Sunday, May 22, 2011
Below you will find this week's required viewing for all Troubadour readers. In this video, the noted astronomer Carl Sagan discusses the search for intelligent life in the cosmos. Where are they? Why haven't we found them. Perhaps they are here with us. Please take the seven minutes or so and watch with brain engaged.
I'd like your thoughts on the facts and theories presented if you have any. Please take a minute to post a comment.
Take a moment now and feed your brain, then continue below to read the next post giving the Space Center's latest news complete with a Sunday stroll through the Imaginarium.
Fortuna, our little mischievous nymph, was up to her usual shenanigans yesterday at the Space Center.
All five simulators were in full performance a little past noon on Saturday. I sat at my desk dispensing advice, giving directions, listening to grievances and running the Space Center in general when the fire alarm suddenly sounded.
"Fortuna, what are you playing at," I thought as I jumped up and raced to the school's office. I typed the passcode into the school's alarm panel then shuffled down the wall to the fire box. The screen showed the alarm was triggered in the Voyager's Crew Quarters. I knew we had a flight going in the Voyager and had there been a real fire I would have known about it. I knew it was a false alarm, most likely triggered by a burned burrito in the microwave or an accidental puff of smoke from the smoke machine on the bridge reaching the uncovered detector. I pushed a series of buttons to silence the alarm then called Pleasant Grove's Fire Department and told them not to dispatch the trucks until I checked the listed area. The dispatcher waited.
Roger (the school's custodian) and I checked the affected areas. We found nothing, which is just what I expected. The dispatcher sent a few firemen over for safety's sake to look through the building. Nothing was found after a thorough search. The firemen gave me the OK to bring everyone back into the building.
I'm pleased with the Space Center's staff and volunteers. The ships were empty and everyone was outside moments after the alarm sounded. They knew just what to do. I'm sure it was strange for the Center's neighbors to see 60 people or so all in some kind of uniform standing on the school's front lawn.
The nymph Fortuna loves to mess with me whenever she thinks I've grown too accustom to normal. She must take great enjoyment taking me by the scruff of the neck and dangling me over some precipice just to see me squirm. She must enjoy the panic it causes as I do everything I can to ensure the Center runs smoothly for our customers and for Central's teachers and students.
I'm wondering if the Voyager's Scanning Station computer and the Magellan's Station 15 computer foreshadowed the fire alarm? The Scanning Station froze at the end of the Overnight Camp and wouldn't load the operating system after repeated restarts. The Magellan's Station 15 has been a mess for quite some time.
Fortuna wasn't happy with my response to these two problems.
"Alex, problem with the Magellan and Voyager," I said to Alex Anderson, our go to programmer for disasters in the Voyager and Magellan.
"I'll get right on it," he responded.
Within minutes he'd swapped Station 15's computer with a newer spare from the Animation Studio. It worked perfectly. The Scanning Station was brought out, a disc first aid was run and the computer healed itself. Both potential royal headaches were dispatched into the 'solved' category without even the slightest concern on my part. I'm sure these speedy resolutions to the problems sent Fortuna into a rage powerful enough to force her to play a higher card in her decks of tricks.
So, with sincere repentance and with thoughts of sack clothe and ashes I grovel at your bony feet Dear and Oh Most Wise Fortuna. I beg your forgiveness for enjoying a moment of fleeting happiness over a few days of perfection. I swear that from this day forward my staff and volunteers will have my permission to slap me hard across the face whenever they see a smile surface across my lips. This will remind me that such frivolity upsets you.
And Now, With Fortuna's Blessing and Patience I Bring you a Few Items from the Imaginarium.
(I'm not smiling at any of these tidbits. I swear).
The perfect tent for today's modern hippies and flower children. My only complaint - it should be yellow.
The perfect scarf for Spenser and now Brock. Oh there is Emily as well. Spenser and Emily for issues relating to cars, roads and other things. For Brock - a case of mistaken identity involving a cement barrier and the disappearance of sand bags.
A Crosswalk in the Imaginarium. Who needs a Walk and Do Not Walk sign when you can generate a hyperspace portal instead?
Anyone for a stroll across this street in the Imaginarium? Count me in. I need a bit of off Earth time. It's been a long school year. I'm thinking of a week or two on Rigel or a cruise around the Orion Nebula.
Things are not always peachy keen in the Imaginarium. Horace Mumps is not a happy camper. There was one scoop of Mint Chocolate Chip left in the bottom of the bucket at the Wonderland Ice Cream Emporium. Of course, being the gentleman he is, Horace offered it to his wife fully expecting her to refuse. She didn't.
Wilma is enjoying the Mint Chocolate Chip while Horace toys with his Vanilla Bean Delight and thoughts of Wilma's upcoming birthday.
I'll see many of you here in the trenches. Remember, don't do anything or say anything that could cause a smile to surface on my face. She is watching and waiting and is ever so patient.
Saturday, May 21, 2011
All is as it should be. I'm wondering if I should be concerned. According to the news, a preacher from the South with a radio show calculated today would be the start of the World's End and the Rapture. It was all to have started 18 minutes ago (Mountain Time) and I'm still here at my desk typing. I haven't heard screaming. No one has come into tell me that so and so just rose from their sleeping bag and ascended through the roof and up into the night sky. There is no rumbling in the distance announcing the end of time. There is nothing but the sound of my fingers on the keyboard and the air rushing out of the air ducts above my desk.
All is as it should be.
Perhaps all of us that work at the Space Center are destined for 'that other place', which would explain why my rear end is still heavily planted in this uncomfortable office chair, purchased on looks alone and not comfort - a mistake. If that is so, then I'm in great company. Shovelling the fuel to feed the fires of Hades may not be anyone's first choice for eternity, but if it means working alongside this great staff and herd of volunteers, then I'm OK.
Good Night, and I hope my donuts will be ready for me in the morning. Can't imagine everyone in the WalMart bakery would be caught up into the sky.
Target perhaps, but not WalMart.
Friday, May 20, 2011
Landon Hemsley is a student at USU in Logan and a former Odyssey Flight Director at the Space Center. I asked him to write a post about his new job with the campus radio station and how it relates to the work he did at the Space Education Center. Landon graciously obliged and sent the following.
Thank you Landon for writing the following post and thank you for the many years you spent with us defending Earth's liberty and championing Justice for All!
As I type this letter to the Space Center faithful, I look around the small radio control room in which I am sitting, and realize that it's an awful lot like a really sophisticated control room at the Space Center. But there are some differences.... I shall elaborate.
There's no video cameras. It doesn't matter if anyone sees me like it does at the Space Center. Rather than cameras, windows grace all four walls, allowing me a view to both the small parking lot outside the studio and the staff meeting room next door - that same staff meeting room that just a few short years ago was a fully loaded studio with about 8 microphones. Oh, the memories.The board that I run has eight different audio inputs. Three are satellite feeds from the NPR national networks. One is a wild card. Sometimes its a phone line, other times, we can rout microphones from different areas of the building through a single input. Another three are for computer audio card feeds. The machines here have several cards. In fact, all the computers and sound equipment are stored in a single massive mainframe in the "transmitter room." From there the computers and audio boards throughout the station draw their computing power, with remote access computers in three different studios. It's basically the ultimate sound machine on steroids - quite the step-up from the small audio mixer boards well-used and abused at the CMSEC.To my left is the AP newswire computer. The Associated Press sends its stories through the wire and they show up here, ready for us to either investigate further or to read on the air, I guess that would be our communications computer. Now we just need an officer to man his station, stare at the screen endlessly, and raise his hand and notify the news director when anything changes. Any takers? Oh, yeah. In not so many words, that's my job. ha!Massive speakers and a clock are mounted near the ceiling of the studio, as well as the famous "on air" light-up sign. The walls are caked with styrofoam matting - it mutes the sounds that may come through the walls from outside, making the studio a much more "sound-neutral" environment. Obviously these things lack at the Space Center, as evidenced by the styrofoam barrier that occupies the door frame to the school library in the Odyssey's control room.One thing that's the same, yet different, is the fact that classical music is always playing around here - at least 12 hours a day. What kind of classical music? Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven. No Pirates of the Caribbean Soundtrack around here... unless of course NPR does a review on the latest sequel in that series... which it just did. And man, that felt good to hear that coming through the speakers.But I would say that the most stark difference between this environment of eternal audio transmission is what I call "The Reality Pivot."Students and patrons come to Pleasant Grove to lose themselves in a make-believe world - to fly throughout the galaxy, fighting swash-buckling space pirates and protecting the mighty United Federation of Planets. Where I am, that make-believe Paradise is completely lost in the sharpness of the mirror of reality that screams that Paradise is a small town at the south end of Cache Valley and that's all it will ever be.I cover the news across the state of Utah. Some days its slow, but most of the days I need to gear up for work like I'd gear up for an athletic event. Gotta put my game face on and get ready to dominate the competition. Perhaps that's why I enjoy my job so much. I like to compete.My day consists of several phone calls to government and professional leaders who all deserve to have their story heard, but not all of whom WANT their story heard. And often, the more tragic the story, the more I'm thrust to put it on the air. For example - the flooding this year has occupied and will continue to occupy much of my work time.There's been an outbreak of equine herpes in Utah and several western states that is threatening the lives of many, many horses, even if it is not dangerous to people. Since our service area is largely rural, it's an important story.I got off the phone not too long ago with an officer in Brigham City discussing a semi-truck that lost its brakes on the highway from Logan to Brigham and took out three cars at an intersection because it couldn't stop. Three cars were totaled and the driver of the semi had to be extricated from the cab with heavy equipment.Compare that sharp clash with reality to the Voyager standing down his majesty, the Grand "Poo-Pah." Fantasy versus tragedy. It's a terrific contrast.I do not mean to say that I am unhappy in my work. Quite the opposite in fact. When there was a significant chance that dams would break in Southern Utah last December, when rivers were jumping their banks after days of heavy, heavy rain, I got ahold of several people on scene and kept people up to date, minute by minute as we watched to see if an aquatic apocalypse was about to bear down on St. George. Thankfully, nothing happened, but I was left with a profound sense of satisfaction that I helped keep a large segment of Utah's population up to date on a precarious situation IN REAL TIME. As Mr. Williamson is, I am certain, waiting for me to say, it was Awesome!Some of the greatest skills I possess in my job were acquired at the Space Center. Ambition. A vocal presence. Professionalism. Courtesy. Persistence. Knowing how to say what you need to say in a creative way that will make people think. These were all skills that were hatched at the CMSEC in PG.I don't plan to work in news forever - sports entertainment is much more my cup of tea and I plan on working in the sports media for a very long time in one capacity or another. When I do, I am certain I will get to utilize much more of the skills I acquired both at school and at the Space Center, but for now, I report the news, make my phone calls, and wonder when Paradise will once again quit being that stupid town at the south end of the valley and resume its rightful place on the bridge of the USS Voyager, flying amid the stars.Troops, treasure the years you spend at the Center. I am happy where I am now, but as I look back on my years at the Space Center, I have realized again and again that they are fleeting, and you'll miss it when you leave.Much LoveLandon HemsleyUtah Public RadioA former CMSEC staff member.
The space center is for everyone, the brave, and the shy, the quiet, and the loud. It's where we can truly show others what we can do. It was an amazing experience, and it could not be described in words. It is truly beyond anything I've ever done. It's better than lazer tag, pizza, bowling, and just about anything else you can name. I really appreciate everything, and I wanted to thank-you.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
This is what the night sky should look like if you lived at the top of a high dry desert far from the artificial lighting of our towns and cities. It's a wondrous thing to behold, wouldn't you agree?
We had a great time with the 5th grade classes of Rowland Hall Saint Mark School the last few days. They were sharp, enthusiastic kids. I think the staff are ready for something other than Cry from the Dark now. I like the story but playing the part of the Ferengi with the high whiny voice and lisp for two days in a row is enough for me.
And, striking it out of the park for a third day in a row, we had a great time with Mrs. Gurr's ALL class. They were remarkable. They were polite, attentive, and appreciative of our work and vocalized that appreciation. You wouldn't have to pay me if all our classes were that awesome (that's a figure of speech not to be taken literally. I still need to eat and pay bills).
The Voyager Simulator was in one of its moods yesterday. Rachel struggled at the IIFX station. I don't know what the problem was but she just couldn't get that computer to respect her. Brittney suggested she talk nicely to it. She swears by it, saying it works for her all the time in the Magellan when her computers act up. Instead, Rachel used a heavy handed approach and after using language not fit for print (under her breath of course - we are located in an elementary school - and she is training to be a nurse) quickly adopted a Zero Tolerance policy and restarted the machine every time it went on strike.
"Take that," I heard her say multiple times from my flight control station. The fiendish smile on her face was worth the occasional pause in the mission. The Central fifth graders were a bit spooked by her reactions to the computer. I noticed that on the fifth restart they slide down the bench in my direction and away from her.
"Rachel, you're scaring the younglings," I said as my hands played the keyboards and sound mixer. "You know what to do."
Rachel nodded, opened the drawer next to her and pulled out a Tootsie Pop for each. Within minutes the younglings were calm.
"What is it about those suckers?" Rachel asked.
"My mother's special recipe," I answered. "You soak the Tootsie Pops in Benadryl overnight then rewrap them. Better than a tranquilizer. I never leave home without one or two in my top pocket."
We made it through the missions. I'm hoping the Voyager is more cooperative today.
And Now, A few items from the Imaginarium....
The perfect entrance to any book store or library. Do you think book lovers would be offended?
And something for all you students out there facing you year end Nemesis - Madame Testing.
Again, a simple and imaginative way to liven up a school or office hallway.
And finally, this photograph was taken over Utah on Tuesday. This three day rain promises to last until Friday. It's a monster storm bringing snow to the mountains and heavy rain to the valleys. Remember, all that snow must find its way to the valleys - and when it does it will not be pretty. Get your sandbags packed and your swim suit, snorkel and goggles ready. It's going to be a rough, wet ride as we warm into summer.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
If you haven't had the chance to read Julie's post on our missionary flights yesterday please do so. You'll find it posted below. Thank you Julie for writing down your experience. It gets lonely at times being the only one that writes for The Troubadour. A few posts from our other flight directors and volunteers wouldn't go unwelcomed.
The rain is back, falling from dark skies. To brighten everyone's mood I started this post with a picture guaranteed to turn that frown into a smile. Wouldn't it be awesome to see this young lady arrive for a mission in one of our simulators. She seems to be someone that takes FUN with her wherever she goes. This is what I'm talking about when I urge everyone to never let your imagination and sense of joy and wonder dry up with age. Keep it exercised by regular visits to the Space Center and The Imaginarium. Speaking of the Imaginarium. What wonders and quandaries do we have for today?
We all know that one Diet Coke with any meal cuts the calories by half, right? I think its the same science behind the fact that a rusty nail will complete dissolve in a can of Coke overnight (or something to that effect. I'm not really sure but hey, why not?)
True that. Rarely are people compared to dogs or cats. How often though have you been compared to a pig, or called one? Let's change this around and keep pigs as pets and eat our cats and dogs.
Monday, May 16, 2011
Their mission was to find a group of criminal aliens who were selling illegal drugs and arrest them. During the mission they found the aliens and contacted them by radio. The topic of conversation turned to one of the aliens who had died because of drug use. The missionaries told them they would see him again some day. They taught the aliens about life after death and the plan of salvation. It was super fabulous.
One part of the mission involves a release of harmful radiation. As ship's doctor I started calling some of them down for radiation poisoning. The missionaries wanted to give the "sick" elder a blessing. Needless to say, I cured the ailing Elder using my magic M and M's before the other could get to him. I didn't think it would be appropriate to be giving blessings for pretend illnesses on an imaginary spaceship :)
Most of them had really cool accents as well, so it was super fun to hear them talk. It was a really fun day at the Space Center.
Julie Anna Sanchez
Space Center Volunteer
Today, on the Imaginarium's Social Calendar. Applegate's Party in the Tree by the Winding Brook.
There is a party tonight in the Forest of Green. Be smart and take care for the pathway is long. Be prompt, for at the hour of eight the portal will vanish. One knock, then two and patiently wait. From up in the branches a Robin will speak. Solve the riddle correctly and you will be rewarded. Remember, a hat of green brings a warm welcome.
Sunday, May 15, 2011
It only takes a moment to close your eyes, breath in deeply and drift away into the Imaginarium where creativity is our currency and wonder drives the machinery. And Oh, the sights one sees.....
Several students found our freeway onramp into the Imaginarium this week at the Space Education Center. We filled their empty tanks with the power of dreams and the adventure of make believe.
I'd like to share one story with you about a young man that visited the Center on Tuesday.
Jack stepped up and onto the Voyager's Bridge with wide eyes and open mouth - a typical reaction to the simulator when seen for the first time. I looked at him standing there with his red shirt and Mohawk hair cut thinking he might be a bit of a handful. I made a metal note to keep an eye on him.
"I like your hair cut," I commented. "Very alien."
"Thank you," he replied courteously. I was surprised. He spoke kindly and his thank you was sincere, not deserving of my not so sincere compliment. I led him to his station at the Long Range Station.
He needed extra help during training. I found out later he read at a 2nd grade level, three years behind his age. The difficulty of running his station didn't stop him from giving it his very best. I was impressed.
I told Intolerance that day. The mission was uneventful. This fifth grade class made all the decisions one would expect. They reacted predictably to every dilemma, until I reached the end of the story.
The Voyager was hiding in the nebula cloud. Her systems were down, very few things were working. The ship had taken a beating from the Pennou's plasma weapon. As the Pennou, I had just destroyed the Montgomery and called to make my final demand from the Voyager's Ambassador.
"Ambassador, the Montgomery attacked me first. I did not come here to fight. I only want my property back. Come out of the nebula and give me back my slave."
"No," the Ambassador replied.
"Ambassador the wormhole is about to close. If it closes I'll be trapped in your universe forever. Come out of the cloud or I will come in!"
Then, breaking the silence of the bridge, came the voice of the boy with the Mohawk hair cut.
"Ambassador, may I talk to the Pennou," he asked. She gave permission. "Pennou, my name is Jack. I want to talk to you."
"Who are you," I asked. I was curious where this was going and sat up in my chair in the Control Room.
"I'm Long Range Officer." He stood with his back perfectly straight and chest out. He was proud of his ship and his job.
"Speak," I said.
"I'll take the Pennae's place so you can be happy and he can be free."
His statement was completely sincere. In his imagination he really was on a ship in deep space. He was the Long Range Officer. He saw his ship was in danger. He saw his Ambassador in distress. He saw the anguish in the face of the escaped Pennae slave.
"Interesting," I responded in my deep and threatening Pennou's voice. "Can you read and write?" I inquired. In the background I saw the boy's teacher nodding her head in the negative. The bridge supervisor smiled.
"Yes, I can read and write," he answered. "Will you take me?"
"I wanted the Ambassador and the slave. That's two people. You are only one person."
"OK, Pennou. I'll go for both of them."
"Both of them. That's hardly fair for me. I want two!"
"Pennou, if you take me I promised to work twice as hard. I'm a hard worker and I can do it."
The control room was silent in surprise. Never before in the fifteen years we've told Intolerance had something like this happened. Here was a boy completely immersed in this universe, willing and ready to give himself up for his shipmate and a total stranger. We were running out of time and the other class was lined up waiting to come in for the 11:45 A.M. I had to move the story along.
"I accept your offer. You will come to my ship and do the work for two," I announced.
"Thank you Pennou," he replied and sat down. I took my walkie talkie and spoke secretly to the captain. "Captain, are you seriously going to let one of your crew members give himself up as a slave while you still have other options?" The captain thought for a moment.
"No one is going to your ship. I won't let them," the captian spoke with authority. Her statement pulled us back into the traditional ending of Intolerance.
At mission's end I complimented the young Long Range Officer for his bravery and self sacrifice. His class applauded. His teacher was impressed. She had learned something about this boy's character, something she hadn't realized before. This boy might struggle with reading and writing, but his character was far the norm for his age.
This is the power of story in our simulators. This is the reason I created the Space Center.
It was an emotional pay day for me.
Do you remember the magic when you were younger and your visits to the Imaginarium were frequent? Your days fill with the trappings of modern society as you age. There is homework and chores and never ending social maintenance that eats up hours of the day. Then, when you find a moment of peace and quiet, you realize something is missing......
Tap your heals three times and come back to Wonderland. Turn away from your audience and step off the Stage of the Here and Now. Come through the curtain and find your own yellow brick road. Your Onramp to the Imaginarium.
The Pillsbury's at 243 Wonderlake Road, Wonderland find enjoyment in taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary. These are the kind of people you find for neighbors in the Imaginarium.
A poster seen at the 4th Street Subway Station near the Imaginarium. The struggle continues in the never ending battle against the forces of darkness and ignorance.
The bakery shop on the first floor of the Imaginarium offers a unique assortment of tasty delights - all blessed with the staff's own blend of creativity.
Remember, many of the world's greatest thinkers and imagineers suffered greatly in the past just because they looked at the world differently. We must learn to identify them today and cherish the gifts God has given them.
In the Imaginarium food storage takes on a different meaning. Imagine attending a church full of people with this unique take on life? Ahhhhhh, refreshing indeed.....
Tssssssst........ and life becomes more beautiful.
(Diet Dew for me please, with one squirt of cherry)
Have a Great Day and I hope to see all of you soon at the Space Center - your onramp onto the Imaginarium's Expressway. It's time to return. Gather your friends and come to camp or book a private mission. Remember, all new 5 hour missions start on June 1st in all five simulators.
Saturday, May 14, 2011
This picture was leaked by our secret insider at the Space Center. You are looking at proof positive of the rampant disregard for tradition, part of the culture of the Space Center.
Birthdays in the United States are traditionally celebrated with cake and ice cream. If that tradition isn't written in the Constitution then it should have been. It is the American way, along with apple pie, baseball and Chevrolet. Are these American values cherished at the Space Education Center?
Look closely at the picture above. In this picture taken today, you'll see the Space Center staff celebrating the birthdays of Brittney, Nicole and Rachel. Look at the abomination in Mr. Williamson's hand. Is that a cake? You're looking at candles planted firmly in deviled eggs!
Brittney and Nicole seem to be curiously oblivious to the fact the traditional birthday celebration was disregarded like last month's casserole still in the fridge growing a healthy forest of deadly pathogens. Rachel, on the other hand, seems confused. She hasn't worked long enough at the Space Center to have her values compromised.
Below you see the top drawer of Mr. Williamson and Mrs. Clegg's desk. Look how orderly with a place for everything and everything in its place. BUT does such order reign supreme throughout the Space Cente? The truth is revealed when you close that drawer and open the drawer below.
(Thanks Aleta for cleaning out the desk drawers and organizing everything!)
It is common knowledge secret organizations have secret handshakes accompanied by certain body movements. Examples of which are given below in a series of photographs stolen by our secret undercover agent. These photographs were taken during an initiation ceremony where new recruits were being welcomed into this New World Order bent on restoring Imagination's rightful place on Earth.
(Congratulations Todd on your Voyager Pin!)
(Congratulations Jaydin on your Year Pin!)
(Congratulations Mikayla on your Year Pin!)
(Congratulations on your Year Pin Tanner!)
The Shake with Vulcan Pinch as demonstrated by Mr. Williamson and James.
(Congratulations James on your Year Pin!)
The Shake with Calm Hypnosis as demonstrated by Mr. Williamson and Jason.
(Congratulations Jason on your Year Pin!)
(Congratulations Jaydin on your Galileo Pin!)
Thursday, May 12, 2011
This is 2011. Many would consider this to be an age of advancement, science, philosophy and logic. Yet once again we are reminded of the fact that sanity and reason seem to be in shockingly short supply on this little blue planet of ours.
People's imaginations went into overdrive in Rome yesterday. The Imaginarium's Department of Natural and Pseudoscience Curiosities failed to control the outbreak, leading to the events described in the article below. Needless to say, their will be an investigation into the matter and those responsible will be disciplined.
Rome earthquake prophecy claims trigger cataclysmic mood
ROME, May 11 -- Many Italians fled Rome on Wednesday amid fears of a pending earthquake despite reassurances from seismologists and political leaders, according to ANSA news agency. In 1915 the late Italian self-styled seismologist Raffaele Bendandi predicted that the "the big one" would strike Rome on May 11, 2011. Panic developed recently as rumors spread across social media including Facebook, Twitter. "Rome is not at risk of any earthquake," Enzo Boschi, president of the National Institute of Geophysics and Vulcanology, has said. "There have never been any strong earthquakes confirmed under the city," he said. Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno has also dismissed the rumours saying that Romans would not be listen to speculation that had no foundation. "I believe Romans are too serious to be duped by this kind of rubbish," he said. Businesses report shows that one in five people had requested a day off work and some parents kept their children home from school and headed out of town for the day. Many shops in Rome's downtown area were closed late Tuesday and Wednesday as shopkeepers left notices saying they shut their doors due to "illness" or "stocktaking."
ROME, May 11 -- Many Italians fled Rome on Wednesday amid fears of a pending earthquake despite reassurances from seismologists and political leaders, according to ANSA news agency.
In 1915 the late Italian self-styled seismologist Raffaele Bendandi predicted that the "the big one" would strike Rome on May 11, 2011. Panic developed recently as rumors spread across social media including Facebook, Twitter.
"Rome is not at risk of any earthquake," Enzo Boschi, president of the National Institute of Geophysics and Vulcanology, has said. "There have never been any strong earthquakes confirmed under the city," he said.
Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno has also dismissed the rumours saying that Romans would not be listen to speculation that had no foundation. "I believe Romans are too serious to be duped by this kind of rubbish," he said.
Businesses report shows that one in five people had requested a day off work and some parents kept their children home from school and headed out of town for the day.
Many shops in Rome's downtown area were closed late Tuesday and Wednesday as shopkeepers left notices saying they shut their doors due to "illness" or "stocktaking."
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
I call this Tetris at school. A clever use of design and originality on an otherwise boring surface.
This poster is for those of us that have tried unsuccessfully over the years to master chopsticks only to return to the tried and true fork.
The perfect sandwich for school lunches. I guarantee this will not end up in the trash bin with the fruit, vegetables and inedible plastic burritos.
Police harassment once again. Reckless driving at the bumper cars.
And finally, I fast forwarded through the Royal Wedding. My curiosity got the best of me. I'm into all things British having served a mission there and visited the island nation a few times since. I like the pomp and ceremony.
This is the face of one of the bridesmaids. Her consistent scowl was either a reflection of her opinion on the event or her natural neutral expression. Regardless, this adaption of a famous painting captures the young lass perfectly.
Have a Great Day Troops.
Remember to make something ordinary, extraordinary today.
P.S. Speaking of making something ordinary, extraordinary. What can we do to spice up tonight's dessert?
P.S.S . Speaking of British.....
P.S.S.S. This receives the Imaginarium's Award for Imaginative Excellence in Design and Functionality. I'd like one of these in my home.