Queen Elizabeth greets NASA employees, 2007

Muskovitz explores topics from the latest NASA InSight Lander to the incredibly long Mueller report in his latest column.

By Alan Muskovitz

Featured photo by NASA/Bill Ingalls


NASA’s InSight Lander, which arrived on Mars last Nov. 26, has sent an exciting transmission. According to the space agency’s website, the lander’s Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure instrument recorded a faint seismic audio signal on April 6, described as the first likely recorded “Mars-quake” on the Red Planet. You can hear the fascinating eerie sounds for yourself by visiting mars.nasa.gov.

In a related story, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), which tracks seismic activity on Earth, recorded two significant events in the Metro Detroit area over the last several days.

On the evening of April 22, a gigantic thud was detected in Downtown Detroit. After careful analysis, it was determined that thud was attributed to the Pistons being swept in four games by the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA playoffs — losing each game by an average of 24 points. With the sweep, Detroit set a new NBA record with its 14th consecutive playoff loss.

Just five days later, on the evening of April 27, another strange and disturbing large rumbling occurred in the Detroit area. The next morning, the USGS confirmed the off-the-charts seismograph reverberations were a result of our Jewish community’s stomachs having just finished eating matzah for eight days.

From a rumble to a Hubble — space telescope, that is. The famed telescope celebrated its 25th anniversary on April 24. Over the last quarter-century, astronauts have visited Hubble on five maintenance missions.

NASA’s InSight Lander listens to Martian wind. NASA/JPL-Caltech

The following is a partial transcript of the last communication between Hubble and a visiting astronaut who performed a routine checkup on the telescope’s lenses in May of 2009.

Astronaut: Hubble, do you seebetter through lens No. 1 or No. 2?
Hubble: 2.
Astronaut: No. 2 or No. 3?
Hubble: Um, can you do that again?
Astronaut: Sure. 2 or 3?
Hubble: Gosh, they’re so close.
Astronaut: No. 2 or 3?
Hubble: I’ll say 3. Wait, 2. No, sorry, 3.

NASA says the next checkup on the Hubble Space Telescope will take place on its 50th anniversary, at which time Hubble will be outfitted with progressive lenses. The astronaut is scheduled to arrive at the telescope on April 24, 2044, sometime between noon and 5 p.m.

Speaking of celebrations, best wishes to my alter ego, Queen Elizabeth, who turned 93 on April 21. I portrayed her majesty on the Dick Purtan Show for many years, even dressing up like her on several occasions. Talk about a resume booster.

You think the TV hit Game of Thrones is a big deal? Try sitting on a throne like the Queen has for the last 67 years. To her credit, not once has she complained about her legs falling asleep.

Speaking of which, your legs will definitely fall asleep if you try to read the 448-page Mueller Report in one sitting. And, boy, am I disappointed in Special Counsel Robert Mueller. He took two years to prepare the 448-page report and there are only four pictures in it? Really? Look for yourself — pages 39, 42, 94 and 99.

The report is available free on the internet, but, and I love this, three versions of it actually held three of the four top spots on Amazon’s bestseller list. In first place was the version by the Washington Post; that, with their analysis and opinions, brought the total number of pages to 736.

I’ve been debating whether to read the Mueller Report or wait for the 1,236-hour movie. In the meantime, if you have read it, please, don’t tell me how it ends!

Alan Muskovitz is a writer, voice-over/acting talent, speaker, and emcee. Visit his website at laughwithbigal.com,“Like” Al on Facebook and reach him at amuskovitz@renmedia.us.

Read more:


Previous articleWhat to Watch at the Ann Arbor Jewish Film Festival
Next articleA Lesson from Flint: Fighting to Ensure Equality
CircPro Account #: 1121, Pay Type: Free