The Perfect Focus

Finding focus in a blurry world…

January 28, 1986: Where were you?

We remember mission STS-51-L, the last flight of Space Shuttle Challenger…

Challenger Launch on STS-7

Front row: Michael J. Smith, Dick Scobee, Ronald McNair; Back Row: Ellison Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Gregory Jarvis, Judith Resnik

Front row: Michael J. Smith, Dick Scobee, Ronald McNair; Back Row: Ellison Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Gregory Jarvis, Judith Resnik.

Where were you? Please share your memory…

I was 7-years-old, and likely in school that day. I remember the talk about the “Teacher in Space” and all the buzz that many of the nations schools had about this wonderful program. But at such a young age for the life of me I can’t recall if we actually watched the launch in school that day or not; or if we simply received word that something was wrong.

Share your thoughts, what do you remember, and how old where you?

Some Shuttle Facts:

  • The Orbiter is 133-feet tall and it’s wingspan is 78-feet across.
  • It has 2 solid rocket boosters, 3 main engines, 2 orbital thrusters.
  • Each solid rocket boosters contain 1 million pounds of propellant and each provides 1,315 tons of thrust (at sea level)… They burn for a total of 2 minutes and 2 seconds.
  • The Main engines utilize 603 tons of liquid oxygen and 101 tons of liquid hydrogen in the external tank. Each provides 170 tons of thrust (at sea level)… They burn for a total of 8 minutes. Maneuvering system engines provide 2.7 tons of thrust.
  • Hottest skin temperature on re-entry 1,650 degrees Celsius, (thats 3000 degrees Fahrenheit)!!!
  • Average shuttle speed to launch to orbit is 25,000 miles per-hour; Average shuttle speed in orbit is 17,000 miles per-hour.
  • The shuttles nick-name on re-entry has been called “The Flying Brick“… Because the shuttle it self actually can not fly, it’s a glider.
  • Filed under: Personal, Tech
  • Google Reader

    RSS IconHave you tried Google Reader? Well, I have been using it for a few weeks now, and I must say it’s very enjoyable to log-in to my Google account and have all my RSS updates in one place.

    I never tried it before because it was yet another account I’d need to use, but it has become very handy. Now with all my blog friends updates in one place I can skim threw all their automatic updates in short order.

    What is RSS?

    From WikipediaRSS is a family of Web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works-such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, and video-in a standardized format. An RSS document (which is called a “feed”) includes full or summarized text, plus metadata such as publishing dates and authorship. Web feeds benefit publishers by letting them syndicate content automatically. They benefit readers who want to subscribe to timely updates from favored websites or to aggregate feeds from many sites into one place.

    There are other RSS Aggregators around, like Mac Mail, at least on OS X 10.5 you can subscribe to RSS feeds right from Mac Mail and not have to worry, the new RSS updates get sent to your “Mail box” as if they where mail messages… But since I’m still running OS X 10.4, I don’t have this luxury.

    In any case, I thought I’d make a quick post today about Google Reader, if you have not tried it… give it a shot, it’s free! Simply signup for a Google Account… and then activate the Reader function.

    Now if only Google Reader would actually READ to you, that would be cool!

    Don’t forget to support this site as well, you can Subscribe to our RSS Feed or if you prefer to listen to my posts you can Subscribe via iTunes… (Our Podcast’s are brought to you by the great service over at

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  • Filed under: Tech
  • Are you a SpEd?

    This term has come to mean a lot over the years to many people, since the start of the special education movement. There are many classifications of special education, and special needs classes today. Most notable are the two main classifications of Learning Support or Learning Disabled and Emotional Support… However, all are classed under the term of Special Education or as some seem to like the term “SpEd“.

    I do not like the term SpEd… I find it very derogatory… I should know, I was one! I know what it means and the hurtful remarks that follow it… I know how I was treated because I was in the “Special” class and I know how other in my class where treated because of it.

    From the Urban Dictionary:

    1. One who attends special education classes. 
    2. The special education program. 
    3. An insult used when someone does something stupid.
    4. A derogatory term meaning retard. 
    5. May also be used as sped sled, meaning the short little school buses all the special ed kids ride on.
    6. Sped” is a second form of retard. It’s commonly used but it is also really offensive toward “special” people.
    7. Often used in conjunction with retard.
    8. A retard.

    A nice term don’t you think? It can mean many things to many different people. I take offense when children use the term even in “play“, and I REALLY take offense when adults use the term to describe a child or the program.

    I was in the Special Education Program: Learning Support class, only because of my eyesight, not because I could not learn. I was an honors student thorough out school, earning Honors and High Honors, and even perfect attendance in 3rd grade.

    I was “Main Stream” (That means I attended a “Normal” classroom.) for all core subjects except Math and English, in my case. I took computer programming in high school, and was a student computer technician to the Junior and Senior High Schools. I even studied for my Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer certification.

    Am I still a sped?

    One of the greatest minds this world has ever known failed math, and could have been diagnosed as ADHD, if that term was around in his day… Do you know who it was? Albert Einstein.

    So please… Don’t use the term SpEd. If you must, a term such as Special Education or Learning Support sounds much more professional. And teach your children it’s not all right to use such terms in a derogatory way.

    Of note, I’d like to mention the blogs Ally in Wonderland. Ally is studying to become a Special Education teacher… And I’d also like to mention the blog Till the Short Bus, with her own play on words, who talks about her own struggles of raising a special needs child, and the trials of the special education program.

    Leave your comments please… I do respond to all comments; and remember e-mail address are not visible to the public when you comment.

  • Filed under: Personal