The Magellan has a personality of its own; a personality I wouldn't exactly call cooperative. It works when it has nothing better to do, and throws a temper tantrum when it feels it is neglected in any way. Yesterday the network failed at 1:10 P.M. I was at 2nd chair and Megan was on the bridge. Megan noticed the problem first. She poked her head through the small hatch joining the Magellan Control Room with the transition hallway. "Did you online Station 5?" she asked. I told her I had. "We've got a problem then" were her next words. That sentence turns a flight director's blood cold.
Flight Directors handle computer failures different ways, depending on their experience and training. A well trained flight director switches into problem solving mode and begins working through a mental checklist to restore and fix the problem. Novice flight directors panic, sweat profusely, and enter windshield wiper mode; their heads turn side to side scanning their equipment hoping to see something which would direct them to the problem. It is an exercise in futility. They're not going to find a thing. The problems are usually too well hidden.
Wouldn't it be cool if electrical equipment was designed with a self diagnostic mode which would alert the operator to a problem by raising a red flag. Let's replay the situation described above with my imagined system.
Megan: "Did you online Station 5?"
Me: "Yes I did, right when you made me aware of the problem."
Megan: "OH NO. We have a major network problem. Look at me, I'm sweating profusely. My hands are shaking. Would someone tell me what to do? I can't stop my head from going side to side! I ....... think...... I'm....... having........ a .......... nervous ........"
The click of a red flag is heard in the Control Room. A small red flag on a wire pole pops up from behind a network switcher. As the wire flag pole swings into the upright position it rips open a small balloon made of tissue and filled with confetti. The confetti falls, creating a momentary festive mood to relieve the flight director's tension.
Me: "Look, the red flag and confetti. That darn switcher is the problem!
Megan: "It's a miracle. Mr. Williamson, your idea of a red flag is fantastic. I'm feeling better already."
Me: "Good, because you hit your face on the side of the hatchway. You're bleeding. Better get that looked after. I think you need stitches."
Megan: "Never. A good bridge supervisor never leaves her post - no matter what the injury. I'm returning to duty. Please had me a box of tissues, a needle and some string. I'll sew myself up when I have a moment. The students come first; isn't that what you taught us?"
Me: "Good girl Megan. Spot on. Zac, are you getting all of this?" Zac didn't answer. The stress of the malfunctioning network caused him to pass out. Strange, but his head was still going from side to side completely on instinct. "Rookies," I mumbled. "Rookies".
News from the IKS Titan and Dream Flight Adventures at Shaler Area Elementary School in Pennsylvania.
Students in the IKS Titan
Director, Dream Flight Adventures
Director, Dream Flight Adventures
Do you know more about science and technology than the average American?Take our 13-question quiz to test your knowledge of scientific concepts. Then see how you did in comparison with the 1,006 randomly sampled adults asked the same questions in a national poll conducted by the Pew Research Center and Smithsonian magazine. Take the Quiz
Update from Dream Flight Adventures:
Tourists on Mars
Elon Musk, the Space X CEO, is convinced that in another 20 years or so the commercial travels to Mars would be not only possible but pretty affordable, costing as low as half a million dollars per person. To materialize this, he plans to create a re-usable space craft which will bring down the cost of orbit and over the orbit travel just to the cost of propellant. Per pound cost to orbit should equal to just $10-20. Till that happens all average people dreaming to become Mars tourists have enough time to save the necessary $500,000, as for now the Space X Falcone 9 rocket is hoping to crack the $1,000 per pound cost. Read More
And Now, Your Reward for Plowing Through the News and Updates: The Troubadour Brings you
A hospital scanner without the faceplates. The Miracle of Engineering!
Nike Advertising: Imagination: A
A picture taken during one of my off world excursions. Now you know what I do with my weekends.
Yes, this is what I would expect.
Yes, it is allergy season.
One way not to have to listen to grandma's complaining about all the noise the children are making
Eggmazing :) Naw, that didn't work. I'll leave it there anyway to show that Mr. W. has his off days like anyone else.
This student was asked to give an answer and explain how he got the answer. You have to do this a lot in common core math. He knew the answer, but not exactly how he got it - or the reasoning behind the answer. I'd give it to him, perhaps even give him extra credit for making me laugh.
Ever wonder how the cars in the movie "Cars" could be alive?
Living in Iceland.
A Company takes children's drawings of fanciful animals and makes them a reality. Imagination is off the charts with this.
A bowl of Apples
He marches to a different drum.
There is a story to this picture I'd like to know.
A Pencil gate.
Mini sculptures with food.
How you grandparents did it...