This is the latest round of Quotes from My Journal, representing the middle third-or-so of my Leuchtturm 1917 journal. As always, I found them are either somewhat inspiring, amusing, or simply make me smile.
“There’s a power in looking silly and not caring that you do.”–Amy Poehler
“Educating yourself does not mean that you were stupid in the first place; it means that you are intelligent enough to know that there is plenty left to learn.”–Melanie Joy
“Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t.”–Bill Nye
“The illiterate of the twenty-first century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”–Alvin Toffler
“If someone offers you an amazing opportunity and you’re not sure you can do it, say yes–then learn how to do it later.”–Richard Branson
“In the astronaut business, we have a saying, which is ‘there is no problem so big that you can’t make it worse.'”–Chris Hadfield
“The best teachers are the ones who show you where to look, but don’t tell you want to see.”–Alexander K. Trenfor
“During the house-hunting process, I’d often say ‘I have cats’ to lettings agents, yet it’d feel like I’d said ‘I own a large, volatile dragon who likes to party.'”–Tom Cox
“In science, it often happens that scientists say, ‘you know, that’s a really good argument; my position is mistaken,’ and then they actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn’t happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful, but it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion.”–Carl Sagan
“Anti-intellectualism has been a constant threat winding its way through our poltical and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'”–Isaac Asimov
“Defending wildlife is not an act of charity. It is an act of justice.”–Dr. Paula Kahumbu
“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.”–Tony Robbins
“Animals can teach us many things; for example, feral cats taught me that size is a poor measure of ferocity.”–Brian Rathbone
“If I were giving a young man [or woman] advice as to how he might succeed in life, I would say to him, pick out a good father and mother, and begin life in Ohio.”–Wilbur Wright
“It’s amazing what you can learn when you know you have to.”–Coworker
Labor Day weekend brings the Cincinnati Zoo cheetah run. My wife did the 5K for the second year, this time with my daughter doing a good chunk of it with her.
I’m quite impressed with their running. I only run if something is chasing me (or I’m late for the bus).
After the run, we decided to walk around the zoo. Remember Gladys, the orphaned baby gorilla? She’s getting bigger.
But she’s no longer the baby! Asha was born this year. I’m sure when she gets bigger, she’ll be a great playmate for Gladys.
We stopped to say “hi” to Renji and Nubo. Renji was wondering what was with all the smelly(-er-than-usual) people.
Nubo just set about making sure his paws were clean.
Inside, I got some good pictures of the black-footed cats. They were quite active that morning.
The sand cat took a great leap!
The caracal’s enclosure was quite fogged over that morning, creating a cloudy view. However, she just looked so cute, I had to take get the best shot I could of her.
Dobby the pygmy owl saw us out.
We had a great morning! The Cheetah Run is a wonderful fundraiser for one of the best zoos in the country!
The Nation Air and Space Museum on the Mall, as I noted, is a bit landlocked, and too small for many aircraft in the Smithsonian’s collection. To accommodate the larger vehicles in their collection, the Udvar-Hazy center opened in 2003 as an expansion to the center. There collection has expanded into this new space. I got to spend a brief time there once on a business trip; on our family vacation, I got to explore the space more fully.
Perhaps my favorite vesical is an SR-71 Blackbird. It also happens to be my second favorite vehicle made of titanium.
I’ve loved the Blackbird family since I was a kid. I always appreciate the opportunity to see one, especially a record-setter.
When I was last here, they Space Shuttle Enterprise was the centerpiece of their collection. Since the retirement of the Shuttle fleet, it has been unfortunately moved to New York. The Enterpirse was used for the Approach and Landing Tests. It never went to space. In its place, the Space Shuttle Discovery was rolled in.
The Discovery has is the oldest of the remaining Space Shuttles, and the one with the most missions. It first flew in space in 1984, and completed the last of its thirty-nine missions in 2012.
I just walked around this vehicle several times, staring at it. I imagined myself at its controls so many times in my life.
I was sad to think the Shuttles are no longer flying, with nothing to replace them.
The Space Gallery had a number of other artifacts, including another film Nikon body modified as an early digital camera.
An early plan for the Gemini program was for the capsule to return not by splashing into the ocean (as it did), but under a paraglider.
A testbed capsule was towed behind a car, much like a kite.
A mock-up of the Pathfinder lander was there, along with the Sojourner, one of the first robotic rovers on Mars.
Several warplanes were in the main aircraft gallery. An F4U was hung dramatically by the entrance.
The P-40 was famous for the American Volunteer Group, the “Flying Tigers.”
The P-38 Lightening was designed by Kelly Johnson, who also designed some significant aircraft, including my beloved Blackbird.
The P-61 Black Widow was a World War Two era night fighter. My grandfather worked on the early RADAR carried in this craft.
A B-29, the Enola Gay, loomed large over the World War Two exhibit.
One of the first Soviet jet fighters was the MiG-15.
It was no match for the F-86 Saber, which ruled the skies during the Korean War.
The F-4 and MiG-21 were adversaries in the Vietnam War.
The A-6 Intruder served from the Vietnam to the First Gulf War.
The iconic UH-1 “Huey” represented rotary-wing aircraft of the Vietnam War.
The collection’s F-14 was involved in combat in the 1989 Gulf of Sidra incident, shooting down a MiG-23.
I found the collection of prototypes fascinating. The X-35 developed concepts that became the F-35 Lightening II. It is the first aircraft to take off and land vertically and break the sound barrier.
The XV-15 developed tilt-rotor aircraft to the point it could become a viable platform.
The Northrop N9MB demonstrated “flying wings.”
The 707 was the first US jetliner. It’s prototype is at Udvar-Hazy.
The supersonic Concord jetliner was there.
I had never seen one before. It is a gorgeous aircraft!
This Dassault Falcon 20 was FedEx’s first aircraft.
The Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer set the record for fastest unrefuled circumnavigation of the planet.
We spent hours admiring this collection–perhaps second only to the National Museum of the United States Air Force in terms of size, but with much more significant aircraft.
While in Washington, we wanted to check out the National Air and Space Museum (NASM). The NASM is home to a variety of historically significant aircraft. As air and space geeks, it was heaven.
We wanted to check out both sites, but started with the location on the Mall. Right when you walk in, you can see two spaceplanes. My personal favorite is the X-15.
This research craft was flown in the Sixties. Three were built. One crashed, and the other is at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. They set a number of records, and twice flew beyond the internationally recognized boundary into space (100 KM).
Across from the X-15 was the most recent spaceplane, SpaceShipOne. This was the first manned, non-government craft to enter space.
It was exciting to see something I followed make history among aircraft I read about in books, such as the X-1 (above), or The Spirit of Saint Louis.
Speaking of the X-1, the first aircraft to break the sound barrier was neat to see.
Nearby was another early supersonic research craft, the Douglas D-558-2 Skyrocket. It was the first aircraft to go twice the speed of sound.
On the floor was Columbia, the command module of Apollo XI.
The P-59 Airacomet was also in the entry gallery. This was the first American jet fighter. It was, however, an underperformer, and never saw combat.
The P-59 was replaced by the P-80 (later F-80) Shooting Star. During the Korean War, an F-80 won the first jet-to-jet engagement. The prototype was at the NASM.
Walking through the galleries, there is an impressive look at naval aviation. A number of aircraft from several years were represented, including an A-4.
I couldn’t get a good shot of the original Wright Flyer, but they did have one of the few remaining Wright bicycles on display.
A bicycle would later be the powerplant for the Gossamer Albatross.
This F-104 served as a chase plane for NASA, including the X-15 program.
The space gallery is dominated by a mock-up of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Program (ASTP).
They had a reentry module from a Soyuz–the only one I’ve ever seen.
I was amused by the markings on the capsule. “Man Inside! Help!”
The space gallery actually had an early digital SLR. It was a Nikon film body mated to a Kodak image processor, doubling the size of the camera. Good thing there is no gravity there.
A traveling exhibit of the photography of Spirit and Opportunity included a full-scale mockup.
It was great to see all the significant aircraft. The only downside of the NASM is that it is a bit landlocked, with no room to grow. As a consequence, there is a limit to the size and quantity of aircraft they can house. However, the next day, we would get to see the solution to that problem.
Ten years ago today, a friend talked me into doing a bike ride I twice swore I’d never do again. As it turns out, it was a good thing: it was on that ride I found Eddy! It’s hard to imagine life without that little cat.
Eddy is spending the day lounging, of course.
After the National Zoo, we went to the National Mall, to see the monuments. It was nearing dusk, what photographers refer to as the “Magic Hour.” We definitely could see it on the brand new Martin Luther King Memorial.
Across the Potomac, we could see the Jefferson Memorial.
We then walked to the main area, where we got to see the Washington Monument, and its reflecting pool.
As a bookend to the Martin Luther King Memorial, we went to the Lincoln Memorial, where King gave his most famous speech.
The last time I was there, I was alone at a training class for work. There was a group of Norwegian soldiers at the monument, whose group I somehow fell into their group. I asked if we were being invaded–just so I would have a head’s up. They assured me they were just tourists like me.
My daughter was inspired by my photography. She borrowed my GorillaPod to take her own pictures.
I think she did pretty good.
We walked by the Korean War monument on our way back to the car. It was spooky as we walked by.
The next day, we got to see a soccer game in front of the Capital Building.
It was a fun time walking around the Mall.
From Philadelphia, we went south to our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. Our first stop there was the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, otherwise known as the National Zoo. There were several animals we wanted to see, and was an amazing campus.
On entry, a prairie dog peeked up to greet us.
But, let’s face, it, I was there to see cats. The National Zoo did not disappoint. There were two sets of lion cubs, for a total of seven.
They were getting into everything!
…and on to everyone!
There dad is Luke, a very handsome dude.
If I’m reading this right, he’s the father of John, the new African lion at the Cincinnati zoo. Good looks clearly run in the family. And he knows it.
But, seven cubs can be exhausting!
There were also two tiger cubs and their mom. The cubs are right at a year old.
They like to stalk…
…have a drink…
…and, of course, take a nap. They are cats, after all.
I was excited to see a caracal, a cat they don’t have at very many zoos.
He was a bit shy.
The caracal decided to wander off. As a cat geek, I understood, even if I think I was one of the few who was most excited to see them.
As is often the case, the caracal was positioned near a bobcat.
We got to see a snoozing sand cat.
And a snoozing clouded leopard. Like I said, they’re cats; they sleep.
Another sleeping cat we saw was an old friend. Lek is a fishing cat, born in Cincinnati. I have pictures of him and his brothers as cubs.
This Queen City boy has fathered four cubs with Electra, a female.
We like cheetahs.
My daughter has also started taking photos at zoos, getting her own perspective on the animals.
There were seven Asian small clawed otter pups.
Some were busy constructing something.
I’m always amused at zoos when there are animal “tourists.” Usually it’s a squirrel or some birds. The elephants appeared to have a pet deer.
The keepers seemed to indicated this was an ongoing problem, but didn’t really pose a danger to either species.
Meet the Ruppell’s griffon vulture. While this one was hanging out on the ground, these are the highest-flying bird on the planet. They are typically cited as flying in the thin air at 20,000 feet, though there are records of them being as high as nearly 40,000 feet.
Lots of turtles on a log.
Degu are small rodents native to South America.
I’m becoming quite the fan of the burrowing owl.
We had a great day at the National Zoo, and walked over its great expanses.
I’ve been a bad blogger this month. I have a lot of pictures to sort through from our summer trip, plus I missed a few anniversaries. Hopefully, I’ll be able to catch up next month. The hodge-podge is going up as usual, however.
In Philly, we really liked The Franklin Fountain an old-school ice cream parlor.
Best still hasn’t mastered this whole “hiding” thing.
I started doing cyclocross.
While in Philadelphia, we made a point to see the Liberty Bell, becasue, well, it’s about as Philadelphia as eating your weight in pretzels. The site was next to Independence Hall.
Once you pass through (excessive) security, you walk through a few displasy of the history of the Bell, then the Liberty Bell itself.
I’m way behind on these posts. It will probably spill into September. We’ve had a lot going on, buch of it quite fun.
Our summer vacation took us eastward this year. Our first stop was Philadelphia. There, we checked out the Philadelphia Zoo, the nation’s oldest zoo. I was rather impressed by their animals, as well as the enrichment they were afforded.
One of the neatest bits of enrichment was Zoo360 Animal Exploration Trail, a series of enclosed paths for animals to meander. They had it for primates, but I first encountered some goats.
But the coolest was yet to come: Big Cat Crossing. This path allowed their lions, jaguars, leopard, cougars, and snow leopards to explore the zoo. When we were there, a pair of tiger brothers, born at the Columbus Zoo, were watching the crowds.
They really are handsome cats.
In the big cat area, we also got to see lions.
Maya, a female snow leopard was there with her two (older) cubs, Buck and Ranney. The cubs were quite active, pouncing and wrestling with each other.
Though her kids tried to get her into the mix, Mama Maya decided to stay above the fray.
Such a pretty snow leopard!
The tiger girls were in their enclosure, stalking.
One came right up to the glass I was crouching by to take pictures, and sprayed right next to me. At first I was disgusted, until my daughter pointed out by “marking” me, she was claiming me. I was…honored…really.
There were black-footed kittens!
Of course, they were all asleep. Still quite cute.
Was this one getting up?
Nope. Just shifting.
A Canadian lynx sat in the sun.
There was a cheetah nearby. A keeper gave a talk, discussing his encounters with different cheetahs who passed through his care. The cheetahs had a lure system, which the keeper seemed surprised was good enrichment for the worlds fastest mammal.
The series of tubes proves to be enrichment for homo saphiens, too.
My daughters new favorite animal is the red panda, which I’m a fan of, too.
Quite cute and fluffy!
Tony is a southern white rhino with a big horn!
Ever see a Galapagos tortoise cuddle puddle?
I liked watching the maned wolf. Such striking color.
Having obsessed over their pens lately, it was nice to see brown pelicans Crackle and Snap.
Overall, I really enjoyed the Philadelphia Zoo. It was a good size for walking around and spending a day, and they clearly cared a lot about their animals. And the animals seemed to enjoy each other.