Documentary

From HBO Documentary Films, A Small Act follows a single gesture of generosity that ripples out to affect multiple lives.

When Hilde Back sponsored a young, rural Kenyan student, she thought nothing of it. She certainly never expected to hear from him, but years later she does. Now a Harvard graduate and a Human Rights Lawyer for the United Nations, Chris Mburu decides to find the stranger that changed his life. Inspired by her generosity, he starts a scholarship program of his own and names it for his former benefactor.

HBO Documentary Films & Network for Good have setup a website where you can get involved and be part of the Small Act Movement.

Each of us has the power to make a difference. As seen in the film, one small act can affect countless lives, so what will you do? What’s your Small Act?

via Roger Ebert’s Journal – The best documentaries of 2010

Technology

SpaceShipTwo reentering from 51,500 feet. (Photo credit: virgingalactic.com)

One step closer to commercial spaceflight!

Today we received confirmation that the basic design of the spaceship is solid.

Reaching a “really major milestone for the test flight program”, Virgin Galatic’s commercial spaceship, SpaceShipTwo, completed its first feathered flight from 51,500 feet above Mojave, CA.

For decades reentry into the atmosphere has been one of the biggest challenges of spaceflight, that’s been one of the more dangerous parts of spaceflight. And the big innovation that Scaled [Composites] and Burt Rutan came up with was this idea to feather the aircraft into the atmosphere so that the pilot could literally take his hands off the controls and it would stably enter because of the aerodynamic forces on the vehicle.

Some more information about the science and inspiration behind “feathered” flight can be found at Think Like A Scientist.