This is Vince Needham's personal page.
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Happy Birthday Charles Darwin!

Happy Birthday, Darwin!

Charles Robert Darwin
12 Feb 1809 - 19 Apr 1882

"When on board H.M.S. Beagle, as naturalist, I was much struck with certain facts in the distribution of the inhabitants of South America, and in the geological relations of the present to the past inhabitants of that continent. These facts seemed to me to throw some light on the origin of species -- that mystery of mysteries, as it has been called by one of our greatest philosophers. On my return home, it occurred to me, in 1837, that something might perhaps be made out on this question by patiently accumulating and reflecting on all sorts of facts which could possibly have any bearing on it. After five years' work I allowed myself to speculate on the subject, and drew up some short notes; these I enlarged in 1844 into a sketch of the conclusions, which then seemed to me probable: from that period to the present day I have steadily pursued the same object. I hope that I may be excused for entering on these personal details, as I give them to show that I have not been hasty in coming to a decision."

- Introduction to "The Origin of Species", 1859

Cricket Still Jacobs Tubbs

Genealogy

The genealogy sites are in the midst of a long-overdue update!

The Needham genealogy was last in December 2014. The web pages for all of the individuals in the family tree have been updated, as has the GEDCOM file. Overall site upgrades and styling updates are soon to come.

The Simmons family tree also received its long-promised update as of December 2014, though only the GEDCOM file has been changed so far. I'm having a technical problem with the web pages themselves which will get solved in due time.

I promise that I really am working on a comprehensive update to the genealogy site. I've designed a new look for the web pages, and I'm rewriting the program that automatically creates those pages. That's more tedious than complicated. Your patience will be soon rewarded.

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 various topics. I used to counsel the Space Exploration merit badge. The first half of the class included a PowerPoint show focusing on the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station. After that, we would go out and launch model rockets.

Several of my old presentations are archived here. Obviously the technology evolves rapidly, so if you're interested in using these you should update them!

For my own amusement I now have a high-powered model rocket with a camera (and maybe more data acquisition goodies if I get ambitious). When I finally get around to launching it, watch here for the show!

Other Stuff, Rants & Raves

  • "I say it firmly: France will remain the country of liberty, of movements, of culture. An active, valiant, dynamic country."
    - François Hollande, president of France
  • “Only Irish coffee provides in a single glass all four essential food groups: alcohol, caffeine, sugar and fat.”
    - Alex Levine

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"

  • Seveneves, Neal Stephenson, 2015
  • The Man in the High Castle, Philip K. Dick, 1962

Last updated on Friday, 12-Feb-2016