Thursday, January 22, 2009

Engineering Breakthrough = Space Elevator Tech?

Space Elevator Station

Space Elevator

Space Elevator Diagram

Ever since it was first popularized by Arthur C. Clarke, the idea of a "space elevator" has languished in the realms of science fiction. But now a team of British scientists has taken the first step on what could be a high-tech stairway to heaven.

Spurred on by a $4 million research prize from NASA, a team at Cambridge University has created the world's strongest ribbon: a cylindrical strand of carbon that combines lightweight flexibility with incredible strength and has the potential to stretch vast distances.

The development has been seized upon by the space scientists, who believe the technology could allow astronauts to travel into space via a cable thousands of miles long — a space elevator.

They predict the breakthrough will revolutionize space travel. Such an elevator could potentially offer limitless and cheap space travel.

At a stroke, it would make everything from tourism to more ambitious expeditions to Mars commercially viable. The idea couldn't come too soon for NASA, which spends an estimated $500 million every time the shuttle blasts off, not to mention burning about 900 tons of polluting rocket fuel.

Check out the article at Fox News.

Can you imagine the view from up there? Whenever they build it, I'm taking a ride up to the space elevator resort! =)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day 2009

Inauguration Day 2009 - 44th President Barack Obama

Inauguration Day 2009 - 44th President Barack Obama

Presidential Inauguration Day 2009 - Satellite Image of record crowds

Inauguration Day 2009 - 44th President Barack Obama

Inauguration Day 2009 - 44th President Barack Obama

Inauguration Day 2009 - 44th President Barack Obama

The True Miracle of the Day:
The Peaceful Transfer of Power

Inauguration Day 2009 is as important as everyone says it is. There’s no escaping it. It is, as most of those covering it have already observed, an historic day, full of meaning for people all across the world. That a mere half-century after a time when blacks in parts of America were routinely prevented from voting we inaugurate an African-American president of the United States is a time of celebration for us all. It is a tangible symbol of how far the nation has come on race, one of the thorniest issues we as a nation have ever had to confront. We must not, however, lose sight of the fact that this is a subtext of the real story.

The true symbolism of the Inauguration Day, something we can hope the rest of the world sees and takes to heart is that the transfer of power, in which one political party is being completely supplanted by its opposition, comes as the result of something that for us, is as routine and simple as an election. It is the power of the people, exercised in their votes — not violence or mass arrest or social chaos — that is agent that has brought about the change.

How unlike the rest of the world America is. It is all too easy to forget that we live in a world where national leaders are deposed through military coups, where democratically-elected leaders subvert the very process that brought them to power in the name of keeping it, where dictatorships pass from father to son. And it is also easy to forget that this nation has, for more than 200 years, managed to keep its democratic heritage intact and expand upon it, extending the franchise beyond its original conception.

The preservation of this democracy has come at great cost. The sons and daughters of this nation have been called to its defense more than once, perhaps no more nobly than for a war, as Lincoln said at Gettysburg, “testing whether that nation — or any nation so conceived and so dedicated — can long endure.”

It has endured. And it has prospered. Freedom, the democratic ideal first appearing in ancient Greece, first entering the law through the Magna Carta, enshrined in our republican form of government by the Founding Fathers, has been this nation’s most significant export.

Today we accept our lot as commonplace, ordinary. We forget how truly radical the men who designed our system of government were, trusting the people to wield the ultimate power in their hands. And how, for many years, that system existed inside a fragile effort to compromise on that which there ultimately could be no compromise. Yet we have managed to sustain it. This is the true miracle of the day, one about which we should be no less emotional. It is the hope of the world.

Check out article at Fox News.

It's a great historical feat to finally have the first black President - and I am extremely proud of the progress that this nation has made in equality.

That being said, some members of the black community need to learn to act a little more mature about it and stop with all of the "Barack's in the house" BS. Barack Obama got where he is by being intelligent, sophisticated and civilized... not by acting like a thug and showing off his "blackness." Obama said the "lines of tribe shall soon dissolve..." so maybe they should listen to him.

I have a lot of respect for the words that President Obama spoke today and hope that he truly is sincere and successful.

Be sure to go check out the transcript of his Inaugural Address.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

USS George H. W. Bush

Nimitz Class Aircraft Carrier

Nimitz Class Aircraft Carrier USS George H. W. Bush

Commissioning of Aircraft Carrier USS George H. W. Bush

President H W Bush in front of his new aircraft carrier: USS George H. W. Bush

Nimitz Class Aircraft Carrier USS Carl Vinson

Aircraft Carrier Group

NORFOLK, Va. — It's the perfect gift for an old Navy flier: 1,092 feet of flattop.

"What do you give a guy who has been blessed and has just about everything he has ever needed?" asked President George W. Bush from aboard the Navy's newest ship. "Well, an aircraft carrier."

The USS George H.W. Bush, a steel-gray vessel longer than three football fields and built at a cost of $6.2 billion, was commissioned Saturday with its namesake, the 41st president, and other members of the Bush family on hand for the ceremonies at Naval Station Norfolk.

Adorned for the day with red, white and blue bunting, the USS George H.W. Bush is one of the Nimitz class of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, the largest warships in the world.

"The ship that bears our dad's name is more than 95,000 tons of aluminum and steel," Bush said from a podium tucked under the flight deck. "She will carry nearly 6,000 of the finest sailors and Marines in the world. She represents the craftsmanship of many skilled builders, and thousands of hours of preparation."

Bush, who took his last scheduled flight aboard Air Force One to get to Norfolk, added: "Laura and I are thrilled to be here to help commission an awesome ship and to honor an awesome man."

It was the ultimate honor for former President George H.W. Bush, a decorated World War II pilot.

The former president recalled the day 65 years ago in Philadelphia when he attended the commissioning of the USS San Jacinto, a light carrier on which he served during the war. It was during that trip, he said, that he gave his fiancee, Barbara, an engagement ring.

"I thought that the San Jac was by far the biggest ship, or anything else, I'd ever seen," said the elder Bush, comparing it to the massive aircraft carrier, spit and polished for its unveiling. He marveled at its 4.5-acre landing field, a tower that reaches 20 stories above the waterline and its 1,400 telephones.

Speaking to the sailors preparing to serve on the new ship, his voice quavering at times with emotion, the former president said: "I wish I was sitting right out there with you, ready to start the adventures of my naval aviation career all over."

Bush, 84, joined the Navy on June 12, 1942, his 18th birthday and six months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. During the war he flew torpedo bombers off the USS San Jacinto. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and three Air Medals for his service.

On a mission over the Pacific in September 1944, Bush's plane crashed into the ocean after being hit by Japanese anti-aircraft fire. The future president parachuted into the sea and was rescued by a Navy submarine. He returned to combat and served until the end of the war.

The Nimitz class of nuclear-powered aircraft carrier was first launched in 1972. The USS George H.W. Bush is the 10th and final vessel of its type.

A bronze statue on its hangar bay deck depicts the former president as a youthful, smiling pilot in his flight suit. On an upper deck, a "tribute room" presents Bush's life from his days in the Navy to his four years in the White House.

No other former president has visited a carrier named after him. Ronald Reagan was the first living ex-president to have a carrier named in his honor, but he was unable to visit the vessel before he died.

Doro Bush Koch, the president's sister and ship's sponsor, had the honor of bringing the carrier to service, calling out: "Man our ship. Bring her to life." With that, hundreds of sailors charged up gangplanks as a band played "Anchors Aweigh," the song of the Navy.

Four F-18s flew overhead, followed by a solo World War II torpedo bomber similar to the one the elder Bush flew during the war.

The president's daughters, Jenna Hager and Barbara Bush, and Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife, Lynne, were among the throng of attendees. Also on hand were Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine.

Check out article at Fox News.

You have to admit... the Nimitz Class Nuclear-Powered Aircraft Carrier is one awesome and intimidating piece of naval technology. We can be thankful that no other nation in the world can match the power that one of these holds... not to mention all ten of ours!

Congratulations to President H W Bush on this honor!

Friday, January 09, 2009

SEC Football is the Best!

Congratulations Tim Tebow and the Florida Gators - 2008 National Champions!  SEC RULES!!!

Congratulations Florida Gators - 2008 National Champions!  SEC RULES!!!

SEC Football is the best!

LSU Tigers stung the GT Yellow Jackets!

Best of luck at starting QB next year, Jordan Jefferson!

Best of luck in the NFL, Brandon LeFell

SEC Football is the best!

To trumpet the Southeastern Conference as powerful in the college football scene isn’t groundbreaking stuff. Especially around these parts.

After all, the SEC holds the last three national titles, with LSU as the crème filling to Florida in a BCS Oreo.

However, just take a moment to look at the league’s 6-2 run in the bowl season and concentrate on the three teams that wheezed their way into bowls — LSU, Vanderbilt and Kentucky — yet came up with victories.

  • Vanderbilt, which had lost six of its final seven games after a 5-0 start, had its first bowl win since 1955 and its first winning season since 1982, when the Commodores last played in a bowl.

    With a key fumble recovery in the end zone, Vandy beat No. 24 Boston College 16-14 in the Music City Bowl.

  • Kentucky, which had lost six of its final eight games after a 4-0 start, has won three consecutive bowl games for the first time in school history.

    With a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to start the second half and a 56-yard fumble return for a touchdown as the game-winner with 3:02 to play, Kentucky beat East Carolina 25-19 — after trailing 16-3 at halftime — in the Liberty Bowl.

  • And LSU, which had lost five of its last eight games after a 4-0 start, won its fourth straight bowl game, all under Les Miles, in a run that includes last season’s BCS title-game win and a Sugar Bowl win.

    The Tigers, who have won 10 of their last 12 bowls, put up 28 points in the second quarter and destroyed No. 14 Georgia Tech 38-3 in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

What does all this mean? The SEC, 7-2 in bowls the previous season, is good. You knew that, right? Then again, last year is so last week.’s Mark Schlabach has LSU, which went 8-5 and finished unranked this season, at No. 9 in his day-after-the-title-game top 25 preseason poll.

Of SEC teams, Florida is No. 1 and Alabama No. 5, with Ole Miss checking in at No. 12, Georgia at 15.

That ranking reflects how much LSU did to earn back respect with that Chick-fil-A Bowl. Plus, true freshman quarterback Jordan Jefferson’s performance, coupled with the hiring of defensive coordinator John Chavis, provide hope LSU can fix its glaring problems at quarterback and on defense.

Had LSU not collapsed against Arkansas, the Tigers would have finished in the final top 25 this season. (As it was, they were effectively 28th).

Is No. 9 too lofty? The suspicion here is LSU won’t be in the top 10 when the preseason polls surface in about seven months. Look for a start in the top 15.

Ole Miss — given a six-game winning streak to close the season, a blowout win over former No. 1 Texas Tech in the Cotton Bowl, a demolishing of LSU in Tiger Stadium and that one-point win at Florida in September — probably will begin ahead of LSU.

Either way, that’s two teams in the top five and five total in the top 15. Yep, the SEC will continue to be powerful.

Check out article at The Advocate.

Congrats to Tim Tebow and the Florida Gators on the 2008 National Championship!!!

Congrats to the LSU Tigers on their rout of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets! Jordan Jefferson had a great game and I'm looking forward to seeing him next year at the starting QB position... and what do you know, his favorite receiver, Brandon LaFell, decided not to head off to the NFL after-all! Things are definitely lookin' up for next year!!!


Be sure to check out

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year 2009!

Times Square New Year's Eve Ball 2008
Times Square New Year's Eve Ball 2008Times Square New Year's Eve Ball 2008
Times Square New Year's Eve Ball 2008Times Square New Year's Eve Ball 2008
Times Square New Year's Eve Ball 2008Times Square New Year's Eve Ball 2008

Each year, millions of eyes from all over the world are focused on the sparkling Waterford Crystal Times Square New Year's Eve Ball. At 11:59 p.m., the Ball begins its descent as millions of voices unite to count down the final seconds of the year, and celebrate the beginning of a new year full of hopes, challenges, changes and dreams.

On November 11th, 2008, The co-organizers of New Year’s Eve in Times Square (Times Square Alliance, Countdown Entertainment) unveiled a new Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball at a press conference at Hudson Scenic Studio in Yonkers, New York.

The new Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball is a 12 foot geodesic sphere, double the size of previous Balls, and weighs 11,875 pounds. Covered in 2,668 Waterford Crystals and powered by 32,256 Philips Luxeon Rebel LEDS, the new Ball is capable of creating a palette of more than 16 million vibrant colors and billions of patterns producing a spectacular kaleidoscope effect atop One Times Square.

The organizers also announced that the new Ball will become a year-round attraction above Times Square in full public view January through December.

“For one hundred years, the Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball has attracted millions of revelers to Times Square on December 31st to celebrate the beginning of the New Year” said Jeff Straus, president of Countdown Entertainment and co-organizer of Times Square New Year’s Eve. “The new Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball will be a bright sparkling jewel atop One Times Square entertaining New Yorkers and tourists from around the world not only on December 31, but throughout the year.”

“The New Year’s Eve ball is bigger, better and brighter than ever, just like Times Square itself,” said Times Square Alliance President Tim Tompkins. “And like Times Square, it’s not afraid to show off. That’s why we’re proudly putting it on display year-round so visitors to the neighborhood can enjoy a true Crossroads of the World icon.”

Check out article at Time Square Alliance.

I wish everyone a safe, happy and prosperous 2009!

Check out today's Google art:

Google New Year 2009