A Peregrine Falcon at Horizon Wings Rehab and Education Center
American Kestrel at Horizon Wings Rehab and Education Center
This, right here.
This is one of the most important artifacts of modern times. At 16 inches wide by 16 inches tall and 6 feet long it takes up less space than one of those thin little hallway tables you can find in the houses of middle class grandmothers. This little wooden box and the work that was done with it culminated in this:
Both are on display at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington DC and Chantilly, VA. But, in order to understand the gravity of that wooden box, you must know a bit about what was going on around the turn of the 20th century.
There were many players in the race to develop a stable aircraft and attain the first flight. All of those players were using the accepted aerodynamic data of the time. Scientific data that was previously published and generally accepted for years. And because this data was inaccurate, the various players tried and failed time and time again, including the Wright Brothers. But after a number of failures, the Wright Brothers were the first to question the accuracy of the data, and determined to succeed, created their own wind tunnel, and made their own measurements. Not only did this little wooden wind tunnel allow them to prove the previous data false, but it ultimately led to the creation of the 1903 Wright Flyer, the first self propelled aircraft capable of stable sustained flight. This remarkable aircraft is also on display in the Smithsonian.
Despite the advances of wind tunnels and technology, the data collected today does not differ much from the data they collected back then.
And this set us on the path to the stars, and while the principles of flight as they developed them are not particularly relevant to rocketry, the space shuttle does rely heavily on them for returning to earth. It’s a nice booked to the process from start to finish.
Discovery was retired recently and placed on display. Having performed 38 missions and a total of almost a years time in space, it was the most active of all our shuttles. Personally I was not prepared for how giddy I would feel when seeing it in person. The whole experience made me want to run home and watch the Right Stuff again.
More Photos of our trip to DC are here:
I took this last night as Venus and Jupiter set in the western sky. I took a few other shots and messed with the color some. The orange was natural, and the blues are my tweaks. The whole set is at http://www.flickr.com/photos/pantharos/sets/72157629221421558
The kids have been introduced to Star Wars and of course they love it. But the way they show it is very different.
Marcus found himself obsessed with the how and why of the film, why did Vader do this, why did Luke do that, how did they make this effect etc. etc. He threw himself into making Lego models of things he saw, both kits and simple replication of things with random Legos. Since we’ve been doing stop motion animation projects, he would use his Lego characters to make movies, all it required was taking digital photos and most of his movies had to do with recreating effects with the characters.
This led me to believe that he would enjoy the Making of Star Wars. And since we also watched Back to the Future recently, I had them watch the making of Back to the Future and Star Wars. Suddenly cars were disappearing and reappearing in his movies, and his room because something of an effects studio, complete with green screen, lights, and a track mounted camera that is fixed to the track mounted speeder for consistent framing in motion. He’s eight.
Jared on the other hand, loves pretending to be characters whether it’s with toy figures, dressing up, or just pretending to be the characters. He made me make his light saber look and sound real.