Monday, August 1, 2016By:
This was the 8th week of my internship. That means I've spent 80,640 minutes or 4,838,400 seconds as an SPS intern. With only two weeks left, it's hard to find where the time went! Significant progress has been made on the website. We met with the web disign team, and this coming week will be the last tweaking session for the demo website, and then we'll be able to start uploading! Whoo! We'll have a demoable site for our final project, and the last steps to launch the website won't require us, and will be done after we leave. But the last steps shouldn't take too long, and hopefully the website will be up by September sometime. That's big news, and is a legacy we as an intern group are glad to leave behind, especially since it will make the process of posting any future lesson plans that much easier. You're welcome future interns.
I also finished one of my two lesson plans based on the early 1800 textbooks by Mary Somerville and Jane Marcet. The second one is almost ready as well, it just requires reading through a few more things. Yay!
Last week, on Tuesday Victoria and I tried out a really good Indian place that is on K St. NE. It's called Indigo - Indian Food on the Go. Get it? We were very happy with our food, except that they didn't have Naan. I suppose that's a regional thing.
On Wednesday the interns went to NASA Goddard for a tour. Lots of pictures were taken. We saw:
The James Webb Space Telescope Cleanroom. Unfortunately the telescope was folded up and not really visible. But they were doing some laser experiments, which is cool:
This particular cleanroom is class 10, which I believe is the most clean a cleanroom can be. It's really quite an impressive acheivment.
While we didn't get to see the full JWST, we did get to see a model:
As well as a giant poster (about 2 stories tall) advertising the same thing:
Speaking of JWST, we happened upon the Nobel Prize awarded to the Project Leader for JWST, Dr. John Mather. (We've met him before, earlier this summer, multiple times.) However, this Nobel Prize wasn't for anything to do with telescopes and was in fact awarded to him for his work on the CMB.
And speaking of telescopes, we saw a 1:5 scale model of Hubble, as well as some other Hubble things.
One other really cool thing we saw at NASA was the Space Flight Simulator. Here it is:
You see those giant black legs of something closer than the siimulator? Here's a picture of that from the same spot:
That's from about 20 feet away. This thing is massive. Do you remember that giant JWST poster I showed you? That was hanging on the wall to the left of the Simulator. In short, it's one of NASA's really really big toys.
On Friday the interns went for another tour, this time of the Capitol. Here's a scale model:
In that same room were some cool statues:
In fact, we saw a lot of statues.
Statues of George Washington... (This one was made a really long time ago, and is probably very accurate.)
Statues of Justice and History...
Of Giant People... (This is actually a replica of the statue that is on top of the Capitol. It's called Freedom, and it was made (though not designed) by a slave. Fun fact.)
Of statues on clocks surrounded by pillars....
The point is there were a lot of statues. It's almost like each state gets to put two statues in the Capitol.... oh yeah, that's exactly why. One of the ones for Virginia was Robert E. Lee. Of course.
But not only were there many statues around the Capitol. There were also a great many Chandeliers, as well as multiple painted hallways. Here are a few:
This is the same as one of the ones before, I just thought it looked kind of cool.
We also saw one of the older committee rooms, it is for Foreign Relations.
Another old room we got to see was the old Supreme Court Room. This particular room is a feat of structural ingenuity. The ceiling is not shaped like a dome, and all of the stress gets thrown to the outside walls. It's really pretty neat.
We also saw the Corner Stone (or what they think is the Corner Stone. They laid it and then promptly forgot which one it was.)
Two more things that were cool, but didn't really fit into any of my little categories here are the fancy Capitol Door that was too heavy to use, and the corn volute on top of a Corinthian style column, because those volutes are supposed to be plantlife, but George Washington wanted them to be plants that represent the agriculture here in America. In my opinion it's just a little too corny.
Oh, and one last thing. Blood! There was a murder in the Capitol. There's a long story, but the short version is that the consensus at the time was the guy got what he deserved for his insufferable, abusive and egregious behavior. These are the stairs he died on:
But I guess they really weren't good at cleaning things up in the 1800's because his blood is still there.
Kind of gross, but there you go. A building such as the Capitol is bound to have some old bits of gruesome history.