I remember the Queen’s Golden Jubilee ten years ago. When the commemorative flypast took place, I was festering in a box room on an ex-council estate in East London. I think I was hungover.
Actually, I was 22 years old. I know I was hungover.
Three miles west of my less-than-regal living quarters, more than a million individuals had mobbed The Mall and the wider environs of Buckingham Palace. Many were armed with union flags, others just with cameras, hoping for a fleeting glimpse of the boyishly handsome Prince William. There was, by all accounts, a party atmosphere – aided I’m sure by the fact that the Great British elements had opted not to rain on this particular parade.
But more than the event itself, I recall an outpouring of surprise from the press and the public alike that the occasion had not been a washout in the wider sense. The Windsors were perceived to have a popularity problem. Papers such as "The Guardian" decreed that they were out of touch with the populace, and the populace would be out of sight come the Jubilee.
When you look at the USGS website after an important earthquake has occurred, you will see a little tab at the top that says: DYFI? That means “Did You Feel It?”
The USGS uses this information to determine the “intensity” of the quake. How bad was the shaking? What did you feel? Was there any damage?
This data helps assess the quake on a real-time basis by those affected by the shaking. By responding to the questions, you in effect, are helping in the study of earthquakes. Some of that information can be used to make future “shake maps” and determine seismic hazards.
Even if you didn’t feel the quake in your area, or felt only very little, they want to know!
Here is why and how they use the info.
And here is the survey.
What a week it has been for space geeks. And it's only Tuesday!
First we had a rare annular solar eclipse. Well, some of us did. Here in Hong Kong, the clouds refused to cooperate...
Now, SpaceX has sent its Dragon capsule on a path to the International Space Station. The Falcon 9 rocket lit up the dark Florida sky as it carried Dragon up into orbit.
Afterward, SpaceX founder Elon Musk tweeted, "Falcon flew perfectly!! Dragon in orbit, comm locked and solar arrays active!! Feels like a giant weight just came off my back."
Musk also wrote, "Huge appreciation for @NASA, without whom we could not even have started, let alone reached this."
NASA has invested about $800 million toward developing space cargo transportation in the private sector. In addition to SpaceX, NASA also has a partnership with Orbital Sciences Corporation. Orbital could have its test launch to ISS late this year or early 2013.
SpaceX has now done what no other company has attempted. But big tests remain. And if all goes well, SpaceX will make history on Friday by berthing with the ISS. Success there would truly be a "giant leap" for commercial spaceflight.
What a week, indeed!