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  • Matt <gauvaine@yahoo.com>
    Good, bad and ugly meet online to discuss the shuttle By Janet Kornblum, USA TODAY Within hours of the shuttle disaster, the Internet — replete with Web
    Message 1 of 81 , Feb 17, 2003
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      Good, bad and ugly meet online to discuss the shuttle
      By Janet Kornblum, USA TODAY

      Within hours of the shuttle disaster, the Internet — replete with Web
      pages, e-mail, bulletin boards and news exchanges from around the
      globe — rippled with shock. By Sunday, shock gave way to serious
      study, second-guessing and a search for perspective.

      Radar images of the descent made their way around the Net. Questions
      piled up on message boards: Does NASA have proper funding? Why can't
      NASA replace shuttle tiles in space? Why aren't there automated
      flights?

      After more than a day of watching countless TV replays of the
      disaster, millions around the world congregated online, gathering
      around the cyber water cooler. They comforted, argued, vented,
      informed — and even profited.

      On eBay, sellers tried to market what they claimed were pieces of the
      broken Columbia; eBay officials pulled down those auctions as soon as
      they were posted, saying the debris — if authentic — was part of a
      federal investigation.

      By Sunday, thousands were hawking everything from Columbia
      memorabilia such as patches, stamps and coins to Sunday newspapers
      from Florida and Texas.

      The first person to post a shuttle item (a mission patch) for sale
      following the accident wrote later that he did not know about the
      disaster when he posted the auction.

      "In light of current events ... I have decided to donate all proceeds
      to a charitable/memorial fund." Others promised the same.

      Net users flocked to many news sources, including NASA TV, which
      promised live Web-based programming. It was so overwhelmed, many
      couldn't get to the page.

      On bulletin boards and in chatrooms, witnesses recounted tales of
      waking up to sonic booms and shaking. One Texas woman who keeps a Web
      log — a chronological Web page — compared it to the Challenger
      shuttle, which exploded on takeoff from the Kennedy Space Center 17
      years ago.

      "The first one blew up right above my head and now the second one has
      done the same," she wrote. "Every moment has come flooding back in
      slow motion. The joy of that crisp Florida morning will always be
      overshadowed by the horror and shock of seeing that shuttle explode
      above our playground. ... And this just brings all that back like it
      was yesterday."

      On America Online bulletin boards, prayers and sympathy played
      alongside conspiracy theories that blamed Iraqis and aliens. Some
      suggested the disaster was a just reward. "Everyone knows that
      guilty, imperialistic Americans deserve what they get," wrote one.

      "People making some of these crude remarks are shameful," responded
      another.

      Humorist Dave Barry's note on his Web journal was poignant. He quoted
      a NASA spokesman: "They believed in what they were doing."

      And Neil Gaiman, author and creator of Vertigo Comics' The Sandman,
      wrote this on his Web journal: "A few years ago, I was in Florida,
      driving up the east coast. It was night. ... I saw something very
      beautiful in the sky. It started out like a streak of orange flame,
      and then, as it rose, it burned bluer and brighter than anything I'd
      ever seen ... and I realized I was watching a space shuttle
      launch. ... I felt very proud to be part of something — humanity, I
      suppose — that had put that flaming diamond up there.

      "There are people dead now, and hurt, and pain, and questions. But I
      still feel proud to be part of the thing that made it."
    • Matt
      *************************************************** Michael Piller (1948-2005) *************************************************** TrekWeb reports that Michael
      Message 81 of 81 , Nov 2, 2005
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        ***************************************************
        Michael Piller (1948-2005)
        ***************************************************
        TrekWeb reports that Michael Piller passed away on Tuesday, November
        1, 2005, following a long battle cancer.

        A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,
        Michael started his career in TV news where he received two Emmys as
        a news producer. He went on to work for CBS for several years before
        writing full time.

        Michael was a creator of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek:
        Voyager, as well as screenwriter or producer on many series,
        including Cagney & Lacey, Miami Vice, Star Trek: The Next
        Generation, and The Dead Zone.

        He is survived by his wife Sandra, daughter Brent and son Shawn.


        Posted November 1, 2005
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