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Monday, October 15, 2012

The Start of a New Week. Answers to Questions. Old Space Center Pictures and The Imaginarium.

One Secret to a successful life is the correct balance of the two.
We never say everything we think and sometimes we say things without thinking.

Hello Troops,

Today is the last day of our Fall Vacation.  School starts tomorrow.

I enjoyed Saturday's weather.  The thick ceiling of gray clouds unleashed waves of rain throughout the day giving the valley a very Middle Earth, Lord of the Rings feel.  I enjoyed watching it all from my perch on the hillside above Pleasant Grove.

Answers to Blog Comment Questions:
Occasionally I get questions posted to the blog.  I'll respond to them here.

 1.  "Mr. Williamson, what would you do if Dr. Who came to the Space Center?"
Plan A:  Convince the Doctor To Take Me With Him.
If Dr. Who's Tardis magically materialized in the Briefing Room, I would use my powers of persuasion and convince the Doctor to take me with him.  I'm sure I'd be better company than the Ponds. 
Plan B:  Convince the Doctor to Share his Technology
If my request to become the Doctor's new travelling companion failed,  I'd beg the Doctor to share his spacial technology and create a huge room the size of a closet where we could put our ships, Starlab, gym, cafeteria, restrooms, sleeping quarters, and classrooms.  Central School would get its space back and we would have a new, compact yet roomy, Space Center.
Plan C:  Give Him a Mission and Send Him on his Way
If Plans A and B didn't move The Doctor to action, I suppose I'd convince him to stay and go on one of our missions.  I'd choose Event Horizon.  It has everything the Doctor would want in an adventure.  The Doctor would be the Captain.  I'd take away his sonic screwdriver and make him solve the mission using his brains and our make believe technology, not his. It would be a true challenge for him.  He wouldn't  have his historical memory of the universe to guide his thinking because our mission would be in OUR universe.  He would be like a fish out of water, floundering about for help.  
 2.  "Mr. Williamson, with the Space Center closed, would it be possible for the volunteers and staff to get together for a party.  We haven't seen each other in a couple months."
It's a good idea but I don't think its possible.  I was told to stop all Space Center programs until the Space Center renovation was complete. That means we don't have access to our rooms at Central School, and therefore no place to meet.

I think the school is enjoying the peace and quiet.  Central School is a normal school again for the first time in 22 years.  It opens at 9:00 A.M. and closes at 3:30 P.M.   The evening sweeper gets to go home earlier than he would if the Space Center was running.  The secretary's work load is greatly reduced (think of all the extra bookwork the Space Center required) and the principal doesn't have to deal with all the extra noise, hustle and bustle.  Let's not forget the happy school librarian.  The Odyssey and the school's library share a common wall.  Her school days are peaceful and quiet with the Center closed.  Not one child's peep seeps through that wall - a problem we've had to deal with over the years.  At least The Troubadour is still working!  :)
3.  "Mr. Williamson, in August you thought the Center would be open in a couple months.  It's October and the work hasn't started.  It's not going to be a couple months, is it?  We were hoping to book our school field trip.  What do you advise?"
 It all comes down to money.  Does the Space Center have the funds saved to complete the renovations and improvements required to meet current codes?  If so, then we are in good shape.  If not, then where does the money come from?  I knew building renovations would be needed and set aside as much money as possible since the Space Center's last renovation in 2000.  We have over $250,000.   Let's hope it will be enough.  

This will take time and patience.  

Pictures from the Past

The Salt Lake Tribune ran a story on the Space Center in 1995.  Pictures from that story are below.

 The Voyager's Bridge as it appeared in the 1995 article. 

We used old Mac Computers and a different main view screen back then.  Notice the differences between the old Communications Station and today's (the lower level of the Bridge).  The TV above the main viewer is the only piece of equipment from the original bridge still used today.  That 22 year old TV is still going strong!

The old Mac computers gave me headaches from time to time.  I bought them used so I got what I deserved.  It was all I could afford.  Sometimes a whack on the side was the only thing I could do to get a few of them running in the mornings.   The network wasn't reliable either.  The Appleshare network often went down leaving me blind in the Control Room.  We had no idea what the campers were doing on their computers;  that's when a good Bridge Staff comes in handy.

"Great Job pushing that Warp 6 button!"  a staff member would say loud enough to be heard in the Control Room. I'd hear the prompt, play the warp speed sound effect and cue the star field for the main viewer.  These verbal prompts kept us open and flying when the network went down.

A closer look at the Communications level of the Voyager.  The Telephone Station was to the left.  Long Range was on the right and the Decoder sat in the middle.  The printer on the far left.  It was a loud beast as it printed one line at a time using perforated paper that spooled up from the floor.

Today we use a computer projector to create the image on the Voyager's Main Viewer.  Back then I used a $4000 monochrome tablet like device which sat on an overhead projector housed behind the rear view screen.  The tablet wasn't color; we didn't have color computers anyway.  Everything was black and white except for the TV up top.

The red circle of light you see behind the main viewer was unique.  It changed colors in a pattern; red, blue and green.  They were Christmas Tree lights still in their packaging.  Weren't we a creative lot back then?  

Here I am in the Voyager's Control Room running a mission.  I wore the blue smock during missions in those days.  I thought it made me look Star Trekkie.  You'll still find one or two of the smocks in the Voyager's costume closet.  

Finally, the Captain and first officer of the mission.  The Captain had the computer in those days.  Notice the Captain also sat behind a desk.  The First Office sat on his left.  Captain's didn't move about very much back then.  Getting in and out of the desk was a bother.

The Imaginarium

Imagination is the foundation the Space Center is built upon.  We imagine first, then we learn, work and create.

The Imaginarium is the place where we celebrate imagination, and all other things that makes us unique among the animals on planet Earth. 

A faucet.  
Creativity: A

You can be creative even in the simplest of places.

They're on to us Troops!   You know the plan.  To the safe houses for regrouping.  We will be moving our world domination time table ahead. 

Rings for Science Fiction Fans.

Reconnect with your inner child.

Unique washing instructions.

For Halloween
Peanuts characters as zombies.

Ah, .....  Fill in the blanks and be inspired!

A wildlife bridge.
Engineering Design: A

Why a normal doorbell when your guests could compose a tune of their own?

I'd be proud to own a set of these.

A clever way of asking parents to Mind Their Children.
When faced with an option of normal or imaginative, go imaginative.
It can be risky because of the failure factor, but far more rewarding.

Only my Battlestar could manage this.

An open staircase. 
Imagination :A

Who wouldn't want a bedroom like this?
The most possible use of space in a small room.

Not sure that's true, but it made you look twice.
Not your typical balloon advert which makes it imaginative.

A  3D carpet design.
I'd like to see my mother navigate across this.

Flooring made from Home Depot samples.
Well done.

What is in your book?

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