EppsNet Archive: NASA

Teaching Computer Science: Say Your Ideas Out Loud

[I learned about Scary Ideas from Jim and Michele McCarthy — PE] I’m volunteering a couple mornings a week in a high school computer science class . . . “The main thing I wanted to tell you is that you’ve got to say your ideas out loud . . . “A scary idea is not an idea that’s going to scare people when they hear it, it’s an idea that you don’t want to say because you’re afraid of how people will react to it. Maybe they’ll think you’re crazy. “Here’s a couple examples of scary ideas. “You recognize the speaker in this video?” Everyone does. “Ok, let’s see what he has to say.” I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth. “Keep in mind that he’s… Read more →

10 Reasons Why Failure is Good, Except When It’s Bad

Once upon a time there was a startup, and the president of this startup, like a lot of people in the early part of the 21st century, celebrated failure — as a learning tool and as a precursor to success. He encouraged employees to celebrate failures on the company Slack channel, using the hashtag #fail. Legend has it that the president called one employee on the carpet for suggesting on the Slack channel that it doesn’t make sense to celebrate failure without factoring in the cost of failure. That is simply a truism, is it not? Obviously the value of failure can be swamped out by the cost, e.g., Blew up 7 astronauts but learned that O-rings don’t function in sub-freezing temperatures. #fail You can think of other examples yourself. You can probably also think of people and/or companies for whom failure was merely a precursor to more failure. Working… Read more →

Overheard at NASA

“This is not rocket science . . . wait, yes it is!” Read more →

Neil Armstrong, 1930-2012

Neil Armstrong photographed by Buzz Aldrin after the completion of the Lunar EVA on the Apollo 11 flight (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Astronaut Neil Armstrong, first man to walk on moon, dies at age 82 – Cosmic Log I’m sorry to hear this. For people my age, NASA and the space program were such an important part of our childhood. We’d wake up any hour of the day or night to watch launches and splashdowns. Astronauts were as famous as pro athletes and rock stars . . .actually, they were more famous than athletes. Being a pro athlete in the 1960s wasn’t what it is today. It would be nice if I could let this go without mentioning that Armstrong was a graduate of the University of Southern California, but I can’t. R.I.P. Neil Armstrong Read more →

Action is Eloquence

Action is eloquence. — Shakespeare, Coriolanus Vicious, despicable, or thoroughly disliked persons, gentlemen, and ladies can be project managers. Lost souls, procrastinators, and wishy-washies cannot. — Jerry Madden, “One Hundred Rules for NASA Project Managers” You can have a lot of bad qualities and still be an effective project manager, but you can’t be indecisive. Work out your personal insecurities on your own time. Make a decision. Move on to the next problem. Thus spoke The Programmer. Read more →