Posted inInspirational / Science

Celebrating Apollo 11

The always terrific has come up with a fitting tribute to the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission

Inspired by the ApolloPlus40 Twitter account and We Choose the Moon, both of which are tracking the Apollo 11 mission as it happened 40 years ago, I’ve built a page where you can watch the CBS News coverage of Walter Cronkite reporting on the Moon landing and the first moon walk, 40 years to the second after it originally happened.


Here’s the one-time-only schedule (all times local/CDT)…

  • Moon landing broadcast start: 3:10:30 pm on July 20
  • Moon landing shown: 3:17:40 pm
  • Moon landing broadcast end: 3:20:15 pm
  • Moon walk broadcast start: 9:51:27 pm
  • First step on Moon: 9:56:15 pm
  • Nixon speaks to the Eagle crew: approx 10:51:30 pm
  • Moon walk broadcast end: 11:00:30 pm

Of course, a celebration of anything this huge wouldn’t be complete without including the unique perspective of The Onion. (NSFW)

Posted inInspirational

Rapid Raptor

Behold the awesome sight of an Air Force F-22 Raptor in supersonic flight

Description: An Air Force F-22 Raptor executes a supersonic flyby over the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74).
An Air Force F-22 Raptor executes a supersonic flyby over the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74).

090622-N-7780S-014 GULF OF ALASKA (June 22, 2009) An Air Force F-22 Raptor executes a supersonic flyby over the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74). John C. Stennis is participating in Northern Edge 2009, a joint exercise focusing on detecting and tracking units at sea, in the air and on land. (U.S. Navy photo by Sonar Technician (Surface) 1st Class Ronald Dejarnett/Released)

via Gizmodo

Posted inInspirational

Mystery on Fifth Avenue

How cool is this?

Finally, one day last fall, more than a year after they moved in, Mr. Klinsky received a letter in the mail containing a poem that began:

WeÂ’ve taken liberties with Yeats
to lead you through a tale
that tells of most inspired fates
in hopes to lift the veil.

The letter directed the family to a hidden panel in the front hall that contained a beautifully bound and printed book, Ms. BenskoÂ’s opus.

The book led them on a scavenger hunt through their own apartment.

Prior to moving into their Fifth Avenue apartment, the family hired a young architect to redo the place.

Inspired by the father’s request to hide a poem he had written for his family in a wall somewhere as a sort of “time capsule”, the architect and accomplices went much further and built an entire mystery adventure for the family to inhabit.

I love the creativity. Of course, having an 8.5 million dollar canvas to work with can be somewhat inspiring. ;-)

(via Kottke)

Posted inInspirational

Cartoonist, Heal Thyself

Dilbert BlogI didn’t realize it until I read his blog earlier today, that Scott Adams, the creator of the Dilbert comic strip, lost his voice more than a year ago due to a rare condition called Spasmodic Dysphonia.

Essentially a part of the brain that controls speech just shuts down in some people, usually after you strain your voice during a bout with allergies (in my case) or some other sort of normal laryngitis. It happens to people in my age bracket.

I asked my doctor – a specialist for this condition – how many people have ever gotten better. Answer: zero.

The weirdest part of this phenomenon is that speech is processed in different parts of the brain depending on the context. So people with this problem can often sing but they canÂ’t talk. In my case I could do my normal professional speaking to large crowds but I could barely whisper and grunt off stage. And most people with this condition report they have the most trouble talking on the telephone or when there is background noise. I can speak normally alone, but not around others.

How strange is that? But wait, it gets stranger… Scott noticed just a few days ago that he could speak perfectly in rhyme.

I repeated it dozens of times, partly because I could. It was effortless, even though it was similar to regular speech. I enjoyed repeating it, hearing the sound of my own voice working almost flawlessly. I longed for that sound, and the memory of normal speech. Perhaps the rhyme took me back to my own childhood too. Or maybe itÂ’s just plain catchy. I enjoyed repeating it more than I should have. Then something happened.

My brain remapped.

My speech returned.

Not 100%, but close, like a car starting up on a cold winter night. And so I talked that night. A lot. And all the next day. A few times I felt my voice slipping away, so I repeated the nursery rhyme and tuned it back in. By the following night my voice was almost completely normal.

How cool is that?

I still donÂ’t know if this is permanent. But I do know that for one day I got to speak normally. And this is one of the happiest days of my life.

I highly suggest going to Scott’s blog and reading the whole story for yourself. Scott’s an interesting character in his own right. I hope he’s found his way back to his voice again for good.