22 June 2014

Book Review: An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth

Category: Reviews — Posted by Michael at 1755

I never typically write reviews for Amazon purchases, but Chris Hadfield’s book warrants special attention.

This book is fascinating on several different levels. First it provides a biographical look at Chris Hadfield’s life. He explains his childhood and everything that led up to his becoming an astronaut. It’s a great story of someone who knew what they wanted their entire life and worked exceptionally hard to achieve it.

As Hadfield tells his own story he uses his own experiences to give some really good advice on how anyone can think like an astronaut in their own life as a means to achieving their goals and focusing themselves on being prepared for whatever life throws at them. This is certainly not a self-help book but it leaves the reader with a lot to think about regarding how they handle events big and small in their own life.

The third angle to this book is the inside look at the space program. Hadfield provides a firsthand account of what it takes to become and astronaut plus a detailed description of what it’s like to be an astronaut when you aren’t riding a rocket into outer space. People generally don’t think about the training and everyday work done by astronauts in the he months or years between going into space but this book paints a great picture of it.

Of course, it also describes in great detail the exciting part of being an astronaut, launching into space and living in space (Hadfield was the commander of the International Space Station). From the most mundane tasks that become complicated while living on orbit to performing space walks, he describes experiences that most people will never experience for themselves.

Regardless of which of the above facets of this book interests you the most, it will keep and hold your attention. Chris Hadfield comes across as a totally honest and genuine author and if you’ve ever seen the cover of “Space Oddity” that he performed aboard the ISS, then you that’s probably an accurate depiction.

29 May 2014

Reading Rainbow’s Amazing Resurgence

Category: Interesting Links — Posted by Michael at 2050

I’ve never used or even looked at Kickstarter before but last night I signed up and made a donation to a great project. If you were a kid anytime in the 80’s or 90’s, chances are you grew up watching Reading Rainbow with LeVar Burton. (If you’re my age you probably also moved on to watching him as Geordi La Forge on Star Trek: The Next Generation and therefore greatly appreciate the cameo by Brent Spiner at the end of the Kickstarter video.)

LeVar carried Reading Rainbow into the digital age by turning it into an iPad app. Now he’s looking to take it to the web and bring it into schools. He’s funding it the same way the show was funded on PBS… “by viewers like you.”

He was seeking a million dollars over a period of 35 days. The goal was exceeded in the first day and more than doubled by the second day (today)! This is a testament to how many lives have been touched by Reading Rainbow.

Even though the goal was already exceeded by the time I donated, I’m proud to be a small part of bringing this great show and it’s mission of encouraging a passion for reading in a new generation of kids.

If you wish to donate too, just click this link or watch the video below for more info.

10 December 2008

Berks County Covered Bridges

Category: Interesting Links,Life,Photography,Site Updates — Posted by Michael at 2211

Wertzs Bridge

I finally found time to go on another covered bridge tour. If you haven’t seen my previous photos from the Lehigh Valley, you can check them out here. Then go check out my newest photos from the covered bridges of Berks County. I’m sure they aren’t the last ones you’ll see posted.

The photos also include some pictures of the Reading area including the William Penn Memorial Fire Tower and Pagoda.

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