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Day By Day© by Chris Muir.


Monday, September 19, 2005

pictures? i've got your pictures right here, buddy

ok, that was rude, but then, what did you expect from me? here are a couple of pictures of the 200 or so i took while in D.C. most of the pix are from the two smithsonian air and space museums, both the one downtown, and the "annex" out at Dulles International Airport, which is where i spent most of my time, if i wasn't at the conference.

all pictures are links to a larger version. just click on the picture.

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this is one of the most powerful places i've visited in my entire life. to have seen this memorial literally thousands of times in magazines, tv shows, movies, hell, even the back of the penny, does not prepare you for the reality. if you look at the big image, you'll see the shadow of the statue, and in the lower right hand corner, you'll see a woman wiping her eyes as she leaves. i know how she feels.

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the korean war memorial is something else. the reflecting wall looks like it has been sprayed with some sort of graffiti, and then scrubbed when looking at it from the far side of the statues. the squad of men, sloughing through the snowdrifts (ok, you have to use your imagination) is reflected in the wall. it's not until you get up close that you realize the wall is etched with many images from the korean war. these images are predominantly faces or people, and it gives the whole memorial something of a ghostly feel. i really liked the effect. you can see the weariness and determination of the soldiers in the sculptures. great art as well as a great memorial.

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the obligatory "standing in front of the white house" picture. one of about 50 million taken this summer alone, no doubt.

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and no sailor can pass up a chance to stand next to that young man, waiting on the pier for his ship.

hmmm, really, these aren't ego pix. it's just the only pix i have were with me in them. really. honest. (sure, sure)

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what techno-geek doesn't get chills running up and down his/her back looking at this picture? the sr-71, with the shuttle behind it? come on, is there really anything else that can top that? the curator of the "Annex" did an incredible job of placement with these two crafts. i WAS IMPRESSED.

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ok, am i the only one that sees kermit the frog here? this is of course the sr-71 nose, flanked by the white shuttle engines in the background. this cracked me up. if this was an engineering inspired Rorschach test, what does my response say about me? frightening to think they give me the keys to anything associated with the word nuclear.

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talk about chills. to actually be this close to the airplane that helped end WWII, and save countless allied lives is too powerful for my paltry language skills to describe. sad to say, the staff had to erect a plexiglass barrier along the walkway to protect the aircraft from pinheads and vandals. i talked to one of the security guards there, and he said that they almost didn't display the airship because of worries about violence accompanying protesters. how sad is that?

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and to prove that danger can also be absurd, here is a picture of a german WWII air to air missile. this really looks like a prop from a Buck Rogers in the 25th Century serial from the late 30's, early 40's. you know the ones. things like putting a sparkler in the tail of a model rocket, tying a string to the nose, and filming it as you swing the rocket to show it flying? this could have been one of those rockets! what is amazing is that it really was a weapon, and it was used. i guess the designers were as taken with the serials as the rest of the world. i guess this is just another example of life imitating art.

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i don't know why i didn't know this, but the mars rover is dinky. tiny, small, almost of insignificant size. until you realize just what it is you are looking at. the technology and science that went behind the design, launch, landing, and subsequent use of this rover, which is basically the size of a desktop computer case with wheel is staggering. i don't care what anyone else in the world says. we still make neat stuff that works.

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and finally, proof that even in the hardest, geekiest engineer's heart, there is a bit of artist. this satellite kept drawing my eye, until i just had to take a picture of it. the gold foil, the silicon panels, the antenna array, all come together to form an almost unforgettable sculpture.


Blogger edieraye said...

Oooh! Aaah! Look at all the pretty pictures! Just got back from a trip to DC but the only exhibit I made it to this time was the First Lady one. My husband has been wanting to go to the museum out by Dulles but so far we haven't had time. Maybe next trip.

9/20/05, 11:42 AM  
Blogger Va Beach Herb said...


I too felt awed by the Licoln memorial. Going to the Holocaust museum, the Viet Nam memorial, and there the same day was quite an emotional ride. My son (21 at the time)had never been to DC before and we took him on our last trip. His reaction at the Holocaust museum surprised me. He said that he never learned the extent of the Nazi atrocities in school and thought that everyone should make the visit at some time to ensure that the horrors shown there were never forgotten or repeated. I was impressed with his compassion, I thought all he cared about before that day was chasing 'tang and rap music.
Thanks for sharing the pictures.

9/20/05, 12:25 PM  
Blogger Chap said...

Funnily enough, the model for the Lone Sailor statue was a submarine LDO I knew on the boat back in the day...

9/23/05, 9:26 PM  

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