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starship-design: Fwd: No Subject

Never ignore the messy folks.


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Some things to contemplate, forwarded to me by George Wells from his Aussie

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Date: Fri, 25 Sep 1998 17:15:05 +1000
From: Schouten Janeen <Janeen.Schouten@dnr.qld.gov.au>

>  A lady in a faded gingham dress and her husband, dressed in a homespun
>  threadbare suit, stepped off the train in Boston, and walked timidly
>  without an appointment into the Harvard president's outer office.
> The secretary could tell in a moment that such backwoods, country hicks
> had no business at Harvard and probably didn't even deserve to be in
> Cambridge.She frowned.
> "We want to see the president," the man said softly.
> "He'll be busy all day," the secretary snapped.
>  "We'll wait," the lady replied.  For hours, the secretary ignored
> them, hoping that the couple would finally become discouraged and go
> away.
>  They didn't.   And the secretary grew frustrated and finally decided
> to disturb the president, even though it was a chore she always
> regretted doing.   "Maybe if they just see you for a few minutes, they'll
> leave," she told him.
>  And he sighed in exasperation and nodded.  Someone of his
> importance obviously didn't have the time to spend with them, but he
> detested gingham dresses and homespun suits cluttering up his outer
> office. 
> The president, stern-faced with dignity, strutted toward the couple.
> The lady told him, "We had a son that attended Harvard for one year.  He
> loved Harvard.  He was happy here.  But about a year ago, he was
> accidentally killed.  And my husband and I would like to erect a memorial
> to him, somewhere on campus."
>  The president wasn't touched, he was shocked.  "Madam," he said
> gruffly. "We can't put up a statue for every person who attended Harvard
> and  died. If we did, this place would look like a cemetery."
>  "Oh, no," the lady explained quickly.  "We don't want to erect a
> statue. We thought we would like to give a building to Harvard."
>  The president rolled his eyes.  He glanced at the gingham dress and
>  homespun suit, then exclaimed, "A building!  Do you  have any
> earthly idea how much a building costs?   We have over seven and a half
> million dollars in the physical plant at Harvard."
>  For a moment the lady was silent.  The president was pleased.   He
> could get rid of them now.
>  And the lady turned to her husband and said quietly, "Is that all
> it costs to start a University?  Why don't we just start our own?"
>  Her husband nodded.  The president's face wilted in confusion and
>  bewilderment.
> And Mr. and Mrs. Leland Stanford walked away, traveling to Palo Alto,
> California where they established the University that bears their name, a
> memorial to a son that Harvard no longer cared about.

>      This Fall, when you see the geese heading south for the winter flying
>      along in a "V" formation, you might be interested in knowing what 
>      science has discovered about why they fly that way.
>      It has been learned that as each bird flaps its wings, it creates an 
>      uplift for the bird immediately following.  Thus, by flying in a "V" 
>      formation, the whole flock adds at least 71% greater flying range
>	  than if each bird flew on its own.  

>      Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag 
>      and resistance of trying to go it alone, and quickly gets back into 
>      formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird 
>      immediately in front.  
>      When the lead goose gets tired, he rotates back in the wing and 
>      another goose flies point. 

>      The geese at the back of the formation constantly honk to encourage 
>      those up front to maintain their speed.  
>      Finally, when a goose gets sick, or is wounded by gunshots and drops
from the 
>      sky, two other geese immediately fall out of formation and follow him
down to >      fly to help or protect him.  Moreover, they stay with him until
he is either able
>      to fly again or until he is dead, and then they launch out on their 
>      own again or with another formation to catch up with their group.  

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