Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Potpourri XXIV

I had to update my bio for work. Here's the latest version, in case someone asks (or even if they didn't):


Bart Leahy is a Senior Technical Writer at the Schafer Corporation, where he supports the Ares Projects at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Since 2006, he has written conference papers, speeches, articles, web content, presentations, brochures and other outreach materials on nearly all aspects of the Ares launch vehicles and the Ares I-X test flight. He leads the Technical Communicators Working Group as part of the Ares Outreach Team.

Prior to coming to NASA, Bart was a proposal writer for the defense industry and a technical writer for the Walt Disney World Resort.

During his time at NASA, Bart has been a member of four teams that received a Group Achievement Award. As a professional writer, he has produced papers for the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), the International Astronautical Congress (IAC), and the Joint Army-Navy-NASA-Air Force (JANNAF) conference, as well as over 30 articles for Ad Astra, NASA ASK Magazine, (the National Space Society’s web site), Science@NASA,, Space News, and The Space Review.

Bart has a Bachelor's degree in English Literature from Northern Illinois University and a Master's degree in Technical Writing from the University of Central Florida. His master’s thesis described methods of using targeted marketing to enhance the appeal of space exploration advocacy.

Bart is a true believer in the space cause. In his free time, he is a member of the National Space Society (NSS), which recognized him with an Award for Excellence as an advocate. He has written for and led NSS’s Space Settlement Calendar; led a campaign to send letters to the editor into the top 100 newspapers in the United States during “World Space Week”; and has written position papers and talking points for citizen lobbyists as part of the NSS Policy Committee. Bart is also Vice President of the local chapter of NSS, the Huntsville Alabama L5 Society (HAL5), a member of the Mars Society, the MarsDrive Board of Advisors, a public outreach writer for the Mars Foundation, and a regular member of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF), Society for Technical Communication (STC), and AIAA. He has been a convention speaker and panelist on a variety of space exploration topics.


New from Hu:

  • Congressman Parker Griffin (D-AL) is doing his part to keep government money and jobs in the Huntsville area.
  • Apollo 17 astronaut and former Senator Harrison "Jack" Schmitt will be giving the commencement address to UAH grads. He should have interesting things to say. Last time I heard about Jack, he had quit the Planetary Society for jumping on the global warming bandwagon.
  • Jeff Foust makes a case for a suborbital version of the COTS program.

Another snappy article from my buddy Dauna over at Science @ NASA, this one on NASA-powered weather prediction hardware being used in Northern Alabama. I love Dauna's easygoing, reader-friendly writing style.

This one from Nick the Wiki Guru: Sending webheads over to the Middle East to inspire Web 2.0 businesses in Iraq.

That's MISTER Rocket to you, pal...a seriously big, 1:10 scale Saturn V rocket gets ready to fly.

Like we didn't have enough to worry about, Charles Osgood sounds an alarm about the state of our sun...and has some interesting things to say about global warming as well.

Another article about robots in warfare.

The Chief Financial Officer at Freddie Mac is dead from an apparent suicide. Things are getting tough out there.

Twitter tips for federal agencies.

I got the following Chicago Tribune cartoon from Father Dan. It's a rip on Obama's idol Franklin Delano Roosevelt, inked in 1934. What goes around comes around.

Here's a new one: personalized photos of the Earth, taken by a camera mounted on a satellite in geosynchronous orbit.

I owe my coworker Tracy some more thoughts on education reform/improvements (she's rather surprised that she, a hard-core Democrat, and I are in agreement about several things). And I also need to comment at some point about some comments I read about Obama on Facebook. As ugly as things have gotten from my point of view--and even according to some of my friends who voted for The One and are having a wee bit of buyer's remorse--there are folks out there who think he's doing a perfectly brilliant, superb job of handling the nation's affairs. Blue State America really is different. Wow.

And much to my delight, after a week of waiting I now have a working washer/dryer unit in my apartment. My grade school/Facebook buddy Janet thanked me for helping "save the Earth." I thanked her for giving me the benefit of the doubt (asked her if she'd considered a job in marketing), but pointed out that my carbon footprint would be right back up there once I got the machines working. Anyhow, for Janet's sake, I won't run the machines until the weekend. They do have more capacity than the older units, though, so maybe they're more efficient, too. They're at least a better color--white instead of some '70s-era "cream" color--so that's an aesthetic improvement right there.

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