Contact Victor Williamson with your questions about simulator based experiential education programs for your school.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Madame Tussaunds of London and the Discovery Space Center. New Lighting in the Room of Special Purposes. The Imaginarium.

Hello Troops,
     This evening I stopped by the Discovery Space Center on my way home from Renaissance Academy to check out a Facebook rumor that very cool changes were afoot.  I wasn't disappointed in what I found.

For Fun....
     The Discovery Space Center took delivery of a wax dummy of Casey Voeks created by Madame Tussauds of London's master waxsmiths.  I was amazed at the craftsmanship.  Everything about it seemed so lifelike!  What people do with wax these days is amazing.  To be truthful, it was so lifelike, I walked right up to it and said, "So, what's up?"
     Boy, did I feel the fool when Casey popped out from behind the desk and shouted, "Fooled Ya!"  Darn that Casey.....
     Casey explained that his wax likeness frees him from being on duty at the DSC all the time.  "A guy's got to have some time for himself," he explained.  "Having this here comforts the staff and cuts down on mischief.  You see.." Casey paused and took out the dummy's left eye.  A wire connected the eye to something deep inside the head. "this eye's a camera.  It's connected to the internet.  I can see what's happening here 24/7 from anywhere.  The staff know that.  It keeps everyone in line.  Isn't this awesome!"
     "Cool uniform," I said.  "Where did you get it?"
     "It's our new staff uniform.  Look spacey enough?"
    Discovery Space Center's new staff uniforms look Battlestar Galactic-ish.  They're very smart and come in different colors.
For Real...
     The DSC staff have new uniforms.  Casey Voeks is seen modeling one of them in the photo above.
I think they're very good and affordable.  Style at the right price - the Space EdVentures motto.


     The DSC's Room of Special Purposes has newly installed blue ceiling accent lighting.  Red will come next.  The wall mounted TV's are in place and a large model of the space shuttle will be hung at the front of the room near the entrance to the Atlantis.  A smoke machine mounted inside the shuttle will provide the shuttle's exhaust when the arriving crew counts down to zero before boarding their ships.
     There are wonderful things happening at Pleasant Grove's Discovery Space Center.  Be sure to book your private mission and camp soon.

Mr. W      
The Imaginarium
The Ordinary to Extraordinary in a few short minutes

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Space and Science News. The Imaginarium

Space and Science News

What do the Coming Years Hold for NASA?

From Quarks to Quasars
Science, especially modern science, has been advancing at an astonishing rate. Within the last century, we have discovered that the Milky Way is one galaxy in a sea of billions, and within the last 20 years, we have confirmed the existence of a thousand exoplanets (with a few thousand more in the works). These observations have fundamentally changed our perception of the universe and our place in it. Within the next 30 years, NASA hopes to answer one of humanity’s oldest questions, “are we alone?”  Read More

The H1N1 Flu Virus.  A 3D Model

Hashem AL-ghaili

Check out this little monster. This is the most detailed 3D model of the entire A/H1N1 virus, better known as the common flu. Created by Visual Science, in collaboration with virologists from the National Center for Biotechnology in Madrid.

Carbon Aerogel

Hashem AL-ghaili

The ultra-light substance, called carbon aerogel, has a density of 0.16 milligrams per cubic centimeter. One sixth of the substance is air. It's made of granite and carbon nanotubes and can absorb up to 900 times its own body weight.

Further Details :
Image Credit : Zhejiang University, China

Star Wars Style 3D Hologram Phones Coming

Star Wars-style 3D hologram phones could  be a reality, as a Polish firm is working on such a system that could allow users to see 3D hologram images of the receiver.
Leia Display Systems, named after the Star War's heroine, intends to take the video phone call feature to its next level.
According to Mirror, to make a call, a person is required to sit in front of a high tech camera having two lenses and a microphone, which generate two images that are blended together and streamed through the internet to the person on the other end of the line.
The images are then received on a hologram machine and projected onto a screen of water vapor

The Imaginarium
The Ordinary becomes Extraordinary

Noah's Dalaks.  Yum Yum....

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Gang Colors at the Space Center? Staff Over Dosing on Chill Pills? A Debugged Phoenix? Bribery in the Galileo? Chairs Found Tipped on Stage? Passes Earned?

Hello Space EdVentures Fans,
     It's a change up from 'Hello Troops' just to keep things from becoming too routine.  Space EdVentures is the generic name I use to incorporate all the simulators that can trace their pedagogical genealogy back to the mother ship, the USS Voyager simulator at the Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center.
The Weekend Space EdVentures News (and that's stretching it).

Farpoint Cadets Lissa, Zack and Jace.  The rest in the picture are unimportant :)

     And now for a bit of reporting fun.
     I made my reporter rounds Saturday afternoon and found the Magellan nearly ready to fly.  Connor was at the Flight Director station displaying Ute gang colors (look closely at the hat).  I made a formal protest to CMSEC director, Megan Warner.  I explained that such a gross violation of the public's trust would never have been tolerated under my watch as CMSEC founder and director.  She assured me that Connor's dabbling with dark side of dangerous gangs was experimental and she'd take time this week to 'sort him out'.
     "This is Utah County."  I wanted Megan to know that those of us who attended BYU claim this as our blue and white turf.  "There's more of us than them..... so, you WILL deal with this, right?"  She nodded and shot Connor a menacing expression.    

     Connor tried to explain that he found the hat in the Magellan Control Room and put it on just to try the fit.  "I don't know who's it is," he insisted.
     That's when I noticed the jar of Chill Pills sitting to his left on the counter.  Prescriptions that large are only given to Flight Directors who really really really get into their missions and need to calm down quickly when the story's pacing needs to shift from battle mode to quiet or scary mode.  They're also good for those times when you get a crew that just won't cooperate, and make the 2.5 hours you spend with them a living nightmare.
     "I'm going to need a few of those if I ever see Ute colors in this holy place I spent 22 years of my life building," I said.
     Connor removed the hat. "Understood," he mumbled.  I turned around to get another picture and heard him shaking the Chill Pill jar.  I turned just in time to see him downing a handful.  He was all about smiles and hugs the rest of the afternoon and well into the evening before the their calming effect wore off.

     Magellan Supervisor Jackie is settling in for a long afternoon and evening of missions.  She's got her blanket and cup of cookie dough to get her through.
     I noticed she wasn't sharing with the rest of the staff and volunteers.  "I only have one spoon," she selfishly explained.
     "That's OK, we can all use our fingers," I replied.
     "And that's NOT happening."  She past the cup to her beloved fiancee Bradyn for safe keeping.

The Phoenix and the Programmers.
     I found the remnants of the Space Center's old Programming Guild in the Phoenix simulator.  Ryan, Matt and Dillon were demonstrating the recent modifications and upgrades to the Phoenix's operating controls.
     "The fixes are finished.  Mercury Station is upgraded," Matt Long explained.  "This ship should work like a dream."  Matt thought for a moment before adding. "I'm thinking of adding flawless to the description, but that would be boastful and we know how much Fortuna hates boastfulness."
     Matt and his team are currently working on a set of new Magellan controls.  Their goals is to have the Magellan ready to fly the new controls come spring vacation.  

The remnants of the Programming Guild: Ryan, Matt and Dillon
Josh Anderson Flying the Odyssey

     I stopped in the Odyssey to say hello to Christine and found Josh Anderson in the flight director's chair!
     "What is this!" I said forcefully, yet quietly, so as not to disturb the mission.  "How long have you been flying the Odyssey?"
     Josh paused the mission long enough to answer.  "I was flight directing when you were the director. You hired me - remember?"  He went back to the mission.
     I felt the fool.  "And what a great flight director you were.......... AND are."  Hopefully that save got me out of trouble.  You don't want to be put in Josh's bad book, because once in, you're never out.

Josh flying the Odyssey II
The Galileo Resorts to Bribery
     I found the Erin, Nathan and Farpoint Cadet Scott enjoying chips and salsa in the Galileo Control area.
     "What is this?" I asked.
     "It's a Galileo thing," Erin answered while stuffing a few more salsa drenched chips into her mouth.
It's hard getting volunteers to come work with us.  The Galileo isn't always the 'fun' ship to work in, so we decided to start our own 'thing'.......... chips and salsa.  You work a Galileo mission, you get chips and salsa on the long five hour mission."
     "Does it work?" I asked Farpoint Cadet Scott.  He tried to answer but his mouth was too full.  He nodded and gave a healthy thumbs up instead.
     I was offered a plate of chips and salsa IF I volunteered to stay and work the rest of the Galileo mission.  I graciously declined.  There are some things I won't do.  A man's got his pride :)  

Some Things Just Never Go Away
     There are some Space Center habits that never die; stacking chairs every which way on the stage to create an away team obstacle course is one of them.  It was the bane of my existence when I directed the place and I see the tradition is holding on like fruitcake at Christmas.   I snapped a photo knowing all of you Space EdVentures fans would feel a twinge of nostalgia at the sight of those chairs and red curtains.  

Christine prepping Farpoint Cadet Isaac O. on the fine points of directing an Away Team on the Stage of  Many Chairs.
Farpoint Cadet Earns Magellan Bridge Pass
     I'm pleased to report that Farpoint Cadet Jake H., got his Magellan Bridge Pass on Saturday.  Shaking his hands on the bridge of the Magellan are Flight Director and Ute Gang Member Connor L., and Cookie dough Lover Jackie.   

     "I want to thank all the little people who helped me along the way," Jake said in his acceptance speech delivered to the other cadets as they cleaned the ship before shutting it down for the night.  
"Mr. Williamson most of all."  
     "I agree," Jackie chimed in.  It was hard to tell what she said.  Her mouth was full of cookie dough.  Connor was passed out in the doorway leading to the hall.  The nearly empty bottle of Chill Pills lay tipped over beside him.  

And in Other Space Center News, Jon Parker, Space Center Assistant Director,  Gets His Typing with One Finger Pass. 

     Don't let the picture fool you.  He was typing with once finger when I walked in the CMSEC office.  He put all his fingers on the keyboard when he saw I was taking a picture.

The Imaginarium
For those looking for an escape from the Ordinary

Protesters vs. Police

Things that Absolutely Drive you Bonkers!