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Monday, April 16, 2018

I Didn't See This Coming!

I was surprised to see this posted today on the Facebook page of the Dayton Red Cross!

Monday, April 9, 2018

CAP supports the Super Bowl!

My story about the Civil Air Patrol's support of the Super Bowl is in the newest issue of CAP's Volunteer magazine.

I briefed the media in Duluth, Minnesota on how F-16s would intercept a target of interest like our Civil Air Patrol airplane that violates the no-fly zone around the Super Bowl in Minneapolis. The CBP, FAA and Air Force also briefed.

The next day, two F-16s intercepted a CAP airplane while the media watched from inside a KC-135 tanker. 

I'm very proud to have been CAP’s PIO for this demonstration of what would happen if an airplane violated the no-fly zone around the Super Bowl stadium.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

NRA range safety officer certification

Today I completed six lessons and a 50-question test with a 90 percent pass rate to become a certified NRA Range Safety Officer. The program was developed for people who possess the knowledge, skills, and attitude essential to organizing, conducting, and supervising safe shooting activities and range operations.

The six areas of instruction were:

  • Introduction to the NRA Basic Range Safety Officer Development Course
  • The Role of the NRA Range Safety Officer and Range Standard Operating Procedures
  • Range Inspection and Range Rules
  • Range Safety Briefing
  • Emergency Procedures
  • Firearm Stoppages and Malfunctions
Instruction was held at the Greene County (Ohio) Fish and Game Club.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Clubs, clubs, clubs!

With more free time I've started to explore what Dayton has to offer and I've joined some clubs -- the Dayton Stamp Club, Dayton Gem & Mineral Society and the Miami Valley Astronomical Society. As it turns out, all three have some very interesting programs and speakers. 

Messier is famous for making a list of objects he wasn't looking for!
Lori Cutright is an astronomy professor at Sinclair Community College and at the last meeting of the Miami Valley Astronomical Society she talked about Charles Messier and the Messier List. Messier was a French astronomer most notable for publishing an astronomical catalog consisting of nebulae and star clusters that came to be known as the 110 "Messier objects". The purpose of the catalog was to help astronomical observers, in particular comet hunters such as himself, distinguish between permanent and transient visually diffuse objects in the sky. At low northern latitudes, particularly around latitude 25 degrees north, it is possible to observe all Messier objects in one night during a window of a few weeks from mid-March to early April. In that period the dark nights around the time of the new moon are best for a Messier marathon.

The sample was placed in the box on the left for analysis.
At the last meeting of the Dayton Gem & Mineral Society, the program was a presentation by Dr. Amanda Hunt, associate professor of geology at the University of Cincinnati Clermont College.  With an associate she discussed and demonstrated use of the Handheld X-ray fluorescent analyzer, which has the capability to quantify or qualify nearly any element from magnesium to uranium. Members of the club brought in specimens for  analysis by the XRF. The club was founded in 1961 and is a member of the Midwest Federation of Mineralogical & Geological Societies.

He says that Stonehenge had nothing to do with religion!
Dr. Brad Schaefer, a Louisiana State University astronomy professor, explored (Pseudo) Science in Archaeology as he presented “Archaeoastronomy is Not All Bad” at SunWatch, part of the Boonshaft Museum, where the Miami Valley Astronomical Society meets. “I have a distinctive style of combining history and astrophysics, where I use old or very-old data to critically answer modern front-line science questions.  For example, I have used Tycho Brahe's original astrometric measures of the position of the 1572 supernova to solve the long-running big-time controversy as to whether the so-called 'Star G' is the ex-companion star of the exploding system, with my answer being 'no', thus breaking one of the few good arguments for the single-degenerate progenitor model.  I have used detailed and exhaustive textual analysis of the ancient Chinese records of a transient event from 186 AD to prove that this was not a supernova, but rather was the known appearance of a periodic comet.  I have used the photometric reports plus the heliacal rise/set dates (with my modern algorithm) to derive the peak magnitudes of the Type Ia supernovae of the years 1006, 1572, and 1604 to get peak magnitudes and then a value for the Hubble Constant.  In an now-nearly-unique methodology, I have recovered vast amounts of data from dusty archives to collect light curves of recurrent novae, going far back in time.  The most extreme example, is for the canonical recurrent nova T CrB, I have recovered >100,000 magnitudes from 1829 to present in both B and V colors, measuring the unique and weird pre-eruptions and post-eruption events that are identical across the 1866 and 1946 eruptions.  Part of this means that I am predicting a third eruption in the year 2022.”

Actress Doris Day sent Klug her first stamps!
Speaker at the last meeting of the Dayton Stamp Club was Cincinnati-area stamp collector, writer and philatelic leader Janet Klug, who is chair of the U.S. Postal Service's Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee. Klug is a former two-term president of the American Philatelic Society and has been chair of the New Initiatives Committee on the Smithsonian National Postal Museum's Council of Philatelists. She writes regularly for Linn's Stamp News and Scott Stamp Monthly and her books include “Guide to Stamp Collecting” and “100 Greatest American Stamps.” Her writing has concentrated on helping beginning collectors, increasing the knowledge of more advanced collectors, and unusual aspects of philately. One of her collections, for example, was tin-can mail: Food cans that were used to enclose mail for Pacific islands that were then dropped from airplanes into the sea. "I hope stamps will be relevant for a long time to come, because stamps teach and entertain. I think about how much I have learned by collecting stamps. The long-running Black Heritage stamps have taught me about amazing individuals such as Bessie Coleman. Without stamps it is unlikely I would have come to know her story," Klug said.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Saving a life with Naloxone

Dayton, Ohio where I live now has been ranked No. 1 in the nation for opioid deaths. Very sad. I was a Boy Scout back in the day, so the "Be Prepared" motto is still always on my mind. I was able to receive NARCAN training the other night from Project DAWN (Deaths Avoided With Naloxone) and received two doses of Naloxone, a medication that can reverse an overdose that is caused by an opioid drug. I'm prepared!

Project DAWN website

Thursday, February 8, 2018

13 things I learned working as a media relations specialist for FEMA

I’ve got an article in this month’s National Information Officers Association newsletter. NIOA promotes professionalism and encourages stronger media relations by providing educational information, training opportunities and regional support for information officers. NIOA members are spokespersons from local, state and federal government, representing law enforcement, fire, medical, emergency management, transportation, public works and other public safety and emergency services agencies.

One of America's few certified Master PIOs, member Steven Solomon, is calling it a career, but shares the benefit of his experience - thirteen important lessons he learned working as a FEMA media relations specialist.


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Helping with the Air Force's pre Super Bowl LII interception demo

I briefed the media in Duluth before Super Bowl LII.
Every year the Air Force shows the media what would happen if an unauthorized aircraft violates restricted airspace around the Super Bowl. 

I was the Civil Air Patrol's public information officer for the Air Force's media day, held Jan. 30 at Duluth Air National Guard Base, Minnesota. CAP’s Minnesota Wing provided an airplane for a static display inside the hangar. It was positioned between a Black Hawk helicopter and an F-16. I briefed the attending reporters, and a U.S. Customs and Border Protection pilot, an F-16 pilot, and a Federal Aviation Administration official also briefed.

At the media event held Feb. 1, CAP had the smallest airplane taking part in a demonstration of F-16s flying alongside the CAP plane posing as a rogue aircraft, making radio contact, and guiding it out of restricted airspace around Super Bowl LII. The media watched one of the F-16s refuel during the mission from inside a KC-130 tanker. An NBC-TV was a passenger in the F-16D at the Minnesota Air National Guard’s 148th Fighter Wing 

Since the terroristic attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the FAA routinely implements no-fly zones, called Temporary Flight Restrictions, around major events to ensure no general aviation airplanes enter for a specified radius. Air Force fighter aircraft enforce the TFRs during the time of the event.

CAP is involved in similar exercises around the U.S. throughout the year to test airspace security. The air defense exercises are carried out as part of Operation Noble Eagle, coordinated by the Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command. The exercises are conducted in coordination with the FAA and other interagency organizations as appropriate.