the Church. There is a whole movement that claim that he is an antipope and that all that came after him are illegitimate. Can you see the parallels with Obama? 

His life-story is an inspiration. I can’t be 100% sure but I know that reading about him was one of the reasons that made me into a papal historian. Much of the stuff that the current Jesuit is trying to do, like visiting prisons in Rome, are things that were pioneered by John.

Google, it appears, does not do Pope Doodles. That is a shame. John deserves a Doodle.

If you don’t know much about Bl. John XXIII take a few minutes today and read about him. Here is the Wikipedia link.

Just a smattering of my favorite John XIII quotes. Enjoy.

“Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams.
Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential.
Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in,
but with what it is still possible for you to do.”

“See everything, overlook a great deal, correct a little.”

“Men are like wine – some turn to vinegar,
but the best improve with age.”

 “You may say to His Eminence Cardinal Tisserant that, as the pope requires his shoes,
he has given you permission to leave the conclave.”

In the first days of his pontificate, John XXIII received a letter from a twelve-year-old boy named Bruno.
It read: “My dear Pope: I am undecided. I want to be a policeman or a Pope.
What do you think?”
The Pope replied: “My little Bruno. If you want my opinion, learn how to be a policeman, because that cannot be improvised.
Anybody can be pope; the proof of this is that I have become one.
If you ever should be in Rome, come to see me. I would be glad to talk all this over with you.
[[Recounted in The Wit and Wisdom of Good Pope John]]

For more delightful quotes try this.

‘Resident Power’ Handing Us Back To PSNH Cost Us Money. Not Happy.


Anura Guruge

Prior ‘Resident Power’ Related Posts:
1/ ‘Resident Power’ Supplier ‘PNE’ Runs Out Of Money — Feb. 20, 2013.
2/ Resident Power: Possible Alternatives — Jan. 20, 2013.
3/ PSNH Electric Rates Going Up To 10 Cents Per KWH …
>>Dec. 19, 2012.

4/ PSNH To Increase Electric Rates Again? … — Oct. 3, 2012.
5/ We Now Get Electric From N.H. Resident Power — May 24, 2012.
6/ A Plug For N.H. Resident Power. Yes, We Signed Up
>>April 19, 2012.

So I finally got around to looking at my bill yesterday.

I am not amused.

Resident Power/PNE dropped us on February 18, 2013 — though we didn’t get notified about this till Feb. 20.

The 5 days in just that billing cycle that I got power from PSNH cost me a bundle.

Worse still, though I successfully switched to ENH that very same day, i.e. February 20, ENH will only become my supplier as of tomorrow.

I am not happy. I had a CONTRACT with ‘Resident Power’. They are in violation of that contract. Shame on them.

You can see how this all worked out on my bill.

Click to ENLARGE.

Click to ENLARGE.



Well from where I sit, as an ex-Resident Power customer, there are no ‘ifs and buts’. I got screwed by Resident Power.

If they had any honor they will pay for the additional PSNH charges I incurred — because I had a contract with them to supply power to me and they reneged on that. Shame on them.

Yes, I am now with ENH at 0.07284/kWh which is cheaper than what Resident Power was charging me. But, I think it is only a 6 month rate.

I hope ENH proves to be more reliable and credible than Resident Power.

Full Disclosure: Since this whole fiasco I had talked with, and even met, with Resident Power founder and Managing Director, Bartholomew Fromuth. Very nice guy. Very likeable. But, that doesn’t excuse the fact that his company let me down.

Yes, I am not happy.

‘Resident Power’ Supplier ‘PNE’ Runs Out Of Money! We Get Screwed. Automatically Switched To PSNH! I Am Not Happy.

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

by Anura Guruge

Prior ‘Resident Power’ Related Posts:
1/ Resident Power: Possible Alternatives — Jan. 20, 2013.
2/ PSNH Electric Rates Going Up To 10 Cents Per KWH …
>>Dec. 19, 2012.

3/ PSNH To Increase Electric Rates Again? … — Oct. 3, 2012.
4/ We Now Get Electric From N.H. Resident Power — May 24, 2012.
5/ A Plug For N.H. Resident Power. Yes, We Signed Up
>>April 19, 2012.

Click to read full 'Concord Monitor' article.

Click to read full ‘Concord Monitor’ article.

I am devastated. I can’t believe that their Managing Director Bart Fromuth was on here just 32 days ago singing the praises of Resident Power when he must have known that they had issues, with PNE, my supplier.

At least we now know the numbers. Resident Power or PNE  only had 8,500 customers!

Yes, I had a letter saying we are being switched. Too late.

I can’t believe I got sucked in. This is diabolical. I had said all along that: ‘if it was a scam, I wasn’t sure what the angle was‘. I am now mad. Not sure what PSNH will charge us. I know this will end up costing me money. I am sure PSNH will charge me higher rates for some of this. Plus the hassle. Last thing I needed right now.

We just signed up with ENH Power. You have to do it quick, before your next meter reading.

I hate when I get mugged. I was not expecting this. I should have been wary. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is not true.

Resident Power: Possible Alternatives. I Am Happy, But I Am Also Diligent.

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

by Anura Guruge

Prior ‘Resident Power’ Related Posts:
1/ PSNH Electric Rates Going Up To 10 Cents Per KWH …
>>Dec. 19, 2012.

2/ PSNH To Increase Electric Rates Again? … — Oct. 3, 2012.
3/ We Now Get Electric From N.H. Resident Power — May 24, 2012.
4/ A Plug For N.H. Resident Power. Yes, We Signed Up
>>April 19, 2012.

Click to access residentpower.com. So far, very good. No problems. But, will I keep on getting the ‘best’ rate, or will I have to shop and swap?

I went and checked my PSNH bill a few minutes ago. Though I get 'power' from 'Resident Power' (PNE), PSNH still delivers it and I pay the entire bill, as before, electronically, to PSNH. My PNE rate is still the same. I then did some arithmetic.

Last month’s bill confirming that I am paying ‘Resident Power’ 7.695 cents per KwH.

Click to access ENH Power.

Click to access ENH Power.

I am a bit leery of these folks from what I have seen on the Web.

I am a bit leery of these folks from what I have seen on the Web.

We have been with ‘Resident Power‘ since June 2012 and have no complaints. But, I still continue to see folks coming here after doing a search along the lines of ‘Resident Power scam‘. I am really, 98% convinced, that there is no scam.

Yesterday, the Bart Fromuth, the Managing Director of Resident Power left a very informative comment.

A couple of months ago I also had a long e-mail from a ‘North American Power’ broker advocating their company and their rates over Resident Power. He talked a lot about their $50/person referral program comparing it to a ‘Friends and Family’ program of a phone company. That made me slightly uneasy. A power supply company should just be focusing on keeping rates down rather than pushing an ‘expensive’ referral program. I did some incisive Googling. I did not like what I saw. The company is probably very legit, but these ‘brokers’ were cut-throat. WOW.

I had also heard about ENH. Their rates, till October 2013, are fractionally cheaper than what I am currently paying.

So, I am not sure what I will be facing come June. It appears that I can stay with Resident Power — seamlessly; but, will I be getting the best rates. I don’t want it to be like my insurance. The longer i stay with them the more expensive it gets! I will continue to keep an eye on this. IF you know about this stuff please let me know. If it is unbiased I will post it — gladly.

I also worry that PSNH will retaliate by increasing their delivery charges, though I hear that they just reduced them. I do not trust PSNH. Plus, if more people abandon PSNH what will happen to our ‘service’ when we lose power. Will we be down to just their $600K per year VPs and their dogs — and no line crews? In NH there are NO cheap- lunches let alone free lunches. So, by hook or by crook we will end up paying for this cheap power — some other ay. Yes, I head that PSNH has tried, thrice, to introduce an ‘alternate energy’ tax. So, let us stay on our toes, before PSNH steps on them, HARD.

Mariner 2: 50 Years Since First Encounter With Another Planet, Venus, On December 14, 1962.

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.


..by Anura Guruge

My Book On ‘Dwarf Planets’.

Just a couple of weeks ago, I was writing about ‘Mariner 2‘ in what hopefully and with luck might be my next book; my 12th (not counting those that I have co-authored or edited). Given that this book is meant to be the first book I have written specifically as an eBook (i.e., Kindle, iPad, Google etc.), I am not that concerned about copyright because I fully appreciate that eBook content is readily ‘shareable‘ — which is why I have refrained from making all my books eBooks.

≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡ ≡

In December 14, 1962, the 447 lbs U.S. ‘Mariner 2’, became the first successful interplanetary space probe when it passed, as planned, within 21,648 miles of Venus following an incident-prone 108-day voyage from Earth. It had a pyramidal structure, consisting of a solid base topped off by a skeletal mast that culminated in a cylindrical housing. Much of probe’s seven scientific instruments were contained within the mast structure; the total weight permitted for these instruments capped at 40 lbs. The base 41” across was hexagonal in shape, and was made up of six magnesium compartments. It had a total height of 12’. For comparison, Dawn, when launched, was six times heavier and its base over one-and-a-half times longer.

The six compartments in the base housed: a small rocket engine for course-correction, the required propellant, a bottle of nitrogen gas for altitude adjustments, most of the electronics, all of the communications equipment, a 1000 Watt-hour sealed silver-zinc battery and a battery charger. The only radio transmitter on-board had a 3 Watt transmission power, this being comparable to that of a contemporary car phone and about one-third that of a modern cell phone. Three huge steerable antennas, one in California, the other in Australia and the third in South Africa, had to be used to capture the weak radio signal from the probe, the geographic separation of the three compensating for Earth’s unceasing rotation around its axis. One of the key objectives of the mission was to explore the limits of long-range, extraterrestrial communications, particularly as it related to spacecraft command and control.

There were two solar cell wings, one 6’ x 2.5’ the other a foot shorter; a large directional dish antenna was mounted off the bottom of the base unit, a cylindrical omnidirectional antenna sat at the top of the mast while two smaller antennas for command and control were embedded into the solar panels. When deployed the two solar panel wings had a total span of 16.5’. The solar panels were extended within 45 minutes of launch. With the solar panels deployed Dawn has a wingspan of 64.75’.

The seven scientific instruments borne aloft by ‘Mariner 2’ consisted of: two radiometers (one microwave and the other infrared) for measuring Venusian atmospheric and terrestrial radiation [in particular temperature]; a fluxgate magnetometer to monitor and measure magnetic fields; an a Geiger counter equipped ionization chamber to determine high-energy cosmic radiation; a particle detector [i.e., a modified Geiger counter] to establish the presence of lower-energy radiation particularly the x-ray and ultraviolet range; a cosmic dust detector and a solar plasma spectrometer to study the solar wind. No cameras were included since Venus was known to be shrouded by a dense, amorphous cloud blanket.

‘Mariner 2’ was launched from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, on Florida’s eastern seaboard, around 2 a.m. local time, on August 27, 1962. It was launched atop a two-stage ‘Atlas-Agena’ rocket, the first-stage ‘Atlas’ part derived from the United States’ first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) system, the ‘SM-65 Atlas’; the first of which was produced in 1959. The Atlas burn lasted just five minutes, the first-stage then separating from the Agena-Mariner section. Two burns of the upper-stage ‘RM-81 Agena’ followed, prior to its separation. Earth orbit escape resulted 26 minutes and 3 seconds after liftoff.

On July 22, 1962, NASA launched ‘Mariner 1’, a twin of ‘Mariner 2’, its first foray into robotic interplanetary probes. Within five minutes of launch, due to erroneous guidance, the ‘Atlas-Agena’ launch vehicle had veered off-course and had to be destroyed. Thirty-four days later, the Soviets launched ‘Venera 2 MV-1 No.1’ [‘Sputnik 19’] with the intent of it becoming the first man made object to land on another planet.

Mariner 2 never let those on Earth forget that most of its technology was still in the experimental stage and that it was boldly blazing into truly uncharted territory. Its journey, as was to be expected, was not without incident. In those early days launch accuracy was still a bit iffy, mandating a need for midcourse corrections. Thus, a week after launch a midcourse correction maneuver sequence was initiated using the onboard rocket engine and gas jets. Eleven days into the flight, ‘Mariner 2’ unexpectedly switched off its navigational gyroscopes and lost orientation [i.e., ‘attitude’] control. Mariner 2, however, managed to automatically recover from this glitch. Three weeks later there was a similar loss of orientation, again Mariner being able to quickly recover from it without any intervention from home. Just over a month later, the output from the smaller solar panel abruptly dropped.

On December 14, 1962, Mariner reached its expected target distance from Venus. The goal had always been to flyby rather than getting too close and running the risk if getting yanked in by Venus’ gravitational field. During the flyby Mariner’s radiometers, magnetometer and Geiger counters made repeated scans, back-and-forth, across both the dark and light sides of the planet – the radiometer readings for surface temperature involving three separate scans over a thirty-five minute period. The results indicated that the Venusian surface was extremely hot, its thick carbon dioxide heavy atmosphere causing rampant greenhouse effect heating.

The last radio transmission from Mariner 2 was received on Earth on January 3, 1963, twenty days post the Venus flyby. This groundbreaking mission to that point had lasted 129 days. It is thought that Mariner 2 entered heliocentric orbit soon after that and has remained so since.