Thursday, August 18, 2011

Parade of Cadillacs Stretches a Mile, Sets New World Record

By David Goodspeed

Record-Setting Parade of Cadillacs

Photos: Cadillac

So how does one go about drumming up interest for the local fair in a hometown of the founding father of a major car company? Simple, have a parade.

That is what the folks in Barton, Vermont did for their Orleans County Fair in honor of Henry M. Leland who founded Cadillac in 1902.

What started out as a simple honor to Leland and a promotional event for the fair led to a new Guinness World Record Aug. 17 as 298 vintage and new Cadillacs formed a parade that stretched nearly a mile long and included vehicles from across the U.S. and Canada.

The idea for the parade came from Lorie Seadale, superintendent for the Floral Hall Arts and Crafts department of the fair. “Our initial goal was for the fair but it’s become a dual-purpose event to honor Henry Leland’s legacy and contribution to this country with his inventions, ingenuity, and entrepreneurial spirit,” Seadale said. “It’s great to bring the world record back the United States where it belongs.”

The previous record of 102 Cadillacs went to Leimuiderbrug, the Netherlands, for a parade on Aug. 18, 2002.

1959 Cadillac Convertible

Doug Leland, a descendant of the honoree, and his wife Sally rode in the pink 1959 Cadillac convertible that led the record-setting parade. Several of Leland’s descendants still reside in the area and participated in the parade.

“He was a unique individual. They called him the ‘Master of Precision’ because he had such high standards,” said David Leland, great great nephew of Henry Leland and a resident of Shelbourne, Vt. “It’s nice to see him recognized like this.”

Parade prep on a 1941 Cadillac

“Cadillac congratulates the residents of Barton and all of the Cadillac owners who participated in the parade for setting the world record in Henry Leland’s home town,” said Cadillac Vice President of Marketing Don Butler. “The success of this event demonstrates that Cadillac still fuels the same passions that Henry Leland inspired in the brand.”

Original here

Monday, July 11, 2011

Shuttle Diplomacy: Watch Neil deGrasse Tyson Explain How the Space Shuttle Was Never Really About Science

Posted by Alex_Pasternack

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    Among those gloating over the demise of the Space Shuttle are none other than scientists, who argue that the costly and overly complex program was sapping valuable resources from real space science and sending them up on toilet repair missions instead.

    But this animosity is based on a false premise, astrophysicist and Hayden Planetarium director Neil deGrasse Tyson reminded us at the World Science Festival. The Shuttle was never really intended to promote research or fulfill NASA’s goal of space exploration. Instead, like the Apollo missions to the moon, the $160 billion Shuttle program was the product of politics.

    As inspiring as the grandeur of the spaceship has been to legions of young people – and as important as it was in fixing the Hubble telescope – it was actually the Western battle against the Soviet Union – and later, other diplomatic interests – that left NASA operating this amazing low-orbit dump truck. To criticize the Shuttle for not doing more science, or to say that that the Shuttle budget should have been devoted to science, is to misinterpret reality. The money wouldn’t have existed at all if the program hadn’t been political.

    We’re afraid to say that to ourselves. We know that if we say we’re going to do science with it, that’ll sort of gather more adherents. And we feel more comfort in selling it that way. But selling it that way was the delusion… There are reasons for doing things in this world that are not driven by science.


    Read an interview with Neil and visit the Neil deGrasse Tyson Motherboard.