"Do you know that all great spurts in...progress came just after some unorthodox ideas or exotic impressions had penetrated into a closed system?" -- Anatol Rapoport
It was so cold in my northwest facing bedroom I thought I was back home in South Dakota when I woke up this morning. It is cold...., Very Cold outside. I checked the weather to see what kind of coat to wear, knowing I would eventually risk the elements and venture outside. I wonder where I put my old Siberian parka from my South Dakota days?
I remember it being 30 degrees below zero one South Dakota Christmas. It was 1984. I went home to South Dakota for the holiday. My sister and I caught a ride from a BYU student on her way to North Dakota. I was in the back seat of her VW Beetle. Its German engineered heater did little to remove the bone chilling cold. The intense cold penetrated my heavy coat and the extra blanket I brought in case we got stranded in a Wyoming blizzard. I remember the windshield was frozen over with ice outside and in. The defroster struggled to keep a small grapefruit sized hole clear and visible on the windshield.
We stopped for lunch in Rawlins, Wyoming. I stepped outside and made the mistake of breathing. My nostrils froze together on the inhale! A large cloud of fog appeared in the McDonald's doorway when I opened the door. The fog magically appeared when the warm, humid inside air met the arctic air coming in from the outside.
Instead of asking, "Would you like fries with that?"the cashier asked "Would you like a hot coffee with that?"
"Hot chocolate," I managed to signal using my chattering teeth and my elementary knowledge of Morse code.
It was a Christmas I'll never forget.
Here's hoping you have a nice, warm, inside day.
Space Center News
There is good and bad news to report.
We are planning to open for school field trips in February. That is the good news.
We will not be opening for private missions, camps and classes at the present time. That is the bad news. The Alpine School District administration and school board will make a decision regarding after school programs at a later date once we accomplish our prime task - get open for field trips.
I'm hoping our volunteer and computer programming programs will resume if and when the Center opens for after school programs. However, volunteers are welcome and needed immediately to help with daytime field trips. Please contact me if you are able to come in and volunteer anytime between 9:30 A.M. and 1:40 P.M.
I know this is disappointing news for our paid staff, our hundred plus volunteers and our thousands of Space Center fans state wide. I know many of you held off making your summer camp plans and booking your parties in anticipation of the Center's reopening for private programs. I am working with school district administrators and the Space Center Committee on solutions to the issues regarding after school programs.
Thank you for your generous patience.
Look at the picture above. You have three choices.
First, A: Grains of sand in all of the Earth's beaches
B: Water Molecules in ten drops of waterand
C: Stars in the universe...
The vast majority of you chose C, the number of stars in the universe, but believe it or not (I know many of you will question us regardless), the correct answer is B, there are more water molecules in ten drops of water than there are grains of sand in all of Earth's beaches and stars in the universe.
For obvious reasons, you can’t actually count all the stars or all the grains of sand. And even if you could, I highly doubt that you would want to. But you can guestimate.
We can use the average size of a grain of sand to figure out the average number of grains in a cup, and then multiply this number by all the beaches and deserts in the world. This tells us roughly—very roughly—how many grains of sand are on the Earth. According to the calculations, it seem that Earth has about 7.5 x 1018 grains of sand, or seven quintillion, five hundred quadrillion grains. And we can use the Hubble Space Telescope to guestimate the number of stars. A 2003 estimate concluded that there are approximately 70 thousand million, million, million stars in the observable universe. Which means that grains of sand are nowhere near as numerous as the stars. Sound impressive?
Well, you will find the same number of molecules in just ten drops of water. That's right...if you take 10 drops of water and count the number of H2O molecules in those drops, you will get a number equal to all the stars in the universe.
"So next time I look up at the sky at all those stars, I will be impressed, of course, by the great numbers that are out there. But I will remind myself that at the other end of the scale, in the nooks and crannies of the physical world, in the teeniest of places, there are equally vast numbers of teenier things..."
Are You as Smart as an 8th Grader from 1912?We've all heard it from our parents and grandparents before: "In MY day…" But before you head toward the eye-roll, less conspicuous tune-out or the more polite nod-and-smile, the Bullitt County Museum has posted a recent donation: the 1912 eighth grade exit exam for the Kentucky county's schools.
There has been no shortage of claims in recent years that the rigor of American education has declined. Substantial criticism has argued that sweeping efforts -- both national and local -- to make American students more competitive have only made things worse
So, was school really more challenging back then? Would you have been able to graduate eighth grade 100 years ago? Try your hand at the exam, below, and check your answers at the Bullitt County Museum website to see if you passed.
'Daleks' cook and serve food in robot restaurant
DINERS get a taste of the future as robots take over a restaurant in China.The Dalek-like staff greet punters, cook their dinner and serve it using sensors on the floor — after human waiters take their orders.
Robot Restaurant in Harbin, North East China, bought 20 of the £30,000 bots, which run for five hours on a two-hour charge.