Tag Archives: DC

For delivery only – photos/video of Space Shuttle being attached to Boeing 747

At the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, initial mating of space shuttle Discovery and the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft is complete in the mate-demate device. The device, known as the MDD, is a large gantry-like steel structure used to hoist a shuttle off the ground and position it onto the back of the aircraft, or SCA.

Initial mating of space shuttle Discovery and the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft.
Space shuttle Discovery is lowered onto the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft in the mate-demate device during mating operations.

The SCA is a Boeing 747 jet, originally manufactured for commercial use, which was modified by NASA to transport the shuttles between destinations on Earth. This SCA, designated NASA 905, is assigned to the remaining ferry missions, delivering the shuttles to their permanent public display sites.

NASA 905 is scheduled to ferry Discovery to the Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia on April 17, after which the shuttle will be placed on display in the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

Mating device (front) attaching the ships together.
Mating device (dual rear) attaching the ships together.

Following delivery of Discovery, NASA 905 will ferry Enterprise from Udvar-Hazy to the Intrepid Museum in New York City. Endeavour is scheduled to be similarly moved to the California Science Center in Los Angeles later this year.

Learn more on the video from This Week in NASA:

A ton more picture are available at NASA Media Gallery

Little League – webcomic of DC superheroes as children in elementary school

Little League is an awesome web comic that imagines all of DC’s superheroes as kids. Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman all spend their days walking home from school, playing at recess, and attempting to save the world.

It’s super funny and cute!

“Little League” is a side project of “Gifted” creator Yale Stewart. A weekly webcomic, it follows the adventures of popular DC comic characters as children in elementary school. Mostly funny, with a dash of pathos, it should be an enjoyable read for any fans of DC Comics characters as well as people who enjoy the traditional syndicated comic strip.

These are comics #20-21 and you can read all the old ones on the Little League website (I’ve already done so!).

 

“You’ve Been Trumped” Kicks Off The Environmental Film Festival

Last night, I attended the D.C. Environmental Film Festival Premiere kick-off film, You’ve Been Trumped.

As someone who has experienced Scotland’s breathtaking beauty and decadent history, the Scottish government’s decision to overturn its own environmental policy to allow Donald Trump to build a golf course on Europe’s most environmentally sensitive stretches of coast, described by one leading scientist as Scotland’s Amazon rain forest, is certainly intriguing. After all, this is a fiercely nationalistic country with a Freedom to Roam policy and a strong record for preserving its environmental landscape and natural heritage.

But tough economic times call for tough economic decisions.

Trump’s development proposal “to build the world’s greatest golf course” was initially rejected in 2007 by a local subcommittee of elected members; however, in 2008, John Swinney, the Scottish cabinet secretary for finance and sustainable growth, overturned the council’s decision by announcing permission for the development, as Trump promised to create over 6,000 jobs:

With latest official statistics showing unemployment in Scotland has risen to 7.6 percent, the move has been welcomed by the country’s government who are anxious to bring investment to the area.

A spokesman for the ruling Scottish Nationalist Party told CNN: “Ministers agreed with the public inquiry conclusion that there was significant economic and social benefit to be gained from the application by Trump International Golf Links Scotland to develop a golf resort at Balmedie.” (via CNN)

Many economists, nonetheless, have been challenging Trump on his economic estimates:

Paul Cheshire, professor emeritus of economic geography at London School of Economics and Political Science, carried out his own assessment of the economic case for the development of the Menie Estate. He was surprised to find that the Scottish government had not commissioned its own independent analysis of the likely benefits – instead, the government relied on an economic impact assessment carried out for TIGL by Strathclyde University.

Professor Cheshire describes that assessment as “wildly optimistic” because of its assumptions about the creation of new jobs for local people. He points out that constructing a golf course is not like building houses because very few specialist companies are capable of doing it. As it turns out, an Irish company is managing the construction of the resort, using mainly its own labour. (via The Guardian)

Trump also promised to leave the dunes in better shape and condition than they were before. Evidence, thus far, however, has proven otherwise as documented by local residents and You’ve Been Trumped filmmaker, Anthony Baxter:

In an interesting twist, Trump is now embroiled in a fight to prevent the building of an offshore windfarm near his luxury golf resort which he deems will be “an eyesore.”

Whatever the outcome, You’ve Been Trumped (funded via @IndieGoGo) was a tremendous start to the festival. I’m looking forward to checking out more films in the coming two weeks (March 13-25): http://www.dcenvironmentalfilmfest.org/

Wikimania 2012 is in Washington, D.C.

The Wikimania 2012 conference will be held July 12-15, 2012, at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

  • Meet the wiki community in Washington.
  • Join a gathering of experts, enthusiasts, and those who are just curious, in a center of academia, culture, and technology.
  • Engage at the official annual conference of Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects.

Wikimania is the annual international conference of the Wikimedia community (which includes Wikipedia). It allows the community and the general public to learn about and share their experiences with free knowledge initiatives all over the world.

  • Submit a talk/panel/workshop for Wikimania! – Deadline is March 18.
  • Registration is now open! – Early registration discount until April 23.

This conference provides a unique opportunity for the Wikimedia community and its projects – Wikipedia, Wikibooks, Wikinews, Wiktionary, Wikispecies, Wikimedia Commons, and Wikimedia – to come together, share their common goals, and develop better ways to work together on an international level.

 

Schedule

  • July 6–9: Wikimania Takes Manhattan (special pre-conference event in NYC)
  • July 10–11: Hackathon
  • July 12–14: Main Conference
  • July 15: Unconference

Pre-Conference hacking days and Unconference are open to all attendees. The program for these days will be primarily informal.

 

Program Structure

The Wikimania 2012 program structure is designed to create multiple opportunities for conference participants to actively engage with the subject matter, the environment, and, most importantly, each other. Washington, D.C, can play an important role in Wikimania 2012 as a locale that gathers interest in government, culture, media, and academia around the general goals of the Wikimania conference series.

Tracks:

  • Wikis and the Public Sector
  • GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums) & cultural outreach
  • WikiCulture and Community
  • Research, Analysis, and Education
  • Technology and Infrastructure

 

Wikimania 2012 in Washington, D.C.

The best comic book movies of all time – according to the critics

Ranked according to Rotten Tomatoes ratings (see bottom for a full explanation)

 

35. The Adventures of Tintin – 2011 – 74%

34. V for Vendetta – 2006 – 73%

33. The Mask – 1994 – 75%

32. Ghost in the Shell – 1995 – 94%

31. Superman Returns – 2006 – 76%

 

30 – Thor – 2011 – 77%

29 – Batman Returns – 1992 – 78%

28 – Sin City – 2005 – 78%

27 - Captain America: The First Avenger – 2011 – 79%

26 – Hellboy – 2004 – 80%

25 – Flash Gordon – 1980 – 81%

24 – Oldboy – 2005 – 80%

23 – Iron Man 2 – 2010 – 74%

22 – Scott Pilgrim vs. The World – 2010 – 81%

21 – Batman: The Movie – 1966 – 82%

 

20 – X-Men - 2000 - 81%

19 – Kick-Ass – 2010 – 76%

18 – Road to Perdition – 2002 – 82%

17 – The Crow – 1994 – 83%

16 – Batman Begins – 2005 – 85%

15 – A History of Violence – 2005 – 85%

14 – X-Men: First Class – 2011 – 87%

13 – Akira - 1988 - 88%

12 – Superman 2 - 1980 - 88%

11 – Hellboy 2: The Golden Army - 2008 - 87%

 

10 – X2: X-men United - 2003 - 88%

9 – Spider-Man - 2002 - 89%

8 – Men in Black - 1997 - 91%

7 – Ghost World - 2001 - 92%

6 – Spider-Man 2 - 2004 - 93%

5 – American Splendor - 2003 - 94%

4 – Superman: The Movie - 1978 - 94%

3 – The Dark Knight - 2008 - 93%

2 – Iron Man - 2008 - 94%

1 – Persepolis - 2007 - 97%

 

To celebrate the 2010 Comic-Con, we present to you Comics & Graphic Novels vs. the Critics, an exhaustive countdown that includes movies based on everything from superheroes to graphic novels, from manga to strips from the funny pages, in order of critical approval.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Every movie here originates from a comic book source of some kind, not another medium (we know about the Alien vs. Predator graphic novels, but the movies aren’t based on the comics).
  • Only movies with 20 or more reviews are included (sorry, Fritz the Cat)
  • Weighted formula that takes release year and number of reviews into account
  • Omitted all TV or straight-to-DVD flicks.

via Rotten Tomatoes – 120 best comic movies

 

*Note: I added in 5 new critically acclaimed comic movies that came out after 2010*

Space shot of eastern coast of United States at night

Eastern Coast of United States at Night

Feb 6, 2012 — One of the Expedition 30 crew members aboard the International Space Station took this nighttime photograph of much of the eastern (Atlantic) coast of the United States. Large metropolitan areas and other easily recognizable sites from the Virginia/Maryland/Washington, D.C. area spanning almost to Rhode Island are visible in the scene. Boston is just out of frame at right. Long Island and the Greater Metropolitan area of New York City are visible in the lower right quadrant. Large cities in Pennsylvania (Philadelphia and Pittsburgh) are near center. Parts of two Russian vehicles parked at the orbital outpost are seen in left foreground.

Download the original

The 2012 Environmental Film Festival – 180 movies, 30,000 attendees

Welcome to the 20th Anniversary Environmental Film Festival!

While 1,200 people attended the inaugural Festival, today the Festival has expanded to become the world’s largest showcase of environmental film, attracting an audience of over 30,000 (in Washington D.C.).

The 20th anniversary Festival, our largest and most ambitious yet, presents 180 engaging and thought-provoking films, including 93 Washington, D.C., United States and World premieres, from 42 countries.

A centerpiece of our 20th anniversary year is a retrospective of the work of Academy Award-nominated director Lucy Walker, who will screen her latest film, The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom.

via 2012 Program Guide (pdf)

 

You can click the link above for the PDF guide or visit the EFF website for the online guide. I highly recommend attending as most films are free and include amazing Q&A after every film.

I attended last year and was completely blown away. This year looks even better with topics like:

Go local: an explanation of foodsheds

With all this talk about eating local and counting miles I thought it would be good to explain what it really means. The foundation for local eating starts with a foodshed.

Foodshed: a region or area from which a population draws its food.

The typical limit on these regions is 100 miles. Draw a 100-mile circle around where you live and that is your foodshed.

In economic terms this is ideal distance a farmer, or her goods, can travel to reach a market. That way it arrives on your plate as fresh, ripe, and nutritious as it can be.

Go outside of this limit and there is an increasing reliance on fossil fuels and a decreasing quality of the food.

For those concerned about pollution, global warming, or oil-addiction these “food miles” are a cause for concern. Farmers face similar concerns, albeit from the other side, with a rising cost of gas and oil-based fertilizers that narrow their profits.

Still for others the “go local” movement represents a desire to get the very best food they can find, and that is the fundamental reason for foodsheds.

I’ve tried to document what happens to our health with the advent of low quality foodour acceptance of it, and the difference in nutritional content.

These rings of farmland surrounding our communities represent the ideal of sustainable living. Where the countryside is not poverty-stricken, but instead a vibrant economic sector known as much for its wineries and ‘farm-days’ as it is for fresh meat, vegetables, fruits, and nuts.

Even more these areas are often recession proof as evidenced by their continual rapid growth during the past half-decade.

It is for all these reasons that the locavore movement is popular and gaining momentum, there is something in it for everyone. Even the beefiest of meat eaters.

For further reference I’ve pulled together several maps of America’s foodsheds. Take a look.

san francisco california foodshed map 100 mile local locavore
Click for a larger image.

Continue reading

Work, Love and Bi-Coastality

Next week, Steve and I will be packing up our place in DC, moving our furniture into storage and heading to Southern California to live for three months as part of a pact we made in December to split our time between DC (where I’m from) and California (where he’s from).

We have no grand strategy other than the fact that DC (weather-wise) is rather miserable in the summer and winter months, so we’re opting to enjoy SoCal during those seasons.

During our time in California (LA for July and August), we’ll still be working on projects and growing 1X57 (which is made possible by this little thing called the internet) but I’ll be taking an advanced screenwriting class at UCLA so I can refine my screenplay to the point I’m ready to pitch it and Steve will be reunited with his family, his friends and his “true love” – the Pacific Ocean – where he can surf his throbbing heart out. I’ll be hitting the waves, too. And we’ll be looking to become a part of a community in the same way we’ve done in DC, which we’ll be returning to in the fall.

While have some big things planned both work- and pleasure-wise (more and more they’re becoming the same) when we return to DC, we’re focusing on following our hearts and passions and riding whatever waves come our way.

POST SCRIPT: I almost forgot! We’ll be writing about and sharing some of our more fun adventures in California at Pamela’s Punch for The Pacific Punch.

 

 

2 Very Strong Words for Peter Corbett

After attending Thursday night’s 7th Ignite DC, I have two very strong words for Peter Corbett:

THANK YOU.

Closing the evening as the final talk, Peter reminded me and the other 300-some tech and innovation enthusiasts in the room that while DC may be, in Peter’s words, “the scrappiest mother fucking town,” we get shit done…we make things happen. It was one one of those talks that left you thinking, “I’ll have what he’s having.” It was inspiring.

Did he drink a Red Bull? Or chug a can of lentil soup? Who knows. If you weren’t there, you’ll have to wait until the talk is posted to understand (although you can check out the slides now). But even then, you might not understand, because Peter’s talk really wasn’t about what he was saying or how he was saying it, but who he was saying it to…a room, and more importantly, a community of people doing great things. Inspiring things. Things that are changing the world.

What Peter didn’t mention, although I know he knows exactly what I’m talking about, is success doesn’t happen over night. The road to it, in fact, is paved with No’s. And whole lot of blood, sweat and tears.

Sometimes it’s easy to give heed to the naysayers and the status-quo’ters. Sometime it feels like those chains aren’t moving fast enough. Sometimes doubt rears its ugly head at the most pivotal points in time.

And that’s when we need a jolt of enthusiasm, a shot of energy, a 5-minute talk of evangelism to remind us, we’re not crazy. Because the things we are facing as a community and more importantly as a society and civilization are going to require some big, crazy solutions and a lot of community support and action.

Peter’s talk was a much needed reminder that if others don’t think we’re crazy for doing what we’re doing, we’re not thinking big enough. The things that need to happen in the world require each of us doing our biggest, our best, our craziest…together.

So DC: What will you do? What are you waiting for? Who will tell your story?

And Peter, THANK YOU.