My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Alternative Energy and Virgin Intergalactic - District 9

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Alternative Energy and Virgin Intergalactic - District 9

The stars
That Nature hung in Heav’n, and filled their lamps
With everlasting oil, to give due light
To the misled and lonely traveler

Milton, Comus

Sir Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin and such notable brands as Virgin Airlines, is the trendy millionaire who loves to do his thing in style and panache.

He has now launched a new equally bold adventure that belongs in the annals of aviation that being a service called Virgin Intergalactic as stated in the article “Private spaceship makes first solo glide flight”, published Sunday October 10 2010, 11:51 pm ET, Yahoo News for the Rich and Famous willing to shell out US$200,000 to go into outer space and experience weightlessness without the risk of going up in a ball of smoke as does the NASA Shuttle aircraft from time to time. 

He even built a spaceport in New Mexico, first of its kind. The six (6) seater spaceship, aptly named SpaceShipOne, completed its test of glided flight after being dropped from the “mother ship” from a height of forty five thousand (45,000 ft) feet above the Mojave Desert, a test it easily passed.

In Sir Richard Branson’s own words to the Associated Press: “It's a very big deal. There are a number of big deals on the way to getting commercial space travel becoming a reality. This was a very big step. We now know that the spaceship glides. We know it can be dropped safely from the mothership and we know it can land safely. That's three big ticks.”

Indeed. After all, who could forget him introducing Jamaica to Virgin Airways, wearing a Rastafarian tam and attached locks, nubile females on either side coming out of the airplane, much to the delight of the tourism interests who later signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Virgin Airways and Air Jamaica to take over London routes as stated in the article “Virgin Atlantic Tickets for Jamaica now on sale”, published Sunday June 3 2007, The Jamaica Gleaner.

This was to the annoyance of the Young and the Restless who live in Upper St. Andrew, who frown on any connection between Rastafari and the High Brow English speakers, a throwback to a Colonial Past. Virgin is a good connection to have, as I will demonstrate.

Yet as far as I and I can see, it was and still is, Bob Marley, the Trench Town Rock musician who toured Babylon By Bus who put Jamaica on the map with his infectious music and told Cindy Breakspeare the same words I uttered to Audia Granston, my feisty fawn finally falling for me, while still alive when we first met in early 2009 AD at the Total Tigermarket in May Pen, Clarendon for coffee and biscuits: I Don’t want to Wait in Vain for Your Love. Jamaica has even had a Rastafarian Beauty Queen, Zahra Redwood as stated in the article “Rastafarians embrace first Beauty Queen”, published Sunday April 1 2007, The Jamaica Observer.

Do I even need to start adding links of newspaper articles posted by the International Press, such as the Associated Press commentary in the article “Dreadlocked Miss Jamaica puts Rastas in new light”, published Sunday May 20 2007 by Reuters, making me stray from my intended topic.

 I care not what others may think, but Rastafarian women, especially when their hair is done right in nice clean well washed and groomed locks, are a delight to the eye, like DJ Sunshine on IRIE FM ( and a pleasure to the soul, like sailing on the River Nile.

Did I forget to mention that former Beauty Queen Regina Beavers of CVM at Sunrise fame on CVM TV, the ONLY reason I even watch their rather boring take on a morning program, has sister-locked hair, a Rastafari fashion now catching on in Jamaica, especially as it is proving to be a financial money saving option to constantly going to the hairdresser?

Or maybe I should mention the fact that the latest tourism promotional program, Dry Lan’ Tourist features a Rastafarian Upper St. Andrew native, who cannot ride a bicycle?

“Hype”-pocrisy is active in Jamaica, as the snobs lose their grip on a Society that is celebrating all that it means to be Young, Gifted and Black as per the Jimmy Cliff song, which I shall dedicate as my tribute to Gregory Isaacs (1961 – 2010), the “Cool Ruler”, who died Monday October 25th 2010 AD. May the God Anubis grant him safe passage to the Underworld and the cat demi-god Bastet guard his future resting place, as they do Audia Granston.

But folks, back to the business at hand, lest I stray again. US$200,000 is a lot of money for a plane ride, somewhat reminiscent of the early days of aviation post WWI, when Americans went around the country side taking up people in the air on scenic plane rides and doing aerial acrobatic stunts, a curious phenomenon the Americans called “Barnstorming”.

These developments seem all too coincidental. Obama Administration signed into law of the  now infamous NASA Authorization Act (2010), which ratifies spending to the tune of US$19 billion budget for NASA (National Aeronautical Space Administration) for the Fiscal Year 2011 AD as stated in the article “President Obama signs new vision for U.S. Space Exploration into Law”, published Monday October 11, 6:15 pm ET by Tariq Malik Managing Editor, Yahoo News and confirmed in the article “Obama signs NASA up to a new future”, published 11 October 2010 Last updated at 17:39 GMT by Jonathan Amos, Science correspondent, BBC News.

The discovery of an Earth-like habitable planet called Gliese 581g orbiting a star, also unromantically named Gliese 581 in the constellation of Libra, 20.4 lights years away by astronomers Steve Vogt of the University of California at Santa Cruz and co-discoverer Paul Butler of the Carnegie Institution of Washington as stated in the article “Could 'Goldilocks' planet be just right for life?”, published Thursday September 30 2010, 1:17 pm ET By SETH BORENSTEIN, AP Science Writer, Yahoo News and confirmed in a later article “Found: New Planet Gliese 581g is habitable like Earth”, published Saturday October 2 2010, 12:00 pm ET By MICHAEL D. LEMONICK, Yahoo News mere months before. Strange, isn’t it?

Throw in a possible Jamaican connection in the form of a Space Port potentially being hosted at VernamField Aerodrome (it is on Google Earth and Jamaica’s Real Estate spotter, iMap!), a previously America adventure back during WWII, that can serve as a base for Commercial Inter-Planetary Space Tourism

Once Military Contractor Boeing get their plans for the same off the ground as stated in the article “Boeing plans to start Space tourism flights by 2015”, published  September 15, 2010 9:10 AM PDT by Tim Hornyak, CNET News – Crave and it looks like Aliens may be the next tourists to come to Jamaican shores, hopefully not prawns as in the movie District 9.

Everything from short hop Tourist Flights to Mining Expeditions to the Oort Cloud are achievable from the VernamField Aerodrome, as the People’s Republic of China and their plan to use the Aerodrome as a trans-shipment point for Chinese made goods into America as stated in the article “CHINESE WANT KINGSTON WHARVES” published Monday, March 08, 2010 by Paul Henry, Observer Staff Reporter, The Jamaica Observer, albeit financial gain in the short term, may not be what Jamaica desires in our long term relationship with our historically closest neighbour.

This is especially as the People’s Republic of China desires so much control of Jamaica, based on the deadlock in negotiations for our assets to begin with as stated in the article “The Chinese want more- Far East investors eye port as sweetener to develop Caymanas”, published Sunday August 1 2010, The Jamaica Observer.

Thus Senator Karl Samuda, Minister of Commerce wisely considered additional American and European Bidders for these assets as stated in the article “Samuda looking to US, Europe for port, Caymanas investment”, published Sunday October 12 2010, The Jamaica Observer, much to delight of political insiders and the average Jamaica who may not have like what was going on, wary of the People’s Republic of China long term Trade ambitions and of Jamaica becoming a pawn in a Pig War between the Americans and the Chinese.

Thus, as a suggestion to Boeing and Virgin Intergalactic, the next spaceport should be in Jamaica, as VernamField Aerodrome can be rehabilitated and utilized as such. Best of all, it could serve as the launching pad for another adventure of his, this time exploring the under sea depths in submersibles made to travel underwater as stated in the article “Virgin Introduces the Necker Nymph 'Underwater Plane' aka Submarine”, published Friday 29 January 2010, DigitalTrends.

This is supported by the article “Virgin goes underwater with Necker Nymph aero submarine”, published Friday 29 January 2010, EnGadget and give paying tourists a glimpse of the as yet fully explored Deep Ocean that covers two thirds of our Blue Planet’s surface even as NASA is pushing the boundaries of Science with talk of glimpsing the as yet fully explored Deep Space.

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