Tuesday Morning Open Thread: Merry Xmas, Earthlings

From the Washington Post:

The astronauts had spun around the moon a few times already, their gaze pointed down on the gray, pockmarked lunar surface. But now as they completed another orbit of the moon on Christmas Eve 1968, Frank Borman, the commander of the Apollo 8 mission, rolled the spacecraft, and, soon, there it was.

Earth, this bright, beautiful sphere, alone in the inky vastness of space, a soloist at the edge of the stage suspended in the spotlight.

“Oh, my God,” exclaimed Bill Anders, the lunar module pilot. “Look at that picture over there! There’s the Earth coming up. Wow, is that pretty!”

Anders knew black and white film wouldn’t do it justice. But he also knew he didn’t have a lot of time if he was going to get the shot.

“Hand me a roll of color quick, will you,” he said.

“Oh, man, that’s great,” said Jim Lovell, the command module pilot and navigator.

“Hurry,” Anders pleaded. “Quick!”

Anders loaded the color film into his Hasselblad camera and started firing away while his anxious crewmates remained transfixed by the blue and white vision outside their windows…

Two days later, the film was processed, and NASA released photo number 68-H-1401 to the public with a news release that said: “This view of the rising earth greeted the Apollo 8 astronauts as they came from behind the moon after the lunar orbit insertion burn.”…

“As I looked down at the Earth, which is about the size of your fist at arm’s length, I’m thinking this is not a very big place. Why can’t we get along?” Anders said during a video played during a ceremony at Washington National Cathedral recently celebrating the 50th anniversary of the mission. “To me it was strange that we had worked and had come all the way to the moon to study the moon, and what we really discovered was the Earth.”

95 replies
  1. 1
    David Evans says:

    There is a nice reconstruction of the earthrise as a video (possible because neither the Moon nor the Earth would have changed visibly in the 2 minutes running time).


  2. 2
    NotMax says:

    On what is a stay indoors day for many, why not some street music?

    Moderne – – – Traditional

    Also, in honor of one of Mr. Cole’s more, um, outré posts, a holiday card.

  3. 3
    rikyrah says:

    Merry Christmas, Everyone 🌲😏🤗🤶🎅😎

  4. 4
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Blech! Humbug!

  5. 5
    Raven says:

    A guy is having Xmas morning on FaceTime with his kids In the Hampton Inn breakfast area! So cool!!

  6. 6
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah: Merry Christmas.

  7. 7
    Quinerly says:

    @Raven: 💚❤️

  8. 8
  9. 9
    Quinerly says:

    Poco and I are on the road shortly. Spur of the moment trip to Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Quick Christmas jaunt to see an aging friend with kidney failure. He’s in the middle of a nasty divorce. His son was supposed to go down for Christmas and drive him back for some doctors’ appointments here in St. Louis on Friday, but the son came down with the flu. So…..a little 5 hr road trip for Poco and me and a couple of days at my friend’s place on Beaver Lake. Had been feeling restless so hopefully this does the trick. Have a great Christmas, jackals. Catch you on the flip side. 💚❤️

  10. 10
    Baud says:

    @Raven: Cute

    @Quinerly: You’re a good friend.

  11. 11
    Quinerly says:

    @Baud: he’s in his 80’s and I have known him for 30 years from our Soulard neighborhood. Was his personal and business attorney for years. He’s like family. He’s in a huge mess right now… total kidney failure with no warning 3 years ago. He does his own dialysis so lots of equipment/supplies to travel with. He was a math teacher for years plus owned a neighborhood restaurant /music club and rehabbed properties. Been so adventuresome… Thailand, India, China. Spent 6 months in Antarctica a few years back. His wings are clipped. Heartbreaking.

  12. 12

    We’re home alone today, going to our son’s tomorrow. I’ll work out and we’ll have lunch in the restaurant here. Other than that, we’ll hunker down, read, surf the net. Mr DAW will play some online bridge.

  13. 13
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    What the FUCK Mary?

    I wonder if I can sue Paul Bronks for all the hours I’ve wasted scrolling thru his twitter feed?

  14. 14
    Raven says:

    Off for a mountain drive!

  15. 15
    JPL says:

    @Quinerly: Safe travels!

  16. 16
    Baud says:

    @Quinerly: 80+ is no time to go through a nasty divorce. Sheesh.

    @OzarkHillbilly: You can always sue.

  17. 17
    dmsilev says:

    Today is low-key. In years past, my family has had Christmas dinner with some old and dear friends. That’s not happening this year, for long and complicated reasons that can be boiled down to one very depressing word: Alzheimer’s.

  18. 18
    JPL says:

    @Raven: The mug is great. My pooch is snoring away.

  19. 19
    Quinerly says:

    @JPL: thanks!

  20. 20

    Finished making the filling for the curry puffs, fried up a couple of test puffs. They seem to be pretty good, maybe a bit too much soy sauce, oh well…

  21. 21
    satby says:

    Well, I just woke up to a disappointment. Our former Japanese exchange student won’t be coming to brunch today. She’s has had a health crisis (unspecified, but I suspect heart related) because she’s been ordered by her doctor to skip any excitement and return to Japan as soon as tomorrow. I know her father passed away in his late forties-early fifties from a heart attack, and she’s at least 45 now. I hope she’s up to me stopping at the hotel with her gifts at least.

  22. 22
    p.a. says:


  23. 23
    Baud says:

    @satby: I’m sorry. I’m surprised they want here to travel in her condition.

  24. 24
    Quinerly says:

    @Baud: he only married her a few years ago. Many of us think the unexplained out of the blue kidney failure 3 weeks after a perfect physical was suspicious. He had been a vegetarian for 30 years and ran marathons to raise $ for childhood leukemia well in his 70’s.Doctors have never figured out the kidney failure but many questions about poisoning in the beginning. Soon to be ex is a nasty piece of work plus an alcoholic. Nothing can be proven now but I know what I think… And I’m not alone in my thinking.

  25. 25
  26. 26
    satby says:

    @Baud: I don’t have the entire story, but she mentioned medication that was supposed to get her through the trip which has made her worse.
    She’s also supposed to be working here until Jan 4th, so this is a professional crisis too.
    If we can FaceTime with her later we’ll try. If it’s all too much we can let it go, but what a shame.

  27. 27
    satby says:

    Between Quinerly and me the day isn’t starting with the best news is it?
    Drive safe Quinerly!

  28. 28

    @Quinerly: Holy cow. That’s impressively bad.

    @satby: I’m sorry. I hope you do get to drop by. I hadn’t realized how long you must have been hosting exchange students for

  29. 29
    satby says:

    @NotMax: 😆
    @rikyrah: Merry Christmas rikyrah!
    @OzarkHillbilly: 😘

  30. 30
    Barbara says:

    @Quinerly: That’s awful. I hope you have a good visit.

  31. 31
    satby says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: I was figuring it out. I started while I was still married and my youngest son was three, so I was 33. Several of the earliest ones are now older than I was when I was their “mom”.

  32. 32
    HRA says:

    Merry Christmas to all who celebrate. A good morning and day to everyone.

    Mr. A and I will be joining our family of 26 this afternoon at our youngest daughters home for the celebration dinner. Then we will be looking forward to our CA daughter and her partner arriving on the 28th to attend the New Years Eve wedding of one of our granddaughters.


  33. 33
    Immanentize says:

    Merry Christmas morning crew! The FiL and BiL are here. Exhausted myself cleaning, baking, etc. Currently pretending I am still asleep. Which is true of the Immp and Toasty the cat.

    Wishing you all a restful, happy day

  34. 34
    Barbara says:

    @satby: That’s too bad. I hope she’s okay.

  35. 35
    Quinerly says:

    @satby: thanks. It will be OK. I’m an only born of two only children. No family; plenty of great friends. I was invited to a bunch of different stuff today but everything seemed too “peoplely.” This fits the build. Love to drive. Poco is excited. He saw his little bag packed this AM. Did a little dance.

  36. 36
    randy khan says:

    Merry Christmas to the Christmas-celebrating jackals!

    (And now to start getting ready for the small horde descending on our house in (checks clock) 8 hours.

  37. 37
    Quinerly says:

    @satby: sorry to hear all of this.

  38. 38
    Immanentize says:

    @Quinerly: I’m so sorry for your friend — but glad you can see him. Of course your story of his problems instantly got my criminal law suspicious mind in gear….

  39. 39
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @satby: That sucks.

  40. 40
    Immanentize says:

    @satby: What a scary thing for her — and a disappointment for you!

    If by “her doctor” you mean her doctor in Japan is there any chance you could get her to see a doctor here? I agree that travelling now might not be the best prescription….

    But in any case, have a nice visit if possible and come back and tell us all tomorrow

  41. 41
    satby says:

    @Barbara: we do too, that’s the important thing. I hope her own disappointment doesn’t stress her out.

    We’ll still have a nice brunch with my sister and nieces, and we have several FaceTime appointments set up to call Bahrain, Mexico, and NYC, so virtual reunions are still on.

  42. 42
    Just One More Canuck says:

    Merry Christmas to Juicers everywhere

  43. 43
    Quinerly says:

    @Immanentize: can never be proven almost 3 years later. Plus, he wouldn’t accept any discussion of it until the last 1 1/2…his filing for divorce cleared his mind… Plus, she’s trying to take him for a royal ride in Arkansas. He’s her third husband; she’s in her 60’s.There’s a bit of a history. Don’t think she’s really ever worked. She gets married and gets houses.

  44. 44
    Bemused senior says:

    About to make the Christmas stollen to be eaten later while my twin grandkids open their presents from Santa on their third Christmas. It’s 5:15 here. Merry Christmas to those celebrating.

  45. 45
    arrieve says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Paul Bronks is back! That’s all the Christmas I need, because laughing at his feed has gotten me through some very low moments this past year.

  46. 46
    JPL says:

    @satby: That’s amazing. I hope that you are able to see your friend and former house guest.

  47. 47
  48. 48
    satby says:

    @Immanentize: I assume she means her doctor in Japan, and I did tell her the hotel here can call a local one for her. She’s got some world class hospitals nearby right now.
    We’ve just arranged that I will stop by the hotel briefly, so I can at least give her a hug!

  49. 49
    JPL says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: thanks!
    Merry Christmas!

  50. 50
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @arrieve: Indeed.

  51. 51
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    so I can at least give her a hug!

    It’s the little things.

  52. 52
    debbie says:


    His is one of the few feeds I don’t consider to be a waste of time.

  53. 53
    Aleta says:

    @Quinerly: He sounds like a great guy. And you’re one of the great people. Wishing him and you some merriness this Christmas and a good New Year !

    “And now let us believe in a long year that is given to us, new, untouched, full of things that have never been, full of work that has never been done, full of tasks, claims, and demands; and let us see that we learn to take it without letting fall too much of what it has to bestow upon those who demand of it necessary, serious, and great things.”

  54. 54
    zhena gogolia says:


    Thanks to Mnem for alerting me about where I could find him now. It’s an indispensable part of every day.

  55. 55
    debbie says:


    “Peopley.” Blech!

    Horrible about your friend. When does Hitchcock emerge from behind the living room drapes?

  56. 56
    zhena gogolia says:

    Oh, and Merry Christmas to Juicers who celebrate! And all good cheer to those who don’t!

    Trying to hold on to hopeful thoughts. My husband ignores all news, and whenever I give him a quick summary, he groans, “We’re in trouble.” So I’m going to try not to think about it today.

  57. 57
    debbie says:


    I’m sorry about your “student” and hope you get a chance to see her in person. I’m surprised her doctors wouldn’t take a long flight into account in terms of stress. I know my BP always rose.

  58. 58
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @debbie: How’s about “unproductive”?

  59. 59
    satby says:

    Everyone enjoy the day whatever way you have planned!
    I have to get ready to leave.

  60. 60

    While T is trying to destroy America as we know it, BS minions — real or Russian bots, I leave you to decide, are on an all out attack against Beto, on Twitter. Priorities, they has it. The Guardian is lending them a helpful hand.

  61. 61
    JPL says:

    @zhena gogolia: Just in case you didn’t know there’s no santa. The president asked a seven year old whether or not he still believed in santa because at seven it’s marginal.

  62. 62

    @satby: Merry Christmas and I hope you have a wonderful time.
    Christmas wishes to all who celebrate.

  63. 63
    Patricia Kayden says:

    In Canada with family. The nieces will have a ball tearing open their gifts and I’ll get stuffed on Escovitch fish, turkey and black cake.

    Cheers to all!!

  64. 64
    Aleta says:

    @satby: Hearing this, I flashed back to a different medical story. A friend who came to Japan with all her regular meds. Despite having made the trip several times before to study and work, the time zone and light change affected her brain’s balance. She had a severe bipolar episode soon after landing. Her hotel eventually called the police, who arrested her. We friends tried to coordinate between Japanese doctors and her Dr. back in Canada (she and we spoke J, so no problematic language diff) but it became clear she had to return to her dr. in Canada.

  65. 65
    Gelfling 545 says:

    A merry Christmas to all who celebrate. Peace and quiet to those who do not. May your day be exactly what you wish.

    Flora got a new bed from Santa, a can of gushy food, some Greenies and a stuffed squeaky toy for her to disembowel. Of course now she is asleep on the sofa, not in her bed.

  66. 66
    debbie says:


    I’ll give you that.

  67. 67
    laura says:

    What a swell bunch of folks in and around this blog. Your collective goings and doings, and bringing to share (Paul Bronks) is a gift. Good wishes to all a y’all.

  68. 68
    Brachiator says:

    Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all!

  69. 69
    Ken says:

    @debbie: Ah yes, the early days of television when the Code still required that the bad guys get caught. Often on Alfred Hitchcock Presents they didn’t get caught in the filmed story, but Hitchcock would show up in the coda to say “but of course the police later found out”. I remember Roald Dahl’s “Lamb to the Slaughter” got that treatment.

  70. 70
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @debbie: I went thru it all, had tears running down my cheeks from laughing. The surfing heron cracked me up and the spastic cat trying to get the chicks thru the door had me howling.

  71. 71
    Aleta says:

    @JPL: He might as well have asked us “Do you still believe in democracy? Because in 2018 we the GOP believe it’s marginal.”

    This story today reminded me of the (fairy tale) omen right before his inauguration, when the cherry trees in the Basin became covered with ice and many buds froze.

    The lights were not twinkling. The toy trains were not whirring. Even the nearby bathrooms were locked.
    Under cloudy skies in a brisk wind on the third day of the shutdown, the capital put on little holiday wonder for visitors like Greg Forcherio of Columbia, Maryland, a government contractor with no office to work in after the holidays as long as federal buildings stayed closed. He, his wife and their toddler on Monday came to see the giant, glittering spruce tree brought from Colorado to serve as the national Christmas tree, normally a focal point for Washington holiday visitors.

    But a locked chain-link fence blocked access to the site and the nearby White House visitor’s center and its bathrooms were closed, with a hand-scrawled sign directing visitors to portable toilets, which also were chained shut. “Kind of annoying when you’ve got young children,” Forcherio said.

    Access to the site was restored later Monday and finally, as night fell on Christmas Eve, the lights returned. The government had announced a day earlier that it would be sealed off because of the shutdown and because repairs had slowed after an episode of vandalism on the tree before the weekend. It reopened with money from the National Park Foundation, a charity. (HuffPo)


  72. 72
    Aleta says:

    @Raven: She’ll be driving six white horses when she comes.
    Oh, we’ll all go out to meet her when she comes.
    Oh, we’ll all have chicken and dumplings when she comes.
    We’ll be singing “Hallelujah” when she comes.
    She’ll be coming ‘round the mountain when she comes.

  73. 73
    Kathleen says:

    @Quinerly: Safe travels for you and your brood. You are indeed a dear friend. Happy Holidays.

  74. 74
    Tenar Arha says:

    Merry Christmas to all. I’m trying to pick my movie or movies today. Though I know what restaurant I want to go to.

    Think I’m gonna add to the opening day statistics of On The Basis Of Sex. Now it’s just trying to decide if there’s a second movie that complements it. 🤔

    Maybe The Favourite makes a good double feature?

  75. 75
    Kathleen says:

    @rikyrah: Merry Christmas to you and your beloevd family, Miss Rikyrah!

  76. 76
    Kathleen says:

    @satby: So sorry to hear that. I wish her safe travel home and healing. And Happy Holidays to you!

  77. 77
    Aleta says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: @debbie: @arrieve: Was going through it again last night. And the day before to relax my niece, who came here this year to postpone going home to her parents.

  78. 78
    debbie says:


    Yes, the cat v. chicks is hilarious. I also like the cat freaking out over the fish frozen in ice.

  79. 79
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    It reopened with money from the National Park Foundation, a charity.

    What does it say about our country that it takes a charity just to keep the lights on?

  80. 80
    JPL says:

    @Aleta: American Grown proceeds went to the foundation, so Michelle Obama indirectly helped.

  81. 81
    Kathleen says:

    @schrodingers_cat: So is Trump’s HandMags at NYT. She retweeted David Sirota of all people who seems to be leading this attack.

  82. 82
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @debbie: That and the dog trying to get the bone at the bottom of his water bowl.

  83. 83
    Aleta says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: The GOP et al believe the purpose of charity is “other people pay.”

  84. 84
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    Merry x-Mas everyone. Today looks quietish-dinner with sister-in law is the only thing on the agenda today.

    Satby: maybe she needs to stay here. Flying that long a distance is stressful without any issues-not being able to access immediate medical help has got to be the worst. And your visit will definitely cheer her up, and you can probably tell if she needs even more assistance, or she can tell you if she needs anything.

  85. 85
    Kathleen says:

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all you Jackals. Thanks for helping to keep me sane this year. I didn’t go to Tampa this time because I was just there earlier in the month so I’ll be going to my second “family”, my friends brother and his wife for Christmas. Would have enjoyed a Christmas run but alas I somehow injured my foot during yesterday’s run (wah) so I’m babying it.

  86. 86
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathleen: Sirota is just one of many. Every day it’s someone else to ignore.

  87. 87
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: In the 40s and 50s (when my brothers and I were kids) my dad would drive the family around town ro see the Christmas lights. That was when many people here put their lighted tree in front of the window with the curtains open so the neighbors could share.

    There are several very wealthy areas here (old oil money, eg the Skelly house), so there were some areas with extra fancy lights!

    One yr 2 or 3 blocks got together and put out luminarias on the curb, lighted just 2 or 3 hrs each night for a week or so. The newspaper ran a story on this, so there was a long , slow procession of cars through the neighborhood each night. I think they only did this maybe 2 yrs!

  88. 88
    Kathleen says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: The Putin Payroll Poultry Procreation Gravy Train must be pretty lucrative.

  89. 89
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Aleta: She will have to sleep with Gramma when she comes, when she comes

  90. 90
    rikyrah says:

    Morning and Merry Christmas to Poco and the tribe 🤗😻🤶😎🎁🎄🎅

  91. 91
    rikyrah says:

    The pictures are great 😏😍

  92. 92
    rikyrah says:

    But, we see them a mile away 😡😡 😡

  93. 93
    J R in WV says:


    Nice lights, mostly not even too gaudy.

    Merry Christmas all~!!~

  94. 94
    opiejeanne says:

    @NotMax: In answer to your comment to me last night, I wrote this but you probably didn’t see it:
    Christmas day was always a big deal because of Santa Claus and PRESENTS!!!, but we were also active in our United Methodist church. When we moved 400 miles away from all of our family and friends when our girls were young, we made Christmas Eve a little dinner party for the four of us. They missed their grandparents and friends and their big brother had opted to stay in SoCal.
    And we moved right before Christmas, so we made a party out of it, and it continued the 9 years we lived there, and our guest list grew as our kids brought their friends. It became A Thing.

  95. 95
    opiejeanne says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Very pretty!

    One of the neighbors set up a Christmas tree inside his horse barn that you can see from the road at night, just a glimpse. He’s a veterinarian and has a couple of horses and a miniature donkey.

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