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Comment Re:The elephant in the room (Score 1) 55

Well, we ran it only as a science inquiry project. The judges were only given the grade of the students and their research application. All other identifying data was removed. Ten groups made the cut based on the strength of their work and nothing else. While it seemed the best approach, maybe things would have been better if we first pre-selected the winners based on socially acceptable moors and then worried about the science. Thanks for pointing out the error of my ways. :)

Comment Re:The elephant in the room (Score 3, Informative) 55

The teams selected were not chosen with any race or gender elements in mind, only the science. But we have two teams predominately African American, one Latino team and the other teams are made up of blended groups. Some groups as you have correctly pointed out, have little to no minority presence (we are working on that). For the record, not all groups have posted photos, not were all the photos posted suitable for media use.

There are an almost even number of girls to boys with the girls edging out the boys. We have one team exclusively made up of young ladies. Three student leads and five teachers are women. The teams range from college to kindergarten.

Comment Re:Saftey & Planning (Score 2) 55

I understand the concern and yes, the experiments could fly on a balloon - as has been done many times. The advantage of the glider is level stable flight. You cannot effectively steer a balloon, it mus be carried by the winds. The glider gives us the advantage (to a better degree) of picking the direction to fly in. If an experiment picks up something interesting on its instruments, the glider can fly back. The balloon cannot.

The Perlan II was designed with the payload capability in mind. It is also why the glider and payloads are being tested in Minden Nevada before the actual 90k attempt.

Submission + - Students and the Edge of Space - An amazing glider flight

techmage writes: In 2002 Steve Fossett and Einar Enevoldson set the altitude record for a glider climbing to 42,000 feet in the Perlan I. This year the Perlan II glider will attempt to reach over 90,000 feet. Carried aboard will be be 10 science experiments from students participating in a Teachers in Space contest. Some of these experiments push the boundaries of what can be done at the K-12 level. This news article has a lot more detail on what these kids are sending.

Comment Pay Out of Whack (Score 2) 712

As with all things, once you know you have access to the cookie jar, you can get what you want. The CEOs all get these great payouts because the board of directors agrees to it. Why? Because then the CEO can give them nice big Director fee checks. So the CEO gets the cookies and shares them with his friends. As long as the stock goes up, the stockholders will look the other way too. "It is all the cost of doing business," they will say. Everyone but the workers and customers win.

Submission + - 9 Things You Can Do In Space Right Now! (

techmage writes: Like the idea of space travel but don't have $250,000 extra in your wallet? has put up a list of 9 things you can do in space right now that don't cost as much as a moderate sized home. Want to send a photo? Maybe rent time on a satellite or take the ultimate in space training. Almost everything from $6 photo flights to full up space training is covered.

Full disclosure: I work for Photos To Space, a participant in the new space arena.


Submission + - NASA's Bolden: We Could Still Go Back to the Moon ( 4

MarkWhittington writes: "During NASA Administrator Charles Bolden's recent testimony before the House Science Committee, Bolden had an exchange with Congressman Michael McCaul, Republican of Texas, on the subject of returning to the Moon.

The exchange was very illuminating.

While the plan of the Obama Administration remains bypassing the Moon and going to an asteroid and eventually to Mars, Administrator Bolden suggested that American astronauts could be back on the Moon by 2020 if the decision was made to send them."


Submission + - The lunacy of Steve Jobs' reality distortion field (

An anonymous reader writes: Naysayers often scoff at the amount of attention devoted to Apple products, claiming that Apple fanboys are merely victims of the RDF, and therefore unable to think rationally. Steve Jobs is a cult leader, they say, and the Mac masses follow him blindly and willingly.

But here’s the thing, the reality distortion field doesn’t exist. Sure, Steve Jobs can pitch a product like no other, but his presentation skills have nothing to do with the millions upon millions of Apple products that are happily purchased by consumers every year.

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