Category Archives: Pleasures


William Shatner has traveled to space in Blue Origin rocket : NPR

By Joe Hernandez, Updated October 13, 202111:08 AM ET

Blue Origin’s New Shepard lifts off from the launch pad carrying 90-year-old Star Trek actor William Shatner and three other civilians near Van Horn, Texas.
Mario Tama/Getty Images

Blue Origin’s second human spaceflight has returned to Earth after taking a brief flight to the edge of space this morning. Among the four passengers on board — there is no pilot — was William Shatner, the actor who first played the space-traveling Captain Kirk in the Star Trek franchise.

“The covering of blue. This sheet, this blanket, this comforter that we have around. We think, oh, that’s blue sky,” an emotional Shatner said after returning to earth.

Canadian actor William Shatner, who became a cultural icon for his portrayal of Captain James T. Kirk in the Star Trek franchise, speaks from the stage at the second edition of the multi-genre entertainment comic and fan convention ‘Comic Con Africa’ in Johannesburg on September 21, 2019.

“Then suddenly you shoot through it all of the sudden, as though you’re whipping a sheet off you when you’re asleep, and you’re looking into blackness, into black ugliness.”

At age 90, Shatner is now the oldest person to fly into space.

Source: William Shatner has traveled to space in Blue Origin rocket : NPR

Do dogs miss us when we are gone? A “talking” dog offers insights |

The viral dog, who communicates with a series of buttons, is very curious where her friends are off to

By Nicole Karlis, Published October 10, 2021 10:00AM (EDT)

Bunny the talking Dog (Instagram/@what_about_bunny)

Any dog owner knows how hard it is to leave their pup for an extended period of time.

We wonder: Do they miss us when we’re gone? Do they know how long we’ve been gone for? Or even worse, do they think we’ve abandoned them?

The way humans are excitedly greeted by their dogs upon return — and the way many whine when we leave — suggests they recognize our absence, and mourn it. However, it’s hard to know what is really going on in a dog’s brain — perhaps they just miss the food we give them? — partly because we can’t really communicate with them.

Source: Do dogs miss us when we are gone? A “talking” dog offers insights |

Battleship N.C. turns 60, looks ahead to more decades in Wilmington | Wilmington StarNews

By John Staton, Wilmington StarNews, September 29, 2021

From article…

In 1961, the struggling, railroad-abandoned town of Wilmington, North Carolina, was a vastly different place than the growing, film-industry-saturated city we live in in 2021.

Charting all of the changes in the Port City over the past six decades would be a story unto itself. As steeped in history as Wilmington is, however, in that time there have been plenty of constants, and one has been the enduring presence of the Battleship North Carolina.

Since it first arrived, to much fanfare and more than 100,000 onlookers, on Oct. 2, 1961, the Battleship has been moored in its current spot on the west bank of the Cape Fear River across from downtown Wilmington.

It was dedicated on April 29, 1962, as a memorial to the more than 10,000 North Carolinians who died fighting in World War II. For the past 60 years, the 728-foot, de-commissioned Navy vessel has been not only a vital part of the downtown Wilmington skyline, but also its economy, attracting tens of thousands of visitors each year, including nearly 200,000 since Oct. 1 of last year.

Source: Battleship N.C. turns 60, looks ahead to more decades in Wilmington

The Villages is a retirement ‘paradise’ — so why is that a problem? – MarketWatch

More older adults realize that intergenerational connections are not just valuable for them but for their communities and country.

By Paul Irving, Last Updated: Sept. 25, 2021 at 8:17 a.m. ET, First Published: Sept. 21, 2021 at 4:58 a.m. ET

This article is reprinted by permission from

Residents watch presidential election returns at an Election Night party organized by a group called Villagers for Trump.
AFP/Getty Images

The Villages, a master-planned retirement community in central Florida, is the fastest-growing metropolitan area in the U.S., we learned from the 2020 Census.

In a demographically changing and urbanizing America, this predominantly white, politically conservative stronghold bucked the trend as retirees lured by warm winters and pastel-hued homes surrounded by golf carts and pickleball courts, flocked in.

We are all free to choose how and where we want to live, of course, and new housing solutions for the rapidly growing population of older Americans are needed.

But, to be honest, if communities like the Villages represent the future of aging, please count me, and many of us, out.

Source: The Villages is a retirement ‘paradise’ — so why is that a problem? – MarketWatch

Celebrate The End Of Summer With Monday’s Harvest Moon : NPR

By Dustin Jones, September 18, 20218:57 PM ET

Last year’s harvest moon took place on Oct. 1. The lunar event is designated as the full moon occurring nearest to the autumnal equinox every year.
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

For those in the Northern Hemisphere, summer will come to an end next Wednesday.

Slowly but surely since the middle of June, days have been getting shorter. With the arrival of the autumn equinox comes cooler weather and a change of color amongst the trees.

And Monday, two days before the official start of fall, the harvest moon.

For three days, moonrise will come shortly after sunset, but the harvest moon will reach its peak illumination at 7:54 p.m. ET Monday.

Historically this lunar event provided farmers a little extra light to harvest their crops. However, unlike the equinoxes, which take place at the same time each year, the harvest moon is the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox. Which means it can fall in September or October, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac.

Source: Celebrate The End Of Summer With Monday’s Harvest Moon : NPR

Amtrak’s Plan to Connect the U.S. – Railway Age

Written by Kevin Smith, Editor-in-Chief, International Railway Journal
September 14, 2021

From article…

Biden has been a vocal supporter of the federally owned passenger operator for almost the entirety of its existence: from his days as a U.S senator when he would regularly ride the train from Wilmington, Del., to Washington D.C.; to his time as the U.S. Vice President, when he presented the Obama Administration’s plans for several short-lived high-speed passenger projects as part of a 2009 economic stimulus package.

Now as the 46th President, Biden has made rebuilding and reviving the country’s infrastructure, including its passenger rail operator, the signature policy of his first term. The American Jobs Plan was announced by Biden on March 31 and has since moved to Congress for debate and negotiation.

From article…

The Administration hopes the legislation that emerges will satisfy Biden’s objectives so he can sign it into law this autumn. Inevitably, given the variety of views on the scale and ambition of the proposal on both sides of the political spectrum, there have been several compromises.

From a $2.3 trillion plan when Biden presented it, the Senate scaled it back to a $1 trillion initiative, including $550 billion of new spending.

However, the legislation took a significant step forward on Aug.10 when 19 Republican senators joined with their 50 Democratic colleagues to pass a bi-partisan Infrastructure bill, a move praised by Biden.

As it stands, the bill includes $66 billion for intercity passenger rail, with $22 billion of this figure set to go directly to Amtrak. This includes $6 billion for the Northeast Corridor, and $16 billion for the national network, including state-supported services.

Source: Amtrak’s Plan to Connect the U.S. – Railway Age