Friday, 28 January 2011

Former astronaut honors 25th anniversary of Challenger explosion

Matt Sunday/The Daily Athenaeum

‘The most important thing that has ever happened in space happened on this flight - the first Mountaineer in space,’ WVU graduate, Navy veteran and astronaut Jon McBride says.

Jon McBride, retired NASA astronaut, lectured on his personal experience and the life of late Challenger crew member Ronald McNair Thursday at West Virginia University in an event hosted by the McNair Scholars Program.

McBride, a Beckley, W.Va., native, was a friend and classmate of McNair during their time at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

McBride said he was watching during a training session on Jan. 28, 1986, when the Challenger tragedy occurred.

Four of the Challenger crew members were McBride's own classmates. McBride said had they been alive today and approached with flying another mission, they would have all accepted without hesitation.
"One of the things we found out on that day was that we were working people too hard," McBride said.
Provost Michelle Wheatley said she could remember exactly what she was doing 25 years ago when the Challenger launched. She was an assistant professor in Florida at the time, and she remembers watching the launch with some of her colleagues, she said.

"Of course, more than half of the people who are here tonight are under the age of 25," Wheatley said.
All seven members of the Challenger crew died when the spaceship exploded on Jan. 28, 1986, shortly after it was launched.

McNair was the second African-American to fly into space. The McNair Scholars program was established in his honor later in 1986 after the Challenger explosion.

It is a nationally funded scholarship that serves first-generation college students from low-income families, or students from underrepresented groups, such as African-Americans, Native Americans, Native Hawiians and Hispanics.

Betty Mei, assistant director of the WVU McNair Scholars Program, said the scholarship is open to rising juniors and seniors and offers opportunities in research training, GRE test preparation, tutoring and other tools to help McNair Scholars work toward goals in graduate study.

The deadline to apply for the scholarship was Jan. 14, and they are currently screening applications, she said. Mei said she encourages students to consider applying for the scholarship to help them achieve their higher education goals.

Anand Sunny Narayanan, a senior mechanical engineering and biology major, was a McNair Scholarship recipient in 2008. Narayanan said the McNair Scholarship helped his education.

"Growing up, I was not in the best financial situation. It was hard to imagine how I would be able to attain the education of my dreams," he said.

Ronald McNair earned his doctorate in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

After the Challenger tragedy in 1986, the U.S. Congress named the newly established Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program for Ronald E. McNair.

Truth, Lies, and O-Rings: Inside the Space Shuttle <i>Challenger</i> DisasterChallengerChallenger Revealed: An Insider's Account of How the Reagan Administration Caused the Greatest Tragedy of the Space Age

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

WikiLeaks to Release Secret Swiss Bank Account Info

Swiss whistle-blower and former banker Rudolf Elmer has given WikiLeaks information about bank accounts of more than 2,000 prominent individuals, potentially exposing tax evasion, the BBC reports.

The data is not yet available on WikiLeaks, but it was publicly given on two discs by Elmer to WikiLeaks founder and owner Julian Assange at a press conference in London this morning. The data needs to be vetted before it gets released, and some of it will likely be handed over to the authorities. “Once we have looked at the data… there will be full revelation,” said Assange.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, left, accompanied by Rudolf Elmer, right, listens to a journalist's question during a press conference at the Frontline Club in London on Monday.
AP WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, left, accompanied by Rudolf Elmer, right, 
listens to a journalist's question during a press conference at the Frontline Club in London on Monday.
The freshly leaked data covers the period from 1990 to 2009 and concerns companies and individuals from many countries, including the UK, U.S. and Germany, Swiss newspaper Der Sonntag reports. Elmer himself said at the press conference that the data covers info about three different banks and 40 politicians.

Rudolf Elmer - who runs his own whistle-blowing website -has previously worked in Swiss bank Julius Baer; he was fired from his position in 2002 and has previously leaked information to WikiLeaks about Julius Baer’s offshore operations at the Cayman Islands.

He is scheduled to go on trial in Switzerland in two days for breaking bank secrecy laws.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Where is Megan Mcallister Now? Craigslist Killer Philip Markoff’s Ex-Fiancee

philip markoff megan mcallister 1 Where is Megan Mcallister Now? Craigslist Killer Philip Markoffs Ex Fiancee

It must be so odd to have the very traumatic and bizarre events of your life to be played out on the TV. But that is just the case for Megan McAllister, the ex-fiance of the Craigslist Killer Philip Markoff who was featured on the Lifetime made for TV feature The Craiglist Killer.  In the film she is portrayed by Agnes Bruckner.

The two were to be wed on August 14, 2009. They met in 2005 and got engaged three years later. While planning for a wedding that would never happen,  her life changed forever. It turns out her finance Philip Markoff was a serial killer and then he committed suicide. Yes, pretty dramatic to say the least.
But where is Megan McAllister now?

After Markoff was arrested she released a statement saying, “To me and my family, he is a loving and caring person and in the eyes of the law and constitution, he is innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Even after his arrest she thought they would still be together saying, “We expect to marry in August and share and wonderful, meaningful life together.” But that did not happen.

But before he took his own life Megan McAllister visited him in jail and broke up with him and to “move on with her life.” And right before he died, he had written her name in blood on the wall of his jail.

So where is she now? She is still pursuing  a career in medicine (they met at Boston University) and was attending medical school far away in the Caribbean.

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What Are All These Mass Money Maker Emails About?
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