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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Fifteen Private Missions at the Discovery Space Center Today! Todd Rasband Gets Another Hat. Jorden Osborn is Photographed! The Imaginarium.

Hello Troops,
     We had a good turn out at our Farpoint Space and Science Club's General Membership Meeting today at Renaissance Academy in Lehi.

   •  We discussed the latest designs for the Vanguard simulator.
   •  We talked about Farpoint's Engineering Department.
   •  We discussed the two competition leagues our members can join:  First Lego League and
       the Technology Student Association.
   •  We took out all our aggressions in the gym for several spirited games of Bombardment and
       Team Bombardment.

     I was told our good friends at the Space Center call my (yes, I'm the one who created the game) game of Bombardment 'WarBall'.  I assured the cadets that I would drive straight to the CMSEC after our meeting and straighten them out on that issue.
     I did eventually make it to the CMSEC, after a stop at Harts for a Big Chill (nothing beats a Diet Dew with a squirt of mango juice) and an information gathering stop at the Discovery Space Center.

Todd Rasband Receives Another Hat (As If His Head Weren't Big Enough!)  

Todd at the helm of the Endeavor
     Todd Rasband has recently been given another hat to wear at the DSC.  He is the new Endeavor simulator Set Director.  Todd is replacing Jorden Osborn, who was recently promoted to Columbia Set Director.  
     "Aren't you also the DSC's Assistant Director and Manager On Duty when Casey takes a few minutes off to rejuvenate?" I asked him after finding him hard at work in the Endeavor's Control Room.
     "What can I say," Todd replied.  "When you got it, you flaunt it."
     I was confused by the trust Casey was obviously showing Todd.  "Casey sure does trust you to give you two hats to wear around here."
     Todd thought for a moment before responding.  "It's the Ryker beard.  It makes me look 'distinguished'."
     "Well, I'm sure it's your skill set as well," I added.
     "Naw," Todd shook his head. "It's the beard."    

Beardless Jorden, Columbia Set Director
      I found Jorden Osborn flight directing the Columbia.  'Precious' was firmly in hand.   He looked worried as I stepped into the small, cramped control room.  I backed off when a low guttural growl escaped his throat.
     "Don't get too close to the microphone," one of the new interns warned me.  "It's Precious to him."
In a hushed voice, so as not to disturb Jorden, the intern explained that Sampson had his hair, Voldemort had his wand, Gollum had his ring, Linus had his blanket, and Jorden has his Precious microphone.
     Jorden overheard our conversation. "It took me a long time to get here.  You've no idea how many people I've had to 'maneuver' around to get this set directorship.  Obviously I'm the best for the job. I have the years, talent, and observably the best hair here at the DSC.  The 'Precious' is mine," he gave everyone in the room a steel warning glance as he spoke, "all mine."

The new staff of the Columbia
     Jorden and his new staff gathered in the Columbia after the mission for a photo.  Don't be surprised if you don't recognize the faces.  The Columbia's staff is all new,  recruited directly off the stages of several of Utah's high school theaters.  They represent the new blood Casey is looking for as he and his partners build a strong Space EdVentures program at the DSC.  
     Yes Jorden, we recognize your excitement at getting a new ship and a new, very talented staff.  Life just couldn't get any better.  
     Oh, wait a minute, where's your Precious?  Left it in the control room did you..........       

  The DSC has another new feature I heard this afternoon.  Speakers have been installed in the center's hallways playing a background track of engine sounds and the occasionally interruption of a voice giving Command Center announcements.  Yes, it is cool, or sick, or sweet, or whatever the vernacular is these days.  

Casey shown booking the 15th mission of the day.
Overworked, underpaid,  too much to do, not enough time to do it.
The story of his life.

     This was the busiest day in the Discovery Space Center's history.  Fifteen private missions were booked for today!  That's a 1 and a 5 for those of you numerically challenged.  That just may be an all time Space Center, Space EdVentures record.

     In addition to his duties as Center Director, Casey was also found setting up this wonderful cupcake display for a soon to be arriving birthday party.
     "I despise everything theres is to despise about this part of my job. I hate setting this up, I hate running to WalMart to pick up these cupcakes and I hate ordering them!"
     "Then why do you do it?" I asked.
     "My staff are suppose to handle this kind of stuff." He mumbled under his breath as he positioned the last cupcake at the top of the pyramid.  I dared not breath, afraid the styrofoam display would collapse.  The lady at the Walmart bakery gave him the display for free. She must have seen the utter contempt he had for her, and everything her bakery stood for,  when he stopped to pick the cupcakes up early in the afternoon.

     The DSC's Command Center was filling with arrivals for the next missions as I was leaving.  
     It's all GO at the Discovery Space Center in Pleasant Grove!

Mr. Williamson

Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson To Speak in Utah. Get Tickets for Free

     The University of Utah's Tanner Humanities Center is proud to present the 2014 Tanner Lecture on Human Values with Neil deGrasse Tyson, titled "Science as a Way of Knowing," on March 26, 2014 at 7:00 PM in Kingsbury Hall (1395 E. Presidents Circle). This event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required. Free tickets will become available startingMONDAY, FEBRUARY 24 at 10 AM through the Kingsbury Hall box office ( or 801.581.7100). Limit 4 tickets per person. Tickets will expire at 6:45 PM the day of the event, so please arrive early for seating. More information at

In his lecture, Dr. Tyson makes the case for science as a way to understand human values, and how the scientific process is critical for comprehending the world and universe. It is the most rigorous means to discover elusive answers to questions large and small. 

     Dr. Tyson is the Director of the Hayden Planetarium and a member of the Department of Astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Dr. Tyson's research interests are primarily related to the structure of the Milky Way Galaxy, and the formation of stars, supernovas, and dwarf galaxies. He directs the scientific research efforts of the Hayden Planetarium and guides its educational outreach, working closely with the Museum's Department of Education. In addition, Dr. Tyson serves as a visiting research scientist in the Department of Astrophysics at Princeton University.

     In addition to dozens of professional publications, Dr. Tyson has written, and continues to   write for the public. He is a monthly essayist for Natural History magazine under the title "Universe." Among Tyson's eight books is his memoir The Sky is Not the Limit: Adventures of an Urban Astrophysicist and Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution, co-written with Donald Goldsmith. Origins is the companion book to a PBS-NOVA 4-part mini-series , in which Tyson serves as on-camera host. Tyson hosts the PBS-NOVA spinoff program NOVA ScienceNow, and is currently working on a reboot of the landmark television series COSMOS, to air on the Fox network in spring 2014.

Saturday's Imaginarium

Enjoy the ordinary made Extraordinary

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