This is Vince Needham's personal page.
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Recent Biking

It's getting a little chilly for bike riding now, but I haven't exiled the road bike to the indoor trainer stand just yet. I record my rides in excessive, modern, technical detail. See my Ride With GPS, Garmin Connect, MapMyRide pages for even more number-crunching from slightly different points-of-view, or go to Strava and see if you can beat my times. My photo gallery for Biking Across Kansas is also available.

Cricket Still Jacobs Tubbs


The Needham genealogy was updated on 20 January 2007. There are quite a lot of changes, which are outlined on the introductory page of the site. Besides updating the lineage, there are three new photo galleries and a variety of other added documents.

The Simmons family tree has finally received its long-promised update as of 20 June 2007. The big news here is the discovery that Daniel Boone is my sixth-great-uncle. The Boone line is a well-researched one, so many new families have been added to the database.

I've discovered that I'm an eighth cousin of the new President of the United States, Barack Obama. His mother, from Kansas, was a Dunham and descended of Jonathan Singletary/Dunham (1639-1724). I've also learned of a similar relationships to the Bushes, by way of John Prescott (1604-1681), and to Richard Nixon on both sides of the family through Henry Howland (father of Pilgrim John Howland) and Martha Strode (a grandparent of Daniel Boone). I'll get all the details posted to the family sites soon.

Buzz Aldrin on the Moon

Space Exploration

Every April Kansas State University hosts a Boy Scout merit badge conference, where local experts counsel Scouts concerning a variety of topics. I've counseled the Space Exploration merit badge for several years now. The first half of the class includes a PowerPoint presentation focusing on the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station. After that, we go out and launch model rockets (usually into the teeth of a strong Kansas spring breeze!).

Several of my presentations are archived here. The requirements were recently updated, but neither science, technology, nor politics sit still very long. First the Vision for Space Exploration, and now the Flexible Path, have changed our approach to space travel, I'll be rather freely interpreting things to stay current.

Other Stuff, Rants & Raves

  • "We've got to stop being the stupid party. It's time for a new Republican Party that talks like adults."
    - Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal
    25 January 2013
  • "When life gives you lemons, don't make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back! Get mad! I don't want your damn lemons, what the hell am I supposed to do with these? Demand to see life's manager! Make life rue the day it thought it could give Cave Johnson lemons! Do you know who I am? I'm the man who's gonna burn your house down! With the lemons! I'm gonna get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that burns your house down!"
    - Cave Johnson, CEO, Aperture Laboratories
    "Portal 2", 2011

What I'm Reading

"The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." - Jane Austen, "Northanger Abbey"

  • House of Leaves, Mark Z. Danielewski, 2010
  • The Particle at the End of the Universe, Sean Carroll, 2012
  • Knocking on Heaven's Door, Lisa Randall, 2012

Last updated on Thursday, 11-Dec-2014