POET, PLAYWRIGHT AND AUTHOR, Joyce Carol Thomas died

Jamie Dedes' THE POET BY DAY Webzine

Joyce Carol Thomas, (1938-2016), poet, playwright and the author of more than 30 books for children and youth Joyce Carol Thomas, (1938-2016), poet, playwright and the author of more than 30 books for children and youth

Joyce Carol Thomas was one of nine children born into a cotton-picking family in rural Oklahoma. She died last month on the 16th in Berkeley, California.

Ms. Thomas started out writing poetry and plays and then moved on to young adult fiction. Her first young adult novel,  Marked by Fire, was published in 1982 and won the National Book Award in 1983.

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She said in one interview, “I know of black boys and girls who squirm uncomfortably in their desks at the two-dimensional, unrelenting portrayal of young people as either victims of slavery or perennial do-rag wearers hanging out on a stoop next to a garbage can. There are black American stories somewhere between slavery and ghetto that also deserve telling.” Her work explored issues of identity and the experience…

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A Train A Train A Train A Train

No Facilities

imageWould you, could you on a train?

If you have kids, had kids or have been a kid at any point since 1960, you probably recognize the title and the first sentence as being from “Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Seuss. We read that story so many times to our daughter that we still repeat the title almost every time we see a train. I think it’s an appropriate response because seeing a train remains exciting for me. There’s just something about an oncoming train or a passing train, even hearing a train whistle in the distance makes me happy. So, it’s no surprise that I’m choosing to focus on National Train Day instead of Mother’s Day this weekend.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against mothers. I like mothers fine. I love my mother. I love my wife, she’s been a great mom and we’ll do…

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3 Things to Know: Brightline rail upgrades, train expected this fall

Crews for All Aboard Florida work upgrading tracks at 3rd Street and Quadrille Boulevard on the Florida East Coast Railway in West Palm Beach on September 6, 2016. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)

Locomotive tested on rails in California

All Aboard Florida’s Brightline announced Thursday it has completed initial testing of its first locomotive at a manufacturing plant in Sacramento, California.

The company said the locomotive, which is powered by a diesel-electric engine, was tested on a quarter-mile-long track at the Siemens manufacturing facility in California.

As part of the announcement, Brightline posted a video on its YouTube channel showing a driver operating the locomotive for the first time.

“After several years worth of effort the first of the train parts are coming together, and we are nearing the end of the manufacturing process for the first of our exciting new train sets,” Brightline President Michael Reininger said in the video.

The initial testing marks a milestone for the passenger rail service, which plans to run 32 trains a day along the Florida East Coast Railway tracks with stops in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, WestPalmBeach and Orlando. The company plans to launch service between Miami and WestPalmBeach in mid-2017.

In addition to the engine, Brightline officials said they tested 45 other areas on the locomotive, including the air and braking systems, the doors, the fire detection system and warning devices.The initial testing marks a milestone for the passenger rail service, which plans to run 32 trains a day along the Florida East Coast Railway tracks with stops in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, WestPalmBeach and Orlando. The company plans to launch service between Miami and WestPalmBeach in mid-2017.

In addition to the engine, Brightline officials said they tested 45 other areas on the locomotive, including the air and braking systems, the doors, the fire detection system and warning devices.

Brightline’s passenger trains are comprised of two locomotives and four stainless steel passenger cars.

“The operation of the locomotive and its passing of the initial track testing has demonstrated Siemens’ engineering expertise and given us a high degree of confidence that the Brightline service will be exceptionally reliable,” said Gene Skoropowski, senior vice president of railroad operations for Brightline. “Brightline will be the only passenger rail service in the country to have such dynamic and modern trains that will offer Americans a new and modern experience in train travel.”

Train expected in the fall

Brightline officials have said the first passenger train is expected to arrive in West Palm Beach this fall. The train will be housed at the company’s rail repair facility currently under construction just north of downtown.

“Once in the facility, it will undergo several months of static and dynamic testing,” Brightline said on its website. “When the dynamic testing begins, the train will be running on a short “test track” between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale.”

Brightline began construction on the rail repair facility in January.

The facility will be used to repair, maintain, clean and store Brightline’s trains, All Aboard officials said. About 50 people will work out of the 12-are site at 601 15th Street, which is also expected to serve as an office for the company’s conductors, engineers, and on-board service staff.

Initially, five Brightline trains will be housed at the site, officials have said.

Martin County continues to challenge project

Martin County commissioners last month said they planned to continue to fight to block the rail line’s expansion north through the Treasure Coast.

Martin officials declared a “major victory” in the battle last month, after a federal judge denied motions to dismiss a lawsuit challenging All Aboard Florida’s ability to sell $1.75 billion in tax-exempt bonds to help pay for the project.

U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper last month found that the bonds are key to AllAboardFlorida’s ability to complete the second phase of the rail line

Martin and Indian River counties filed federal lawsuits last year against the U.S. Department of Transportation challenging whether AllAboardFlorida is eligible for the private activity bonds. AllAboardFlorida is an intervenor in the suit.

By Jennifer Sorentrue – Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

A Computer For Apollo

The Arts Mechanical

When the space program was started back in the beginning of the 1960’s how to guide the spacecraft in space was a complete unknown.  The problem of calculating burns and orbital insertions was a nontrivial one. At the time all flight control had been analog and in 1960, the computers filled up buildings.  When the call came to go to the moon, one thing was clear though.  A computer small enough to fit on the spacecraft was going to be essential.  That computer would be the Apollo Guidance Computer(AGC).

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Tim Kaine Today Validated Hillary Clinton’s Good Judgment And Assured A Clinton Victory In November

Living Simply And Still On The Grid

Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia has just removed all doubt about the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

I watched and listened to Donald Trump’s acceptance speech at the Republican convention Thursday night.  At the time, I thought Trump made a powerful case that America is in decline  and possibly on the verge of lawlessness.  Trump talked about everything that’s wrong with America. His speech resonated with the mob inside the Republican convention hall.

A few moments ago, I watched and listened to Tim Kaine’s  speech in Florida introducing himself as Hillary Clinton’s choice to be the Democratic nominee for vice president.

No contest. It’s all over.

Tim Kaine talked —  with moral conviction — about everything that’s right with America.  His speech will resonate with Americans from Atlantic to Pacific, from the Midwest to the Great Plains.

Tim Kaine just cemented Hillary Clinton’s victory over Donald Trump in the…

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How to Get a New Hobby in 4 Ways

How To Get Things Done in 10 Ways

A while ago, I mean like maybe a year ago, I wrote about coming to terms with being hobby-less. I’d never had a hobby or anything I’d been good at (I soon later claimed blogging as a hobby), but recently I think I have found another hobby! More like a hobby that I can perfect into a skill. Are you ready for it!? Are you sure?

Archery!

1. The boyfriend got me into it – (I did kind of beg for one too)

He bought me a compound bow for my birthday a few months ago.We spent hours at the shop putting arrows through different bows trying to figure out which one I liked best. Well, that was my first time shooting arrows and it definitely messed up my shoulder. I couldn’t lift anything for the following 6 weeks. Yes, rookie mistake. Then we got so busy and were…

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Straight Outta the Golden Gate

Wide Awake But Dreaming

Hey, look!  It’s time to go back to the Ukraine, ain’t it?  Yep, sure is.  I’m not going to say much up here in the front ’cause I’m gonna do a lot of talking in the middle and that’ll give you enough to read as is.  So, when Annie asks, “That’s the Golden Gate?” you know Alex will have a reply–

(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)

“Yes.” Alex waved an arm at the immense structure. “The last Great Gate of Kiev. You can thank the Russians for this: they built it for the city’s fifteen-hundredth anniversary, though everyone then and now says it looks nothing like the original gate—” She shrugged as she lowered her voice. “I guess the only way we’d know what it really looks like is to get a witch out her and have them…

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