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It’s H.G. Wells’s Birthday September 21, 2017

Posted by jkahane in birthday, book hut, history, reading hut, science hut.
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For those who are unaware of such things or just plain don’t necessarily care about them, today is H.G. Wells‘s birthday. Well, would have been, if he were still alive.

An outspoken socialist and pacifist, Wells is considered one of the two “Fathers of Science Fiction” (the other being Jules Verne). He led a remarkable life, wrote some fascinating books that were and still are considered science fiction romances, but had other claims to fame as well.

While I first read Asimov’s Foundation as my introduction to science fiction when I was 9 or so, it was Wells’s The Time Machine that may well have cemented my love of the genre, and taught me that “modern” sf in 1965 or thereabouts had predecessors that were just as important to read and know about.

Rest well, George Herbert Wells. You earned it.


On This Day… May 20, 2017

Posted by jkahane in history, tv hut.
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On this day in 1932, Amelia Earhart took off and became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

Also on this date in 1996, Jon Pertwee, the British actor best known for his roles as the third Doctor on the series Doctor Who and Worzel Gummidge, died at the age of 79.

Remembering Vimy Ridge Today April 9, 2017

Posted by jkahane in canada, history, in memorium, the world.
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Today is the 100th anniversary since the Battle of Vimy Ridge.

This battle is one of the most famous of the First World War, and is of special significance to Canadians. As the 100th anniversary since the battle, the ceremonies to be held in Canada as well as at the Vimy Monument in France will be unique today.

Here’s honouring the Canadian soldiers who died at Vimy Ridge on this day (and the days surrounding it) back on April 9th (to the 12th), 1917.
in 9 to 12 April 1917. They served their country well, and paid the ultimate price. It is only fair, right that we acknowledge them today on this anniversary.

31 Years Ago Today January 28, 2017

Posted by jkahane in history, personal, space sciences.
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Today is the twenty-sixth anniversary of the space shuttle Challenger disaster.

This disaster claimed the lives of:

Francis (Dick) Scobie, 46 (Commander)
Michael Smith, 40 (Pilot)
Ellison Onizuka, 39 (Mission specialist)
Judith Resnick, 36 (Mission specialist)
Ronald McNair, 35 (Mission specialist)
Gregory Jarvis, 41 (Payload specialist)
Christa McAuliffe, 37 ((Social studies teacher)

I was 30 years old at the time of the terrible disaster, and remember that I was horrified and terribly depressed and saddened by the explosion, and remember thinking that this was a terrible blow to man’s continued exploration in space. Indeed, it resulted in a 32-month hiatus of the American space program, but it was the Challenger disaster that redefined NASA in a major fashion. Despite this, the desire on the part of the folks who make up NASA’s astronaut corps and the folks who serve NASA in all capacities to explore space and continue on with this work is even stronger today than it was back then. Whether anything will come of the American (and others’) space program is to be seen, but I’m saddened that the exploration of space these days is dormant, at best.

It’s now thirty-one years since the Challenger disaster, as I mentioned. Those of us who are still present and accounted for after that time have hopefully lived a lot, and learned a lot over the years. Fortunately, the exploration hasn’t stopped altogether either, for which I’m grateful, and want to thank those who have kept the dream alive.

But we will never forget the Challenger disaster. It was a testament that we are all too mortal and frail, but also to the spirit of explorers, both past and present.

R.I.P. John Glenn (1921 – 2016) December 9, 2016

Posted by jkahane in history, in memorium, news, science hut.
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Saw on the news last night, and read in the morning papers, that John Glenn has died.

Former Astronaut and U.S. Senator John Glenn Dead at 95

One of the Mercury Seven, John Glenn made his famous first flight into space in February, 1962. I was only 6-1/2 years old at the time, so I didn’t really know the significance of the event, but as I grew older I came to appreciate it for what it was – a feat of challenging the unknown, a feat of historical importance in both the space race and the U.S.’s heading “out there”, and a feat of of personal bravery. The fact that John Glenn has always been a man to admire is something that makes his death so much more poignant, especially in this time of American politics.

We’ll always remember you for the astronaut you were, but more importantly, for the man you were.

Godspeed, John Glenn.

In Memorium December 6, 2016

Posted by jkahane in history, in memorium.
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A sad day in history.

Remember the 14

Geneviève Bergeron (b. 1968), civil engineering student.
Hélène Colgan (b. 1966), mechanical engineering student.
Nathalie Croteau (b. 1966), mechanical engineering student.
Barbara Daigneault (b. 1967), mechanical engineering student.
Anne-Marie Edward (b. 1968), chemical engineering student.
Maud Haviernick (b. 1960), materials engineering student.
Maryse Laganière (b. 1964), budget clerk in the École Polytechnique’s finance department.
Maryse Leclair (b. 1966), materials engineering student.
Anne-Marie Lemay (b. 1967), mechanical engineering student.
Sonia Pelletier (b. 1961), mechanical engineering student.
Michèle Richard (b. 1968), materials engineering student.
Annie St-Arneault (b. 1966), mechanical engineering student.
Annie Turcotte (b. 1969), materials engineering student.
Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz (b. 1958), nursing student.

‘Nuff said.