Macarons | VEDIM

Day 31, and final, of VEDIM! Enjoy, and I’ll see you whenever I next post a video 😛


Amnesty International Day | VEDIM


Image result for amnesty international pngAmnesty International (commonly known as Amnesty and AI) is a non-governmental organization focused on human rights. The stated objective of the organization is “to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights, and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated.”

Amnesty International was founded in London in 1961, following the publication of the article “The Forgotten Prisoners” in The Observer on 28 May 1961, by the lawyer Peter Benenson. Amnesty draws attention to human rights abuses and campaigns for compliance with international laws and standards. It works to mobilize public opinion to put pressure on governments that let abuse take place. The organization was awarded the 1977 Nobel Peace Prize for its “campaign against torture,” and the United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights in 1978. In the field of international human rights organizations, Amnesty has the third longest history, after the International Federation for Human Rights and broadest name recognition, and is believed by many to set standards for the movement as a whole.

Their Wiki page, linked below, has a lot of history from when they were founded in the 1960s to now. They’ve done so much for human rights, I definitely recommend you read up on this one. And with that, I’m done for today. If there’s something you want to see me discuss as a part of VEDIM, let me know NOW because I have only two free days left. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you tomorrow!


Sally Kristen Ride | VEDIM


Sally Ride in 1984.jpg
Sally Ride on July 10, 1984

Sally Kristen Ride was born in Los Angeles in May 26, 1951 – died of pancreatic cancer July 23, 2012. She was an American physicist and astronaut. Ride attended Stanford University as a junior, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in English and physics. At Stanford, she earned a master’s degree in 1975 and a PhD in physics in 1978 while doing research on the interaction of X-rays with the interstellar medium. Astrophysics and free electron lasers were her specific areas of study.

Ride was chosen to join NASA in 1978. During her career, Ride served as the ground-based capsule communicator (CapCom) for the second and third space shuttle flights and helped develop the space shuttle’s “Canadarm” robot arm. Prior to her first space flight, she was subject to media attention due to her gender. During a press conference, she was asked questions such as, “Will the flight affect your reproductive organs?” and “Do you weep when things go wrong on the job?” Despite this and the historical significance of the mission, Ride insisted that she saw herself in only one way—as an astronaut. On June 18, 1983, she became the first American woman in space as a crew member on space shuttle Challenger for STS-7. She was preceded by two Soviet women, Valentina Tereshkova in 1963 and Svetlana Savitskaya in 1982. Ride remains the youngest American astronaut to have traveled to space, having done so at the age of 32.

Space Shuttle Challenger (04-04-1983).JPEG
Challenger‘s first mission, STS-6

Her second space flight was in 1984, also on board the Challenger. She spent a total of more than 343 hours in space. Ride had completed eight months of training for her third flight when the space shuttle Challenger disaster occurred. She was named to the Rogers Commission (the presidential commission investigating the accident) and headed its subcommittee on operations. Following the investigation, Ride was assigned to NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C., where she led NASA’s first strategic planning effort, authored a report titled “NASA Leadership and America’s Future in Space” and founded NASA’s Office of Exploration. After Sally Ride’s death in 2012, General Donald Kutyna revealed that she had discreetly provided him with key information about O-rings (namely, that they become stiff at low temperatures) that eventually led to identification of the cause of the explosion. According to Roger Boisjoly, the engineer who warned of the technical problems that led to the Challenger disaster, after the entire workforce of Morton-Thiokol shunned him Ride was the only public figure to show support for him when he went public with his pre-disaster warnings.

After flying twice on the Orbiter Challenger, in 1987, Ride left her NASA position in Washington, D.C., to work at the Stanford University Center for International Security and Arms Control. In 1989, she became a professor of physics at the University of California, San Diego, and director of the California Space Institute. From the mid-1990s until her death, Ride led two public-outreach programs for NASA—the ISS EarthKAM and GRAIL MoonKAM projects, in cooperation with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and UCSD. The programs allowed middle school students to request images of the Earth and moon. In 2003, she was asked to serve on the Columbia Accident Investigation Board, she was the only person to participate in both of the committees that investigated the Challenger and Columbia space shuttle disasters.Image result for sally ride science She was the president and CEO of Sally Ride Science, a company she co-founded in 2001 that creates entertaining science programs and publications for upper elementary and middle school students, with a particular focus on girls. Ride wrote or co-wrote seven books on space aimed at children, with the goal of encouraging children to study science.

Tam O’Shaughnessy

Ride was extremely private about her personal life. In 1982, she married fellow NASA astronaut Steve Hawley. They divorced in 1987. After Ride’s death, her obituary revealed that her partner of 27 years was Tam O’Shaughnessy, a professor emerita of school psychology at San Diego State University and childhood friend, who met her when both were aspiring tennis players. O’Shaughnessy was also a science writer and, later, the co-founder of Sally Ride Science. O’Shaughnessy now serves as the Chief Executive Officer and Chair of the Board of Sally Ride Science. They wrote six acclaimed children’s science books together. Their relationship was revealed by the company and confirmed by her sister, who said she chose to keep her personal life private, including her sickness and treatments. She is the first known queer astronaut.

Ride also received numerous awards, I won’t list them all but you can see them on the Wiki page for her. I know this post is a lot longer than most of my other ones, but I felt she deserves a longer one. Thanks for reading, see you tomorrow.


National Wine Day | VEDIM


Image result for wineWelcome to VEDIM day 25, today is National Wine Day! Be sure to have a glass today! I will be having one for sure (probably sake, but it’s technically rice wine so it counts). Before I get into it, I want to recommend you check out Sour Grapes, a documentary on Netflix if you have an account or access to one. It’s about a guy who was a “wine savant” and swindled people out of their money with fake fine wine. It’s very fascinating, and you learn a bit about the wine collecting world. Okay, now onto the day. Since there isn’t really any “history” of this day, I’m giving you some wine history!

Areni-1 winery, Armenia

Wine has been produced for thousands of years. The earliest evidence of wine, or at least a grape-based fermented drink, was found in China (c. 7000 BC), Georgia (c. 6000 BC), and Iran (c. 5000 BC). The earliest known winery is the 6,100-year-old Areni-1 winery Armenia. Presumably, wine production started much earlier than that. Wine reached the Balkans by 4500 BC and was consumed and celebrated in ancient Greece, Thrace, and Rome. Throughout history, wine has been consumed for its intoxicating effects. The spread of wine culture westwards was most probably due to the Phoenicians who spread outward from a base of city-states along the Lebanese, Syrian, and Israeli coasts. The wines of Byblos were exported to Egypt during the Old Kingdom and then throughout the Mediterranean. Evidence includes two Phoenician shipwrecks from 750 BC discovered by Robert Ballard, whose cargo of wine was still intact. As the first great traders in wine, the Phoenicians seem to have protected it from oxidation with a layer of olive oil, followed by a seal of pinewood and resin. The ancient Romans planted vineyards near garrison towns so wine could be produced locally rather than shipped over long distances. Some of these areas are now world-renowned for wine production. The Romans discovered that burning sulfur candles inside empty wine vessels kept them fresh and free from a vinegar smell. In medieval Europe, the Roman Catholic Church supported wine because the clergy required it for the Mass. Monks in France made wine for years, aging it in caves. An old English recipe that survived in various forms until the 19th century calls for refining white wine from bastard—bad or tainted bastardo wine.

I hope you enjoyed that, and learned a bit about wine!


Queen Victoria | VEDIM


Hello, I’m Rogan and welcome to VEDIM day 24! My original plan for this day was talking a little about Victoria Day in Canada. However, I didn’t realize that it actually happens on the last Monday preceding May 25, which was two days ago. So, instead I will do a post about Queen Victoria, because today’s her birthday. The reason why I made a little oops is because Victoria Day was originally celebrated on the Queen’s birthday, which is today. This day is for a public holiday, no school, kind of the same concept for Memorial Day in the US. Victoria Day has been observed since 1845. At least! That is a long time!

Photograph of Queen Victoria, 1882Alexandria Victoria of the House of Hanover was born May 24, 1819 and died January 22, 1901. She was the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from June 20, 1837 to her death. She took the throne at 18 years old, because all of her father’s elder brothers died and had no legitimate children. At the time Queen Victoria took the throne, the UK had already established an constitutional monarchy. That meant the sovereign had very little direct political power. Privately, Victoria attempted to influence government policy and ministerial appointments. Publicly, she became a national icon associated with strict standards of personal morality. Victoria married her first cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1840. Their nine children married into royal and noble families all over Europe, tying them together, and due to that she earned the sobriquet “the grandmother of Europe.” Her reign of 63 years and 7 months was longer than any of her predecessors and is known as the Victorian Era. It was a period of industrial, cultural, political, scientific, and military change within the UK. It was also marked by a great expansion of the British Empire. She was the last British monarch of the House of Hanover. Her son and successor, Edward VII, belonged to the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the line of his father. There’s a lot of history about that one person. She lived for a long time, and was queen for a LONG time.

I would recommend you read her Wikipedia page and learn more about her. Especially when she influenced the Victorian Era so much! So that’s it for today. I hope you enjoyed that, and learned something about Queen Victoria. Thanks for reading, see you tomorrow.