Wednesday, November 12, 2014

ESA Philae Probe Makes Space History!

Philae Probe Makes Space History - November 12, 2014

Philae Probe Makes Space History - November 12, 2014

The European Space Agency's Philae lander has made space history by successfully reaching the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

The landing, which took place at 11:03 a.m. ET, was accompanied by rapturous scenes at the ESA’s control room in Darmstadt, Germany.

Philae is the first probe to land on a comet.

"This is a big step for human civilization," said ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain, during a press conference in the Darmstadt control room.

Just before 1 p.m. ET ESA released an image of the comet taken by Philae during its descent, when the lander was about 2 miles above the surface of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

Earlier on Wednesday, the ESA released the first image of its Philae lander separating from the Rosetta mothership on its ambitious mission toward the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

The separation, which took place around 4 a.m. ET, marked the start of a 7-hour journey to the comet’s surface. The Rosetta spacecraft and its Philae lander have been on a decade-long mission through the solar system to rendezvous with the comet.

The comet, which is about 2.5 miles wide, travels at speeds up to 84,000 miles per hour.

The washing machine-sized lander was designed to drift down to the comet and latch on using harpoons and screws. During the descent, scientists were powerless to do anything but watch, because the vast distance to Earth — 311 million miles — made it impossible to send instructions in real time.

“The harpoon is going down, we’re sitting on the surface,” said an ESA official in the agency’s control room, shortly after 11 a.m. ET.

Later, however, Philae's telemetry data suggested that the probe experienced something of a bumpy landing.

Indications were that the spacecraft touched down almost perfectly, save for an unplanned bounce, said Stephan Ulamec, head of the lander operation.

Thrusters that were meant to push the lander onto the comet's surface, and harpoons that would have anchored it to the comet failed to deploy properly. Initial data from the spacecraft indicated that it lifted off again, turned and then came to rest.

"Today we didn't just land once; we maybe even landed twice," said Ulamac.

Scientists were still trying to fully understand what happened but so far most of the instruments are working fine and sending back data as hoped, he added.

The plan is that Rosetta and Philae will accompany the comet as it hurtles toward the sun and becomes increasingly active as it heats up. Using 21 different instruments, they will collect data that scientists hope will help explain the origins of comets and other celestial bodies.

The $1.6 billion mission launched in 2004.

Check out the article at Fox News.

Technology is awesome! Be sure to check out the Rosetta page at the European Space Agency website

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Tuesday, November 04, 2014

F-35C Completes First Arrested Carrier Landing

F-35C Lightning II carrier variant Joint Strike Fighter Makes Aviation History with First Arrested Carrier Landing - November 3, 2014

F-35C Lightning II carrier variant Joint Strike Fighter Makes Aviation History with First Arrested Carrier Landing - November 3, 2014

F-35C Lightning II carrier variant Joint Strike Fighter Makes Aviation History with First Arrested Carrier Landing - November 3, 2014

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The Navy made aviation history Nov. 3 as an F-35C Lightning II carrier variant Joint Strike Fighter conducted its first arrested landing aboard an aircraft carrier off the coast of San Diego.

Navy test pilot Cmdr. Tony Wilson landed F-35C test aircraft CF-03 at 12:18 p.m. aboard USS Nimitz's (CVN 68) flight deck.

The arrested landing is part of initial at-sea Developmental Testing I (DT-I) for the F-35C, which commenced Nov. 3 and is expected to last two weeks.

"Today is a landmark event in the development of the F-35C," said Wilson, a Navy test pilot with Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23. "It is the culmination of many years of hard work by a talented team of thousands. I'm very excited to see America's newest aircraft on the flight deck of her oldest aircraft carrier, the USS Nimitz."

Commander, Naval Air Forces, Vice Adm. David H. Buss, was aboard Nimitz to witness the milestone event.

"What a historic day today is for Naval Aviation. With the first traps of the F-35C Lightning II aboard an aircraft carrier, we begin the integration of the next generation of warfighting capability into our carrier-based air wings," said Buss. "This important milestone is yet another indicator of Naval Aviation's ongoing evolution to meet future threats and remain central to our future Navy and National Defense Strategy."

DT-I is the first of three at-sea test phases planned for the F-35C. During DT-I, the test team from the F-35 Lightning II Pax River Integrated Test Force (ITF) has scheduled two F-35C test aircraft from Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Patuxent River, Maryland to perform a variety of operational maneuvers, including various catapult takeoffs and arrested landings. ITF flight test operations also encompass general maintenance and fit tests for the aircraft and support equipment, as well as simulated maintenance operations.

As with the initial testing of any new aircraft, the goal is to collect environmental data through added instrumentation to measure the F-35C's integration to flight deck operations and to further define the F-35C's operating parameters aboard the aircraft carrier.

The ITF test team will analyze data obtained during flight test operations, conduct a thorough assessment of how well the F-35C operated in the shipboard environment, and advise the Navy to make any adjustments necessary to ensure that the fifth-generation fighter is fully capable and ready to deploy to the fleet in 2018.

"Our F-35 integrated test team has done an amazing job preparing for today. This will be one landing out of thousands more that will happen over the next few decades," said Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan, F-35 Program Executive Officer. "For months, we've been working with the Nimitz crew, Naval Air Forces, and our industry partners, Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney, as well as their suppliers, to prepare and train for this event. We plan on learning a lot during this developmental test and will use that knowledge to make the naval variant of the F-35 an even more effective weapons platform."

The F-35C combines advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fused targeting, cutting-edge avionics, advanced jamming, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment. With a broad wingspan, reinforced landing gear, ruggedized structures and durable coatings, the F-35C is designed to stand up to harsh shipboard conditions while delivering a lethal combination of fighter capabilities to the fleet.

The F-35C will enhance the flexibility, power projection, and strike capabilities of carrier air wings and joint task forces and will complement the capabilities of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, which currently serves as the Navy's premier strike fighter.

By 2025, the Navy's aircraft carrier-based air wings will consist of a mix of F-35C, F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, EA-18G Growlers electronic attack aircraft, E-2D Hawkeye battle management and control aircraft, MH-60R/S helicopters and Carrier Onboard Delivery logistics aircraft.

The successful recovery of the F-35C represents a step forward in the development of the Navy's next generation fighter and reinforces Navy-industry partnership goals to deliver the operational aircraft to the fleet in 2018.

Check out the article at Navy Live.

This is one awesome piece of technology! Despite the haters' legit points about the drawbacks of a single-engine fighter-bomber over open ocean and limited maneuvering abilities in dogfight situations. No worries, they'll still have the Hornets to bail them out for a while yet!

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Monday, November 03, 2014

World Trade Center Reopens for Business!

World Trade Center is open for business - November 3, 2014

World Trade Center is open for business - November 3, 2014

One World Trade Center - New York Building Height Comparison

World Trade Center sitemap - November 3, 2014

Thirteen years after the 9/11 terrorist attack, World Trade Center is opening for business again.

Conde Nast will start moving Monday into One World Trade Center, a 104-story, $3.9 billion skyscraper that dominates the Manhattan skyline.

It's the centerpiece of the 16-acre site where the decimated twin towers once stood and where more than 2,700 people died on Sept. 11, 2001, buried under smoking mounds of fiery debris.

"The New York City skyline is whole again, as One World Trade Center takes its place in Lower Manhattan," said Patrick Foye, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey that owns both the building and the World Trade Center site.

He said One World Trade Center "sets new standards of design, construction, prestige and sustainability; the opening of this iconic building is a major milestone in the transformation of Lower Manhattan into a thriving 24/7 neighborhood."

With the construction fences gone, America’s tallest building is considered by Conde Nast CEO Chuck Townsend as the, “most secure office building in America.”

About 3,000 employees will join the 170 expected to move in Monday in 2015. The publishing giants will take over five floors of the building.

The building is 60 percent leased, with another 80,000 square feet going to the advertising firm Kids Creative, the stadium operator Legends Hospitality, the BMB Group investment adviser, and Servcorp, a provider of executive offices.

The tower overlooks the National September 11 Memorial and Museum. Its aim is to honor those who died in the terrorist attacks.

For years, the grisly pit where workers found mostly body parts was dubbed the "ground zero" of the aerial terror attack.

At night, the incandescent steel-and-glass behemoth can be seen from vessels in New York Harbor approaching Manhattan.

Soon, an observation deck will be open to the public.

The eight-year construction of the 1,776-foot high skyscraper came after years of political, financial and legal infighting that threatened to derail the project.

The bickering slowly died down as two other towers started going up on the southeast end of the site: the now completed 4 World Trade Center whose anchor tenant is the Port Authority, and 3 World Trade Center that's slowly rising.

Check out the article at Fox News.

This building is a work of art! Even better, it is a bold statement to the terrorists that you can't keep us down... we just come back stronger!!!

NEVER FORGET 9-11!!!

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Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!!!

Iron Maiden's Live After Death

Iron Maiden's Live After Death

Iron Maiden's Eddie as the Grim Reaper

The Headless Horseman

Halloween's origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in).

The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31, they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter.

To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities.

During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other's fortunes. When the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter.

By A.D. 43, Romans had conquered the majority of Celtic territory. In the course of the four hundred years that they ruled the Celtic lands, two festivals of Roman origin were combined with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain.

The first was Feralia, a day in late October when the Romans traditionally commemorated the passing of the dead. The second was a day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona is the apple and the incorporation of this celebration into Samhain probably explains the tradition of "bobbing" for apples that is practiced today on Halloween.

By the 800s, the influence of Christianity had spread into Celtic lands. In the seventh century, Pope Boniface IV designated November 1 All Saints' Day, a time to honor saints and martyrs. It is widely believed today that the pope was attempting to replace the Celtic festival of the dead with a related, but church-sanctioned holiday. The celebration was also called All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints' Day) and the night before it, the night of Samhain, began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween. Even later, in A.D. 1000, the church would make November 2 All Souls' Day, a day to honor the dead. It was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels, and devils. Together, the three celebrations, the eve of All Saints', All Saints', and All Souls', were called Hallowmas.

Check out the article at History.com.

Happy Halloween!!!

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Jamal Adams is the Flop King!

2014 LSU Safety Jamal Adams - The Flop King

2014 LSU Safety Jamal Adams - Florida Flop

2014 LSU Safety Jamal Adams - Ole Miss Flop

In what is being called another Oscar-worthy performance, LSU's Jamal Adams performed a flop move during the third quarter of the LSU-Ole Miss game Saturday.

After Ole Miss quarterback nudged the freshman safety with his shoulder, Adams fell backwards, arms flailing right in front of a referee. Ole Miss was penalized 15 yards for "unsportsmanlike conduct," which was likely due to Adams' theatrical flop.

Adams pulled the same move before when the Tigers took on the Gators in Gainesville a few weeks ago.

Florida receiver Andre Dubose shoved Adams, who then dramatically flopped to the ground.
His flop moves are certainly getting noticed, and Adams has been unofficially crowned "king," the king of flops, who is possibly channeling his inner King James, LeBron James. The pro basketball superstar is known for his epic flops on the court.

Check out the article at Nola.com.

LMFAO!!! The way he flails his arms out is just classic. I love this guy!

Geaux Tigers!!!

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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Geaux To Hell Ole Miss!!!

ESPN College Gameday at LSU Parade Grounds - October 25, 2014

Geaux to Hell Ole Miss! - Connor Neighbors - October 25, 2014

LSU Tigers RB Leonard Fournette facemasked - October 25, 2014

LSU Tigers QB Anthony Jennings 2014

LSU Tigers TE Logan Stokes - October 25, 2014

LSU Tigers Safety Ronald Martin

Geaux to Hell Ole Miss! - Coach Les Miles - October 25, 2014

Trey Quinn crowdsurfing - Fans Storm the Field October 25, 2014

Geaux to Hell Ole Miss! - Fans Storm the Field October 25, 2014

The voice of public-address announcer Dan Borne boomed over Tiger Stadium’s speakers: “Please stay off of the field!”

Good luck, Dan.

No. 24 LSU beat No. 3 Ole Miss 10-7 on Saturday night in a heart-pounding, wild classic that returned this heated rivalry to its golden years of the 1950s and ’60s.

How good was it?

LSU fans stormed the field for the first time in more than a decade. An estimated 15,000 — most from the student section — rushed onto the playing surface after a mad fourth-quarter comeback.

Quarterback Anthony Jennings hit Logan Stokes on a 3-yard touchdown pass with 5:59 left — an improbable game-winning completion to a tight end that capped a stunning drive.

The Tigers marched 95 yards — 92 of it on the ground — and Jennings found Stokes for his first career reception.

“This team wanted to make this night special,” coach Les Miles said, “and they did.”

LSU (7-2, 3-2 Southeastern) won a third straight game after the program’s worst loss in 15 years — a 34-point blowout at Auburn — and may have dashed the playoff dreams of previously undefeated Ole Miss (7-1, 4-1).

The Tigers did it by punching the Rebels in the mouth. LSU rolled up 264 rushing yards on a team that entered with the nation’s sixth-best running defense, and the Tigers held Ole Miss scoreless on its final nine possessions.

None were bigger than the final two Rebels drives.

Following the winning touchdown drive, the Tigers stuffed Wallace on fourth-and-1 near midfield, and then Ole Miss had a crazy ensuing possession after an LSU punt.

The Rebels marched to the LSU 25-yard line with 9 seconds left. Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze sent his field goal team out on third down, but the Rebels couldn’t get a 42-yard field goal try off in time.

After a delay-of-game penalty, Freeze reinserted his offense, and Wallace hurled a ball toward the end zone meant for Cody Core.

The field goal would have been 47 yards, on the edge of Ole Miss kicker Gary Wunderlich’s range.

“With nine seconds on the clock, I thought we could sprint out and either take the flat throw or throw it out of bounds,” Freeze said. “We just didn’t get it done there.”

Safety Ronald Martin picked it off at the goal line and fell to the 2-yard line with 2 seconds left, eliciting a massive celebration from a sold-out Tiger Stadium.

Some of the 102,321 then raced onto the field after a Jennings kneel to celebrate yet another fourth-quarter comeback under their quirky coach.

The Tigers have won 24 games under Miles when trailing in the fourth quarter. And this one came hours after Miles’ mother died. Martha Miles passed away Friday evening. She was 91.

“Miss ya, Mom,” Miles said afterward.

“I want to say thanks to all of those people who have found the time to wish me condolences for my mom,” said Miles, who was given the game ball by the team. “Had a rough night last night.”

He had a great one Saturday in a game that took fans back decades. The squads met multiple times as ranked teams in the 1950s and 1960s as they battled yearly in low-scoring, defensive matches for SEC supremacy. This was the first meeting in Tiger Stadium with both ranked since 1970.

LSU won despite turning the ball over four times. The Tigers survived a wacky first half and a disappointing third quarter — they had just 44 yards.

Jennings threw two interceptions, Leonard Fournette fumbled into the end zone and Terrence Magee lost a fumble, too.

But the Tigers had three running backs break the 60-yard mark, including Fournette’s 113, and they pounded Ole Miss for drives of 11, 17 and 13 plays — the final one capped by Stokes’ touchdown.

Stokes hauled in Jennings’ pass toward the back of the end zone on second-and-goal from the 3-yard line. Jennings faked a handoff to Kenny Hilliard, drawing in a run-focused Ole Miss defense. The quarterback rolled to the right and fired in the pass to an open Stokes.

“Secret weapon. Don’t tell anybody,” Miles said of Stokes, who had no catches in two years at LSU and transferred in 2013 from Northeast Mississippi Community College, about 90 miles from Ole Miss’ campus. The play overshadowed a defense that carried the weight of this win.

Ole Miss had 52 yards on its last 27 snaps, a run that included four straight three-and-outs.

“It’s a crazy atmosphere,” said Wallace, who was 14-of-33 for 176 yards. “This is the craziest place I’ve played. Absolutely was a factor.”

The start of this one was wacky — and not in a good way for LSU.

The Tigers’ first two drives went for 63 and 70 yards, but LSU came up empty. Colby Delahoussaye missed just the second field goal of his career — this one from 28 yards — on the first drive. Fournette ended the second drive by losing a fumble into the Ole Miss end zone. On first-and-goal from the 3-yard line, Fournette carried to the left side, and the ball squirted out.

More funky first-half woes? Magee followed Fournette’s fumble with a lost fumble of his own on the next drive, and LSU’s defense dropped at least two interceptions.

The Tigers had one drive in the third quarter end partly because of a Jennings fumbled snap, and they lost the tunover margin 4-1.

It all worked out in the end, though.

“(Ole Miss) ran into a team that’s improving and believe they can. Finds ways to win,” Miles said.

“We’re going to be special. This is a team that’s ambitious.”

Check out the article at The Advocate.

This just goes to show how tough of a conference the SEC West really is! Geaux Tigers!!!

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Friday, October 24, 2014

ESPN College Gameday at Tiger Stadium!

ESPN College Gameday at LSU Tiger Stadium - October 25, 2014

ESPN College Gameday at LSU Tiger Stadium - October 25, 2014

ESPN College Gameday at LSU Tiger Stadium - October 25, 2014


The Ole Miss Rebels will put their SEC West aspirations to the test once again on the road Saturday, heading to Death Valley for a big-time meeting with the LSU Tigers.

Hugh Freeze's third-ranked Rebels have set the SEC on fire this season with an upset over Alabama, and they have since validated that victory with blowouts over Texas A&M and Tennessee. But LSU is feeling confident as well, coming off victories over Florida and Kentucky.

To make the battle even bigger, ESPN's College GameDay will be on hand!

The Tigers have had a rough go of things in an SEC West that they usually dominate, falling to both Mississippi State and Auburn in distasteful defeats. But while their College Football Playoff hopes might be dashed, they'll be hungry to prove themselves and spoil the Rebels' season.

All the talk in the SEC West is about everyone other than LSU, but Death Valley will be at the center of the college football world Saturday to give the Tigers a chance to thrust themselves back into the conversation.

Check out the article at The Bleacher Report.

Geaux Tigers, time to play spoiler!!!

P.S. In case you were wondering, Yes Katy Perry still likes corndogs! =P

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Katy Perry Likes Corndogs!

Katy Perry Likes Corndogs!!!

Katy Perry Likes Corndogs!!!

Katy Perry Likes Corndogs!!!

A few weeks ago, singer Katy Perry tore through Oxford, Miss.

She was in town for the Ole Miss-Alabama game and was the guest picker on College Gameday, where she hit on Oklahoma QB Trevor Knight and threw corn dogs. She pulled the corn dogs out when picking the LSU-Auburn game, a nod to an old joke about LSU’s Tiger Stadium smelling like corn dogs.

Later, after the Rebels knocked off the Crimson Tide, she capped the night by chugging beers and jumping off a bar at a local establishment. It was quite a performance and sadly the last we thought we’d hear about her.

Thankfully, Les Miles has moved the story forward. “What happened? She likes corn dogs?” Miles said the other day after practice when asked about Perry’s joke on TV. He hadn't seen it, so he then was filled in.

“Oh no she didn't," Miles responded. “I guess there’s things to talk about that are important and things that are not, right? I’d have to say that people who make observations about how other people smell based on the fact that their nose doesn’t work well. I guess if that’s the issue -- I want you to know one thing and I’ll say it very honestly: I have gone to Tiger Stadium and never smelled corn dogs.”

That’s because you’re too busy smelling grass, Les. Nonetheless, we score this round a win for Miles. You know I love you Katy, but you don’t mess with our guy Les!

Check out the article at Fox Sports.

Haha, Les Miles is a hoot!

No ill will toward Katy. She's sexy, entertaining, and fun! I even had to laugh when she started throwing corndogs. So, right back at ya, girlie... hope you don't mind the tongue-and-cheek. Just let us know if you need some more sauce! ;)

P.S. Yep, that's my photochop at the top. Feel free to steal, but a backlink would be appreciated.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Blue Angels at San Francisco Fleet Week

Blue Angels at San Francisco Fleet Week 2014

Blue Angels at San Francisco Fleet Week 2014

Blue Angels at San Francisco Fleet Week 2014

F22 Raptor at San Francisco Fleet Week 2014

F15E Eagle at San Francisco Fleet Week 2014

B2 Spirit at San Francisco Fleet Week 2014

A California man shot some absolutely jaw-dropping photos of the U.S. Navy's famed Blue Angels the week before last during the lead-up to San Francisco's Fleet Week festivities.

Click through the slideshow of his series of photos above. All of the images are spectacular, but the money shot is a surreal photo of the No. 5 fighter jet flying at a very low altitude as it passes above the bridge while cars and pedestrians cross over the iconic span in each direction during rush hour. (Scroll down to see it at full size). The photo has gone viral on Facebook and the online message board Reddit.

The photos were captured by Rich Shelton, 55, of Tiburon, which is just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. Shelton, a self-described 'semi-serious amateur photographer' told AOL.com in an email that he had staked out in an old World War II bunker just west of the bridge's toll plaza on Thursday, October 9, as the Blue Angels were conducting a practice run before the air show that was held a few days later.

'It's a great spot because the bridge's towers align perfectly,' he said.

Shelton said he used a full-frame Sony a7 with 70-400mm lens, which he typically uses to photograph landscapes and is a tricky camera to use for high-speed action.

'During Thursday's practices they made numerous passes over the bridge in different positions,' he explained. 'Due to the ... approach speeds, there's a fair bit of luck involved trying to catch a perfectly centered shot.'

The F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets are capable of reaching speeds of just under Mach 2, almost twice the speed of sound -- or about 1,400 mph. However, the top speed pilots are allowed to fly the jets during a performance is about 700 mph, or just under Mach 1.

The U.S. Navy won't confirm the authenticity of any photo not shot by an official Navy photographer, but Lieutenant Amber Lynn Daniel, confirmed to AOL.com that the Blue Angels were practicing around the time the photo was shot.

Daniel, the Blue Angels' public affairs officer, said she consulted with expert colleagues who estimated that the jet seen in the photo would have been flying at an approximate altitude of 600 feet at the moment the photo was taken and traveling at a speed of about 300 knots, or 350 mph. Both of those figures illustrate how difficult a feat it is to capture a perfect photo of a passing jet using a static camera position.

But Shelton managed to pull it off, nailing the amazing shot of the F/A-18 Hornet, piloted by Lt. Cmdr. Dave Tickle, in perfect crisp focus seemingly frozen between the orange support towers of the legendary suspension bridge. Although, surprisingly, after he achieved the one-of-a-kind image, he didn't think all that much of it. 'I thought it was just another interesting Blue Angels shot,' he recalled.

That all changed when he posted it on his Facebook page where it immediately began racking up hundreds of likes. Then, someone re-posted the image on Reddit and it rocketed to more than a million views on that site, Shelton said. His original Facebook post topped out at nearly 4,000 likes. 'I only expected 30 or 40,' he confessed. 'There were also many kind comments from Facebook folks, along with a number of skeptics.'

'It was a calculated but lucky photo, and I'm very happy with it,' he added.

Shelton is married with a grown son and is retired now. He volunteers as a search manager for the Marin County Sheriff Search and Rescue unit, which keeps him 'very busy.'

He's been enamored with photography since he was a kid, he said, and even managed to pay for college with money he earned doing event photography. Lately, he's rediscovered the art.

'The advent of digital cameras and printers have really reignited my love of photography,' Shelton told AOL.com. 'I'm always looking at the world around me in the context of how I might capture an interesting photo.'

Check out the article at AOL.com.

Awesome photos from what appears to have been an awesome airshow!!!

Be sure to check out the Rich Shelton's Flickr photostream for more awesome photos!

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

LSU Tiger Bingo!

Geaux Bingo!

This year, Tiger fans might need a little distraction and humor on Saturday nights. We’re here to help.

Cut out this bingo card, grab some friends and some beverages, turn on the game and get ready to play. First, decide how you want to play — we recommend saving the blackout for the fourth quarter. Using beans, beer caps or whatever you have around, mark off your squares as each thing happens. Les turns a new phrase at the half? That’s a square. The camera shows an Elvis costume in the student section? Yup. The announcers wax poetic about the food in Baton Rouge? Grab yourself a beer cap.

Have fun and enjoy responsibly.

Check out the article and Geaux Bingo! card at The Advocate.

Haha, Advocate, very funny! I'm no fair-weather fan... I remember being soaked to the bone in Tiger Stadium during the 1988 Miami Hurricanes debacle... Geaux Tigers!

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Friday, October 03, 2014

College Footbal Fan Map

NCAA College Football Fan Map

Twice so far at the Upshot, we’ve published maps showing where fan support for one team begins and another ends — once for baseball and once for basketball. Now we’re pleased to offer another one: the United States according to college football fans.

Unlike professional sports, the college game is much more provincial, with scrappy regional programs dominating their corners of the country. Texas and Oregon are two of the most popular teams, but together they account for only 25 percent of territory in the lower 48 states. There is no team with a level of national support that approaches that of, say, the Yankees, the Boston Red Sox or the Los Angeles Lakers.

If you squint while looking at the college football map, you might even think you’re looking at a state map. In the Southeast, strong programs like Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana State and Oklahoma dominate their states — and stop right at the border.

But there are enough exceptions to make this quite different from the state maps we all grew up learning. The Minnesota Golden Gophers have been so mediocre for so long — failing to finish in the top 15 nationwide since the Kennedy administration — that fans have moved their support to the Wisconsin Badgers. And Nebraska! They do love their Cornhuskers across much of the Great Plains.

But programs can divide a state, too. Seven colleges, led by the Longhorns, lay claim to at least some part of Texas. Elsewhere, some teams have managed to carve out bits of territory, extending only a bit beyond their campus: Vanderbilt around Nashville; U.C.L.A. on the west side of Los Angeles; and Oregon State, around Corvallis, south of Portland. Then there’s the Northeast, with its relative lack of interest in college football. Once you’re east of the Hudson, no team dominates, and many teams claim a small percentage of fans.

All told, 84 programs can reasonably claim to be the most popular college football team somewhere in the United States.

Like the other sets of maps, these were created using estimates of team support based on each team’s share of Facebook “likes” in a ZIP code. We then applied an algorithm to deal with statistical noise and fill in gaps where data was missing. Facebook “likes” are an imperfect measure, but as we've noted before, Facebook likes show broadly similar patterns to polls.

Check out the article and College Football Fan Map at The New York Times.

Cool map, but definitely could've been better by using team logos.

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Monday, September 01, 2014

Extreme Selfies!

Jet Fighter Pilot Selfie with Boeing Dreamliner

Jet Fighter Pilot Selfie Launching Missile

Jet Fighter Pilot Selfie at Mach 3

Jet Fighter Pilot Selfie over Kyle Field

Astronaut Selfie - Out of this World!

No offense to that selfie you snapped at that wedding or that baseball game. But THESE are some of the coolest selfies ever!

Check out the slideshow at The Hollywood Gossip.

Awesome!!!

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Friday, August 15, 2014

Brussels Blooms with Begonia Flower Carpet

Brussels Blooms with Begonia Flower Carpet

Brussels Blooms with Begonia Flower Carpet

Brussels Blooms with Begonia Flower Carpet

The Grand-Place in Brussels is in full bloom as the bi-annual flower carpet has been unfurled in the city.

The first Grand-Place flower carpet was made in 1971 to celebrate Belgium's begonia flower.

Check out the slideshow at MSN News.

I would love to see this work of art in person... somehow, I doubt the photographs do it much justice!

Be sure to check out the official Flower Carpet website.

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

SEC Network launches TODAY!!!

SEC Network launches at 6pm EST on August 14, 2014

SEC Network launches at 6pm EST on August 14, 2014

Tim Tebow - SEC Network launches at 6pm EST on August 14, 2014

Kaylee Hartung - SEC Network launches at 6pm EST on August 14, 2014

SEC Network launches at 6pm EST on August 14, 2014

With all the focus on Thursday’s debut of the SEC Network, ESPN’s Dan Margulis said the joke around the network studios in Charlotte, North Carolina, has been “What will we do Aug. 15?”

Of course, there is a plan. The SEC Network is no one-off media event, like a single game or a concert. Thursday merely marks the starting point for a 24/7 sports channel devoted to the Southeastern Conference, its constantly renewed future and its rich past.

Considering the estimates of what the SEC Network will be worth to the conference and its 14 member schools, the future looks pretty rich, too.

“It’s the beginning of a long life, we hope,” said Margulis, ESPN’s senior director of college sports programming.

“As we like to say, ‘It’s time to light the candle.’ ”

The SEC Network will be switched on at 5 p.m. CDT Thursday.

With its availability to 87 million homes, it will in an instant reportedly become the nation’s fourth-largest sports network in terms of viewership behind only ESPN, ESPN2 and Fox Sports 1. Its reach will eclipse established channels like the NFL Network, the Big Ten Network and ESPNU.

Unlike the Big Ten Network, which started in 2007, the SEC leaned on the marketing muscle of ESPN to distribute the network and produce virtually all of its programming bound for cable and satellite providers.

SEC schools will be responsible for producing virtually all of the events that can be viewed online and on mobile devices.

In its first year, the SEC Network is expected to have about 450 games on the television (or linear) network and a minimum of 550 events available online and through apps, though the latter number is quickly expected to grow.

Kevin Wagner, LSU’s assistant athletic director for television operations, said each school is required to produce a minimum of 40 games per year selected by the SEC Network. Each school may elect to produce up to 80 additional events, though the schools must bear most of the production costs.

“All of that will be live on ESPN3 or WatchESPN or on an app,” Wagner said.

The SEC Network will debut to the fanfare of an opening essay from famous athletic voices throughout the SEC’s history. They will include LSU basketball great Shaquille O’Neal, SEC quarterback legends Peyton, Eli and Archie Manning, 12-time Olympic swimming Dara Torres and Pro Football Hall of Famer Joe Namath.

That introduction will lead into a three hour-long show called “SEC Now,” which will be SEC Network’s version of “SportsCenter.”

The inaugural “SEC Now” will feature live reports from every SEC campus. LSU pitching great Ben McDonald and SEC Network announcer Peter Burns are set to go live from outside Mike the Tiger’s habitat near Tiger Stadium, with interviews with LSU football coach Les Miles and baseball coach Paul Mainieri.

Margulis said it’s important for the SEC Network to demonstrate a balance of coverage from the start among the SEC’s 14 member schools.

“You’ve got to be cognizant of it,” he said. “You want to cover the stories of national interest that may not involve all 14 schools, but at the same time you serve 14 schools and 14 audiences.

“The first 14 days of the network will have eight or nine hours each day dedicated to a different school, with football previews for each. There are some exciting realities for all the schools.”

After Thursday’s debut, the SEC’s next big milestone will be its Aug. 28 football doubleheader. Texas A&M plays at South Carolina at 5 p.m. that day, followed by Temple at Vanderbilt at 8:15 p.m.

In all, the SEC Network will carry 45 football games, fronted each Saturday by an on-campus “College Game Day” like program called “SEC Nation.” The show will visit every SEC campus, as will the network during the first few weeks of the season.

LSU’s first football game on the SEC Network will be its Sept. 6 home opener against Sam Houston State.

Additionally, the SEC Network will feature more than 100 men’s basketball games, 75 baseball games and 60 women’s basketball games.

All 21 SEC sports will receive some sort of coverage or feature, Margulis said, though just how much coverage many Olympic sports will receive remains to be determined.

Like a football team rolling toward a championship season, ESPN spent the spring and summer knocking off one distribution deal after another with providers such as Cox, AT&T U-Verse, Dish Network, Time Warner, and more recently DirecTV and Comcast. Hundreds of local and regional providers, such as EATEL in Ascension and Livingston parishes, negotiated collectively with ESPN to hammer out their contract.

“We talk about aggressive risk-taking and we think this fits that,” Margulis said of the SEC Network. “We’re fortunate to have a great partnership with the SEC.”

“I really applaud (SEC) Commissioner (Mike) Slive and the ESPN folks for the distribution we have to date,” LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva said. “I thought we would get distribution going well, but frankly I’m surprised. I thought it would take a year or two.”

The publication Sports Business Journal reported the fee for carrying the SEC Network will be about $1.40 per subscriber per month in the 11-state SEC footprint and 25 cents per subscriber elsewhere.

Despite these costs, spokespersons Sharon Bethea of Cox and Trae Russell of EATEL said their companies do not anticipate any rate increases for their customers at this time.

If the Sports Business Journal numbers are correct, it’s estimated that each SEC school’s share of SEC Network revenue could ultimately be about $14 million per year. SEC schools each received in $20.9 million in revenue from the conference this year, based largely on the championship events and TV network deals already has in place.

Check out the article at The Advocate.

WOOT!!! This is going to be the best sports network in the country in just a few short years!

Be sure to check out the SEC Network online!

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