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.