Rhymes with “Snowing”

General Outline for the Next Four Months

I decided not to pursue working in Houston this summer for a variety of reason. Mostly, I don’t think it’s the right time yet and I think I end up having a better hand by staying in Seattle.

In any event, here’s a brief outline of the next four months:

  • May 1st: Last day of Spring 2008 class
  • May 7th: Last final of Spring 2008
  • May 12th: Summer Field Session Begins
  • May 30th: Summer Field Session Ends
  • June 6th: Start Boeing Internship in Seattle (really Kent, though)
  • August 2nd-3rd: NERDS @ the 2008 NASA Centennial Challenge at San Louis Obispo, California
  • August 7th: End Boeing Internship in Seattle (but actually Kent)
  • August 19th: Fall 2008 Classes begin

3rd Space Exploration Conference and Exhibition

The 3rd annual Space Exploration Conference and Exhibition was in Denver this year and we were invited to attend this invitation only event. One might think that invitation only events would be rather dull and highly boring, however I can easily say this was one of the best events I’ve ever been to.

NASA tasked Boeing with getting together the best of the best when it comes to space systems. And that’s what Boeing did.

When was the last time you stood next to America’s first liquid hydrogen fueled rocket engine, a Pratt and Whitney RL-10?

DSC_1868 (by Mr Ferguson)

In fact, Boeing still uses the RL-10 in their Delta IV. And of the three major rocket engines used in America (Boeing’s Delta IV, Lockheed Martin’s Atlas V and NASA’s Space Shuttle Main Engines), all of them are made by Pratt and Whitney.

Lockheed Martin had a robot there, Sprocket D. Rocket. Now originally, I thought it was just a simple AI robot. But then I listened to it talk and interact with other people and I thought it was just a remote controlled robot with a human behind it all. Later, someone told me that people would ask it esoteric questions in foreign languages and it would respond. If this is the case, then it fooled me and successfully passed my Turing test.

DSC_1854 (by Mr Ferguson)

The conference concluded with a panel of persons from all different aspects of the space industry, including a gentleman by the name of Pat Schondel who is the Vice President of Business Development for Boeing NASA Systems, a part of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems. After the panel was over, I went over and talked with him for a few minutes and picked his brain a bit about Boeing, what’s going in the space sector and internship opportunities in the in the space sector at Boeing.

Talking to Mr. Schondel turned out to be one of the highlights of my time since I’ve been trying find out about Boeing’s space interests for some time now, but Seattle really isn’t the place to do that. Mr. Schondel was able to fill in some gaps for me and give me the ever so slighest glimpse of what goes on down in Houston.


The Davos Question (and my Answer)

The 2008 Davos Question asks:
“What one thing do you think that countries, companies or individuals must do to make the world a better place in 2008?”

Be social responsibility. Looking back on places I’ve gone to school, places I’ve worked and things I’ve done, I’ve noticed how many of them have always had some program that was designed to help someone other then themselves. At SAAS, there was a program to help less well off families at TT Minor. At Boeing, there’s a Books & Backpacks program that collects books, backpacks and other school supplies for children who can’t afford it. At Billings, we would spend time cleaning up the environment.

The idea, at least for me, is to do something that does not benefit you directly and probably even requires you to go out of your way to accomplish. In doing this, you end up making society a better place (at least in your local area or the area you choose to affect).

What do you think? What one thing do you think that countries, companies or individuals must do to make the world a better place in 2008?

via Matt Cutts


Boeing Surplus to Close

The Seattle Times reports that Boeing Surplus is going to be closing their doors come December 21st:

From seattletimes.nwsource.com:

Boeing instead plans to sell its surplus items in bulk to wholesale buyers over the Internet and through a more traditional contracting process with business partners, said spokesman Dean Tougas. Boeing will develop a Web site over the next few months to support its online plans, he said.

The store’s final day will be Dec. 21.

For 35 years it has sold just about anything that Boeing no longer uses, except aircraft parts. Boeing employees and retirees enjoy discounts of up to 20 percent.

Seeing that I worked at the Kent Space Center the last two summers, it was really just a short 8 minute drive to the surplus store. I’d sometimes stop by on my way home, seeing that I’m already down there and such.

It was really just fun to walk around. It would take me at least an hour, and that was if I was going fast.

Bruce Lane has started a website, SaveBoeingSurplus.com, to try and save the surplus store.

Photo Credit: The Boeing Surplus website


Whack Whack

Often during a conversation someone will say something like, “Did you check whack whack elmo whack system whack data?”
It didn’t take very long to figure out what “whack” actually was: a backslash. Thus, the above phrase becomes, “Did you check \\elmo\system\data?”

See also: http://www.unixwiz.net/archives/2004/11/whack_whack_1.html

Note: This wasn’t posted until 6/19/2006. I needed to review it and didn’t have time until now.