With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music trivia, useless info, extra added random stuff and the odd rant from me

Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Podcast July 20, 2019


I have just uploaded another With Just A Hint Of Mayhem podcast. It outlines my views on the Apollo 11 moon landing from 50 years ago. How exciting that was to me and my thoughts on what has happened since, accompanied by a soundtrack of some of my favourite space, moon and Apollo tunes. Click here to check it out. I would love to hear your views too.

 

“I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon” November 29, 2012


Based upon information released recently it is alleged that the US Government had planned to blow up the moon in the late 50s as a means of intimidating their nemesis in the Cold War, the Soviet Union. After the Russians effectively took the lead in the Space Race with the launch of Sputnik in 1957 it was apparently believed that a show of strength like blowing up the moon would really scare the Russians. Apparently it was called ‘A Study of Lunar Research Flights’ or ‘Project A119‘. Even that sounds a little James Bond like doesn’t it?

It really does seem like a crackpot scheme and it is unlikely at the time that anyone possessed enough in their nuclear arsenal to actually complete the task. At best it might have left the man in the moon looking more like the elephant Man and the satellite’s surface covered in high levels of radiation. In addition any debris that fell to earth would almost certainly have been radioactive as well.

I wonder if this idea came from the same think tank that thought of the idea of using an explosive cigar to blow up Fidel Castro or to rig the voting in Florida in 2000 in favour of Dubya. Ooops wait a minute that second one was true wasn’t it? had it happened then Neil Armstrong probably wouldn’t have been there to utter his famous ‘one step for man’ line. But then again maybe it did happen and didn’t work very well other than to make the moon radioactive. That would certainly give more credence to those people who believe the moon landings were faked and took place in a film studio directed by Stanley Kubrick.

I’d love to know what you think of this incredibly stupid, yet potentially real plan of  Eisenhower’s government. Bearing in mind that his Vice President was Tricky Dicky Nixon, maybe it isn’t surprising! Anyway as I have said many times before so here are a few songs that may not have happened or certainly wouldn’t have been the same had the moon been blown to smithereens, feel free to add your own moon related songs.

Apologies but there are two kiddie fiddlers for the price of one on this next one!

And finally a special Billy Bonus, my favourite track from Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark side Of The Moon’; “Brain Damage”

 

“I’ve been told that you’ve been bold with Harry, Mark and John” September 23, 2011


Apologies for the lack of any posts for the past few weeks, but I do have a good excuse; honest! I finally made an honest woman of Catherine (aka Catwoman). We got married on 3rd September in York and have just returned from a terrific honeymoon in Mauritius. There will be a few upcoming posts about the music we used at the wedding and maybe even a picture or two. But for now I would like to focus on a couple of recent news stories that have caught my eye.

Firstly you are probably well aware of the impending crash of a NASA satellite into earth today. (In fact it has probably already crashed
as you read this post!). Apparently NASA are unable to say exactly where it will come down until a few hours before it does and even then there is a margin of error of up to 6,000 miles! But don’t worry as there is only a 3,200 to 1 chance that any of this space junk will actually hit a person. Which means that I still have more chance of having my head caved in by a component of a redundant satellite than I do of winning first prize in the UK National Lottery (odds for that lottery win are 14 million to 1. The BBC also quotes a NASA
spokesman as saying that there is even less to worry about despite the low odds of a person being hit as the odds of a specific person being hit are 21 trillion to 1. Confused? I am! Can anyone explain that in simple terms to me, I am just a blogger of very little brain; thanks to A. A. Milne for that quote)? I very much hope that none of us have body altering surgery as a result of a collision with a piece of space junk, but if you do here are a few related songs for you to enjoy while you recover;

Secondly it’s yet another science related story. Researchers at Cern in Switzerland may have found something that travels faster than the
speed of light. After thousands of experiments over three years it seems that some sub-atomic particles (Neutrinos I believe) may have the ability to break the science speed limit which was effectively set by Albert Einstein’s Theory Of Relativity. I wonder if that brings us closer to time travel or being able to build a Star Trek type transporter. Beam me up Albert! Before I bring you some science and scientist related songs I would like to state categorically that if any of the scientific elements in this post are incorrect then I apologise and hide behind the fact that I am not a scientist. I have documentation to prove this as well. I failed all my science GCSE O levels back in 1975! So onto those aforementioned songs;

 

“Giant steps are what you take” July 20, 2009


One simple footprint which for me says so very much

One simple footprint which for me says so very much

Greetings fellow astronuts and space cadets! As most of you know I come in peace, but I’m not that interested in meeting your leader ok. I’m not particularly sure that I’d like to take over the planet either! Anyway enough blathering on, I simply could not let this momentous occasion go without a mention, even in a humble music blog. It’s July 20th today and 40 years ago two men landed on the moon; Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin and do not forget Michael Collins who piloted Columbia the Command Module which remained in orbit around the moon while Armstrong and Aldrin took the Eagle the Lunar Module to the surface.

The crew of Apollo 11 chose this, did you notice that the Eagle that represents America carries an olive branch representing peace?

The crew of Apollo 11 chose this, did you notice that the Eagle that represents America carries an olive branch representing peace?

In my opinion this is undoubtedly the greatest achievement of my 50 years on the planet. When I was a boy I wanted to be an astronaut, but then I guess millions of others did too. I wonder if as many people want that now? I hope so. My Mum and Dad were quite strict about my bedtime and I was only 10 years old in 1969 so it was amazing that my Dad let me stay up or woke me up in the early hours so that I didn’t miss anything. In those days I collected anything to do with the Apollo missions; newspapers, magazines, models, a massive poster of the moon and countless things that have disappeared from my memory. I did have an Airfix scale model of the Saturn V rocket and another of the Lunar Module. The latter was incredibly difficult to put together!

It looks like a Blue Peter project really doesn't it?

It looks like a Blue Peter project really doesn't it?

We sent a further six missions to the moon and in addition to Aldrin and Armstrong a further 10 men walked on it’s surface. I am still saddened that we haven’t really done much in the way of manned planetary exploration since Apollo 17 in 1973. I would love to think we could make it to Mars within my lifetime.

The Lunar Module leaves the moon and returns to the Command Module for the return to Earth

The Lunar Module leaves the moon and returns to the Command Module for the return to Earth

Let me briefly address those who say the moon landings were faked, in my opinion those people are talking complete crap. There is plenty of information around that debunks all those moon landing hoax theories. I won’t bore you with the details here, but to those who believe the conspiracy stuff please say hi to Elvis and Jacko from me when you next see them in the 7-11

Probably the most iconic picture of their time on the moon this is Aldrin snapped by Armstrong and is often known as the visor shot for what you can see reflected in Buzz's visor

Probably the most iconic picture of their time on the moon this is Aldrin snapped by Armstrong and is often known as the visor shot for what you can see reflected in Buzz's visor

In the UK the Apollo 11 mission was also important for a certain Mr Bowie. He got his first hit single out of it when the BBC used his “Space Oddity” as the theme for their coverage. It reached number 5 in the UK charts in 1969 and eventually made number one when it was reissued in 1975. That song is in fact reissued today in a format which also provides you with each separately recorded track to enable you to remix it yourself. I for one will be buying it later! Appropriately(ish) enough Thunderclap Newman’s “Something In The Air” was number one in the UK at the time of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

Neil Armstrong's Space Suit........ or perhaps it was Major Tom's?

Neil Armstrong's Space Suit........ or perhaps it was Major Tom's?

So without further ado here is a small hit parade of Moon related songs, well this is a music blog after all!

1 “Space Oddity” – David Bowie (come on I’m a fan what did you expect!)

2 “Saturn V” – Inspiral Carpets (what a glorious sight that rocket was)

3 “Sleeping Satellite”  – Tasmin Archer (this song appears to express the sadness that I feel about us never having gone back to our sleeping satellite)

4 “Walking On The Moon” – Police (Ok now we’re onto gratuitous use of moon in the song!)

5 “Fly Me To The Moon” – Frank Sinatra (How could I not include this fabulous song?)

OK that’s my five moon related songs, I’m sure that you have plenty more, so tell me what they are!

In the meantime click here to enjoy some of the BBC’s coverage of the 40th Anniversary of Apollo 11’s historic mission.

 

 
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