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Friday, December 13, 2013

Fond Overnight Camp Memories. A Starship Fly By of Earth. More Evidence Our Universe is a Hologram. Da Vinci's Design Brought to Life. The Imaginarium

Hello Troops,
It's 6:17 P.M. on a Friday night and I still think back on the days when I directed the Space Center.  Right now my staff and I would be setting things up for our weekly overnight camp.  The overnight camp program ran for 22 years.
     •  All the simulators would still be flying their 4:00 P.M. private missions, so the Center would be
        busy with activity.
     •  The overnight staff and volunteers would be gathered in the gym waiting for me to start our 6:15
         P.M. staff meeting.  About this time I walk in and ask why the sign in tables and
         chairs weren't set up.  The older staff would look around to confirm the fact and wait for the
         volunteers to jump up and get the job done.  Two tables would be pulled from the stage's
         north closet; one set up for sign ins near the door and the other be set up for me near the gym's                south exit.
     •  I'd sat down at the corner of the sign in table with the staffing sheet.
     •  "OK Troops, we've got so and so elementary coming for the overnight camp tonight.  They've
         got 22 boys and 20 girls, so the boys will be sleeping in the ships (the staff and volunteer girls
         would moan).  All the ship are flying.  Jon will fly the Voyager, Mark the Magellan,
         Christine the Odyssey, Megan in the Phoenix and Stacy in the Galileo.  The supervisors are.....
     •  Now was the time to ask where the volunteers wanted to work.  "Who is in the middle of
         passing off a ship?"  The hands would go up.  They got first choice.  Then it went by seniority
         with the longest serving volunteers getting first pick.  The lowest boy or girl on the totem pole
         usually got stuck in the Galileo or Phoenix doctor.
     •  Then it was time to assign "loading stations".
         "Who wants to be the friendly door greeter?"
         "Who wants to be the friendly hallway pointer?"
         "Who wants boy's gear?"  That would be the person responsible to show where the boys
           put their sleeping gear.
         "Who wants girl's gear?
         "Who wants to sign in?"  I'd pick four for that job.  They needed to have fairly legible hand
      •  The meeting usually ended by 6:30 P.M.  I'd give them a few minutes to use the restroom
         before reminding them to be in their loading stations at 6:40 P.M.

Ahhhh, the good old days.

Mr. W.

Space and Science News

NASA's Juno spacecraft captured an amazing "starship-like view" of Earth and the moon as it made a speedy flyby past our planet on its way to Jupiter in October.

"If Captain Kirk of the USS Enterprise said, 'Take us home, Scotty,' this is what the crew would see," Scott Bolton, the principal investigator for Juno at the Southwest Research Institute, said in a statement from NASA. "In the movie, you ride aboard Juno as it approaches Earth and then soars off into the blackness of space. No previous view of our world has ever captured the heavenly waltz of Earth and moon." 
NASA unveiled the video of Earth and the moon by Juno Tuesday (Dec. 10) during the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco. The low-resolution video shows the Earth spinning and growing larger in the frame as Jupiter-bound Juno makes its closest approach during the Oct. 9 Earth flyby. The images were captured using four special cameras aboard Juno that are designed to track faint stars. [See more iconic photos of Earth from space]
Earth and the moon first came into Juno's view when the spacecraft was about 600,000 miles (966,000 kilometers) away, NASA officials said. Since Juno itself was spinning, the images had to be taken from the same Earth-facing angle each time.

Further Evidence the Universe is One Massive Hologram

Given all of the recent coverage on the radical idea that the universe is one massive hologram, we thought we would take a few minutes to delve into what that really means for us. Basically, to put it simply, the holographic universe principle suggests that we're living in a simulated reality (different from the hypothesis that states we live in a computer simulation), where our physical world is nothing more than a detailed illusion. This illusion is actually projected by our brains, as energy fields are being decoded into the seemingly 3 dimensional universe we see around us. In a more speculative sense, the theory suggests that the entire universe can be seen as a two-dimensional information structure, which is "painted" on the cosmological horizon, such that the three dimensions (four, if you include time) we observe are only an effective description at macroscopic scales and at low energies.

Believe it or not, it gets weirder (and it's not total unfounded):  Read More

Da Vinci's Musical Instrument Brought to Live

The man who painted the Mona Lisa, and was the first to sketch out the helicopter and the submarine, also dabbled in music. So here's the question: What musical instrument did Leonardo da Vinci design?
There isn't an easy answer. His 15th-century sketches indicate something between a harpsichord and a cello, where spinning wheels of horsehair run along the strings. He named it the "viola organista."
Leonardo never did build the instrument. Others tried, with varied results. Now, after four years, Polish pianist Slawomir Zubrzycki has managed to bring the curious instrument to life. Last month he unveiled the organista, revealing its unique sounds to an enthusiastic audience in Krakow, Poland.

The Imaginarium
The Ordinary to Extraordinary is a few short minutes

Picard sings "Let it Snow"

From Nathan W

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