End of Space Shuttle Program

STS-135 Last Shuttle Launch via Robert Scoble

Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour were their names and together they flew 135 missions, took 335 people into low earth orbit, flew 537,114,016 miles in orbit, launched and fixed Hubble Space Telescope, and helped construct the International Space Station. Fourteen people have died riding in shuttles.

Atlantis touched down just before 6 a.m. EDT on July 21, 2011, signaling the end of the space shuttle era, a program with 135 launches over 30 years and conceptual roots dating back to the Nixon administration. via NASA – Goddard Watches Atlantis’s Return.

I remember watching Columbia’s maiden voyage on live television in my 3rd grade classroom on April 12, 1981. I think President Reagan said a few words before hand to christen Columbia and the shuttle program.

There were two tragic accidents in the program’s 30 year history. Challenger exploded 73 seconds after takeoff on January 28, 1986. Columbia broke up over Texas and Louisiana during re-entry on February 1, 2003.

President Reagan changed his State of the Union speech on January 28, 1986, and remarked, “We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and ‘slipped the surly bonds of earth’ to ‘touch the face of God.'” via NASA – President Reagan’s remarks following the loss of the Space Shuttle Challenger and her crew..

After Columbia’s accident, President Bush remarked, “This day has brought terrible news and great sadness to our country… The Columbia is lost; there are no survivors.”

Sad days for Texas education, public services

This practice is reverberating around the country. As good as  Texas is, as well as it weathered the recession, public services are not immune to budget cuts.

The Texas Education Agency is laying off 178 employees this week as part of budget cuts ordered by the state Legislature. via KBTX  Texas Education Agency to Lay Off 178 Employees.

The Texas Legislature had to cut something, unfortunately education was a big looser when the budget was finalized.

Media is reporting many local job cuts. College Station is cutting 27 positions. Bryan is cutting 20 jobs. Texas A&M already cut more than 150 jobs and more may be on the way.

“This Legislature will go down in the history books as the worst for public education in a generation,” said Rep. Mike Villarreal, D-San Antonio. “Now it’s time for legislators to go home and explain to their communities why they voted for or against these historic education cuts. via The Three Way Attack on Texas Public Education; Part One: Fiscal Responsibility « Education in Texas.

#Happy4thofJuly and the Hacking of Fox News Twitter

Happy July 4th. I woke up and checked Twitter and what’s the first thing I see? A tweet from someone I trust:

I think FOX News and/or Twitter might want to clean this up a bit. http://bit.ly/msyMFL

The link points to the FOX News Twitter feed that shows the half-dozen or so tweets saying that President Obama had been killed.

Now, what do I do with sensational tweets? Verify! I checked Google News and found this – The Associated Press: Hacking on Fox News Twitter reports Obamas death. Tada! Mystery solved. Sensational tweets placed in the Recycle Bin.

So the lesson here kids: verify trending tweets that seem incredible – chances are they are uncredible. Oh, and, fireworks should only be played with by sober adults. #HappyJuly4th #Happy4thofJuly