Scientists say we can never reach exoplanets, but is it possible to send probes to nearby stars?

Is it possible to send probes to nearby stars?

Yes, and no. We can send probes out of our solar system as we did with Voyager I and II, and theoretically we can direct future probes toward specific exoplanets, but alas.

The distances are so great, even for the nearest exoplanets, that we will all be long dead before they ever reach there.

How’s that I say? I mean, Proxima Centauri is only 4.2 light years away! That’s very close astronomically speaking, isn’t it?

Voyager I is the fastest of the two Voyagers. It travels about 3.6 AU per year, one AU being the distance from Earth to Sun. Proxima Centauri, also known as Alpha Centauri C, is about 268,770 AU. That would take a craft traveling the speed of Voyager I about 74,658 years to reach Proxima Centauri.

So theoretically we could send a probe out there, and when it arrives it could send a signal back to Earth. That signal would take 4.2 years to reach Earth, but would be more than 74 thousand years from now. Who knows if humanity will even still be here by then or if anyone will be listening?

That’s just the nearest exoplanets. Others are much more distant than that.

Why is the Moon not being pulled into the Earth from gravitational forces? Is the Moons mass stopping gravity from pulling it any further?

The Moon is being pulled toward the Earth, but it’s forward momentum causes it to miss Earth each time it goes around by a wide margin. This is called an orbit.

However, let it be known that because the oceans slosh around on Earth as it rotates about it’s axis (these are called ocean tides), the speed of Earth’s rotation is gradually slowing down. Billions of years ago a day on Earth was only about 8 hours, and now it continues to slow down. We compensate this twice a year by adding leap-seconds as needed.

This slowing of the earth’s rotation causes the moon to drift further away from us every year by about 1.5 inches, so eventually the Moon will escape Earth altogether and drift away.

It will never crash into Earth.

Are Aliens Simply an Advanced Version of Us?

If we were ever to discover aliens (we haven’t yet), they would most likely not be more advanced than humans. In fact, the majority of aliens we are likely to discover will be microbes. The term (extraterrestrial) “aliens” does not imply a race of advanced beings.

If, however, we were to come across aliens more advanced than microbes, they might be something like this guy below.

Hole in the Fence

My dogs, the picket fence, the cold weather and the flu. That’s what I’m dealing with today.

My picket fence is rotting and needs to be replaced but I don’t have the funds to do that right at this instant. So my dogs tore a hole through some of the pickets and escaped. One of them is still missing and the other one came back.

I don’t know if I have the flu or just a real bad chest cold but my chest is really tight and my throat is very sore and the weather is kind of cold. Meanwhile, I’m running all around town buying pieces of wood and screws – components to repair part of the fence without replacing the whole thing.

The little dog, Skipper. He grabs any trash or anything at all that he can find and drags it out into the backyard through the doggie door. He’s trashed the back yard. He is an affectionate dog and likes to cuddle but otherwise a total nuisance. Now, Skipper and Brandi, our big dog, ran out through the hole of the fence yesterday. Brandi always comes back when she gets out but Skipper is attractive to kids and gets caught by neighbors.

So this time he got out without a collar on. I’m sure he’s in somebody’s house. We’ll miss him but I’m not sure we’re going to actively look for him. If he winds up in the pound then he has a chip and they’ll contact us. But if he doesn’t wind up in the pound all the best for us and whoever finds him! Brandi the big dog will miss him. So really will we.

In the meantime, we have a cold, there’s cold weather and a hole in the fence. I’ll be busy repairing the hole in the fence.

Later – now the fence is repaired. I’m pretty sure it’s animal proof. Skipper is still missing, however.

Later Still – In the end Skipper was found. It was the chip that did him in. We got a phone call from a local animal rescue place. I went to pick him up and there was a very nice mother and 10 year old daughter. The daughter was crying. She was so sad to see Skipper go. I should have given him to them, but that would seem weird, so I didn’t. Now we have the little monster back home.

Turn Signal

The turn signal or the blinker is just a good idea. I don’t know why people don’t use them. It’s for your own safety and the safety of other drivers. Using your turn signal can just be considerate sometimes.

Consider this scenario. You’re sitting at an intersection wanting to turn left, but there’s an oncoming car from the left heading towards you. If you knew that car was going to make a right turn then you could go ahead and move forward and make your left turn. However, if the other car doesn’t put on their turn signal then all you can do is wait and wait and wait until they make their turn. Then you can mutter some obscenities and go on.

I recommend to get in the habit of using your turn signal even if no one is around. Sometimes people are around but you don’t even realize it.

What’s the harm of putting on your turn signal every time you plan to make a turn?

Unless however, you ran out of blinker fluid. This video explains much more.

Supplemental Income from a Gig Economy

I drive for Uber and Lyft. I also drive for Texas To Go and GrubHub. These provide my supplemental income.

My goal is to achieve $600 a month in supplemental income from these sources. Since these companies don’t pay for gas and expenses related to the job, such as food and auto repairs and maintenance, I have to take the total income and subtract whatever I pay for expenses while I’m out driving.

I have to do this in 10 to 12 days a month depending on how many days I’m available to drive. To achieve this, I set my daily driving goal to be $50 profit after expenses. I can easily generate this kind of money since I seem to make over a hundred dollars a day, then take my wife out to dinner for about $30 and maybe $10 for gas.

Another factor to be concerned about when doing these gig jobs is how much to set aside for taxes. Drivers in most states, including mine, are considered independent contractors, not employees of these companies. As such, the companies do not provide a W2 tax form at the end of the year, and they do not take anything out for your taxes. Instead, you must pay your own taxes. As a rule, I’ve been setting aside about $100 a month for the tax man, so that amount must be deducted from my profits and considered part of my expenses.

How to install a free SSL Certificate using cPanel

If you want to do this, the only hassle is that you have to redo it every 3 months. So if you’re willing to do that, you will never have to pay for another SSL certificate for your website.

Here it is the secret in easy steps. Bookmark this page.

Go to zerossl.com

zerossl.com homepage.

Click “Online Tools”

You will go to a page that says: FREE SSL Certificate Wizard. Click on the START button in the top section. See below.

This brings you to the following screen.

In this case we will ignore the left half of the screen. Type your domain name on the right side. Use both yourdomain.com separated by a comma and a space with www.yourdomain.com as indicated above.

On the bottom right there are two boxes, click them both. Then click NEXT.

This will now “Generate your CSR”. Just wait until it completes. It takes a minute.

Then you come to this screen below.

Here you download a copy of your SSL request and click next. Your account key will then be generated. This also takes a minute. Just wait until it’s done.

Then download your two keys. Once that’s done, do not close this page. You will still need it. Open a new tab and go to your cPanel. In my case I use GoDaddy.com, but whatever provider you use, the cPanel setup will be basically the same.

Inside your cPanel, open your File Manager.

  1. Find a folder called public_html and navigate into it.
  2. Inside public_html create a folder called .well-known [the dot in the beginning is important]
  3. Navigate into .well-known and create another folder called acme-challenge
  4. Navigate into that folder and then upload the two files you downloaded from zerossl.com. They will look something like this:

Once these files are uploaded with your cPanel, navigate back to your cPanel main page and scroll down until you see “Security”. Under that section click on SSL/TLS.

Then click on the last item below. It’s under Install and Manage SSL for your site (HTTPS) and it’s called Manage SSL sites.

Then you come to a page called “Manage Installed SSL Websites”. You must find your website for your certificate.

Then click on Update Certificate. This will bring you to a page with three boxes. You will paste information into these three boxes that you still have on your open zerossl.com page.

Information from the right hand side of the zerossl.com page is actually two keys. Copy that and paste it into the top box of your cPanel Manage SSL page. It will say it’s an invalid certificate because you have two certificates. You have to find the middle part and cut and remove it out, then paste that into the bottom (not the middle) of the Manage SSL page. Then you go back to the zerossl.com page and copy the information from the left side of the screen and paste it into the middle box of your Manage SSL page.

That’s it.

Google Pixel 2XL vs 3XL

I dropped my phone one too many times, I guess. My Pixel 2XL started behaving badly. It would suddenly turn off (not shut down, just power off instantly).

Now perhaps I could have researched repair options, but my wife’s iPhone was up for renew and she didn’t want a new iPhone, so I took advantage and used her upgrade to go from a Pixel 2XL 65 GB to a Pixel 3XL 120 GB.

I now have the phone operating and in hand.

It’s better!