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  • Paul Hurst 2:18 pm on August 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: america, budget, church, curiosity, curious, life, mars, mission, , obama, pope, purpose, science, ,   

    Just Curious… 


    It was another huge leap for mankind today when NASA’s latest space mission to Mars touched down safely.

    The one-tonne vehicle, known as ‘Curiosity’ also managed to find time to send a tweet out to all its followers: “I’m safely on the surface of Mars. GALE CRATER I AM IN YOU!!!”. Its mision to look for the evidences of life greatly helped, no doubt by a strong Wi-Fi signal on the Martian surface…

    There is no doubting the technical excellence that saw the rover safely make its 154.4 million mile journey however I am slightly confused as to its purpose.

    One of NASA’s mission goals is to determine whether Mars ‘has ever had the conditions to support life’, but to me, a mere mortal, this seems a little strange. Almost like trying to prove the possibility that the Pope could visit my house for lunch. Proving a ‘possibility’ isn’t worth much, I would have thought it better to try to answer the much bigger question of ‘is there, or has there ever been life on Mars?’. I presume that Curiosity may get the best of the NASA scientists and results permitting, they may turn their attention to those questions further down the line.

    In the meantime, the two-year mission costing an estimated $2,500,000,000 ($2.5bn), certainly goes where no man has been before but even if the mission goal is successful, we may still never know if it’s gone where life itself has ever been before…

    In any case, I’d like to pass on my congratulations to everyone who’s been involved with this so far, and also wish the team every success for the rest of the mission.

    PS… For the record, although the possibility exists for His Holiness to visit my home for cucumber sandwiches, He has never done so, and I am relatively confident that he has not made any specific plans for the immediate future…

  • Paul Hurst 7:28 pm on April 29, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: flickr, obama, official, pete, photographer, president, souzas,   

    Obama’s flutter with flickr 

    In this modern age of online social networking and photo sharing.  President Obama’s administration is sharing official photographs via flickr.

    Now don’t be mistaken.  This isn’t some kind of cheap PR gimmick to make up for this.  Rather its the sign of the times as governments and corporations start to use some of the most popular websites to share information.  They are merely demonstrating what we’ve known for a few years now, websites that allow you to share photos with family and friends can be used to share photos with just about anybody really…

    New government is all about connecting with as many people in the most effective ways possible.  At times, those methods may seem unothadox to some although I suspect they are here to stay.

  • Paul Hurst 12:58 pm on April 19, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 100, days, obama, , reportage,   

    A photo speaks a thousand words 

    Photo: Pete Souza/The White House

    Photo: Pete Souza/The White House

    Todays Sunday Times magazine takes a pictorial look at the first 100 days of Obama in the Whitehouse.  From his first day in a sparsely decorated Oval Office to sipping a beer at the basketball match but do the pictures reveal anything that mere rhetoric does not?

    @BarrackObama is clearly new to the job.  The pictures show a family in the midst of massive adjustments.  New job, new home and the new challenges of being the most famous family in the world.  There’s moments of joy and of exhaustion coupled with informal and formal shots of the President on his overseas engagement to the G20 Summit in London.

    Included in the supplement are pictures from Nadav Kander who photographed ‘team Obama’ as they waited to take office.  From the young dudes complete with MP3 players and shades to ex-rivals and now key team members like the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.  The real life ‘West Wing’ workers and officials were asked to bring or wear items which carried personal importance or comfort with Ken Salazar sporting his trademark Stetson.

    The photographs offer us a glimpse into both the Obama household and administration at a time when change came to America and a few famalies in particular.

    You can read more about Obama’s first 100 days on the Wall Street Journal Blog

    ‘Obama’s People, a set of photographic images of Obama and his administration, by Nadav Kander. may be seen at Gallery 20, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.  Free Admission. Or viewed here.

    @barackobama is the 44th President of the United States of America

    @clintonnews (Hillary Clinton) is the US Secretary of State

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