Final curtain call

Only 55% of all Americans know the sun is a star. Maybe the thought of it as a “falling star” is too much to bear. But, stars don’t fall, they just explode. Our Sun is an ordinary G2 star, one of more than 100 billion stars in our galaxy.

The Sun is about 4.5 billion years old. Since its birth it has used up about half of the hydrogen in its core. Everyday the sun loses 360 million tons of weight. No problem, for a while anyway; “it will continue to radiate ‘peacefully’ for another 5 billion years or so. Eventually it will run out of hydrogen fuel and be forced into radical changes which, though commonplace by stellar standards, will result in the total destruction of the Earth.”

As stars get older they get redder and swell to many times their original size. Most atoms are made in stars and in the explosion of stars.

The Sun is by far the largest object in the solar system. It contains more than 99.8% of the total mass of the Solar System (Jupiter contains most of the rest–its great red spot is a whirling cloud bigger than the Earth. The eight other planets could fit inside Jupiter.) The sun is 109 times bigger than the Earth. The sun’s core checks in at 15.6 million degrees.

“Falling stars” are meteors, objects falling through and into the Earth’s atmosphere. The friction between the Earth’s atmosphere and the speeding rock causes the rock to burn up and produce light (usually at altitudes of between 25 and 75 miles above earth). Most meteors would fit in your pocket though they vary in size from specks of dust to chunks bigger than a car.

Earth gets as close as 91 million miles to the sun; the next closest star is Proxima Centuri, 4.2 light years or about 247 trillion miles away. It’s a small pup, 0.07 times the sun’s radius and 18,000 times fainter.

These numbers make me realize just how small and far away I am; I guess we’re all out in the boonies trying to hold it all together–striving to keep mother earth alive for her final fireworks and curtain call.

We’ve had atomic bombs for fifty years, pollution for a hundred more. Those two are deadly enough. Sadly, religion pops up quite often in the catastrophic category. The different interpretations are natural, the conflicts some imagine, brutal.
We have about five billion years of sunlight left, if we can just hold it all together.

(I wrote this in 1998 so if you see any corrections that need to be made, please advise.)

Randy Bamboo, Volume 1

Here’s 19 pages of my first comic book, Randy Bamboo, written by me, RC Beaird, Illustrated by Borislav Grabovic. The paperback, 100 pages, is available here.  The animated version for the first ten pages is here.  (Jason was the original name I planned on using for the main character in all my Randy Bamboo books. But, some of my friends call me Bamboo because of my farm and Randy Bamboo was too catchy to pass up. Jason is my brother!)

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Launched my lessons website

by Randall Beaird

I put some of my lessons on http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Randy-Bamboo

Here’s a free sample: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Sample-of-My-Reading-and-Math-Products-1669682
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I’ve also written a few educational cartoons. The most popular one, Your House of Education (why education is so important), is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wm3FNdf9Cwk
Here’s a few of the comments:
“WOW ~ brilliant!! I love the educational video!!
“I loved it so much I took the liberty of sharing it on Busy Bee English Teachers. I hope you don’t mind. Thank you so much!”
“I really enjoyed the cartoon. It is so creative and tells such a wonderful story.”
“That was oustanding! I will share it with my kids and my middle school students. Congratulations!”
“Kids of all ages should take the time to watch your great story!! This might wake some of them up, before it is too late!”
“The video is wonderful and very educational.”
“I liked it very much. It has a great story line and is really cute. Great Job!”
“What a powerful message! You have every right to be very proud.”

Scotty Beaird Road

by Randall Beaird

Scotty Beaird

Scotty Beaird — 1952

My father is buried close to Scotty Beaird Road out in Moffett, Texas.  Scotty was my father’s cousin, my second cousin, and is buried not far from my father.

As is usually the case, Scotty once lived on Scotty Beaird Road, and it gained his name while he was still living–quite an honor.  The only problem is they misspelled his name, and left out the “i” on all the street signs, spelling it “Beard.”

I thought that was a tragedy, to name a road after someone and then misspell his name.  I called the highway department.  They were shocked it happened, but the red tape and recent budget cuts at the time made it seem nothing would be done anytime soon.

So with clipboard in hand I put on my walking shoes.  I hiked up and down Scotty Beaird Road, knocking on every door.  My speech was simple, “Scotty Beaird was my father’s cousin.  They named this road after him in his honor, and they misspelled his name on all the street signs–yeah, they left out the “i.”

Most everyone agreed something should be done, and signed my petition to have it corrected.  There was only one person, out of about thirty houses, that dug in their heels….was worried about getting their mail and the “address change” hassles.  “Sorry, I’m not going to do it,” as the door clicked shut.  But, a few houses before that one, is the one I never will forget.

The front door wasn’t easily accessible, so I ventured around back.  A huge dog roared to attention, out of nowhere.  About the time I thought I was a dead man, I saw the chain–he was chained, but every muscle was straining to break it.

I was determined to reach that back door, not to let Scotty down.  I thought if that dog breaks that chain, there will be no retreat.  No one was home, but the chain held, and I should have thanked God, but I thanked Scotty, my great cousin Scotty, as I quickly walked to the next house.

I took all my signatures to the next County Commissioner meeting–they let me speak.  I had my speech memorized of course, the same speech I gave all the nice people on Scotty Beaird Road.  But, this time I could hardly get through it–my voice cracking with emotion.  I remember lots of heads nodding in agreement, that it just wasn’t right, that it was just wrong……and it worked!  Scotty Beaird can look down in peace, as that one big dog, waits for one more chance, one more jerk at the chain, to get that little cousin.

(Scotty and his wife Burnice never had children.  Scotty was known for being an artist and very kind. He was an Eagle Scout and Scout Master for many years.  He was also a Sunday School teacher, and put the Gideon bible in many rooms.)

Jason Beaird, an amazing brother

by Randall Beaird

I enjoy writing lyrics.  Lucky for me, I have my brother Jason, an incredible musician, who comes up with great melodies and sings them in a matter of minutes.  Most of the songs you’ll see at http://www.showcaseyourmusic.com/shawneegrove Jason is singing, and he recorded on his phone within twenty minutes of seeing my lyrics (usually at family vacations).

One night we all went down to watch Jason sing for tips on a street corner.   “Frozen” was his most popular song.  Children of all ages would freeze in their tracks when he broke that one out, and ask parents for dollars to drop in his guitar case.  It is something I never will forget.

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Here’s a picture of Jason and I fishing at Rollover Pass around 1973.

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