Monthly Archives: July 2010

Social Media = Connectivity

I’m continually amazed by social media and how it can connect people across the globe. Today, I had a couple of experiences which showed me just how connected the world is.

In May, I attended a NASA Tweetup at Johnson Space Center in Houston during STS-132, which was an amazing experience.  During our Q&A with Astronaut Jeff Williams (@Astro_jeff), who has spent almost a year on the ISS, one of my fellow tweeps attending the event (@KateKligman) asked one of the best questions put to an astronaut that I’ve ever heard. She asked, “What SciFi invention would you like to have had with you during your time on the ISS?” Jeff’s answer was, “Beam me home for the weekend, Scotty.” Since then, that question has rattled around my head.

NASA held tweetup today (on its 58th birthday) in Washington, D.C. Astronaut TJ Creamer (@astro_tj) attended and gave a great presentation. Incidentally, I was watching the tweetup on my iPhone via a live stream. During the Q&A, Kate’s question popped into my head and I wanted to get it asked to TJ. So, I sent an Twitter DM to Beth Beck (@bethbeck) who was one of our NASA hosts at JSC asking her if she would ask the question for me. She did and TJ’s response, after telling us his impressive SciFi credentials was a Star-Trek like communicator.

So,using my cell phone, I was watching an event that was taking place 3000 miles away and was able ta ask a question and hear the response. How awesome is that?

This evening, I was watching Spacevidcast during an interview with James Dewar, who just wrote a book about the US Nuclear space program and how it could be applied today. I had a question (whether the radiation from a nuclear spacecraft would interfere with communication) and posted it in the chat room, several other people indicated they thought it was a good question, and the hosts put it to Mr. Dewar. He rephrased my question much more elegantly than I put it in the first place and answered it. It was awesome…

Why do I mention these experiences? Because they would not have been possible without social media and the internet. It’s a chain link effect, which I won’t  list out here, but without social media I wouldn’t have event know about either the tweetup or spacevidcast.

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Declaration of Independence Quiz

As Independence Day is approaching, I wanted to post my Declaration of Independence quiz. This is a quiz about the document and its signers and does contain a trick question or two. Email or DM me with your answers. I will post answers here on Independence Day!

1. According to the Declaration of Independence, from where do just governments derive their power?

a. Divine Providence

b. Consent of the Governed

c. The will of God

d. None of the above

2. According to the Declaration of Independence, what does prudence dictate?

a. that the rights of the people my not be usurped

b. that taxation without representation violates the rights of man

c. that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes.

3. Which of these is not among the facts submitted in the Declaration of Independence to a candid world?

a. He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

b. He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.

c. He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies without the consent of our legislatures.

d. He has, without consultation with representative houses, imposed taxes upon the people of these states.

4. According to the Declaration of Independence, what have the people of the United States done “in every stage of these oppressions?”

a. Petitioned for redress in most humble terms

b. Obeyed oppressive orders for the good of the people.

c. Respectfully submitted protests of his actions

5. The authors of the Declaration of Independence state that they have tried to gain the support of the “British Brethren” by doing all of the following, except:

a. Warning them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us.

b. Reminding them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here

c. Stating facts about the crimes committed against them.

d. Appealing to their native justice and magnanimity.

6. In whose name and authority do the authors of the Declaration of Independence declare independence on behalf of?

a. “The good people of these colonies”

b. “The people of the United States”

c. “all those living in these thirteen united colonies.”

d. “The thirteen colonies of the United States”

7. The signers pledge which of the following to support the Declaration of Independence.

a. “Our will, our strength, and our courage.”

b. “Our treasury, our will, and our lives.”

c. “Our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”

8. Josiah Bartlett was the name of which of the following?

a. President of the United States in a TV Series.

d. The secretary of the first Continental Congress.

c. A signer of the Declaration of Independence

d. A & C

9. Among the following figures, which did not sign the Declaration of Independence?

a. Thomas Jefferson

b. Benjamin Franklin

c. John Adams

d. George Washington

10. Which of the following rights are guaranteed by the Declaration of Independence?

a. Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Assembly, the Right to Bear Arms

b. Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

c. Representative Government, Trial by Jury, and Bail.

d. None of the above.

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Alexander Hamilton

Last year, a friend of mine sent me a link to a video from the White House Poetry Jam  held in May of 2009. The video was of a performer named Lin–Michael Miranda performing “The Alexander Hamilton Mixtape.” The way Mr. Miranda tells Mr. Hamilton’s story is unlike anything I’ve ever head before. It’s a reminder of what people can accomplish, no matter their background or obstacles they face.

As Independence Day approaches, this video is worth a watch.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/photos-and-video/video/lin-manuel-miranda-performs-white-house-poetry-jam-8-8?v=accessibility

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