Skip to main content

Curiosity's Gears

I was browsing Hulu the other night and came across an amazing documentary, For All Mankind, based on rarely seen footage of the Moon landing missions, narrated by the men who made the journey. One of my favorite parts is one of the astronauts saying, "This is such a big thing. Frankly, I don't know how you can do it. Even after participating in it, it seems audacious to even try. I clearly could never understand, as a crewman, how to make it work. I could only operate my share of it."

That sentiment is carried over to another audacious mission: the Curiosity Mars landing (h/t Brian):


Our Curiosity from Our City, Our Story on Vimeo.

From the Vimeo description:

When Forest City Gear first aspired to be world-class gear manufacturers, they couldn’t have imagined that someday they would surpass that boundary. Perhaps universe-class best describes them now? With one rover mission under their belts, and now with over 75 of their gears currently on Mars in the highly anticipated Curiosity rover, those original aspirations have been surpassed.

Founded by husband and wife Stetler and Evelyn Young in 1955, Forest City Gear is a family-owned company in Roscoe, Illinois. Their son Fred Young is now CEO, but he grew up watching his parents work hard and re-invest their profits in the company — this is how they are so successful. By the late ‘60s, the company was purchasing at least one new gear machine a year. By re-investing 25-40% of company profit back into itself, Forest City Gear has developed a reputation of being one of the best gear companies in this universe.

In addition to equipment, the Young family invests in its employees, creating a devoted workforce. “We believe we have one of the best equipped gear shops in the world. This includes both equipment and employees, a legacy of Forest City Gear for over 50 years,” according to Fred Young. When Fred speaks to prospective employees, he does not offer them a job. He offers them a career.

What might be more remarkable than creating crucial equipment destined for Mars? For a second time? Well, creating a thriving motivated company culture with a team of career employees—the kind who lie in bed at night thinking, “what can I do in the morning when I get there?” The kind who take on responsibility, impose their own high standards and like Amy Sovina, have the “mindset something I touched is now on the surface of Mars.”

By creating an of excellence and pride, Forest City Gear has created a legacy for its individuals, its employees and its future.

We should all be proud of their accomplishments as a they are a small shop, who's reputation the world over is one of excellence. Our region benefits by association, and by the generosity of their spirit.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

On the Height of J.J. Barea

Dallas Mavericks point guard J.J. Barea standing between two very tall people (from: Picassa user photoasisphoto).

Congrats to the Dallas Mavericks, who beat the Miami Heat tonight in game six to win the NBA championship.

Okay, with that out of the way, just how tall is the busy-footed Maverick point guard J.J. Barea? He's listed as 6-foot on NBA.com, but no one, not even the sports casters, believes that he can possibly be that tall. He looks like a super-fast Hobbit out there. But could that just be relative scaling, with him standing next to a bunch of extremely tall people? People on Yahoo! Answers think so---I know because I've been Google searching "J.J. Barea Height" for the past 15 minutes.

So I decided to find a photo and settle the issue once and for all.

I started by downloading a stock photo of J.J. from NBA.com, which I then loaded into OpenOffice Draw:


I then used the basketball as my metric. Wikipedia states that an NBA basketball is 29.5 inches in circumfe…

Finding Blissful Clarity by Tuning Out

It's been a minute since I've posted here. My last post was back in April, so it has actually been something like 193,000 minutes, but I like how the kids say "it's been a minute," so I'll stick with that.
As I've said before, I use this space to work out the truths in my life. Writing is a valuable way of taking the non-linear jumble of thoughts in my head and linearizing them by putting them down on the page. In short, writing helps me figure things out. However, logical thinking is not the only way of knowing the world. Another way is to recognize, listen to, and trust one's emotions. Yes, emotions are important for figuring things out.
Back in April, when I last posted here, my emotions were largely characterized by fear, sadness, anger, frustration, confusion and despair. I say largely, because this is what I was feeling on large scales; the world outside of my immediate influence. On smaller scales, where my wife, children and friends reside, I…

The Force is strong with this one...

Last night we were reviewing multiplication tables with Owen. The family fired off doublets of numbers and Owen confidently multiplied away. In the middle of the review Owen stopped and said, "I noticed something. 2 times 2 is 4. If you subtract 1 it's 3. That's equal to taking 2 and adding 1, and then taking 2 and subtracting 1, and multiplying. So 1 times 3 is 2 times 2 minus 1."

I have to admit, that I didn't quite get it at first. I asked him to repeat with another number and he did with six: "6 times 6 is 36. 36 minus 1 is 35. That's the same as 6-1 times 6+1, which is 35."

Ummmmm....wait. Huh? Lemme see...oh. OH! WOW! Owen figured out

\begin{equation}
x^2 - 1 = (x - 1) (x +1)
\end{equation}

So $6 \times 8 = 7 \times 7 - 1 = (7-1) (7+1) = 48$. That's actually pretty handy!

You can see it in the image above. Look at the elements perpendicular to the diagonal. There's 48 bracketing 49, 35 bracketing 36, etc... After a bit more thought we…