Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Jamaican working for NASA

A friend sent me the following. Have a read. Good to hear a Jamaican doing well in yet another area. How can we create a situation where this type of person can stay in Jamaica and succeed? Get rid of the high crime level I feel but how do we do that?

Anyway . . .

Jamaican heads NASA team on space station expansion project. When the "Discovery" space shuttle heads into space this month it will carry a special package 'gift-wrapped' by a Jamaican-born engineer and his team at National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the United States.

Glenn Chin is NASA mission manager charged with delivering a Node 2 module called "Harmony" that will expand the docking area at the International Space Station to accommodate other space programs. Chin heads a multi-disciplined team of 30 to 40 engineers and technicians at NASA which is involved in the testing, integration and assembly processes that will make "Harmony" ready for launch inside "Discovery's" cargo bay on the morning of Oct. 23. Once installed at the space station, "Harmony" will serve as a port for space programs from China and a combined 13 European countries.

"Harmony is a module with six docking ports where modules can dock to make the station bigger," explained the 43-year-old Chin, who attended high schools in Jamaica and the U.S. and college at the University of Miami, where he earned a degree in mechanical engineering. "It's like a six entrance hallway that you can add rooms to...It's actually the gateway to the international partners." That "hallway" or central building block is 24 feet long and 15 feet wide. It weighs 31,500 pounds.

SIMPLE TASK - It was built in Italy, with fine-tuning at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where Chin and his team are based. He was involved in the early design and construction of "Harmony" as part of a special team, which offered NASA insight into the project's progress. That required him to travel to Torino between 1998 and 2000. Other work assignments temporarily took Chin away from the "Harmony" project, but he would later return as mission manager. His task is simple: get "Harmony" ready for launch and make sure it works once it gets into space. But Chin is confident it will. Discovery's transportation of "Harmony" this month, also called "STS-120", is not the only mission Chin has been involved with at NASA. He has been in charge of 16, four of which he has seen through to their launch. However, despite acknowledging a familiarity with the procedures required for the task, Chin said the different types of "payload" he is required to deliver in proper working order keeps the challenge interesting. "It's pretty routine," he said. "The processes are pretty much the same. But the differences in hardware for each mission is unique. Each hardware is unique." So is his background.

Chin is one of a handful of Caribbean nationals working at the Kennedy Space Centre, which employs some 18,000 workers. He is proud of his heritage and credits his background for much of his success in the U.S. "That's huge for me," he said. "As a Jamaican I've always been a hard worker, persistent. When I came to the States I realized the opportunities here and went after it. "I have enough savvy to know you can reach for your dreams in this country." For the married father of a son, his dreams extend to outer space.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Do You Have to be Tortured to be a Genius?

His Royal Highness and I were watching an programme on famous artists we like to watch the other day - this time it was about Van Gogh. At the beginning of the programme we hoped against hopes that he would have had a happy and fulfilling life. We hoped this because most of the artists featured on this programme seemed to have pretty awful lives.

This seemed to be the same situation with poets - and other so calle geniuses, which led us to the question in the heading.

I hope the answer isn't no - I've always fancied myself a genius - but I'm certainly not tortured - well only by the Galaxy bar in my larder!


Monday, October 22, 2007

No Reason to be Sad re: Lewis Hamilton

In all that has happened, there is no reason to be sad about Lewis Hamilton's current position in Formula 1.

Yes, he didn't win the championship yesterday but when you think of what he has done in his rookie year - it is a great achievement.

I think it is a mistake for McLaren to be challenging Ferrari right now - if they were to win this challenge (which I doubt they will) it will be a bitter victory for Lewis.

On the news this morning a group of Alonzo supporters were quoted as saying they were glad Kimi won and not Lewis because as they put it, Lewis has been underhand in his dealings. Unbelievable - if anyone has been underhand in his dealings it is Alonzo.

The constant 'fight 'gainst' is amazing. You're forced to ask yourself if the problem isn't just that people are jealous because he has done so well was a rookie but fury that he has done so well as a BLACK rookie.


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Disgraceful Treatment of Ming Campbell

So those evil sods in and out of the Lib Dems have finally hounded Sir Ming to distraction enough that he resigned and sent a really pissed off letter to the media.

Ever since he became the leader of the Lib Dems the British public have been constantly bothering him and castigating him for being too old. He's in his 60s.

For heaven's sake, 60 odd isn't old, furthermore, 60 odd in politics certainly isn't old. The issue should have been was he effective and I thought he was.

Something is wrong with how politics runs - important issues that affect the populace take a backseat to how things (or people) appear. We will pay for this immaturity dearly.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Legalise Drugs

There's a story in today's Independent where a leading policeman is calling for drugs to be legalised as the 'war on drugs' has failed magnificently.

I agree. The only thing that criminalising drugs does is to push up the price and have criminals manage it. After all this time it's obvious that people will continue to do drugs even if it is legal. There are other legal drugs and because they are legal they are more readily controlled. Legalising drugs isn't the same as saying doing drugs is OK - it's just a matter of reducing (note i say reducing - probably won't be able to eliminate) the criminal element. Then at lease people would be safer.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Disappointed at First but Determined to do Well in Brazil

So by now you would all know that Lewis didn't win on Sunday and he didn't win any points as he didn't finish the race.

Bad decision on the team's part - they should have called him in at least 1 lap earlier - his tyres had had it. But I guess they know this now full well in retrospect. I hope they have learned the lesson that no matter how skilled the driver, he can't overcome equipment that doesn't work.

Wish him all the best in two weeks time.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Please Lord, Let Lewis Hamilton Win the Title

Yes folks, tomorrow is the day and His Royal Highness and I will be getting up at 6:00 am to see the race. Can you imagine the foolishness of the past few days with the Toro Rosso team trying to cock up Lewis' chances by complaining that he was driving erratically behind the safety car in Japan last week?

Now come on! I watched that race and if he was driving erratically I sure as hell didn't see it and neither did the seasoned professionals who were commentating.

Arseholes supreme! Why dem a fight so hard 'gainst Lewis?

Well at least the chief battybwoy Alonzo seems to have finally conceded that his chances are slim. Hopefully he realises now that he should have been putting effort into his driving and not into putting Lewis down and trying to screw with him in various ways.

Lewis is good at what he does. He works hard and this pays off. Why can't the reaction of others be to step up their game in response? Because of two main points:

1) Lewis is a rookie and is so good it makes them look bad - to this I say the same as above, then step up your game.

2) The same as above but add into that the fact that he is a BLACK man and the reason for the madness makes even more sense.

Something those of us who are black and live in a white country have come to learn albeit slowly and with growing horror through a process of elimination: many white people become mad with rage when black people do exceedingly well and by comparison they (the white folk) look bad. This results in bizarre and out of proportion behaviour.

My prayers are with Lewis and I hope that he will be able to stay focused in spite of the dreadful behaviour of some people - and thankfully, it is only SOME.

More power my yout!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Tavis Smiley and Important Info for Black People

Someone sent me the following today in an email. It's some information from Tavis Smiley and I thought it was so interesting it warranted being re-produced here. So here goes . . .

(Of course, I encourage people to look up 'facts' from the internet themselves and come to their own conclusions).

February 2007

A Word From Tavis Smiley
I don't know whether you all have seen the Black Think Tank that Tavis Smiley
hosts on C-SPAN every year, but it is powerful food for thought. Here are a few
of the things learned at the Black Think Tank this month.


1. The first Americans or Native Americans going back to 13,000 BC were black! Look up the Folsom people who lived in Arizona.

2. One of the best reasons to stop our use of the term African American and say Black. A white person who was born in Africa, who moves to America is An African American and qualifies for financial aid, etc., but will get the jobs/pay privileges afforded to whites.

3. Look up the Slavery Law of 1665 (which stayed in effect until 1968) and the Maryland Doctrine of Exclusion (1638): both laws state that blacks must be excluded from the benefits afforded whites, and that blacks must remain non-competitive with whites, except in sports and entertainment.

4. Two white men: Bill Gates and Larry Elision, combined have more wealth than the combined wealth of all 36 million blacks in America
. Civil Rights did not change the economic landscape or the balance of power in America.

5. Asians received 80% of all government minority set aside contracts. Hello!!

6. Blacks eat more fish than whites by a 4 to 1 margin. For every dollar that whites spend on fish, blacks spend $9 on fish. Fish sold wholesale for $1 will retail at $2.50 - $3.00. Guess what business we should be in as Blacks?

7. There isn't any black owned national cable, or major network television stations. Cathy Hughes, the black woman who owns our only black owned radio stations, plans to sell to white owners after hearing the deal Bob Johnson received for selling BET. (Cathy Hughes is from OMAHA y'all!)

8. There are no black owned companies on the Wall Street Stock Exchange; where blacks own the majority or controlling interest of the stock.

9. Ninety-six percent (96%) of all black inmates are men.

10. Over the next two years 440,000 black inmates will be released from prison. The State has no place to put them as they re-enter society. A profitable business would be a Halfway house!

11. In 1860, 98% of all Blacks in America worked for White people. In 2001, 98% of all Blacks in America still work for white people.

12. In 1860, blacks in America had a combined net worth of one half of 1 percentage point. Guess what, in 2001, after Civil Rights, Jesse Jackson, Oprah, Shaq, NAACP, and Urban League, our combined net worth is half a percentage point.

13. For every dollar earned by a Jewish person, that dollar touches 12 to 18 Jewish hands before it leaves their community. For every dollar earned by a black person it leaves the community soon as he or she earns it.

14. The last week of April 2003 in Washington , DC black teenagers were arrested and booked for eating McDonalds on the metro subway. Cops cited recent 5-4 court decision as the permission to arrest law breakers even for minor offences.

15. Sixty-seven percent (67%) of all hate crimes in America are against blacks.

16. After we get through being pleased that we have carpet in our office, a secretary, our name on the door and make six figures, we do not own anything.

17. What will happen if you miss 6 months of work without pay? All we've left for our children is debt not an inheritance. You cannot pass welfare or food stamps onto our kids as a nest egg! We are not even in the race.

18. By the way, the word 'race' hit the English language in the 16th century when Europeans held a contest to see who will win the race to gather the lost wealth through exploitation of blacks.

19. You must read Powernomics by Claude Anderson This is our blueprint to create wealth, not just have a job, but be a business owner, so you can hire people, be listed on the stock exchange, and develop businesses to meet our needs.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Save Walkerswood!

Just read a story about the trouble Walkerswood is in. Mercy! They can't let that company go under. It is a wonderful thing when you go into a major supermarket chain like Asda (owned by Wal Mart) or Tescos and Sainsbury's and you see the Walkerswood products.
I hope the financial people will be able to retain this Jamaican brand.