Week 6: Airplanes, food, and Einstein

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Monday, July 18, 2016


Jose Corona

Finally got to go visit a Smithsonian! Got the opportunity to help with another SPS outreach program, enjoyed fellowship at a cookout with members of my research group at NIST, and more.  We live in such a busy world and everything is constantly changing.  Additionally, trying to stay up to date with the news and our personal lives can be overwhelming!

There is so much political turmoil throughout the world and so much has occurred in just two weeks.  Brexit, which I forgot to mention in the previous blog, and this week in a span of two days a major tragedy at Nice, France and a military coup in Turkey! Also, not to mention the numerous confrontations between U.S. citizens and law enforcement.

I do not want to get too involved in discussing politics, although it is very fascinating, I wish to discuss more along the technological advances that the human race has discovered in the 20th century.  I toured the Air and Space Museum on Saturday evening.  I was there for only 2 hours and there was no way I got to see everything.  The facility is very impressive and I was consumed by the amount of exhibits they have in that place.  Aviation has always fascinated the human race… I forget all the specific dates and stuff, because I had to rush in order to see most of the exhibits. It is crazy to think that the modern planes we see today originated from such primitive devices such as the following image.

Also the modern day commercial plane has come a long way! The comfort and security that our planes provide today is light years ahead of what the first planes gave to travelers.  The exhibit had a platform which modeled the Ford Trimotor engine, and I stood on the platform to get a feel for the plane ride in such a machine… Needless to say, it was extremely shaky (no wonder people were scared to ride airplanes).  When commercial flights were beginning people were skeptical, and the cheap and reliable way to travel back in those days was through locomotives.  I saw advertisements denouncing airplanes and in support of using a train to travel across the country.  I must say, I am impressed how much commercial aviation has improved and the reliability it provides.  Nowadays, if you are traveling across the country booking a flight ticket is the standard. 

More cool pictures will be pasted in the bottom of the blog.  The space exhibit was cool, I wish I would have taken more pictures of the space related exhibits but I was running out of time… I got a cool picture of rockets, and despite the Cold War provided a feeling of insecurity for Americans, it also gave an enormous contribution to the modern technological advances in our modern day society.

I enjoyed reading about the Arms Race and how the US and USSR were trying to constantly be ahead of the other in military advancements.  On a slightly less war-like competition, the Space Race too gave these two entities a sense of superiority over the other.  These two nations’ constant battle has paved the way in much of our technological advancements.  I was very impressed with the entire exhibit. I have always liked airplanes as a child; whenever we had to pick up family at the airport I would be the first one in the car so that I could see the airplanes. 

Aside from Air and Space, I went to a cookout in Fredrick, MD with one of the mentors of our division.  Yaw Obeng, invited us to his home and provided us with lots of food and also leftovers! While at his home I got to try African food and also stuff myself with food I am more familiar with such as hot dogs.  Food was great and the fellowship with the other interns in the research group was phenomenal. 

Jose Corona