Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Tale of Two Armstrongs

We are as we are remembered

 RIP Neil Armstrong 1930-2012

A hero of my youth, Neil Armstrong, who passed away this week, will be remembered for taking a giant leap for mankind.
From Armstrong:
 “The single observation I would offer for your consideration is that some things are beyond your control. You can lose your health to illness or accident. You can lose your wealth to all manner of unpredictable sources. What are not easily stolen from you without your cooperation are your principles and your values. They are your most important possessions and, if carefully selected and nurtured, will well serve you and your fellow man. Society’s future will depend on a continuous improvement program for the human character.”

From the Register:
Armstrong was a humble man. He was bemused by the fame that came with his achievement, proclaimed himself no more than a "nerdy engineer" and shunned the spotlight. He even declined to attend some Apollo anniversary events, and insisted he didn't deserve personal praise.

And from one commenter on another website:
Do you know they were almost lost? There was 30 sec of fuels remaining when their Eagle couldn’t find a place to land. They turned on their inflight radar, which overwhelmed their computer. Armstrong had to manipulate the vehicle manually and eyeballed the landing site, eventually landed with 15 sec of fuels left.
Then circuit breaker was broken. Buzz Aldrin had to push down the control with the tip of his ball point pen to leave the moon.
The power of their computer in Mission Control has as much power as a PC. The computer on Apollo has the power of an HP calculator, the Lander has even less power.
There was a system failure warning from the mission control computer before the Lander was separated from the Command Module. They could have turned back to Earth. But the 24 years old computer wiz who monitored the computer decided it was a “go”.
The nerves they had in those days.

A hero of my adulthood, Lance Armstrong, who happily is still with us, will be remembered for his amazing dedication, hard work and skill...and his denial of doping.
From the NY Times:

He said again and again that he had never tested positive — though he did test positive at the 1999 Tour for a corticosteroid, for which he produced a backdated doctor’s prescription.
Armstrong also said the case against him was flimsy without that physical evidence.
“Regardless of what Travis Tygart says, there is zero physical evidence to support his outlandish and heinous claims,” Armstrong said. “The only physical evidence here is the hundreds of controls I have passed with flying colors.”

But even without a positive test, the antidoping agency appeared set to move forward with arbitration. It claimed to have more than 10 eyewitnesses who would testify that Armstrong used banned blood transfusions, the blood booster EPO, testosterone and other drugs to win the Tour. Some of Armstrong’s closest teammates, including George Hincapie — one of the most respected American riders — were also expected to testify against him.

I don't have an opinion on the doping but I will always admire Lance Armstrong for his amazing achievements and for creating Live Strong which promotes healthy living. 
Digg this


M.Lane said...

What a fine post. One of your absolute best. I visit often, I'm sorry I don't comment more!


Belle de Ville said...

Thank you M.Lane for your nice comment. I haven't posted much lately because I've been keeping my nose to the grindstone at the office. And I've tried to unplug from all devices when at home.
But I appreciate the fact that you stop by BHB and take the time to comment.

Sunday Taylor said...

Wonderful post. I really enjoyed reading the quotes by and about Neil Armstrong. We all remember where we were when he walked on the moon. It gives me goosebumps remembering. And I agree with you about Lance. I admire him for his achievements and what he did for Live Strong. Hope you are enjoying these final days of summer!

Belle de Ville said...

Sunday,it was iconic event and we will all remember where we were when he walked on the moon (I was in summer camp in Malibu), just like an earlier generation all remembers where they were when Kennedy was shot.
He was a great man, and knowing what we know from the book "The Right Stuff" about what it took to be an astronaut, I think that Lance Armstrong could have been an astronaut too.

Add to Technorati Favorites