Category Archives: NASA

Dr. Space Baby rounds – Johncon, NASA Tweetup, et al.

Dr. Space Baby from Awesome Hospital,

  • I’ve been deriving great succor from Dragon Age of late, hence the reduced posting schedule. That’s right – I like Dragon Age better than you.
  • In-hospital rounds would be vastly improved if I could make them with Awesome Hospital‘s Dr. Space Baby, for obvious reasons. Also, if you’re not reading Awesome Hospital, then consider this a STAT prescription to do so.
  • Ravencon provided a sleep-deprived, shambling weekend of amusement. I owe you con recaps. I’ll get on that shortly.
  • On Sunday, the Moon Ranger has used her Top Secret Contacts to get me on the list for the NASA Earth Day Tweetup on the Mall in DC. As always, I will be providing pithy commentary on my feed, and hoping against hope for a mention of space syphilis. I know it’s out there…

Rounds For The Week

  • We had a brilliant time celebrating birthdays this past weekend with the Children of the 25th, the Child of the 19th, and associated family and friends – as recounted here and here.
  • Laura is currently spending a week in Barcelona for the International Space University Summer Session Program, only this time, as a lecturer. How cool is that?
  • Upon returning from the birthday festivities, we arrived home to discover our cable out. This has been a more frequent occurrence of late, and is invariably due to an “area” outage, instead of something particular to our house or account. As we both rely on the cablewebs at home to get our respective work done, and when the connection goes down, its more than just a mere inconvenience. As I am want to do, I expressed my feelings on this latest Comcast debacle via a rant on Twitter. What was interesting was that I was then contacted by someone on Twitter who is, apparently, a Comcast service representative, who offered assistance. This recent Slashdot thread points out other reports that Comcast is proactively trying to reach out to disgruntled customers through blogs and Twitter, perhaps as a way to improve it’s dismal service reputation. I chose not to follow up with said rep, as I was working with the local support people, but service wasn’t restored to our area until two days later. Sorry, Comcast – helpful customer service overtures do not make up for multiple frequent area outages and a reduced channel selection that supposedly, as per your notification letter, somehow “enhances my viewing experience.” Verizon recently installed FiOS hook-ups on our street, and I think we’ll be giving that a spin in the near future.
  • There is a seekrit project I am working on for the weekend. I’d tell you, but… it wouldn’t be so seekrit, now, would it?
  • Despite their advancing age, there are con recaps aplenty that will be gracing this space soon, and more content in the near future.
  • Dragon*Con is looming on the horizon. There will be much more to say on this.

Laura Saves Human Civilization from the Apocalypse

So, what exactly did Laura do in China this past summer? Earlier this week, she gave an excellent talk at the Space Telescope Science Institute on just that. She covered the history of the International Space University (which sponsored the program), her cultural experiences in Beijing, and her fascinating and awesome project, the Phoenix Lunar Archive. Don’t just take my word for it: Matt thought it was awesome, and he’s bigger than me. And a former professional wrestler. So listen to him.

Check out her site for more details, including a link to the archived webcast, and enjoy!

Afternoon Rounds for 8/25/2007

Laura is back on US soil! Granted, in San Francisco, but it makes me happy nonetheless. She’ll be visiting with some of her NASA peeps at Ames over the next few days, before heading back here, and us proceeding on to Dragon*Con.

I’m sure she’ll have some experiences and images to share, now that she’s back from behind the Great Firewall and done with intensive coursework, so keep an eye on her feeds over the coming days and weeks.

We leave for Dragon*Con in a few short days, and I am quite stoked. It will be wonderful to reconnect with tribemates, both old and new, as well as to decompress a bit from the New Job, and properly (and belatedly) celebrate that employment transition.

Speaking of the New Job, it continues to be excellent. That said, between making daily on-the-fly changes to the evidence-based medicine course, as well as covering for other people to ensure adequate coverage for Dragon*Con, I haven’t made time to pass on some fun and interesting stuff in this forum.

This will be remedied shortly…

Rounds for 5/13/2007, Mother’s Day Edition

For those whom it is appropriate, I hope your Mother’s Day has been excellent!

It seems that Laura and I were remiss as to blogging about what was going on over the past couple of days before they actually occurred, but such is the way of things. Today marks the end of Public Service Recognition Week, a component of which included exhibits on the national mall in downtown Washington, DC. NASA had a big presence there, and a big part of that involved the James Webb Space Telescope that Laura‘s been working on lo’ these many years. Northrop Grumman brought out the full-scale model on Friday and Saturday, and Laura was one of the volunteers to enhance the model with her radiant beauty, as well as answer questions and educate an eager public about the project. In a brilliantly cool outreach idea, there were also Lego models of the JWST that people could come by and assemble with volunteers, which Laura had the pleasure of working with as well. I feel like they missed an opportunity by not having said Lego sets available for purchase on-site, although they did have flyers available with information on how to obtain them online. Many thanks to everyone who came out and stopped by, including Thomas of the Command Line Podcast, as well as author Rich White.

There were also numerous other NASA related exhibits, as well as those from other areas of public service. The various military branches had a large area of tents, vehicles and equipment on display. Aside from basking in the glorious exhibits of armored death-dealing machines, including the M1A2 Abrams tank and M109A6 Paladin mobile Howitzer, I also had the pleasure of talking with a representative of the Marine Corps Systems Command about current research into new components of front line first aid kits, specifically anticoagulant dressings for major traumatic wounds. Excellent stuff!
Smaller and lesser known public service agencies were represented as well. I was particularly enamored of the Mine Safety and Health Administration booth, which included an informational booklet on mine disasters of the late 19th and early 20th century, as well as several disturbingly illustrated flyers warning children not to explore abandoned mines, ride ATV’s into sand and gravel pits, or go swimming in abandoned quarries. Venomous snakes, steep drops, and submerged razor wire and circular saw blades abound!

Expect plenty of images related to the above to crop up on Laura’s and my Flickr accounts within the next few days.

Last night we spent some time at game night at the Family Game Store at Savage Mill in Savage, Maryland. We were introduced to two games we had not previously played, namely Citadels and Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers, which we both enjoyed and look forward to playing again… in part, because Laura trounced me at both. Well, at least at Carcassonne… I also spent some time with at the nearby Ram’s Head Tavern, with some good company in the form of several former coworkers from Sinai, and some good drink in the form of Fordham’s Oyster Stout.

Finally, we saw Spiderman 3 today… I’m going to do a combo post with it and 300, but for now I’ll say that it was good, and a worthy successor to the previous two films.

Now, to sleep, and the FFF of another week!