Last updated: July 28. 2014 11:21AM - 49 Views
By Jeremy Wallace

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According to The Watertown Daily Times: on the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing.

What many people find most memorable about summers past are the trips they took.

Some people travel to one of the extraordinary sites under the stewardship of the U.S. National Park Service. Other people visit family or friends throughout the country. Countless young people find themselves at a summer camp — whether they like it or not.

And then there are those bold individuals who embark on true adventures. They may go whitewater rafting or mountain climbing. They may see the remote regions of Alaska or the murky swamps of Florida.

But imagine the home movies, photo scrapbook and stories garnered by one group of explorers. During a summer trip 45 years ago, they packed up their vehicle and journeyed to a destination no one had visited before: the moon.

The crew of Apollo 11 capped a scientific and technological dream of the United States. No human had ever set foot on an interstellar body other than Earth. And perhaps for the first time in history, virtually everyone in the world was transfixed on a single event.

And what an event it was. Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins, along with the many people at NASA, proved what human creativity is capable of when it imagines the impossible.

The journey to Tranquility Base was paved with incremental achievements, numerous failures and a few catastrophes.

Astronauts Roger Chaffee, Gus Grissom and Ed White were the first men chosen to inaugurate NASA’s newest mission, low-orbital flights that would eventually travel to the moon. They even got to pick the name of this new phase of space travel by calling their mission Apollo 1.

But during a test, a fire ignited inside their capsule Jan. 27, 1967, and killed all three men. Craters on the moon were named in their honor.

The Apollo program, however, persevered and finally reached its goal. A stunned world watched in awe as the Eagle landed on the lunar surface July 20, 1969.

In December of the previous year, members of Apollo 8 made history by being the first individuals to orbit the moon. Flight Cmdr. Frank Borman later received a telegram from a grateful fellow citizen. Given all the social turmoil of the past 12 months, the telegram read simply, “Thank you, Apollo 8. You saved 1968.”

If Apollo 8 saved a single year, Apollo 11 saved the 20th century. Accomplishments like that are rare, so we should savor its memories as we plan our next big trip.

According to the Appleton Post-Crescent: ban e-cigarettes from indoor workplaces

There’s a lot we don’t know about electronic cigarettes. There’s even a lot the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t know about them.

The FDA has proposed regulations that would set an age limit for buying them and require them to have a warning label about nicotine addiction. The agency also has done a study that found half of the e-cigarettes tested contained cancer-causing substances.

Here in Wisconsin, we have a ban on selling them to minors, enacted in 2012. The state also has an indoor workplace ban on tobacco cigarettes — and a question about whether it should include e-cigarettes.

Based on what we know about them — and more on what we don’t know about them — the ban should be expanded to include e-cigarettes.

Billed as an alternative to tobacco cigarettes, especially for those trying to quit smoking, e-cigarettes are devices that have a battery and an atomizer. They heat liquid that’s infused with nicotine and users inhale the vapors.

What’s in them varies — and ingredients aren’t required on their labels. So, whether those ingredients are harmful to users is a mystery.

That’s a problem for users but — like using tobacco or many other harmful but legal substances — the user’s choice.

But what kinds of vapors are released into the air around users — call it second-hand vapor — is a public problem. And that’s just as much of a mystery.

As Wendy Vander Zanden, executive director of Community Action for Healthy Living, told Post-Crescent Media, “We don’t know what people are being exposed to. It’s probably cleaner (than cigarette smoke), but when we compare it to clean air, there’s a huge difference.”

Just as tobacco smokers have a right to smoke, but are prohibited from doing so inside indoor workplaces because of the harmful effects to others, e-cigarette users should face the same restriction for the same reason.

In this case, given what we do and don’t know, it’s better to ban them from indoor workplaces until we find out whether they’re safe for those who are around users.

And, as in the case with the statewide smoking ban, it can start with communities enacting their own bans.

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