News of the Moon

(News) (h/t Claudio) For the first time, scientists have grown plants in soil from the moon collected by NASA’s Apollo astronauts.

Researchers had no idea if anything would sprout in the harsh moon dirt and wanted to see if it could be used to grow food by the next generation of lunar explorers. The results stunned them.

“Holy cow. Plants actually grow in lunar stuff. Are you kidding me?” said Robert Ferl of the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

Ferl and his colleagues planted thale cress — a small annual weed related to mustard and cabbage  — in moon soil returned by Apollo 11’s Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, and other moonwalkers. The good news: All of the seeds sprouted.


The Apollo astronauts returned from the Moon with samples FIFTY YEARS AGO. And they are just getting around to see if plants will grow in the soil.

WTF is going on with NASA? They waited fifty years to give it a go. I agree that the news is important and timely, but why wait so long. Three years, I can understand, NASA bureaucracy being what it is.


Do you have a preference?

I like to dip them in blue cheese dressing as well as catsup – don’t be a hater.


Living Life

Bringing in business since the end of the academic has been a challenge. Yes, there was that Ukrainian high-value rescue,  but you’re only as good as your last game. The project we undertook to place Small Modular (nuclear) Reaction Plants in Greece slowed down because of the Ukraine mess. Don’t ask me why, but it’s true. A lot of it has to do with American politics and the clowns who call the shots there now. My little company consists of a small network of people who have known each other for a long time.  I’m afraid that it’s time to go for some low-hanging fruit irrespective of the roadblocks that we face.

Yeah, just like that.

If I was going to teach a Sunday School lesson about the US Navy, I’d have to read from the Book of Jonah. So many hundreds of billions wasted, so many lies – but yes, they have diversity to show for their efforts. It’s not a completely broken system, but USGOV is working to make it so. How could the mess that the navy has become be inadvertent? So no, I’m not going to work on US Navy-related projects at any level. Some things are so broken that it’s best to decline to participate. CDR Sal is always a good read on the subject.


In Ukraine

Map: Так виглядає скупчення абонентів російського мобільного зв’язку на території України. (This is what the concentration of Russian mobile subscribers in Ukraine looks like.)

The moral to the story is that the Russians are reading blogs too…

The Map is hopeful. Focus on Kharkiv/Kharkov if you will.

There is a small pocket of Russians to the north, but they are pulling back into Russia. The Russians have refocused further south and there is some push and pull, but without major commitments of more men and equipment, they will continue to lose ground in the East. They’re bulking up in the South in the hopes of clinging to their gains there, but who is kidding whom?

Russia has lost 340 soldiers per day on average since its offensive started in February. Add to that the estimated three badly injured (WIA) soldiers per each KIA and about 1,000 Russian soldiers are lost per day. Russia will come to a point by mid-summer wherein if they plan to do something except hunker and bleed, they will have to go for a general mobilization to fight the war. Anything else will hollow out other areas that the military needs to protect. That shines a spotlight on the situation in the public square. It will be a difficult sell if it’s pitched as an effort to save Ukraine from Nazis.

A brief history lesson relevant to today’s events.

Ukraine was right in the center of the violent chaos following the Russian Revolution 1917. After declaring independence the Ukrainian People’s Republic was invaded multiple times as the Russian Civil War, the Polish-Soviet War, the Ukrainian-Polish War and the Soviet-Ukrainian War all raged across the country. The Communist victory in the Russian Civil War meant that the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic became a founding member of the USSR.


The Baby Formula Shortage

Oh isn’t this interesting.

The federal government creates a formula shortage with policies that support a handful of companies controlling the entire U.S. market, closing the largest plants. It limits/prohibits European formula from being imported, insists that there’s no way for parents to make safe homemade formula, and then Bill Gates suddenly starts talking about “artificial breast milk” to “fight climate change…”

Just a coincidence – of course.


Let’s talk Naval History – factettes


Pressed men often had lice (being lousy), which often had to do with the social origin of the men, and were shorn as a routine. Therefore, the men on board who wore a pigtail were also those who had been on board a ship for a longer time and were experienced sailors.


Here is a convict that is cleaned in a disinfection bath (salt water and alcohol). But the procedure for the pressed men was similar. 

The lousy newcomers were sometimes not very good at sea if they were impressed non-maritime men, and their uselessness equated with “being lousy”.



Where sailors whose job it was to nip a ship’s anchor cable to the capstan when the anchor was being weighed, were always the smallest and youngest men on board. Hence the word nipper has come to mean a youngster. The anchor cable in large ships was too large to bend around a capstan on the quayside. Instead, a messenger cable was wound around the trundlehead and around rollers, forming a continuous loop.


The anchor cable was temporarily secured to the messenger using small lines known as “nippers”. The nippers were then handed to boys who walked aft along the deck, trying to keep the heavy, wet cable and messenger from dragging. The nippers were removed when they reached the main hatch to allow the cable to be fed down into the hold, where another large group of sailors stowed it neatly.


Naval Time

During the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars, the standard time zones were in the future. All times were local, which made time at sea difficult.

The sea day began at noon – defined as the time when the sun reached its highest point in the sky. Unlike today, this time was always midway between sunrise and sunset or, at a ship’s speed, so close to midway between sunrise and sunset that it made no practical difference.

Daylight saving time or meridian shift did not yet exist. Sunrise and sunset at sea occur when the center of the sun is six degrees below the horizon. For the man on the lookout, dawn began when he could spot a greylag goose, gull, or another landmark, such as a rock or something else, at a distance of one nautical mile.



In some original voices of Sailors from the 18th century, you can read the word, Bigwig. Now you might think it is a term of endearment for the main sail- because it is big and puffy and white. But no, it means an officer. For they wore wigs, as was the fashion at the time for a gentleman of the upper classes. Depending on the purse, wigs were made of goat or horse hair or even human hair. These had to be reshaped every day by a servant (there were captains at this time who had up to 28 of them). First, the curlers were heated in a fire and then the wigs were curled. To keep the curls in place, layers of wax or animal fat were added, which acted like hair gel.

18th Century wig curlers

Chalk powder was added on top to prevent dirt from accumulating in the grease and to give the hair fullness, which also had the added benefit of coloring the hair grey, which was fashionable at the time. Now just about every officer had two to three different wigs. The working wig, usually made of cheaper material and often unpowdered for the undressed uniform. Then the more expensive, powdered wig for the dressed uniform.


Admiral George Pocock (1706-1792)  with a working wig (left) and a dressed wig (right), (x) (x

The last one was the half-wig, which was sometimes worn with a hat. Because the upper part no longer fitted underneath. In the course of the late 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century, the wigs became less and less and the actual natural hair was then curled and powdered.

By the 1820s, officers began to wear their hair much shorter. The term bigwig, by the way, has remained and is still used today for those who work on the executive floor.



  1. I can take some seeds, put them in cold lava, proper amount of moisture and warmth, they will sprout. Grow is something very different. A fee on NASA for not knowing that.

    • You don’t even need lava to get a sprout. Lunar regolith has toxic features to humans if they breathe it and dealing with THAT is something that must be addressed. Astronauts who make Moon walks get it all over themselves and track it back in. Maybe some sort of vacuum cleaner to suck it off the Moon Suits?

      • Which is why NASA wants their expedition suits to be their version of the Russian space suit where the back is a hatch that lets the person into the suit, and the hatch can be mated to a hatch on the vehicle or building on the moon thus limiting exposure to micro particles of the lunar regolith.

        Of course, if you have water, a wash-down station in an airlock would work quite well. Combine that with a vacuum system and you will have a very clean suit with little transfer of regolith.

        Yet another reason we need Starship with its 100-150 tonne to lunar surface instead of all the new landers that are basically the same as the Apollo LEM. More room for water processors and suit cleaners and all the modern conveniences.

  2. Bigwigs/Nippers- interesting. Funny how those thing become part of modern language. “Nippers” are also “end cutters”. Today the tortured and confused would define Bigwigs as olden day trannies…anything for validation, includes an “Admiral” who’s a Bigwig on display.

    I don’t believe in coincidences, everything we are being subject is by prescription. And why this “small incursion” now? You watch, by tomorrows chat shows The Hollowman and Garland will define angry mothers wanting food for their babies as “domesticated terrorists and a threat to our democracy”.

    Fries- All of them, depends on mood or main fare, usually with Heinz 57 or the chef’s super secret fry sauce.

    • Democrat Solution: If all babies are murdered in utero, there will be no need for baby formula. Simple. Heinz 57 tastes good on a flip-flop.

      • The Dem’s are headed there.

        We’ll find out the NASA boys mixed Heinz 57 with the moon dust “to make something happen”. Minimally H57 should be the Left’s go to condiment, it’s all inclusive and makes everything taste better. (that didn’t come out right)

  3. Who in their right mind would listen to Bill Gates about anything. No, no, that was not a question.

    Tots first, then waffle, unless the fries are exceptional, of course usually not known until set before you. I am partial to Five Guys fries, just wish the “small” size wasn’t three times as large as it needed to be. Tomato ketchup for tots and waffle fries, but I’m a heathen and prefer mayo with fries.

    • I’m going to guess a Mark V. It had a larger cupola on the roof and doors in the side of the hull (previous versions had small hatches under the sponsons of females or small doors in the rear of the sponson for males, along with a small hatch in the rear). The extra section was also designed to house a squad of infantry. The weight was 33 tons. 579 had been built by the Armistice and they had evolved by that time to have a pigeon hatch. The sponsons held a short barreled gun or machine guns as featured in your photo.

  4. Looks like fuel prices are going up again thanks to Brandon’s boss, whomever that may be. I haven’t yet had the $100 fill up, but I fear it’s coming. Gas here is at $4 and diesel’s over $5.
    I prefer my fries to be actually fried. There used to be a BBQ in KC that used lard and their fries were really tasty. For the condiment I prefer a good, preferably spicy, KC style BBQ sauce. Honey mustard works too.

    • Jim, I’ve had a few $100 fill-ups on the truck. It stops at $100, and you need to re-insert your card for the next $30 or so. It’s so exciting to have a woke green president who works to punish America for burning gasoline.

      Joe, the Europeans need it more than we do. How can we call ourselves globalists unless we put everyone else first?

      • Sarcasm noted:

        Good thing we are pulling back because we are not the good globalist we used to be.

        Good id on the tank. I had no idea, the website that published the photo (not where i got the picture) did not have any mention.

        • Keep in mind that I might be wrong on the tank. There were standardizations that carried over from the MK IV to the MK VI and the narrow view made the ID difficult for me. I know a little about tanks but am not an expert.

          • I concur with your tank assessment. Might be something else, but Mk V is where I’d put my money.


      • My tank holds only 26 gallons so I’d have to run it to near empty to get $100 worth. Given the way it is now, I don’t let it get very low generally topping off at about half a tank. My record so far has been $70. In 2020 that same tank would have been $30.

  5. waffle when available, with gravy… huge baby formula factory was closed down by govt inspectors for “water on the floor” and still hasn’t be reopened after four months waiting for the inspector’s return. gotta love it…gates is going to be the creator of the zombie apocalypse….thanks for all the navy trivia, i do enjoy it…..if i was a uke general i’d drop a moab in the middle of that big red cellular circle….. nasa- call me after you eat the plants and survive twenty years on it. after fifty years, what’s to say the dirt didn’t absorb nitrogen from earth’s air….so brandon gives our fuel to europe to get them to help him start a nuke exchange to stay in power? not real smart on anybody’s part. we are SO hosed. oh well, ever the optimist i’ll be loading mags the rest of the day.

  6. Tots are my fave, then those waffles look good. I wouldn’t turn my nose up at fries though.

    Sadly, NASA and the USN have become primarily rice bowls; the Navy and the other services are being made that way intentionally, to destroy them.


  7. I wonder if the crops grown in moon soil has a hint of green cheese to it. And french-fries are good with ranch, or mayo, too. Catsup is for when other options aren’t available.

  8. The navy lingo is interesting I had a book about all the navy. Batter that enters the language and is still used today. Batten down the hatches ,3sheets in the wind, and son of a gun are the only two that come to mind.
    Oh yeah and scuttlebutt . My grandfather built ships during WW2 @Ingals in Pascagoula MS . I first heard the word scuttlebutt from him.

  9. Point of order… Yes, the regolith ‘grew’ plants, but they were malnourished, and I don’t believe they ever grew to maturity. The other issue with regolith is that is has not been ‘smoothed’ like dust here due to the lack of atmosphere, so it literally can lacerate your eyes, nasal cavity, or lungs.

  10. I’m guessing this site is too high-brow to mention the dirty little nipper that circumnavigated the skipper?

  11. All fries are good but the only proper way to have them is smothered in melted sharp cheddar cheese.

  12. Gotta love a good fry! Or in English, “chip.” That said, I’m partial to tots too.

    Bigwig needs to be used more often, imo.

  13. Human breast milk isn’t just food, there’s an immune system connection where mom’s immune system does stuff for baby which baby’s system can’t do yet.

  14. When I hear sacrilege like “Chips” for fries or “Crisps” for potato chips or “Chocolate vanilla biscuit” for an Oreo, I thing we were justified in 1776. Great post, today LL. Good stuff.

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