Technology has rapidly improved to the point where new tools and resources are available at our fingertips. Smart phones and tablets have given us the power to have information and tools anywhere and anytime we need them. It is hard to imagine life with out these devices and software but these perks are only five years old.
With recent events, Americans are noticing more on the state of our infrastructure primarily the interstate highway system and bridges. A lot of these bridges and roads were constructed back in the late 1950’s when then President Eisenhower set forth on the project. Now our bridges are in a state of disrepair and need to be replaced.
Today is another sad day in our post 9/11 era. Today was Patriots Day in Boston and on this day Boston Marathon was bombed. The marathon this year was in remembrance of the Sandy Hook School shootings and the fact two bombs were detonated during this event is outrageous. I am at a loss for words and all I can do is pray for the safety of those 110+ injured and those three souls who lost their lives. I hope they find out who did this and justice will be quick and harsh.
This past week the Supreme Court had two cases in front of them involving gay marriage. Prop 8 is California’s ban on gay marriage and the other case is if the federal government recognizes gay marriage so that partners can share benefits. We have to wait till June for a ruling when the sessions is over and many people would like to see the justices have a sweeping decision. After reading a lot of the comments and questions the justices asked I believe they are trying to avoid the sweeping decision and instead focus on the cases at hand.
Yesterday the largest known cyber attack occurred in South Korea targeting ATM’s and Broadcasting stations. This attack was cripping because it prevented people from gaining access to their money as well as communication. Even though the rest of the inferstructer was not targeted or affected, not being able to get to one’s money can cause panic and chaos. It is scary to think that we are so vulnerable. I am seriously considering always keeping cash with me. I do have a go-bag that does have some money along with tradable commodities but to think a cyberattack can cause this much chaos is the world we live in. I am writing another post about the real skynet issue and how we are opening ourselves to be the targets of cyberattacks.
I watched this video earlier today and I was astonished at the new technology that allows for a sturdy structure to be erected within just five hours. This is a great step for bringing safe havens for people in third-world countries, soldiers on the battlefield, clean field hospitals and operating rooms, victims from natural disasters, food stores, or refugees from political turmoil. I am not sure of the cost of each building but from the looks of the size it can fit about eight people comfortably and protected from the elements. I would like to see some real investments in setting up these homes around the world and giving a real home to others. If they are cheap then a fund should be set up to purchase, ship and set up these homes in places such as Africa, South America, Asia, and Eastern Europe.
There have been quite a few new and important stories in the news recently regarding the military. Just a few days ago the Pentagon announced that women would be able to join front line combat units. This is about time. Women have been able to preform very well as soldiers and putting them on the front lines is a good idea.
Many times I think of where mankind is headed and the state of the world in the future. My mind turns to movies and scifi for some answers good or bad; would we be in a Star Trek type lifestyle in glamorous starships, would it be a society of that in Firefly, or would it be of an apocalyptic world were mankind struggles to survive, or that of a black rock were we have ceased to exist.
O Wow… I love finding projects like this that think up of new cheap ways to power our world. The Gravity Light is a great idea that utilizes gravity as a power source for lighting for the poor and those who need it. This project starts out in Africa but I am sure if I really gets picked up then we can be seeing inventions like these all over the place. Gravity is a weak force but it is a force that doesn’t cause any emissions or wastes natural resources. As an alternative power source this will help open the market and people to power and maybe even radios and tools to build things anywhere in the world. I want to thank these guys for coming up with a brilliant idea and I will be sure to back this project!
This photo has been swarming the Internet and I am sure by now you have seen it and know what it is about. However just incase it is of a 25 year old New York City cop buying a pair of $75 boots and socks for a homeless man. Now you may be wondering why have I decided to comment of this photo and well because this is something as humans we should all be doing. We need to be looking out for our fellow man. We should not rely on government programs or charities to always be there for someone who needs an act of kindness.
So on November 6th while the rest of the United States was voting for their choice for President and other members of congress, Puerto Rico was voting for a very different matter. This matter was should Puerto Rico join statehood and become the 51st state. Well over half of the population said yes to becoming a state with in the union. I am surprised; my generation has always known it as the 50 states but a 51st state would be interesting if not new. The last state to join was well over 50 years ago now and before that it was 40 years. This would mean a change to the house and senate but would give more people to be citizens of this country. I can not see any reason to say no to this addition. Yes it will be different but we can not live in the past and old ways. New states will come eventually but I personally would welcome this addition to the USA. There is so much mor that could be said but it is also so surprising that this will have to be followed and watched to see the impact and benefits to adding another state.
So today was a day I don’t care for. First off I was asked a million times by “friends” if I had voted and for whom. That is my own personal matter if I did or did not and not polite to ask whom one voted for. I can not vote and seeing all of these statuses saying that I will not be your friend if you vote for one person is disgusting.
We are on Mars again. At 05:14:39 UTC on August 6th 2012 the Mars rover Curiosity landed on Mars. This is a great achievement for NASA as this is a completely different size, type, and landing than all rovers before it. Thanks to NASA TV I got to watch it live which was truly exciting. Just like the Moon landing by Apollo 11, being able to watch it live is a real thrill and with the difficulty of this landing it made it even more terrifying.
I spent over 2 hours watching NASA TV just so I could watch the landing and hear what was happening in the control room at JPL. If you did not watch it you missed a great moment because these are the journeys that lead us to exploring Mars by humans. This marks a real technological event in my lifetime and once you read more about the rover and see how everything happened will really prove how great this is. We are insuring that we are exploring our Solar System and hopefully by 2030 we can finally reach another planet.
The Curiosity rover is a marvel to look at and it is the first real science laboratory we have sent. It is over three meters long and about six feet tall. Compared to the other rovers this is much bigger and its mission requires it. It is a mobile chemistry lab and will be able to test the soil and really help us understand the landscape and find out what is really there. It is based at Gale Crater which is a deep crater that also has a large mountain known as Aeolis Mons which Curiosity will eventually climb.
Well the hard part is done and what is known as the seven minutes of terror is done and over with. Unlike other landings were a pod just lands on the surface this was much more difficult and new technology had to be developed. Having to use a supersonic parachute, a rocket pod, and a sky crane all to make it to the surface. This in it self is a great feat and to have come up wit hall the since and math to place it in the smallest landing zone ever is really inspiring. The whole country deserves this and the cost of this is estimated at about $7 per American which I am more than happy to pay for this excitement. Space puts us to work and so many people were involved in creating and handling the missions.
We were able to see the first images tonight of the surface which let us know that Curiosity made it safely. These images may not seem like a lot to some of you but to me these are humbling because this is a new image of a place we have yet to see and being able to know its from another planet is a testament to our reach to wanting to know more. I truly believe that our meaning of life and existence as humans is to explore. Curiosity is human nature and is the perfect naming. I hope you enjoy the first few images and be able to appreciate the meanings behind this. Also below are screen shots from watching the live feed along with a video so you can see and hear the excitement of the landing. I will say I was bummed when I did not see a martian welcoming committee in the first images. You can also see pictures from NASA here.
I can’t wait to live on Mars.
So anyone who knows me these days knows i enjoy learning new things and exploring new places and cultures. So this Sunday Funday I decided instead of going partying or something crazy, I would go to the museums. I went to three different museums today and really got to looks around. I haven’t been to the Newseum since I was in 9th grade but this was a nice time to really look back and explore things with an adult mind. The Newseum offers newspapers and posts from over the many years and has history markers such as items from 9/11, the berlin wall and tower, and artifacts from the political campaigns and rallies. I had a great time and here are some of the many pictures I took while there. The next post will have pictures from the International Spy Museum and the American Art Gallery.
A tragic event in Aurora, Colorado occurred early this morning a gunmen by the name of James Holmes went on a shooting spree during the premiere during the midnight showing of the Dark Knight. Twelve people have been murdered and fifty-nine more are injuried. Most of the people in the movie theater were children and young adults. While the movie was playing the gunman came through a back door, tossed a gas gernade and began shooting into the crowd. The gunman was then caught outside in the back parkingl lot putting up no resistance. This is such a horrible thing and a lot of times we do not know what drives a person to commit such cruel acts. The Dark Knight movie itself faces a lot of evil and despicable things yet we go to the movies expecting to be safe and secure. Personally I cannot wait to see the movie but in light of this horrific destruction of human life I am hesitant, not because my own safety but because of remembrance to those 12 people who have lost their lives by just being in attendance of the movie.
The Dark Knight Rises was one of the most anticipated films in recent memory, but now there’s a very dark shadow over the film. The Dark Knight will always now be remembered as a movie in which should shooting took place and of course this will have a significant effects on the profit made by the Warner Bros. Just think that going to a movie to see Batman, a character who always portrays good against evil and is a character that does not have superpowers but by his genius and goodwill is strong, that we cannot feel safe orbit be protected. Nationwide police forces are stepping up security in to prevent a copycat situation and I think security overall will be increased in order to protect and serve. Many posts ago I commented and spoke about being the generation that lives in terror and this is another tragity in the mass number of deadly acts by insane people.
My prayers and thoughts go with the families and those who have been injured and died through this disgusting act.
The Olympics is a grand arena watched by the entire world and attended by millions that span all races and religions. This is the perfect stage for terrorism and a stage to get a peoples message out around the world. The games have always been a target for attack and many attacks have been foiled over the years however there have been several attacks. With the stage set to promote peace, war is always at its doorstep. Continue reading
So it does exist. Scientists at CERN have recently announced that the Higgs Boson particle exists. This is a great accomplishment by our world to announce and perceive that there is a particle from which we can base origin of all basic particles. This helps Physicist and many other scientists set up a start point for understanding the make up of everything. So what does this mean for the normal people who have only heard of the Higgs Boson particle through the tv show “Big Bang Theory?”
Well to put it in to the most basic answer, this particle is the particle from which everything obtains mass. Everything in this universe has some sort of mass from us, plants, animals, the computer which I am typing, the stars, the planets, and even atoms. The problem is that the smaller we go the harder it is to determine the amount of mass of something. As we react the particles that make up atoms which make elements we can more easily see mass. For all of the particles that make up atoms, the theory of where does mass come from and how do particles gain mass has been in discussion for many years.
So in Switzerland, CERN has run numerous tests at the particle accelerator in efforts to smash atoms together to rip them apart and see the particles which are present. The video included will help make everything a lot more clear. Pretty much though like the laws of thermodynamics that state energy can not be created or destroyed is the same for mass. We are talking about subatomic particles which transfer the mass but this shows that mass transfers over even if we can’t not measure the exact numbers. For the other sciences the foundation that there is the particle that hold mass can set the ground work for many different equations not only in the quantum mechanics area but also through out astrophysics, biology, chemistry and others.
This is a great step forward for science in which we can now look more into our creation and the creation of the universe. The God Particle, so central to the state of physics today, so crucial to our understanding of the structure of matter, yet so elusive, has been established. Now we can get down to serious business!
There is a word you rarely hear about, Derecho, a long lived and wide spread storm that moves in a straight line and contains severe thunderstorms that can cause major damage. It is pretty hard to explain but pretty much a movement of cold air mixed with hot dry air and an already forming storm mixed in within a jet stream causes this tip of storm. It is pretty much a perfect storm and DC just experienced such a storm. I have seen and been through many hurricanes in my life including Andrew and Katrina. This is unlike any storm I have seen or experienced and I am glad it is over. Unlike Hurricanes where one has several days to prepare and hunker down, the Derecho was so has I heard before the storm only giving me very little time to prepare.
I was lucky, my friends where lucky, but it still caused damage. We just regained power in my area, a full four days after the storm and many are still out of power and will not get it back till the weekend. Seven days with out power seems like hell, with no way to cool down the heat is winning. DC has been in the high 90’s to over 100 degrees which has been miserable and sweaty. Luckily we have a power generator so we hooked up the fridge and a few fans and were able to keep the food we just bought going and keep somewhat cool while we sleep at night. However not everyone is so prepared and many are having problems. Virginia, Maryland and the District have all called states of emergency and cooling centers have been opened for people to try and stay fresh and hydrated.
Not everyone can make it to these centers. I want to say thank you to everyone who has been working tirelessly to help others and get us back on our feet especially the power company employees, the firefighters, policemen, medics, tree trimers and department of transportation employees. These guys have been working in the high heat and difficult conditions to get us going and turn the power on. On sunday since it was a little cooler I went out and bought 40 1-liter bottles of Deer Park water that was cold from a 7-11. I drove around for about 3 hours around noon to hand out water bottles to the linesmen and tree trimmers I could find to say thank you and give them some really cold water since it was about 98 degrees out. I gave out all but 4 of the water bottles before calling it quits and taking a break myself. Several times during the weekend I went to my gym, LA Fitness since they had AC and a pool so I got a good workout but still got to stay cool, O did I mention they have little TV on the workout equipment? I also drove around and took pictures of the aftermath and boy was there plenty to take pictures of. Trees were down and cars were busted up, it was really hard to navigate the area due to no power.
Thats another thing, DARK TRAFFIC SIGNALS SUCK!!! At a dark traffic light you are supposed to treat it as a four way stop and be courteous to others but boy do people not care. I personally obey this because it is the smart thing to do and helps keep you and others safe but many people were flying by me through these lights. I almost got hit twice which if they didn’t brake I would not be here right now, I also saw plenty of cars crashing and at least 13 different accidents over the few days which is not good at all. From what the news has reported, 14 people have died directly due to the storm, 3 people have died due to not stoping at the intersections, and another 7 people have died due to the heat and not being able to cool off. These numbers really show how blessed I am that I am ok and that others I know are safe. People who do not know the traffic laws or even are going to be careful should not even be allowed to drive. Its peoples selfishness that can cause these deaths and I am sure there are just many more who are injured due to stupidity after the storm.
I spoke with several people about what happened to the storm and many were able to hunker down and be safe others where more interesting. All I can think though is this storm has really shown what people can do by helping each other during a time of crisis and do what is right. I personally cut down several tree branches and helped neighbors clean up the streets and their property. I hope we don’t have another storm like this anytime soon but its is better to be prepared and when it does strike again be ready to help others!
We define ourselves by the color of our skin and the country of origin however 40 years ago we started to look at ourselves differently. Terrans have always looked to war to gain more territory and possessions, to eradicate someone that is different by color or religion, and to have the power to rule over so many. This all changed 40 years ago when we saw an image that made us look differently at the world and how we treat everything. There are many times when I saw I don’t want to live on this planet anymore and this is because of how we treat each other and the things we invest our time and knowledge into. However when I look at this image I start to look back at some of the good and the good I can do in the future.
So what was this image? What on Earth could change our minds so quickly and relook at all of our policies to begin to question everything. Well actually nothing on Earth could, Photographers have taken images during war and peace, of those in pain and suffering and those who do good and help people but not one of this images did it. Instead we had to look outside and find what we had been missing to see it. When you look at a globe you see each country in a different color and you can see the borders that separate one group of people from another. For such a long time we relied on these borders to show us who we are and policies and government actions were set for the betterment of said country. This thinking changed when we saw an image and realized how wrong we were.
Terra, or Earth if you like to call it was this image that the space program sent back to us. A beautiful blue ball in which there were no borders, no highest castles, and no one country better than another. We saw and really found ourselves in this image. This is what God sees. Not just one country but the world and this is what we started to see and realize we needed to change. The space race brought us these images but would help lead us into a more dignified path for self betterment for all Terrans. This beautiful pale blue dot showed us what we had been missing, our world and what needs to be done to protect it.
We set forth into the black and instead we looked back and found ourselves. We over night started to pass laws for clean air and clean water. Animal and Human rights had taken new grand steps into insuring a more controlled, safe and stable world for our children to grow up in. Pollution was looked more carefully at and many more laws were set forth into protecting this world not just for America but for all of the world. We also built the International Space Station so that we could work with others around the world. The civil right movement had also just occurred and was still fresh in everyones mind but seeing how little we really were helped put it in perspective and show us what is really going on.
This is however starting to change again. I have recently been noticing racism is gaining a foothold again, not just by whites but also by blacks, asians, latinos, and everyone you can think of. I hear how people blame others for their problems and how we need to close ourselves off to other races and ways of thinking. Stereotypes are a way of doing this. I am not a racist but I will admit there are times when one falls to stereotypes for a sense of safety and security because people are proving stereotypes to be correct. Well this is a problem for all Terrans. We need to step away from this thinking again and look at ourselves not be the color of our skin or as part of a certain group. Instead we must look at us as being just one race, the Terran race.
Now I am sure you are asking what is Terra and who are Terrans. Well Terra is Earth, it is a Latin word for our planet and is more commonly found ins Science Fiction than todays media because we do see ourselves as just one planet. I, like many others, like using the classification and the name Terra and Terran because is a good name for us and it is the future of our race. We need a name and a title that will help define us and this is the best description I know of. We are humanoids but for some reason we can’t seem to just call ourselves that. Many have stated that if we come in contact with another species or race of beings that we would be introduced as Terrans from the planet Terra in the Sol System. It is nice to know that some people are thinking about what we would be called and putting us in to just one group.
Terrans need to look again at ourselves from the outside to really understand and open our minds to what needs to be done to insure our greatest resource will remain. Those who say environmental policies and laws should be relaxed are obviously not worried about the future of our planet. They care more about the here and now, what is cheaper and what is more popular by those whom are ignorant to the impact. Personally laws that are strict and heavily reduce our dependency on nonrenewable resources would be welcome by me because we will find a way to cope and live with it.
I hope this means something to you and you look back and reflect on what needs to happen to help our race survive not just in the next 10 years but in the next 1000 years.