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Altanta: Techtextil

Apr. 24-26, 2012. Techtextil North America is the continent’s only dedicated show for technical textiles and nonwovens, including fibers, yarns, knitted fabrics, canvas, laid webs…. Or so we were told.  The show assembled all vertical aspects of the technical textile industry, from research and development, through raw materials and production processes and finally ending in conversion, further treatment and recycling.  The Techtextil North America Symposium offered dozens of sessions focusing on the latest in research and emerging technology.  On show were new products, new technology, ground-breaking materials and advancements, with exhibitors from around the world showcasing their latest innovations.  Just arrived?  Well, you’d better “get weaving”…..

New Orleans: ACP12

Apr 19-21, 2012. ACP is the American College of Physicians, and this was their annual Internal Medicine jamboree.  A big topic at the expo was the Internal Medicine Physician Specialists Release Policy Paper, “Reforming Medicare in the Age of Deficit Reduction”.  From diabetes to bioethics to obesity to disaster relief, there were plentiful discussion opportunities at Internal Medicine 2012. There was a call for Improvements to US Public Health Systems to Protect U.S. Residents.  The American College of Physicians and Consumer Reports announce their collaboration on New High Value Care Patient Education Resources.  Speaking of education, delegates could also help fulfill their continuing medical training requirements by claiming their Internal Medicine 2012 CME credits.  Y’know, when you’ve got your health, you’ve got it all…

Fabricate Friday: These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise

“Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.” –opening monologue from Star Trek.

The Enterprise 4/27/2012 NYC Fly over

Coming of age in the 1960’s in Huntsville, Al home to the Marshall Space Flight Center, NASA was a big factor in our lives. While the rest of the state was embroiled in trying to save segregation, Huntsville was busy building rockets to send people to the moon and, at the time, beyond. After the Apollo missions, the next challenge was to find a vehicle that could be reusable. The Shuttle was born. Marshall Space Flight Center was once again buzzing with activity as they built the storage and delivery system for the liquid fuel.

The Enterprise was the 1st prototype and went into service in 1977 as a test model. While never actually used on a space mission, the Enterprise was from 1977-1983, was used for testing and flew frequent training missions over the Atlantic and Pacific.

Upon retirement in 1983, the Enterprise was taken to several locations before making its home at the Smithsonian’s Air Space Museum. One of those visits was a trip up the Hudson River in NYC. From our office in the 2WTC it was visible as it flew past the Statue of Liberty on the way to the Tappan Zee Bridge further up the river.

1983 USS Enterprise in NYC

In 2005, the decision was made to retire the Shuttle program and the last Shuttle mission was in 2011. It was decided that further funding of the Shuttle and NASA was not in the best interest of the United States even though some of our everyday essential item were first conceived at NASA. Did you ever think you’d be able to carry 5000 of your favorite songs around on an iPod? Thank NASA for radio miniaturization. Here is just a short list of 10. Neil DeGrasse-Tyson, head of the Hayden Planetarium, recently testified before Congress regarding the NASA budget, saying

“Right now, NASA’s annual budget is half a penny on your tax dollar. For twice that—a penny on a dollar—we can transform the country from a sullen, dispirited nation, weary of economic struggle, to one where it has reclaimed its 20th century birthright to dream of tomorrow.”

Today the Space Shuttle Enterprise takes its last flight before becoming a permanent exhibit at the Intrepid Museum in NYC, we are reminded that we need to continue to dream and inspire our children to do the same.

4/27/2012 Flying over Statue of Liberty & Freedom Tower

4/27/2012: between Freedom Tower & the Geary Building

Baltimore: SPIE-DSS

Apr. 24-26, 2012. SPIE is the International Society for Optics and Photonics, founded to advance an interdisciplinary approach to the science and application of light.  The Society advances emerging technologies through interdisciplinary information exchange, continuing education, publications, patent precedent, and career and professional growth.  This show was mainly about Defense, Security, and Sensing.  There were 2,450 technical presentations in 58 conferences, 55 courses, more than 500 companies and agencies taking part.  Delegates could take in workshops, panel discussions, networking events, and remarks from prominent plenary speakers.  One keynote was from Bruce Carlson, Director of the National Reconnaissance Office.  The event certainly “shed some light” on a complex industry…

Reno: American Jail Association

Apr 22-26, 2012. The US has the highest prison population in the world. And that population has surged over the past three decades, pushed upward particularly by drug enforcement laws and mandatory sentencing.  More than two million people are either incarcerated in prison or in jail awaiting trial.  AJA, the American Jail Association, represents those who have to supervise all those jailed people, whether state or private.  It’s the only national nonprofit association dedicated exclusively to supporting those who work in and operate America’s 3,200-plus jail facilities. The recent Supreme Court ruling on the legitimacy of strip searching anyone arrested for any offense has cheered their membership, on the basis that the ruling  “places the safety of our staff and our facilities in the position foremost in meeting our mission for safety and security”.  Okay, hands on the wall…

Las Vegas: CinemaCon

Apr 22-25, 2012. CinemaCon “celebrates the moviegoing experience”.  This is the official convention of The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO), which claims to play host to the entire motion picture theatre industry, with more than 5,000 industry professionals on hand from the worldwide cinema industry.  It clearly held appeal for most facets of the international motion picture theatre industry—exhibition, distribution, marketing, publicity and advertising, internet and social media. and the theatre equipment and concessions manufacturers and dealers.  The show’s schedule was packed with sponsored events, seminars, screenings, product presentations and a gala award show honoring the best output of the movie industry. CinemaCon also once again incorporated a special day of programming geared for the International Marketplace.  You want me to super-size that popcorn order for you…?

Portland: SCAA 2012

Apr 19-22, 2012. SCAA is billed as “the specialty coffee event of the year”.  (The SC part stands for specialty coffee). The SCAA is known for having its finger on the pulse of the coffee industry, due to an ongoing focus on statistics and trending.  They speak fluent Barista, and claim to be well ahead of the who, what, when, where and why of caffeine-based beverages. Exhibitors cater to diverse market segments, and the show tactically reaches out to those interest groups that yield the highest ROI for their companies. With the goal of serving the needs of the entire coffee community, the SCAA developed The Event, an all-in-one model that creates the opportunity for coffee industry professionals to reach their target audience easily, economically and all under one roof.  Now what shape do you want in your froth, a heart or a palm-tree?  Uh, no, I don’t think we do a bunny-wabbit…