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Prof. Boerner's Explorations

Thoughts and Essays that explore the world of Technology, Computers, Photography, History and Family.

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Category: Milestones

Edited by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Commentary:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumb_thumb_thumb_[1]Today we look at the second installment of African American women authors who have made major contributions to the literature of the 19th and 20th centuries. Many of these authors are still alive and producing more of their great works. Many of these works help to document the journey of the Black people in this country from slavery to freedom. Many of them also document the struggles against the forces of bias, segregation, and relegation to second-class status; the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and the legislation of the Great Society and the constitutional amendments are documented as well. These authors preserve the rich heritage of the African Americans.

phillis-wheatley-poems_thumb6

Let us celebrate the lives and works of these authors. We now will proceed to examine the lives and works of these African American Women in more detail... GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2012 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 2995 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Milestones in History — Black Women Authors:

[ http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/african-americans.html ]

    

“As much as everyone wants to downplay racism, it exists. There’s a great mistrust among some African-Americans of white people.”
— Steve Mitchell

“I’d like to see marriage count again among African-Americans and not just in the society in general.”
— Leah Ward Sears

“I think one of the political problems we have in this country is the perspective that all soccer moms think alike, all African-Americans think alike.”
— Anne Northup

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Edited by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Commentary:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumb_thumb_thumb_Today we look at the first installment of five African American women authors who have made major contributions to the literature of the 19th and 20th centuries. Many of these authors are still alive and producing more of their great works. Many of these works help to document the journey of the Black people in this country from slavery to freedom. Many of them also document the struggles against the forces of bias, segregation, and relegation to second-class status; the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and the legislation of the Great Society and the constitutional amendments are documented as well. These authors preserve the rich heritage of the African Americans.

phillis-wheatley-poems

Let us celebrate the lives and works of these authors. We now will proceed to examine the lives and works of these African American Women in more detail... GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2012 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 2822 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Milestones in History — Black Women Authors:

[ http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/african-americans.html ]

    

“As much as everyone wants to downplay racism, it exists. There’s a great mistrust among some African-Americans of white people.”
— Steve Mitchell

“I’d like to see marriage count again among African-Americans and not just in the society in general.”
— Leah Ward Sears

“I think one of the political problems we have in this country is the perspective that all soccer moms think alike, all African-Americans think alike.”
— Anne Northup

continue reading…

Edited by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Commentary:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumb_thumb_thumb_I have fond memories of a young musical duo from my home town of Downey, California, who made a major “splash” upon the musical scene in the 1970s — The Carpenters. After surviving the British rock star invasion, lead by The Beatles, and the acid rock groups of the Woodstock generation, The Carpenters were a breath of fresh air. Their music was termed as “Soft Rock” in contrast to the hard rock of the late 1960s. The Carpenters were made of a brother and sister team, Richard and Karen Carpenter, who had learned their vocal lessons initially at the First Baptist Church in Downey.

    

    

Their music was melodic with comfortable lyrics that helped us recover from the stress of the office or classroom. They were uplifting and helped gird us up to be the parents that our children needed and the workers that could navigate through the maze of the daily work life. Besides these calming effects, the music of The Carpenters was just fun to listen to at home or in the car. It was not heavy, it didn’t necessarily challenge our minds, and it didn’t move us to action. It relaxes and soothed us. We could do well to find groups today that could fulfill this function.

But this success story had a downside. At the pinnacle of their success, Karen Carpenter succumbed to her years long struggle with the eating disorder, Anorexia nervosa. She had been under treatment for years and her weight had dropped below 100 pounds, which on even a person of her small stature was way too little. She had been in treatment, but left the hospital. No long afterwards, Karen lost her battle with this terrible disease. At the you age of 32.

R.I.P., Karen; we will miss you. We now will proceed to examine this talented vocalist and her career, but we will also take a brief look at the disease of Anorexia briefly. A fuller look at that dreaded affliction of many teenaged girls will have to await another posting for a more detailed investigation... GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2012 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 2736 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Karen Carpenter:

[ http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/k/karen_carpenter.html ]

    

“Not enough people in this world are happy.”
— Karen Carpenter

“I feel like the health industry is getting nothing but stronger every day.”
— Karen Carpenter

“I’m just afraid I’m gonna miss it all… being married… being a mother.”
— Karen Carpenter

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Written by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Commentary:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumb_thumb_thumb_Superstition holds that bad things happen in groups of three. If you believe that, the events of the last week fall into that pattern. on January 27th, the Apollo 1 fire took the lives of three of our astronauts. On the 28th, the Space Shuttle, Challenger, exploded just as it was about to go to full power on launch. And today, February 1st, we are covering the break up of the Space Shuttle, Columbia, the first shuttle to fly. So within a seven day period, we remember three disasters that have befallen our space program over the years.

night_space_shuttle_launch

Fortunately these disasters did not occur during one calendar week, but identifies a time of the year when they seemed to be more likely to occur. Why does this week seem to be so prone to accidents? After all, these missions were all associated with the Cape Canaveral/Kennedy Space Center complex located in southern Florida. That is not in the snow belt of the Great Lakes region nor were any of these accidents associated with hurricanes known to hit the area. So what could be the cause?

Well, for one thing, space exploration has inherent risks; it is far riskier than traveling on a scheduled airline. The fire in the Apollo 1 Command Module probably could have occurred anywhere. NASA was still experimenting with the environment, especially for the first three-man crew.

A second factor was the weather at the cape. While the area is generally known to have a warm, sunny climate. However, the nights often had low temperatures that resulted in overnight frost and the build-up of icicles. And both shuttle disasters were associated with the cold temperatures. We often still hear about a delay of a launch due to icing, a lesson learned from these disasters.

Columbia_sts-1_01

Finally, we must remain aware that these rockets ran on liquid hydrogen and oxygen. In that state, the fuel itself is at temperatures far below zero degrees Fahrenheit. That in itself can cause ice to form on the outside of the tanks, of which the shuttle launch vehicle has two. Between the ice formed on the launch platform itself and the ice on the tanks, the is a real possibility for some of this ice breaking off and damaging the insulation tiles, o-rings, and other connections.

We grieve with the families and friends of these brave astronauts who perished in this disaster. The two non-Americans had performed their assigned tasks as expected during their time in space. It was as shock to all watching, including myself, as this shuttle came in for its landing at the cape. We had seen so many of these re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere during previous flights and expected the same, routine glide of the shuttle to another safe landing. Then the disaster hit; the areas of the shuttle’s underbelly that lost its heat tiles caused the accident. We didn’t know what had happened until the announcement from mission control. While space travel has inherent risks, may we never see another scene like this!

But now let’s get started looking at the details of this Columbia Space Shuttle Disaster… GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2012 • Gerald Boerner • All Rights Reserved

[ 2338 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Shuttle:

[ http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/shuttle.html ]

    

“After the Challenger accident, NASA put in a lot of time to improve the safety of the space shuttle to fix the things that had gone wrong.”
— Sally Ride

“I will go around the space shuttle and give a guided tour of the major areas and describe what is done in each area. This will be called The Ultimate Field Trip.”
— Christa McAuliffe

“I think the Space Shuttle is worth one billion dollars a launch. I think that it is worth two billion dollars for what it does. I think the Shuttle is worth it for the work it does.”
— Pete Conrad

“I had been here five years already, training very hard, learning about the systems, the shuttle, the station systems. But, everything really became real when I started to work with them.”
— Philippe Perrin

“After the loss of Columbia a couple of years ago, I think we were reminded of the risk. All of us, though, have always known that the Space Shuttle is a very risky vehicle, much more risky than even flying airplanes in combat.”
— Mark Kelly

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Edited by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Commentary:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumb_thumb_thumb_I remember that day back in 1986, when we were watching the launch Christa McAuliffe, the first educator, into space. Then we watched in horror and unbelief when the Challenger exploded a little over a minute into the flight. This was a sobering time and a time for national mourning, not dissimilar to the aftermath of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., Robert Kennedy, and others. We were all in pain, we all grieved. But today, let’s look back upon the space program and the brave men and women who participated both as astronauts and in the ground crew. We take our “hats” off and thank them for their bravery and willingness to serve on the forefront of our country’s quest of space.

Challenger_flight_51l_crew

In recent history we have witnessed first-hand the explosion shortly after clearing the launch pad of the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1986. This event sent shutters through our bodies in a fashion similar to that that most of us did as we watched Neil Armstrong take those first steps on the moon in 1969. But this time, the reaction was not from the joyful sharing of an event of great import for all mankind, it came from the realization that the entire Challenger crew perished in the explosion. In just a few seconds, we saw the lift-off of the shuttle from the launch pad followed by a puff of white smoke that could be seen when the shuttle broke apart, with different large chunks going in different directions.

At the time, I was working for a school district and witnessed the event “real time,” not on video tape on the evening news. All educators were thrilled by the fact that one of our own, a high school teacher from New England, Christa McAuliffe, was travelling into space. She would be the first civilian to make such a voyage. She was prepared to carry out a number of educational experiments during her time in space and was being followed by schools across the country. But the voice of the TV commentator soon informed us that something terrible had happened a few seconds after launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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Then we witnessed the debris from the shuttle fall from the sky. With that debris were the bodies of the seven shuttle astronauts. There was no escape. This incident resulted in a suspension of future shuttle flights until the cause of the accident had been determined and remedied. And it turned out that the cause was due to the failure of an O-Ring that cost just a few dollars. After this tragedy, both the equipment checks before launch and the launch procedures themselves were changed. A major cause of the O-Ring failure was the launch in the early morning hours in freezing weather. Ice had been an ever-present hazard to all launches from Cape Canaveral over the years; each crew breathed a sigh of relief when their vehicle had cleared the launch tower. Procedures were instituted that prevented launch until ice would no longer be a hazard.

We now will proceed to examine this event in history in more detail... GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2012 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 3472 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to (Space) Shuttle:

[ http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/shuttle.html ]

    

“I can remember in early elementary school when the Russians launched the first satellite. There was still so much unknown about space. People thought Mars was probably populated.”
— Christa McAuliffe

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified. Do not be discouraged for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
— Rick Husband

“When you look at the stars and the galaxy, you feel you are not just from any particular piece of land, but from the solar system.”
— Laurel Clark

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Edited by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Commentary:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumbAmerica was challenged by its new, young President, John F. Kennedy, who at his inauguration called for the U.S. to put a man on the moon and return him safely to earth by the end of the 1960s. This was a major escalation of the space race that began when the Soviet Union launched Sputnik I in 1957. The scientific, engineering, and manufacturing resources of America was directed towards this goal. I remember the pride that I felt when that first man stepped onto the lunar surface.

APOLLO 204 CREW TMH 01/27/2011

This quest to conquer space was not always successful. Launch vehicles failed, New technological solutions needed to be tweaked. scores of personnel needed to be trained. And a whole new science, telemetry, had to be developed. There were accidents happened; the worst of these occurred when three astronauts died in their command module of the Apollo 1 in 1967. The was a major, if temporary setback for the program.

But this problem was solved and man eventually did walk on the moon. We did achieve the goal presented to us by that President whose life was also lost to an assassin. You should check out my series on the Space Race; it is found under the “Emerging Technologies” menu tab. Many different developments needed to come together to accomplish this great goal.

When we look back at the contributions of the space program during the 1960s, we see amazing strides being made. I was in college at that time and saw these changes all around me. Living in Downey, California, put me near the nerve center of these advances, since North American Autonetics was just down the street. This was the company that designed and built the Apollo module. The computer brains behind the engineering and programming the onboard avionics for many of these missions. Much of the liquid Oxygen was generated in nearby Ontario and transported across the country by the trucking company I worked for during graduate school.

Oxygen_gas_truck_transport

At the beginning of the decades of the 1960s, computers were the devices that engineers operated. By the end of the 1960s, these devices became both more powerful and easier for the non-engineer to operate. At the beginning of the decade, telecommunications meant the telephones connected to AT&T, but by the end of the decade the first IMP (Internet Message Processor) had been delivered to UCLA, SRI, and the UC Santa Barbara campuses to test out the primitive ARPAnet that became the Internet two decades later. At the beginning of the decade found medical monitoring done with a stethoscope by a doctor, but by the end of the decade we had remote monitoring capability that allowed Mission Control to monitor the vital signs for astronauts in space. And, at the beginning of the decade computer-controlled systems required direct, hand-on manipulation while at the end of the decade new instructions could be sent the space vehicles hundreds of miles away. This was real progress brought about by the space program under NASA’s oversight.

Yes, on that terrible day in January of 1967 we lost three well-trained, good men in that capsule fire aboard the Apollo I module. But our space program was fortunate that these were the only deaths that we experienced during a decade of monumental progress. We don’t know how many, if any, Soviet cosmonauts were lost during their space program development; the Soviet’s maintained a closed society where any such losses were probably hidden to outsiders. We paid a small price for our successful landing on the moon.

But now its time to start our exploration of the Apollo 1 Program... GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2012 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 2975 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Apollo:

[ http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/apollo.html ]

    

“He who commands an Apollo flight will not command a second one.”
— Wally Schirra

“At this point in my career, Apollo 13 is a million light years away.”
— Kathleen Quinlan

“Kennedy had made a mess in Cuba at the Bay of Pigs. He had to do something to look good. The Apollo program of going to the Moon was quite a goal.”
— Wally Schirra

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