Visit SpaceCampUtah.org to learn more about the Space Education Centers in Utah. Visit SpaceGuard.org and ProjectVoyager.org for information on joining a simulator based school space and science club.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Dreading the Return to School Are We? A Letter from the Minister of Education.

Hello Troops,

I spoke to a few former students as I left the school today (yes, it may come as a shock, but some of us have to work for a living). They were hanging out on the playground. They were having a good time until I asked if they were ready to go back to school. Wow, talk about a mood changer. The air suddenly got dark. They described what seemed to be a concentration camp where their freedoms were suspended and they had to 'tow the mark' or else. Of course everything they said was exaggerated but it did get me thinking, and when I start thinking you'd better expect a post.

So, in the spirit of good fun, I wrote this letter to those students from the school they described to me.

Mr. W.

P.S. Thanks to thepeoplescube.com for a few of the pictures below.



This message was brought to you by
The Ministry of Truth, Education and Propaganda (Minitrue).
We Think, So You Don't Have To.

A Message from
Silas T. Sludge
Minister of Truth, Education and Propaganda
Pleasant Grove

Attention All Students:

School vacation is coming to an end. As the Minister of Education I urge to put away your newly acquired distractions (given to you for no apparent reason other than you were born) and reacquaint yourselves with your textbooks and school schedules.

All students are ordered to return to our schools Monday morning displaying happy and cheerful dispositions. Of course, once the bell rings, you will immediately take your learning positions as displayed in the photograph above, taken from your Good Student Handbook issued at the start of the school year.

Any student caught in any state of semiconsciousness will be dealt with according to the rules and regulations outlined on pages 10 through 15 in your handbook. Discussions of what you did during the holiday are permitted in the common areas and cafeteria only.

Remember the sacrifice society has made to ensure you have a good school to attend. Think of your parents working day in and day out without complaining so you have this opportunity. An opportunity many children do not have. Look how tired they are at the end of their work day - all for you.

How will you thank them for this sacrifice? Will you toil forward, always forward, toward the end goal of graduation and finding a meaningful role to fill in our society? It is expected.


This is Albert Slipple. He exemplifies the Ministry's idea of a proper student. He rises early and fixes breakfast for himself, his brothers and sisters and his working parents. He does the dishes before leaving his modest apartment for the six mile walk to school. He keeps himself company on the long arduous trek by singing songs of courage and steadfastness. His grades are always top of the class. He sings in the school choir. He helps the school custodians. He works with the school's headmaster by reporting on students that have forgotten the rules as outlined in his well worn and memorized Good Student Handbook.

Delma Dropsley, on the other hand, is a student recommended for special care as outlined in your Good Student Handbook. She is often late for school and becomes distracted easily. She has been known to question the rules and has used unapproved colors in her science notebook. She has also been found on numerous occasions loitering outside one of the city's schools after school hours instead of working at home on her homework. Such behavior cannot be tolerated.

Remember, school is a happy place. It is your home away from home. It is a place deserving your love and complete and undivided attention. It is a place where you can forget who you are and focus instead on what is expected of you. It is a place where the confusion of free thinking is shackled and replaced the knowledge that we will do the thinking for you.

If you find yourself questioning this, please report your disturbing thoughts to a teacher, headmaster, custodian or lunch lady. We are here to help you be happy and have ways to help clear your thoughts from distractions. You must trust us.

Welcome Back to Where you Belong!

Signed,
Silas T. Sludge

ALERT....... ALERT...... ALERT.......

You were caught snickering during the reading of this letter. This is a violation of the Good Student Handbook. You have been reported. Your misconduct number is below:


Follow the instructions as given in your certificate of misconduct. And shame on you.

_________________________________________________________________


Hello Again Troops,
Well, did I get it right? How many of you are feeling the dread of returning to our "mind control factories"? It's not so bad. Think if it this way - summer vacation is a mere five months away!

And how about a bit of tele from the Imaginarium to brighten this cold day? This clip comes from the Imaginarium's Comedy School. It is the kind of school where your can let your imagination run wild to produce some very clever things.

Mr. W.

P.S. Cloverleaks revealed what really happened on Millstone Road.
http://ourcloverdale.blogspot.com/2011/01/cloverleaks-brings-you-truth-about.html


video

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Wednesday of our Content.

Ever feel that's you in the boat?
Did you say every Monday morning?

Hello Troops,

I met with the Set and many of the Flight Directors yesterday at the Space Center. We discussed our upcoming Summer Camp Season for 2011. Each simulator is preparing a new mission for the camps. The stories, on first listen, sound really good. It will be a summer camp you'll not want to miss so plan on registering at the end of January when the Camp Registration From appears on the Space Center's web site.

Are you all enjoying your holiday vacation? It is good to have down time, because we all know the saying, "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." At least I hope you've heard that saying before. I'm not too sure when in comes to Utah. It was something I heard all the time in South Dakota (where I was raised). Mind you, we said several other things in South Dakota that could never be said in Utah. And don't think it was because that's all us hicks from the great plains could do was cuss up a tempest. We drove cattle, farmed, rode horseback and whittled to pass the time of day.

Our teacher didn't stand fer cussin.
He died of consumption during my second time 'round the 8th grade.

I learned my letters, numbers, ciphering and divining in that school house.
See how we cleaned up for the photo?
Told ya we could.


We knew how to talk refined if we had to. Our teacher at the school house didn't stand fer cussin. Got yer hand swatted if ya did. I'll also have you know that we cleaned up real pretty when we went into town. And I'll have you know my Ma taught me to memory many a verse from the Good Book that I could recite without a stammer when called upon. Won a ribbon for it I did at the Pennington County Fair. They heard me preaching the Word all the way to the cattle judgin. They were mightily impressed. Them Lutherans that sponsored the Bible Readin presented me with the blue ribbon and a silk bow tie worn proudly even today on the days when I clean up to go to WalMart.
How about a few things to occupy a few minutes of your time today since there isn't much else to say from the Space Center?

Item one for your amusement. This is a short video showing you the luckiest people on the planet for 2010. Watch and see if you don't agree. Yes, some of them are darn lucky to be alive at all.




Item 2 on our agenda today - The Dalek. The greatest threat to humanity in the Universe. Yes I threw that out there and dare all of you sci fi fans that think differently to prove me wrong.


Item 3 on our agenda. This comes from the Imaginarium. The first Etch a Sketch, steam driven no less!


Item 4. Racing up the stairs the way it should be done. I believe all outdoor staircases should be painted like this to encourage exercise. Right now I'm thinking the one staircase I raced up the most - the one from the P.E. buildings (Richards Building) at BYU up to the main campus. Anyone else ever race up those when you were a student there?


Item 5. I know the characters that live in South Park are disrespectful and very crude and I'm really not a fan of the show but I thought this was worthy of a posting. I enjoy this because these lawn decorations are very different from the usual we get around here in Pleasant Grove (the inflatable figures and the wire reindeer complete with lights). If it shows real imagination and creativity then Its worthy of mention in my book.


Item 6: Flight Director Bracken Funk, playing for the Fresno Bulldogs is moving up in the rankings. Bracken will be rejoining our line up of flight directors for the summer season. He currently goes to school and plays basketball for Fresno State in California. Congratulations Bracken! (You see, you can be a jock and a nerd. The two are not incompatible).

And finally, a friendly reminder....

I never do :)

Mr. W.

P.S. Just out of curiosity, anyone get the title of this post? A hearty handshake from me if you do.


Monday, December 27, 2010

The Best Way to Start your Week. (If you said reading The Troubadour, then You're Right!)


Hello Troops,
It's Monday and we have another week off from school. I'll be at the Center off and on this week getting things ready for January and meeting with the staff as we plan our summer camp schedule. Yep, its time to start thinking about summer.

Here's hoping you all enjoyed your Christmas. If you got everything you asked for then the only thing I have to say is "You're Spoiled!". If you didn't then welcome to my world - the real world where people are used to disappointment, where people have to work for a living, toiling day and night so people like you CAN BE SPOILED.

Mind you, I'm not a complainer. I think I better described as a martyr.

OK, who am I kidding? I really had a good Christmas with family and friends.

Let's start this Monday with a few chuckles.


From the Imaginarium we have these two entries for your viewing pleasure. This is the best use of excessive snow I've ever seen. On the top you've got R2D2 and on the bottom you've got Jabba, the Hut. Wouldn't it be cool if these to homes were across the street from each other?

Now, from the "Cooking for the Holiday's" class I wouldn't have taken even if there was such a thing offered in Pleasant Grove, comes these cookies perfect for the Christmas Humbug like me. Clever is the only word for these and if you decide to bake them yourself I'd better get one, even if it means making an out of the way stop at the Space Center to deliver it.

Finally, this is the kind of soccer we played in South Dakota while I was growing up. None of this wimpy flat field soccer you folks play here in Utah. Oh, did I ever mention that we use to walk 15 miles, uphill in both directions, to school and back. Oh, and did I mention the log cabin I was raised in, complete with spaces between the logs for our shot guns to ward off Indian attacks?

If not, remind me the next time you have 2 or 3 hours and I'll be happy to share my recollections of growing up in the Dakotas.


If you have a minute, stop by and visit me at Cloverdale. I'm there this whole week, except for the brief visits to the Space Center. Today you'll get to meet a young man who suffers from a disfiguring apparel handicap. Such a pity for one so young.

http://www.ourcloverdale.blogspot.com/

Have a great day troops!

Mr. W.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Charlie Brown's Christmas Sorrow.

Hello Troops,
I'm off to the dentist. I'll expose these pearly whites (I wish) to xrays and my dentist's assistant, whom I believe learned how to clean teeth at an East German Labor Camp (yikes).

Thought I'd repost something I wrote a couple years ago.

Wish me luck, and enjoy your time with Charlie and Linus.

Mr. W.

Charlie Brown's Christmas Sorrow

Charlie Brown : “Will it ever stop snowing?”
Linus: “You seem a little depressed today Charlie Brown. Although it isn’t unusual to find you depressed on any given morning, you would think a no school day paired with Christmas would be enough kindling to ignite some kind of holiday spirit.”
Charlie Brown: “What are you talking about. Why don't you speak English? I swear I don’t understand half of what you say. Why can’t I have a friend that speaks my language?!”
Linus: “Bad Day. Not Good. You Sad. You make me sad. You be happy soon?”
Charlie Brown: “Good Grief”

(a pause in the conversation allows both boys to draw figures in the snow. Linus picks up the conversation trying to brighten Charlie's mood)

Linus: “Peppermint Patty is having her annual Peppermint Christmas party tonight. Will you be going? If so, will you be accompanied by your pleasant mood?”
Charlie Brown: “I didn’t get an invitation. Did everybody get an invitation?”
Linus: “I’m guessing they did. It looks like Snoopy has his."

(Snoopy is seen in the distance removing his leather jacket, aviator's cap and goggles. He enters his dog house and exits with an invitation in one hand and his Christmas dog collar in the other. He does a little dance and then, in a flash, is off down the street)

Charlie Brown: “Sigh”
Linus: “Cheer up Charlie Brown. You can come with me. The invitation says you can come in Christmas costume. I wasn't going to dress up but I have an idea. I can wrap my blanket around my head and go as a shepherd. You can put your mom’s wool coat on and come as a sheep.”
Charlie Brown: “Good Grief”

(There is another pause. Linus tries to catch snowflakes on his tongue. Charlie stares blankly ahead watching Lucy drag her 'Psychiatric Booth' out from the garage and out to the driveway).

Linus: “You know what you need. You need to see my sister Lucy. For a nickel she can get you felling right as rain. See, she is setting up her booth in the driveway. She’s expanding her practice. She offers online holiday help if you have the internet and a dime. I see she has mom’s cell phone. I gave her the idea to start a holiday crisis help line. Its Perfect for you Charlie Brown. Let’s go inside and give her a call.”
Charlie: “She’s right there on the driveway. Why don’t I just go over and talk to her?”
Linus: “You’ve never been one to keep abreast of modern technology have you?”
Charlie Brown: “Sigh”

(Again, another pause. Linus pulls out Peppermint Patty's invitation to double check the party's starting time. He smells something - a smell everyone recognizes. He looks up to confirm his nose's conclusion).

Linus: “It’s working. She has her first holiday customer. You can tell its PigPen - she’s shrouded in dust. This is fantastic. She promised to share her holiday profits if I keep giving her ideas for business expansion. I want an iPhone for Christmas but I don't think Santa will spring for one this year. I’ve been a good boy but to get an iPhone requires the ability to walk on water. I don't think I've been that good. So.... my share of the psychiatric business's profit will be my standby plan to get one. ”

(Charlie Brown looks at Linus with a look of unbelief. He decides to redirect the conversation)

Charlie Brown: “I’m not going as a sheep. I'll just go. I'm sure she sent an invitation. It must have gotten lost in the mail.”
Linus: “Yes, that must be it. Just like your invitation to the Halloween party. Your invitations are in good company with the millions of socks lost in dryers every year.”
Charlie Brown: “Do you get paid a bonus by your sister to annoy me to the point where I need her help!?”

(Now Linus decides it is time to redirect the conversation to something else)

Linus: “Oh look, I think the snow is increasing in volume.”
Charlie Brown: “I don’t think I’m going to make it through this vacation, even with your quack sister's help.”

(Linus grows perplexed. He has seen Charlie Brown depressed before but this depression seems to be different)

Linus: “What is it Charlie Brown! I’ve never seen you this bad. What’s this anchor on your holiday spirit?”
Charlie Brown: “Do you really want to know. I mean honestly want to know?”
Linus: “I’m your friend, and considering the way things are progressing, soon I’ll be your only friend. Listen Charlie Brown, I guarantee there is nothing so dreadful, awful, depressing or dark that the spirit of Christmas can’t brighten! Come on, throw it at me. I’ll use my Christmas Cheer and bat it out of the park!”
Charlie Brown: “THE SPACE CENTER IS CLOSED UNTIL JANUARY 4TH!
AAAAAAARRRRRUUUUUGGGG. OH THE HUMANITY.............”
Linus: “Gulp”
Charlie Brown: “Let’s see you bat that one ‘out of the park’. Oh yea.......now whose talking Mr. Christmas Cheer. Go on, take that to your sister and see it turn her to the bottle for holiday cheer.”
Linus: “Sigh”
Charlie Brown: “Double Sigh”
Linus: “I take your Double Sigh and raise you two more sighs”
Charlie Brown: “Good Grief.”
Linus: “You got that right.”

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Leaving the Imaginarium for the Holidays.

Ministry of Christmas Wonders

Hello Troops,
I was awoken this morning at 5:10 A.M. by my home's carbon monoxide alarm. There was no reason for panic. The air was good. The alarm sounded because we lost power. The detector makes a loud beep whenever the power goes out. The power came back on about 7:20 A.M. The house was cold and I dreaded to get up knowing what I had to face on the driveway and sidewalks. Yes, I hear many of you saying you had to do the same - shovel. It's one of those chores men do. We shovel.

I didn't know if our 10:00 A.M five hour Odyssey mission was coming in so I shoveled and then headed to the Space Center. Christine was there waiting. The group showed up right on time. This is our official last mission then of 2010. Christine was at the helm, assisted by Adam, Trevor H., Nathan M., and finally Jace. What's a mission without the sudden and unexpected arrival of Jace?

Isn't this so true of our fantastic maintenance folks? Thanks Kyle and Jon for your work!

Kyle Jones and Jon Parker were already at work when I arrived. They have the unseen job of cleaning up our basement shop and organizing our equipment. Its a nasty job that will take them a good two days to get things right.

On the bright side, they are hanging up the two new Magellan signs that have been sitting in one state or another for nearly two years. Jon just called to tell me they cracked the clear plastic shield over one of the large signs while they were drilling the holes for the metal brackets which hold the sign to the wall. I told him to hang the sign anyway (on the darkest wall of course). We will order another piece of plastic, but I've waited a long time for those signs and I'm going to get them!

It's 3:00 P.M. The Odyssey mission is just now done. We are done! It's time to put 2010 to bed. Let there be cheering and rejoicing throughout the Imaginarium. We can all grab our coats and rush through the streets to the Wonderland Station to catch the last trains to Reality.

"Attention, Attention, All non essential Imagineers are released from duty. Enjoy your holidays," the voice over the loud speaker just said. You don't have to tell me twice. I'm shutting this down and heading out. I'll post a few things on the way to the Station and perhaps again when I'm on the train.

End................... Time: 3:04 P.M. (IST) Imaginarium Standard Time.

Hello Troops,
I'm standing outside the Center waiting for the trolley to the train station. I've got a few minutes so I'll write a few more things and post them. The Imagineers around me are pretty psyched about getting home for the holidays. We feel sorry for our comrades that work in the Ministry of Christmas Wonders. Their building is just across the street from where I'm standing. It's got a large Christmas tree made of lights running up two sides of the 20 story building.

The guy standing next to me just pointed to a couple of people looking at us from the fifth floor. They're both wearing Santa hats and looking rather glum, at least that's the impression I have from this distance. They're waving at us. I'll wave back.

I'm back. Poor chaps, but hey, someone has to provide all the imagination required for the Christmas holiday. That's why the Christmas Ministry has one of the tallest buildings in the Imaginarium. This ministry employs more people than the all the other ministries combined, well except for the people that work for the Ministry of the Undead. They deal with Halloween. They're a scary bunch of oddballs for sure.

The trolley is late. Someone said they're running twenty minutes behind schedule due to the holiday rush. I think I'll walk the four blocks to the Wonderland Station. Talk to you later....

End...........................

I'm back. Just saw something that made my blood run cold for a moment. I snapped a picture with my camera phone. Here it is:

Some kid somewhere is having a great time wiping out an imaginary town with his Star Wars toys. That's what I love about working here in the Imaginarium. We don't create the thoughts that fuel imagination. We just enhance them and add a bit magic so they become very real to the playing child, or the adult for that matter. Yes, it will be duck and cover once the kid starts to fire but hey, its the Imaginarium. No one gets hurt, we just make it seem real.

THE SHOOTING HAS STARTED. YES..... THERE GOES A FEW FLOORS RIGHT OFF THE TOP OF THE BUILDING HOUSING THE MINISTRY OF FANTASY. I'm not a fan. They can have their unicorns and fairies and all the rest. OK, I've got to make this look real. The blasters are pointing my direction. That means the player is looking right at me in his imagination. Don't laugh, but I'm going to have to run and scream just like they do in those Japanese Godzilla movies. All in a day's work. Signing off, its time to act.

End..............................

I'm back. I'm sitting on a wooden bench beside the track. The Wonderland Station is packed. It will be a dash for the train when it arrives. No one wants to wait for the next one. I saw a funny sign on the wall near the drinking fountain on Platform 2. It is next to a metal door marked "Staff Only".

Clever huh?
Wait, that's the train. Everyone is surging forward. Gotta go........

End............................

I made it! Reality here I come. This train is equipped with monitors playing the latest creations from the Ministry of Advertising Science (MAS). They support the people in the real world that work in the Advertising business. The MAS is one of the largest professional Ministries in the Imaginarium. These guys take their jobs seriously knowing people's livelihoods rest on the work they do. My stop is coming up so I'll end this post with my favorite of the ones shown.

Enjoy and keep Imagining. We have families to feed and mortgages to pay.

Mr. W.


Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Old Magellan's Last Mission, And Other News.

Hello Troops,
We're cocooned in marshmallow today in northern Utah. The sky is white and heavy. Its raining. I look at that as a blessing. Let it snow in the mountains and rain in the valleys. That is my definition of a perfect winter.

The Space Center officially closed for Christmas Vacation yesterday at 5:15 P.M. Jon Parker's voice was the last heard over one of our five microphones. His Voyager crew arrived 15 minutes late so, being full of Christmas cheer, Jon extended their mission an additional 15 minutes. We're like that at the Space Center. We bend backwards for our visitors, even at our own cost. We've a reputation to uphold. So, what happens at the Center over the next two weeks?

  • Maintenance comes first. Kyle has returned from BYU Idaho to spend one week doing maintenance projects in the ships.
  • I'll meet with the Flight and Set Directors to map out our summer camp schedule.
  • Summer missions will also be on our agenda.
  • Voyager Controls is something else I'll be working on with assistance from Emily and Jon. Our programmers are finishing up our new Cocoa controls for the Galileo. The Voyager is next.

Yesterday I made the decision not to convert the Voyager to iPads. We met for a couple hours with our Programming Guild listening to the pros and cons. In the end the cards weren't there for an all iPad ship. We will forge ahead with a new set of controls based on the Guild's Mercury Server. I want to thank Tod Hadley for attending. His input was valuable.

One good thing to come from the meeting is my desire to use iPads throughout the simulator for special activities and projects. The 2011 Voyager will be quite the ship when we finish with it.

In closing, I'd like to show you the pictures I took of the staff and volunteers that worked the last mission of the old Magellan before it was torn apart and the new Magellan built. The day after these pictures were taken construction on the new set began. A few months later, the new Magellan opened for the summer season.

Please forgive the photograph's resolution. They were taken with the Space Center's first digital camera. The faces are fuzzy but our old timers will recognized the staff and volunteers that worked that last mission.

Jackson Miller (Center)

One of the volunteers you'll see in these pictures passed away with cancer two years ago. Jackson loved the Space Center, and in his memory, his family sponsors a special yearly Space Center field trip for the Rowland Hall 5th graders.

Jackson was an awesome kid who worked whenever he could while he suffered through his cancer treatments. He worked his last mission about six months before he died. All his hair was gone, but his spirits were high.

Jackson, and the millions of people like him around the world, who face and fight deadly diseases are my true heroes.

And now, the Old Magellan's Last Mission....





For a quick chuckle, take a moment and go to the link below and watch this short Christmas video I posted on my Cloverdale Blog (The Village I created populated with the kind of people I understand). I think it would be cool if we made a video like this to advertise the Space Center - you know - old school. What do you think?

http://ourcloverdale.blogspot.com

Have a Great Weekend!
Mr. W.

Friday, December 17, 2010

A New Simulator in Logan?


by James Porter

There is a rumor going around that we are going to build a simulator in Logan. So where is this simulator going to be located? One idea that has been proposed for our program is to convert the main computer lab at the school (Thomas Edison Charter School) into a part time simulator. The design would allow it to still function as a computer lab, but in the evenings, weekends, and summers it will be able to take students on adventures into space.


In order for the lab to be able to function as a simulator there are going to need to be some big changes. One of the biggest is the addition of a wall to separate the control room from the bridge. There will also be a new lighting system, audio equipment, and general aesthetic elements such as paint to help create the atmosphere of being in a star ship. Their are other elements we hope to add to the simulator as we generate funds from running flights, but these are the basics we believe are needed to get a ship up and running.

The controls of the ship are currently being developed as part of the Openstardrive.org project led by Allan Stewart and Dave Wall. The open source programs will be able to run on the computers currently being used at the school instead of having to buy new systems.We are very excited by this prospect and the amazing opportunity we have been given to work with them and the aide they are providing us.



Here are some images that show how the simulator might appear in the future. On the left is a possible layout for desks, but more importantly shows the additional wall. The others are images from inside the simulator and control room. We'd love to have the new desks, but most likely they are a little further down the road.

In order for us to make these changes to the lab as well as purchase the necessary equipment to run the simulator, it is going to take some funds. We need the skills to build a wall or the money to pay someone to do it, not forgetting the actual materials as well. With the increase of equipment we will also be running some new electrical outlets and the lighting system. If you know someone who can help us with these tasks please contact us. The great thing about this project is that our estimates are showing a very attainable fund raising goal. We'll keep you posted on our progress.

James Porter
http://cachevalleysimulator.blogspot.com/2010/12/lab-conversion.html

The Opposites of Life.

We tolerate days like this....

So we can live for days like this......

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Gravity Kills and North Korea. Random Thoughts for a Thursday.

Gravity Kills!

Let the Space Center be the first to point out that Gravity Kills! Beware of its awesome power. Respect it and learn to coexist with one of nature's forces.

Most people get up every morning never thinking a silent killer lurks around them. One misstep, one slip, one sideways glance on a flight of stairs can lead to disaster. Gravity is no respecter of persons. It pulls on all of us equally.

As a Space Center Staff, we want to bring all of our reader's attention to this matter and urge you to "Think Gravity".

The "I COULDN'T RESIST" Department

May I present North Korea's Facebook page.
This is another example of what happens when people hang up their brains, put on their sheep jackets and replace bravery, reason and logic with fear. The Germans did it, the Russians did it and the list of other examples would fill this post.



Will Americans ever find themselves in such a situation?

OK, your Civics lesson for today. America's Freedom is protected by:

Backed by...
And finally, guaranteed by :) (some family's Christmas card. I love it)


Now if you'll bear with me for a moment while I climb up on my soap box. I'd like to say a few words about the three pictures above. And remember, these are my opinions only, and isn't it wonderful that I live in a country that guarantees my right to say them?

I spent nearly two months in Communist Russia, East Germany and Poland. I understand and know the game when I see it. I know what happens when the Cult of Personality overwhelms people. I understand all too well what happens when history is sanitized and sculpted to hide the truths certain people think would be distracting, thus taking their followers away from the their purpose - complete and blind obedience.

Always question. Always seek the truth. And beware of anyone that tells you such things are best left to those that understand. The hard truths are always the ones hidden the deepest.

Now, go take on the day.

Mr. W.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Dr. Who Reminds You


How else is one to become a Time Lord like our hero, The Doctor, without studying?
The Time Lords are looking for good people just like you. Imagine sailing the winds of Time. Imagine going to places like ancient Egypt or witness Rome in all its glory. What about a voyage to the ends of the universe or the end of time when the universe grows dark as the last star fades to black.

Your own personal Tardis awaits with sonic screwdriver in the top left drawer.


The Doctor needs good people like you. Study, Learn and Sail...........

Mr. W.

P.S.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Total Lunar Eclipse

Hello Troops,
I received this email from Seth Jarvis, Director of Clark Planetarium, reminding everyone about the upcoming lunar eclipse. I thought I'd share it with you.

Mr. W.
If you’re awake between 11:30 PM Monday night (12/20) and about 3:30 AM Tuesday morning (12/21), and the sky is clear, step outside and have a gander at a celestial wonder.

The Moon will be passing through Earth’s shadow during those hours and you’ll be treated to the sight of a total lunar eclipse.

When the Moon enters Earth’s umbra (the portion of the shadow that covers 100% of the Moon, shown as the inner of the two circles in the attached jpeg images) the Moon will turn a dark blood-red. That’s caused by the sunlight on the opposite side of the world that filters through our atmosphere and refracts around Earth to escape past our planet to fall on the Moon, then reflect back to us.

The last time a total lunar eclipse was visible from the western U.S. was 2/20/08, and the next time you’ll be able to see this from Utah won’t be until 4/14/14.

Keep your fingers crossed for clear skies!

Seth Jarvis

Director, Clark Planetarium

Salt Lake City


A Tuesday Thought,
Many of the things you fear in life are like this picture. They are big in name but not so bad once you face them.

Never let fear rule your life.

Have a good Tuesday!

Monday, December 13, 2010

It's Monday and If I'm Not Smiling Soon I'm Going Back to Bed!

Hello Troops,
It's Monday. That means we all need a few smiles to fuel our emotional gas tank for the start of the week. Here are a few. We start at the top with the perfect gift for the techno's in your family.

I thought this was clever. Why not make several of these and spread them around your school to spread a bit of holiday cheer. See how many tabs are left by the end of the day. Let me know.

Are you watching the news? Students in England are rioting over governmental budget cuts meaning they will have to spend a little more on their university educations. Banish the thought!

Wow, these people living in Europe's semisocialist nations that have been feed with the silver spoon of state welfare are in for the shock of their lives when they see what personal responsibility feels like. All I've got to say is "Man Up", get off the streets, get a job and stop expecting the government to do everything for you. (My soap box moment for the day. Forgive me).


Finally a gift for that 'special' clean freak in your life.

I've finally found a flag for that empty flag pole near the school's south entrance.
"Abandon all Hope All Ye Who Enter Here". After all, aren't we the headquarters of the dreaded Orion Pirates? Isn't Mad Dog seen here at least twice a week parading himself as a meek mild mannered employee of a school's district's technology department?

Have a Great Week and I'll see you in the Trenches.

Mr. W.