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Cheap Chic Weddings announced the winner of their fourth annual Toilet Paper Wedding Dress contest at a ceremony at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium, Times Square. Three finalists were flown in from Illinois, Texas and Hawaii to showcase their hand-made, intricately detailed dresses – which look like regular wedding gowns – in front of a panel of judges.

Laura Gawne and partners Susan Bain and Roxie Radford, who operate the website on saving money on weddings, based the contest on the popular bridal shower game. Cheap-Chic-Weddings.com asked their readers to create wedding gowns and headpieces strictly using Charmin bath tissue, glue and/or tape – no sequins, beads or other “normal” wedding dress adornments.

Toilet Paper Wedding Dress“The level of talent that presents itself each year always amazes us,” said Laura Gawne. Roxie Radford added, “The entries included details like faux embroidery, ruffles, pleats and lace effects!” This year’s first place winner, Katrina Chalifoux of Rockford, IL received a $1,000 American Express gift card. The dresses from all three finalists will be displayed in Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museums! Around the world.

Charmin bath tissue and Ripley’s Believe It or Not! sponsored this year’s top prizes. Wipe it off 🙂

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Amateur and independent filmmakers, writers, actors and film buffs from around the nation can develop short films together, thanks to a new interactive online destination. Rootclip, located at http://www.rootclip.com , encourages site visitors to create customized short film storylines.

Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Michael Moore says, “When I first heard the idea of Rootclip I was very impressed. It’s the ideal venue for established and up-and-coming filmmakers to interact and express their creative talents on the world stage. We’ve entered a new era of filmmaking and I believe that our next great generation of filmmakers might be inspired by places like Rootclip.”

To engage site visitors, Rootclip holds contests for filmmakers. The first Rootclip.com competition, entitled “Good Luck,” runs from April 28 to July 7. The winner and a guest will receive an all-expenses paid trip to the Traverse City Film Festival in Traverse City, Mich. from August 1-3, where they will meet with Michael Moore and screen the completed short film in front of a live audience.

“Rootclip was conceived as a catalyst to get people thinking about and being creative with short films in such a way that it radiates out to the masses and brings new life to the art form,” said Erik Luchauer, co-founder of Rootclip, about Rootclip’s development into a national destination for independent filmmakers. “Our goal is to create connections between directors, writers and actors across the country.”

How It Works: Each Rootclip process plays out over a six chapter cycle, beginning with the Rootclip in-house team developing an inaugural film chapter to jump-start the story. Participating filmmakers then view the root clip, a few minutes of content that begins the story but has a completely open-ended conclusion, and then shoot their own rendition of what should happen next. The users’ upload their one-minute chapters to Rootclip.com, where online viewers then judge the submissions and select the chapter winner. Once the winner for that “chapter” is announced, the open submission period begins again. This process repeats itself four times before culminating in a final chapter competition between all previous chapter winners.

Rootclip began as a social networking tool supported by the Scripps Newspapers Entrepreneur Fund, whose primary goal is developing brands that increase the reach and audience for local media.

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On June 11, leading authorities on the World Wide Web will gather at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for an old-fashioned debate with a social media twist. The questions for discussion will be shaped and selected by the collective wisdom of Web users from around the world.

Tetherless World Research Constellation, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

After delivering a keynote address, Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the Web, will join a panel of experts from academia and industry for a public discussion about the Web’s future. The content of the debate will be collaboratively created by Web users, who can submit questions and promote them through a user-based ranking system, similar to the community-based news site Digg. The most popular questions will drive the discussion at the June 11 debate.

The public debate, which will be streamed live via an interactive Webcast, is part of a daylong event to celebrate the launch of the Tetherless World Constellation at Rensselaer – a new academic center devoted to the emerging field of Web Science.
A wide range of issues are up for discussion, from sustaining the usefulness of the current Web to creating a next-generation Semantic Web, as well as the role of politics, education, and sociological factors in the Web’s continued evolution. Following introductory remarks by Rensselaer President Shirley Ann Jackson, participants in the panel will be:

  • Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the Web and director of the World Wide Web Consortium.
  • Wendy Hall, vice president of the Association for Computing Machinery and senior vice president of the Royal Academy of Engineering.
  • Nigel Shadbolt, former president of the British Computer Society and chief technology officer of Garlik.
  • Nova Spivack, high-tech entrepreneur and founder of Radar Networks.
  • Deborah McGuinness, Web language expert and Rensselaer Constellation Professor of the Tetherless World Constellation.
  • James Hendler, one of the inventors of the Semantic Web and Rensselaer Constellation Professor of the Tetherless World Constellation (moderator).

Members of the public are invited to submit and vote on questions until the day of the debate. During the discussion, viewers will be able to interact with the panelists by submitting follow-up questions and comments in real time. For details about this innovative event and how you can participate in the discussion, go to: http://tw.rpi.edu/launch.

Since its inception, the Web has changed the ways people work, play, communicate, collaborate, and educate, according to James Hendler, Constellation Professor of the Tetherless World Constellation at Rensselaer. There is, however, a growing realization among researchers across a number of disciplines that without new research aimed at understanding the current, evolving, and potential Web, opportunities for new and revolutionary capabilities may be missed or delayed.

“If we want to be able to model the Web, if we want to understand the architectural principles that have provided for its growth, and if we want to be sure that it supports the basic social values of trustworthiness, personal control over information, and respect for social boundaries, then we must pursue a research agenda that targets the Web and its use as a primary focus of attention,” Hendler said.

The Tetherless World Constellation will address this emerging area of Web Science, focusing on the Web and its future use. Faculty in the constellation will explore the research and engineering principles that underlie the Web, will enhance the Web’s reach beyond the desktop and laptop computer, and will develop new technologies and languages that expand the capabilities of the Web. They will use powerful scientific and mathematical techniques from many disciplines to explore the modeling of the Web from network- and information-centric views.

“Our goals will include making the next generation Web natural to use while being responsive to the growing variety of policy and social needs, whether in the area of privacy, intellectual property, general compliance, or provenance,” Hendler said. For more information about the Tetherless World Constellation, go to: http://tw.rpi.edu.

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Businesses today face a greater than ever need to differentiate themselves, often on a global scale. So how can they harness the acceleration of technology innovation instead of focusing solely on productivity tools for their employee’s desktops? One of the most common approaches is to seek out tailored business solutions capable of addressing complex business challenges. Today, Microsoft is focusing on those customer needs by addressing the way it serves its largest customers and delivers the value they need and expect.

Austen Mulinder, Microsoft Worldwide Enterprise Sales Vice President.As former head of Fujitsu Transaction Solutions, Austen Mulinder is bringing CEO leadership experience to his role as Microsoft’s vice president of Worldwide Enterprise Sales. His goal: Increase the velocity of the transition from the traditional product sales approach to one delivering increased business value built on deep customer relationships.

The foundation of this strategy includes three sales programs designed to counsel and support Microsoft’s largest customers as they solve real-world business challenges through IT. Microsoft’s PP recently met with Mulinder to learn how the Worldwide Enterprise Sales team is building its programs and talent to enable new opportunities for customers, partners and Microsoft.

  • You have the unique distinction of having been a CEO, as well as a customer and partner of Microsoft. How are those experiences influencing your strategy?

From my previous experience outside the company, I’ve been able to observe the journey Microsoft has taken over the past several years. Microsoft has gone from being primarily a desktop company to being a serious player in the enterprise. I’ve seen the company move away from a product focus and become more solution centric. I’ve watched the good advancements and the stumbles along the way. Microsoft has come a long way, and we now have the opportunity to provide deep strategic counsel to the world’s biggest global companies.

We aspire to be the industry benchmark for sales excellence and to attain “trusted advisor” status with all of our customers, but we recognize this is a journey. We have some of the smartest sales people I’ve ever come across, and a lot of strong tools supporting them. Now our focus is increasingly around building relationships that encourage deeper customer dialogues and greater transparency and sharing of information. This enables us to partner with our customers to jointly explore how to leverage technology for differentiated business value.

Our best (customer) account leaders, and we are fortunate to have many role models, have achieved trusted advisor status with their customers. We’re working hard to achieve that status with all of our customers.

  • Who sets the sales priorities, and how do those priorities translate to the sales resources you deploy?

A huge element of our effectiveness is being close enough to our major customers at the right levels to really understand their priorities and respond effectively. If we’re getting it right, customers will set the priorities.

Having said that, we have the Sales, Marketing and Services Group (SMSG) led by Kevin Turner, and he is ultimately responsible for driving the organization to be effective for customers, while at the same time delivering business results for our shareholders. In the enterprise space, part of Kevin’s team is Simon Witts, who runs the Worldwide Enterprise and Partner Group. We also have two verticals, Public Sector led by Gerri Elliott and the Communications Sector led by Martha Bejar. They all have a tremendous influence on our sales priorities.

To carry out the broad strategies set by the leadership team, we want as many of our sales assets to be as close to the customer as possible, and so the vast majority of our customer-facing people report to the field, not to headquarters. We also have some major sales groups that make sense to lead from Redmond on behalf of Microsoft globally-the Incubation, Category and Specialist Sales team, the Global and Multinational Account Sales team, and the Sales Escalation team, with the vast majority of their team members based in the field.

  • Let’s talk about global accounts and multi-national companies. How does Microsoft engage with these customers?

The Global and Multinational Accounts program is currently focused on 50 of the largest corporations in the world, and we plan to double that over the next couple of years. The 50 global accounts are headquartered in 12 countries, and they have subsidiaries in another 90. We manage them globally, and each has a dedicated global business manager. The 50 accounts actually include support for some 850 companies, including downstream subsidiaries.

We give these accounts a heightened level of support because we see them as the ultimate proving ground for solutions that deliver real business value on a global scale. Within these accounts we are working to build a stronger strategic business relationship. We also increase their access to our product teams and senior executives at Microsoft.

Since I joined Microsoft in June of last year, I have talked extensively with many of the leaders of these global customers. What they want from Microsoft is to partner successfully to deliver solutions that drive real business value, whether that’s helping them innovate to differentiate themselves in the market, or reducing the total cost of ownership for IT

  • How do you incorporate newly acquired technologies, or those that haven’t reached the critical mass of flagship Microsoft solutions?

That is the job of our Incubation, Category and Specialist sales teams. The incubation program exists because our business groups are making huge investments in both new and acquired products. In the early lifecycle of these products, we typically don’t have enough resources for the field to deploy them on day one.

Incubation is a dedicated set of sales resources that we manage centrally in partnership with the field. Their focus is to develop the sales strategy and drive the adoption of these products so that we can achieve real critical mass and develop our expertise in servicing these customers.

When we’ve grown an incubation product to a large enough volume and level of capability, it moves under the Category sales team for strategic and operational leadership. We then move those resources directly into the field, where they are managed locally. We continue to work closely with the business groups and the field to take those products into the mainstream.

A great example of this process would be our acquisition of Softricity and their SoftGrid product – which we now call MDOP, the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack. Before the acquisition, Softricity, in several years of existence, had sold about 250,000 seats of Softgrid. Within 13 months using the Microsoft incubation sales capability model we sold more than five million seats.

  • How are you working with customers to sell, integrate and deploy specific solutions or products?

Historically the sales approach has been about selling and licensing products to customers, and enabling them to work out the deployment via the partner ecosystem. Now we are aligning our sales priorities with solutions, and bringing real expertise to bear against that goal. We have Specialist Team Units in the Incubation, Category and Specialist Sales team, who are sales resources with deep technical knowledge. We also have a Sales Escalation team, which is a group of highly technical consultants who can dive deeply into specific customer scenarios. We also partner closely with Microsoft’s product groups and business units to drive solutions that create real business value.

Ford Sync is an example where that broad partnership paid off for the customer. The account team who orchestrated the dialogue, together with the business groups, partnered with Ford to look at how they could differentiate themselves in the market for cars. Ford Sync took advantage of Microsoft’s mobile technology and voice recognition technology to create a unique offering. Today cars that are Sync-enabled far outsell those without that capability. So that’s a tremendous example of a solution we built with a customer, to help them serve their customers’ needs, and that delivered true business value.

  • How does your team address competing technologies?

To be effective advisors, considering the breadth of products that Microsoft sells and the number of markets we’re in, we need people with deep expertise in myriad technologies. This is where the Sales Escalation team comes in.

The Sales Escalation team contains many of the strongest technical resources in the company. Typically they’ve been hired from outside as experts in technologies that we interoperate with and compete with.

We manage over 3,000 escalations for our field each year, supporting them in competitive situations. Our subject matter experts help customers make the right buying decision based on factual comparisons of technical capability, total cost, and risk. These experts play a strong role in helping customers understand the full value of existing and new solutions. As part of these field engagements we also gather important customer feedback which we use to report back to Business Groups and product engineering teams to ensure that our products and partners constantly improve and become more compelling in the market.

This group is also highly sought after in our Executive Briefing Centers (EBCs), which are facilities we manage around the world to host enterprise customer meetings. Executive Briefings help Microsoft to go more deeply into a customer’s business needs and examine how technology can solve the challenges they face.

  • How does the enterprise sales group work with industry partners to enhance the overall value delivered to customers?

One of Microsoft’s biggest strengths in the marketplace over the past 25 years has been its broad and vibrant partner ecosystem. We have one of the largest partner channels in the industry, with thousands of partners worldwide deploying millions of IT, marketing, and sales professionals that carry Microsoft’s products to market.

The only way we can realize the full potential of the R&D we spend across industries is to ensure we have a healthy partner ecosystem that understands our product set and is skilled in deploying it. This has always been a cornerstone of our business.

Our account teams orchestrate the combination of service delivery by Microsoft and partners from the ecosystem. Many times the partner will take the lead, and we’ll support that. It’s key to understand that we drive a high percentage of our sales through and with our partner community, and that is not going to change.

As we move forward to evolve the software plus services model, Microsoft is defining new opportunities for the partner community to deliver value to customers. There will still be opportunities to resell, refer, add value through professional services, package with customized capabilities, and realize business growth through annuities and subscriptions, but there will also be abundant new opportunities for innovative, value-added services and customization as these hosted products roll out.

  • How does Redmond’s involvement in enterprise sales impact the enterprise customer experience?

In an ideal world, the field has major competency in all of our products and solutions, and doesn’t require support from Redmond. But in the real world , we’re forever evolving the overall value proposition and the product elements that make up that value proposition. Having key technical resources and key leadership from Redmond engaged in important customer opportunities brings benefits all around. The customers appreciate the access, the insight they gain from it, and the opportunity to influence our direction. The Redmond resources benefit from the connection to the real world of our customers and their experience with, and leverage of our products.

One of the ways we embed this connection into our way of doing business is through the Executive Sponsorship program that connects our most strategic customers and their Microsoft Account teams with Microsoft Executives. I am fortunate to be Executive Sponsor to a number of our Accounts and it is one of the most fulfilling aspects of my role. I know many of my peers feel the same way.

Our team works to provide that bridge. If we’re getting the sales model right, we will get a good mix of field leadership and Redmond involvement for the biggest accounts, so they feel they’re getting the best of all worlds from Microsoft. To that end there are a number of strategies, like those outlined here, that are being driven to create a more customer and sales centric environment in Redmond, and thus create a better platform to enable success in the field.

  • How else does Microsoft connect with customers at the enterprise level?

One of the things that impressed me the most as a partner and customer of Microsoft is the investment the company makes in connecting with customer executive teams. I knew that if I came to Microsoft seeking insight and information, the facilities would be first class, the content would be excellent, the quality of the people would be very high, and my team would leave with a better view of our overall technology and business strategy. Microsoft does an amazing job of that.

We had 20,000 visitors come to our eight EBCs globally last year, nearly half of them to the EBC in Redmond. Recently we expanded our Redmond capability with a 50 percent increase in capacity. This year we expect to host some 15,000 visitors in Redmond, representing about 2,000 discrete customers. That is a tremendous advantage in that it gives us the opportunity to deploy our A-team across many more customers than we could if they had to visit customer sites. If you look at the utilization and the feedback we get for our EBCs, we really leverage them to the hilt. The EBCs are one of our most strategic sales tools.

Additionally, we have 16 Microsoft Technology Centers around the world – which provide facilities, technology experts and a virtual deployment site for customer solutions – and we manage nearly 3,500 engagements annually in those centers. The success rate of when we prove out a customer solution in one of the MTCs is extremely high.

Microsoft is also known for running tremendous executive events. Every year we run the CEO Summit, the Global CIO Summit and the Global Account Summit, to name a few. These exclusive events bring together top business leaders with Microsoft executives and external thought leaders for unique business and technology discussions.

Through all of these venues, we create value for the customer, both now and in the future, with how we evolve our relationship and our understanding – by listening and engaging in deep discussions with them on a range of topics.

There are a huge number of assets that Microsoft Account teams can leverage to add value to our customers and build deeper relationships in the process. I have been very impressed with how fully utilized these capabilities are. It is a good indicator of the ever increasing level of customer centricity in how we do business, and as someone who enjoys customer connection more than any other aspect of my role; it is great to be part of this team.

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CondeNet announced that it has launched applications for Style.com, Epicurious.com, Wired.com, and flip.com on MySpace, the world’s most popular social networking site. Empowered by MySpace’s newly announced Developer Platform, CondeNet was able to easily build and deploy the applications for its Web sites.

The Style.com application, Fashion Flash, offers the inside scoop on fashion, shopping, beauty and celebrity style. In the application’s first week, more than over 1,200 users installed it.

Style.com Fashion Flash MySpace Application.

The Epicurious.com application, Recipe of the Day, serves up a different, tasty food each day, drawing from a selection of more than 25,000 professionally created and tested recipes.

For the Wired.com application, Wired Gadget Lab, Wired News bloggers bring their sharp eyes and wit to the world of gadgets.

Wired Logo.

The flip application, flipbook creator, can be used to make and share online scrapbooks called flipbooks. Users can upload photos, video, and music; rotate, resize, and crop images; write text; add a soundtrack; draw freestyle; and share their flipbooks with friends. Registration is required to make a flipbook.

MySpace first introduced its Developer Platform site on February 5, 2008, beginning a month long application development period that made it possible for companies including CondeNet to build and test their applications in a secure environment before going live to the MySpace community.

On March 13, 2008, MySpace launched the public beta of the Application Gallery, enabling broader testing of approved applications by allowing public installation. MySpace members can now discover and add new applications from a variety of categories, including Fashion, Food & Drink, Fun Stuff/News & Weather and Fun Stuff/Photos to both their home and profile pages.

“We have found social networking applications to be an effective vehicle to speak to our existing audiences in a new way, as well as a wonderful tool to reach new users,” said Chris Gonzalez, Product Manager, Distributed Content, CondeNet. “As one of the first content providers to have a presence in the MySpace applications offering, we are thrilled to be able to provide members the ability to interact with our brands.”

flipbook creator.As with all MySpace Developer Platform applications, the Style.com, Epicurious.com, Wired.com, and flip.com applications will be able to safely access publicly available profile information, including a user’s friend list, interests, photos & albums, and video, as well as status & mood. The four applications will have real estate in five places within MySpace including:

  • A MySpace application profile (users can “friend” the apps).
  • Access to embed applications on the user homepage (inward facing-for you to see).
  • Access to embed applications on profiles (outward facing widget-for friends to see).
  • An Application Gallery listing.
  • A canvas page.

“We have had tremendous response both from companies and our members since announcing the MySpace Developer Platform,” said Kyle Brinkman, vice president and general manager, MySpace Developer Platform. “CondeNet is one of the early adopters to implement applications, particularly within the publishing industry, as they realize the importance of connecting their brands with our members.”

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The situation for children continues to worsen in Myanmar as thousands of children have been separated from their families, many more are living in desperate conditions in relief camps, and some are drinking water from ponds covered with dead bodies, a UNICEF report stated today.

Support UNICEF's relief efforts in Myanmar

The information is contained in a new situation report received from UNICEF’s 10 offices in Myanmar. It details the most urgent needs of women and children and clearly shows the magnitude of devastation in the delta region.

In Bogalay Township, ponds are covered with dead bodies of humans and animals. Currently, people are trying to pump water from the pond, which can be bleached, but it can only serve the nearby communities.

Also in this township, hospitals are overcrowded with up to 6,000 patients every day. The very grave threat of water-borne diseases is apparent with more people visiting hospitals suffering from deadly diarrhea and dehydration. About 20,000 people from this township are displaced and living in 50 camps.

In Mawlamyinegyun Township, UNICEF reports that 50 percent of villages were damaged out of 757 villages, and 20,000 people are currently staying in 20 camps. UNICEF is sending additional emergency supplies, expected to reach the area today.

The situation is also desperate in Pyapon Township where 16,000 people have been displaced, now living in 35 camps. Conditions in these camps are appalling: in one camp there are only five latrines for 3,500 people. People in this area are suffering a severe shortage of food, insufficient shelters and they are drinking water from contaminated ponds.

A priority concern for UNICEF is the identification of unaccompanied and separated children, as well as family tracing and unification. In all regions, the number of children who have been orphaned by the disaster or separated from their families is rapidly increasing. So far, UNICEF has identified at least 2,000 of these children from the Laputta Township, and it is expected that number of children will continue to rise. UNICEF is working to ensure these children have safe shelter and that their basic needs are met. UNICEF staff have already begun the process of trying to trace the families of these children to reunite them.

UNICEF RESPONSE

The risk of life-threatening diarrhea and infectious diseases increases dramatically with every day. Children are highly susceptible to these problems and their impact is graver when the sufferers are under-nourished.

“If there was ever a clearer sign that every second counts for children in Myanmar this is it,” said Caryl M. Stern, President, U.S. Fund for UNICEF. “This is a critical time for the children and families affected by the cyclone. The UNICEF team on the ground in Myanmar will continue to work around the clock to ensure children are provided for.”

At present, UNICEF’s priority is to provide life saving essentials to children and their mothers:

  • On Saturday, UNICEF’s Supply Division in Copenhagen packed 30 emergency health kits that will provide drugs, medical supplies, and basic medical equipment for 300,000 persons for 3 months.  Other medical supplies, including intravenous glucose, thermometers, masks and gloves are also on the flight, which is a commercial plane to fly from Amsterdam Sunday, 11 May 23:30, expected to Bangkok Mon 19:50. Will be transferred to Yangon ASAP.
  • Another shipment of nutrition supplies will be flown from Paris, via KLM on Sunday, 11 May, including fortified therapeutic milk.  On Monday UNICEF will share a charter with UNHCR from Dubai into Yangon with 540 family water kits. Another flight arriving Monday will be carrying 32 tons of provisions including 20 large tents, essential drugs, and oral rehydration therapy.
  • A UNICEF flight containing three million water purification tablets, good to purify five million liters of contaminated water, enough for the needs of 200,000 people for one week, landed on Friday and will be distributed following a customs check.
  • UNICEF is constructing latrines and digging wells in the hardest hit areas.
  • UNICEF is providing water purification tablets, oral rehydration therapies, essential drugs for infectious diseases and mosquito nets, but the quantities currently available are not sufficient to meet needs.

UNICEF staff in Myanmar have been able to distribute emergency supplies in the most affected regions using pre-positioned stock in the country prior to the cyclone, as well as with supplies purchased in Myanmar. However, given the scope of the disaster, “We need the supply pipeline to increase exponentially,” said Stern.

UNICEF is one of the few international organizations that has a well-established, on-the-ground presence in Myanmar. UNICEF has worked in the country since 1950 and has 130 staff on the ground spread across nine zonal offices with a head office in Yangon.

To donate to the Cyclone Nargis disaster, please go to: http://www.unicefusa.org/myanmar or call 1-800 4UNICEF.

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As part of NASA’s 50th anniversary celebration, the Digital Learning Network will host a series of live webcasts with students across the country May 13-21. The series will highlight the contributions of each NASA center to a specific topic in NASA history. The webcasts also will focus on NASA’s present and future efforts in space exploration.

NASA's 50th anniversary celebration.NASA’s Digital Learning Network allows the next generation of explorers to connect with scientists, engineers and researchers without leaving the classroom. Through interactive videoconferencing, the network provides distance-learning events designed to educate through demonstrations and real time interactions with NASA experts.

The 50th anniversary series webcasts are (all times EDT):

Go Flight, May 13, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
The year is 1958. Nothing would ever be the same. For the first time, the United States sent a man-made device into space. This new frontier of exploration required ingenuity and creativity. NASA’s Johnson Space Center and NASA’s Kennedy Space Center will host a web cast to re-live the significant past events of these two centers while realizing that future milestones of NASA will be accomplished by the students inside today’s classroom.

Astronomy: Bringing the Past to Light, May 14, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory are combining forces to bring the rich history and science of telescopes to light. This interactive learning event will peer back through time to “first light” for Galileo’s refractor, highlight the evolution of the telescope into today’s large mountaintop reflectors, and focus in on the present and future promise of NASA’s space-based great observatories. Witness the inspiring trek of innovation and discovery as NASA continues to explore for answers that power our future.

Advancements in Aeronautics, May 20, 11 a.m. to noon

Fly away with NASA’s Langley and Dryden Flight Research Centers to learn about their roles in the development of aeronautics during NASA’s 50 years. Combined, the two centers have been studying aviation for more than 90 years. Learn more about this fascinating area of science and how NASA’s advancements have benefited mankind.

Propulsion: Past, Present and Future, May 20, 1:10 p.m. to 2:10 p.m.
NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and NASA’s Stennis Space Center were built to examine Newton’s three fundamental laws of motion through testing large-scale engines used for propulsion, eventually taking man to the moon. In recent years, both centers were key in the development of the Space Shuttle Program, taking NASA from the conceptual stages to the final flight three years from now. As the shuttle is retired, Marshall and Stennis look to a new era of space exploration, taking man back to the moon and beyond to new frontiers.

Wind Tunnels and Their Use in Aerospace, May 21, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
You have just put your design idea for your new aircraft or rocket on paper but if you build it, will it fly? Learn how scientists and engineers at NASA have answered this question over the past 50 years without leaving the ground. Take a journey with the Digital Learning Network and see how NASA uses wind tunnel facilities for aviation and aerospace research.

To watch the live webcasts, visit: http://dln.nasa.gov/dln

For more information on research at NASA education, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/education

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