Friday, July 24, 2015

Day 13: Wednesday, July 22, 2015

This morning I had a drivers test.  I passed!!  When I got home, my mom would not let me leave the house without making myself--and her--an omelet.  I arrived at the CIS building around 12:00.  However, I had forgotten that Wednesdays are pizza days at CIS.  I would have gladly eaten a second lunch, but just as I walked into the food lounge, pizza time was over and the lecture in the presentation room (where food is not allowed) began.  My stomach got the better of me and I snuck a slice in.  The presentation itself was very interesting: Dr. Dube presented on the possible impacts solar weather and the need to develop an early warning system.  He stated that, should we be struck by a large solar flare such as the Carrington event, the largest storm ever to hit Earth, it would take societies across the globe around 10 years to fully recover.  Also, he also mentioned that in the future, if and when we begin to colonize mars, the thin atmosphere of the Red Planet will do very little to protect from solar storms, and X-Rays from the storm could fry any life on the planet.  Protective barriers or shelters would need to be extremely thick--if a large storm were to hit mars, around thirty feet of concrete would be minimally sufficient to protect colonists.  I think Dr. Dube's presentation was very interesting.  He did several things to make it so: first, he showed us how important his research area is, exploring many possible applications in depth.  Secondly, he did not bore us to sleep with math and astronomical jargon, but rather kept his speech simple enough for the audience to easily understand--after all, the speaker's objective is not to look smart, but to inform the audience.  Finally, he used gestures, changes in tone, and even some humor to keep the audience engaged.  When I begin planning and practicing my presentation, I will try to incorporate all of these techniques.

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