Tag Archives: balloon

Another Helium Balloon Escapes To The Heavens To Later Cause Mylar Pollution.

by Anura Guruge

by Anura Guruge

Click to ENLARGE.

Click to access my post from just 6-months ago.

Yes, I like helium balloons. I didn’t have them growing up in Ceylon, but as a father to four kids, as of 1989, I know that I have bought too many. I even used to get the helium canisters for the home. Then c. 2012 I heard about the helium shortage. I started to become responsible about wasting helium. Since 2012 I have really cut back on buying helium balloons. Yes, I know kids like them and they cheer up the sick. So, it is a compromise.

Yes, I have seen too many helium balloons go ‘bye-bye’. I even watched a 12-year, rather spoilt boy, intentionally let go of a $99 motor-driven, helium filled shark. We tried to chase that down by car!

Yes, I know some set them loose intentionally — to be symbolic of freedom. This was at Concord Hospital, today. So, it could have been either, accidental or intentional. Either way it could end up two-weeks later in a field, woods or a lake. Animals will peck at it. Not good. Sad.

But, in the scheme of things we have bigger problems.

But, PLEASE try not to buy too many helium balloons.

Tell Realtors to cut it out.

Related Posts:
Search ‘helium‘.

by Anura Guruge

A Heart Blown Away …

by Anura Guruge

Click pictures to ENLARGE.

Attribution WILL be enforced.

Krista Duhaime Focal Jewelry Designs Anura Guruge

This was at Concord Market Days yesterday. Happened to see it and was thrilled that my Canon EOS RP, with the 28-300mm Tamron all-in-one zoom, was fast enough to let me snap two pictures — because it was floating fast and furious.

Yes, it reminded me of the plastic bag scene in ‘American Beauty‘ (1999).

Related posts:
Category ‘art’.

by Anura Guruge


Sri Lanka To Be First To Try Out Google’s Balloon-Based Internet — And Ungrateful Locals Are Worried Of Spying!

Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail.
by Anura Guruge

projectloon22Related posts:
>> Google’s Balloon-based Internet.

++++ Check Category ‘Sri Lanka’ or search ‘Ceylon’ for other posts >>>>

++++ Search on  ‘Google’ for other posts >>>>


Click to access original.


Click to learn more about Google’s Internet via balloon ‘Project Loon’.

Having tested the concept, successfully, in New Zealand and Brazil earlier this year, Google has signed a contract with the Sri Lankan government to provide Internet via balloon.

This makes sense. The country is small but populous, with very high literacy and most people not averse to technology. Nonetheless only 1 in 5 have ready access to the Internet. So Google in reality is doing the Sri Lankans a huge favor and honor.

Though only a handful will know this Sri Lanka in 1992 became the first country to officially sign-up for Al Gore’sInformation Superhighway“! I kid you not. At the time I used to joke that Sri Lanka must have managed to get a connection with the single 128Kbps dial-up link they had. I know this because the person who made this happen, as the then Sri Lankan Ambassador in D.C. was my adoptive father — who once a month had breakfast with Al Gore, his ‘neighbor’ in D.C.

But it appears that some Sri Lankans are far from grateful, let alone happy.

They fear that Google will spy on them and on Sri Lanka.

‘Spy’ is such an emotive and strong word. But, I can see where they are going.

I am 100% sure that Google will ‘data mine’ anything and everything that they can get their hands on in the data that passes through them. That happens worldwide. It is happening right now. I take it for granted.

Will Google ‘share’ this data with the U.S. government — which has a cursory interest in Sri Lanka in the overall context of the war against terrorism — or for that matter with other governments? I am sure India, Pakistan and some Gulf States probably would like to get some hands-on, G2 on Sri Lanka. Even if they don’t share it, Google probably might be amenable to selling some or all of the data. So the Sri Lankans are justified in their paranoia.

I just take Internet snooping, especially by Google and Amazon, for granted. But then again I don’t do anything that I shouldn’t do on the Internet. So I have nothing to hide.

But it amuses me to see the Sri Lankans getting so worked up about this.

Many of them that are ranting are too young to KNOW that Sri Lankans of my age were used, unbeknownst to them, as the guinea pigs for the new oral (sugar cube) polio vaccine, by the U.S., in the late 1950s. Yes, I was given the vaccine, multiple times, and I had no idea that I was being used as an easily dispensable, non-white test subject. Luckily for all of us the vaccine worked and we did get, successfully, immunized against polio. Consequently I have seen more polio in the U.S. than I ever did in Sri Lanka (then Ceylon).

Well being ‘spied on’ by Google is as far as I am concerned not as risky as having been unwitting test subjects for what could have been a dangerous vaccine that could have killed us!

Philadelphia Zoo’s “Zooballoon” — The Best $12 You Can Spend In Philly: YouTube Video.

Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail.
. .
by Anura Guruge

Related posts:
Running up “Rocky Steps”.
Orangutan at Philadelphia zoo.
Got Jaguar in Philadelphia.

++++ Search ‘Philadelphia for other posts >>>>


Click to access 2:26 minute YouTube photo-montage video with “Steeleye Span” “Gaudete” — by the incomparable Maddy Prior — audio track. [I have heard Maddy sing this, live, maybe a dozen times — given I was a Steeleye Span devotee.]

Click to ENLARGE.

Copyright might be enforced.

We saw the balloon, in the distance, while waiting at the “Museum of Art” to get on the ‘PHLASH‘ bus shuttle to get to the Philadelphia Zoo. Did NOT realize that it was a public, tethered helium balloon ride till we got to the zoo. Affordable at that — and surprisingly (especially given the price), NO LINE. You don’t even have to buy an entrance ticket to the zoo — since the balloon is outside off the entrance. Learned all of this, from a very helpful zoo employee, as soon as we got there. Rushed over. Best $12 you can spend in Philly.

It goes up 400′. The whole ride is about 15 minutes. Very smooth. Wonderful. Great views. Loved it. Kids were a tad nervous, since it was something new, but enjoyed it. Another experience.

Great zoo. We had fun. We, the two girls and I, were in Philly to pick up our Jaguar.

NASA’s Petty, Petulant, Political & Above All Shameful Closedown Of Its Website.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.


.by Anura Guruge

Related posts:
More workers being reclassified as essential — Oct. 4, 2013.
>> I am smiling re. Government shutdown — Oct. 1, 2013.

>> Yosemite closed on its birthday — Oct. 1, 2013.
++++ Search ‘government’, ‘healthcare’ or ‘Affordable Care Act’ for other posts >>>>

Click to see the STUPID notice for yourself if you really want to see it ... to BELIEVE it.

Click to see the STUPID notice for yourself if you really want to see it … to BELIEVE it.

This is stupid and spiteful.

NASA could have kept its public Website up
during the Government Shutdown.

This is yet another example of the petulant behavior by petty government officials akin to closing down the open-air, free-to-all WW II memorial in D.C.

Yes, I fully understand that they might not have the resources to keep the homepage of the NASA public Website updated — though I again iterate, the buggers are going to get back pay, so why aren’t they back at work?

This is beyond the pale.

The clown in charge of NASA and the one who ordered the Website to be taken down. He should be fired.

This is the clown in charge of NASA right now — Charles Bolden, and I do NOT see anything bold in his action. Just plain cowardice and bratishness. He should be ashamed of himself. He should be supporting the President. But, then again he seems to be way, way out of his depth. He should be fired along with the other scam-artist, Bryan Sivak, who is responsible for the crippled healthcare.gov JOKE.

Just last week, as reported here, NASA, yet again, screwed up, BIG TIME, and wasted $11 million dollars of taxpayer money trying to send up a simple weather balloon (BRRISON) to snap some pictures of my comet, Comet ISON, C/2012 S1 (ISON). They couldn’t get the telescope to unlatch. This was NOT rocket science. This was a helium weather balloon. $11 million. Wonder how many pockets got lined with that money. I could have successfully achieved that mission for under $800,000. But, then again, I am competent and have always been.

As we know NASA’s Website gets regularly hacked, because competence is not really a requirement to work at NASA. It was hacked just 3 weeks ago. Now we don’t even have a hacked site. Nothing. Deep empty space — probably just like the inside of Bolden’s balding head.

Click to access 'SLATE' article.

Click to access ‘SLATE’ article.

Laconia Airport (NH), 2nd Annual Open House, June 8, 2013: ReMax Balloon Will Not Be There Due To Weather.



 ..by Anura Guruge

Related posts:
Program & Sponsors — June 6, 2013.
Laconia Airport (NH), 2nd Annual Open House — May 26, 2013.

Just in case anybody was wondering or was coming just for a balloon ride. Just a heads up. I got an e-mail about the weather-related cancellation on Friday evening. The Open House, of course, is still on, rain or shine.

Funny ‘Breaking The Sound Barrier’ Incident On CNN Last Night With Legendary Chuck Yeager.

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

by Anura Guruge

Click image to access the CNN video and write up of this interview of Chuck Yeager by Don Lemon, last night, Oct. 14, 2012.

Yesterday was the 65th anniversary of Chuck Yeager becoming the 1st man to break the Sound Barrier (~800 mph) in 1947.

As it happened, coincidentally, given that bad weather had delayed the jump a few times since last week, it was also the day that Austrian Felix Baumgartner became the 1st person to break the sound barrier OUTSIDE of a vehicle — i.e., he jumped from a balloon with a parachute and a special, pressurized space suit. (See below.)

Around 10:30 pm, most nights, before turning off the TV and heading upstairs for my 3rd shift of work, I typically flip over to CNN to catch their news update. Last night, being a Sunday, it was the ever irrepressible, always giddily enthusiastic Don Lemon as the anchor. So just as I flipped over, he was about to start a phone interview with Chuck Yeager, who was in Las Vegas. Chuck, now 89, had commemorated the 65th anniversary by being in the back seat of a U.S. Air Force F-15 jet that broke the sound barrier that morning — at the same time that Chuck had done so, so many years ago.

So Don, bubbly as ever, goes: “General Yeager, where you at the controls of today’s jet when it broke the Sound Barrier?


CNN had lost sound!

The CNN sound barrier had been broken.

Don didn’t even crack a joke about it!

Cracked me up. Talk about breaking the Sound Barrier. So graphic. The video shown above was the 2nd TAKE of that interview!

Click for ABC coverage of yesterday’s Baumgartner jump.