March 3, 2006 |
The crackle of a two-way radio broke the relative quiet of the second-floor hallway at the Convention Center. "We need a forklift," the voice demanded. "We're ready to put the head on Mother Nature. " That voice, and the plastic protecting the carpets, simply hinted at the organized chaos that lay beyond the door of the exhibition hall. The 2006 Philadelphia Flower Show was literally building to its opening, then just days away. With 50 exhibits to complete, roughly 600 workers constructing them, and very little time to transform the 10-acre hall into the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society's annual harbinger of spring, it was surprising that the place wasn't more frenetic.
October 1, 2005 |
Shaun Policarpo watched her husband's corporate team race dragon boats on the Schuylkill two years ago. "This is fantastic," she said. "I'm doing it!" She formed the Wild Things with 25 friends and neighbors last year. One of them, 14-year-old Anna Swanson from across the street in Ardmore, had such a blast that she pestered her mom to start a team for her school this year. So Susan Swanson contacted Episcopal Academy staff, students and parents. Within weeks, she had filled three boats - all of which will be competing, with 125 others, in today's fourth Philadelphia International Dragon Boat Festival.
July 8, 2003 |
It was the math problem from hell: How did a piece of foam X big, going Y fast, hit the wing at Z angle and cause the destruction of the space shuttle? James D. Walker, a relative baby in the rocket-science world at age 38, filled in the alphabet. NASA officials say he is one of a few people in the world who could. He figured out how a light piece of foam cracked the shuttle's tiles and wing panel - a scenario that investigators believe led to a fatal chain reaction. Walker's work was put to the test yesterday as researchers fired a 1.67-pound piece of foam insulation at 500 m.p.h.
June 7, 2003 |
Test supports theory foam insulation cracked shuttle A chunk of foam fired at high speed cracked a pair of space shuttle wing parts yesterday, offering what investigators said was the most powerful evidence yet to support the theory that a piece of the stiff, lightweight insulation doomed Columbia. The test was the latest and most crucial in a series of firing experiments meant to simulate what accident investigators believe happened when foam struck the shuttle's left wing during the Jan. 16 liftoff.
February 7, 2003 |
In a seeming rebuke to one of his own top administrators, NASA chief Sean O'Keefe yesterday kept open the possibility that falling debris on liftoff may have doomed the space shuttle Columbia. On Wednesday, shuttle program manager Ron Dittemore all but dismissed foam debris impact as the probable cause. But yesterday O'Keefe said only an independent panel has the authority to draw any definitive conclusions. "We will not have competing positions on this," O'Keefe said. "We will be guided by the board's findings.
February 5, 2003 |
In 2001, after years of warnings about foam insulation breaking free from the space shuttle's external fuel tanks, a NASA team urged the space agency to use laser technology to find loose insulation before launch. But NASA did not act on the recommendation, an agency source said. Peeling foam insulation is considered a prime suspect in Saturday's destruction of the space shuttle Columbia. A 2 1/2-pound, 20-inch chunk of insulation broke off from the shuttle's big external fuel tank during liftoff Jan. 16. Experts theorize the falling insulation may have damaged thermal tiles that protect the shuttle from burning up on reentry, setting off a chain of events that killed the seven astronauts.
February 4, 2003 |
NASA engineers and managers blew it when they downplayed the effects of a 2.67-pound chunk of foam hitting the shuttle Columbia during launch, a retired NASA tile chief and a former deputy shuttle program manager said yesterday. While NASA is trying to find precisely why the Columbia disintegrated during reentry Saturday, experts say management's don't-worry-about-what-we-can't-fix attitude may have been a contributing factor. NASA officials said yesterday that engineering analyses and computer models told them Columbia had withstood a smack from a 20-by-16-by-6-inch flying chunk of frozen insulation from its external fuel tank.
June 30, 2002 |
Question: We are planning to build an efficient house. We are considering one made primarily of concrete for its strength against tornadoes and fire. Does this make sense, and what are our options? - Sam W. Answer: Building a concrete-framed house makes a lot of sense for many reasons. The final structure is extremely strong and can withstand tornadoes and hurricanes. Using concrete construction also gives your architect more flexibility, creating a unique house design in both the exterior and interior.
February 18, 2001 |
Question: My tennis club just added a section, and it has foam insulation sprayed on the ceiling. It makes the workout room very quiet and warm. Can I buy this type of foam, and spray it on my garage ceiling? Answer: This type of spray-on foam insulation is extremely efficient because it adds insulation value and seals any air leaks. As you have noticed, it also has excellent soundproofing properties. Unfortunately, it is not a do-it-yourself process. You will have to have an insulation contractor apply it. Also, check local building codes to see what types of exposed insulation materials are approved for homes.
November 1, 2000 |
Four Philadelphia numbers: About 582,000 women 18 and older live here. More than 12,000 people participate on the street and behind the scenes in the Mummers Parade. Conservative estimates are that 2,500 residents consider themselves visual artists. And a last estimate that about 250 men and women work as martial arts teachers. And then there is the singular Cathy Hopkins, the one person who fits into all of these categories: Woman, artist, karate teacher, Mummers' sculptor.