Lead, Follow, or Color me.

by Theodore R Frimet

do crayons come in low albedo?

Dear Mr. Elon Musk,

As there is no doubt that you are very tired. I will put my bottom line up front.

Please contact a local Coating provider.

Elon Musk, if you like, please continue to read. It isn’t necessary, as you probably have ascertained the why and how, of the above.

Sincerely,
Ted Frimet

A few years back, well perhaps many years back, I used to walk thru the streets of where I was employed. It was a manufacturing sector. The exercise did me good.

There was always this smell in the air. It wasn’t a bad smell, per se. It was pleasant. It greeted me like an old friend, every time I took to the walk-about.

Then I took notice of where this fragrant communique came from. It was, of course, a local business. This is not one that you would ordinarily notice, even by chance. It was a manufacturer of food flavorings.

I ascertained that they produced intense flavorings for the food industry. Truly, that wasn’t too hard. I had stopped by, one day, and inquired within. They were friendly, and informative. I moved on.

A few months later, Janet and I were shopping for the Holiday. I had wrangled in my diet, and became more aware of what I was putting into my body. I became acutely aware of MSG, and foods that underwent flavor enhancing processes. I almost never purchase foods that have flavor enhancing derivatives. At least the ones I knew that were excitotoxins. I mean, truly, it’s not rocket science to become aware that MSG was used in the laboratory to burn out optic nerves! This is not your parents ‘generally recognized as safe’ (GRAS) concept. For that matter, without discarding the fact that salt can be harmful (to most), salt remains GRAS, by federal standards. Knowing this, it’s every man, woman and child, for himself!

There, on the shelf, was a family favorite of mine. A brand name Matzo Meal. Back then, it had an ingredient(s) that I had become intimately familiar with. I wrote the owner of this brand name family, and inquired about their flavor enhancer. My memory, of course as all of you know, is fractured. Please take the following with a grain of salt: “they had no alternative flavorings”.

I remembered my flavor manufacturer. I stopped by, a few days later, and made an inquire if there were alternatives to MSG, and similar enhancers. They replied that there were. I asked if I could refer a favorite family owned matzo meal company of mine, and ask if they would respond in kind, to their inquiry, if only as an agency. They agreed.

I never stopped by the manufacturing site, again. I miss those walks. Yet companies come and go, and by then it was time for me to relocate to another facility. Eventually, I was even looking for a new source of employment. But I digress. I always seem to stray when I walk or write.

I don’t recall phoning, writing or emailing my favorite Matzo meal producer again. I must have. Pretty certain that I would have at least had the courtesy of thanking them, from our family to theirs on the accomplishment of food standards leadership. They reformulated. No MSG.

We continue to patronize our favorite family owned matzo making business!

More than 30 years have passed us by, after moving into Bucks County, Pennsylvania. You do your shopping. Pay your taxes. Vote. Drop off the mail. Yes. Drop off the mail.

I had recently sold my dobsonian, and have since, week by week, been parsing out dob accessories on eBay. The entire package would not sell at my price point. So I sold the dob “OTA” style, including the lazy Susan. I guess that’s not too much OTA – since the tube and stand were included. However I think you get the point. The lower price was more enticing than packaged goods that a potential bidder might want to do without. And selling the remaining items separately, turns out to be a pretty inviting deal for those that want to bid on one separate item.

Today. I dropped off mail. In the package was a nice piece of dob accessory I had sold over the weekend. I pride myself on making sure I can mail, by next day. Today was that day. I could have mailed it at the satellite USPS location. They move their product, by end of day, to another facility. I didn’t want my buyer to wait, a potential added day. So, I took the road less traveled. And went to the regional post office. I passed a sign on the way.

I concluded my drop off at the Post Office and started on my way back home. I remembered a sign. It was reflectively lettered. Quite a sign. Nice. Easy to remember. I thought, “how did I not see that sign in the past few decades?”. After all, this wasn’t my first trip to the post office. Fractured memory (FM). FM will be my contribution to the American Lexicon. Look for it in the next issue of anyone’s dictionary.

I saw the sign on my way home. Nice sign. I remember seeing it on the way in. Then, in a flash, I remembered the petition I signed. And I recalled the email I sent Elon Musk, ℅ the Tesla Investors email web portal.

Anyone who has seen Elon in the media, knows how hard he and his Company works. Yes, probably will be the first to Mars. Almost most certainly will get Astronomy gear positioned on the far side of the Moon. If history is any predictor of scope placement, we can bet even money on his Heavy Lift Launch Vehicle – the Falcon Heavy – to assist in positioning Astronomical gear at Lagrange points 4 or 5.

The sign. Oh yeah. Back to the signage. Before I signed the petition, I wrote Elon asking him to reduce the albedo of his constellations of satellites. Quoting me below, I wrote, “Before I sign a petition, in regards to Starlink, I would want to seek your company’s resolve in coating future space orbiting vehicles with low, or non-reflective coatings, all in an effort to reduce their albedo.” There’s your sign. It reminded me to research a coating company for Mr. Musk.

I traveled slowly, today. The ground was wet from a recent light snow. We expect about an inch. Probably more. Not much more, though. I got about a quarter of a mile, when I decided to turn around.

It was the result of an inner conversation. Elon might agree to reduce the albedo of the Starlink enterprise. That would require a coating. If I turn around now, and decide to knock at the door, who will answer? Well, my Matzo meal manufacturer took out the MSG, didn’t they? I pushed the door open, and entered my newest manufacturer.

I entered, and waited my turn. The receptionist greeted me. I explained my conundrum. All was absorbed except for the technical nature of what to expect from coatings that would be exposed to the hostile vacuum of space. In retrospect, I should have avoided any conversation that expressly mentioned Cosmic Radiation. I am pretty sure I didn’t mention highly energized particles, or even blaspheme with the utterance of gamma ray bursts. I do recall I talked briefly about Ultra Violet radiation, though. That ended well. I left with a business card in hand. I expressed my concern that if Elon called them – to rest assured it wasn’t a hoax.

Elon Musk, when you decide on a color, please know I prefer ANY color, as long as it is low albedo, or non-reflective.

Sincerely Yours,
Ted Frimet

Here is the email sent, the previous day. I am including it in this month’s essay for reference:

Dear Mr. Musk,

First off, thank you. There are, or perhaps there is no other person other than yourself, that brings light to where there is darkness. You work hard, provide incentives and work for many, and in my own humble opinion, are due the respect and courtesy of every human being on planet Earth.

Before I sign a petition, in regards to Starlink, I would want to seek your company’s resolve in coating future space orbiting vehicles with low, or non-reflective coatings, all in an effort to reduce their albedo.

Unfortunately, the petition is mute on what will, or to whom the petition will be delivered. So I believe it was incumbent upon myself to reach out to you, this Sunday evening, and be instructive in a most freshman sort of way.

If you would like to read more, about my intent, I believe the below link would do justice as to my own, ownership of the night sky.

Clear Skies,
Ted Frimet

On the matter of Planetary Protection, long since past, you were mentioned in the below article of mine:
https://princetonastronomy.wordpress.com/2018/10/03/planetary-protection/

And here is the link, to Thunderbird and the Seven Girls:
https://princetonastronomy.wordpress.com/2018/06/02/thunderbird-and-the-seven-girls/

This entry was posted in January 2020, Sidereal Times and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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