Blogging, Photographs, Photography, Social Media, Space

NASA Is Not Dead!

The word I want to spread is: NASA is not dead. It’s nowhere near dead. Just because the Shuttle program ended, NASA did not die, contrary to some’s beliefs! Since SpaceX joined the space party, there are regular rocket launches. And lots of excitement at Kennedy Space Center.

That place (the “undead” NASA) is alive and hopping with futuristic ideas, ingenious experiments, scientific data, with tricked-out test tubes, 3-D printers, and all kinds of experiments. And all led by uber, UBER intelligent engineers, scientists, physicists, rocket scientists, communications experts, program directors, thinkers, doers, the “imagineers.” That’s my type of people: living outside the box. And in their case, space!

How exciting is this place? I’ll tell you: my experience there as a NASASocial (aka “socialite”) ranks in the top three. And I live quite an exciting life – I have been all over the world – seen all kinds of wonderful things. I’m just saying that out of everything in my life, this was in the top three. What excited me? The people. Their ideas. The possibilities! Imagine printing a tool, a 3-D real tool, on demand, in space. How AWESOME is that?!?

I was one of 35 selected participants for the NASASocial held at Kennedy Space Center for the SpaceX4 Dragon launch February 18-20. Many of my hubby’s friends said to him, “Why isn’t that you?” My dear hubby is quite the space fanatic, I’m only a space junkie. He’s actually built a telescope. Out of wood. And a fully-functioning remote-controlled R2D2. … but back to the story … he explained that I wasn’t just picked at random like a lottery. I had to prove that I am active in social media, that I know how to write, and I’ll be able to reach an audience. This blog was probably the top reason I was picked: it shows that I can write and that I’m a photographer, too! Anyway, even though we all were selected for our communications talents, we were all extremely lucky and blessed to participate in such a mind-blowing, knee-slapping, jaw-dropping, most awesome-ever experience!

After we all gathered in the Press Annex, a portable building right next to CBS and Reuters, we were quickly rushed to the NASA TV broadcasting room, where we attended a series of informational panel sessions – all with the head honchos of NASA and all of the program directors, top scientists, and engineers for the various experiments that were being launched on the Dragon. 3-D printers, mice, fruit flies, plating experiments, RapidScat, oh my! I? Was absolutely enthralled. This is the type of work I initially wanted to do (reporting)! We NASA “socialites” were treated just like the media, some of us asked questions, there was a lot of camera clicking and tweeting going on in that room.

So instead of telling you about everything at once (and thus making this a novel), I’ll spread out the information and photos. And I’ll let the photos speak for themselves. (You can always read the captions, too.) 😀


Blogging, NASASocial, Photographs, Photography, Social Media, Space

Tricked Out Test Tube

Sheila Nielsen-Preiss, Principal Investigator for NASA’s Space Biology Project at Ames, holds her “tricked-out test tube” for the Micro-8 experiment to be held on the International Space Station. Sheila talked about how the experiments will investigate how spaceflight affects potentially infectious organisms during a NASA TV broadcast on September 19th at Kennedy Space Center. (That lucky me got to attend!) The yeast strain, Candida albicans (C. albicans), was launched on SpaceX’s Dragon cargo ship on September 21, 2014. Looking on is Ames scientist Sharmila Bhattacharya, who works with NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California. Sharmila is an investigator/scientist for Heart Effect Analysis Research Team conducting FLy Investigations and Experiments in Spaceflight (HEART FLIES). This is the first experiment to use the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, to study the effects of spaceflight on the structure and function of the heart. To read more about these fascinating experiments, read NASA’s article here.

The fruit flies and yeast strains have since been delivered to the International Space Station, along with a 3-D printer, and mice, among other experiments and supplies weighing 2.5 tons!

During their flight, the mice and flies developed multiple funny personas on Twitter, @astrofruitflies and @astromicerule, which both continue to make hilarious posts. Considering they brought in the Big Bang Theory TV show to the discussion, how could you not love these astro mice and fruit flies?!?

I made all of my posts during my trip to NASA during my #NASASocial event through Twitter. If you want to check out all of the fun, follow me on Twitter @whatisitpic. I had such a mind-blowing experience, I’m still in awe a week later. But I suppose that’s what happens when mind-blowing things are happening all around you!

Blogging, Daily Prompt, Photography, Weekly Writing Challenge, Writing

Say Your Name: Schelley

Can you spell that?

I’ve always said that my mom must have really wanted me to be a good speller considering she named me “Schelley.” Think about having to spell that name correctly in Kindergarten! I’m convinced that’s why I did turn out to be a great speller, walking dictionary that I am.


I was recently asked by a fellow blogger, whose last name is Schell, how often did people ever spell my name correctly? Ha! I replied that not even the school I attended Kindergarten-12th grade could get it right! My BFF from high school told her daughter that if she wanted to get on my good side, to make sure she spelled my name correctly! (Which she did, by the way.)

So apparently, spelling Schelley is no easy feat. Sometimes reading it aloud isn’t either (think of Schelley being pronounced as “school.”) No, I’m not Skelly, I’m Schelley. Yes, with the c.

And that’s not the only way to spell Schelley. You can drop the c (Shelley). You can drop the e (Shelly, Schelly). You can even drop the ey and use ie (Shellie, Schellie). Or you can drop the S (Chelly, Chelley, Chellie, Chelle). No wonder the confusion!

But wait … that’s not even my real name! Huh?

Schelley is just my nickname for Michelle (that’s where the “c” comes from); neither of my parents ever called me “Michelle.” I used to joke that when I answered the phone and the other person asked for “Michelle,” I knew it was a telemarketer. If you call me “Michelle,” you don’t know me. Because I’m really Schelley.

“So, mom,” I asked a long, long time ago, “why did you name me Michelle but always call me Schelley?”

“Well,” mom replied, “I loved the name Michelle, but it was too popular when you were born, so I just called you Schelley.”

I’m so glad she did. I’m really not a Michelle, that’s just an official name on my marriage license, mortgage deed, driver’s license, birth certificate, passport, paycheck, etc., you know, all those important papers. The paper trail in the financial and legal world knows me as Michelle. But to the rest of the world, I’m really a Schelley.

With a c. And an e.

You know what’s really funny? My middle name is “Mari.” No, it’s not pronounced as Mary, as I’ve had to explain numerous times, it’s pronounced just like Marie (but without the e).

But you can just call me Schelley.


This was today’s daily prompt. Write about your first name: Are you named after someone or something? Are there any stories or associations attached to it? If you had the choice, would you rename yourself?

You can join, too!

365-Day Project, Art, Blogging, Creativity, Mystery, Nature, Photography, Uncategorized

Day 94 – Mystery Muse to the Rescue

You must be the change you wish to see in the world. – Mahatma Gandhi

It’s so hard to believe that 94 days have already passed this year, that I’ve managed to come up with 94 funky images, that this ritual of blogging has become just that: a daily ritual. I look forward to posting, even when I don’t feel that great (like today, the gloomy weather and pressure have given me a throbbing headache), even when I have no idea what item will be my subject for the day (like today). I’m calling my muse, “help me, help me!” That dirty rascal has escaped once again, but maybe my muse will make a surprise visit at some point. Pretty please? Honestly, I’m typing this post with no picture! Oh no! (It’s 1:37 p.m. right now, I’m on another conference call. Another one!)

Yay! My muse came back. It’s now close to 4:00 and I have my mystery “what is it?!?” picture ready for you to guess. This one might be easy, but I love the picture! I had a difficult time picking which picture to post. So do you know? Can you tell?

What Is It?!?


What Was That?!? Yesterday’s Picture (Day 93)

As I mentioned yesterday, the picture I posted was not originally intended as a mystery “what is it?!?” picture; it’s actually one of my favorite images I’ve posted so far. Although it wasn’t guessed right away, Dan finally guessed on Facebook, and Gail guessed here on the blog. But first, the guesses: is it mold from something in my fridge? No! Hair on a chia pet? No, but I can certainly see that. The middle of some flower? Technically, it’s not the middle. X-ray? Nope. Blades of grass? Not that either (but that’s what it looks like to me). Bristles from a hair brush? No. Lily flower? Not a lily, but …

… it is a flower. But not just any flower!


What you saw was part of a bottlebrush bush flower (Callistemon), which is a vibrant red. Here’s the original view of that image.


365-Day Project, Art, Blogging, Creativity, Mystery, Photography, Uncategorized

Day 57 – Brewing Bubbles

The mind is everything. What you think you become. – Buddha

Last night I liked and commented on a picture that was titled “Bubbles in My Beer” and said that I would have never guessed it was bubbles in beer and that it would make a great “what is it?!?” picture. Jerry replied, “Well Schelley, actually they are not bubbles. Now it’s my turn to play “What Is It”.” Okay, so the tables turned and it was my turn to be challenged! I love it! Now I know how y’all feel when I post these funky pictures and you have no clue as to what the picture is. 🙂

But that doesn’t mean I’m going to make it any easier. I know, I know I’m full of mischief, can you hear my evil “muah-ha-ha” laugh? Muah-ha-ha.

Today’s mystery “what is it?!?” picture, I hope, is not easily recognizable. I was inspired by the shape and geometry of the subject. Can you guess?

What Is It?!?


What Was That?!? Yesterday’s Picture (Day 56)

Is it a floor mat? No. Side of a colander? No. How about a kitchen mat with the no-skid stuff? Not that either. Okay, how about a bathtub mat? Hmmm, I sense a theme here. No, it’s not any type of mat. After giving a hint that it was a guess made on a previous picture, my buddy, Shahn, did her investigation and came up with “cheese grater?” Well, close enough. Yes, yesterday’s picture was a grater. I was inspired by that guess (that Shahn made herself!). It took lots of shots to get that vision captured. I was happy with the results. Could you tell what it was?


Bubbles in My Beer

I just have to share with you Jerry’s picture that stumped me last night. He’s a great photographer and not only do I enjoy looking at his work, I always get a good giggle or two out of our interactions. Take a look! Can you guess “what is it?!?”

365-Day Project, Art, Blogging, Creativity, Mystery, Photography, Uncategorized

Day 56 – The World Is a Book …

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page. – Saint Augustine

I was blessed with a mother who taught – and showed – my brother and I that traveling is just as important as a traditional schooling education. I have been so many places, from exotic Hawaii to glacier-filled Alaska, I’ve strolled the streets all over the world, been exposed to so many different cultures and foods and experiences. But since starting this blog and becoming a stats addict, I have had so many visitors from other countries that I haven’t yet visited, my bucket list grows each day. So many places, so little time!

Today’s mystery “what is it?!?” picture is the last of my stash that I took before our little vacation this past weekend. My muse did me well last week by showing me so many visions, and I am starting to call out again for my next inspiration. Do you know? Can you guess?

What Is It?!?


What Was That?!? Yesterday’s Picture (Day 55)

One of my all-time favorite guesses: “Cheezits floating in a sea of sriacha sauce!” Alas, that’s not what the subject was. Nor was it tile or a back splash. “Reverse lights” was close enough, since the picture was the reflector part of brake lights (a different car than the other pic I posted of brake lights, I know, I’m a dirty rascal!). Just goes to show, everything and everyone has a different perspective!

A Word of Thanks

I’ve been honored that Krzysztof Alexandrowicz ( has reblogged two of my posts. He has also complimented my work, which makes me feel really, really good. I am so thankful for feedback, and like I said, I feel honored that someone, another artist, appreciates my work. So thank you, Krzysztof!

And then, today, I found out that my friend, Carissa ( nominated me for the The Very Inspiring Blogger 2013 award. Her kind words also put a very large smile on my face today! We both agreed that the best part about blogging is making connections with other people. Thank you, Carissa!

To the rest of my blogger community and followers, I also thank each of you for taking the time to peruse my funky pictures and read some of my rambling posts. You are a welcome addition to my space here in cyber world. Ciao, friends!