NASA benefiting local communities
The June Harless Center for Rural Educational Research and Development has received a two-year grant to use robotic imaging technology. The GigaPan Outreach Grant brings space technology to local classrooms.
GigaPan is a collaborative project between Carnegie Mellon University and the NASA Ames Intelligent Robotics Group. Students from several West Virginia schools and Marshall University are using digital cameras with a special platform developed for NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Mission. Students can mount their digital cameras on the user-friendly robotic platform. The device takes a series of snap-shots and stitches the photographs together to create one large high-resolution panoramic picture called a GigaPan. The picture can then be uploaded to a special social-networking site that was developed for the GigaPan project.
Users from around the world can share, explore and comment on the pictures. The gigapixel-sized images allow students to zoom out to see the big picture, like mountains, and zoom in to see small things, like mountain climbers. The new technology and the GigaPan social network have allowed students to participate in cross-cultural conversations and digitally explore places they may not have the opportunity to see in person.
Students and teachers showcased their GigaPan projects at Marshall University on May 23. Their showcase was creative, educational, and fun. They also used the technology to learn about state interests such as coal mining, civil war history and the Green Bank observatory. The participants did an outstanding job and the future for similar projects is promising. The GigaPan Outreach Grant is a wonderful example of how NASA technology can benefit local communities.
Michael J. Adkins
Capito's voting record is shameful
The argument that Shelley Moore Capito is a moderate is a flight of fancy at best, willful amnesia at worst. Over the past two years, I have been horrified by the voting record of Congresswoman Capito, particularly when it comes to critical votes that affect everyday West Virginians.
Just recently, Capito voted to pass the so-called "Ryan budget" which would eliminate Medicare as we know it and replace it with a voucher system. In essence, Medicare, a vital safety net for seniors, would be completely eliminated and privatized under the Ryan plan.
Last year, Capito, despite fully knowing the health care crisis that faces this country, voted against the Affordable Care Act, the single most important piece of health care legislation ever to pass in Congress. By voting against this act that provides further access to health care for the poor and uninsured, she hurt her West Virginia constituents, particularly those who can't afford health care.
A sure sign of a Republican moderate is a politician who has some modicum of respect for civil rights and gay rights. Unfortunately, when it came to supporting gay and lesbian servicemen and women, Capito voted against repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." In fact, Capito recently received a score of "0" from the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights group.