That Make It
Year Gamma: London: Friday:
February 02: 2018
First Published: September
Either Happens or Is Made:
When It is Not Made It
Happens Regardless in Which
We Become Mere Logs and Get
Washed Away in and by
Utterly Mechanical Forces of
Dehumanisation: When Made
Change is Created by Our
Conscious Choices, Efforts,
Initiatives and Works: In
the Former We Let Go Off Our
Humanity So That
and Dictates the Existence
of Our Sheer Physiologies:
But in the Later We Claim,
Mark and Create Our Humanity
as to the Change We Choose
to Make and Create It Onto
Reality: To Nurture, Foster,
Support, Sustain, Maintain,
Enhance, Expand, Empower and
Enrich the Very Humanity
That We Are: As
Individuals, As Families, As
Communities and As Societies
All of Which Now Exist in
the Fabrics of Time-Space of
What is Called Civic
Society: One That Exists by
Natural Justice and
Functions by the Rule of
Law: Ensuring Liberty and
Equality, Along with Purpose
and Meaning of Existence,
Exist in Each and Every Soul
Equally at All Times: The
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time.
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more; it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Measure for Measure
Could great men thunder
As Jove himself does? Jove would never be quiet,
For every pelting petty officer
Would use his heaven for thunder
Nothing but thunder. Merciful Heaven,
Thou rather, with thy sharp and sulphurous bolt,
Splits the unwedgeable and gnarled oak
Than the soft myrtle. But man, proud men,
Dress'd in little brief authority,
Most ignorant of what he's most assur'd
His glassy essence. like an angry ape,
Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven
As makes the angels weep; who, with our spleens,
Would all themselves laugh mortal.
As you like it but how yet much do you not make ado nor
Much do you speak for silence is emerald green as measure
Is for measure yet treasure do you not that what's only fools'
Gold as Othello speaks out Desdemona as Hamlet questions
Why seek not Richard the Third nor Lady Macbeth for Love's
Labours are never lost if you loved true if love splits your
As a lightning does the dark heavens in a stormy night and if
Ophelia-wonder you seek never keep a ledger but be love’s slate
Use not old coins or words but make
your own to say or do
Walk not the travelled paths nor climb easy mountains-tops
What’s worth of twelfth night's dreams unless you’ve dreamt
What would Juliet say
what would Romeo do for the lamp is lit
Of their soul that simply won't blow in the market you won't
Love to buy but live it in your soul as butterflies do lit and
Munayem Mayenin: In Celebration of William
Commander Eileen M Collins,
NASA's First Female Shuttle Commander, Approaches The International
Discovery was about 600 feet from the
International Space Station when Station Commander Sergei Krikalev
and Station NASA Science Officer and Flight Enginner John Phillips
took photos for about a minute and a half as Discovery Commander
Eileen Collins guided the spacecraft through the flip.
The Humanion Given the opportunity this is what
the young people are capable of doing. The Windsor Festival Youth
Creative Schools Competition 2015 has proved this. In Art: painting,
drawing, textiles, photography, sculpture, in Creative Writing:
poetry and prose, in music: instrumental and vocal young people have
taken part and shown what creative young minds can create. This page
celebrates the best of their efforts. The Humanion congratulates the
young people who have won and who have taken part and, thanks the
Windsor Festival for organising such a grand competition.
The Profile: Astronaut Scott Kelly to Retire in April
Scott Kelly just returned to Earth from ISS: Image: NASA
March 11, 2016:
Astronaut Scott Kelly to Retire from NASA in April this year.
NASA astronaut and one-year crew member Scott Kelly will retire from the agency,
effective April 1. Kelly joined the astronaut corps in 1996 and currently holds
the American record for most time spent in space.
After retiring, Kelly will continue to participate in the ongoing research
related to his one-year mission. He will provide periodic medical samples and
support other testing in much the same way that his twin brother, former
astronaut Mark Kelly, made himself available for NASA’s Twins Study during his
“This year-in-space mission was a profound challenge for all involved, and it
gave me a unique perspective and a lot of time to reflect on what my next step
should be on our continued journey to help further our capabilities in space and
on Earth,” Kelly said.
“My career with the Navy and NASA gave me an incredible chance to showcase
public service to which I am dedicated, and what we can accomplish on the big
challenges of our day. I am humbled and excited by new opportunities for me to
support and share the amazing work NASA is doing to help us travel farther into
the solar system and work with the next generation of science and technology
Kelly flew in space four times, beginning with space shuttle Discovery’s trip to
NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope on the STS-103 servicing mission in 1999. On his
second mission, STS-118, he crossed the threshold of the International Space
Station for the first time as commander of space shuttle Endeavour. He returned
to the station for a six-month stay in 2010, commanding Expedition 26.
A veteran of spaceflight, Kelly accepted the opportunity to participate in
NASA’s unprecedented yearlong space station mission, which aimed to expand the
boundaries of space exploration beyond low-Earth orbit through the collection of
critical data on how the human body responds to extended space missions. On this
mission, Kelly eclipsed two American space records.
“Records are meant to be broken,” Kelly said. “I am looking forward to when
these records in space are surpassed.”
Kelly broke the American record for most cumulative time in space during his
one-year mission, accruing 520 days.
“Scott’s contributions to NASA are too many to name,” said Brian Kelly, director
of Flight Operations at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.
“In his year aboard the space station, he took part in experiments that will
have far-reaching effects, helping us pave the way to putting humans on Mars and
benefiting life on Earth.
His passion for this work has helped give hundreds of thousands of people a
better understanding of what NASA does, thanks in part to the numerous photos
and updates he shared from space.
We appreciate his years of service and anticipate many benefits to come from
them, thanks to the research he’s supporting.”
'The First Lady' of The White House for Today IS: 106-year-old Virginia
Dance, Mr President and First Lady!
President Barack Obama watches First Lady Michelle Obama dance
with 106-year-old Virginia McLaurin in the Blue Room of the White House prior to
a reception celebrating African American History Month, Feb. 18, 2016. (Official
White House Photo by Pete Souza)
I thought I would never live to get in the White House. And I tell you, I am
so happy. A black president! A black wife! And I'm here to celebrate black
history. Yeah, that's what I'm here for: Virginia McLaurin
Writes Melanie Garunay, White House
February 22, 2016: Virginia McLaurin, 106 years old and a longtime
Washington, D.C. resident, had always dreamed of visiting the White House. Last
week, her dream came true in a big way.
Here's how Virginia McLaurin got to the White House:
A friend of Mrs. McLaurin’s reached out to the White House and shared that Mrs.
McLaurin has been doing stellar work as a volunteer throughout the D.C. area for
decades and would like to visit the White House.
So the White House made sure that she not only got to visit -- but also had the
chance, before the Black History Month reception, to meet privately with the
President and First Lady backstage. It was her dream to meet President Obama,
given his passion for investing in early childhood education and his
significance as the first African American President.
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet
106-year-old Virginia McLaurin during a photo line in the Blue Room of the White
House prior to a reception celebrating African American History Month, Feb. 18,
2016. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)
Virginia McLaurin is a Senior Corps volunteer at Roots Public Charter School as
part of the United Planning Organization’s Foster Grandparent Program, serving
as a foster grandparent and mentor to special-needs students. As a mentor, she
helps children with their reading and social skills.
Virginia has volunteered at C. Melvin Sharpe Health School for over 20 years,
serving 40 hours a week. She was introduced to the program by a friend from her
church who knew Virginia was interested in finding ways to make life better for
those in her community.
Mars Landing Pioneer
Elected to National Academy of Engineering
Adam Steltzner, a JPL engineer: NASA Image
Adam Steltzner, a JPL engineer who helped pioneer the breakthrough technique for
landing a one-ton rover on Mars, is being honored with admission into the
National Academy of Engineering.
Steltzner is recognized for development of the Mars Curiosity rover's entry,
descent and landing system and for contributions to control of parachute
Election to the academy is among the highest professional distinctions for an
engineer. Academy membership honors those who have made outstanding
contributions to "engineering research, practice, or education, including, where
appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature" and to
"the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major
advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/implementing
innovative approaches to engineering education."
The academy's president, C.D. (Dan) Mote Jr., announced the election of
Steltzner and 79 other new members and 22 foreign members. This brings the total
U.S. membership to 2,275 and the number of foreign members to 232.
Steltzner has worked on multiple NASA flight projects, including Galileo,
Cassini, Mars Pathfinder, and the Mars Exploration Rovers (Spirit and
Opportunity). The earlier rovers – Pathfinder's Sojourner, as well as Spirit and
Opportunity -- landed on Mars with the help of specially designed airbags. When
it was time to devise a way for the Mars Science Laboratory mission to land a
much larger, more complex rover, Curiosity, on the Red Planet, Steltzner was
selected as lead engineer of the mission's entry, descent and landing system. He
helped design, build and test the daring, innovative sky crane landing system
that successfully deposited Curiosity on Mars in August 2012.
The technology will also be used to land the Mars 2020 rover. Steltzner is
currently serving as chief engineer for the Mars 2020 Project, and is also
manager of the Planetary Entry, Descent and Landing and Small Body Access
Also elected into the National Academy of Engineering is Paul Dimotakis, who
served as JPL's chief technologist from 2006-2011. He is being recognized for
his contributions to the fluid mechanics of jet propulsion and other processes
involving turbulence, mixing and transport.
The newly elected class will be formally inducted during a ceremony at the
academy's annual meeting in Washington on October 9.
Eileen M Collins --
NASA's First Female Shuttle Commander to Lead Next Shuttle
Feb. 3, 1995,
Astronaut Eileen Collins at the Pilot's Station
on Shuttle Discovery
Commander Eileen M Collins: NASA Image
In this Feb. 3, 1995, image taken onboard space shuttle Discovery on flight day
one of the STS-63 mission, astronaut Eileen M. Collins -- the first woman to
pilot the shuttle -- is at the pilot's station during a "hotfiring" procedure
prior to rendezvous with the Russian Mir Space Station.
The successful rendezvous without docking brought Discovery to
within 37 feet of the Mir; these flights through the Shuttle-Mir Program
prepared the way for the International Space Station. Others onboard Discovery
were astronauts James D. Wetherbee, mission commander; Bernard A. Harris, Jr.,
payload commander; mission specialists C. Michael Foale and Janice E. Voss, and
cosmonaut Vladimir G. Titov.
"As we are bringing our spaceships closer together, we are bringing
our nations closer together," Wetherbee said after Discovery was at point of
closest approach. "The next time we approach, we will shake your hand and
together we will lead our world into the next millennium."
"We are one. We are human," Mir Commander Alexander Viktorenko
On her last mission, Eileen Collins became
the first (and currently only) female Shuttle commander. On her
next, she will command the historic STS-114 "Return to Flight"
mission, the first after the Columbia tragedy.
On becoming an astronaut
"When I was very young and first started
reading about astronauts, there were no women astronauts."
However, she was inspired while she was a child by the Mercury
astronauts, and by the time she was in high school and college,
new opportunities were opening up for women in aviation. "My
timing was really great," she said. Collins joined the Air
Force, and during her first month of training, her base was
visited by the newest astronaut class--the first to include
women--and her path was set. "I wanted to be part of our
nation's space program. It's the greatest adventure on this
planet--or off the planet, for that matter. I wanted to fly the
On being the first and only female Shuttle
"Hopefully not for long!" While the
distinction of being the first is an honor, Collins said she's
looking forward to losing the part about being the "only" female
commander. She said she hopes current astronaut Pam Melroy will
soon join her, and that more will follow. "I'm really pulling
for her." Collins said that she encourages young women to become
test pilots so that they can someday become Shuttle commanders
as well. "The young people are going to be the ones to take us
on to more exciting adventures."
On her advice for future astronauts
"My advice to young people is, go into the
field you are most interested in. If you love your job, you'll
do well in your job." While coming from a mathematics, science,
or technology background is a must, there's a lot of variety in
what exactly you can pursue. In fact, Collins discourages people
from looking at what other astronauts are in and choosing that.
The exact opposite worked for her--when she joined the corps,
there were no astronauts in her field, operations research. "I
said I think I can fill a void, and I think they bought it."
It's paid off, too, she said, since much of her background ties
in directly to the operation of the Shuttle.
On the most exciting thing about spaceflight
"If you had asked me this question after my
first mission, I would have said the launch. Now, I would say
seeing the successful completion of the mission." As an example,
she cited the first mission she commanded, STS-93, on which the
Chandra X-Ray Observatory was deployed. There were so many
people involved in the Chandra project and the launch, she said,
and it's been really rewarding seeing the amazing pictures that
Chandra has taken. "Everybody came together and made it happen."
On her upcoming first visit to the
International Space Station (ISS)
"It's hard to wait. I'm so excited." In fact,
she said, the opportunity to visit the ISS is why she decided to
keep flying at a point in her career when many astronauts retire
from spaceflight. "I had never gone to the Station, and I really
wanted to go to there. I really wanted to be part of the Station
On the future of spaceflight
"I would like to see more people traveling to
space someday. I would like to see space tourism blossom. It's
such an incredible experience." Collins said that during her
spaceflights, there is so much she has to do that there is
little time to just enjoy being in space. "Someday I would like
to go into space as a tourist, and have the time to have fun."
She's very interested in developments in the field of civilian
spaceflight, such as the X Prize competition. "I just think
that's really exciting. That's an experience that more people
ought to have. I think we'd have a better community on Earth if
more people traveled in space."
On her upcoming "Return to Flight" mission
"We're very excited. We're very confident."
While they're waiting for their next flight, Collins said, her
crew has been involved in research on making the Space Shuttle
more safe, and has been visiting the factories involved in the
Space Shuttle program and meeting the workers. "When the
Shuttle's ready to fly, we'll be ready to fly."
Hometown: Elmira, New York
Born: November 19, 1956
Education: Associate's degree in
mathematics/science from Corning Community College; bachelor's
degree in mathematics and economics from Syracuse University;
master's degree in operations research from Stanford University;
master's degree in space systems management from Webster
Pilot, Discovery STS-63--Collins became the
first female Shuttle pilot during this 1995 mission, which
included a rendezvous with the Russian Space Station Mir.
Pilot, Atlantis STS-84--This 1997 mission
transferred supplies to the Mir Space Station.
Commander, Columbia STS-93--Collins became
the first female Shuttle commander on this 1999 mission, which
included the deployment of the Chandra X-Ray Observatory.
The Crew of the Challenger Shuttle Mission in 1986
NASA Eulogy for The Crew of the Challenger Shuttle Mission in 1986 Who Gave
Their Lives in the Name of Science, in the Name of Human Ingenuity and Spirit of
Wonder, in Search of Knowledge of the Heavens. With NASA and the World The
Humanion Remembers them.
It is so fitting that today ESA has released this image of the Martian Noctis
Labyrinthus where soon the humans to set foot. The Humanion imagines this Noctis
Labyrinthus be their final resting place on Mars. May all your souls rest in
Peace on Mars where soon you shall hear human voices again.
The NASA family lost seven of its own on the morning
of Jan. 28, 1986, when a booster engine failed, causing the Shuttle Challenger
to break apart just 73 seconds after launch. In this photo from Jan. 9, 1986,
the Challenger crew takes a break during countdown training at NASA's Kennedy
Space Center. Left to right are Teacher-in-Space payload specialist Sharon
Christa McAuliffe; payload specialist Gregory Jarvis; and astronauts Judith A.
Resnik, mission specialist; Francis R. (Dick) Scobee, mission commander; Ronald
E. McNair, mission specialist; Mike J. Smith, pilot; and Ellison S. Onizuka,
mission specialist. Image Credit: NASA
Labyrinthus The Labyrinth of the Night
The Challenger shuttle crew, of seven astronauts--including the
specialties of pilot, aerospace engineers, and scientists-- died tragically in
the explosion of their spacecraft during the launch of STS-51-L from the Kennedy
Space Center about 11:40 a.m., EST, on January 28, 1986. The explosion occurred
73 seconds into the flight as a result of a leak in one of two Solid Rocket
Boosters that ignited the main liquid fuel tank. The crewmembers of the
Challenger represented a cross-section of the American population in terms of
race, gender, geography, background, and religion. The explosion became one of
the most significant events of the 1980s, as billions around the world saw the
accident on television and empathized with any one of the several crewmembers
The spacecraft commander was Francis R. (Dick) Scobee, the son of Mr. and Mrs.
Francis W. Scobee. He was born on May 19, 1939, in Cle Elum, Washington, and
graduated from the public high school in Auburn, Washington, in 1957. He then
enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, training as a reciprocating engine mechanic but
longing to fly. He took night courses and in 1965 completed a B.S. degree in
Aerospace Engineering from the University of Arizona. This made it possible for
Scobee to receive an officer's commission and enter the Air Force pilot training
program. He received his pilot's wings in 1966 and began a series of flying
assignments with the Air Force, including a combat tour in Vietnam. Scobee also
married June Kent of San Antonio, Texas, and they had two children, Kathie R.
and Richard W., in the early 1960s. He attended the USAF Aerospace Research
Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, California, in 1972 and thereafter was
involved in several test programs. As an Air Force test pilot Scobee flew more
than 45 types of aircraft, logging more than 6,500 hours of flight time.
In 1978 Scobee entered NASA's astronaut corps and was the pilot of STS-41-C, the
fifth orbital flight of the Challenger spacecraft, launching from Kennedy Space
Center, Florida, on April 6, 1984. During this seven-day mission the crew
successfully retrieved and repaired the ailing Solar Maximum Satellite and
returned it to orbit. This was an enormously important mission, because it
demonstrated the capability that NASA had long said existed with the Space
Shuttle to repair satellites in orbit.
The pilot for the fatal 1986 Challenger mission was Michael J. Smith, born on
April 30, 1945 in Beaufort, North Carolina. At the time of the Challenger
accident a commander in the U.S. Navy, Smith had been educated at the U.S. Naval
Academy, class of 1967, and received an M.S. in Aeronautical Engineering from
the Naval Postgraduate School in 1968. From there he underwent aviator training
at Kingsville, Texas, and received his wings in May 1969. After a tour as an
instructor at the Navy's Advanced Jet Training Command between 1969 and 1971,
Smith flew A- 6 "Intruders" from the USS Kitty Hawk in Southeast Asia. Later he
worked as a test pilot for the Navy, flying 28 different types of aircraft and
logging more than 4,300 hours of flying time. Smith was selected as a NASA
astronaut in May 1980, and a year later, after completing further training, he
received an assignment as a Space Shuttle pilot, the position he occupied aboard
Challenger. This mission was his first space flight.
Judith A. Resnik was one of three mission specialists on Challenger. Born on
April 5, 1949 at Akron, Ohio, the daughter of Dr. Marvin Resnik, a respected
Akron optometrist, and Sarah Resnik. Brought up in the Jewish religion, Resnik
was educated in public schools before attending Carnegie-Mellon University,
where she received a B.S. in electrical engineering in 1970, and the University
of Maryland, where she took at Ph.D. in the same field in 1977. Resnik worked in
a variety of professional positions with the RCA corporation in the early 1970s
and as a staff fellow with the Laboratory of Neurophysiology at the National
Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, between 1974 and 1977.
Selected as a NASA astronaut in January 1978, the first cadre containing women,
Resnik underwent the training program for Shuttle mission specialists during the
next year. Thereafter, she filled a number of positions within NASA at the
Johnson Space Center, working on aspects of the Shuttle program. Resnik became
the second American woman in orbit during the maiden flight of Discovery,
STS-41-D, between August 30 and September 5, 1984. During this mission she
helped to deploy three satellites into orbit; she was also involved in
biomedical research during the mission. Afterward, she began intensive training
for the STS-51- L mission on which she was killed. Ronald E. McNair was the
second of three mission specialists aboard Challenger. Born on October 21, 1950
in Lake City, South Carolina, McNair was the son of Carl C. McNair, Sr., and
Pearl M. McNair. He achieved early success in the segregated public schools he
attended as both a student and an athlete. Valedictorian of his high school
class, he attended North Carolina A&T State University where in 1971 he received
a B.S. degree in physics. He went on to study physics at MIT, where he
specialized in quantum electronics and laser technology, completing his Ph.D. in
1977. As a student he performed some of the earliest work on chemical HF/DF and
high pressure CO lasers, publishing pathbreaking scientific papers on the
McNair was also a physical fitness advocate and pursued athletic training from
an early age. He was a leader in track and football at his high school. He also
became a black belt in Karate, and while in graduate school began offering
classes at St. Paul's AME Church in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He also
participated in several Karate tournaments, taking more than 30 trophies in
these competitions. While involved in these activities McNair met and married
Cheryl B. Moore of Brooklyn, New York, and they later had two children. After
completing his Ph.D. he began working as a physicist at the Optical Physics
Department of Hughes Research Laboratories in Malibu, California, and conducted
research on electro-optic laser modulation for satellite-to-satellite space
This research led McNair into close contact with the space program for the first
time, and when the opportunity presented itself he applied for astronaut
training. In January 1978 NASA selected him to enter the astronaut cadre, one of
the first three Black Americans selected. McNair became the second Black
American in space between Febrary 3 and 11, 1984, by flying on the Challenger
Shuttle mission STS-41-B. During this mission McNair operated the maneuverable
arm built by Canada used to move payloads in space. The 1986 mission on which he
was killed was his second Shuttle flight.
Ellison S. Onizuka, was the last of the three mission specialists. He had been
born in Kealakekua, Kona, Hawaii, on June 24, 1946, of Japanese-American
parents. He attended the University of Colorado, receiving B.S. and M.S. degrees
in engineering in June and December 1969, respectively. While at the university
he married Lorna Leido Yoshida of Hawaii, and the couple eventually had two
children. He also participated in the Air Force R.O.T.C. program, leading to a
commission in January 1970. Onizuka served on active duty with the Air Force
until January 1978 when he was selected as a NASA astronaut. With the Air Force
in the early 1970s he was an aerospace flight test engineer at the Sacramento
Air Logistics Center. After July 1975 he was assigned to the Air Force Flight
Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base, California, as squadron flight test
officer and later as chief of the engineering support section.
When Onizuka was selected for the astronaut corps he entered into a one year
training program and then became eligible for assignment as a mission specialist
on future Space Shuttle flights. He worked on orbiter test and checkout teams
and launch support crews at the Kennedy Space Center for the first two Shuttle
missions. Since he was an Air Force officer on detached duty with NASA, Onizuka
was a logical choice to serve on the first dedicated Department of Defense
classified mission. He was a mission specialist on STS-51-C, taking place 24-27
Jan. 1985 on the Discovery orbiter. The Challenger flight was his second Shuttle
The last two members of the Challenger crew were not officially Federal
government employees. Gregory B. Jarvis, a payload specialist, worked for the
Hughes Aircraft Corp.'s Space and Communications Group in Los Angeles,
California, and had been made available for the Challenger flight by his
company. Jarvis had been born on August 24, 1944, in Detroit, Michigan. He had
been educated at the State University of New York at Buffalo, receiving a B.S.
in electrical engineering (1967); at Northeastern University, Boston, where he
received an M.S. degree in the same field (1969); and at West Coast University,
Los Angeles, where he completed coursework for an M.S. in management science
(1973). Jarvis began work at Hughes in 1973 and served in a variety of technical
positions until 1984 when he was accepted into the astronaut program under
Hughes' sponsorship after competing against 600 other Hughes employees for the
opportunity. Jarvis' duties on the Challenger flight had revolved around
gathering new information on the design of liquid-fueled rockets.
The last member of the crew was Sharon Christa McAuliffe, the first teacher to
fly in space. Selected from among more than 11,000 applicants from the education
profession for entrance into the astronaut ranks, McAuliffe had been born on
September 2, 1948, the oldest child of Edward and Grace Corrigan. Her father was
at that time completing his sophomore year at Boston College, but not long
thereafter he took a job as an assistant comptroller in a Boston department
store and the family moved to the Boston suburb of Framingham. As a youth she
registered excitement over the Apollo moon landing program, and wrote years
later on her astronaut application form that "I watched the Space Age being born
and I would like to participate."
McAuliffe attended Framingham State College in her hometown, graduating in 1970.
A few weeks later she married her longstanding boyfriend, Steven McAuliffe, and
they moved to the Washington, DC, metropolitan area so Steven could attend
Georgetown Law School. She took a job teaching in the secondary schools,
specializing in American history and social studies. They stayed in the
Washington area for the next eight years, she teaching and completing an M.A.
from Bowie State University, in Maryland. They moved to Concord, New Hampshire,
in 1978 when Steven accepted a job as an assistant to the state attorney
general. Christa took a teaching post at Concord High School in 1982, and in
1984 learned about NASA's efforts to locate an educator to fly on the Shuttle.
The intent was to find a gifted teacher who could communicate with students from
NASA selected McAuliffe for this position in the summer of 1984 and in the fall
she took a year-long leave of absence from teaching, during which time NASA
would pay her salary, and trained for an early 1986 Shuttle mission. She had an
immediate rapport with the media, and the teacher in space program received
tremendous popular attention as a result. It is in part because of the
excitement over McAuliffe's presence on the Challenger that the accident had
such a significant impact on the nation.
For Further Reading:
Joseph D. Atkinson, Jr., and Jay M. Shafritz, The Real Stuff: A History of the
NASA Astronaut Recruitment Program (New York: Praeger 1985).
Daniel and Susan Cohen, Heroes of the Challenger (London: Archway Paperbacks,
Grace Corrigan, A Journal for Christa: Christa McAuliffe, Teacher in Space
(Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1993).
Robert E. Hohler, "I Touch the Future . . ." The Story of Christa McAuliffe (New
York: Random House, 1986).
William P. Rogers, et al., Report of the Presidential Commission on the Space
Shuttle Challenger Accident, five volumes (Washington, DC: Government Printing
David Shayler, Shuttle Challenger (London: Salamander Books, 1987).
Joseph J. Trento, with reporting by Susan B. Trento, Prescription for Disaster:
From the Glory of Apollo to the Betrayal of the Shuttle (New York: Crown Pubs.,
Staff of the Washington Post, Challengers: The Inspiring Life Stories of the
Seven Brave Astronauts of Shuttle Mission 51-L (New York: Pocket Books, 1986).
There will be an event at the offices of law firm
Herbert Smith Freehills in London for the Windsor Festival Schools’
Programme, taking place next week on Tuesday 19th January from 6pm.
It’s a private viewing of the exhibition of 2015 winning work which
will be attended by the winners, their parents and teachers, the
judges and other interested parties. There will also be a short
address from one of the creative writing judges, Dr Alastair Niven,
who was a former Man Booker Prize judge.
Young Windsor artists to exhibit their work on the commercial stage
in the big city
The winners of the Schools’ Programme, a competition held by Windsor
Festival, a registered charity established by Yehudi Menuhin in
1969, have the once in a lifetime opportunity to have their artwork
exhibited at the offices of global law firm Herbert Smith Freehills
in the City of London.
The Schools’ Programme is an initiative that seeks to foster and
encourage emerging artistic talent in the Royal Borough of Windsor &
Maidenhead. Windsor Festival invited students aged between 14 and 17
years to participate across nine categories including Art (Painting,
Drawing, Textiles, Photography and Sculpture), Music Composition
(Instrumental and Vocal) and Creative Writing (Poetry and Prose).
The Schools’ Programme was established more than 10 years ago and
Title Sponsor ComXo came on board in 2014. The aim of the
competition remains the same, encouraging students to engage
directly with the arts and explore the value of their own
creativity. But with the generosity and support of ComXo the
programme has built on its strong foundation and now provides
further opportunities for young people to exhibit and share their
A panel of prominent judges, including Desmond Shawe-Taylor,
Surveyor of The Queen’s Pictures, Julia Eccleshare, Children’s Book
Editor for The Guardian, and Richard Pinel, Assistant Director of
Music at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, met in September 2015
to choose the winners and commended of each category from over 430
Certificates and prize money were presented to the young talent by
Admiral Sir James Perowne KBE, Constable and Governor of Windsor
Castle, during a prize giving ceremony at the end of last year in
Windsor Castle. Following the ceremony the students were treated to
a private tour of the Royal Library where they had the opportunity
to view some world famous Leonardo Da Vinci and Holbein artwork and
speak to some of the curators of the library.
Ian Gatt, Head of Advocacy at Herbert Smith Freehills, oversees art
in the firm's London office. In 2013 he initiated a Graduate Art
Competition which has now drawn nationwide interest and unearthed
wonderful new talent from the country's art schools.
Through his connection with ComXo, who provide telephone answering
services to Herbert Smith Freehills, Ian Gatt became involved with
the Windsor Festival Schools’ Programme in 2014. Impressed by the
extremely high standard of work he invited the winners and commended
entrants to exhibit their art on the commercial stage in London, in
front of clients and guests visiting the firm’s offices. The artwork
is now on display until the end of January.
A reception will be held at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, Exchange
Square, Primrose Street, London EC2A 2EG on the evening of 19th
January 2016 at 6 pm, and will feature a private view of the
prize-winning artworks from the creative competition and an address
at 7pm by Dr Alastair Niven, former Man Booker Prize judge. The
evening will be attended by the Chairman of Windsor Festival,
Admiral Sir James Perowne KBE, as well as the judges, young artists,
their parents and teachers.
Helen Lake, Manager of Windsor Festival says ‘We are proud to
continue to be able to offer young people opportunities to exhibit
and share their work within public and commercial platforms, at the
same time looking to provide them with a chance to see where their
talents and dedication might take them as they begin to make choices
about their education and employment futures. We are especially
grateful to both ComXo and Herbert Smith Freehills for enabling the
winners to benefit from this additional high profile exhibition.’
The Windsor Festival Schools’ Programme, sponsored by ComXo, has revealed the
winners for its 2015 Art, Creative Writing and Music Composition competition. In
total over 430 entries were received from talented students at all 19 of the
Royal Borough schools during the summer.
1st: Portrait of Father: Georgie Drysdale,
2nd: Composition with Garlic: Albina M, St George’s Ascot
3rd: Ralph Regine Raul, Licensed Victuallers’ School
1st: Bliss Megan Jacob, Windsor Girls’ School
2nd: Whole Again Katie Hopkins, Windsor Girls’ School
3rd: Still Life Lily Yang, Heathfield School
1st: Societal Boundaries Millie Heighes, Hurst
2nd: Prohibition Purses Georgie Meehan, Hurst Lodge
3rd: Nigeria: Apart and Together Chi-Chi Nelson-Moore, Heathfield School
1st: Blue Architectural Form Sangita Ganesh, Churchmead School
2nd: Bodyscapes Anna Fenwick, Heathfield School
3rd: Baby Annabel Bella Smith, Hurst Lodge
1st: Texture Vessel Georgina Allen, St George's
2nd: Melting Hope Laura Marshall, Windsor Girls' School
3rd: X3 Ceramic Disc Sculptures Harriet Pryer, St George’s Ascot
Creative Writing: Poetry
1st: You look best in your funeral dress Hugh
Shepherd-Cross, Eton College
2nd: Writ in water Jacob Andreae, Eton College
3rd: Insomnia Aaliya Janjua, East Berkshire College
Creative Writing: Prose
1st: Out of the Woods (Backyard of Eden) Sam
Jones, Eton College
2nd: The Funeral Rohan Gupta, Eton College
3rd: The Liar Ludo Heathcoat Amory, Eton College
Music Composition: Instrumental
1st: Shostakovich Petit Four Trojan Nakade, Eton
2nd: Narnia Samuel Butler, Windsor Boys’ School
3rd: Victory and Defeat Massimo Bottaro, Windsor Boys’ School
Music Composition: Vocal
1st: Follow Your Heart Jessica Nimmo, Hurst Lodge
2nd: That’s Swing Bethany Yates, Newlands Girls’ School
3rd: Break Free Orlagh Szewczyk, Newlands Girls’ School
To celebrate the winners, there was an open evening to showcase all of the work
listed above, as well as all highly commended and commended achievers, at Norden
Farm Centre for the Arts, Maidenhead on Tuesday 22nd September. T
Schools’ Programme Title Sponsors ComXo and
Desmond Shawe-Taylor, Surveyor of The Queen’s Pictures, judge and Festival
Trustee were present along with the winners.
Further exhibitions will take place at The Gallery at Ice in Windsor, from
Thursday 8th October to Thursday 22nd October, and at London law firm Herbert
Smith Freehills, from Saturday 21st November to the end of January 2016.
Helen Lake, Festival Manager “I would like to
congratulate all the winners of this year’s Windsor Festival Schools’ Programme
and I would also like to say a big thank you to our sponsor, ComXo, as without
them, the competition would not be possible. This year we have had a record
number of entries from extremely talented individuals which made the judging
process very difficult. We look forward to celebrating the achievements of our
winners at Norden Farm next week.”
A registered charity, Windsor Festival was established by Yehudi Menuhin and The
Right Reverend Robin Woods, Dean of Windsor, in 1969. It began life as a
week-long series of concerts and music making. The programming has since
developed to offer a more widely varied Festival with the events held in
September now spanning a fortnight and all promoting high quality performances
in music and arts, bringing world class musicians, authors and historians to the
Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead. In addition to the annual autumn
series, Windsor Festival alternates each March between an International String
Competition and a Spring Festival focused on youth and community.
About the Sponsor ComXo
ComXo is a leading provider of 21st Century Switchboard services to the
professional service sector in the City of London.
Formoreor contact: Charlotte Stack,
ComXo T: 01753 710 430
Title Samantha back on Earth : Released 12/06/2015 9:40 am
Copyright ESA–S. Corvaja, 2015: Description:
ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, NASA astronaut
Terry Virts and Russian commander Anton Shkaplerov landed
safely on 11 June 2015 in the Kazakh steppe after a
three-hour ride in their Soyuz spacecraft. They left the
International Space Station at 10:20 GMT at the end of their
six-month stay on the research complex. Terry Virtz, Anton
Shkaplerov, and Samantha Cristoforetti are returning after
more than six months onboard the International Space Station
where they served as members of the Expedition 42 and 43
Milan, Italy, in April 1977, Samantha Cristoforetti enjoys
hiking, scuba diving, yoga, reading and travelling. Other
interests include technology, nutrition and the Chinese
completed her secondary education at the Liceo Scientifico
in Trento, Italy, in 1996 after having spent a year as an
exchange student in the United States.
she graduated from the Technische Universität Munich,
Germany, with a master’s degree in mechanical engineering
with specialisations in aerospace propulsion and lightweight
structures. As part of her studies, she spent four months at
the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de l’Aéronautique et de
l’Espace in Toulouse, France, working on an experimental
project in aerodynamics. She wrote her master’s thesis in
solid rocket propellants during a 10-month research stay at
the Mendeleev University of Chemical Technologies in Moscow,
As part of
her training at the Italian Air Force Academy, she also
completed a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical sciences at
the University of Naples Federico II, Italy, in 2005.
Samantha joined the Italian Air Force Academy in Pozzuoli,
Italy, graduating in 2005. She served as class leader and
was awarded the Honour Sword for best academic achievement.
From 2005 to 2006, she was based at Sheppard Air Force Base
in Texas, USA. After completing the Euro-NATO Joint Jet
Pilot Training, she became a fighter pilot and was assigned
to the 132nd Squadron, 51st Bomber Wing, based in Istrana,
Samantha completed Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals
training. From 2007 to 2008, she flew the MB-339 and served
in the Plan and Operations Section for the 51st Bomber Wing
in Istrana, Italy.
she joined the 101st Squadron, 32nd Bomber Wing, based at
Foggia, Italy, where she completed operational conversion
training for the AM-X ground attack fighter.
is a Captain in the Italian Air Force. She has logged over
500 hours flying six types of military aircraft: SF-260,
T-37, T-38, MB-339A, MB-339CD and AM-X.
was selected as an ESA astronaut in May 2009. She joined ESA
in September 2009 and completed basic astronaut training in
November 2010. In July 2012 she was assigned to an Italian
Space Agency ASI mission aboard the International Space
Station. She was launched on a Soyuz spacecraft from
Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on 23 November 2014 on the
second long-duration ASI mission and the eighth
long-duration mission for an ESA astronaut.
worked and lived on the International Space Station for
almost 200 days as part of her
Futura mission and
enjoys interacting with space enthusiasts on Twitter as
Annie Caraccio: NASA Engineer Pioneering Research for Future Deep-Space
NASA Chemical Engineer Annie Caraccio reviews
data from experiments with the trash-to-gas reactor in the
Kennedy Space Center's Material Science Laboratory.
Credits: NASA/Dan Casper
By Bob Granath: NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
Annie Caraccio has been a chemical engineer in the Materials Science Division of
the Engineering and Technology Directorate at NASA's Kennedy Space Center for
the past three years. During that time, she has become involved in revolutionary
research that may be of value both on Earth and for future explorers living and
working on another planet.
"My start date as a full-time employee was Feb. 14, 2011," she said. "It's
appropriate that it was Valentine's Day because I love my work."
Caraccio is part of a team developing a technology that could turn ordinary
debris and other garbage accumulated by a crew of astronauts into valuable
resources such as methane gas, oxygen and even water using processes that
currently are used on Earth.
She is performing human factor assessments of the waste processing technology in
a simulated planetary habitat in Hawaii for four months. The goal is to learn
how astronauts would operate in a base on Mars.
Caraccio's career path began in Bellmore, N.Y., a suburb of New York City on the
south shore of Long Island. She is the younger of two children. Her father,
Thomas Caraccio, is a pharmacist and her mother, Joan Caraccio, who died
unexpectedly in 2007, was a nurse.
Caraccio's first exposure to the Florida spaceport came during a family vacation
when she was about five years old.
"I don't remember much, but I recall being in awe of NASA," she said. "I knew
some really smart people worked here."
Caraccio explains that her path to a career in engineering started because of
her older brother.
"He was a really great role model when I was growing up," she said. "He received
an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and he planned to
study engineering. That started me thinking about doing the same."
After graduating from Manhattan College with a
master's degree in chemical engineering in December 2010, Annie
Caraccio poses with her father, Thomas Caraccio, a pharmacist,
left, and her brother U.S. Army Capt. Robert Caraccio, who
served in Afghanistan. Credits: Family of Annie Caraccio
One of her favorite subjects in high school was chemistry, Caraccio says.
"I had a great high school chemistry teacher whose name was Mr. O'Kane," she
said. "I'll never forget that great class. What my brother was studying seemed
challenging and since I liked chemistry and wanted a challenge, I decided to
major in chemical engineering."
After high school graduation, Caraccio entered Manhattan College in the Bronx,
N.Y., which offered what she wanted.
"It was a hard four years, but it really paid off," she said.
Looking for work experience, Caraccio took a job near Union Square at the
Consolidated Edison Company of New York., commonly known to locals as Con Ed,
following her sophomore year at Manhattan College. She explained that the
company is one of the largest utility companies in the United States providing
gas, electric and steam service for much of New York City and Westchester
The following year she worked for D&B Engineers and Architects, a leader in
environmental engineering and science. The company's work includes planning,
designing and implementing environmental projects.
"The summer I worked there, I was supporting the hazardous waste department with
various groundwater and soil cleanup processing projects for 'Superfund' type
sites," she said.
Superfund is the federal government's program to clean up uncontrolled hazardous
"Just before graduating with my bachelor's degree in 2009, I had a chance to go
to the Society of Women Engineers National Conference in Baltimore," Caraccio
said. "I talked to the people at a NASA booth and applied for an internship, and
I was persistent in following up."
That determination paid off. Caraccio participated in three semesters of the
NASA Co-op Program, working on developing polymers that could repair themselves
in Kennedy's Polymer Science and Technology Laboratory.
"We were developing self-healing insulation systems for electrical wiring to
support the space shuttle orbiters," she said. "It was important to ensure the
miles of wiring would work properly even if damaged. It was exciting work
because it was a technology that could also aid the commercial sector, including
the aviation industry."
Soon after beginning work at Kennedy, two events convinced Caraccio the Kennedy
Space Center is where she wanted to work long term.
"During June of 2010 I had an opportunity to sit in the pilot's seat of the
shuttle orbiter Endeavour," she said. "Then I watched my first shuttle liftoff
from the steps outside the Launch Control Center. The power of that rocket with
the vibration reverberating off my chest was awe-inspiring. I then realized I
had tears streaming down my face. It was an incredible experience."
In December of that year, Caraccio graduated from Manhattan College with her
master's degree in chemical engineering. Soon after, she drove her 1995 Mercury
Cougar 1,100 miles from the Bronx to Cape Canaveral.
As a chemical engineer, Caraccio now is focusing on developing a reactor to
recycle trash during deep-space missions. Unneeded materials such as scraps,
wrappers, packaging and other garbage could be converted into methane gas,
oxygen and water.
While the term "reactor" is often associated with nuclear energy, in this case
it is an apparatus controlling a chemical reaction. The reactor being tested at
Kennedy contains more than three quarts of material and burns at about 1,000
degrees Fahrenheit, about twice the maximum temperature of an average household
oven. The end result is useful elements.
"Not only will this effort help space missions, but it will also be valuable on
Earth. We have enough problems recycling and disposing of our own trash,"
Caraccio's experiences have also included participating in center director Bob
Cabana's Reverse Mentoring Program. The effort's objective is to improve
communications at Kennedy. Participants have an opportunity to talk with Cabana
individually about center issues and show him their work.
Annie at Work
"I had an opportunity to demonstrate how we were developing ways to convert
trash to useful gas," Caraccio said. "The work is very hands on and technical.
When I showed him how we did something, he understood and picked it up quickly
and knew how to use our specialized tools. He was very interested in our work."
Caraccio now is part of a six-person crew participating in a long-term human
space simulation called "HI-SEAS" for Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and
Simulation. The HI-SEAS Habitat is located at approximately 8,000 feet in
elevation on the northern slope of Mauna Loa, a volcano on the largest island in
the Hawaii Island chain.
"The simulation will run for 120 days," Caraccio said. "It's designed to be a
Mars equivalent habitat, and I will be performing various research, with the
main focus being human factor studies to understand and engineer a flight-like
waste processing technology for long duration missions."
While busy with her career at Kennedy, Caraccio still finds time to volunteer
with a local troop of Girl Scouts.
"I work primarily with high school girls," she said. "I encourage them to
consider STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers. But,
the main thing I tell them is to find a career doing something that they feel
Caraccio is enthusiastic about being a part of NASA's long-term goal for
exploration beyond Earth.
"I love doing research involving technologies that support human spaceflight,
especially when many have potential applications here on Earth," she said.
"Given the opportunity to add value and apply the research during a deep-space
mission to Mars, I'd definitely like to be a part of it."
( Editor: Bob Granath: NASA)
As a doctor in public service,
I have had the privilege of taking care of people
from all walks of life -- and I have appreciated
that regardless of background, socioeconomic status,
religion, etc., we all are connected by our
fundamental desire to be human, to be happy and
healthy, and to have a fulfilling and productive
life. I take great pride in this work.
Today, President Obama made his first visit
to a mosque in America. Speaking at the Islamic Society of
Baltimore, he said:
“At a time when others are trying to divide us along lines of
religion or sect, we have to reaffirm that most fundamental of
truths—we are all God’s children, all born equal with inherent
dignity. So often we focus on outward differences, we forget how
much we share.”
The Muslim community is a relatively small one in America. For
many people, the only ways they hear about Muslims and the
Islamic faith is from the news, often after a terrorist attack,
or from derogatory political rhetoric that blames the entire
Muslim-American community for the violent acts of a few.
But that is not who Muslim Americans are. They helped build our
nation. They teach our children, they take care of us as
patients, they keep our homeland safe. They are laid to rest in
Arlington National Cemetery after they've given their very last
to defend the country they loved.
Today, they work for President Obama in the White House. These
are the stories of dedicated public servants who have faced
discrimination and found hope in the people they work alongside
and the work they do every day on behalf of the American people.
Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes
I was born and raised in Maryland, not too
far from D.C. Growing up, I played basketball, loved traveling
and hanging with my family and friends, just like any other kid.
But after the heinous attacks on 9/11, being a head-covering 8th
grader would no longer be the same. There were days when my
identity as a Muslim American became a struggle – I was glared
at, cursed and spit at in public and in school. It was the
tenets of my faith, the ideals of this country, the
encouragement of those around me, and the determination to have
my voice heard that carried me through and gave me the courage
to pursue public service. I learned through hardship, that every
challenge is in fact an opportunity to become stronger. Never
would I have imagined as a young girl who was once mocked and
called names that I’d end up working at the White House wearing
a hijab in the West Wing.
Hearing the political discourse and hateful language certainly
has negative consequences, but it is also the spark that has
empowered me and others like me to speak up and work together in
ways we may not have before.
That kind of ability to overcome any challenge is the attitude I
take toward the level of anti-Muslim rhetoric we’re seeing
today. This country has overcome and continues to strive to
overcome every challenge, no matter how long it takes. The Civil
Rights movement proves that. People had to struggle and suffer
to work together and raise their voices to bring about change.
Hearing the political discourse and hateful language certainly
has negative consequences, but it is also the spark that has
empowered me and others like me to speak up and work together in
ways we may not have before. My passion has always been in
global social entrepreneurship and empowerment of women and
their voices and I am proud to have been able to work on these
issues here at the White House. It was the President's message
of hope and change that inspired me to pursue an internship at
the White House, and it was interning in Correspondence and
reading letters that made me realize how important every voice
was, including those of Muslim Americans.
I believe if you work hard and if you play by the rules, you can
make it if you try in America -- no matter who you are or how
you pray. It's how a young girl -- once mocked and called names
-- can pursue her dream and proudly serve her country as a
head-covering Bengali Muslim American woman in the White House.
Assistant Director for Education &
Telecommunications Innovation in the Office of Science and
I feel honored and deeply privileged to get
to serve in the White House, for this country I love so much.
But I feel especially privileged to work for President Obama,
whom I have felt, since his speech in the 2004 Democratic
Convention in Boston, has this uncanny way of saying exactly
what I feel and believe, only better than I could have said it
myself. And I love that there is a generation of children, many
of whom are now 10 and 11 years old, for whom a black President
named Barack Hussein Obama is in no way strange or a stretch of
But even with the progress we’ve made, the truth is that, as
wonderful as America is, anyone who is "different" in some way
has likely experienced discrimination at some point or another.
For me personally, as a young man before 9/11 the most common
thing I would experience is that, somehow, I almost always got
"randomly" selected for the extra bag check and security check
at the airport every time I flew. This even happened (on October
11, 2001) when I was at JFK airport right after 9/11 preparing
to leave for West Africa to serve in the Peace Corps.
Thirty-five of us volunteers were all checking in together with
all of our gear -- but I was the one that got asked to step
aside while a military member searched my bags. Ironically, I
feel a lot better at airports today because the security
screening that most of us find annoying is at least applied
even-handedly and based on rules and evidence-based indicators.
At least these days if I get extra scrutiny, it does not feel
like it is because I am being profiled.
I have a three-year old boy and I had hoped, when I was growing
up, that by the time he went through school, being Muslim would
not feel so "weird" and "different" for him as it did for me --
that he would not have as much explaining to do.
For my family, the scariest thing was in 2008 when the FBI
showed up to my parent's home unannounced and asked to come in
to ask some questions. They asked about my parents' travel to
Mumbai, India (where we are from) and then they asked about my
parents' religious community, mosque, and friends. It really
shook my family to be questioned in that way -- they were
afraid, and embarrassed, and felt really unsafe. This has
happened to a lot of Muslim Americans, but when it happened to
us, we felt very alone and my family lost a lot of sleep over
That’s why the vitriolic language in today’s political discourse
makes me shake my head. I feel like people are being
manipulated, that opportunists are taking advantage of the fact
that in a time with so much uncertainty for so many Americans it
is easy to grab at visceral fears and say "those other people
are the problem -- hate and fear them." I am not so worried
about myself, but I worry and fear a great deal for the Muslim
American kids in elementary, middle, and high school who are
already struggling (as all kids do) to define their multiple
identities and who cannot help but feel that there are those in
America who might hate them for who they are. I have a
three-year old boy and I had hoped, when I was growing up, that
by the time he went through school, being Muslim would not feel
so "weird" and "different" for him as it did for me -- that he
would not have as much explaining to do. Now I have to add the
hope that he will not feel hated. That is the heart-breaking
thing as a parent.
Senior Policy Advisor in Healthcare for the
National Economic Council
As a doctor in public service, I have had the
privilege of taking care of people from all walks of life -- and
I have appreciated that regardless of background, socioeconomic
status, religion, etc., we all are connected by our fundamental
desire to be human, to be happy and healthy, and to have a
fulfilling and productive life. I take great pride in this work.
I also take great pride in the fact that I am a Muslim American.
But as Muslim American, I have experienced discrimination both
in obvious and subtle ways. I have had the experience of getting
threatening hate calls and individuals saying offensive things
in response to my religious affiliation. And while these
incidents have been emotionally upsetting, I have been able to
rationalize those incidents as a reaction by those on the
fringes who are being manipulated by what they see and hear on
television. What I find most difficult is the subtle
discrimination I face as a Muslim American, as a women, and as a
person-of-color every day. I have to work extra hard to make
sure others around me recognize me first and foremost as a proud
American serving her country along with other facets of myself.
America gave my parents opportunity to give my siblings and me a
better life. I was taught to value its freedoms and
That’s why the current rhetoric against Muslim Americans makes
me so mad, especially the discourse that somehow claims that we
are "un-American" in our values. As immigrants, my parents made
much effort to make sure that we had an appreciation of our past
heritage and an understanding of our faith; however, they
instilled in my siblings and me a great sense of pride and
gratitude in being American. America gave my parents opportunity
to give my siblings and I a better life. I was taught to value
its freedoms and pay-it-forward. To have my patriotism and my
dedication to this country questioned because of my faith
disrupts my sense of belonging.
However, during my last few years working in government and at
the White House, I have seen the power the President’s
leadership has in bringing people from all different disciplines
together to work in government and solve challenging problems.
It has been such a satisfying experience to work with a diverse
group of smart, dedicated colleagues who everyday are trying to
make this country and the world a better place.
Deputy Policy Director for Immigration at The
White House Domestic Policy Council
Unfortunately, my family and I have
experienced discrimination and xenophobia most of our lives. I
was born in Texas and spent most of my childhood in a small
city, where we had to travel three hours just to get a major
city with a Muslim population. A lot of the discrimination I
faced growing up was not ill-intentioned or deliberate; it was a
lack of exposure or understanding. As I moved into my adult
life, I think I became more aware of it and it also became more
prevalent and frankly, more ill-intentioned. I’ve been told to
go back to my country or called a terrorist more times than I
can even count. I’ve faced bigotry, stereotypes, and
mistreatment in positions of employment, where I’m treated
differently, mischaracterized, or my ability is questioned
because of my faith or because of what I look like.
I’ve faced bigotry, stereotypes, and mistreatment in positions
of employment, where I’m treated differently, mischaracterized,
or my ability is questioned because of my faith or because of
what I look like.
The painful language we hear today from too many political
leaders is not new to me. But what is new to me is the level of
acceptability and the support for these statements. We have
reached a new low when people publicly support these statements
and see no wrong in them. It’s true, we used to live in a time
of political correctness when people knew what not to say. But,
at least they knew those statements were wrong. It’s
heartbreaking to see people stand by while others try to take us
backwards from the progress we’ve made. It violates everything
that I know America to be, everything we have been historically,
and everything we can be.
This is why I have worked on social justice issues most of my
career and went to law school with that intention. I spent many
years assisting women survivors of abuse. Given my background
and the fact that I speak Spanish, the majority of my clients
were immigrants and several of them were Muslim. Witnessing the
injustice that my clients faced on a daily basis and the ways in
which some of our systems required change to really benefit the
people who needed them most, I decided to move to DC and shift
over to policy advocacy. Advocacy happens in so many forms, from
the inside out and from the top to the bottom. There is great
value in all avenues for change and I truly believe that we must
pursue change at every angle in order to achieve it. If ever
there was a time that I wanted to pursue change from the inside
-- when I believed that change was really possible -- it is
under this President.
Policy Assistant for Immigration Policy & Rural
Affairs at The White House Domestic Policy Council
I was born in Somalia, but mostly what I
remember are flashes of a carefree child, happily unaware of the
world beyond the Utanga Refugee Camp in Kenya. About half a mile
from our UNHCR-issued blue tent was the fence that surrounded
the camp. Beyond the fence was an endless blue horizon of ocean.
If you stood close enough, on the slight precipice before the
fence, you could see where the beach welcomed the waves. I never
saw any people down there, but sometimes I would catch the sight
of boats with colorful sails drifting out to sea.
Soon, due to a combination of wildfires and overpopulation, our
camp was ordered to shut down. My family, like many others,
faced tough decisions. One was whether to return to Somalia in
the height of civil war. Another was whether to send their small
child -- me -- to live with a relative in a far-off land in
hopes of better opportunities.
On our last day at the camp, I watched my parents and brother
sail off in one of the colorful boats shuttling the many faces
-- men, women, and children -- who once inhabited this camp,
back to Somalia. I was sent to live in Denmark. In the early
2000s, my father made his way out of Somalia, alone. He came to
the United States as a refugee. He lived in Texas, but driving
trucks gave him the opportunity to explore America’s frontiers:
from the snowy Northwest to the humid Southeast. He decided to
settle in the latter, and started the paperwork to bring my
mother and brothers from Somalia and me from Denmark.
We all stood, raised our right hands and recited the Oath of
Allegiance: “I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and
entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any
foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or
which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will
support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United
States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic;
that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same…”
In 2005, my whole family reunited in our new home: Memphis,
Tennessee. We soon adapted to Southern living (and yummy Memphis
barbecue). We bought a house down by the Mississippi River. My
brother even attended the same middle school as Elvis Presley. I
graduated from the University of Memphis.
On the morning of April 29, 2013, we returned to the same
auditorium where I had received my high school diploma a few
years earlier. We all stood, raised our right hands and recited
the Oath of Allegiance: "I hereby declare, on oath, that I
absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and
fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or
sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject
or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and
laws of the United States of America against all enemies,
foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance
to the same..."
That's why it has been so disheartening to have my intentions
and allegiance questioned when I have twice taken an oath to
“support and defend the Constitution of the United States” --
first as new U.S. citizen, then as a public servant. I have been
experiencing hateful attacks on social media not only directed
at my Muslim heritage and refugee background but also aimed to
undermine my service to this country. These attacks have, at
times, made me reflect more deeply on who I am as an American
but have also made me appreciate that in spite of the existence
of this hateful rhetoric, I can proudly serve at the highest
level of our government.
In my current role I am deeply involved in our Administration's
efforts to welcome and integrate refugees and immigrants from
around the world. A few years ago, the President said this at
the naturalization ceremony: “The basic idea of welcoming
immigrants to our shores is central to our way of life -- it is
in our DNA. We believe our diversity, our differences, when
joined together by a common set of ideals, makes us stronger,
makes us more creative, makes us different. From all these
different strands, we make something new here in America.”
This is why, every day, I am humbled to serve in an
Administration that honors our American values of respecting
different faiths and backgrounds, in an Administration that
strives to be as diverse as the country it serves.
Associate General Counsel in the Office of
I was raised in Philadelphia, PA and attended
public school there. My parents were both educators with the
Philadelphia public schools and instilled in me and my siblings
a thirst for knowledge and respect for others. These character
traits opened doors for me to attend Ivy league universities for
college and law school, travel abroad, and pursue a career as an
attorney. Yet, as a Muslim woman who is also African American, I
have been reminded throughout my life that I may face challenges
and hostility because of my race, faith, and gender.
I became a public servant in 2009 when I joined the Justice
Department's Civil Rights Division as a Senior Trial Attorney.
When I first joined the Civil Rights Division under the
leadership of Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez, we
embarked on a comprehensive mission to let Americans know that
the Civil Rights Division was "open for business" and we were
prepared to bring cases to protect the civil rights of all.
Sadly, my work also allowed me to see first-hand the result of
hateful rhetoric similar to what we are witnessing today in the
form of hate crime prosecutions, housing discrimination cases
and employment discrimination cases brought by Muslims, Sikhs,
Christians and others.
The heckler had no way of knowing that I was born and raised in
Philadelphia to a family whose history in this country is as old
as the nation itself.
One experience that sticks out in my own life took place when I
moved here to Washington after the President’s election. While
walking not far from my office in downtown DC, a man yelled at
me from his car "go back to your country." He apparently
supposed that I was not American because I wore a hijab (a
traditional headscarf worn by some Muslim women). The heckler
had no way of knowing that I was born and raised in Philadelphia
to a family whose history in this country is as old as the
nation itself. He was unaware of my family’s contributions to
both building and defending our great country. Little did he
know that my family, perhaps like his, includes teachers, school
administrators, lawyers, nurses, writers, transportation
workers, and several members of the Armed Services (one of whom
was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation for his service during
World War II).
I would have enjoyed the opportunity to engage the heckler and
share with him my experiences as a Senior Trial Attorney in the
Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, prior to arriving at
the Executive Office of the President. Perhaps he may have been
interested in a case I brought on behalf of a prison guard who
was sexually harassed by his female supervisor. Or, a Muslim
woman who was denied a religious accommodation to go on Hajj. I
could have also related my work in advocating for the rights of
school police officers who wished to observe their religion
while at work by wearing beards. Or, he may have found comfort
in knowing about my work on a disparate impact case that helped
improve the Fire Department of New York by ending decades of
employment based discriminatory practices against Latinos and
African Americans. Muslim Americans have and continue to provide
support to this nation in so many arenas.
Tanya Somanader: Director
of Digital Rapid Response for the Office of Digital Strategy.
The Humanion includes Tanya Somanader in this celebratory
presentation (presented by her) of humanity.
All Photos: Kelly Jo Smart: Special
Assistant to the White House Chief Digital Officer. The Humanion
includes Kelly Jo Smart in this celebratory presentation
The Photo of President Barack Obama
with the young people was taken by Official White House
Photographer: Pete Souza. The Humanion includes Pete Souza and
the young people and the President in this celebratory
presentation of humanity.
This presentation is taken from the White House Media
Release, titled, Muslim and American: Voices from the White
House. The Humanion has changed the title into: Humanity (
Muslim and American): Voices from the White House
The Profile: Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka UN Women
Mlambo-Ngcuka is sworn in as new Executive Director of UN
Women by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (August 2013). UN
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka is United Nations
Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women.
She was sworn into office on 19 August 2013 and brings a
wealth of experience and expertise to this position, having
devoted her career to issues of human rights, equality and
social justice. Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka has worked in government
and civil society, and with the private sector, and was
actively involved in the struggle to end apartheid in her
home country of South Africa.
From 2005 to 2008, she served as Deputy President of South
Africa, overseeing programmes to combat poverty and bring
the advantages of a growing economy to the poor, with a
particular focus on women. Prior to this, she served as
Minister of Minerals and Energy from 1999 to 2005 and Deputy
Minister in the Department of Trade and Industry from 1996
to 1999. She was a Member of Parliament from 1994 to 1996 as
part of South Africa’s first democratic government.
Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka began her career as a teacher and gained
international experience as a coordinator at the World YWCA
in Geneva, where she established a global programme for
young women. She is the founder of the Umlambo Foundation,
which supports leadership and education. A longtime champion
of women’s rights, she is affiliated with several
organizations devoted to education, women’s empowerment and
She has completed her PhD on education and technology at the
University of Warwick, United Kingdom.
Charles Frank Bolden, Jr., (USMC-Ret.) was nominated by
President Barack Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate as
the 12th Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space
Administration. He began his duties as head of the agency on
July 17, 2009. As Administrator, Bolden leads a nationwide
NASA team to advance the missions and goals of the U.S.
At NASA, Bolden has overseen the safe transition from 30
years of space shuttle missions to a new era of exploration
focused on full utilization of the International Space
Station and space and aeronautics technology development. He
has led the agency in developing a Space Launch System
rocket and Orion spacecraft that will carry astronauts to
deep space destinations, such as an asteroid and Mars. He
also established a new Space Technology Mission Directorate
to develop cutting-edge technologies for the missions of
tomorrow. During Bolden's tenure, the agency's support of
commercial space transportation systems for reaching
low-Earth orbit have enabled successful commercial cargo
resupply of the space station and significant progress
toward returning the capability for American companies to
launch astronauts from American soil by 2017. Bolden has
also supported NASA's contributions toward development of
developing cleaner, faster, and quieter airplanes. The
agency's dynamic science activities under Bolden include an
unprecedented landing on Mars with the Curiosity rover,
launch of a spacecraft to Jupiter, enhancing the nation's
fleet of Earth-observing satellites, and continued progress
toward the 2018 launch of the James Webb Space Telescope,
the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope.
Bolden's 34-year career with the Marine Corps also included
14 years as a member of NASA's Astronaut Office. After
joining the office in 1980, he traveled to orbit four times
aboard the space shuttle between 1986 and 1994, commanding
two of the missions and piloting two others. His flights
included deployment of the Hubble Space Telescope and the
first joint U.S.-Russian shuttle mission, which featured a
cosmonaut as a member of his crew.
Prior to his nomination as NASA administrator, Bolden was
Chief Executive Officer of JACKandPANTHER LLC, a small
business enterprise providing leadership, military, and
aerospace consulting, as well as motivational speaking.
Born Aug. 19, 1946, in Columbia, S.C., Bolden graduated from
C. A. Johnson High School in 1964 and received an
appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy. He earned a Bachelor
of Science degree in electrical science in 1968 and was
commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps.
After completing flight training in 1970, he became a Naval
Aviator. Bolden flew more than 100 combat missions in North
and South Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, while stationed in
Namphong, Thailand between 1972 - 1973.
Bolden earned a Master of Science degree in systems
management from the University of Southern California in
1977. In 1978, he was assigned to the Naval Test Pilot
School at Patuxent River, Md., and completed his training in
1979. While working at the Naval Air Test Center's Systems
Engineering and Strike Aircraft Test Directorates, he tested
a variety of ground attack aircraft until his selection as
an astronaut candidate in 1980.
Bolden's NASA astronaut career included technical
assignments as the Astronaut Office Safety Officer;
Technical Assistant to the Director of Flight Crew
Operations; Special Assistant to the Director of the Johnson
Space Center in Houston; Chief of the Safety Division at
Johnson (where he oversaw efforts to return the shuttle to
flight safely after the 1986 Challenger accident); lead
astronaut for vehicle test and checkout at the Kennedy Space
Center in Florida; and Assistant Deputy Administrator at
NASA Headquarters. After his final shuttle flight in 1994,
he left NASA and returned to active duty with Marine Corps
operating forces as the Deputy Commandant of Midshipmen at
the U.S. Naval Academy.
In 1997, Bolden was assigned as the Deputy Commanding
General of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force in the
Pacific. During the first half of 1998, he served as
Commanding General of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force
Forward in support of Operation Desert Thunder in Kuwait. He
was promoted to his final rank of major general in July 1998
and named Deputy Commander of U.S. forces in Japan. He later
served as the Commanding General of the 3rd Marine Aircraft
Wing at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego,
Calif., from 2000 - 2002. He retired from the Marine Corps
in 2003. Bolden's many military decorations include the
Defense Superior Service Medal and the Distinguished Flying
Cross. He was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame
in May 2006.
Bolden is married to the former Alexis (Jackie) Walker of
Columbia, S.C. The couple has two children -- Anthony Chè, a
lieutenant colonel in the Marine Corps, who is married to
the former Penelope McDougal of Sydney, Australia, and Kelly
Michelle, a plastic surgeon at the Howard University
Hospital in Washington.
What Alvaro Giménez, ESA’s
Director of Science and Robotic Exploration, said about
Professor Colin Pillinger when Professor Colin Pillinger
died is absolutely true: he mentioned his passion, his
immense pleasure in the work he did. He was a gifted
scientist with a sense and determination to carry on with
projects that he was involved in.
Like most people who became
aware and interested in the works of Professor Pillinger I
did not ever get to meet him in person but I always felt as
if I knew him because they way he would come across on the
His child-like enthusiasm,
his transparent personality and his joyous and exuberant
euphoria about his projects would come across as and when he
appeared on the media.
I remember how he appeared
with a model replica of Beagle 2 on television and how
wonderfully he was illustrating how Beagle 2 was going to
Gimenez mentioned this as
well, that Pillinger and his works, his love and enthusiasm
of working and learning in and about Planetary Sciences
worked as a guiding light for a lot of young scientists and
researchers who went onto work for organisation like ESA.
The very situation I just referred about his demonstration
of Beagle 2 on British television might prove to be the
inspiration for thousands of British young people becoming
Scientists and Researchers in all the fields that study and
seek knowledge of the heavens.
I felt a sadness whenever I
thought of him simply because of what happened to Beagle 2.
It must have made him really depressed and sad knowing that
it should not have happened, that it should have worked. But
it did not and went into a deathly silence. And
nothing could be done about the disappearance of Beagle 2.
How crushing and frustrating it must have been for him. Sad
most of all.
So when early this year
suddenly, when no one nowhere on earth was expecting to hear
or thinking of hearing the name Beagle 2 being mentioned
Beagle 2 just came to life like 'magic', literally from out
of the blue for NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter
photographed Beagle 2 on the surface of Mars. It did indeed
I screamed out as I heard it
on the news as if I was telling Professor Pillinger the news
that it was not all lost, that his Beagle 2 had made it to
Mars, as if he could hear me. I am sure a lot of other
people must have felt a sense of validation for the work of
Professor Pillinger and felt happy for him as his family
expressed after the news was heard.
An asteroid 15614 named after
Pillinger and a Mars Rover Opportunity Missions's
destination on the Endeavour Crater was named as Pillinger
Point which is very fitting.
This is our tribute to
Professor Colin Pillinger and his beautiful dedication,
steely determination and most of all for his child-like
love, sense of wonder and enthusiasm for sciences exploring
the heavens, particularly, the exploration of Mars. Long may
live his memories and long may they inspire young people
towards sciences across the globe.
We are now preparing for the
Mars Human Mission where Beagle 2 has landed first for which
Professor Colin Pillinger became known mostly in the outside
world and to the general public.
The Humanion proposes this to
NASA Mars Mission ( all other scientific communities
involved in this mammoth venture) that the day the Human
Mission to Mars lands on the almost 'mythical' Martian soil
be named after Professor Colin Pillinger as Pillinger's Day.
Posted on : November 4, 2015
ESA website says:
British planetary scientist
Professor Colin Pillinger, a former ESA principal
investigator, passed away on 7 May.
The Open University scientist was best known as the driving
force behind Beagle-2, the lander for ESA’s Mars Express.
He also proposed the Ptolemy experiment on ESA’s Rosetta
lander, Philae, which is just months away from landing on
“Colin was a unique and brilliant scientist, and always took
immense pleasure in his work,” says Alvaro Giménez, ESA’s
Director of Science and Robotic Exploration.
“His determination and passion for the exploration of space
and Mars in particular never waned, and captured the
imagination of the general public.
“He is also the reason that many of our ESA scientists
became interested in pursuing careers in planetary
exploration, and he will be sorely missed.”
The UK-led Beagle-2 Mars lander, which hitched a ride on
ESA’s Mars Express mission and was lost on Mars since 2003,
has been found in images taken by a NASA orbiter at the Red
Beagle-2 was released from its mother craft on 19 December
2003 and was due to land six days later. But nothing was
heard from the lander after its scheduled touchdown, and
searches by Mars Express and NASA’s Mars Odyssey mission
Now, over a decade later, the lander has been identified in
images taken by the high-resolution camera on NASA’s Mars
Reconnaissance Orbiter. The lander is seen partially
deployed on the surface, showing that the entry, descent and
landing sequence worked and it did indeed successfully land
on Mars on
“We are very happy to learn
that Beagle-2 touched down on Mars. The dedication of the
various teams in studying high-resolution images in order to
find the lander is inspiring,” says Alvaro Giménez, ESA’s
Director of Science and Robotic Exploration.
“Not knowing what happened to Beagle-2 remained a nagging
worry. Understanding now that Beagle-2 made it all the way
down to the surface is excellent news,” adds Rudolf Schmidt,
ESA’s Mars Express project manager at the time.
The high resolution images were initially searched by
Michael Croon, a former member of the Mars Express
operations team at ESA’s Space Operations Centre, ESOC, in
Darmstadt, Germany, working in parallel with members of the
Beagle-2 industrial and scientific teams.
The small size of Beagle-2 – less than 2 m across when fully
deployed – meant this was a painstaking endeavour, right at
the limit of the resolution of cameras in orbit around Mars.
Beagle-2 on Mars
After the identification of potential counterparts to
Beagle-2 in the expected landing of Isidis Planitia, a large
impact basin close the martian equator, further images were
obtained and analysed by the camera team, the Beagle-2 team
and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
The images show the lander in what appears to be a partially
deployed configuration, with only one, two or at most three
of the four solar panels open, and with the main parachute
and what is thought to be the rear cover with its
pilot/drogue parachute still attached close by.
The size, shape, colour and separation of the features are
consistent with Beagle-2 and its landing components, and lie
within the expected landing area at a distance of about 5 km
from its centre.
Security Council Discusses Continuing
Angelina Jolie Pitt
(right), Special Envoy of the United Nations High Commissioner
for Refugees (UNHCR), addresses the Security Council meeting on
the continuing conflict in Syria and the attendant humanitarian
and refugee crises. At her side is the High Commissioner,
António Guterres. 24 April 2015. Posted: 190116
Image: UN Photo
Call Them What You May But Forget You Not That They are
As Much Human As Any Other
Refugees and migrants wait
to be registered as asylum-seekers in Berlin, Germany. Call them,
what you may, name them what you would; but forget not that they are
as much human as any other Ram, Roma or Tom, as much as any other
Ahmed, Tajiaki or Anderson or any other Akiosa, Iima or Surjamukhi
or Abiola, Sanchez or Grace or Jing-ling, Watanaha or Pillar.
Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi Speaks of the Plight of the
Refugees. Photo: UNICEF/Ashley Gilbertson VII.
Imagine a rose
floating like a tiny little boat on
this ocean of infinity
And raise your soul-sail on this
wee-little boat and go seeking out
All along feed on nothing but the
light that you gather only light
Fear shall never fathom you nor
greed can tempt nor illusion divert
For Love you are by name by deeds
you are love's working-map
Only in the
transparent pool of knowledge, chiselled out by
the sharp incision of wisdom, is seen the true
face of what truth is: That what beauty
paints, that what music sings, that what love
makes into a magic. And it is life: a momentary
magnificence, a-bloom like a bubble's miniscule
exposition, against the spread of this
awe-inspiring composition of the the Universe.
Only through the path of seeking, learning,
asking and developing, only through the vehicles
and vesicles of knowledge, only through
listening to the endless springs flowing
beneath, outside, around and beyond our reach,
of wisdom, we find the infinite ocean of love
which is boundless, eternal, and being infinite,
it makes us, shapes us and frees us onto the
miracle of infinite liberty: without border,
limitation or end. There is nothing better,
larger or deeper that humanity can ever be than
to simply be and do love. The