Sunday, April 29, 2007
The guys over at geeklabel.com (ding) mentioned me on the RavenCon episode of their podcast. Very cool. In case you were wondering, I do find them cool, but sometimes they fixate a little tooooooooo much on things they shouldn't. (Vicar, I am talking to you.) I had a good time talking to them at the con though and look forward to seeing them again at DragonCon. They promised to link to my blog, so THANKS!
Still planning on doing some more RavenCon follow-up. Only 4 days until the end of the semester, so one thing will be over soon. On the other hand, there are a lot of things waiting to fill the time I have been spending on school.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
As for the updates... I have a Final Exam to finish tonight... Homework due on Thursday, and then an in-class final a week from Thursday. I hope to do some more extensive updates over the weekend. I really want to get into the habit of updating this blog several times a week, or even every day as appropriate.
To keep you amused for a little while, I added a "Laura's Life" Calendar to the right hand side of the page. It is deceptively empty. Don't be surprised to see more and more stuff showing up there soon. I am only planning on putting up larger events like trips, etc. But not meetings and other more mundane stuff. You don't want to know how long I have to sit in meetings tomorrow, believe me.
Before I go, if you are in the Metro DC area, I am setting aside May 12 as Game Night at Savage Mill. It may be one of the last times I can go to Game Night before ISU, so I would like to get as many people to come as possible.
Friday, April 20, 2007
Update: I didn't know the 3 people directly affected by this event.
Earlier today I spoke to an astronomy class at Monacan High School. It was so much fun. The students really seemed to enjoy the talk. We discussed careers in space, the James Webb Space Telescope, Private Space Travel and student internships.
They really enjoyed the freebies that I brought. The biggest hit were the temporary Hubble image tattoos. Several girls ran off and put them on right away. The tattoos came in three different styles, and at least one girl put on on each cheek and the other on her forehead.
Welcome to any of you who are reading this after meeting me. I hope you will keep reading and perhaps post a comment.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Striking A Balance 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM Saturday
- Government versus Private Exploration of Space
Space News 12:01 PM - 12:50 PM Sunday
- Some cool things going on with NASA and beyond
Koffee Klatch 1:00 PM - 1:50 PM Sunday
Beyond this weekend, I am terrified at the following statistics. So much to do. So little time.
37 days to Balticon
52 days until I leave for Dublin, Ireland
66 days until I ARRIVE in Beijing, China
Monday, April 16, 2007
We have seen far too many of these instances in recent years. This is, of course, the worst. Unfortunately, unless my memory fails me, it is not the first of 2007. I think there have been at least two workplace shootings thus far in the last 4 months. (The press is focusing on school shootings, not workplace or school shootings. I see no real difference.)
Thank God these incidents were not as common when I was in school. I knew some kids who were in the right category for this kind of action. One even resembled a Columbine shooter. So, when yet another shooting happens it hits me hard. Were these kids evil, No. They were kids who were troubled, awkward, and didn't know how to cope.
In the wake of this horrible, horrible incident the press and the public mob will vilify the shooter. He is culpable for his actions, and should be held accountable. At this time, we do not know his motives, but I suspect he is only a symptom. In the coming days, there will be a move to create stricter gun control. This is like taking Aspirin for a Migraine. We need to treat the disease.
Our society is broken. We stress each other and ourselves to the breaking point. We don't take enough vacation. At times, talking to a co-worker can be like walking a mine field. We do not form communities. We don't take the time. Our social skills are falling apart and we no longer remember how to take care of ourselves or others.
I am as guilty as anyone of these things. I have lived in the Washington D.C. area for almost 9 years, and I have never felt part of a physical community. Only in the past couple of years have I begun to realize that I am a part of a several broader communities, brought together by common interests, if not by physical proximity.
Beyond our stress load, is our treatment or each other. We are not civil to each other. Civility does not mean agreeing with everything a person says, or even being politically correct. Civility means being polite. Civility means holding the door for someone. Say "Thank You" to the person sweeping the floor. Civility means not cutting someone off in traffic just to get there 10 seconds earlier. It means listening when someone is talking, even if you don't agree.
Will this solve all of our problems? Probably not. It is a step in the right direction. Instead of venting your frustration and anger at today's events, step back and use that energy to make the life of those around you just a little bit better. A simple "Thank You" to the cashier or the security guard or your co-worker can make a world of difference.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
For the first time in several years, I will miss the party. I'll be in class tonight. But I will definitely lift a glass to Yuri Gagarin and our ongoing advance into the unknown. Ad Astra.
Thursday, April 5, 2007
April 20-22 RavenCon, Richmond, VA, USA
May 14-15ish Work trip to Houston, TX, USA
May 25-28 Balticon, Baltimore, MD, USA
June 1-3 Book Expo America, New York, NY, USA - Unlikely but the door was opened
June 9-15 Work Trip to Dublin, Ireland
June 15-17 Wingin' It Pool Party trip, Phoenix, AZ, USA - Probably
June 20-21 Visit to Ames Research Center - Probably
June 22- Aug 25 International Space University Summer Session Program in Beijing, China
Aug 30 - Sept 4 Dragon*Con, Atlanta, GA, USA
That is all that is firmly on the schedule for now.... looking at some other things past September. ;)
Sunday, April 1, 2007
Joe Murphy, friend, podcaster, and awesome human being passed away today. I will have more thoughts, probably in a day or two. Please pray for his family and friends.
Several of his friends have created a Joe Murphy Memorial Fund to specifically research leiomyosarcoma. We lost Joe 4 months from diagnosis. This cancer is nasty, and this fund will hopefully help stop it. Please consider donating.