EppsNet Archive: Spaceflight

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 →

High Dropout Rates for STEM Majors is NOT a Problem

The University of Colorado has a $4.3 million grant to research the “problem” of 40 to 60 percent attrition rate among STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) majors. Someone is missing an obvious point here, which is that there should be a large dropout rate for STEM majors. Incompetent technologists and engineers create disasters. The music department, the English department, the philosophy department, etc., etc., can graduate their incompetent students without worrying that they’re going to build a collapsing bridge, blow up a space shuttle, disintegrate a Mars orbiter — you get the idea . . . 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 →