Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.

8/23/2019

Astronaut Aptitude Test

Filed under: Fun,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:30 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Third Quarter Moon

Could you cut it as an astronaut?

Last month was the 50th anniversary of the Apollo Moon landing, which means that I’m about as old as our modern space program. Or, as I like to think of it, I’m a child of the space age. That seems much more palatable than being almost as old as NASA.
In any case, for the past month or so everyone has been talking about space and the Moon and possibly returning to the Moon on the way to Mars. All that got me thinking about how every kid’s dream was to be an astronaut when I was little. We all thought we’d somehow be able to go to space by now. And, I mean, everyone would be there, as regular as air travel is now, like they were in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Sadly, it takes a little bit more than just booking a ticket to get into space, and I probably wouldn’t have ever been eligible. But, in the spirit of dreams and our hopeful return to the Moon, this week, I’m sharing a link to The Astronaut Test, so you can see if you have “the right stuff” to qualify as an Astronaut Candidate. The questions are drawn from the actual, official NASA Astronaut Candidate requirements and tests.
Why not take the 15 question quiz and dream of the stars while you take a break from work?

This post originally appeared on Use Your Words!

3/23/2012

NASA Models

Filed under: Art,Fun — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:45 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

I love design from the 60’s.

I’m also, oddly enough, a fan of architectural models, too.
There’s something weirdly science-fictional about the conjunction of those two things, too, that I really enjoy.  The kind of retro-future that they were trying to manufacture in the 60’s is just so, well, so quaint.  It’s not that they’re actually what I think the future would look like, but there’s something appealing about them in any case.  Something about clean lines and the long, smooth, “swoopy” feel to so much of the design just makes me long for that future that never was and never can be.  It’s a shame, really, that most of that world never actually existed.
Well, the best of those designs, combined with the possibility of an actual future that, well, actually did happen can be found at this site; NASA’s Most Adorable Model Spaceships.
They really are adorable, and, yes, the very finest that conceptual artists could put together at the height of our national pride and the space race.  They’re fantastic examples of the actual design that, as it turns out, very well may have created our future.

Besides, it’s Friday and if you had something better to do, you wouldn’t be reading my post about twee models of actual spacecraft, so you might as well click that link and look at them!

3/16/2012

Nerdy Day Trips

Filed under: Fun,Life, the Universe, and Everything,On The Road,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:43 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Third Quarter Moon

Time to get out into the server room with the big, blue ceiling!

Spring is springing in my part of the world.  Flowers are in bloom and the weather is quite mellow and pleasant.  And, of course, I spend most of my week trapped in a server room. But, I don’t want to take a lot of time off to go do things, so that means I’m stuck doing things on the weekend.  That doesn’t give me a ton of options, but there are always day trips.  I live in Houston, so there are all kinds of things to do, but, frankly, I’m not all that into most mainstream venues.  I mean, sports bars are okay, but I’m not really into sports.  And, well, once you’ve seen most regular museums, you’ve pretty much seen them all.  So, what’s a professional geek to do on his time off?

That’s where I’m hoping Nerdy Day Trips will help.
So far, there aren’t a lot of trips described for the Houston area yet, but there are more and more getting added all the time.  Oh, they hit the biggies, like NASA and the Battleship Texas, but they also have the National Museum of Funeral History and the Alkek Velodrome, among others.  And, yes, I’ll admit, since most of my “extra” income goes to camera gear these days, I’m mostly thinking of photo opportunities, so the stranger the better, as far as I’m concerned.
So, while the weather is nice, go and take advantage of these strange opportunities.  And, if there are any that you know of which aren’t on the map, especially in the Houston area, please, add them in!

And,hey, try to get out into the world this weekend and away from the computer for a bit, okay?
You’ll thank me later!

2/11/2011

Try Making A Habitable Planet

Filed under: Fun,Garden of Unearthly Delights,Life, the Universe, and Everything — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:36 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

No, really, go ahead and try.

It’s not quite as easy as science-fiction would have you believe.  Honest.  Don’t believe me?  Then head over to Extreme Planet Makeover and try for yourself.
The folks at NASA have brought us a pretty challenging, little game; make a planet habitable.
On the surface, that seems fairly straight-forward, but that’s only because we over-simplify just how miraculous it is that this happened on our own planet.  There’s actually a pretty narrow margin by which life becomes possible and taking an existing planet and forcing it into that margin is way, way harder than fans of science-fiction, like me, generally want to believe it is.
Go ahead and try the game yourself.  I think you’ll find it an eye-opening experience.

We live on a paradoxically robust and delicate world.
This place has existed for millions of years and “modern” humans have existed for just a few hundred thousand years.  This magnificent ball of dirt and rock has seen more kinds of life come and go than we can even imagine.  We tend to think of ourselves and the world as it is right now as “life”, but I firmly believe that life, in some form, will continue on even if we do the unthinkable and foul our own dwelling place to the point that we, as a species, can no longer inhabit it.  The Earth will continue and, I think, life in some form will, as well.
Though, we may no longer be here to see it.

Well, in any case, take a minute and go play the “game” at their site.  You may be surprised at just how big a miracle life on Earth is!  Besides, it’s Friday, so what else are you going to do?

1/7/2011

Start the Year with Hope

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Art,Fun,Life, the Universe, and Everything — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:34 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

I have lots of hope for the new year.

No, seriously, I do!
We, as a race, the human race, are capable of amazing things.  We live in the future.  Our lives are filled with science-fiction, which has always been the language of wonder and hope, even when it’s filled with warnings about where we may go wrong.  But, now, right now, we have people who live, albeit in a limited way, in space.  And that, gentle readers, has always inspired hope in me.
Here’s a link to some beautiful photographs which inspire that hope in me, courtesy of NASA and brought to you via Yahoo: Astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson looks down at Earth.

I hope you have a new year filled with wonder and hope, people.  Truly I do.  Be good to each other this year, okay?


Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"Life lived for tomorrow will always be just a day away from being realized."
   --Leo Buscaglia


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