This year’s Smithsonian Folklife Festival had just two rather than the usual three cultural themes: China and Kenya. The Festival ran into some trouble with NPS over new park landscaping concerns, but everything seems to have been ironed out for at least the next five years.
Google Glass is large, conspicuous, and expensive. It’s a bulky two-piece computer prominently clinging to the side of your face on a frame that is unfoldable and unpocketable. Unless you have a bag* with you, Glass pretty much forces you to wear it on your face — and this might be by design. It’s possible Google wants Glass to be a real-life viral marketing tool for itself, just by being an extremely visible head-mounted conversation starter: conversations that will probably start with mention of the $1,500 price tag (after the standard “are you recording me now?”)
I’ve been a fan of journalist Miles O’Brien since his early days as a space reporter at CNN (following the untimely death of previous space reporter John Holliman). O’Brien recently lost his left arm to amputation, due to complications from acute compartment syndrome after a freak bag accident. He’s written a frank and moving piece in NYMag about his experiences post-amputation.
O’Brien was going to be the first journalist in space, but the fatal Columbia disaster cancelled that plan. He was later laid off from CNN. I can’t help but feel bad for the guy: he was a great journalist destined for awesome things, but fell prey over the years to a combination of factors outside his control. Despite all adversity I hope he gets to go into space eventually.
Owls were in rare form at the bird house.
A tiger was very interested in the zookeeper grinning through the reinforced doors.
Meanwhile, one of these Sponsored Otters is not named like the others.
Parent came to visit us in NoVA after Florida, so I took Mom out for a hike around the Billy Goat Trail at Great Falls (Maryland side). With the river swollen from the previous week’s heavy rain, the falls raged higher than I had ever seen them before, and Sec. A of the trail was closed due to flooding. Sec. B was still open, though, and proved just as fun and challenging.
We also spotted this rough green snake on the trail during the walk back.
It was great having my parents over for a weekend. Mom’s fitter than I am.
Nestled between the Orlando International Airport Gates 1-57 tram tubes, just behind security and a round planter, sits the airport chapel, a small round room with four couches, a table strewn with bibles and rosary rings, and a stained glass panel called “Tree of Life.”
Full photo album of Orlando International Airport Chapel here, part of my always-growing collection of airport chapel photos.
I was in Orlando to meet up with my parents before a convention, but I had a day to myself before they arrived. The first thing I noticed after checking in to an old, threadbare room at the Best Western was that the tap water smelled funny, like sulfurous mud, and I thought as I lay down to sleep: I should get out of Orlando.
I was at Dulles for a while that Friday. I had come over early from work to enroll for TSA Precheck, and tried driving in via a back route called “Ariane Way” that skipped the Dulles Access Road and was frequented by airport workers and cargo delivery trucks. A wrong turn somehow trapped me in the taxi lot, where I managed to U-turn into a one way lane right into the headlights of a rental shuttle before finding my way out to the terminal ramp, much to the amusement of the entire Dulles taxi fleet.