Houston: Day 8 (Random photos)

Elect Slaughter. Best name for a politician.

These are just some random pics I shot after the Mexican night.
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Houston: Day 8 (Mexican Night)

Last night at the United Space School’s traditional Mexican Night we had two special visitors, astronauts Chris Hadfield and Catherine Coleman.

The night was capped off with Chris and Catherine performing for us, Chris on guitar and Cathy on flute. They played ‘Ride On’ in dedication to Sally Ride — the first American woman in space and the youngest American to ever fly up — who passed away recently.

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Houston: Day 6 (GOLD TEAM)

From the left: Rhiannon Potter (Australia), Sally Bruce (New Zealand), Jan-Henrik Kossakowski (Germany), Laura Cobban (Scotland), me, Lana du Plessis (South Africa). Down the front Harmen Hoek (Netherlands), Sophie May (Germany) and Camilo Torres (Columbia).

BOOM! This is my team for United Space School 2012. We are mission Mission Control. We are in charge of the mission to Mars: the funding, the politics, the publicity, where the base is located. We are the organisers and the decision makers. What an awesome team it is. Continue reading →

Links 22/07/2012

I was supposed to post this on Sunday but forgot. Enjoy!

How to make an MP’s life miserable, New Zealand Herald
I have been a long-time admirer of Bob Jones since I first met him in 2004 at the Salient Bob Jones Commerce Bash. This column follows another cracker about Don Brash being part of Auckland’s reptilian brotherhood. He seriously just does not give a fuck any more. Kia ora, Bob, kia ora.

The strangest coincidence ever recorded, AOL
Watch this. Be amazed. Call your child “Hugh Williams” and put them on a ship off the coast of Wales. Continue reading →

Houston: Days 3, 4, 5 (First day of Space School!)

Everything started to get really busy on Saturday. We had our first bunch of students arrive in Houston. We picked up the first three students from George Bush Intercontinental.

Here are some of my cell phone photos from the past few days.

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Cage fighting

A truly ‘merican pastime. Rob took us to this tournament because he is a judge. We got ringside seats, close enough for blood splatter.

WARNING: These photos do contain violence and blood, so you may not wanna look at them.

I’ll also preface this by saying cage fighting is not something I would normally attend or endorse.
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Houston: Day 2, part 2

This is the street we’re staying on in League City. Very green and quiet.
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Houston: Day 2

Meet Rob. He is the Executive Director of the United Space School. He is also an employee of a company called Nanoracks. Nanoracks basically sells space in space specialising in getting experiments up onto the International Space Station within the very narrow paramaters NASA and the ISS allow.

That thing he is holding is a satellite. I kid you not. A university in Vietnam designed this satellite which is going to be jettisoned from the ISS very shortly. Yes, that is measuring tape sticking out the sides. Yes, the real thing being launched into space has measuring tape for ariels!
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Houston: Day 1

Touched down in Houston last night to a balmy 28° C and 80 percent humidity and Laura, my friend from space camp first time around, was there to greet me at George Bush Intercontinental Airport.

Went from Auckland to San Francisco on Air New Zealand. It was a great flight. I read the book Amy gave me for my birthday: The History of Ornithology. I now know a lot about the people who studied birds through history. Managed to sleep a little bit. Highlight of the flight was 21 Jump Street. Actually hilarious with some awesome cameos.

Got into San Fran and had to wait almost two hours to get through customs. There were 300ish people in queue and only four staff letting people through. This made me almost miss my connection through to Houston. Yo, San Fran Airport, sort your shit out!
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Links 15/07/2012

Thanks to the many wonders of modern internets many awesome news stories are available at our fingertips. As I don’t sleep I end up reading a bunch of these awesome stories. I’ll try and do a wrap up every Sunday of the interesting links I’ve read in the week before.

The Ecology of Disease, New York Times.

From the article:

Emerging diseases have quadrupled in the last half-century, experts say, largely because of increasing human encroachment into habitat, especially in disease “hot spots” around the globe, mostly in tropical regions. And with modern air travel and a robust market in wildlife trafficking, the potential for a serious outbreak in large population centers is enormous.

Obama TV Ad: “Firms”

A perfectly pitched attack ad on Romney from Obama’s campaign. NY Times gives more details here.
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