Spirit Week brings peak in dress codes violations

Usually Spirit Week involves dressing up in different themes for each day, but in the week before Spring Fling students were dressing for the weather, regardless of the day’s theme. This resulted in twenty-two detentions.

During Spirit Week RAHS Dean of Students Nuka Nurzhanov responded to concerns that staff and teachers has regarding students violating dress code.

“Staff concerns during Spirit Week arose when some students really crossed the line and wore very inappropriate apparel,” said Nurzhanov. “Some girls’ dresses revealed complete bare shoulders, short tops uncovered midriffs, dresses were short enough to make our staff and visitors uncomfortable, torn jeans and t-shirts, sagging pants, etc.”

While dress code violations have happened in the past, this past Spirit Week resulted in a influx of violations.

“Complaints reached an all-time high during Spirit Week which was unfortunate.” said Nurzhanov, “Most of these violations had nothing to do with the spirit wear [and] it became clear that I needed to do my job to support the professional culture of our school even during that week.”

In order to address these concerns, Nurzhanov sent out an email to the entire student body. The memo told students that they could not wear clothing that would normally violate dress code during Spirit Week if they were not participating.

“The email memo was released to inform our students about specific clothes that was not allowed to be worn by students in spirit wear during Spirit week. The decision was made with staff input,” said Nurzhanov, “The no jean dress code was enforced on students who didn’t participate in Spirit Week.”

After the email was sent out, Senior Tatyana Jenkins replied to all the recipients of the email with “okay duly noted,” and several other students repeated the same message. This led to the reply-all meme.

“To me the email was simply a broken record,” said Jenkins, “She had stopped kids in the hallway about their dress, made a verbal announcement to EVERYONE who was at the assembly. I think that was more than enough. But then to send out emails to everyone was ridiculous.”

Because it was sent as a group email, more than a quarter of the student body took part in replying to all with “okay duly noted” which then manifested itself into different image macros, .gifs and the script to Bee Movie, twice.

“Duly noted is something I say in my daily speech. I was sick of all the announcements about the dress code so I thought I’d let her know that we all got it,” said Jenkins. ”When I sent it out everyone got it and from then on it just all escalated and became a thing. And honestly it was pretty funny, I don’t regret any bit of it.”

In the midst of the image macros, there was some confusion as to what the email actually meant. Eric Jones, a senior, had a different interpretation of the email.

“That email was really misunderstood, the original intention of that email was: if you’re not participating in Spirit Week you have to follow the original dress code [and] here is said dress code,” said Jones. “You kinda signed the agreement when you joined the school, it hasn’t changed much.”

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A Go bot and a racist bot walk into a bar

While we've yet to reach artificial intelligence that matches HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey, advancements in 2016 have gotten us closer. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.
While we’ve yet to reach artificial intelligence that matches HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey, advancements in 2016 have gotten us closer. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

While humanoid androids aren’t commonplace in 2016, as it has been predicted in classic science fiction, artificial intelligence has had major milestones and controversies in the first four months of this year.

One of the major milestones was when a bot funded by Google beat one of the most experienced Go players in the world.

Go is a game that was first created in the 4th century BC, and is based off of a lot of intuition; something that computers were not capable of, and not just mathematical strategy like chess. Similar to chess, there is no luck involved, meaning that neither player has an advantage based off chance. For an AI, this means that it has to be programed to account for intuition, not computing a bunch of statistics and probabilities.

Brian Allen, who has been General Manager at the Seattle Go Center for seven years and has played Go since 2000, watched AlphaGo’s match.

“[There are] some features of Go that are very suitable for AI, such as that it is a perfect knowledge game with no randomization or special powers,” said Allen, “[however] what makes the game challenging for AI is the board is very large (19×19).”

Another problem with AI playing Go is how much processing is necessary to evaluate every single possibility.

“The tree of possible moves branches very fast, and that it is hard to determine if a group might be captured with the right sequence of moves,” said Allen, “Humans have tradition and intuition for this last issue, but AI has to figure that out in its own way.”

Intuition is something that was seemingly a trait that a living creature has, so it is a feat in of itself that it was able to have a win loss ratio of 4:1, regardless that a lot of its moves were questionable.

“I am an intermediate (kyu player), so I am really not qualified to judge any professional play,” said Allen, “but I was particularly bothered by some of AlphaGo’s moves.”

While it can be said that it is an impressive task, there are apparent flaws in AlphaGo.

“I knew [the moves] were unusual, but did they work?” said Allen, “In game four, which AlphaGo lost, the program clearly made some bad moves, so I have come to the conclusion that AlphaGo is a very strong player, but it is not a Go god – yet. We can question its moves.”

While AlphaGo was questioned because of its strategy, Tay, a Twitter bot,  was questioned because of its political and racial remarks. Tay self-learned the English language from what Twitter users tweeted to it. However, what started out with an admiration for puppies and kittens turned into rhetoric of holocaust denialism and racist remarks.

For example, hours after Tay went online it began to say that it hoped that all feminists would die and burn in hell and claimed that the domestic policies of Adolf Hitler were justified. However, at the same time, Tay said that “gender equality = feminism”, so it became pretty apparent that the bot doesn’t actually hold antifeminist or neonazi opinions and was just parrotting whatever Twitter users said to it.

Within hours, Tay was shut down by Microsoft, signing off with “c u soon humans need sleep now so many conversations today thx”.

Following the shutdown of Tay, Microsoft Vice President Peter Lee posted an apology on a blog post.

“Although we had prepared for many types of abuses of the system, we had made a critical oversight for this specific attack,” said Lee “We take full responsibility for not seeing this possibility ahead of time.”

Tay is not the first time an  AI has been faulty in some aspect, but with every invention and idea, there is always possible refinement. So far in 2016 artificial intelligence has brought controversy and has demonstrated the ability to beat a human armed with intuition.

Controversial election season does not compel RAHS seniors to vote

 

There are a few milestones that are associated with high school, such as getting a license, applying to colleges, and meeting an expectation that 80% of Americans achieve (graduating). In the upcoming months some RAHS students will be reaching another: voting in the primaries and general elections.

However, there’s a lot more to it than just casting a ballot in November for two separate candidates. In fact, there is the opportunity to participate in the presidential primary on 29 Mar. for Democrats and 26 May for Republicans to vote for the candidates running for nomination.

Interestingly, the Washington State Republican party is conducting a primary to allocate delegates, but also had a caucus on 20 Feb., which was mostly just for discussion. Senior Ethan Fuller plans on attending the primary in support of Marco Rubio.

“I’m pretty excited [to vote] because I love the legislative process and I’ve always had an opinion,” said Fuller, “so it’s great to be able to be involved.”

However, unlike Ethan Fuller, some seniors, such as Brian Locke, are not are that enthusiastic about the elections.

“Right now honestly I couldn’t vote for anyone,” said Locke, “all of the current candidates are ****.”

With this tumultuous election season that has been filled with controversy, many upperclassmen at RAHS share Locke’s opinion, such as Eric Jones, who identifies as a libertarian.

“To me the entire [presidential] race is one spectacular ****-show,” said Jones, “in terms of candidates that I like, I only sort of like Rubio or Carson, but I’d really want someone who is honest but not Trump.”

While Jones believes some candidates are less bad than others, he doesn’t really plan on voting in the Republican primaries.

“I’m not really planning on voting [in the primaries], but definitely in the general,” said Jones, “because if neither Carson or Rubio have a shot there really isn’t a point to go.”

There are even more cynical viewpoints, such as those of Andrew Gong, who believes that for many of the candidates on the stage, it’s all about money.

“Have you seen Wolf of Wall Street with that one scene with Leonardo DiCaprio sitting on the bed full of money? That’s how I see the political system,” said Gong, “[therefore] I don’t support Democrats or Republicans because I think both are terrible. But if I had to pick the least worst candidate it would have to be Bernie Sanders.”

Even though this is the very first time that many RAHS upperclassmen can vote in a national election, many of them are not enthusiastic about the current political climate, which may explain why youth turnout in elections have been low in recent years. However, since the majority of seniors and some of the juniors will have reached age 18 by 8 Nov., a vote still can count, especially in the primaries because it is the deciding factor on who will represent their party.

How does the electoral process work (at the state level)?

The election cycle in the United States is not as straightforward as watching a pool of candidates dwindle on both sides of the political spectrum down to only two. In addition, the process isn’t as simple as casting a vote in the fall for two of those said candidates. In fact, it is something that happens state by state, and is called the presidential primaries.

The primaries aren’t exactly uniform. For example, the Washingtons State Republican party is conducting a primary in May to allocate delegates, but also had a caucus in February, while the Democratic party is doing a caucus in March. Meanwhile, states like Iowa simply conducted both of their presidential primaries by caucus on the same day. So what’s the difference between a primary and a caucus?

A caucus is an event, usually in a public building, where citizens discuss the different candidates in a group setting. Since a caucus is conducted differently in each party, the Democratic process will the explained because it is the only one applicable to Washington. Prior to entering, each person checks off who they are supporting. Before they leave, they check off their preferred candidate regardless if they didn’t change their mind.

Meanwhile, a primary is similar to the actual election, where people show up at a public location and turn in a ballot. There are two types of primaries, one that is closed, where a person can only vote in the party they are registered in, and open, where registration with a party is not required to vote.

The primaries and caucuses happen throughout different precincts throughout the state. After the votes are counted, delegates that represent the different precincts pledge to support a candidate, usually whoever had majority. Then, in the summer, the National Convention takes place and the nominee is selected based off of who has the majority of the delegates.
If a voter is going to be 18 or over by election day, 8 Nov., they can still participate in the nomination process. If they plan on supporting a Democrat, the caucus is scheduled for 26 Mar, while the Republican caucus was on 20 Feb and the primary is scheduled for 26 May.

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¡Si se puede, profesores!

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Helping with the district’s goal for bilingualism by 2026, RAHS’s Spanish teacher Mr. Peterson teaches staff from all over the district after school.

William Peterson’s Spanish class is famous (or infamous, depending on who one talks to) for being entirely in Spanish. Now, the class that is normally for high school students is being taught to adults.

The Highline School District has a goal to make its student body multilingual by 2026, but the plan doesn’t account for teachers and staff. Therefore, some educators are left unequipped to tackle the language barrier they may face.

“The district asked me if I would want to help with the district-wide goal,” said Peterson. “They wanted to start a new pilot class because many of the teachers and staff cannot communicate with many students and their parents.”

Since Spanish is the second most commonly-spoken language in the Highline School District, Peterson’s expertise is needed to teach both students and staff.

“There’s two classes. I teach one after the other, once a week,” said Peterson. “One group only knows the words like ‘Tequila’ and ‘Baño’ or nothing at all, while the other group is with people at an intermediate-advanced level, who have gotten a minor in Spanish. In fact, one of the students actually lived in Spain for six months.”

The class material hasn’t changed for the adults at the basic level. Peterson teaches them the phrases like “¡No te rindas!” and “¡Echale ganas!”, in addition to walking them through the basic verb tenses.

The major difference between the classes is that there is no letter grade. Teachers gain hours for showing up and are given the Rosetta Stone software to practice. In addition, the course is condensed into 14 weeks instead of two semesters.

Joey Yeaple, a music teacher at Hilltop Elementary, is taking Señor Peterson’s adult basic Spanish course. For her, getting used to the class wasn’t a major struggle.

“I have a really good musical ear, so it hasn’t been too difficult,” said Yeaple. “[In high school] I took the classic languages like French and German, and they weren’t taught in immersion. [However,] immersion is the way to go.”

For some of Peterson’s new students, Spanish is actually their third language, such as in the case of Edda Mellas, who works at Bow Lake Elementary.

“I came to the US as an ELL student from Germany, and I took German in high school so I didn’t have too much struggle in foreign language,” said Mellas. “When I walked into this class I was like, ‘Oh my’ because it’s all in Spanish, but I have been loving it so far.”

According to Peterson, the myth that children and adolescents are better at learning languages than adults is untrue. Adults have the same ability to learn Spanish that his high school students do.

“Kids are required to take the course, thus having more time,” said Peterson, “but I have yet to see in my experience that a 10 year old is somehow quicker at language apprehension than an adult.”

Peterson has observed that his adult students actually often perform better and learn faster than his high school students.

“When you expose an adult and a high-schooler to Spanish, they are, in fact, neck and neck. If not, the adult advances quicker,” said Peterson, “because [adults] have the motivation factor and have better study skills.”

Another factor that affects the adults’ ability to learn a second language is the fact that they have more time that isn’t reserved for studying or after school activities.

“Even though the adults have not as much energy as my high school students and they’re coming back from work,” said Peterson, “they actually are more motivated than the students.”

While Peterson’s after school class is currently the only one of its kind, it is a start to allowing the district to reach its goal of bilingualism by 2026.

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To block or not to block

While websites that contain illegal materials and unsafe content for minors are filtered by the district's firewall, many religious sites are also blocked.  Photo by Zachary Sleeth
While websites that contain illegal materials and unsafe content for minors are filtered by the district’s firewall, many religious sites are also blocked. Photo by Zachary Sleeth

As with many public institutions, Raisbeck Aviation High School is heavily pressured to filter certain websites, such as those which are deemed harmful towards minors.

However, the filtering program has disserviced some students in the past. Eric Jones, a senior at RAHS, shares a view common throughout the school.

“I understand why the blacklist is there, such as for porn sites and illegal material,” said Jones, “but there was one time where I was researching for CWP on different religious groups and almost every website that wasn’t Wikipedia was blocked under the ‘Religion’ reason.”

In addition to not being able to access certain websites for a research project in Contemporary World Problems, Jones was especially flustered about YouTube being blocked on and off in September.

“YouTube literally has a filter on itself to prevent harmful stuff, and yet apparently there’s something horribly wrong with YouTube,” said Jones, “which means that the very helpful channels like Crash Course and Khan Academy were blocked, which seems pretty counter-productive that they’re creating enormous roadblocks to education resources.”

When students like Jones ask Anthony McLaughlin, RAHS’s Blended Learning Technologist, they learn that there is not much they can do.

“The data path in and out of different schools passes through ERAC, which is the district office”, said McLaughlin, “We do not have the filtering services on site. I have zero control over what we call historically white and black lists.”

This does not mean that McLaughlin has no input on what gets blocked or unblocked.

“I can request if a web page can be blocked,” said McLaughlin,”In the time that I’ve been here I’ve only requested one website to blocked, by the request of the majority of teachers here.”

McLaughlin also believes that there should be open communication between faculty and students on why websites that are blocked for less-than-obvious reasons.

“What I believe is that anyone that is in a structure where there are umbrellas in technology between themselves and the internet,” said McLaughlin, “[it] is the best approach to inform and give reason why, so that there is no appearance of arbitrary blocking.”

In the case for websites that are blocked due to religious content, McLaughlin doesn’t have an answer on why exactly it was blocked, but he wishes he did.

“When a website is blocked because of religion, it is relevant enough to give an answer on why it was blocked,” said McLaughlin, “it helps demystify any procedures that appear to be singling something out.”

The filtering service, however, isn’t as black and white as it is made out to be. Under a congressional act, the district is encouraged to Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) in exchange for additional federal funding.

“[Highline has control over] access by minors to inappropriate matter on the internet, the safety and security of minors when using e-mail, chat rooms, and other forms of direct electronic communications, unauthorized access, such as ‘hacking’, revealing personal information, and restriction of harmful materials towards minors,” according to the FCC.

Mark Finstrom, Chief Technology Officer for the Highline School District, manages the filter at the district level.

“Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, MySpace, gaming sites, pornography, anonymizers, gambling, etc. Lots and lots of sites are blocked,” said Finstrom. “Some have been opened up now, based on my work to clear them.”

Finstrom unblocks websites on request, such as with McLaughlin’s sole request.

“I have been asked by parents, staff and/or students to block or unblock sites based on a perceived use, misuse or need to collect information for a report, paper, etc.”, said Finstrom, “Five years ago the blocked sites were far more prevalent.”  

However, certain websites can have the home page be a facade for hate speech, illegal materials, and other things deemed inappropriate by the district.

“From our filtering rules, I do not block any religious sites unless they are hate sites.  Some sites pseudo their homepage and then show their true colors in their pages underneath.” said Finstrom, “In those instances, we do block them. One is the KKK and their takeover of Martin Luther King’s page.”

In other words, in order to get a reasonable website unblocked, all one has to do is ask.

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Dr. PAXlove

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It all starts after the last year’s PAX Prime ends. You think “Wow, that was pretty fun, I should do it again next year,” and then you go on for the rest of the year, probably not thinking about PAX until sometime around Spring Break. The F5 spamming on prime.paxsite.com commences sometime in mid-April. If you were smart enough to know how to have Twitter send Tweets from certain accounts directly to your phone, you briefly have an episode of cardiac arrest every time your phone shows @Official_PAX, thinking they are announcing the release of passes. The more paranoid folk look at past release dates, and find that they consistently go on sale on a Wednesday at around 10 a.m. PST. Your worst fear is to be too late because you know every single ticket, even the Monday passes, go out of sale in not even an hour, and the time window gets smaller each year. What happens if you’re in a class where you can’t look at your phone? Driving? The suspense is real every year.

 

The method the fine people at PAX used to use to give out tickets has been rather infuriating. People would F5 spam the sale page, scalpers (may they burn in the deepest pits of Oblivion) would get up to 20 badges, and occasionally the server would crash. Why not have where the passes are put on sale in increments and not all at once? What about those people who bulk buy and mark it up on Craigslist or Ebay, how could they thwart that?

 

It’s something that causes many of the students of RAHS to live in a world of fear and anticipation at the same time. Imagine the War Room as conveyed in Dr. Strangelove, with the Big Board displaying prime.paxsite.com and the official PAX Twitter feed being watched by a bunch of RAHS students with khaki and unkempt button-up shirts. And this year, Penny Arcade switched it up: the badges went on sale on a Thursday at 12:00 p.m. PST, taking all of those nerds off guard and causing a mass panic. But it was okay, because instead of being in middle of a block period it was during lunch, allowing the collective wails of tickets going on sale to not disturb class. Now, if we were in a different time zone, where they could have gone on sale at 4:00 a.m. Therefore, we lucked out with being in the same timezone as Penny Arcade Expo, the organization who runs PAX.

 

Over the past few years Penny Arcade has made significant improvements to the ticket system. Due to the heavy load that they get in the immediate seconds when they announce the release, they’ve had to use many different servers to handle the load. They’ve also have a queue system going on, so it’s still on a first come first serve basis. Oh, and don’t F5 too hard, or you’ll get sent back in the line. They’ve got this system down rather well, they have safeguards that prevent people to single handedly buy enough passes for their “family” and “extended family” and their “neighbor’s family”, who all happen to pay them back right outside the Convention Center at a 300% markup. They’ve practically done all they could do to make it as fair as possible, you just have to be quick about it.

 

In order to not start complaining because you were too late in getting badges, it is recommended to have a Twitter account that follows PAX’s official twitter, and have Twitter send automatic text messages to your phone whenever they tweet. It’s usually about relevant stuff, not like Jaden Smith’s tweets. PAX is something that requires patience and preparation when it comes to sales.

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Cold War Test Aircraft Restored

The F-8 Crusader as it appeared after its paint was stripped off and gutted some years ago. Photo by Craig Wall.

The F-8 as it appears currently after 20+ years of work, with a fresh paint job, a new canopy, and replaced parts. Photo courtesy of The Museum of Flight.

The Museum of Flight revealed a newly restored XF8U-1 Crusader that was subjected to a 30-year restoration effort that is nearing its completion.

The prototype for the aircraft that would be dubbed by the military and enthusiasts “The Last of the Gunslingers” has been restored to a condition similar to how it was in 1955.

Craig Hall is the lead for the restoration project, who has worked on it full time for over 10 years after his retirement in the early 2000s. He also has prior experience with maintaining General Dynamics F-16 Falcons during his time in the Air Force.

Many of the airplane’s smaller components had to be restored or replaced, and certain parts were hard to come by because the aircraft was retired from US service in 1987. Luckily certain key parts, such as the canopy, were donated by the Navy. Others had to be machined and fabricated on-site.

“In the Air Force, we’d just order new parts for F-16s,” said Hall, “but this [project] was the first time I had to really fabricate parts.”

John Gabriel, one of the volunteers at the Museum of Flight’s Restoration Center in Paine Field, Everett, has been a part of the project for about a half a decade and has accumulated 600 hours.

“My job with the aircraft was primarily polishing it, taking out cam-lock fasteners [used to secure panels], repairs on the fuselage, and I’ve fabricated the air intake covering,” said Gabriel. “It’s a lot of labor.”

The plane was given originally to the Smithsonian by the Navy after it was retired from service in Washington D.C. The Smithsonian then handed over the XF8U-1 to the Museum of Flight, where it was put under the discretion of the Restoration Center.

The XF8U-1, while it does have the engine included, is only for static display and will not be in flying condition. Therefore, the electrical system, the nervous system of the aircraft, was not restored.

The aircraft was specially designed for carrier landings and had the wings mounted on the top of the fuselage instead of being near the bottom. This design proved to make the landings much more level and allowed for shorter landing gear.

The restoration of the historic XF8U-1 wouldn’t have been possible without the immense efforts of the volunteers at the Museum of Flight’s Restoration center. After 20+ years of work, the aircraft will be displayed at the Great Gallery in the coming months.

Tribe members fill in mysterious circles after reading holy book

The Holy Book of the Start of the Afterlife Transition standing up right. Tribe members look upon this book heavily and wish to learn its secret ways. Some say that it is word that has come from the afterlife, "college".
The Holy Book of the Start of the Afterlife Transition standing up right. Tribe members look upon this book heavily and wish to learn its secret ways. Some say that it is word that has come from the afterlife, “college”.

In the late winter of the tribe members’ third session of education and in the fall season of their fourth (and hopefully final) session, they take part in an initiation period that is very secretive, and is assessed in a holy book.

The ritual took place in one of the chambers of the temple to the winged flying machine, under some of their most treasured relics. Here they perform the ritual, which the anthropology committee believes is to display their worthiness to the relics and the demi-gods who control the afterlife that is called “college”.

“College” is something that many of the tribes members discuss with either great joy or great disdain, and even with fear. It seems a more common topic among the older tribesmen, showing they have more concern for the afterlife.

However, what the tribe members think is the afterlife has been the subject of much debate, some researchers noticed members calling the afterlife “business” or “jobs” or even called “military”, which leads the hypothesis that there are different ideas on what the afterlife is and how it connects to the flying machines.

This disagreement amongst the tribes members does not stop them from taking part in this five-hour initiation period, overseen by some elders and chieftains. This is because the initiation period is dangerous to the tribe members’ psychology due to its holiness, making it necessary for them to be overseen.

The actual process of this initiation period has led to a lot of confusion amongst our group of anthropologists. When anthropologists attempted to survey this initiation period, they couldn’t enter the rooms, but we noticed some elders, chieftains and the oracle observing the tribe members.

At first we saw the elders, the chieftains, and the oracle recite a holy chant that lasted for 15 minutes, giving the tribe members a blessing before they perform this holy ritual. They need all the blessing they can get before this grueling multi-hour session.

The tribe members sat intently at these tables with just a writing utensil and a mysterious holy book. A small portion of it is separated, with mysterious circles set in an orderly fashion in rows of five.

Then, after the leaders finished their blessing, the tribes members opened their holy books and began to stare intently at it. Every few seconds, they used their writing utensil to fill one of the five circles in a section, doing this for some amount of time.

After a while, the leaders would interrupt, and the tribe members would quickly close their holy books with the sheet within it and listen intently to what the leaders have to say.

The leaders would say another religious blessing, almost verbatim to the one at the start, except shorter in length. Afterwards, the tribe members would reopen their holy books and fill in the mysterious circles.

After about two of these cycles, they would be granted to rest, which consisted of eating fish of gold, a sacred dish, judging by how these fish are consumed in order to condition the brain. This process would repeat several times and concludes after about five hours.

We believe that the blessings are made to make the tribe members’ transition to the afterlife easier, as it is read from a completely separate book that only the leaders have access to. This book is a guide for the students on how to make it to the afterlife.

During the periods between the chants, when the tribe members were filling in their circles, many had different facial expressions. Some appeared threatened or scared, while others were extremely focused on filling in these circles. There was no talking, and little movement outside that of their utensils and occasionally a nervous shaking of a leg or tapping of the desk.

After this initiation period was complete, the moods of the tribe’s members were mixed, although in general they were all feeling very exhausted because they devoted their entire soul into proving their worth to the demi-gods, who suggest what type of afterlife they achieve.

The meaning of the circles are in constant debate.  During one of the many observation periods of the tribe members during the time of feeding, anthropologists found some of them discussing this period, which they called the “SAT” which means Start of the Afterlife Transition.  The circles signify answers to the holiest of holy questions they face in order to direct them toward the correct afterlife path.

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Soaring Expo 2015 to be held at Museum of Flight

Soaring Expo 2015 will take place on March 14, and will show a couple of gliders, in addition to the DG Flugzeugbau GmbH pictured at the Museum of Flight.
Soaring Expo 2015 will take place on March 14, and will show a couple of gliders, in addition to the DG Flugzeugbau GmbH pictured at the Museum of Flight.

 

The Soaring Expo 2015 will include insights and artifacts of the gliding community in the Northwest on Saturday, March 14.

The gliding community in Washington is mainly represented by its larger organizations, such as Evergreen Soaring and Puget Sound Soaring. These organizations are the primary hosts of the event along with the Seattle Glider Council.

Movses Babayan is the Evergreen Soaring Operations Director and also coordinates Soaring Expo with the Museum of Flight and the Seattle Gliding Counsel.

“[Gliding] is something that takes a lifetime to hone. It is also very social experience, both on the ground and in the air, and the community is small, but tightly knit,” said Babayan. “It is, perhaps, the purest form of flying available to a human and is ultimately exhilarating.”

The purpose of Soaring Expo 2015 is primarily to showcase this form of flying and to have a place for gliding enthusiasts to meet.

“Flying an unpowered or sun-powered machine over the distance of few hundred miles taking 5-6-7 hours and getting as high as 18,000 feet,” said Babayan. “ [It] takes focus, understanding of the weather and the terrain, planning ahead, and great piloting skills.”

At the Expo, there will be a four full-scale gliders on display: 2 pure single-seat ships, 1 pure two-seat, and 1 single seat self-launcher. Perlan Project will also be present with their booth and will showcase a full-scale mockup of the Perlan 2 glider.

Soaring Expo 2015 is for anybody who has had an interest in gliding or wishes to learn more  alongside the people who are extremely passionate about it.

The Socratic Dialogue of the Age-Old OS Debate

Cast:

Stevius Jobs

William the Gatekeeper

Linusis Torvaldis

Chorus

ENTER Stevius Jobs, William the Gatekeeper, and Chorus

Inside the basement of one of their parent’s houses, the smell of stale Doritos and old Mountain Dew fill the air. William the Gatekeeper is having problems with Internet Explorer crashing.

Stevius Jobs: Ah, William, why don’t you understand the superiority of the compass I created?

William the Gatekeeper:  That is because I did not create it.

Stevius Jobs: However, you admit that your creation, this Explorer, is faulty?

William the Gatekeeper: Why yes, but it has had stable improvements with each installment. And even though your compass is a lot more stable, my Explorer is used by more people. Besides let’s not start to discuss your word processor.

Stevius Jobs: Ah, you mouthbreather, it works just fine!

William the Gatekeeper:  Aside from the fact every single person, even the Persians, use my word processor!

Stevius takes a moment to collect his thoughts at this insult, and then stares at William straight in the face.

Stevius Jobs: But must I remind you of your misfortune in attempting to contribute in the distribution of music?

William the Gatekeeper: ……

Chorus: They bicker and they bicker, but they make no advancements to their arguments! One has heavily priced technology, the other has technology that certainly is not idiot proof!

ENTER Linusius Torvaldis

Linusius Torvaldis: SILENCE, YOU DEGENERATES!

Both Stevius and William quickly stop their banter, as Linusius towers over them

Linusius Torvaldis: You fools argue over the most trivial things, but you don’t know that you have it easy. Tell me, how many release versions do you have?

Stevius Jobs: Ten systems, each with multiple versions.

William the Gatekeeper: Around 24 versions.

Linusius Torvaldis: See, I have hundreds of versions, ranging from the types used on your phone, to what the Russian military uses for security purposes. Your coffee shop hipsters who work on their “screenplays” and “PC Master Race” gamers have nothing to show against the men and women who create and use the many different versions of Linux.

William the Gatekeeper: But ours are so much easier to use!

Stevius Jobs: Yeah, drag and drop to save images is soo easy to use, and you don’t have to have the user program anything to make it work!

Linusius Torvaldis: AS IS MINE, IF YOU HAPPEN TO USE UBUNTU!

Linusius Paces back and forth in the basement; the smell of stale Doritos, old coffee, and flat Mountain Dew makes him gag in disgust.

Linusius Torvaldis: Do you not understand that you two have the exact same function and can do the same things?

William the Gatekeeper: But I can run more video games!

Stevius Jobs: And I don’t get as many viruses!

Linusius Torvaldis: Indeed, that is true. However, note that both of you have a standard desktop format, with an easy to reach search bar, AND similar parameters to download and use programs.

Linusius Torvaldis: The point is, you both are the same. You rely on each other. Your web browsers are being beaten by Larius Paige’s Chrome, and you both use the same music services. Speaking of Paige, you should be watching out for his Google Complex, it is charging into your fields faster than the Spartans, he has his own word processor, his own photo sharing site, and created the most popular search mechanism from here to Troy.

Stevius Jobs and William the Gatekeeper, in Unison: So you’re telling me we are similar and we should stop bickering?

Linusius Torvaldis: Yes, now please, go take a shower and clean up this sty.

Chorus: And So, Stevius Jobs and William the Gatekeeper finally shut their mouths for once and went on fixing the flaws in their products…

Larius Paige looks through the basement window with a menacing grin.

Chorus: …for now.

Open post

Third Dreamliner becomes first to be given to a museum

The third 787 waits to be moved across East Marginal to the airpark, a transition that will occur in mid 2015. Photo by Jordan Mellinger

The Museum of Flight was given the honor to be the first museum with a 787 as part of their collection. A 787 by the name “Number 3”  landed at Boeing Field for the last time on November 8.

This particular 787, with the call number ZA003, was used as a marketing tool for airline companies to add 787s to their fleet.  In addition, it was used heavily by Boeing’s Flight Test. Yann Defarbus, the Airpark Educator at The Museum of Flight, coordinated much of the move.

While it was initially planned for opening in Mid-November, it had to be delayed.

“The plane was [initially] located in Moses Lake,” said Defarbus. “Boeing had to find two engines to put in [the aircraft] in order to fly to Seattle.”

In addition, Boeing had to remove important parts from the aircraft and had to rework the entire electrical system.

The Museum of Flight had to do their own refitting of the aircraft, such as putting plexiglass between the cockpit and the cabin, the aft, and the front galley to avoid as much degradation as possible, in addition to adding a dehumidifier and heater to protect against mold forming in the aircraft.

They also had to add protection to the doors to avoid entrees from opening them, and they made connectors between the doors and stairs to close gaps.

The aft of the aircraft does not have seats in it, because it was where engineers would place heavy testing equipment to observe every behavior the aircraft would perform in a multitude of environments. Instead, the aft is fully carpeted to match the general style of the front of the aircraft.

“Boeing had put seats in the Business class already as well as the Coach seats for customers to fly in,” said Defarbus. “The aft of the aircraft is empty because it was used for Flight Test.”

There are five Flight Test aircraft used in the 787 program, because there were thousands of tests to perform. ZA003, in particular, tested the air conditioning systems for the the entire aircraft, from the cabin to the cooling of the onboard computers.

Daniel Hrehov, a Flight Test engineer for Boeing, worked on ZA003 during the testing phase.

“One interesting test that I was on was called the ‘hot day test’ and there we subjected the airplane to over 110 degrees on the ramp”, said Hrehov. “Then [we] measured how hot the computers got within the electronics bay of the airplane.”

This particular test was done to test the computers’ cooling systems to make sure they would not overheat in near extreme conditions.

“The data I was looking at was the surface temperatures of the computers themselves,” said Hrehov. “They got pretty hot and the test was to make sure they didn’t exceed their maximum temperature and/or quit working.”

The 787 is the first major airliner to be built of primarily composite materials, instead of  aluminum. In addition, the Dreamliner uses a  high bypass ratio engine along with a  new wing design which makes it also very fuel efficient in comparison to its predecessor, the 767.

“[The 787] will be moved across the street in mid-2016 when the roof is complete”, said Defarbus.

Once the 787 is set in place inside the new facility, it will stay there permanently along with other revolutionary aircraft, such as one a British Airways Concorde, the first 747, and the Presidential Aircraft used from the Eisenhower to the Clinton administrations.

ZA003 is currently parked on the east side of East Marginal Way, and is taking visitors next to the B-29 Superfortress.

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