Tag Archive | space

The First Man Ever In Space, Yuri Gagarin, Was Born This Day In 1934.

by Anura Guruge



I got to meet him when he visited Ceylon
(now Sri Lanka) in 1961.

I was 7 years old. But, of course, knew who he was.

I got to shake his hand.

To this day, I consider this one of the highlights of my rather uneventful life.


Wikipedia entry. Click to ENLARGE and read here. Link: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yuri_Gagarin


Related Posts:
Check Category ‘Events’.


by Anura Guruge

This Day, 56-Years Ago, Yuri Gagarin Became The First Human EVER To Enter Space (And Orbit The Earth To Boot)!

by Anura Guruge





I got to meet him when he visited Ceylon
(now Sri Lanka) in 1961.

I was 7 years old. But, of course, knew who he was.

I got to shake his hand.

To this day, I consider this one of the highlights of my rather uneventful life.


Yes, we commemorated his birthday which was on March 9 (1934).

So he went to space 34-days after his 27th birthday.

He died, tragically, when he was 34.


Wikipedia entry. Click to ENLARGE and read here. Link: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yuri_Gagarin


Related Posts:
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by Anura Guruge

Yuri Gagarin, The First Man Ever In Space, Was Born Today, 83-Years Ago — March 9, 1934.

by Anura Guruge



I got to meet him when he visited Ceylon
(now Sri Lanka) in 1961.

I was 7 years old. But, of course, knew who he was.

I got to shake his hand.

To this day, I consider this one of the highlights of my rather uneventful life.


Wikipedia entry. Click to ENLARGE and read here. Link: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yuri_Gagarin


Related Posts:
++++ Check Category ‘Events’ for other related posts >>>>


by Anura Guruge

Think – Today: Is The Appreciation Of Music Universal?

by Anura Guruge


thinktodaybanner


music-notes-clip-art-music-the-way-of-love-blogDoes appreciation of music cross cultures, go across borders? In other words is the music of Beethoven or the Beatles universal or specific to certain cultures (or societies)?


Think first, then research, then THINK again. Think for the pleasure of thinking.


Yesterday’s ‘Think’: Yesterday, on October 26, 2016 there were 8 people in space, 6 on the ‘International Space Station’ (ISS) and 2 on the newly launched Chinese ‘Space Station’ (Mk II). Typically over the last two decades, that to the popularity of the space stations and the Shuttle there has been at least 2 people in space most of the time. On March 14, 1995, there were a total of 13 people in space at the same time.


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by Anura Guruge

Think – Today: How Many People Are Up In Space Right Now?

by Anura Guruge


thinktodaybanner

spacemanHave you ever stopped to think how many people may be up in space (in spacecrafts, space stations or space walking) at any given moment?


Think first, then research, then THINK again. Think for the pleasure of thinking.


Yesterday’s ‘Think’: ‘Peshmerga‘ military forces of the Iraqi Kurds (from the Kurdistan region).


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by Anura Guruge

Novotel Times Square, New York — Good, BUT Poor Room Design Choices.

by Anura Guruge


Click any & all pictures to ENLARGE.

Attribution WILL be enforced.

You can’t beat the location. Just a couple of blocks north of Times Square. [The hotel is to the top left, if you haven’t spotted the vertical sign as yet.]

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You can’t beat the view either. This was our views from a “Time Square View” room on the 31st floor.

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This is what I could see, from our window, with my Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 at 400mm zoom.

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At 800mm zoom it was just like being down there with ‘them’.


We spent 3 days in New York City, prior to 2016 New Year’s Eve, staying (2 nights) at the Novotel Times Square Hotel. I booked and paid for a ‘Times Square View‘ room with 2 Queens. When we visit New York City the kids and I like a room with a ‘Times Square View’ (notwithstanding the higher cost). Deanna always says that it is a waste of money but then again always agrees that the view is ‘wonderful’ once we get to the room. In previous visits we had stayed at the Marriott and DoubleTree, both in Times Square. Having lived in Paris and with my adoptive parents having lived there from 1978 to 1992, I was no stranger to Novotel. I first stayed in a Novotel, as it happened in Paris, in 1983 when I was over there to do a seminar and my adoptive parents were in Sri Lanka.

Overall the Novotel Times Square is a great experience, modern, bright, very-hip and airy — with exceptionally friendly and helpful staff.

We could not complain about our Times Square VIEW from the room they gave us on the 31st floor (two floors from the top, in that it has 33 floors). Moreover, they gave us this room at 11:30 am when we turned up (with our baggage) though the nominal check-in is slated at 3pm. We fully expected to check-in our baggage and come back later for a room. Not so. VERY FRIENDLY. Very nice. They saw the kids. They chatted with the kids. They gave us a room on the 31st floor. Cool.

So overall NOT bad at all. We would stay there again.

The PROS
1. Great location. 3 blocks max. from Times Square and easy access to Radio City and Rockefeller Center. There is, furthermore, a McDonald’s and (discount) convenience store on the same block — which is great when you are travelling with kids.

2. The view from our “Times Square View” room definitely was of Times Square, and from the 31st floor it was quite spectacular. The view of the Hudson from the windows by the elevator was also cool.

3. Friendly, helpful and ever cheerful staff, some of them French and others that could speak French, which meant that there was a French flavor that permeated the lobby area because you would invariably hear French being spoken or that unmistakable French accent.

4. Very compelling, very modern lobby/bar/restaurant area.

5. Very fine breakfast buffet, with hot American fare and a delectable selection of European cold cuts and cheese. (Also see below.)

The CONS
1. No coffee maker (let alone a microwave) in the room. [Luckily the girls agreed that they could go and get us coffee from McDonald’s. That worked out well.]

2. The room, with two queens, was small, not cramped BUT with four of us you felt that you had to hunch your shoulders to make yourself small.

3. The lighting bathroom — from BUT one ‘low energy’ light frame around the bathroom mirror — was woeful and TOTALLY inadequate. See picture in gallery below. You can’t miss it. This was beyond a joke. It was DARK in the bathroom. You were constantly reaching out to see if there was another light switch. This was stupid.

4. The Wi-Fi was adequate BUT each time you signed-in (which was quite often) they tried, hard, to sell you an upgrade for $15/day. When I am paying $500/night for a room it kind of feels insulting to be asked to pay more to get better Wi-Fi.

5. Lobby is NOT on street level and one cannot get from room to street WITHOUT changing elevators. The Lobby is effectively 7 floors up from the street. 2 slow elevators Lobby <-> street. There were lines for these 2 elevators. To get to the stairs, you had to go OUTSIDE (in the rain) — and they were service/emergency stairs, badly maintained. That was a hassle (though I took the stairs, for the exercise, a few times).

6. Paucity of drawers, especially by the beds! Yes, very modern shelves BUT no drawers and what was infuriating was that there was clearly plenty of space, below the shelves, to fit in some nice, useful drawers. I like to have a drawer by my bed to put my wallet, glasses etc. That was again stupid. See the gallery below to see what I mean.

7. The breakfast buffet as mentioned above was very good, but at nearly $29 per adult (before tip) is expensive THOUGH the kids (under 16) eat FREE made it worthwhile for us (with our 2).

8. $1 an item check-in fee for baggage. Not unreasonable and I normally give this as a tip anyway, BUT seems ‘cheap’ to ask guests to pay this just after they have paid $1,300+ for a 2 night stay.


Click to ENLARGE.

Inside the room.


The Hotel.


More views from the room.


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by Anura Guruge

First Clear Images Of Pluto (& Charon) Ever — Thanks To NASA’s ‘New Horizons’ Space Probe.

.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
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by Anura Guruge

 


Related Posts:
>> Next ‘Blood Red’ on April 4, 2015.
>>
Not looking good for New Hampshire.

>> October 8, 2014 lunar eclipse.

>> Oct. 17 astronomy presentation in Alton.

**** Check CATEGORY ‘Astronomy’ for other posts >>>>


plutocharon

Click to ENLARGE and ENJOY here. From NASA. Use link below to access NASA pages.

Click here to access the NASA pages with this and other images.


In 2010 – 2011 when I was writing “Devanee’s Book of Dwarf Planets“, which covers Pluto (now a dwarf) and its largest moon Charon (40% of Pluto’s size) in great detail, I was both frustrated and amazed that ‘we’, i.e., NASA and others, just did NOT have any high quality images of Pluto — let alone Charon. They were TOO SMALL and too far away. The size was the problem. If they were bigger the distance would not have been as much of an issue.

plutobook1

From the book. Click on above book COVER image for more details.

But now thanks to ‘New Horizons‘, which is also talked about quite a bit in that book, we finally have some nice pictures of Pluto and Charon. WOW. We are indeed lucky to live in interesting times.


Inspirational, Multi-Image Google Doodle For U.S. Astronaut Sally Ride’s 64th Birth Anniversary.

eurovision2015gdAnura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail.
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by Anura Guruge


Last Google Doodles:
>> 2015 Eurovision Final.
>> Inge (‘Inner Core’) Lehmann’s 127th.

**** Check Category ‘Google Doodle‘ (in sidebar) for other Doodles >>>>


Click images to access the Google Doodles.

Permanent access, independent of date,
provided via the Google Doodle Archive.


I have to confess that I was puzzled when I saw this Google Doodle. What went through my mind was: “Wow. I did not KNOW that Google did Doodles for living people … and IF they made an exception for Sally Ride that is NEAT”.

It had somehow ESCAPED me that she had died in 2012! Sorry. I had actually written about her in 2013. But lets PLEASE get one thing clear. Sally Ride, as I talked about in my 2013 post, was NOT the 1st woman in space. Not even close.

Use links above to access complete Google write-up.


Click to access Wikipedia bio.


This Google should have been shown WORLDWIDE.
Why no U.K.? Does NOT make sense.


Why They Changed The 1st Grade Seating In Alton Central School (ACS), NH.

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
Unusual Seating Arrangement For 1st Grade Kids At Alton Central School (ACS), NHAugust 29, 2012.
They Changed The Seating In Alton Central School (ACS), NH, 1st Grade Kids At. Yippie! — Sept. 7, 2012.

 

When Teischan got back from school on Friday I asked her why the teacher had changed the seating arrangement.

Her words: “The kids were fighting … but I wasn’t one of them“. (Yep, she is our ‘angel’ — at school, making up for it, manifold and with vengence, at home.)

Just totally cracked me up. Fancy that. Wow.

As you can see if you look at my last post I was savvy enough not to take credit for this change, though two people told me that it must have been the result of my original post.

I was thinking about this. I need to check with a psychologist, maybe my daughter who will have a Master’s in Forensic Psychology in a few months. There must be a deep down, visceral territorial instinct that we all have that makes us at a minimum ‘restless’ when we are deprived of private space over long periods of time.

So, I have two questions.

1/ As far as I know all teachers, these days, have to have a teaching degree. Don’t they teach them anything about child psychology and even more importantly the basic ‘ABCs’ of classroom setup?

2/ As far as I know and can see, ACS has lot of administrative staff starting with the Superintendent. Didn’t any of them, especially the Principal and Assistant Principal, do a walk through of all the classrooms and have a chat with the teachers about the layout. OK, it is possible that they didn’t appreciate that having 6-year olds, face-to-face, with their noses 44″ apart probably might lead to conflict and disorder. I guess you live and learn.

I am just glad that this got done well before the flu season.

They Changed The Seating In Alton Central School (ACS), NH, 1st Grade Kids At. Yippie!

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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by Anura Guruge


Related post:
Unusual Seating Arrangement For 1st Grade Kids At Alton Central School (ACS), NHAugust 29, 2012.

Deanna, who takes Teischan to school every morning, came back this morning with the exciting, and very exciting news, that the desks have been rearranged; Teischan and her both doing a double-take when they saw it.

The kids are no longer seated nose-to-nose, 44″ apart. Hooray! Hooray!

They have gone to what I consider the more traditional row-based seating, with kids seating behind others (other than the ‘lucky’, chosen few at the very front). I guess for space reasons the kids are still sitting elbow-to-elbow with no separation of the desks in each row. I can live with that though I am sure a little separation might help. I am sure that ACS educators will tell me that this row-based seating is not good for the kids and that they will grow up with complexes all stemming from them staring at the back of somebody else’s head in 1st grade. So be it. C’est la vie. In NH with fall and winter soon upon us I would rather get them through 1st grade without missing too many days due to colds, coughs, low grade fever and the flu! It is all a compromise.

I will not take credit for making this change happen. Yes, my post got read by quite a few (the popularity of this blog, new to me, steadily increasing now that I have started to post more often). I am not sure whether anybody from or at ACS read it. We did not bring it to their attention. I already have a sterling reputation with them for being a troublemaker — just because I get a tad upset about bullying, a science teacher teaching the kids incorrect facts, a superintendent that thinks controversy trumps facts, or them hiring a math ‘consultant’ who is all anecdotes and no arithmetic. C’est la vie.

Somebody from Canada, who claims to be important, took umbrage to my ‘unusual seating’ post and told me, rather unpleasantly, to stop complaining and that I should be thankful that I have public schooling! Well, to me that explains why I REFUSE even to visit Canada these days — though I have to confess that I have been to Canada at least 25 times (and I have cousins and at least one alter ego who live in that frozen tundra). They have such low expectations. Well, this is NOT Canada, and oh boy am I so thankful for that. This is the U. S. of A. We strive to go forward and upward.

I am happy. I am GLAD for the kids and the other parents.

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