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Ernie's House of Whoopass! January 28, 2011
January 28, 2011

Twenty-Five Years Ago Today.

The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster occurred on January 28, 1986, when Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, leading to the deaths of its seven crew members. The spacecraft disintegrated over the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of central Florida, United States, at 11:39 a.m. EST (16:39 UTC). Disintegration of the entire vehicle began after an O-ring seal in its right solid rocket booster (SRB) failed at liftoff. The O-ring failure caused a breach in the SRB joint it sealed, allowing pressurized hot gas from within the solid rocket motor to reach the outside and impinge upon the adjacent SRB attachment hardware and external fuel tank. This led to the separation of the right-hand SRB's aft attachment and the structural failure of the external tank. Aerodynamic forces promptly broke up the orbiter. The crew compartment and many other vehicle fragments were eventually recovered from the ocean floor after a lengthy search and recovery operation. Although the exact timing of the death of the crew is unknown, several crew members are known to have survived the initial breakup of the spacecraft. However, the shuttle had no escape system and the astronauts did not survive the impact of the crew compartment with the ocean surface. The disaster resulted in a 32-month hiatus in the shuttle program and the formation of the Rogers Commission, a special commission appointed by United States President Ronald Reagan to investigate the accident. The Rogers Commission found that NASA's organizational culture and decision-making processes had been a key contributing factor to the accident. NASA managers had known that contractor Morton Thiokol's design of the SRBs contained a potentially catastrophic flaw in the O-rings since 1977, but they failed to address it properly. They also disregarded warnings from engineers about the dangers of launching posed by the low temperatures of that morning and had failed to adequately report these technical concerns to their superiors. The Rogers Commission offered NASA nine recommendations that were to be implemented before shuttle flights resumed. Many viewed the launch live due to the presence on the crew of Christa McAuliffe, the first member of the Teacher in Space Project. Media coverage of the accident was extensive: one study reported that 85 percent of Americans surveyed had heard the news within an hour of the accident. The Challenger disaster has been used as a case study in many discussions of engineering safety and workplace ethics. [continue reading | nasa footage]

Hey Ernie, I have been a fan for as long as I can remember. I need this to remain anonymous, but NDSU in Fargo breeds Beagles for their research program. I lived up there and attended the University, here is a video of their pen. There is about 20 feet of grass separating the cages from the road (this area is kind of tucked away and not on a normal "road") and if you get within 10 feet of the pens, campus security will be there threatening to arrest you. Although they do adopt out dogs after they hit a certain age, it's still a depressing site. Take care - Anonymous

ernie, i was wondering, about your full stance on animal testing. are you upset that the animals are treated with so little humanity, or are you upset that testing is being done on them at all? i love dogs, but i am thankful that animal testing occurs. be it for medicines or cosmetics. they save lives. ofcourse i would prefer that animals used in this manner were allowed to get out and play and be treated like animals instead of like an object, due to the nature of the world we live in, im sure this has alot to do with the price it would drive the end result product up to. as a man who has seen people be saved by medicines derived from animal testting, i thank those animals. they are unwilling heros. as a man with more compassion for people then animals, i agree with penn & teller. i would gladly and willingly kill every dog on the planet, with my bare hands, to save 1 homeless junky with aids life. Tony

No, I completely understand there has to be animal testing, I'm cool with that. Without animal testing, there would be no sweet delicious Lipitor. And without sweet delicious Lipitor (and thanks to some poor heritary genes) my brothers and I would most likely be destined for our first heart attacks around age 55, like my father was. For the last decade, cells from lab mice have been used to keep federally approved strings of stemcells alive and available for research. Animal testing has led to advances in medicine and holds the promise for many more cures to come. So the cure for AIDS and cancer and ALS and MS and all that good stuff? Go for it. But I draw similarities to how they treat animals during testing to those food animals sent in for slaughter; there are humane and inhumane ways to accomplish both tasks and it speaks volumes about us, as to which way we choose. Do chickens need to be slaughtered so I can enjoy some nice hot chicken wings when I'm bowling? Hell yes. But that's no excuse for smashing live chickens against the wall or jumping on injured ones who can't walk towards the processing line. The same principle should be applied to animal testing. For the testing that does have to be performed, let's inject a little humanity into it, shall we? I grasp the concept of control groups and closed environments and limiting variables when it comes to testing; those beagles looked a little too surprised at the concept that humans could provide something other than a needle stick, yes? So medicinal testing, it's a necessary evil so yes. But product testing? No, i can't get behind that. "Hey I want to see if this new hair spray is caustic to eye tissue, so let me blast it into a beagle's face and see what happens?" Hey want to see if that shit hurts, squirt it in your own fucking eyes, you invented it.

Hey Ern, Long time reader, first time submitter. A friend of mine showed me this link regarding a sports store in Harrisonburg, VA and their lack of customer service. They also have a facebook page for their business, have fun! Trevor

Hey I can't tell whay volume of Anal Intensive this girl is reaching for, can you?

Actress Jessica Szohr is best known for her breakthrough role as Vanessa Abrams on "Gossip Girl." But soon enough, she’ll also be recognized for the sultry photo spread she did for the SoBe Lifewater skinsuit series, which will appear exclusively in the iconic Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. The beautiful actress was also gracious enough to answer questions about her role on Gossip Girl and what influences she’s brought to the character. And with that, I guess it's showtime -- all the leftover footage from Jackass 2.0 was compiled into an additional mini-release titled Jackass 2.5. And now that they've just released Jackass 3d, of course we now have Jackass 3.5 headed down the pipe. A snapping turtle to the ass? Oh Steve-O, you so crazy!

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