This is SO COOL!
Since you won’t be able to sit in the cockpit of NASA’s Atlantis space shuttle while its on display in the Kennedy Space Center till the end of 2012, here are some insider photos. Astronauts operated all these buttons and switches until the shuttle program ended earlier this year.
collectSpace.com had the opportunity to to photograph the cockpit while the power was on for one of the last times.
The Daily Mail reports that Atlantis took the place of Explorer in the Florida space center, which was on display for almost 20 years and will be moved to Space Center Houston. The Daily Mail notes that the Atlantis exhibit itself cost $100 million.
Last Friday, NASA also shut down the space shuttle Discovery for the last time. This shuttle, which Space.com reports is the oldest of NASA’s remaining orbiters, will be put on display at Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia.
Lots more pictures, inside and out, here.
New York Times Health Guide “The New York Times presents a comprehensive library of medical topics, including in-depth articles on diseases, conditions, tests, symptoms, injuries and surgeries. The encyclopedic reference is frequently updated and reviewed by doctors, medical writers and editors. Within the guide are extensive links to The Times’s own archive of news and features.”
Poor Kids Need More Playtime
While suburban parents are often criticized for “overscheduling” their children and leaving them little time for unstructured play, which experts believe benefits both physical and mental development, it turns out that kids from poor urban neighborhoods are getting shortchanged when it comes to playtime as well. Instead of formal lessons and classes getting in the way of their unstructured playtime, poor kids face a combination of other limiting factors, such as a lack of safe places to play, parents who work long hours, and schools that are replacing recess and physical education with more classroom time in efforts to improve students’ academic performance. More …
With no fear, no ropes, and no margin for error, Alex Honnold climbs mountains higher than the Empire State Building. A single mistake means certain death.
Watching Alex move spider-like up a sheer mountain face – with only his fingertips and toes keeping him from falling a thousand feet or more — is terrifying, even for some of our bravest reporters: 60 Minutes correspondent Lara Logan and producer Jeff Newton.
Lara and Jeff have been reporting from inside the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq for a decade, yet they were still awestruck and at times terrified as they watched the 26-year-old Honnold scale “Sentinel” in Yosemite National Park, a climb captured on tape for their “60 Minutes” segment this week: “Alone on the Wall”
Watch Lara Logan’s full “60 Minutes” report on Alex Honnold here
Alex Honnold tells Lara Logan that he is at peace thousands of feet off the ground, but how do you find cameramen who feel the same way and thus can take on a “60 Minutes” assignment to film Alex’s ascent?
Producer Newton, a climber himself, contacted Peter Mortimer of Sender Films, who had already shot Alex for his an award-winning film about the young climber. Jeff and Peter assembled a dream team of photographers and riggers, who spent two days assembling an elaborate system of ropes and pulleys so they could film the climb.
As you’ll see in our Overtime piece “Filming Mountain Climber Alex Honnold,” the cameramen were suspended thousands of feet above the Yosemite Valley floor. They were instructed that during Alex’s ascent, they were not to change their positions on the wall until Alex passed them. If they dislodged a rock or distracted him, he could have fall to his death.
In addition to the rock climbing cameramen, Jeff brought in almost a dozen other cameras – some in fixed position on the rock, some on the valley floor, and some on the top of the mountain. There was even one attached to Alex, but as you’ll see in producer David Rubin’s Overtime piece this week, Alex didn’t have much patience with it.
Watch Overtime’s “Dude: The quirky world of Alex Honnold” here
If you want others to follow, learn to be alone with your thoughts
By William Deresiewicz
The lecture below was delivered to the plebe class at the United States Military Academy at West Point in October 2009.
My title must seem like a contradiction. What can solitude have to do with leadership? Solitude means being alone, and leadership necessitates the presence of others—the people you’re leading. When we think about leadership in American history we are likely to think of Washington, at the head of an army, or Lincoln, at the head of a nation, or King, at the head of a movement—people with multitudes behind them, looking to them for direction. And when we think of solitude, we are apt to think of Thoreau, a man alone in the woods, keeping a journal and communing with nature in silence.
Leadership is what you are here to learn—the qualities of character and mind that will make you fit to command a platoon, and beyond that, perhaps, a company, a battalion, or, if you leave the military, a corporation, a foundation, a department of government. Solitude is what you have the least of here, especially as plebes. You don’t even have privacy, the opportunity simply to be physically alone, never mind solitude, the ability to be alone with your thoughts. And yet I submit to you that solitude is one of the most important necessities of true leadership. This lecture will be an attempt to explain why.
This picture is from 1913, and shows a farmstead near Corsicana, Texas. The family is a sharecropping family growing cotton. In 1913, the family produced 20 bales of cotton, and everyone in the family worked to make it happen.
More than 50 percent of the world’s population now live in cities – and there is no end of urbanization in sight. As opposed to the conventional wisdom, Harvard economist Edward Glaeser believes urbanization to be a solution to many unanswered problems, such as pollution, depression and a lack of creativity. He spoke with Lars Mensel about these many advantages.
The European: As an economist, you have a very pragmatic approach to cities. Let’s begin with one of your thoughts: Cities help preserve the environment precisely because they keep people away from it.
Glaeser: That is right. It is somewhat counterintuitive but all that is leafy is not necessarily green – living around trees and living in low density areas may end being actually quite harmful for the environment, whereas living in high-rise buildings and urban core may end up being quite kind to the environment. Together with with Matthew Kahn of UCLA we looked at carbon emissions from home and transport energy use and found very significant differences, even when holding incumbent family size constant between low density and urban living.
The basic point is that people who live in densities are much less likely to drive long distances than people who live in lower densities. And people who live in urban apartments all typically use less electricity at home and less energy at home heating than people who live in larger suburban or rural homes. A single family detached house uses on average 83% more electricity than urban apartments do within the United States.
The European: So, just by living closely together, people conserve energy?
The secret life of J Edgar Hoover | Film | The Observer
For half a century, the FBI director waged war on homosexuals, black people and communists. Now, a controversial film by Clint Eastwood is set to reveal some of the explosive truth about him. Here, his biographer Anthony Summers tells all
J Edgar Hoover was a phenomenon. The first Director of the FBI, he remained in office for 48 years, from his appointment after the First World War to his death in 1972, achieving fame and extraordinary power. For public consumption when he died, President Richard Nixon eulogised him as: “One of the giants… a national symbol of courage, patriotism and granite-like honesty and integrity.” He ordered flags to fly at half-mast and that Hoover’s body lie in state in the Capitol.
In private, on hearing that he had died, Nixon had responded merely: “Jesus Christ! That old cocksucker!” Months earlier, closeted with key advisers, he had held forth on the need to persuade the elderly Hoover to resign. “We have on our hands here a man who will pull down the temple with him, including me.”
Nixon, soon to be disgraced and forced to resign, was of course himself no paragon. Most presidents before him, though, had had cause to fear Hoover or been troubled by what his FBI had become. Harry S Truman wrote during his presidency: “We want no Gestapo or secret police. FBI is tending in that direction. They are dabbling in sex-life scandals and plain blackmail… Edgar Hoover would give his right eye to take over, and all congressmen and senators are afraid of him.”
(Editor’s Note: Any decent coverage of Anonymous is going to verge on some NSFW material at points. There will be questionable language and strange imagery.)
Part Two of a Three-Part Series Examining the History of Anonymous. Part One.
In the beginning, there were lulz, pranks and a culture of trolling just to get a rise out of anyone. But despite many original Anons best efforts, Anonymous has grown up to become the net’s immune system, striking back whenever the hive mind perceived that the institutions that run the world crossed the line into hypocrisy.
The fall and winter of 2010 started a pattern that persists; when the use of power gets suspect, people join Anonymous. But this immune response changed Anonymous as well. The lulz had to make room for righteous indignation, and not even a pretend indignation.
The voice of the hive mind, though still computer-generated, had changed its tone.
At the close of 2011, Anonymous Antisec members spent their holidays hacking companies connected to the federal government and exposing internal data as part of their Lulzxmas campaign. Antisec, who have emerged as the blackhat shock troops of Anonymous, going after police organizations and corporations such as Monsanto and Sony, represent a new, more forceful voice in internet politics.
It’s the culmination of a trend. Anonymous has gone from rickrolling the internet and mass-producing lolcats to hacking governments and corporations as a way to take on the systems that run the world, through means legal and illegal.
One participant in the collective, who joined in late 2010, didn’t have the lulz in mind at all.
The almost perfectly complete fossil of a young theropod dinosaur – including some preserved hair and skin* (see update below) – was unveiled yesterday by scientists from the Bavarian paleontological and geological collections (BSPG) in Munich, Germany. BSPG conservator Oliver Rauhut described it as the best preserved dinosaur skeleton to have ever been found in Europe.
Darren Naish, palaeontologist at the University of Southampton, says the fossil is “incredible”. Rauhut says that fossils of theropod dinosaurs, which include the genus Tyrannosaurus, are rare and usually fragmented. “The best-preserved Tyrannosaurus we have are about 80 percent preserved, and that is already terrific,” he says. The new fossil is around 98% intact.
The dinosaur died around 135 million years ago at a site near the present town of Kelheim in the southern German state of Bavaria. Rauhut and his team of palaeontologists think it was no more than a year old.
Naish hopes that the bone preservation in the fossil is as outstanding as it looks in the publically-released photo, because this might help scientists piece together the phylogeny of theropod species. No data is available on the fossil yet, so Naish can only speculate, but he says the dinosaur seems to have proportionally shorter legs, and a longer tail, than have been seen in other similar theropods. Particularly tantalising is the question of whether these differences are attributable to the dinosaur being a juvenile, or if it might be an example of a new species.