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Thursday, July 11, 2013

New Mission Posters at the DSC. The Control Room, DSC's New Way of Hiring Flight Directors. Nathan Y's Early Morning Horror Story. Space News. The Imaginarium.

Hello Troops,
This retirement is great.  There are times I don't remember the day of the week.  Is it a Wednesday or a Friday?  Maybe its a Saturday?  I find a calendar helps so I keep one in my home office.  The question is, will I want to go back to work?  Thirty years as a teacher, nearly 23 of them spent directing the Space Center is enough time spent in the trenches, isn't it?

Great things are happening at the Discovery Space Center in Pleasant Grove.  Let's start with this item I think is completely insane (my new term for awesome.  I'm starting a new vocabulary trend).

Discovery Space Center Introduces Mission Posters

Andrew Mallory is one of the Discovery Space Center's mental and imaginative (a true passport carrying citizen of the Imaginarium) wizards.  Look at this poster he designed advertising a new DSC mission.   

That is what I call "raising the bar".  Andrew has set the standard for all new missions.  I think its a great idea.  Why didn't I do this years ago?

Wait a minute.  Maybe I did come up with the idea to create advertising posters for upcoming missions and just forgot.  Maybe I talked about MY IDEA to other staff who took my idea and ran with it.
Yes...... I'm sure that's how it happened.  After all, all good things come from the mind of the master, right?

In addition to this new poster campaign, the Discovery Space Center, under the careful hand of its director, BJ Warner, is starting a new method for identifying and training new Flight Directors.  BJ calls it "The Control Room".  An original idea by Bradyn Lystrup    Read all about it in this email posted from BJ.  

The Control Room

A New Method for Finding Flight Directors at the Discovery Space Center
By BJ Warner.  DSC Director

Dear Staff Members,
Several exciting things are happening here at the Discovery Space Center PG. Before I make any sort of announcement, I wanted to personally thank each and every one of you. Our product here at the Space Center is powered by the diligence and hard work of our staff members, interns and volunteer programs. We have had a RECORD BREAKING SUMMER!!! And things will only get better from here. ;) So, thank you for all you do.And now, on to the good stuff.
NEW SET DIRECTORAs some of you know, the Endeavor is loosing it's set director. Josh Anderson is currently in Europe and upon his return will be leaving on an LDS mission. This means we are in need of a new Set Director. Rumors of who the new Set Director is going to be have been floating around for quite a while. Well, here it is: (insert the attached picture here..) That's right! Our very own, JON PARKER!!!!!...... Just kidding. It's Andrew McCord (under the close supervision of Jon Parker). Andrew has been working ferociously to finish his Flight Director training and will be a fantastic asset to the management team. Welcome Andrew, we expect great things from you.
THE CONTROL ROOMHere at the DSC we like to be creative. The work that we do is not like anything anyone else (except for the Christa McAuliffe Space Center) does. We, on occasion, need to train people how to do what we do. Flight Directors are one of those people. So, in order to take a DSC creative twist on the hiring process, we've developed what we call "The Control Room". Enjoy the explanation below (this is pulled directly from the policies and procedures):
Finding a good Flight Director can be difficult task. At the Discovery Space Center we wish to give everyone a chance to become a Flight Director if they have the talent and are willing to put in the time. We have developed a way to do just that. Just like the TV series “the Voice” our Set Directors, when training positions are available, will be set in a ship with clipboards and noisemakers ready to listen to a brief couple of snippets of a trainee in training’s story telling abilities. Those auditioning for the Training Flight Director position will be asked to fly a 10 minute mission that includes, start up, launch, travel and a brief battle sequence. If a Set Director likes what they experience, they will make a noise and indicate that to the person auditioning. At the end of the experience, the person auditioning will then be given the chance to choose which ship they wish to train in.Preparation for “the Control Room” can be done during the Thursday Flight Director’s Training missions and during any requested one-on-one time with a flight or set director previously ok’d by the Director of the facility.
Earlier this afternoon I read a very readable, well written and funny story posted by Nathan Y, one of the Space Centers' up and coming stars and all around good guy techs.  He posted it to Facebook.  And because he chose to embarrass himself publicly, I had no choice but to take the story and share it with you.  

Thanks Nathan.....

Nathan Y  and his Terrible, Horrible, No Good, 

Very Bad Morning

I wake up this morning to a bang. It sounded like the door to my garage was just shut. "That's odd..." I think. "My dad left for work about 2 hours ago. He works far away. There'd be no reason for him to come back. I'm the only member of my family at my house for the moment." I sit up, my eyes wide. There's somebody in my house. 
A few seconds later, there's a second bang from above me. Like a door slamming or a drawer being slammed shut. I feel my heart rate increase. The person in searching my house! 
But what do I do? I look around for my cell phone- to call for backup. But no- my cell is upstairs, plugged into the wall by the computers. That's ok- I have a normal home phone in my room. I grab it. It's dead- I had unplugged the dock so I could have space to plug in my tablet. 
There's another bang, from my parents room. The intruder is searching through their drawers! I start to worry a bit more. The nearest working phone is upstairs. Unfortunately, anybody in the main part of the house could see me if I go into the living room. I need to arm myself. Thankfully, my dad is a sci-fi fantasy fan. He collects swords. I slip into the storage room after checking around the corners and grab the sharpest sword I can find- a katana. 
Armed with my katana, and after hearing a few more bangs from above me, I work my way up the stairs. I stop at the door to the living room, and peer around the corner. My cat is hiding under one of the desks, and her eyes are wide. My other cat was hiding in her little cat house thing my mom had bought. Obviously, my cats were scared too. 
I round the corner, with my katana ready. I slowly move towards the phone. There's another bang from directly above me. I move a bit faster. Then I hear footsteps. The person is moving around above me! I grab the phone, then make a tactical retreat back downstairs to my room. 
I close the door to my room behind me. Panicked, I lean the sword against the wall and begin to dial. I try my neighbors. Maybe they can come over and help. I don't want to call the cops until I know that there's somebody in my house. Too bad none of my neighbors answer. I call my friend, who lives down the street. He picks up the phone. I tell him what I think is going on, and he says he comes over. 
I take a deep breath. Another bang from above me makes me want to get out of the house. Maybe I can meet him outside. I open my window, and start removing the screen. But as the window opens, I hear the sound of heavy machinery. I start to wonder. My neighbors were putting in concrete. It's possible that I may be hearing them. But it sounded too close to me to be from across the street. Unless the burglar was besieging my house while robbing it, something else odd was going on. I put the phone down on my bed, then rearm my self.
I work my way, carefully, towards my brothers room. His window has a view of the street. I peek through his window, and all I can see is the back end of a truck. Perhaps he's going quickly and left his truck running? 
The bangs continue. I carefully work my way up the stairs, ready to swing my katana at anything that moves. My friend bangs on the front door. Watching the stairs up to the top floor of my house, I move quickly and open it. He comes in. I gesture for him to be quiet, and begin to work my way up the stairs. 
The bangs are really close. But as I move up that last flight of stairs, I hear footsteps above me. I lower the sword. That mean's that the person is... on the roof? There's nothing to steal up there...
I come back down the stairs. My friend asks if my "burglar" was simply the men outside hauling big, heavy boxes of shingles onto my roof, and then dropping them down. I feel a little stupid. I look out the front window. Sure enough, there are about 6 guys and a big truck, and they are hauling big boxes of shingles onto my room. I thank my friend, send him home, and then return my katana to it's rightful resting place. 
Had my parents told me that the roofing people were coming, I wouldn't have had a mini heart attack and looked like a lunatic- running around in my pj's and swinging a katana about. Here's another event that I'm never going to live down. ;)

Space and Science News

An Alien Planet's True Color Revealed

In a major breakthrough, researchers using the Hubble Space Telescope have seen the true color of a planet outside our solar system. HD 189733b, as the gas giant is called, is blue. A deep, vibrant, cobalt blue. And just wait til you hear why it's that color.
An international team of researchers led by Oxford astrophysicist Tom Evans deduced the planet's hue by measuring the light it reflects, a property known as albedo. To do so, the team measured fluctuations in light as it passed in front of and behind its parent star.

Evans and his team hypothesize that atmosphere contains a layer of sodium that selectively absorbs red light. But here's the real kicker: While temperatures on the planet come in at over 1,000 degrees Celsius on average, that number swings by as much as 260 degrees between day and night. It is thought that these dramatic fluctuations in temperature lead to 4,500-mile-per-hour, planet-sweeping winds. Weirder still: those temperatures are such that silicates in its atmosphere are converted to small droplets of glass, and those droplets scatter blue light. The result, the researchers write, is a planet that would appear to the naked eye "a deep blue color at visible wavelengths."  Read More

Baby Photos of What Will Become a Massive Star

A giant radio telescope in Chile has captured amazing baby photos of what will eventually be a colossal star 11,000 light-years from Earth. Even more shocking: It's still growing, scientists say.
The giant star, which scientists billed as a "monster star," is forming inside a vast cloud of interstellar dust that has 500 times the mass of the sun. It was discovered by astronomers using the huge Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter array telescope, or ALMA, in Chile's high Atacama Desert.  Read More
How We May Reach the Stars

"Science fiction isn't just for the movies! Cyborgs, shape shifting, the colonization of space and tons more really are possible. Dr. Michio Kaku on a quest to discover the science behind the sci fi and find out how to bring your favorite futuristic tech to life. Could a real life Death Star ever actually be built? Would we one day be sending our superhero suits for dry cleaning along with our regular work wear? Internationally-renowned physicist Dr. Michio Kaku thinks so, and he believes that science fiction may not be so far from science fact. Dr. Kaku investigates the likelihood of popular sci-fi beliefs and ideas that currently seem beyond the realm of possibility, and shows us that these technologies could materialize sooner than we think."

You're a citizen of the Imaginarium if you live you life finding ways to make the ordinary, extraordinary.

Imagination in Design

Context makes the difference

Making the ordinary, extraordinary.
The work of creative engineers

How this college sends admittance notifications to new students

Google it....

It would be on the bottom shelf

You're a survivor.  Now go take on the day.

Virgin Atlantic Airlines billboard advertising their flight from Australia to the United States.

Send to someone you love.

The Final Scenes in a Few Disney Movies 
(With the Endings Slightly Altered)

Let this be your life's dream

Stop the car and reverse slowly..... ever so slowly

Of course this does not apply to Space Center staff and Cadet Volunteers.
Our people are practically perfect in every way.

Great advice.  Try is sometime

Great reading

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