Thursday, July 23, 2009

Fortitudo, Vigilatia, Defensio.
Brought to you by the Department of Fairness...oh wait, I mean Justice. (wink wink Professor Bonner)

Olmecs in DC, ...who knew?

On a serious note, we all lead charmed lives, and I personally feel like I need to show as much gratitude to God as I possibly can. Alot of that effort is just plain obedience. How long shall thy hand be stayed, and thine eye, yeah thy pure eye, behold from the heavens the sins of this people? Hopefully I am repenting at a fast enough rate that this question doesn't hit me smack in the middle of the forehead and knock me out.

I don't know if you can tell, but below is a stump of tree that was used as a defence for some soldier in the civil war. It is insane to think of the carnage that accompanied such. Anyhow, be righteous. Obey God.

So I wish I had a geiger counter to show the people whose faces were pressed against the glass at this display, just how much radiation they were getting from it. It might have freaked some of them out. This was at the American History Museum, so I'm not sure if they consulted any doctors or physicists before putting this stuff 6 inches behind some plexiglass for millions of people a year to look at, ...but I was OK with it. If Los Alamos gave it to them, they probably did so with at least some confidence that nobody would die.

Cold Fusion! Rock On! ...if only it were that easy. Look how small we could have made the engines for our nuclear submarines!

So yeah, I'm a physics geek, but its awesome that my kids were able to climb all over a particle accelerator... Hopefully there was no residual raditation...

Wesley doesn't understand the idea of a vehicle with no driver capable of finishing a race course, but he was willing to stand in front of one to take a picture.

Good times.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

There is so much to explore here, for better or worse. Its nice to see more than just the Hollywood version of this area. I feel pretty blessed that our family has not felt threatened once while we've been here. Sierra even asked these punk skaters to watch their mouth last night on the train. One of the kids started to pipe up afterwords, but I turned around and gave him a crazy-eyed "I might castrate you if you keep talking" look, and he shut up in mid sentence. Although I had given him an evil glare, I thought they were pretty good mannered for having acted the way they did. And although they continued their own conversations, I didn't catch any more swear words. Pretty cool. So yeah, we are lucky to be here in this day.
So I was telling Sierra a chronology of my favorite airplanes... First as a kid, I fell in love with the F-14 Tomcat, and I remember my parents go me one to play with that made sounds that would change as you flew it up and down. It was aweseome. Then I liked stealth stuff for a while, including the Blackbird... Then I served as a missionary in an area adjacent to JFK, and was able to watch the Concord take off on multiple occasions, which definitely stole my heart. I wish the experience was still available. But after seeing the space shuttle in person, right in my face, I am blown away. I think that is an achievement beyond my capacity to describe.

How much Heavenly Father has blessed this nation is beyond anybody's capacity to fully convey, and a teeny tiny glance of that is available at the Air and Space Museum...

Anyhow, even if you disagree with that last statement, all four of my favorite airplanes, what I consider to be some of the greatest achievements of modern man, definitely wonders of the modern world, are sitting under one roof out by Dulles airport.

So my Grandpa Brown worked on this engine back in the day. For a split second, I thought about going over to the Air Force Recruiters and signing up... Of course, I would want to work on a modern Pratt Whitney, like maybe the one in the about sweet. But its pretty cool that they have an animated model of the engine my Grandpa used to fix. It lights up and everything.

So there is also a bunch of art, and history in the Air and Space Museum on the mall. If you only get to two places on your trip to DC, go to both of the Air and Space.

The boys don't realize they are sitting in a piece of the tread of the massive hauler that carries the rockets to the launch pad... Wowza.

I hope the boyos can remember this place.