system vision

A vision can never be too audacious or lofty.  The two Voyager spacecraft provided so much scientific insight for our solar system.  A vision can be simple, or can be lofty and daring.  If the Voyager engineering team wanted to just send up a satellite, it was feasible with the current technology.  But a true vision will not only have an objective, but can also ask “what else?” The finish line does not necessarily mean the end.  Always ask what else you can do.  What else can be accomplished.  Go beyond.

10

Visions of the Future 

Imagination is our window into the future. At NASA/JPL we strive to be bold in advancing the edge of possibility so that someday, with the help of new generations of innovators and explorers, these visions of the future can become a reality. As you look through these images of imaginative travel destinations, remember that you can be an architect of the future.

Shout out to blind people who never learned their rights and equality growing up because the adults in their lives never taught them it was OK to be blind.

Shout out to blind people who grew up feeling like the only person in their situation and that they were just a special case and there was nothing to be done because nobody ever introduced them to other blind people, let alone competent blind adults.

Shout out to blind people who never learn braille as children because they “still had usable vision,” Who were forced to squint at and hunch over magnifying glasses and large print because the school system said that was better.

Shout out to blind people who don’t use guide dogs and have to constantly be questioned by strangers and families about why they don’t want guide dogs.

Shout out to blind people who are dehumanized and desexualized by society and feel like they could never find real friends or partners because nobody can look past their disability enough to talk to them like a normal human, let alone have a crush on them.

Shout out to blind people who are just tired of everything.

The god and the bookworm

pairing: thor reader

Plot: after failing to find his soulmate in Asgard tony throws thor a party to cheer him up. After the party Thor tells the team that he wants to find his soulmate already and tells them that only his soulmate can lift his hammer. To see if any of them are his soulmate the team tries to lift the hammer. After everyone tries and fails the bookworm of the team aka the reader is pressured into trying and freaks out when she lifts it up like nothing.

A/n in this fic vision can’t lift Thor’s hammer.

Originally posted by thorduna

Originally posted by thejediavengeroftheinternet

The one thing Thor kept repeating throughout his life was that he was never got to get married yet marriage has been on Thor’s mind for the past year. Sure when he was younger he at the thought of meeting his soulmate made him sick. It was mainly because he knew that once he met them he wouldn’t be able to have sex with any woman he pleased. But now that he’s older he’s grown out of that mindset and wanted to settle down with his soulmate.

When he told his father he was ready to settle down with his soulmate he asked him how he could find them. “My boy you are holding the tool that will let you find your soulmate.” Thor looked down at his hammer confused “your mother charmed it so only two people can carry that hammer; you and your soulmate. So if you are serious about finding your soulmate I suggest you hold a assembly and have both men and women try to lift the hammer.”


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7

BCM Gunfighter History : Travis Haley

An Exercise in Compromise

Hanging in my office, is a clone of the rifle I carried on two combat tours(Iraq and Liberia). It’s a reminder of where I came from, where I stand today, where I am going and why I am going there.

While serving in 2nd Force Reconnaissance in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, my unit started seeing radical advances in small arms and light weaponry via the SOPMOD program. Suddenly, carbines could quickly be fine tuned for specific missions by mounting night vision systems, laser aiming devices, weapon lights and red dot optics to the 1913 Picatinny Rail Systems on the upper receiver and handguard.

These technologies opened up whole new tactics, techniques and procedures that could be employed to prosecute our mission of specialized reconnaissance, ambush and direct action raids.

Despite the additional capabilities the SOPMOD program delivered, opinions were sharply divided on the program. Some saw these tools as a burden, adding a lot of “crap” that would only increase the amount of weight our Marines carried on mission for little tangible benefit. A maxed out M4 could run up to 14 pounds, but we didn’t need every component for every mission.

TWO POUNDS OF METAL

The SOPMOD accessory package that my platoon ended up running included almost two pounds of weight in mounting interfaces alone. When I challenged this, I got a typical Marine Corps answer, “Because that’s what you are issued, now quit asking irrelevant questions Too Speed.” (Too Speed was my call sign)

I couldn’t accept that answer. It was an institutional answer that repeated a party line and the lives of my teammates were, and will always be, more important than not rocking the boat.

After some trial and error, the first mod I made was to ditch the Surefire M951 Weapon Light and replace it with a Surefire 6P in a shotgun tube light mount that I scored at a sporting goods shop near base. After swapping the 6P tail cap for the M951 remote switch assembly, I then ran the tape switch on the left side of the 203 so activating the light wouldn’t impact my weapons manipulation.

Getting a weapon light in tight with a rail and shaving weight off the interface was something I would spend the next 10 years fiddling with before I had a eureka moment and Haley Strategic Partners released the Thorntail Adaptive Series of light mounts, currently in use by military, security contractors and law enforcement worldwide.

This time was a defining moment for me, as it was when I first started tweaking and eventually building original components for my platoon based on the unique requirements of our missions. These experiences of shaving weight, improving ergonomics and finding a balance between capability and utility, would drive the development of so many of the components I have commercialized in my post-service career.

THE RIFLE I TOOK TO WAR

Colt M4 with 14.5” Barrel
Colt M203 40 mm Grenade Launcher
Knights Armament RAS Handguard
PEQ-2 IR Aiming Laser
Surefire Classic 6P with a custom “Simply Dynamic” mount
Boone & Packer Redi-Mag
Simply Dynamic Multi-Mission Sling (commercialized by Magpul as the MS3)

LOAD OUT

Prior to the invasion of Iraq, Force was trained up for both Green Side(reconnaissance) and Black Side(direct action) missions, with the assumption we would be tasked to one or the other. However, when we entered Iraq, our platoon found ourselves doing a combination of both at the same time. Force Recon is a special operations unit that prepares the battlespace and gathers intelligence for the MAGTF(Marine Air Ground Task Force) and then prosecutes specialized targets as directed.  

With a few days under our belts, the entire platoon started striping gear and mags, looking for that perfect balance of speed, utility and capability. If you can’t move, you can’t be effective. Most of the Marines went from 13 rifle magazines to between five or six. I ended up with four on my vest and two taped together on my carbine with riggers tape and offset with a stick.

Force Recon ran low signature loads outs, often working out of vehicles(mil and civilian), and running a double mag on the carbine meant I had 60 rounds at the ready. When I saw the “Redi-Mag” in a copy of Shotgun News, I ordered it and had it delivered to me overseas. Despite the weight, the Redi-Mag was more versatile than the old riggers tape and stick, and cut my carbine reloads to sub one second.

I no longer run a Redi-Mag because there are so many excellent belt mounted magazine pouches available today, that I can reload at almost the exact speed as from a Redi-Mag. That said, you will sometimes find them on my house and car guns, as I do not expect to be kitting up if someone breaks into my house or I find myself engaged with an active shooter around vehicles in the streets.

M203

The M203 is a vital component to small and agile units, like Force, who operate in small units in semi and non-permissive settings. It becomes even more essential in worst case scenarios where the mission is compromised or the unit is outright ambushed by an enemy force.

We prepared for scenarios where 203s could be employed for a hasty breach, in instances where a short count/stack was not possible. Also, as a posturing tool to achieve immediate fire superiority in the face of an ambush. Finally, we practiced employing them to suppress fortified enemy positions in buildings by putting accurate fire through windows or open doors.

In fact, in the first gunfight I was involved in during OIF, I put this into practice, pumping 40mm HEDP(High Explosive Dual Purpose) rounds through windows of enemy positions 50 meters out. This fire created instant hate and discontent on target, where crew served weapons and M4s did not offer as much of an immediate positive effect. We had never trained to fire the M203 at such a close distance for safety reasons, but I held at the top of the window frame with my Aimpoint and the round went straight where I wanted it.

MEUSOC 1911

The MEUSOC 1911 has an almost legendary reputation among 1911 and handgun enthusiasts. One of the most high performance handguns ever built, the MEUSOC 1911 we ran was hand built by Marine Armorers from the Precision Weapons Section at MCBQ (Marine Corps Base Quantico). They fine tuned our 1911’s, hand selecting barrels, link pins, sear springs, ejectors, firing pin stops, mainspring housings and mainsprings. Slides were custom built by Springfield Armory with beavertail safeties and recoil spring guides by Ed Brown, Novak rear sights, Wilson Combat extractors + mag release buttons, and King’s Gun Works ambi thumb safeties.

Force ran the 1911 specifically in direct action raid or ambush missions. It was not a primary and would only come into play if our carbines had run dry or malfunctioned. We carried 10 round magazines with 230 Grain 45 ACP. More than enough to deal with any immediate situation and then refocus on the carbine to get it back into action.

On DRP(Deep Reconnaissance Patrol) Missions, I personally chose my Berretta M92, which was our only 9mm alternative at the time. The flatter trajectory at range of the 9mm and the larger magazine meant more bullets to deal with more problems in the event my carbine was down or permanently disabled.

When I later worked as a security contractor on Ambassador Bremmer’s detail with Blackwater, we would run Glock 17s. But in the end, the mission drives the gear. But more importantly, the mission drives the man.

THE MISSION DRIVES THE MAN

When I first started making gear, I was doing it to help keep my guys alive. When I started my first company, Simply Dynamic Tactical, I wasn’t in it to get rich. I was doing it to pass on what I learned in combat and to provide tools that would stack the deck in the favor of the men and women who were going overseas or out on our streets as warfighters, law enforcement or private citizens.

Surviving war is an awesome responsibility. For those who have been in combat, you never forget the brothers you lost. When you are one of those who made it back, you carry a weight that is difficult to put into words. I was lucky to have known such great men in my life. I was lucky to have a second family closer than any people I will ever know.

As I approach the 5th year in business with Haley Strategic Partners, we have tried to bring this industry together and to stay focused on that one mission. Enable brave men and women to complete their missions as safely as possible. Through training, through gear and through mindset.  

Stay Sharp and be safe,

Travis Haley
October, 2015

Haunted House (pt. 2)

Part 1

You sprint down the hallway to the Host’s pedestal where he’s been gagged. A nasty bruise on his forehead lets you know that he’s down for the count, and you hope that means the animatronics will leave him alone as you slip into the elevator and mash the button for the lobby.

“Not so fast,” you hear Mad cackle over the elevator’s intercom. He stops you on the studio floor where Wilford greets you with a gun to the face.

“Oh!” He jumps back in surprise and instead scoops you out of the elevator. “Come with me. It seems we’re experiencing some technical difficulties.” He forces you towards the stairs even as you hear the clanging of metal as the animatronics descend after you. “Go, go, go!” Wilford stops and turns to shoot the robots as they race towards you.

He manages to get Funtime Foxy in the chest, right where the core should be, and the robot drops. But before he can do any more damage, Ballora has him by the throat. You stop in horror. You don’t want to leave him, but you know there is nothing you can do. Instead, he waves a hand at you to flee, so you do as he wishes.

You wheel around one turn in the stairwell and shriek as you nearly go careening off the edge into a black abyss that fills the rest of the space. The stairs just end in the blackness and a deep voice chuckles in your ear. “What’s the matter, little mouse? Scared of falling?”

Someone pushes you from behind, and you fall, tumbling head over heels into the pit. Down, down, down until you lurch awake, lying on your back on a cold metal table. You try to move but find yourself restricted by leather straps tying down your wrists and ankles, even across your forehead. A bright, white light shines directly down into your eyes, but a silhouette appears, blocking the light.

It’s Mad.

“Well, hello, hello. It seems it’s time for your check-up!” He twirls a rusty scalpel through his fingers where you can see and wiggles his eyebrows. “Now where should we start? Here?” He places the blade to your neck where you squirm to get away. “Or here?” You feel the cold metal against your abdomen and strain to break the restraints.

Mad smirks and places a hand on your cheek. “Don’t worry. Eventually the pain will be too much, and you’ll pass out.” You twist your head just enough to sink your teeth into his hand. Mad screams, yanking back before striking you. “It looks like you’ll need something to help you calm down!” There’s a needle’s prick in your neck, and as your pounding heart races the sedative through your systems, your vision begins to blur.

Darkness consumes you.

And when you wake, a beautiful face framed in pink hair greets you. It’s a face you know well, Amy, and your heart leaps with joy before that face melts away to reveal something terrifyingly alien. You shrink away from Peevils as she cocks her head to the side. “What? Aren’t I pretty enough for you?”

You scramble to your feet and start to flee through the maze of mirrors you find yourself in. You cannot hear her following you, but something tells you she might be anywhere, a few steps away, just on the other side of the glass.

“It’s alright,” she coos, her voice bouncing through the maze as if it comes from every direction, “I like to play with my food before I feast.” Her giggles send shivers across your skin as you run like mad, searching and praying for a way out.

You slam into a dead end, staring yourself in the face, and even your own face changes in the reflection as you hear Mare’s voice coming out of your own mouth. “Still feel like ignoring us now?”

Then the mirror shatters as Google breaks through, hauling you out of the maze and racing down the remaining steps to the lobby. “Run and don’t look back,” he tells you as he overrides the locks on the door and forces you into the street. “Just go!”

And then the door slams shut, leaving you alone in the cold, black night, wondering if it was all just a dream.

Or a nightmare.

My vision is very, very expensive. Even with cheap or free frames, the things I need (and can’t really get from the mail order companies) in a lens cost usually $300+, and insurance rarely pays for much of that. When I had a medicaid plan before I got married I got about half of that covered, and was able to go to a non-mall/free clinic/walmart/goodwill optometrist for the first time in my life. Right now we don’t even really have vision insurance, we have a vision, like, discount program, that just took 20% off my lenses which is nothing. My glasses cost more than our house payment! BUT the quality of life difference going to a real eye doctor and getting quality high index lenses (for very blind people) with the good coating that doesn’t scratch and the warranty and blah blah blah…it’s lightyears. It changes my entire life. AND they hooked me up with this eyezen shit which is made for screen addicts/professional readers and I’m pumped for it.

I’m so broke! The best thing about us, about my aquarius husband, is that when he says “it’s just money” I know he means it. and I agree!

nytimes.com
We Aren’t Built to Live in the Moment
What best distinguishes human beings from other animals is our foresight, as scientists are just beginning to recognize.
By Martin E. P. Seligman and John Tierney

Most prospection occurs at the unconscious level as the brain sifts information to generate predictions. Our systems of vision and hearing, like those of animals, would be overwhelmed if we had to process every pixel in a scene or every sound around us. Perception is manageable because the brain generates its own scene, so that the world remains stable even though your eyes move three times a second. This frees the perceptual system to heed features it didn’t predict, which is why you’re not aware of a ticking clock unless it stops. It’s also why you don’t laugh when you tickle yourself: You already know what’s coming next.

What best distinguishes our species is an ability that scientists are just beginning to appreciate: We contemplate the future. Our singular foresight created civilization and sustains society. It usually lifts our spirits, but it’s also the source of most depression and anxiety, whether we’re evaluating our own lives or worrying about the nation. Other animals have springtime rituals for educating the young, but only we subject them to “commencement” speeches grandly informing them that today is the first day of the rest of their lives.

A more apt name for our species would be Homo prospectus, because we thrive by considering our prospects. The power of prospection is what makes us wise. Looking into the future, consciously and unconsciously, is a central function of our large brain, as psychologists and neuroscientists have discovered — rather belatedly, because for the past century most researchers have assumed that we’re prisoners of the past and the present.

Our emotions are less reactions to the present than guides to future behavior. Therapists are exploring new ways to treat depression now that they see it as primarily not because of past traumas and present stresses but because of skewed visions of what lies ahead.

If you’re a chimp, you spend much of the day searching for your next meal. If you’re a human, you can usually rely on the foresight of your supermarket’s manager, or you can make a restaurant reservation for Saturday evening thanks to a remarkably complicated feat of collaborative prospection. You and the restaurateur both imagine a future time — “Saturday” exists only as a collective fantasy — and anticipate each other’s actions. You trust the restaurateur to acquire food and cook it for you. She trusts you to show up and give her money, which she will accept only because she expects her landlord to accept it in exchange for occupying his building.

The brain’s long-term memory has often been compared to an archive, but that’s not its primary purpose. Instead of faithfully recording the past, it keeps rewriting history. Recalling an event in a new context can lead to new information being inserted in the memory. Coaching of eyewitnesses can cause people to reconstruct their memory so that no trace of the original is left.

The fluidity of memory may seem like a defect, especially to a jury, but it serves a larger purpose. It’s a feature, not a bug, because the point of memory is to improve our ability to face the present and the future. To exploit the past, we metabolize it by extracting and recombining relevant information to fit novel situations.

anonymous asked:

Hey if it's not too much to ask, are any of the Seattle Bites cast disabled/ND?

Yep!  

  • Alex (the Human) has  ADHD, C-PTSD, nerve damage, chronic pain, lost most of the use of his formerly-dominant hand and permanent, visible scarring.
  •  Marion (the Vampire) has Bipolar Disorder, really strange allergies (besides garlic)/has a compromised Immune System, and vision problems.  
  • Sadie (The Lawyer) has to use a cane and is Dylsexic
  •  Morgan (The Assassin) is mobility-impaired for their species, and has Anxiety that manifests in OCD-like tendencies
  • Stephanie  isn’t actually disabled but she can’t communicate “normally” due to her anatomy and has to work around that.
  • Elena is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

…I realize that made the book sound really depressing but honestly these people are happy or end up that way by the end of the book.

Mother and daughter from London and one of the most impressive stories that I ever heard.

When she was a baby, Emily(the daughter) was diagnosed with a rare congenital condition called Septo Optic Dysplasia, a condition that affects her endocrine system and her vision.

“I have no sight in my right eye and about 10% vision in my left. I spent a lot of my childhood in hospitals. My mom was always my greatest support.”

Emma, her mother, continues: “I was 19 when I gave birth. We grew up together. Emily went to a mainstream school. I wanted to make her integrate in the society like any other child. In the beginning, they didn’t know how to teach her. I bought books, learned a lot and started to teach her at home too.”

The daughter continues: “Because of my medical condition I had to take steroids most of my life and gaining weight was a common side effect. When I was 14 I started to hate my body and developed Anorexia.”

“Emily stopped eating. She used to hide her lunch under her bed.” remembers her mother.

Emily continues: “Many colleagues were making fun on my weight, on my vision impairment and sometimes even on my red hair. It was a very difficult time but I focused on reading and learning for school and that gave me confidence.

I remember that there was a group of girls that used to bully me. After a while, they were struggling for an exam, trying to revise. They needed help and I offered my support. We reconciled, worked together and they passed the exam.

On the last night, when we had the prom, we danced together and we had a great time.”

Her lovely personality helped Emily to stay optimistic and make the most of her life in the following years. The second part of this amazing story, in the future.