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Member since: Sun Jun 27, 2010, 09:05 PM
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NASA Renames Facility in Honor of 'Hidden Figure' Katherine Johnson


NASA Renames Facility in Honor of ‘Hidden Figure’ Katherine Johnson

NASA has redesignated its Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) Facility in Fairmont, West Virginia, as the Katherine Johnson Independent Verification and Validation Facility, in honor of the West Virginia native and NASA “hidden figure.”

“I am thrilled we are honoring Katherine Johnson in this way as she is a true American icon who overcame incredible obstacles and inspired so many,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. “It’s a fitting tribute to name the facility that carries on her legacy of mission-critical computations in her honor.”

US President Donald Trump signed into law in December an act of Congress calling for the redesignation. The facility’s program contributes to the safety and success of NASA’s highest-profile missions by assuring that mission software performs correctly. IV&V now is in the process of planning a rededication ceremony.

“It’s an honor the NASA IV&V Program’s primary facility now carries Katherine Johnson’s name,” said NASA IV&V Program Director Gregory Blaney. “It’s a way for us to recognize Katherine’s career and contributions not just during Black History Month, but every day, every year.”

Born in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, in 1918, Johnson’s intense curiosity and brilliance with numbers led her to a distinguished career — spanning more than three decades — with NASA and its predecessor agency, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. Among her professional accomplishments, Johnson calculated the trajectory for Alan Shepard’s Freedom 7 mission in 1961.

More at link.

If you haven't seen the movie "Hidden Figures" find a copy and watch it. It a great movie that follows Johnson and other female African-American mathematicians (Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughan) who worked at NASA. Doesn't look like it is available for streaming, so if you don't want to buy it, check your library.
Posted by Stonepounder | Sun Mar 3, 2019, 12:22 AM (0 replies)

Why I [Grace Slick] Decided To License Starship's Music To Chick-fil-A

(Note: This op-ed is by Grace Slick of Jefferson Starship/Jefferson Airplane fame writing in the 1st Person.)


Recently an ad agency asked me if they could use a song I sang on, in 1987, for a TV commercial. I didn’t immediately tell them to go f**k themselves. After all, I’ve licensed my music to advertise someone else’s product before. In 1967, Jefferson Airplane wrote a psychedelic jingle about white rabbits jeans that’s a damn classic (Google it!). But that was for Levi Strauss & Co. This time, the agency wanted the Starship tune “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” for a very different kind of enterprise: Chick-fil-A.

Chick-fil-A pisses me off. The Georgia-based company has a well-documented history of funding organizations, through their philanthropic foundation WinShape, that are against gay marriage. In interviews, CEO Dan T. Cathy has critiqued gay-rights supporters who “have the audacity to define marriage” and said they are bringing “God’s judgment” upon the nation.

I firmly believe that men should be able to marry men, and women women. I am passionately against anyone who would try to suppress this basic human right. So my first thought when "Check"-fil-A came to me was, “F**k no!”

But then I decided, “F**k yes.”

So that was my voice you heard on the Chick-fil-A commercial during the Grammy Awards telecast. I am donating every dime that I make from that ad to Lambda Legal, the largest national legal organization working to advance the civil rights of LGBTQ people, and everyone living with HIV. Admittedly it’s not the millions that WinShape has given to organizations that define marriage as heterosexual. But instead of them replacing my song with someone else's and losing this opportunity to strike back at anti-LGBTQ forces, I decided to spend the cash in direct opposition to "Check"-fil-A’s causes – and to make a public example of them, too. We’re going to take some of their money, and pay it back.
Posted by Stonepounder | Fri Mar 1, 2019, 01:51 AM (9 replies)

Sarah Huckabee Sanders Warns Michael Cohen to Leave Lying to Professionals (Borowitz)


Sarah Huckabee Sanders Warns Michael Cohen to Leave Lying to Professionals

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—As he prepared to testify to Congress on Wednesday, the former Trump lawyer Michael D. Cohen received a thorough scolding from the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who warned Cohen to “leave lying to the professionals.”

“You probably think you can step up to the microphone and lie like it’s the easiest thing in the world,” she said. “Well, you should try doing it each and every day, and then tell me how easy it is.” Sanders drew a sharp distinction between professional liars who take pride in their work and liars like Cohen, whom she called “strictly amateur.”

“Michael Cohen has never demonstrated that he is willing to put in the hard work, practice, and sheer drudgery of becoming a great liar,” she said. “This is definitely one of those ten-thousand-hours things.”

She said she hoped if American children watch Cohen’s “pathetic performance” before Congress that they do not get the wrong idea about America’s liars. “Kids need to know that there are many well-trained and highly professional liars in this country, and many of them are right here in the White House,” she said.

Posted by Stonepounder | Fri Mar 1, 2019, 01:39 AM (0 replies)

Trying to install Discord.

I am trying to install Discord on my Win10 computer. I keep getting an error:

"Unable to write to c:program dataxxxx" - IT policies may be restricting access to this folder"

and the installation fails. I've googled the error and tried the various fixes suggested and nothing works. I don't know enough about "IT policies" to try and change it myself without some hand holding. Anybody have an idea if what I need to do and how to do it to get Discord running?


For those of you that subscribe to multiple services,

Like Amazon Prime and Netflix and Hulu and etc. There is a nifty web site I stumbled across called "Just Watch". Just go to their web site, type in the name of the movie or TV show you are looking for and they will show you who has it for free, who has it for rental/purchase and how many seasons are available. Just go to:


Bezos Says Amazon Drones Ready to Deliver Mueller Report to Every American Household (Borowitz)


Bezos Says Amazon Drones Ready to Deliver Mueller Report to Every American Household

According to Bezos, Amazon has been planning the Mueller delivery mission for months, quietly building its drone fleet from a meagre two hundred to well over three million.

“Amazon will be doing same-day delivery of Mueller’s report the day it is released, free of charge, to both Prime and non-Prime households,” Bezos said. “This is our way of giving something back.”

News of the offer sent the Mueller report zooming to No. 1 on Amazon’s best-seller list within minutes.

According to the Amazon site, customers who shopped for the Mueller report also shopped for “Crime and Punishment,” by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

Three Asian-American lawmakers introduce a bill to prohibit internment like that of Japanese America


Three Asian-American lawmakers introduce a bill to prohibit internment like that of Japanese Americans during World War II

(CNN)On February 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an order that sent 120,000 Japanese Americans to internment camps for the remainder of World War II.

Now three Asian-American members of Congress are trying to ensure that something like that never happens again.

US Sens. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois and Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, along with US Rep. Mark Takano of California -- all Democrats -- have introduced a bill that would bar Americans from being forcibly incarcerated based on their race or religion.

The Korematsu-Takai Civil Liberties Protection Act of 2019 is necessary to safeguard individual freedoms, especially at a time when President Donald Trump has made divisive comments about Muslims and other marginalized groups, Hirono said in a statement.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

I believe this comes under the heading of "Never Again!"
More at link.

Trump EPA OKs 'Emergency' to Dump Bee-Killing Pesticide on 16 Million Acres


Trump EPA OKs 'Emergency' to Dump Bee-Killing Pesticide on 16 Million Acres

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported last week that in 2018 it issued so-called "emergency" approvals to spray sulfoxaflor—an insecticide the agency considers "very highly toxic" to bees—on more than 16 million acres of crops known to attract bees.

Of the 18 states where the approvals were granted for sorghum and cotton crops, 12 have been given the approvals for at least four consecutive years for the same "emergency."

Last year the EPA's Office of the Inspector General released a report finding that the agency's practice of routinely granting "emergency" approval for pesticides across millions of acres does not effectively measure risks to human health or the environment.

"Spraying 16 million acres of bee-attractive crops with a bee-killing pesticide in a time of global insect decline is beyond the pale, even for the Trump administration," said Nathan Donley, a senior scientist with the Center for Biological Diversity. "The EPA is routinely misusing the 'emergency' process to get sulfoxaflor approved because it's too toxic to make it through normal pesticide reviews."

I am beyond speechless. More at link.

Jeff Bezos Chooses Soon-to-Be Bankrupt Mar-a-Lago as New Amazon Headquarters (Borowitz)


Jeff Bezos Chooses Soon-to-Be Bankrupt Mar-a-Lago as New Amazon HeadquartersJeff Bezos

SEATTLE (The Borowitz Report)—Stating that he expected the property to be “bankrupt and vacant within the next two years,” Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, announced on Thursday that the Mar-a-Lago club, in Palm Beach, Florida, would be the site of Amazon’s second headquarters.

Bezos said that Mar-a-Lago was chosen from a list of soon-to-be-bankrupt properties, including the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster, Trump Turnberry, and the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Baku, Azerbaijan.

The Amazon C.E.O. said that, after Amazon acquires Mar-a-Lago, the company will start working around the clock to remove the property’s hideous décor, which he fears could prove distracting to warehouse employees.

At Mar-a-Lago, a longtime employee, who spoke on condition of anonymity, welcomed the Amazon move, stating, “This is one of the only places in the world where workplace conditions would improve if Amazon came in.” Another Mar-a-Lago employee, raising a question shared by many others, asked, “Does this mean we’ll start getting paid?” If the Mar-a-Lago deal goes through, it would mark the first appearance of books in that location, Amazon confirmed.

President Trump installed a room-sized golf simulator at White House


President Trump installed a room-sized golf simulator at White House

President Trump has installed a room-sized “golf simulator” game at the White House, which allows him to play virtual rounds at courses all over the world by hitting a ball into a large video screen, according to two people told about the system.
Trump’s system cost about $50,000, and was put in during the last few weeks in a room in his personal quarters, a White House official said.
Trump has played golf — the traditional kind, on an outdoor course — about 139 times as president, largely at his own golf clubs, according to an analysis by The Washington Post. There is no way to have an exact count because he usually does not acknowledge having played.
Trump complained to friends during the shutdown that he missed Mar-a-Lago and being at his Florida golf course.

You gotta wonder if he had it installed during the shutdown when he couldn't go to Mar-A-Lago, while 800,000 Federal workers were not getting paid and over 1,000,000 Gov't Contractors will never get paid for times missed? But tRump's gotta have his golf.
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