Tag Archives: commnication

An Undelivered Nixon Speech

On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin became the first men to walk on the moon. The following speech, revealed in 1999, was prepared by Nixon’s then speechwriter, William Safire, to be used in the event of a disaster that would maroon the astronauts on the moon:


Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace.

   These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice.

   These two men are laying down their lives in mankind’s most noble goal: the search for truth and understanding.

   They will be mourned by their families and friends; they will be mourned by their nation; they will be mourned by the people of the world; they will be mourned by a Mother Earth that dared send two of her sons into the unknown.

   In their exploration, they stirred the people of the world to feel as one; in their sacrifice, they bind more tightly the brotherhood of man.

   In ancient days, men looked at stars and saw their heroes in the constellations. In modern times, we do much the same, but our heroes are epic men of flesh and blood.

   Others will follow, and surely find their way home. Man’s search will not be denied. But these men were the first, and they will remain the foremost in our hearts.

   For every human being who looks up at the moon in the nights to come will know that there is some corner of another world that is forever mankind.



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More griping

If said people will be retiring, there should be something in place that will keep the team going and knowledge in place. This is not happening at all. Today, for instance, Bruce was there and showing everyone the drawings for the robot. Everyone was around the table looking at the laptop. How many students were in this group? One. How many students were at the meeting? 15 or so.

This is supposed to be a program for high school students right? The point of FIRST is to ‘inspire them to become engineers’ and pursuit other technical careers by working with professionals. None of the ‘working together’ happens on our team. I can legitimately say that the only person who actively gets students involved is me. I am finding it so frustrating that I’m the only one. I’m not the only one who notices this though. I’ve gotten comments from other adults on the team about how well the students were working, after I had given them something to do. I’m also the only person on the team who has had an entire room of students working and quiet.

It’s beyond frustrating to be the only one working with students. To me, it feels like everyone is almost working against what I’m trying to do. I’m sure my legions of readers have felt something similar before, but it’s one of the most motivation-crushing feelings there is. There was a point this season that I really didn’t care about the team at all.

As I mentioned in the previous post, the robot design this year is almost entirely Bruce’s. Let’s expand on that. For the first two weeks or so, of the season, people were coming up with ideas, building prototypes, and doing a lot of brainstorming. I know I was working on a gyroscope idea and there were others working on their ideas. Many hours were put into these ideas. Many people were on board with these ideas. Many people thought were were going to use these ideas on the actual robot.

During these weeks, as I said before, Bruce would be at the meetings once or twice a week. Therefore many of the ideas he did not hear. Come the end of the second week, start of the third, Bruce has a meeting to show us all a preliminary robot design. Where this design came from, I think caught most people off guard. I know it caught me off guard. I was wondering where or why the prelim design had formed. It’ didn’t really have anyone else’s ideas in it. It’s was almost entirely Bruce’s ideas which had not been run past the majority of the team. The kicker to the whole thing was that he was “almost set” on the design and it was approaching the point of no return.

Since then, a commitment to that design was made and parts have started to be made. All of this design was done by adults. Not a single student has helped with this design. Hell, most students on the team probably can’t even describe what the robot will be this year. To me, this is totally unacceptable. Of course, I will bring this up once the season is over, but there is no way I will be on the team next year if anyone puts up a serious argument with me. Doing so just says to me that their vision of the team and program are so different from mine (and wrong in my opinion) that I don’t want to be part of it anymore. I do not enjoying being frustrated with so much every time there’s a meeting.

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New things

First, we’ve got a new house. It’s in Newington right off the turnpike. We’re moving in on June 1st. When we have a housewarming party we’ll let you know. I can’t express how antsy I am to get out of the parents house.

June 1st also marks the first shooting day for the video podcast I’ll be launching. It’s called ‘The Humordor’. (Get the play on words?) It’s a cigar review show that Sean and Myself will be doing. I’ll link the site when I’ve got it done and somewhat ready. When I do you better promote the hell out of it.

I’ve got the camera, mics after tonight, mixer and most everything else I’ll need. I’m just waiting for the tripod to get here so I can start shooting some clips for the intro sequence. It’s going to be interesting to see if I can get the idea I have in my head into a physical form. Lack of equipment should not hold me back.

If anyone else who reads this does a podcast let me know. I’ve got some ideas and things I’d like to bounce off you. Please, Please, Please ask questions and/or tell everyone you know about it.

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Technology, Communication, and Society

This entry was spurred by a conversation we had in my special education class last night. To give you some frame of reference, we started talking about traumatic brain injury and what the main causes are. The conversation then transitioned into child abuse ad its ‘epidemic’ proportions today. (You’ll see later why I put it in quotes) From there the class started questioning (as a good class does) the statistics on child abuse, the severity of it, etc. Many people were of the opinion that 1)Statistics weren’t kept as rigorously twenty years ago as they are now, and 2) many things that are considered child abuse today (slapping or hitting your kid every now and then) were more commonplace and socially acceptable years ago.

As the discussion and questioning went on, the professor got almost angry with the class. It wasn’t an anger directed at the students because he thought we were idiots, it was more of his frustration and passion with the topic. At some point while he was talking about his experiences and knowledge, I kind of tuned out and starting writing down some thoughts and notes. The result is this post, which I briefly expressed at the end of class (it was 9 pm and everyone wanted to leave but me).

My first small issue is with the use of the terminology. I don’t remember the exact quote used in class but it was something like ‘child abuse is at record proportions’. When you use the word proportions, you have to be very careful. That word implies that you are comparing two things, the definition of a proportion. I’m not scouring the net looking for abuse statistics, but it seems that when I hear a phrase like that used, it often cannot be backed up with numbers or stats, or anything. Its used simply to emphasize the problem.

Moving to the bigger picture, I’ve been thinking about why child abuse would be more prevalent now than it was 20 years ago. What has changed since then that has had the biggest impact? Are people different today than years ago? What made them different? The main reason that I can boil it down to is technology. pose situations

When Pearl Harbor was bombed, people heard about it on the radio first, then newspapers, and lastly film. As the professor said last night, people went to movie theaters the following Saturday to see footage and news reports of the attack. There was almost a full week for people to process and digest what had happened. The technology to transport video around wasn’t nearly where it is now.

Move ahead to the first (and only) televised war, Vietnam. What was being shown on the news was full video of what happened yesterday. The content of what was being shown has books written about it, buts lets just say there is a reason it was the only televised war.

Then something incredibly interesting happened in technology. It exploded into people’s homes. Cable television, VCRs, DVDs, video games, computers, internet all became common in a typical house. There were also amazing advancements in other communication technologies, satellites, wireless, cameras, cell phones, etc.

Never before could video come live from one side of the world to the other. News and information now travels instantly. For instance, almost everyone watched the events unfold on live television on 9/11. That processing time that people had after Pearl Harbor doesn’t exist anymore. Everything today is instant on with no time for filtering or processing.

Twenty years ago, when you heard some breaking news, you couldn’t take a device out of your pocket and instantly tell all your friends about it. Kids weren’t playing simulation games that had them shooting people or racing around like a lunatic.

Since all this technology has been introduced and become widespread, society has gone crazy. As I thought more about this, it seems like symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. There seems to be some disconnect between emotions and conscious, similar to PTSD. Has this flood of information and stimulation done this to society?

I don’t have any of the answers, but I do think they are worth pursuing. This issue and discussion has lead me to want to take a mass media course or something next semester to deepen my understanding.

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